By yesterday, I’d really had enough of this so-called summer. The rain teemed down, we were surrounded by mist (as we are a hill suburb, this is not uncommon), I’d forgotten what the sun looked like and started wondering if I was developing a Vitamin D deficiency. Everything was dreary and grey, and although what I was seeing outside was drained of colour, I knew that this wasn’t what the photographic challenge setters meant when they said to take a black and white landscape.
Today is one of our rare (so far this summer) fine days, without gale force winds, so I headed out for a walk this morning with my camera – fitness and photography at the same time. There wasn’t a lot that was going to offer the contrast required in a black and white photo, but I snapped a few things, which I’ll show you, even though I know they’re not good.
The first is a large macrocarpa tree, just a few hundred metres from my house. They’re ubiquitous in the New Zealand countryside – and I grew up with these large trees behind my house – and rarer in cities, though they are not uncommon in Wellington. We have some huge macrocarpas on our own section, and love their sculptural nature.
Further down the street, the local park – with its popular playground and sports grounds – is lined with pohutukawa trees, right at the end of their blooming season. I played around with black and white shots here too, and quite liked this one, though I wish I’d sat down on the side of the hill and tried a lower angle, which might have highlighted the trunks, which were after all the reason I’d chosen them as a subject.
The other weekly challenge this week asked me to take ten shots of something, and choose my favourite. I tried that with one of the pohutukawa trees, but wasn’t very adventurous, and only had one lens with me, and gave up. I have to show you one, so here it is. I like the bark and the shape of the branches, and the red blooms hiding away.
I’m finding the challenges both interesting and frustrating. Interesting because I’m thinking about photography in a different way, and frustrating because what I imagine in my head is not what the camera is taking! I’m not giving enough thought or time to the challenges, and might have to drop one, and do the other next year. Or maybe I’ll repeat them next year and see if I make any progress. In the meantime, enjoy your stroll around my suburb.