Weekly Photo Challenge: Friendship

9 06 2012

Our gang on a spring scooter ride. Taken overlooking Perth city, Western Australia.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is Friendship and it got me thinking about my closest friends – “The 2am crew”.  They’re the people you know you can ring at 2am and they’d be right there for you if you needed them.

It’s hard sometimes to tell your friends just what they mean to you. It’s often just difficult to articulate it or express it in a way that doesn’t sound or feel uncomfortable.

A couple of years ago I started to tell my closest friends that I would be their 2am Crew and they could ring me at any time, get me out of bed and I’d be there for them without question. It was a great way to affirm my friendship and let them know how much they meant to me in a practical way.

They’re precious and my life would be so much poorer without them.  x x


Weekly Photo Challenge: Today

2 06 2012

Today!! Is this week’s WordPress theme.  The challenge is to take a photo today!

These flowers are from the two grevillea bushes which are in flower right now at the front of our house. It has been a beautiful autumn day with a soft breeze and gentle sunshine. It is a lovely transition into autumn and the grevilleas bring nectar feeding birds to the garden.  Large parrots and small honey-eaters take turns to gather and feed on the sweet flowers and shoots.
The grevillea is native to Australia (and New Guinea, New Caledonia and Sulawesi) and is a common species of the Protaceae family.

These two plants are large shrubs, about 3metres or 10feet high. The yellowy flowered bush (I think this is called Moonlight) starts branching out very low down on the trunk and as such, it provides a great ‘wine glass’ shape and a cluster platform where birds build their nests. I daren’t get too close at the moment as there is a lot of activity going on.

They seem to come back year after year and I love to leave out bits of cotton or soft wadding for them to collect and weave into their houses. One year, we clipped our dog and left some of her soft, woolly fur outside. Sometime later I found that it had been used to line a little nest!!! Fantastic.

See my previous entries for the Weekly Photo Challenges HERE

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer

26 05 2012

I always look forward to summer in Australia not for the sunshine, the weekend barbecues or trips to the beach.  Summer to me means the arrival of Cricket Season and I enjoy nothing more than a relaxing day out watching a leisurely game.  I love it.

A day/night game at the WACA Ground: Western Australian Cricket Association

The picture above was taken during a one day game at the WACA which is the International Cricket venue in Perth, Western Australia.  I’ve walked on the hallowed turf in bare feet.  It is softer and more luxurious than the finest carpet.  It was a balmy summer evening and we had good company, a great view and cold drinks.  The one below is a suburban game of cricket by a country team visiting Perth for their annual Country Week Tournament.  Deep shade, a comfy chair, good company and a good book.  The perfect way to spend a day off.

Senior Country Week Cricket: January 2012

I think that’s one of the main attractions for me – the pace of the game is slow and can verge on boring.  Some people  liken it to watching paint dry.  I don’t mind that at all.  Watching cricket lets me give myself permission to sit in a chair for a few hours in the sun and fresh air and not think.  After a busy year summer comes in December and cricket slows me down so I relax, take a drink, enjoy the sunshine, wait for play, watch a bit of the game, read the paper, have a walk around the boundary, take another drink, watch a bit of the game, lay on a blanket for a while, cheer for a wicket, read the paper some more, have a doze, watch the seagulls, eat a snack and relax.  Ahhhhhh.

You can join in the Weekly Photo Challenge too – visit the Daily Post for more details.

Contemplative Photography 10

21 05 2012

My approach to contemplative photography (or Miksang) has been quite intuitive. I’ve read everything I can find and am developing my ‘eye’ but it’s hard to describe miksang without it sounding like a riddle.

Miksang, or contemplative photography is more of an ‘approach’ or a ‘way’ rather than a set of rules. To me (and remember I’m only learning), it is about going out with an open heart, open eye and open mind. I clear out judgement and expectation and just see freshly and clearly. Think about your trip to work each morning. Whether it is a drive, train trip or walk to your office, there are things you pass every day without even noticing. Miksang helps you notice all around you and see them, without judgement.

I usually take a walk at lunchtime, mostly just to get me out of the office for a while. I don’t go out deciding to do a photo shoot, if it comes, it comes. I just walk, feel centred, wander and look. I enjoy walking meditation rather than being still.

Most times, something will catch my eye, capture me, fascinate, surprise, delight or jar me. It demands a reaction, it stirs an emotion. I stop and often say “Whoa! Look at THAT”. I hold all judgement about whether it is a ‘good’ subject or a ‘bad’ subject, whether the light or angle or distance is ‘right’. For some reason, it has captured me, if not, I move along. I’m look deeply to see what it was that caught me.
Was it the shape? colour? texture? shadow? light? texture? symmetry? asymmetry? space? angle? incongruity? context?

I don’t try to find a ‘better angle, I don’t zoom, I don’t crop, edit, straighten or do any post editing. I shoot what I see. What you see is what I saw and what captured me. Hopefully the shot shows you things that capture my eye, my heart, my mind.
So, that’s where I am on my journey into Miksang. I hope you give it a go as well.

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If you’d like to find out more about Miksang and the art of Contemplative Photography, check out these links:

Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography
Miksang Society for Contemplative Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Blue

17 05 2012

This week’s WordPress challenge is to feature something BLUE.   Here is a selection of blue things from my world, captured during my lunchtime walks around the city of Perth, Western Australia.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unfocussed

5 05 2012

Unfocussed – my camera toss experiment

This week, it’s all about being unfocussed.  To capture this image I tried the risky business of Camera Tossing. The fancy name for this growing art form is Kinetic Photography, meaning photography in motion, but really, it is a matter of throwing a camera in the air several times and trying to capture an artistic and abstract image.

There are some fantastic examples around from people who have experimented with the technique. They tend to shoot at night and use a light source to capture great patterns in light by tossing, bouncing, spinning their cameras!

I used an old small compact which is automatic so I couldn’t really change settings or exposure length. I took a risk and set the timer for two seconds, then threw it up in the air a few times. The first time it just took a great shot of the patio, another got a shot of me looking up with a big frown on my face (because I don’t catch well). Then I tried throwing the camera a little higher, with more of a spinning action (side ways spinning, then end over end spinning) and got some interesting results!!  If you’d like to see more from people who REALLY know what they’re doing in this art form, check out Designzzz for some examples.  Oh, and when you get started, you might want to put some cushions on the ground too.   🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

28 04 2012

Quilt: pieces sewn together in the traditional Ngati Porou design.

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is TOGETHER and these shots represent togetherness to me. Each small piece of fabric has been assembled together to make the final quilt. I made this as a gift for a Maori baby who is from the Ngati Porou Tribe, from the North Island of New Zealand.

The tribe takes its name from their ancestor Porourangi, whose descendants produced great warriors. Their conquests in battle forged a mighty tribe, along with the strong and strategic marriage alliances. I designed this piece based on the traditional design of the ‘whakapapa’ or genealogy. It depicts the family tree of descendants all tracing back to the head. It was an absolute delight to create and give away. I can’t wait to make another.

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