DP Photo Challenge: rise/set

Sunrise shot of glowing orange skies with clouds reflected in the water of Orakei Basin, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Sunrise at Orakei Basin, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Photographers love the ‘golden hour’ whether it’s in the morning or evening.

I’m a morning person, so I’d expected to have more sunrise shots in my archive. Surprisingly, that’s not the case.

What I did find though, is that my morning shots tend to have fewer traces of humanity in them — whether people themselves, or our planet-covering artifacts.

Sunset at Hobsonville Point, Auckland, New Zealand, with house construction silhouetted against golden sky. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Housing development, Hobsonville Point, Auckland, NZ. Image; Su Leslie, 2018

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Construction fencing silhouetted against the setting sun. Hobsonville Point, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2018

Daily Post Photo Challenge | rise/set

A shared moment of joy

Rangitoto sunrise. Seen from Milford Beach, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Rangitoto sunrise. Seen from Milford Beach, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017. Edited with Snapseed.

Awake particularly early the other day,  I went for a walk on Milford Beach. The skies were low and threatening, and I’d resigned myself to a undistinguished sunrise. In fact, I was headed back to the car when a fellow walker pointed out what I nearly missed —  shafts of orange light bursting outward from the horizon.

My photo can never do justice to how beautiful that moment was. The beach was almost deserted, but for the few minutes nature offered her light show, a small group of us stood together and watched.

Then the elderly Chinese woman murmured “very special moment”, we all smiled, added our agreement and carried on our way.

Written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally

 

 

The Changing Seasons: February 2017

Cows and a bull grazing on a hillside against brilliant blue sky. Seen on the Awhitu Peninsula, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

Another roadside attraction … Seen on the Awhitu Peninsula, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2017

The Big T was overseas for 18 of February’s 28 days, so it was a raggedy month where life’s normal rhythms skipped a bit.

A growing disaffection with Auckland’s rampant urbanisation, overcrowding and endless traffic congestion has driven me (at painfully low speed) from the city as often as I could get away. Trips to Karekare, the Awhitu Peninsula, the Waikato and even the Helensville A&P Show are all part of a quest to reconnect with the parts of Aotearoa New Zealand that the Big T and I love and feel connected to.

This post is my contribution to The Changing Seasons, 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!

Saturday night; Sunday morning

Trees silhouetted in the mist. Greenhithe, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Misty morning, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

As an antidote to the chaos of a weekend spent painting and restoring furniture, I took some time on Saturday evening and early Sunday morning to walk around the neighbourhood. The recent clear and cold winter weather has produced some stunning sunsets and mist-shrouded mornings.

Nature's frame. Sunset over Herald Island, NZ, seen trhough ferns. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Nature’s frame. Sunset over Herald Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Sunset, Rahui Beach, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Sunset, Rahui Beach, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Early morning, Wainoni ponds, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Early morning, Wainoni ponds, Greenhithe, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, at Lens and Pens by Sally. The theme is nature.

 

 

The Changing Seasons: April sun in Te Atatu

Sunrise in Auckland. View of city and harbour bridge from Te Atatu Peninsula beach at low tide. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Early morning on the Te Atatu Peninsula; looking across the Waitemata to the city and harbour bridge. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I have to confess; April is probably my favourite month. Poised between Auckland’s oppressive summer humidity and the damp, grey of winter, April in my city is often utterly, gloriously beautiful — especially at sunrise and sunset.

Tomorrow is the start of New Zealand Music Month, and I’ve been thinking about the songs that form the soundtrack to my life. One of the first to pop into my head was April Sun in Cuba.

Released in 1977, it was the first big hit for the band Dragon. April Sun in Cuba was released in Australia first; the band having relocated to Sydney from Auckland a couple of years earlier. I don’t know if writers Paul Hewson and Marc Hunter were thinking of Auckland or Sydney when they wrote the song, but the opening lines are:

I’m tired of the city life
Summer’s on the run
People tell me I should stay
But I got to get my fun

Paul Hewson & Marc Hunter

I am definitely tired of the city life, but at least for the moment, the April sun in Te Atatu, or Greenhithe, or Herald Island are part of the solution, not the problem.

Sunset at Rahui Beach, Greenhithe, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Sunset at Rahui Beach, Greenhithe, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

At sunset, gulls flying above Christmas Beach, Herald Island in Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

“Birds in the winter sky” — gulls above Christmas Beach, Herald Island in Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. There are two versions:

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!

 

Transition No. 1

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Sunrise, Campbell’s Bay, Auckland. Image: Su Leslie, 2014

If I could choose the perfect way to begin and end each day, it would be walking on a beach in the moments when the arrival and departure of light mark the speeding up and slowing down of life’s rhythms.

In that specific symmetry of transition — from night to day, day to night, from sea to land — is the reminder that nothing remains the same for long. All of life is transition. The joys we cherish won’t last, but neither will the sorrows.

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunset, Muriwai Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2015

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

 

Daily Post Photo Challenge: remembering my happy place

Early morning mist, Hobsonville Point, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Early morning mist, Hobsonville Point, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

I’m an introvert — and a morning person –so it’s probably not surprising that getting to my happy place involves a solitary early morning walk, preferably with my camera.

Double points if that walk is by water; triple for a beautiful sunrise to photograph.

Storm clouds over North Head, Devonport, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Enjoying solitude and the quality of light, Cheltenham Beach, Devonport, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

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Sunrise, Waiake Beach, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015

Sunrise, Hobsonville Point Wharf, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

Sunrise, Hobsonville Point Wharf, Auckland. Photo: Su Leslie, 2014

The theme of this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is ‘Happy Place.’