For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge –Still Life. This week’s challenge is hosted by Patti. Thank you, Patti. If you are a lover of photo challenges and the Still Life art genre, check out Patti’s post here.
Still Life art often portrays a created scene/image of inanimate objects, but Patti gives us plenty of leeway to explore different types of still life images, not only the traditional “created” arrangement, but also “found” still life scenes–which we might discover in store windows, in a garden or museum, or just about anywhere. That is good for me because my photo archive is remarkably devoid of created Still Life images. Let’s get on with it.
I am often filled with wonder by the way Still Life images pay homage to ordinary objects. Attention to the small details matter in this art form. Perhaps it is the impermanence and fragility of the scene that I find so wistful.
I have chosen two photos from my archives that I think convey that sense of fragility and impermanence.
Next is a recent photograph I took. Though it be a contradiction, Still Life portraiture can also depict death. Here I have attempted to pay homage to the life that once was. Nature creates life but also takes it away.
This week I am joining in the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge which is hosted by a bunch of bright sparks, including guest host, Siobhan from Bend Branches. The theme for this week’s challenge is Glowing Moments. If you are keen on photo challenges, check out Siobhan’s post here.
My True Love has been taking some lovely photos lately, hence I thought I would showcase a few of his interesting (to me) photos. Let’s start with one of his recent arty farty shots.
Since I complained about the Blue-Banded Bee nipping me between my toes, my TL has been stalking these little creatures to get a nice close-up of their mandibles. Check ’em out. In the overall scheme of life, they are very small mandibles, built for respite and cause no lasting harm.
My TL has now gone a little insect crazy. Nothing wrong with that. He spotted a Tailed Emperor (Charaxes sempronius) in our garden. We’ve never seen one before so it was a pretty exciting moment. The Tailed Emperors are not rare but neither are they common. We learnt that they feed on fermenting fruit. Yum, yum.
My TL also set up a night trail camera in the backyard. The fig tree has been attracting a lot of critters, including Grey-Headed Flying Foxes. Can you see the flying fox’s eyes glowing in the dark?
I’ll finish off with one of my favourite, bittersweet, photos that he took in the summer of 2019.
We live in interesting times with interesting people. Perhaps I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I thought I might do some garden posts since, well, it cheers me up. Today I am making my second ever contribution to Six on Saturday, a weekly gardening get-together hosted by The Propagator. It has been a long time since my first post in May!
My new verge garden is looking a mess at the moment. Attractive features include rubble we dug out of the mud, mud splattered plants, and the bird cage and plastic containers protecting the vanilla lilies (Arthropodium milleflorum) from the marauding cockatoos. I understand that the tuber of the vanilla lily is a traditional bushtucker food. Aha! This got me thinking that perhaps I should go foraging for onion weed (Asphodelusfistulosus) which is another favourite of the cockatoos. They seem to know what is good eating. I discovered that yes, onion weed is edible. But I digress.
More pleasingly, the billy buttons (Craspedia variabilis) and the bulbine lilies (Bulbine glauca) are flowering ever so cheerily despite the spring rain.
Next we have the egg and bacon plant (Eutaxia obovata) and tucked in along side it is Craspedia variabilis once again. The former is a West Australian shrub but doing quite well in sunny (just joking) Canberra on the opposite side of the country. The colours are best described as garish but the insects like them.
I have also included hoary sunray (Leucochrysum albicans) seedlings in the verge plantings. All are recent plantings except for two that I nursed through winter trying not to OVER WATER them! They are water-wise plants and don’t like to be waterlogged. The hoary sunray is a threatened grassland species local to our area. They look spectacular en masse but even a single plant is enough to brighten your day. Aussies, do make sure you get seedlings from a reputable plant nursery. All native plants on public land in Canberra are protected.
Come with me while I nip into the backyard. Our Tumut grevillea (Grevillea wilkinsonii) is flowering. The Eastern spinebills have already been into it despite it being a tad mouldy. Apparently, the flowers smell like mice urine. The geographic distribution of this species is restricted to a few small populations near Tumut in the western foothills of the Snowy Mountains, and unsurprisingly, it too is an endangered species. It is now being cultivated commercially and it does well in Canberra which has a not too dissimilar climate to Tumut. Anyway, I thought it deserved a photo just in case it doesn’t survive this extended wet spell.
Finally, let’s take a brief stroll to the local park. Because it is normally much drier, we don’t often get to see common woodruff (Asperula conferta) spreading in such delightful abandon. A small area of ecological significance has been fenced off and we are excited to see what else might pop up in that area over time.
You have probably guessed that it has been wet, wet, wet here in Canberra, Australia. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes, we need a song because it is just that sweet little mystery that makes us try, try, try, try. Sing it with me, ladies and gentlemen.
