I love light, I love to write, I love life – I create my words and images to capture the light in my life.
Photography lightens my life
Capturing the light leads me on many different journeys…..
Wandering with my camera is one of my favourite things to do.
From the time I bought my first camera, a Brownie Starlet, at 9 years old, until now 60 years later, I have been fascinated with photography. I will be revisiting my lifelong photographic journey using my old photos from the film days, sharing how I used photography throughout my working life, and how I got excited all over again when I discovered the digital camera and editing software.
Lifelong learning through an abiding passionate interest is the best way to learn.
Looking back, it has been amazing learning journey so far. Long may it continue……
It’s all about perspective when it comes to geometric shapes.
“Geometry – It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures.“
It was not my favourite school subject. I couldn’t tell a tetrahedron from a square pyramid, or a hexagonal pyramid from a hexagonal prism – even though I could spell these mysterious words – the usefulness of these shapes made no sense to me.
Then I discovered the angles, shapes and perspectives to be captured through photography. At last the geometric shapes made sense and I could relate.
I went looking for geometry and symmetry wherever I pointed my camera.
From spheres to squares…
From proportions to perspectives in buildings and bridge construction…
In ceilings and walls and up steps or stairs……
I even found a square pyramid or is it tetrahedron?
Geometry in photography has forced me to shape and clarify my own perspectives.
“Trust that little voice in your head that says, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; and then do it.” Duane Michals
So with these encouraging quotes in mind, here I go with my favourite ways to relax….
PLAYING WITH ART: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Either John Lennon or Laurence J Peter – the jury is out on who said this first!
My latest foray into creative expression is when I started a 61 day ICAD (index card a day) challenge from 1st June and ending 31st July – and of course I am still playing catchup. I made a bargain with myself – 30 minutes on the exercycle first then I am free to play with index cards, paint, crayons, stencils and gel pens. I even made a home-made gel plate for printing I put on my music and relax into my art. Here is a small selection from June and July. It is working so far.
READING: “You can find magic, wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr Seuss
This is most certainly one of my ‘go-tos’ for relaxing, pouring myself a cuppa, curling up into a comfy chair and getting lost in a good book – and there I am – relaxed into the magic of words and other worlds. There is a reason I have always loved reading fantasy, science fiction and time travel – it is such an amazing form of escapism. It will be interesting to see how many books I have read by the end of the year – I’m up to Book 54 so far.
I have my favourite genres, and then I have my “impossible to put into any specific genre” genre.
Some books just require you to read, re-read and re-read again. And it is not because you can’t remember the stories, its because they are so good, so full of complexity, twists and turns they need to be read again to catch even more details with each read through.
I’m currently re-reading books 1 – 8 of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon in preparation for the release of book 9 in November. There is an online book group doing a read – along and is great excuse for me to re-read. It is very interesting how much more detail you notice on the next journey through the ‘ stones’.
I enjoyed reading the first book Crosstitch (which has since been renamed as Outlander) when it was published in 1991. I swapped some of the next few books with my sister in law over the years until other work-life priorities intervened. Luckily for me, I not only rediscovered the series a few years ago but also realised I could download the rest of the books onto my kindle. For those that are not yet familiar with this series here is Herself’s description.
Alternatively or as well as – there is the tv series to avidly consume – seasons 1 -5 to date with season 6 scheduled for release early next year. I have to admit to being seriously addicted to Outlander along with several million other readers. I’m not sure if this addictive reading behaviour is actually relaxing or not – hmm?
Whilst waiting for the next book, there is a selection of novellas based on individual characters and a Comprehensive Companion guide (or two ) filling in some background history. It keeps me relaxed.
“Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity.” – A. Edward Newton, author, publisher, and collector of 10,000 books.
By the look of my piles of books which I can’t seem to fit into my bookshelves, and constantly struggle to let go of, it could be said I might be afflicted with this ecstasy too. It reminded me too of this bit of lighthearted relief found online during last year’s lockdown. Read the titles which have been placed in order by a librarian with a sense of humour. Always look for the bright side of life – and stay relaxed.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Relax and trust, knowing the universe has set a banquet of abundance for you”
I found this quote chalked onto a blackboard outside the Langford store in Golden Bay last year. I’m not sure who authored it. I do like the emphasis on “relax and trust”.
Wandering with my camera is when I am truly in my relaxed and happy place. There is always an abundance of subjects to capture – and it keeps the brain active.
WRITING: “It is how you see life that matters, rather than what you have done.” – Patti Miller, “Writing true stories.”
Writing for me is a way to record my inner thoughts and to make sense of the feelings and thoughts that wander through my mind. Playing with words is a form of relaxation for me. It can also be a trip down memory lane.
Elizabeth Gilbert writes that: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to discover those jewels – that’s creative living… I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
So now I have written about creative pursuits I enjoy, I’m feeling rather chilled out and RELAXED
If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?”
The expression of an impression
Is an obsession
I bring to each photo session
where I can take possession
of my lifelong passion.
The expression of an impression
Is a compulsion
not a delusion.
It is where I learnt composition
Through the excitement of exploration
and a touch of preoccupation.
The expression of an impression
Take a bowl full of enthusiasm
Flash in a sprinkle of infatuation
Focus with a whole lot of dedication
Layer in an image of endless fascination
Blend all together in a bucket of creation
Until it exposes more than my dreams
And becomes a beautiful expression of my own impressions
Every photo I take is a piece of my life that I will never get back,
Blues in the environment are one of my favourite subjects for photography.
