Feathers have been on my mind a lot recently, not least because of a photography project I am doing that involves birds and thus feathers, but also because birds are quite simply incredible and mostly beautiful.
I am a lover of the ordinary birds, not the fancy ones. The cute little community of common sparrows eating bread on my lawn or perched on the fence watching the cat, the thousands of starlings that fly over my house each night heading to some distant gathering place, the few tui’s that perch in the native trees and make the most amazing sounds from up high.
I love finding a feather on my walks/travels, it is a simple joy shared with my three year old. On one occasion recently, we found the tinniest little abandoned nest on the ground…A real special treasure.
Although a feather appears to represent lightness and fragility, they are also the embodiment of strength, flight and protection.
I get my camera back tomorrow, after dropping it and being without my beloved for several weeks. I have been quite lost without it. This image is one of the last I took with it.
The tree with the last of summer’s leaves hanging on it seemed so poignant. The reluctance to give up on summer, I think. The delicateness of the few remaining leaves contrast against the stark winter-ready branches. It is as if the leaves sense it is futile to remain clinging to the tree but do so anyway, just as we too hold on to summer long after the warmth has gone. I am sure that by the very next day the remaining leaves would be all but gone, but in this moment, they held their ground for one more day. I like that.
Who is that girl? Why is she dressed like that? Why is she standing on a stage in front of an empty theatre? Where are the people? Is she an actor? Why does this image ask so many questions of the viewer? What era is this? I love an image that seems to beg for a story or invites questions and pondering. She seems so elegant, her touch is light, her frame slight, fragile almost but also standing tall and proud. You sense that she is beautiful too.
It’s an image that asks a lot of questions. It has beautiful light, an elegant subject who is not aware of the photographer, and is in an unusual setting that doesn’t quite make sense. For all those reasons, I love it.
There are two ways south: the long way around the mountain, meandering along the coastline, or the alternate and more direct in-land route. I always take the road less travelled. It is a constant source of inspiration and joy to me.
Autumn or Fall as it is called in the northern hemisphere (which I happen to think is a much more romantic name) has arrived amongst the grapevines. The seemingly endless rows are burnishing their post-harvest golds as far as the eye can see…the burnt umber, oranges, rusts, reds, browns and yellows, a touch of defiant green, go on forever it seems until finally ending at the shadowed foothills in the distance. Fall amongst the grapes. A field of golds. A sight to take your breath away.
I saw this tree… a burst of yellow against the very dry, parched and muted hills and countryside. I am not usually a fan of yellow, but there was something about the shape of the tree, the intense colour, its isolation in an empty field and its bright presence that just really grabbed my attention.
Yellow is a hard colour to work with. A hard colour to love. Yet sometimes it shines like gold, smiles like a sunflower and warms your heart like a sunshine ray beaming down just on you…The tree made me smile. That’s a good enough reason to love it.
I see beauty. I see commitment. I see vision. I see elegance. I see the perfect pinnacle where great design, solid engineering and excellent workmanship all come together to create a timeless beauty. It doesn’t happen often, and that is why buildings like this are special. This Vulcan Buildings is one of my favourite buildings in Auckland. I also love the contrast with the modern, glass, streamlined building to the left. And the tree placed between the two buildings – carefully planned or an after-thought?
Where we live affects us. The buildings, the trees, the spaces we dwell in…they all affect us both as individuals and as a society. Let us hope they inspire us.