Yes, I have a new hobby – and it’s growing African Violets. Well, to be honest, it’s growing plants, in general, but I’m particularly fascinated with African Violets at the moment because they’re so easy yet so hard to grow and take care of!
It all started sometime in …. 2016 (yes, I’ve been into this for almost 2 years), when Selena, from work, gave me one of her mature plants to take home because she already has too many. Somehow, that plant (which has now gone to African Violet heaven, thanks to me over-watering it) got me into this activity. Next thing I knew, I was nipping little leaves from her collection at work and trying to grow them myself! I have a whole bunch of them now, and allow me to introduce each one to you.
No, no travel photos nor travel stories today. The last post on Versailles drained me. Hahaha. I, however, had some spare time on my hands recently and decided to try my mettle with the camera again. Someone told me to take photos of things I like / love most so, I took a few photos of a bunch of roses and tiny purple flowers.
Here are some of the rosebuds:
White rose bud and violet flowers
White rose bud and violet flowers
White rose bud and violet flowers
White rose bud and violet flowers
And a few up-close and personal ones too.
That’s it for the time being. Short posts while I’m finding out ways to jump start the creative mojo somehow.
Yesterday, our photography club had a workshop on Astrophotography … quite an interesting topic, really – and one that’s not as easy at it appears to be. Apparently you have to take about a gazillion and a half things into consideration when taking photos of celestial bodies. There’s the wind, clouds, minute vibrations … whew! But the information Peter (the speaker) imparted was great. He made us understand the nuances of astrophotography and, after the lecture, allowed us to have a look through his refractive (?) telescope (I was able to see Jupiter, Mars, Saturn, the Jewel Box, Orion’s Nebula and of course, the moon!) and helped us (me and other workshop attendees) take a few photos.
I took a photo of the milky way (wasn’t too great, there were clouds coming in and the image showed a bit of noise pollution from the lights coming from the city) and several photos of the moon! Who would have thought that my humble 18-200 mm lens is actually capable of taking these amazing images of our nearest celestial neighbour?
Yeah, I know all the images look the same but hey – I was just really pleased to know that you don’t need bazooka lens to take moon photos. AND … I never really appreciated the understated beauty of the moon – at least until last night.
That’s it for now. I hope to be able to edit a few photos from Castlepoint and share these here, before I leave for my month-long adventure. 🙂
PS. These were taken at the Mana Archery Range near Wellington
Remember last weekend, Dave and Craig gave me photography assignments? Craig’s asked me to take 36 images where the subject is at least 50% out of the frame (and the orientation should not be horizontal nor vertical) – well, that’s done. So this week, I set out to complete Dave’s assignment, and that is to take photos at the Waterfront every day and to post 5 for each day. I admit that my brain was still on “Craig’s assignment” mode thus, I took 5 photos at the waterfront each day — well, at least for the first few days. 🙂
I decided to focus on one part of the waterfront per day. On Day 1, I went around the Civic Square and took photos of the architecture. Dave said that doesn’t count because the Civic Square is not exactly next to the waterfront. MEH! It’s just a small bridge away – so it still is!
Day 1: Palm Tree
Day 1: Reflections
Day 1: Art Work
Day 1: Civic Square Centre
Day 1: Brickwork
On Day 2, I decided to focus on The Lagoon, which is part of the Taranaki Street Wharf. That’s where the Rowing Club club house is located and it’s a fairly serene area. I normally start and end my runs at this area.
Day 2: Steps
Day 2: Chains
Day 2: Wall Decor
Day 2: Dockside
Day 2: Life and Rust
Day 3 led me to the Frank Kitts Park Precinct and I finally took photos of the water itself. Well – I took 1 photo of the water and some rocks. I also took a few photos of sculptures at the Park itself.
Day 3: In memory of …
Day 3: Bottle Brush
Day 3: Look Down
Day 3: Sun Dial
Day 3: Look Up
I was going around the Queens Wharf Precinct on Thursday (Day 4) and took these photos – of man made structures.
