'Mindfulness Month' gallery
By Captivating Photography Journal profile image Captivating Photography Journal
12 min read

'Mindfulness Month' gallery

After the success of the previous year, we brought back the Mindfulness Month challenge. In this gallery, you will see not just eye-catching photos, but also the intriguing stories and ideas behind each image.

'Be here now' by Cynthia Stoks. "To all photographers, everywhere, we have the power to record moments as we see them. If we capture original photographs, we will always have our craft and our escape. AI is coming, but we are the pioneers. The world is our lens."
'Be here now' by Rebecca McDaid. "I love that my camera makes me more mindful. A walk is rarely a cardio workout, as I dawdle and stop regularly to capture a bird, a flower, a leaf, a shadow... My children find it very annoying! I've enjoyed the challenge. Although I have often used photos from my archive, the theme of the day has me thinking, looking, imagining, and planning."
'Be the change' by Debra Metcalfe. "This year, I decided to be the change in my whānau. Don't want my kids doing all the legwork to find out who we are and where we come from. My image features a kahu huruhuru (cloak/korowai) for a ceremony next year. Been researching and piecing together my own identity, so my kids will know theirs. Now living close to my whenua Māori, which has been both beautiful and tough. This image for me captures the lightness that comes with small changes."
'Be the change' by Rudolph Kotze. "This photo was taken during the Australian bush fires when we had stunning sunsets here in New Zealand due to the smoke. It made me think then, and even more so now, that we need to look after our planet and take climate change very seriously. At the time I took this photo, I recall thinking how small this little plane appeared flying into the vast sunset. We can all do little things to make a difference."
'Changing tides' by Kelvin Wright. "Headed into town this morning, thinking about capturing mudflats, herons, and the like. Then it hit me: I was stuck in a different kind of tide – a tide of traffic. And just then, I passed a car junkyard. Yep."
'Changing tides' by Cynthia Stoks. "The tide rises and falls across the mudflats, the sun passes overhead, and the cyclist commutes to work. All make for the daily rhythm of Nelson."
'Colour' by Heather Mickelson. "Colour theory is all about how specific shades evoke emotions. In this image: green stands for new beginnings, abundance, and nature; red represents passion, love, and anger; blue signifies calm, responsibility, and sadness. And lastly, what I really resonate with: purple symbolises creativity, royalty, and wealth. Enjoy!"
'Colour' by Ann Kilpatrick. "I searched my catalog for ‘colour’ and found this image, which perfectly shows the colours I always wear. Some are even in my hair. It’s an ICM [intentional camera movement] image. A couple of weeks ago, a group of us were heading to dinner when I spotted a big art installation in one of the buildings. We all hung out there for a bit, trying to capture some cool ICM shots."
'Daydreaming' by Kelvin Wright. "Daydreaming, I was at Lake Mahinapua in Westland, standing at the end of the jetty, hoping to take pictures of Kōtuku, who never showed up. But these odd weeds were floating on the surface of the water, with the reflected clouds behind them. It’s not the photo I was hoping for, but I kind of like it."
'Daydreaming' by Lorraine Neill. "Was out with my camera when it started raining. Just for kicks, I took a close-up, slow-shutter-speed shot of the raindrops, with a pink-flowered bush in the background. Ended up with a whimsical, daydreamy image."
'Delicacy' by Ann Kilpatrick. "The silver birch are lovely in the late afternoon sunshine. I shot this photo (I think it is multiple images) back in May. I guess we might normally expect delicate objects to be small, but this image demonstrates delicacy for me."
'Effort' by Lola Makower. "There is a lot of effort that goes into excelling at a sport. These young women were giving it their all in a game of netball. I wanted to capture their speed, so I used ICM [intentional camera movement] to get that across."
'Embracing the remarkable ordinary' by Kelvin Wright. "A small section of a netball/basketball court."
'Enchantment' by Rebecca McDaid. "I’m always entranced by beautiful, soft, dappled, gentle light. Capturing it and seeing it as bokeh in shots is so captivating to me. This shot was taken in the gentle summer morning light at Hamilton Gardens. They are nature’s own fairy lights – romantic, mysterious, and, of course, enchanting. Well, in my mind, anyway!"