Inspired by lens artists across the world, I have joined a botanical photography group. How weird (for me) is that? In order to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak, I have chosen photos that I have taken for that group to share with you.
Here are some busy little birds – firstly, a busy photo of a silvereye getting a dusting of wattle pollen, and secondly, a speckled warbler in a more serene green. We also have a front and back view as an added contrast.
Sticking with the busy bird theme because it is spring in Australia, here is another busy photo, this time of a New Holland honeyeater. It was quick but I was quicker snapping its photo in this native mistletoe (probably Amyema miquelii, but I am no expert). Mr Magpie is always good for a photo. “Hope you’ve got my best side,” he says. It is a harmonious contrast, don’t you think?
Moving on to all things botanical, a beautiful sheoak (possibly Allocasuarina verticillata) caught and held my attention. The coppery flowers stood out in the fading light. Bucolic, eh? Contrast the woodland veiled in copper with a single stem of this nodding blue lily (Stypandra glauca) set in silver. Pure harmony in opposites.
That’s my lot for this week, ladies and gentlemen.
I’ll leave you with this quote by yours truly, “Stay calm, stay strong and negotiate.” That’s pretty good. Someone must have said that before.
Kind Regards. Tracy.
PS. They are all my photos. I have to be a grown-up and take my own photos, rather than my True Love’s photos, to the photography group.
Just in case you were wondering, I am still here. It is quite some time since I’ve been anywhere. I certainly haven’t been everywhere, man.
I didn’t go to the Temora air show. Coincidentally, I was doing something else in Temora at the time of the air show. However, my lads jumped at the chance to attend so we made a weekend of it. The three of us camped at the airfield which was a novel experience. My True Love snapped a photo of this leering Spitfire. There is another air show coming up in October ’22 for fans of old war planes. Temora is a two hour drive from Canberra.
Too scary. Let’s look at some cars instead. The photo below of some stunt driving at Movie World is courtesy of my eldest son. The Movie World excursion was part of his band tour. We could never afford to take the kids and dogs on holidays. Probably because we were paying for music lessons, school fees, vet bills, etc.
My True Love and I eventually went road tripping and left the kids at home with the dogs. We took his and her cars. Only joking about the his and her cars. Now our boys are busy with their own careers so we are once again stuck at home with the dogs. I was envious of this pair that I saw travelling down the highway. Now that epitomises the spirit of adventure.
In 2019, we accidentally found ourselves at the Yass Classic Car Show. I understand that was the last classic car show organised by the founders of this popular event. A new classic car show under new management kicked off again this year. Anyhoo, my favourite car of the 2019 show was this steampunk makeover.
I will finish with one last fighter jet photo. Very much a DIY jobbie.
During July, the dedicated, hard-working hosts of the incredibly popular Lens-Artists Photo Challenge take a well earned break from their hosting duties and co-opt five guest hosts to take on this important responsibility. Wrapping up the final week of the month, is guest host, Sarah, from Travel With Me. Sarah has chosen the theme ‘Picking Favourites’. She has asked that respondents pick three of their best/favourite photos, one each from three different photographic genres. Sarah has also requested that respondents outline why they chose a particular photo. Tough assignment but I’ll give it a go. Here is my response.
Reprise from August 2019 – the start of the fires on the east coast of Australia that traumatised a nation.
I don’t know why my husband and I felt compelled to stop at the old cemetery on that blustery day. We certainly didn’t go there to take photos. So maybe it was intuition, a guiding hand. The power of the robin. He. Red-capped robin. Read more
I was recently invited by the Lens-Artists team to be a guest host of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, and now, finally, my turn has arrived! I am so excited. I’ve chosen the theme of surreal for this week’s challenge. I think of that word each time I exclaim: “Has the world gone mad?” It’s bizarre. Some might even say, “surreal“. It was therefore no surprise that a century ago, at another time of great societal upheaval, surrealism as an artistic and intellectual movement emerged. Photography too had its place in this avant-garde art form with notable photographers such as Man Ray, Dora Maar, Maurice Tabard, Raoul Ubac, Toshiko Okanoue, Florence Henri, Claude Cahun and Angus McBean, among others, arguably being among the very first lens-artists.
It’s July so you know what that means. July is when the dedicated, hard-working hosts of the incredibly popular Lens-Artists Photo Challenge take a well earned break from their hosting duties and co-opt five guest hosts to take on this important responsibility. This week, Andre from My Blog – solaner is hosting the challenge and he has invited us to feel the summer vibe. It’s winter here in the Southern Hemisphere but I will try.
It’s July so you know what that means. July is when the dedicated, hard-working hosts of the incredibly popular Lens-Artists Photo Challenge take a well earned break from their hosting duties and co-opt five guest hosts to take on this important responsibility. This week, Jez from Photos with Jez, is hosting the challenge and he has invited us to share in his addiction for reflections and has dared us to see double.