Friday, 25 January 2013

FSO - Money

Don't know where my head has been this week, it obviously hasn't been on money.  Not on taking photos of it anyway or thinking about a creative spin for this topic. So I sit here and wonder how I can be creative and this is what I come up with - the money end of the farm animals....

Never mind, it amused me.

It only seems like yesterday that the Reserve Bank changed the dollar note to a coin but it was in fact 1991.  And since then, in 2006, they simply wiped out any coin with a value of less than 10 cents.   

When I tipped out the contents of my wallet this morning I could only come up with one note and a few coins and I pondered how the purpose of my wallet has changed.  Once it was primarily for money, now mine contains just about anything but money.  Cards, more cards than anything else.  I carry the ones I use reaonably regularly in my wallet and the rest in a little holder I keep in the car. 

Some things change, some things stay the same.  The Queen of England still appears on the back of every coin and note - or it is the front? 

We have a long weekend this weekend although I prefer to think of it as an extra day off for my birthday.  I'll be in Auckland and celebrating with little Aiden who will be two next week.  Will be back on Monday to choose the Spotlight photos for this week.  I'm already wondering what the rest of the FSO team will come up with.  They will be here if you'd like to have a look.

Friday, 18 January 2013

FSO - Frozen in time

I used to not like these challenges where I have to think a bit.  I really do like life to be easy with no difficult decisions.  So having to think about the weekly FSO topic is not always welcome because I'm not as creative in my thinking as some others are.  But I've come to realize that my way of thinking is what makes me uniquely ME so what the hell if others don't think the same way?

I started thinking last weekend.  Frozen.  Nah, nothing freezes around here at the worst of times, let along in the height of summer.  So I'm going with the concept that every photograph is the freezing in time of something.  And I set about trying to capture just one second, frozen in time, a few special moments.

Don't ask me why anyone would want to drop a strawberry into a jug of water....strawberries are plentiful, and cheap... and I can eat them after I've finished playing with them; water is my latest obsession;  it was hot, and cooling to play with water.  I could go on.   


These aren't as sharp and crisp as I would have liked, but other than that I more or less achieved (a bit more than less) what I set out to do and I'm chuffed.  I'll savour this moment ... freeze it in time!

I'll be away this weekend but will catch up with all the participants as soon as I can.  They will be here.

Friday, 11 January 2013

FSO - My town at night

It's no good sitting here bewailing my lack of night shots.  If I'd taken more, I'd have more.  Of course, that would involve being out after dark and that doesn't happen all that often.  Normally if I step outside at night all I see is darkness.  Fabulous night skies, of course, with no light pollution but I wouldn't dream of trying to capture that magnificence.  

We did, however, have a huge bonfire for New Year.

When I was in Taranaki for Christmas, my daughter took me and my grand-daughters out to see the Pukekura Park Festival of Lights.

Two hearts beating as one.

I don't know how this one happened.  (Exposure 2s, F3.4, ISO 640)

I was in Auckland and out and about one evening in early December.  Folk were heading out for the night, or maybe they were on their way back home as I was. 

I was almost happy with this shot, just couldn't stay in that squatting position long enough to line it up properly. 

Next time I'm in town at night, I will try again.  I'd like to have a go at traffic trails.  I'm sure one of the team will have some fine examples for us.  They will be here, pop over and have a look!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

The horrible yellow fridge

Everyone has made decisions they later regret.  Haven't they?  I'm sure they have.  I've made a few but only one that I've had to live with on a daily basis every day since that dreary winter when my world seemed just too bleak and grey and I decided to paint my refrigerator a bright yellow.   Saying I've regretted it every day isn't quite true, because as often as not I've been amused at the memory of my foolishness.  It seemed the perfect solution at the time.

It's an old fridge, I can't work out exactly how old but I've had it for well over 10 years, maybe 15, and it was old when I got it, old and discoloured which was one of the reasons it needed brightening up,

It's big and heavy, solid.  Reliable.  I've replaced the door seals but other than that it has done it's duty without a blimp.  

Until now that is.  In the past few months it has taken to producing ice and there's been nothing I could do to stop it.  So, finally, I've given in and bought a new fridge.

It will arrive tomorrow.  Oh joy!  Today I've removed the things that have sat on the top of the fridge for many years.   A photo of Michael taken at the time he started school.  I remember how his upcoming first day at school had been the topic of all our chats for weeks.  Around that time he asked me could I die soon - so I could sit on a cloud all day and look over him at school.