Day 4: Peer Pressure
Day 4: Organic and Inorganic
Day 4: Something Orange
Day 4: Anchor
Day 4: Rust
And today, Day 5, I roamed around the Kumutoto Precinct, although I did take the sunrise photo at the Frank Kitts Park Precinct … I hope I can be forgiven for that.
Day 5: Strangled
Day 5: Sunrise @ the Waterfront
Day 5: Sculptures
Day 5: Chopped
Day 5: Steel Bars
Whew … now that that’s done, I wonder what projects / assignments they’ll ask me to do next.
This post relates to my previous entry about my “creative journey” (no physical sore feet, but I may have sore egos every so often) in the realm of photography. Last night, the results of the APPS’ 1st Internal Competition were revealed and I was very pleased that my 3 entries fared well. Here they are:
This was taken at Mt Ruapehu way back in … 2008? I can’t remember – but it was my first time to experience snow. I decided to take this image because, while we were walking, I noticed that Margaret was leaving a trail of footprints in the untouched landscape so I immediately took a snapshot of it (using my old Canon ixus Point and Shoot). I thought it evoked a feeling of solitude or loneliness … or someone going on a journey.
This photo was given an Accepted rating (which I’m immensely proud of) and, the judge mentioned that it would have been stronger if the full shadow was included in the picture.
Taken sometime in 2008 or 2009 (I don’t have the metadata / exif data with me) from the deck at Hillview in Hamilton. We were all indoors and, I don’t remember who decided to step out into the deck though, but we all went out and saw this. At that time, I already had a DSLR so I grabbed it and took a few photos to capture the threatening feel the storm clouds gave off.
Last night, the judge gave this image a Bronze. I can’t remember the comments he made though – I was already giddy with happiness. 🙂
Another photo taken from way back when … I enrolled in a Travel Writing and Photography long distance course and part of my assignment was to take a series of photos that conveyed a sense of place. I was still living in Hamilton at that time and the main temple of the Church of the Latter Day Saints was just a few kilometers up the road from where I lived. So I decided to focus on that area and took several images of the Temple and of the Visitor Centre which housed the Christus statue.
The Visitor Centre was still closed when I got there so I had to take pictures from outside, and I purposely put the statue in the middle of this image – I suppose it was an unconscious way of showing that Christ is the centre of my life (I don’t show it though). I also made a conscious effort to make sure the temple was shown on the image (albeit, only a reflection) because otherwise, it might just look like a statue (sense of place, remember?).
And … will wonders never cease, the judge liked this photo and gave it a Gold! He said he liked the way the lights on the ceiling appeared like eyes on the reflection of the building, that the curve at the bottom of the image reflected the curved wall behind the Christus … and a few other things which I can’t recall because I was already grinning like crazy.
So there … 2 awards and an acceptance. Not bad aye? Maybe I do have a creative streak hidden in me afterall. 🙂
Remember the challenge Craig gave me on Friday? Well, I wasn’t able to take 36 photos on Saturday because, since we had amazingly beautiful weather here in the capital, The Chew Family and I went to Otaki for the day and explored all the shops. We got home pretty late yesterday evening so I managed to take 1 photo (that’s No. 1 in the gallery below, if you can find it). So I told myself that, by hook or by crook, I’ll compete the photography challenge today … and complete it I did – just by the skin of my teeth.
You see, this morning, I accompanied Nina around Wellington and Petone as she needed to practice her driving. We spent some time at Petone (they have such a great beachfront!) where we enjoyed the view of Wellington and meandered up and down Jackson Street, admiring the shops. It was while we were walking back to the car that we chanced upon the most beautiful pair of red boots in the whole world, which I simply had to get (as well as a nice bag which I’ll be taking to work tomorrow!). I’ve taken 2 photos of those red boots and one of the bag, if you can find them below.
