Farewell DP Photo Challenge

golden-hour1-e1527799550609

Silhouette of youth. Posted to The Golden Hour DP Photo Challenge, 17 July 2013. Image: Su Leslie, 2013

Like many in the WP community, I’m sad and a little disappointed at the demise of the Daily Post Photo Challenge. It’s been instrumental not only in helping me develop my own photographic skills and confidence, but more importantly, in introducing me to a huge number of amazing bloggers.

I wouldn’t say that the shot above is an absolute favorite image, but it’s one of the earliest I ever posted to a challenge, and it does still make me smile.

It reminds me how different life was five years ago. My boy-child was 15, and although he was happy to spend time with his parents, he was already looking beyond us to a world of his own making.

Daily Post Photo Challenge |all-time favorites

The Changing Seasons: March 2017

First light on Mt Ruapehu, Central Plateau, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

First light on Mt Ruapehu, Central Plateau, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

I’m being a bit metaphorical with this Changing Seasons post, focusing on my road-trip with the boy-child last weekend.

Since he left home last June, I’ve only seen my child for more than a few hours at a time when he has been ill; in need of that special “mummy” care.

Last weekend we visited his grandfather in Whanganui; a road-trip of around 700km together. While it’s far from the first time we’ve traveled together, it was the first time we could share the driving and the costs. More importantly, as I quickly realised, we also had to share the decision-making.

My son is an adult now and the seasons of our respective lives have changed.

His road-trip ended at New Plymouth airport; with a flight back to Auckland and work. Mine involved a few more hours in the car (about half of them in Auckland traffic) — and a chance to get all nostalgic about New Zealand’s beautiful rural hinterland.

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. Please visit to see the Cardinal’s month, and find links to other participants.

There are two versions of the challenge:

Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

DP Photo Challenge: a good match — the boy and …

… his skateboard

Skateboarding boy airborne. Image: Su Leslie, 2010

The boy-child and his skateboard; inseparable. Image: Su Leslie, 2010

… snow

Boy building snowman, Mt Ruapehu, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2011

Having fun at Mt Ruapehu. Image: Su Leslie, 2011

… food

Boy eating in a restaurant. Image: Su Leslie, 2009

The boy-child enjoying Peking Duck at Auckland restaurant, Love a Duck. Image: Su Leslie, 2009

… his dad

Father and son. Image: Su Leslie, 2009

“two peas in a pod?” The big T and our boy-child. Image: Su Leslie, 2009

Apologies for posting some old images to this challenge. The boy-child turned 19 yesterday and I’m feeling nostalgic.

Daily Post Photo Challenge | a good match

It’s not this time of year without … portraits of my son

The boy-child. Monochrome portrait of a young man with mirror reflection. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The boy-child. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

When he was little, the boy-child loved the camera and it loved him right back.

As he’s got older, the relationship’s changed in one fundamental respect. These days, he feels he belongs behind the lens rather than in front. So it takes something quite special — like his grandmother’s desire to have a “nice picture” for Christmas — to persuade him to be photographed.

And with no disrespect to my son’s very real talent as a photographer, I think the camera still loves him.

The boy-child, take 3. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Portrait of a young man, with reflection in the mirror.

The boy-child, take 2. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

The by-child, take 2. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Portrait of a young man, with reflection in the mirror.

The boy-child, take 3. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week we’re asked to show something without which the holiday season would be incomplete.

DP Photo Challenge: transmogrify, take 1

Ghost of Halloween past. Image: Su Leslie, 2010

Last night was Halloween, and as I watched groups of little (and not so little) kids out Trick or Treat-ing, I had a little wave of nostalgia for the days when the boy-child would  transmogrify for the event, with face paint and costume — and more than a little attitude.

Back in the day. The boy-child and his best friend, Halloween, 2003. Image: Su Leslie


Hard to believe the transformations?

This post was written for the Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week the theme is transmogrify.

DP Photo Challenge: Mirror, take 2

Pitcher plants (Nepenthes) with reflections, hanging in the Tropical House, Auckland Wintergardens, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Pitcher plants (Nepenthes), in the Tropical House, Auckland Wintergarden, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Water is a fascinating mirror; hiding, distorting, exaggerating and maybe offering a glimpse of what lies beneath.

Tropical plants reflected in the fish pond, Tropical House, Auckland Wintergardens, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Tropical House fish pond, Auckland Wintergarden, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

What so captured this little boy’s attention? His reflection? Or the tiny fish swimming around in the pond?

Small child looking into the fishpond at the Tropical House, Auckland Wintergarden, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Tropical House, Auckland Wintergarden, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Little boy looking into the pond in the Tropical House, Auckland Wintergarden, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Tropical House, Auckland Wintergarden, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This week’s theme at the Daily Post Photo Challenge is mirror.

Friday flip through the archive

Carefree to care-managed: the art of growing up

Su Leslie, 2002.

I wrote this three years ago, yet think it is as appropriate now as then. The challenges facing my son as an 18 year old are different, but no less real. He continues to rise to them and to be a human being worth knowing.

Zimmerbitch

Carefree: without worries or responsibilities.

We often think of childhood days as carefree; and it is true that watching young children at play evokes a sense of their freedom from concern or constraint.

When the boy-child was younger, fantasy games formed a huge part of his everyday play. Like many children, he loved to create forts out of chairs and blankets, turn cardboard boxes into spaceships, dress up and invent imaginary friends. In his case they were imaginary older siblings, which, for a mother struggling with infertility, was pretty tough to deal with at times.

Incredibly inventive, he was constantly making things. Lego and building blocks were indispensable in building props for his, often quite complex, games. Cardboard sheets were sellotaped and stapled into cars, aeroplanes and once, a huge aircraft carrier (and I mean huge).

Items he wanted but didn’t have were improvised. As a two year old, he…

View original post 497 more words