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Week 16: Portrait

This week is a technical challenge and we have to consider how lighting can be used to best suit the subject. My sons are unwitting (and unwilling) subjects, so I have to catch them off guard!

This morning we went for breakfast as a special treat and while we were waiting for our meal I spotted son number 1 engrossed in reading on his phone.

When we got home, I caught son number 2 playing his guitar.

I decided to edit both photos and use black and white. Then touched up the exposures to light their faces.

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Week 15 Composition: Rule of Space

‘Your subject should be facing the frame, walking into the frame, this keeps your subject “in” the frame and engaging with it. Give your subject room to move.’

Not sure what to do with this one. I have been looking at what others have posted and although there are a lot of people or animals literally ‘walking’ into the frame, there are also others which are not so literal.  Here are some of my options;

I snapped this wee fellow practising his writing on the school playground a few weeks ago. Such concentration.

black and white photo of child drawing on pavement with chalk

This was taken in New Plymouth when we were in Taranaki for the WOMAD festival. Not sure how much space there is for the subject (my ever patient husband, Nigel!) with all the reflections! But I like the effect.

IMG_20180317_122104_377.jpg

Another one of Nigel out and about. The Boon Street Arts festival hits Hamilton every year and this is one of the offerings from this year.

Man wearing a strpd tee-shirt and jeans standing against a painted wall looking upwards. The wall is painted pink and blue with a dog in the right corner and other dog paraphernalia across the painting

As we walked along the front in New Plymouth I spotted this dogwalker. It isn’t a great technical photo but I do like the ‘seaside postcard’ effect of the composition.

man walking dog along a promenade by the sea which is in the background. The left side of the photo is the footpath with other walkers and a tall bendy red 'wand' swaying in the wind. The sky is blue.

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Week 14: Tryptych

Week 14 asks us to connect two or three photos together to provoke a thought or to tell a story.

My biggest challenge was finding an app in which I could frame two or three photos. I fell back to ipiccy as this is a photo editing tool I have used before.

I am well behind on my weekly challenges but have had the project titles in my head as I have been out and about.  We have recently spent a lot of time in the NZ bush and as it is Autumn, there are heaps of mushrooms about.  The other day we found these Slender Parasols up by the trig point in Hamilton Gardens in various stages of development.

three parasol mushrooms in various stages of development.

A new garden has recently opened at Hamilton Gardens. I was not too impressed with the Tudor Garden but I really like the Concept Garden.  The squares of water, and different types of plants reflect the squares on land maps.  The Māori whakatauki on the wall and the rusted iron water tank tell contradictory stories of the permanence or fragility of the land and the people.

Whatungarongaro te tangata toituu te whenua
As man disappears from sight, the land remains

 He peke tangata, apa he peke titoki’ 
The human family lives on while the branch of the titoki falls and decays.

hamgardens.jpg

My third option is a city scape – I used an app called Tiny Planets which is a bit of fun to create the images in this collage. All the images are from the same photo but one is the original and the other two are edited in Tiny Planet.

three images in a row, the middle is a cityscape at sunset, the outer two are derivatives, edited through an app that makes them into planets

Back to nature for the last one. Once again on our wander into Hamilton Gardens on Anzac Day.  Autumn is good for seeds as well as mushrooms, and we saw these plants in various stages from fresh green pods to fully blown seeds.

seedburst 2

Too many choices again!

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Week 13: Leading Lines

Leading Lines: use lines to lead the viewer to your subject

I’m not sure that any of these except the swimmer meets the description above. But I like the lines that these photos have in them. The lines are really the subjects rather than leading the viewer to a subject.

What do you think?

Looking up to the sky from the base of a large kauri tree which splits into 3 separate trees.
Looking up; Kauri Trees
Lush NZ forest with tree ferns, low level ferns and tall tree. Two tall trees form a line vertically through the middle of the image. and the sun is shining through them at the top
Giants of the ngahere
panoramic shot of waterfall which shoots out from the right handside of the photo and lands before it hits a large boulder on left. surrounded by lush green vegetation, sunlight shines through fromthe back.
Water chute
Te Rewarewa bridge is an iconic white metal bridge in Taranaki. a white arch rising up from the bottom left of the image and then diminishing in the distance to meet the horizon mid centre. A ma is standing on the bridge and others are walking across it
Te Rewarewa bridge; Taranaki
Wide river with jetty and steps leading down to the water on the left. A swimmer stands on the post at the end ready to jump in the water.
Evening swimmer at the jetty
Town street. Modern mirrored building to the right with reflection of old colonial building in the mirrors.
Reflections
Town street. Old brick and stone clock tower to the left of image. Modern mirrored building to the right with reflection of old colonial building in the mirrors.
Mirrored building and clock tower
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Week 12: Macro

Oh, so many to choose from after a weekend away! I forgot to take my SLR in the rush and ‘busyness’ of packing up, so resorted to the ‘pro’ setting on my Samsung camera app which allows me to manual focus and change ISO etc. It is a bit tricky focusing as you basically need to move physically closer or further away from the subject. And steadying a light camera is not easy either. Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with the results.