When we got home, I decided it’s time to complete my assignment. I had to take, I think 33 more photos, so I went around the house taking photos of things that I hold dear and random objects that took my fancy making sure that I followed Craig’s simple instructions: (1) Only 50% of the subject should be seen on the screen, and (2) the orientation should not be horizontal or vertical. Took me a bloody long time to get all 36 – but I did it!
My images are posted below. I’m not sure what Craig will say about them though. (Craig, please be nice.)
No. 8: Looking for droids
No. 3: Purple Flower @ Petone
No. 18: Centrepiece
No. 12: Cosmetics
No. 5: Old and New
No. 11: Thread in my sewing kit
No. 36: Federbear, my travel companion
No. 9: The book I’m reading (when I’m not engrossed in Fanfic)
No. 28: My reading lamp
No. 35: A shoe I have yet to wear
No. 7: Imperial Lord Vader
No: 17: Is it time yet?
No. 22: My present poison
No. 29: Curved Light
No. 19: Nina and 2019 (or whatever that new game is)
No. 15: My bear
No. 33: A suitcase I have borrowed
No. 25: Wallpaper
No. 13: Point and Shoot
No. 16: Dehumidifier
No. 27: Photo book
No. 26: My DVDs (Yes, I love Mamma Mia and Love Never Dies)
No. 24: Toaster (with no bread)
No. 23: Oven Controls
No. 6: Lego Watch
No. 20: Nina’s Laptop
No. 32: My laundry basket
No. 14: Reference materials
No 3: New boots!
No. 10: My new bag! 🙂
No. 2: Fishing Reel @ Petone
No. 1: Pointy Shoes
No. 30: Power Up
No. 34: Laces of my boots
No. 21: My favourite poison
No. 31: Lotions and potions
Tomorrow, I start on Dave’s assignment / challenge, and that is to take 5 photos at the Waterfront. I’ll have to use my PnS for that though – at least for the first 3 days because the forecast for those days is rain. Hmpft! Besides, Dave didn’t specify that I needed to use my DSLR. 🙂
I know this isn’t a travel-related post but them teaching me how to “see things in a different light” is in preparation for a trip that’s going to happen in about 3 weeks time. Besides, this is still a journey of sorts – a journey to find my own photographic style and creativity. 😉
A few weeks ago, the APPS, the Photography Club I’m a member of, held a workshop on Black and White Photography and today, we had a Photowalk where we were given the chance to put into practice all that we’ve learned. We met up at 2:30 pm at the Johnsonville Community Centre and drove over to Island Bay, a coastal suburb about 5 km south of Wellington. We started taking photos at the small basketball court next to the children’s park and headed off towards the beachfront.
Craig, the gentleman who conducted the B&W Workshop (also a member of the APPS and the PSNZ – an amazing photographer) patiently showed me a few tricks of the trade and helped me to “see things in a different light” – to see shapes and patterns and textures instead of seeing a tree, a rock or a plant. It was a wee bit difficult, because I tend to see things as they are … a tree, a rock or a plant, but I think I managed. Here are some of the things I “saw” at Island Bay.
Circle and a Square
1/4 Circle and Part of a Square
Afterwards, some of us went to a coffee shop at Newtown for a bit of R&R. It was while we were sipping our respective drinks (I had Chai Latte because I can’t have caffeine after mid-day) and talking about photographic gear and techniques that Craig gave me a “creative” assignment for tomorrow. I’m supposed to take 36 images wherein the subject is at least 50% out of the frame and that none of the images would be of a straight horizontal or vertical orientation. I’m not allowed to have a re-take and can only adjust the tonal curve and convert the image from RAW to jpeg on Lightroom. Dave countered this by giving me another assignment: he’s asked that I take 5 photos at the Waterfront every day for the next work week. What have I gotten myself into?
So there! Tomorrow, I will take 36 random images and will post these here. And next Saturday, more photos from waterfront. I can feel my head starting to hurt.