Jude reminds us when looking for blues this month that:
“Blue. A primary colour that we look upon almost every day. But don’t forget about the different hues which include indigo and ultramarine, cyan and the other blue-greens such as turquoise, teal, and aquamarine.
I did some blue sky thinking…and looking through my archives.
Blue Skies thinking:
The blue sky found its way onto the bonnet of my blue car.
A rainbow brightens up the blue sky.
And the clouds blew over to hide the blue skies.
Oceans and canals: A few different hues of blues
Then there are the glacial blues in the mountain lakes.
Lakes:The reflected skies in the lakes always transfix me with the beautiful blues.
Perhaps I will capture some different blues before the end of July.
Having just completed a June trees theme for my 365 project, I already had plenty of choices for this week’s Sunday Stills. This is my month’s calendar view.
Under the trees I also found:
I discovered rainbows, reflections and sunsets.
Under the trees throughout the seasons, I find the new growth of spring green and blossoms, the silhouetted sunlight of summer. the dappled shade lighting the fallen autumn leaves and the skeletal winter trees revealing their intricate branching structures. I had a play with making a composite of autumn leaves and a frosty winter. Maybe next time I will do all seasons!
I love that trees have so many different textures and forms in their branches and trunks. Winter when the trees are leafless is a good time to appreciate the intricate branch patterns normally hidden within the leaves. Moss and lichen cluster with wood ear fungus to decorate the barren trees.
I love to wander between the trees along hidden forest pathways, and beside the lakes, beaches and rivers. I am in my happy place (as long as I have my camera along for the walk}
Public art is a never-ending source of inspiration for me and my camera.
I have often wondered whether I should photograph other people’s artwork as surely this is not depicting one’s own creativity but exploiting others? To be honest though, that hasn’t stopped me over my travelling years.
I think in part, it is to try to capture the essence of the journey, the excitement of discovery and the awe which I hold for the skills, imagination and talents of artists – be they street artists. graffiti artists or sculptors. I enjoy watching the way others interact with public art – especially the sculptures.
I have quite a few examples of public art in my travel archives. Some tell a story. Others pose the question – why?
Is graffiti a form of art? Or is art a form of graffiti?
To give us pause to enjoy art and make us ponder on the meaning of life – is that the purpose of public art?
I think it is a purpose, and that we all benefit from taking the time to sit awhile and just appreciate the inspiring creativity of the artist.
I’m excited to explore the different forms of public art further as this Photographing Public art challenge continues. Thanks to the organisers Cee and Marsha for the opportunity.
From the ocean to the mountains, from coast to coast. Just a few photos of the great outdoors of NZ where I love to visit with my camera.
Lets start at the Southern Alps which is in the rugged mountain range that spans from from North to South of the South Island. Although climbing mountains is not my thing I did struggle up to the Tasman Glacier viewpoint – and saw ICEBERGS.
Moving westwards towards Arthurs Pass is this stunning landscape.
Venturing a little further North on an inland road we stopped over at Iveagh Bay at Lake Brunner
Heading to the top West corner of the South Island is Karamea – which also provides a perfect opportunity for a West Coast sunset.
Further down the coast is Punakaiki, famous for its blowholes and rugged beaches
Time for an overnight at Fox River to meet friends and eat pancakes (what else) before heading East through the Kaikoura mountains and onto the East coast.
Finally we headed back up North to the Marlborough Sounds and over the top to French Pass at the top of the South Island where Pelorus Jack once roamed the sea.
Home again to another silvery moon and to hunker down at home for the winter months. The great outdoors can wait a while until the weather warms up again.
Oh yes – do I have plenty of sunsets and maybe a sunrise?
I’m not so great at getting up early enough to capture sunrises. We cruised into Gothenburg harbour in the early morning just as the sun had risen enough to hide behind the clouds. Does that count as a sunrise?
Later that week, we saw glorious sunsets over the Southern archipelago.
The West Coast is a great place to watch the sunset.
Sunsets are such peaceful time of the day to enjoy some solitude.
And then there are the fabulous sunsets I see out my window or through the trees.
This winter month I am just looking for a few hours of sunshine each day – just a few hours and perhaps a lovely sunset.
As I sit here on a wet winter Saturday, the view out the window is almost a white-out as the clouds are sitting low against a very grey sea. The ducks are ducking their heads under to snatch some duckweed.. Their movement is noticeable only in the ripples they create in the otherwise calm waters.
Tiny waves are gently lapping the beach forming tidal patterns at the water’s edge. Currents show as a deeper silver on the still waters. The tidal flow is creeping quietly up the gravel beach, surrounding the huge driftwood log that has been stranded since being cast ashore in the last storm. It now serves a a roosting perch for cormorants as they dry their wings and digest the fish they dived under the waves to catch.
It must be time to post some silver and white images for Life in Colour – June.
I will start with some seascapes and seagulls in silver.
There are mountains of mountain images in my April/May archives – here are but a few with that white stuff called snow and a scattering of clouds.
And there were the frosty foggy finds…
And I still love to capture splashes of white
I may yet find more silver or white before the end of June.
Pink is still a challenge as I shared many pink pictures earlier in April so I have had to keep looking through my travel archives.
This wasn’t such a chore as it gave me an opportunity to enjoy another glimpse into our travels – from what feels like the distant past. Sigh!
Borrowed artworks featuring pink were few and far between but Banksy can be relied on to add interest and intrigue.
Still, I feel grateful that we were able to enjoy our travels before tripping around the world got complicated. Until we can travel overseas again, I will just enjoy this beautiful pink light on the mountains.