We spent Easter weekend exploring some of the Whirinaki landscape. A new area for us made easier now that we have a campervan to pull over in and sleep anywhere! The podocarp forest (ngahere) is a stunning place and especially rich with berries and mushrooms now that Autumn is on its way. We were lucky too, with the weather. It is still warm and the sun provided excellent light through the trees.

Here are a few of my shots. Which do you like best?

woolly inkcap mushroom looking into the centre from an angle
Woolly Inkcap; Lake Okaro
Shaggy Inkcap Mushroom taken from above
Woolly Inkcap
earthstars
Earth Stars; Whirinake Waterfall Track
clover
Clover; Lake Okaro
puffball mushroom, white with detail of skin
Puffball Mushroom
bright green fern growing on the side of a tree. Spores are around the outside.
Kidney Fern; Whirinaki Waterfall Track
bright green kidney fern, seen side on growing on the side of a tree. Light shining through it.
Kidney Fern: Whirinaki Waterfall Track
dandelion clock
Dandelion Clock; Lake Okaro
deep red berry with a drip of water hanging underneath
Berry with drop of water: Lake Okaro
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Week 11: Negative Space

This is not a technique I employ often. Most of my photos are full of colour and I tend to focus in or crop my photos. I like the simplicity of isolating a subject and giving it space to stand out. Having said that, I struggled to find opportunities to make it work! Here are a couple, at least.

The first is in Hamilton airport. I waa sitting at the table hacking a coffee and liked the space the table created but also how it connected to the person waiting at the other end of the lounge.

I took this one as we ate lunch on the beach at Foxton. The seagulls were circling waiting for scraps.

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Week 10: colour splash

I have downloaded an app to help me with this challenge. I really should start editing on my computer using Gimp but I’m intrinsically lazy. To do that I would need to make more of an effort. I am also madly busy at the moment with work and at the end of the day I don’t really want to sit at my computer again!

The challenge here was picking photos that had an interesting focus. Something that drew my eye. I’m still on the lookout as I am out and about but these are the offerings so far. Which is your pick?

Labrador sitting waiting outside a pub in the street. Tall buildings in the background.

Two boys reading a picture book.

Woodland with dark trees, sun  light shining through on to bright pink flowers in middle of image.

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Week 7: Fill the frame

I have struggled to find the right subject again this week. The obvious are closeups of my cats and my children…honing in on the concentration as my boy plays his guitar or computer game…moving in on sleeping cats. But as the first photos went into the album on Facebook, they were nearly all animals’ or children’s faces. So, I decided to keep looking.

Here are my options:

1. Fill the frame with a Redwood from Whakarewarewa.

Looking up at tall sequioa trees.

2. Getting up close to the propeller on the aircraft I flew on down to Christchurch this week. I love how at certain speeds you get the impression that there are multiple blades when, in fact, there are not!

Close up shot out of the window of a plane. Looking at the propeller turning. It is raining.

3. I have a fascination with fungi. I spotted these mushrooms while I was out on a run in a favourite bush area close to home.

A white mushroom from above. Perfectly round.

4. The patterns that overlapping Nikau Palm leaves make is always an attraction for me. When the sun shines through, it adds another dimension.

Crisscross pattern of leaves from Nikau Palms with the sun shining through.

5. The same mushroom viewed from beneath. See how fascinating they are!? The patterns and colours vary so much.

Looking at a the brown yellow gills of a mushroom from below. It is in woodland which is out of focus.

6. Christchurch is changing. There has been a lot of development since the 2011 earthquake. But it is slow. I have watched the non-development of this building over the last few years. All around it is now new but this remains. The irony for me is the peeling paint and gradually decaying shutters, juxtaposed with the old advert for paint on the side of the building.

Looking up at the corner if a derelict building, shutters decaying, paint peeling. On the side wall is an advert for paint.

7. I saw these bright orange fungi just down the track and thought they would contrast well with the white. Difficult because I was shaking from running and fingers were slippery from sweat.