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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.
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
Earth Stars; Whirinake Waterfall Track
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.

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Week 6: Alternating Rhythm

I like the promise that this challenge suggests. Alternating rhythm of what? Sound, light, colour, motif? I have been, and still am, looking for possibilities. My initial thought was sound, and I wondered how I could convey sound in a photo. Then I was out at the weekend at the Banksy exhibition in Auckland. We went out for a late lunch afterwards and I chose to have a Rhubarb Rhoyale which came in a beautiful retro champagne glass – the light that refracted off the crystal appealed to me.

On Monday we wandered into town and went through “Riffraff” square in Hamilton. The whole place has been thoughtfully designed to evoke the theme of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and late at night the lighting is stunning. A video would respond really well to the theme of alternating rhythm, but how do I express that as a still photo? I had a play with Snapseed and produced these images but they still don’t really hit the mark for this week’s challenge.

We have a glut of green beans. Too many for us to eat and so they have grown so big that they are all but inedible unless we boil them for so long that I am sure there are no longer any nutrients in them. Today we decided to pick them all, harvest the beans from inside and use them. They are like wee jewels, shiny pink and purple jewels, cushioned in their bright green pockets of safety. Alternating rhythms of colour. I collected them like treasure and took them into the garden. This is my ‘beanart’.

I am unsure yet what my final submission will be, but I have had fun thinking ad creating… still a few days to go, so I may yet be further inspired.


On an unscheduled visit to Te Papa, this installation hung croon the ceiling. It has promise…

Maybe it would be better rotated 90°?

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Week 5: Wildcard, Photographer’s Choice

Whilst walking the Tongariro Crossing with the hordes at the weekend, we stopped for lunch on the rise overlooking this lake. We wondered if the water was sulphurous…it looked so inviting but nobody was swimming in it or even paddling or even sitting next to it. Maybe the extra climb on an already long walk was too much for people to contemplate? Or maybe they just weren’t curious enough? I pondered that if it were in the Lake District I would have been in it! Eventually, curiosity got the better of me and I scrambled down the hill to check it out.

Soft, soapy water, so definitely some sort of minerals, and tepid but not hot so probably just warmed by the sun and not geothermal.

I suddenly realised that the babble of voices that had been our constant companion had gone. Down here, it was quiet and still. A pair of small birds hopped over the rocks then one of them took wing over the water.

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Week 4: Quiet moment

Snatching quiet moments in a busy week at work is always a challenge. And work-life balance is an aspiration and not always a reality! Somehow it’s easier in summer though. I have had my camera (phone) ready for those moments this week. Here are a few of them.


Relaxing at the end of the day….

Unfortunately, aforementioned cat caught a cicada. Fortunately, it wasn’t too damaged but managed a few photos before it flew away.

Trailrunning allows me to de-stress. Working in different places means I have to travel but also means I get to escape to different trails at the end of the day.

These last two photos are both on the Te Araroa trail just south of Te Kuiti at a wee reserve called Mangaokewa. Beautiful spot.