'Enchantment' by Cynthia Stoks. "A fiery, geodesic dome has found a cool, life-giving planet (in my backyard)."
'Enjoy the view' by Rebecca McDaid. "I was a bit lazy with this one – snapped the view right from my couch. We’re lucky to live in the foothills of Mount Pirongia, and we can see the mountain from our kitchen. That view is why we bought the house nearly 20 years ago. It’s now the home where we’ve raised our two sons. Still get inspired by that view every day. Feel pretty lucky, to be honest."
'Enjoy the view' by Kelvin Wright. "Totaranui in Abel Tasman National Park. We try to get here once a year, either in March or October to dodge the crowds. This was from our latest visit on the last day. We’d packed up, were about to head back to Takaka, and Clemency took one last look. Sun was low, so I shot at f16, hoping for a starburst. And yup, it delivered."
'Into focus' by Lorraine Neill. "This morning, my husband completed his mother’s residential care subsidy income review, a six-monthly task he dreads. He was already tense, focusing on the job at hand, and wasn’t impressed when I pulled out my camera. I told him to ignore me, that I was only going to capture his hands. They were the obvious thing to focus on, because they don’t look like hands designed for filling out forms. They are the hands of a horticulturalist. They belong outside, in dirt. Not inside, holding a pen. But perhaps it just looks that way to me because of what I know. I know what he has achieved with those hands, working from dawn till dusk, day-in and day-out. I know how he loves tinkering, and how he can turn those hands to almost anything. I also know about his long-ago mangled finger, and the arthritis he now suffers in his thumb joint. So, I’m just as pleased as he is when he finally slips the completed form into an envelope. Another six months before he has to face that task again."
'Into focus' by Debra Metcalfe. "I’ve been out in the garden, so the focus was on seedlings. These seedlings are ready for transplanting. They look amazing with their blue seedling caps still attached."
'Into the light' by Jan Whybourne. "This image is from my archives and was taken in 2019, just as the blue hour and the sun were both fading. I don’t remember the exact details, but I know I used a slow shutter speed. Whether or not I used a filter, I can’t recall. I really love the movement in the clouds in this one."
'Little beginnings' by Lola Makower. "I always think that once my pot fuchsias are over a year old, they won’t come up again the following year. I’m always thrilled when I’m proven wrong. Come July, they’ve reappeared and bring me joy every time I head out my front door. This afternoon, I honoured their arrival with a series of photos, and this is one of them. Such simple things as flowers bring a sense of gratefulness and an appreciation for beauty."
'Little signs' by Debra Metcalfe. "I took a walk in the Otautahi Botanic Gardens last winter. The poppy flowers stand tall, no matter the weather. This particular morning, many were still frozen. This one was thawing out, standing tall and beautiful, waiting for the others to wake up or get more sun."
'Movement' by Lorraine Neill. "I took this photo last year on a day trip to see the Kaimanawa wild horses. The horses were on a hill above the bus and too close for a decent group shot. I quickly scampered back onto the bus, gaining just enough distance and height, and shot this through the open door. I like the frozen motion of the horses and their flowing manes and tails. It was windy, so the tussock grass was also moving, which complemented the whole scene nicely."
'Movement' by Kelvin Wright. "At the start of this year I set myself a project: birds in flight. I did it because I'm interested in birds and we have a lot of them around our house. But also I did it because it was a challenge. Over the past few years, I had managed a few shots of large, slow moving birds such as herons and spoonbills and swans, but the tauhou, which is the most numerous species at our place, is something else again. They are small, and move very quickly so, naturally, they became the focus of my challenge. [And] so I’ve been honing my techniques. There’s camera stuff to learn, of course, but mostly it’s about getting close, being patient and learning to anticipate when and where they might move. Oh, and having good light, which isn’t in my control. Birds in flight is about movement – mostly about freezing movement. For every keeper I’ve probably deleted 20 shots, some of which might have fitted nicely with this challenge – where motion blur has made for quite a nice image, but where it wasn't what I was trying to do."
