Week 52: Self Portrait

Ha! You might have noticed the slick transition from Week 36 to Week 52. The year got busy and the weeks got away with me, and to be honest, I didn’t have the creative energy to set up the photos for the topics each week. Some were really hard to get my head around especially the ones that required an understanding of photographic techniques and thus something more than a phone camera. I had good intentions of catching up but it is time consuming going back through my photos to find ones that might retrospectively fit the themes. I could spend the next few days out and about seeing if I can exercise my mind and get those creative juices going – and I may keep some of the themes in my head and if I see something that works, I may well fill some gaps!

But Week 52 then. Isn’t the world today the world of the self-portrait – there are people taking ‘selfies‘ everywhere. There are even blogposts giving us top tips for taking the best selfies. Not to mention the medical journals jumping in to analyse why we take selfies.

Now I know that a selfie isn’t a real self-portrait but they’re fun and it’s the 21st century and that’s what we do!

I do take a fair few selfies although in reality they are nearly always ‘grelfies‘ (group selfies) as we take them when we are out on the trails as a group or out and about with Nigel. And hardly any of them are flattering in the slightest!

Problems with ‘selfie’ taking:

Not being able to get all four team members in. We used to solve this problem by standing in an offset line behind the person at the front taking the photo. But we have recently discovered the ‘wide angle’ selfie setting on our phones which means that we can now easily get all 4 team members in the photo as well as some of the scenery!

Being old and shortsighted so you can’t see the camera settings as you take the photo. Result – a puzzled or face of concentration rather than a beautiful ‘natural’ smile! Or getting your fat finger over the lens!

It’s just not cool Mum! The reluctance of a teenage boy to be in a selfie with his parents. It’s so embarrassing having parents that take selfies! Although, they do grow out of the embarrassment by their mid-twenties.

I do occasionally take ones of me, myself, I with nobody else in the photo if I find myself in a beautiful place and the mood takes me, though mostly I just take the photo of the beautiful place. Why spoil it by putting my mug in it!? Oh and just for proof that I was there for Strava! (Although if I took the photo, I must have been there, mustn’t I?)

Getting parts of the scenery growing out of your head…. sometimes turning the camera around and taking the shot at a jaunty angles helps… maybe?

Or trying to take a photo facing the sun… squinty eyes!

Getting everyone to smile, face the right direction or not pull faces at the same time! Particularly difficult with a teenage boy!

Week 36: Ordinary

Find beauty in the ordinary.

I’m unsure what ‘ordinary’ means…. is it the things we do everyday that are unremarkable to us simply because we are accustomed to doing them? Or the places we are so familiar with that we don’t ‘see’ them any more?

It is easy, when we are busy, bogged down in the minutiae of everyday life, to forget to look at the beauty of the world around us, every aspect of our world. Sometimes, it is enough to look up, to stop for a moment and smell, breathe, wonder…

I drive past this gate on a winding road in the middle of King Country. On the other side of the road just a bit further on there is a viewpoint that on a good day gives a fantastic view of Tongariro and Ruapehu. On this particular day it was raining, the cloud was low and this ‘ordinary’ view struck me with its atmospheric beauty.

I run through Hamilton Gardens quite a lot and it is not always easy when I am pushing myself to appreciate my surroundings…. I stopped to take this photo when I noticed the shadows I was running through. I’m glad I did!

Kumara field… ordinary but extraordinary. I love the lines, rows, even spaced mounds. Beautiful in their simplicity and practicality.

What could be more ordinary than the sky? But yet every sky is beautiful, different, unique.

Week 35 Creative Loneliness

One is the loneliest number….

On my way to visit a school on a grey morning on a lonely road I came across this wee guy….

I often walk alone when I am out and about with work – it’s always good to get some fresh air after spending the day thinking, talking and teaching. I enjoy that time to myself and don’t feel at all lonely but it’s good to have a shadow at times!