The week before he started school we  were exploring in the creek at the back of the house where I was living and he found this blue wine bottle.  He liked the picture of the sun on it because it reminded him of me (ahhhh!) and gave me the bottle to put a candle in.   He was always giving me things to hold a candle.  When I took down the bottle to give it a good clean in preparation for it taking its place on top of my new fridge, the sun lifted off the bottle.  And I was surprised at how that alarmed me.   I will find a way of sticking it back on ... somehow.

While I was losing my head in the electrical good store, I gave in and bought a new TV as well.   Not quite true.  I intended to buy one.  I asked my daughter-in-law to come shopping with me, told her what I wanted and trusted her to make sure I didn't get talked into something I didn't want.   I do serious shopping so rarely, I don't trust myself to do it properly anymore.  I'm glad she was with me.  Had she not been, I may have got fed up with the non stop drivel the salesman was laying on us and walked away empty handed.  Two days later and I'm still marvelling about that guy, and wondering if he actually believes the shit he was talking. 

That TV was long, long overdue.   And look, it came complete with Tom Cruise - wish I thought that was a bonus.  I'm now ready for when we roll over to digital TV transmission later this year.

Yesterday I went for a walk earlier than usual as I knew Bernie was arriving.  I knew I wouldn't go once he arrived.  I've been trying to be a bit more serious about exercise lately.  Been leaving the camera at home so I don't have to resist the temptation to stop and take photos.  No camera, no temptation.  At the last minute I picked up the little old Canon PowerShot.

I'd completed three quarters of the loop around the farm when I came face to face with the cow herd walking back to their paddock after the afternoon milking.  They don't take a lot of notice of me and most of them walk quietly on past me and, although I was walking a lot slower, I was still walking.  It really doesn't take much of a distraction to stop me when I have a camera handy.  I recognised the cow approaching me as the same pretty lady I'd photographed the previous evening as she was eating the grass on the other side of my back fence.  Here she is the previous evening.  Such a pretty cow.

And here she is yesterday afternoon, as lovely as ever:

There's always one or two that take exception to anything out of the ordinary.  I knew the minute I spotted her, that this old girl was going to turn around and go back the way she had come. I did my best to outwit her and get past without success.  As soon as I could, I crawled under an electric fence into an adjoining paddock, hoping she might turn back once she noticed I was nowhere near where she was meant to be going. 

And that's how I came to be sitting under an old half dead pine tree looking for things to take photos of until Jersey Madam decided I wasn't going near her again. 

 I will do better today.  I will leave the camera behind and stop for nothing.  True.

Friday, 4 January 2013

FSO - Favourites

I can't make up my mind.  Should I post my favourite 2012 FSO photos or my favourite shots from during the year.   I decide I'll go with my favourite shots and gather them together.  Then realize they are nearly all about a feeling.  And sometimes I have to really think about it to realize why a particular shot is a favourite.

I've more photos of my youngest grandson than anything or anyone else and perhaps this is a strange one to be a favourite.  But it captures a moment when I know he's trying to pronounce 'ambulance'  - and he sounds so darn cute!

 I've adored my other grandson, Michael since he was a baby, still do.  It does this grandmother's heart so much good to see her two grandsons engrossed in playing with each other.

I've worked hard this year at photographing water.  It's just my luck that the photo of it that I like the most is of a storm water drain - very romantic!

No year would be complete without a good storm. 

 or a beach shot:

I still like to photograph dead flowers:

This year I've had a few trips to Taranaki and become quite obsessed with this beautiful mountain:

I don't know why, but I think this might be my top favourite from the year.  I see all sorts of stories in this scene.  Stories about fate, decisions, luck, journeys, destinations.   

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. 

That was a fun topic!  Hope everyone else enjoyed it.  Let's pop over here to find out.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The morning after

There was a time when I would never (ever) have been the first to leave a New Year's gathering (or any other sort of gathering for that matter).  Times change and I'm happy to change with them.  I only had to walk across that paddock but three little children accompanied me and Archer told me how to kill a possum with my bare hands.  So perhaps I am better prepared for 2013 than I would otherwise have been.

The weather was perfect for a bonfire, not cold but cool enough to stand around a fire.

 Fireworks and sparklers for children of all ages:

Happy New Year to all!