'Pause, reflect, celebrate' by Debra Metcalfe. "Mānawatia te kāhui o Matariki. Ko Matariki, ka moe ia, i a Rehua. Me āna tamariki; ko Pōhutukawa, ko Tupuānuku, ko Tupuārangi, ko Waitī, ko Waitā, ko Waipunārangi, ko Ururangi, ko Hiwa-i-te-rangi. Welcoming the constellation of Matariki stars. Matariki and Rehua, their children; Pōhutukawa, Tupuānuku, Tupuārangi, Waitī, Waitā, Waipunārangi, Ururangi, Hiwa-i-te-rangi. My image isn't Matariki, as you can see, but it’s the closest I got to her and her tamariki (I did try the next morning when they would be visible). I went to a workshop on astrophotography in Russell, so this is my first attempt and quite like it. My reflection, pause, celebration for this Māori new year is to continue the learning I’ve been doing with my te reo Māori group. I have the most amazing tutor and group and we’ve been learning all about Matariki this past month. Mānawatia te Matariki! Ngā mihi o te tau hou Māori."
'Quiet time' by Cynthia Stoks. "My quiet time is where my mind settles and focuses on my surroundings. It could be inside my vegetable garden cage, or on the little beach near my home. The sea could be raging, but my mind is quiet."
'Respite' by Lorraine Neill. "Spending time in nature with my camera is the best way to recharge my batteries. Hamilton Gardens is a favorite location, simply because it’s so accessible. I don’t even have to start the car. I just grab my camera and head out the door. That’s hard to beat and perfect for a quick dose of ‘me time’. That’s where I headed this morning. Between showers, I photographed blackbirds enjoying the berries of the Mahonia bush."
'Seeing beauty' by Kelvin Wright. "One of the tūī living near our place."
'Seeing beauty' by Lorraine Neill. "Hydrangeas bloom at the end of the flowering season. At first glance, they look brown and kinda meh. But get up close, and you’ll see the delicate beauty in those fading blooms."
'Speechless' by Rudolph Kotze. "One of my best memories is a road trip in France with my wife, who’s a French teacher. We used a travel book which took us through the back roads, following 2,000 years of bridges. Started at Pont du Gard in Nîmes and ended in Millau, at what I think is the world’s most beautiful bridge. Even got tips from the French designer, who I’d hosted at an Auckland conference. We stayed in Millau for four days, checking out the bridge from every angle. I’ve seen pics of the bridge ‘floating on clouds’, but seeing it in person left me speechless. I’m a bridge engineer, so the tech aspect blew my mind. But what really got me was how well it blends into the landscape. It’s the world's highest bridge; you could fit the Eiffel Tower under its tallest span. The whole trip was magic. My wife was thrilled, and I got to photograph bridges! We even had an epic picnic with the Millau Viaduct as our backdrop."
'Speechless' by Debra Metcalfe. "New Brighton Pier. I’ve got a ton of photos of this place. It’s such a great subject and I really miss it. Picked this shot because it’s unmistakable and the colours pop. Spent a lot of time here with my mom when I was older, because she used to live nearby."
'Standing tall' by Jan Whybourne. "A lot of my photography focuses on flowers and bugs. Today, I headed to the local conservatory hoping to find something ‘standing tall’, and the outside garden didn’t disappoint. I used my Helios lens, which gives really beautiful bokeh. Found this single flower (and its bud) among a bunch of upright blue flowers. Used the rule of thirds for framing and I’m pretty pleased with the outcome."
'Tranquility' by Mark Chivers. "Floating away on a cloud, what could be more tranquil than that?"
'Tranquility' by Heather Mickelson. "This is what greeted me as I pulled back the curtain: tranquility, calmness, peacefulness, quiet, and serenity. What a glorious way to start the day under the sliver of a new moon."
'Transformation' by Cynthia Stoks. "Golden hour dolphin transforms millpond sea. Travelling home with camera in hand for this challenge, the sea was tranquil and the sun was setting. I saw dolphins playing in the distance, too far away to photograph. Then one came swimming towards the boat quickly and powerfully. I had to anticipate its movement as it came up for air. Its energy broke the surface tension of the sea, causing waves and ripples. This power contrasts with the stillness of the dorsal reflection. The low angle sunlight transforms its normally dark back into a bronze glow. Transformation requires effort and energy."
'Transformation' by Lorraine Neill. "Stamens of the hellebore or winter rose start to droop and fall off [when] pollination is completed. It is then time for the seeds to develop."
By Captivating Photography Journal profile image Captivating Photography Journal
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