Serenity Circle - November 2019

Welcome to November's Serenity Circle.  

Rain clouds gathering / across the field

We've experienced a lot of heavy rain here in the NE of Scotland yet again this past month.  The continual wet weather has made it difficult getting outdoors to capture photography and I've really missed such.  Maybe I need an underwater camera, lol!  

"Dear Santa.... "  😆

On a more serious note, back in January, I set myself a challenge for 2019, i.e. to concentrate on one genre throughout the year. 

 "If you don't challenge yourself,
you will never realise what you can become."
 -- Anon --

I chose 'nature photography' but to make it even more of a challenge, I decided to stick to a 100 metre stretch of country pathway for this project.

Actual location

Most of the time I have kept to the challenge although I have strayed a couple of times!!!

 "Promise to stay wild with me.
We'll seek and return and stay,
and find beauty in the ordinary, 
in all the spaces we can claim..."
-- Victoria Erickson --

It hasn't been easy.  Sometimes I've felt totally uninspired working along the same stretch of pathway.  However, I pressed on and as a result found little pockets of magic in-between the seemingly mundane.  

 "Magic is seeing the precious in the mundane,
The wild in the silence, the colours with no name."
--Nausicaa Tails --

Images taken from a couple of my favourite photo sessions this year

What I learnt during the process re: serenity

The experience helped me slow down and really observe my surroundings close-up as well as from a distance.  I wanted to see nature in a way I hadn't taken the time to before, and I did.  Not only was I able to view nature from a different perspective, but in taking the time to do so, I experienced many peaceful and serene moments in the stillness and the solitude - something that is often missing in normal fast paced day-to-day living. I'll definitely make time for nature photography going forward.  I crave the serenity this particular genre provides - something which has become more apparent to me this past month being struck indoors with my camera due to the adverse weather.

What I learnt during the process re: creativity / photography

  • Working within small perimeters gets rid of the 'noise' of having too much choice - something I've personally found blocks creativity.
  • Limiting choices pushes your creativity and imagination to keep the momentum going.
  • I've become more focused on learning how to translate not only what I'm seeing but just as importantly, what I'm feeling when something captures my interest.  It's been interesting and fun learning how to do this via my camera settings, choice of lenses, lighting, colour, composition and post processing.
  • I have seen more growth in my photography this past year than at any other time - something I attribute to minimising choices and finding ways to make these choices work.

It's coming close to the end of another year and I'm looking forward to setting myself a new project in 2020.

Did you set yourself a project this year, and if so, what have you learnt as a result?  Please feel free to share in the Comments below.

Next, we are heading across the channel to the south of France with my good friend, Jillian Baudry, photographer and mentor.  And just as Jillian's post suggests, "Let's go outside"....

About: We are a collaborative group of photographers from various parts of the world - some working professionals, others hobbyists like myself. The Serenity Circle represents a wide range of photography genres with the common theme being serenity moments experienced and captured during the past month. This particular circle was established in April 2015 and is one of the longest running of its kind online. It was set up by Nadeen Flynn, multi-genre photographer and teacher from Northern California. Nadeen has since stepped aside from the circle and moved on to other ventures both online and beyond and we wish her all the very best. The Serenity Circle goes live on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.


Jillian said…
Such a beautiful collection of images Wendy! The tones in the first landscape image are stunning. I agree, sometimes setting yourself some constraints can really spur you on and I can definitely see the growth in your photography this year! I absolutely love your nature images and I'm looking forward to seeing what you create in 2020. :-)
Wendy said…
Thanks Jillian! Can't believe how close we are to 2020!
Janet Broughton said…
What a fantastic (although challenging) idea for a project! I absolutely love that block of moody nature images, stunning!!
Wendy said…
Thank you so much Janet.
I love your project for the year, and I think I may even copy for 2020, and limit my project to my yard--I love a project with creative parameters (or physical in this case). I do love what you found, and how you captured it!
Lori McLellan said…
Wendy, what a great project! 100 Metres creates a huge challenge that you have met successfully. David Duchemin (a Canadian Photographer who has written many books) talks a lot about giving yourself constraints to grow in your art - pick one lens, one time of day, etc. You have done pretty much what he advocates.
Such beautiful deep tones in these images. I hope your rain goes away!
Wendy said…
Hope you do consider this challenge next year L&L. You will enjoy. 😊
Wendy said…
ThankscLori! It has been a pretty amazing challenge. Addicted now and need to set a new one for next year now.
Nkawoods said…
Wendy, that is such a challenging project and you ended up with some fabulous photos. It’s inspirational.
Wendy said…
Thanks so much Nancy. It was really challenging at times but I enjoyed it all the same.
Becky said…
Wendy, your year long project resulted in so many beautiful images. Sticking with it is the hard part though!
I have some ideas for next year, I just need to narrow them down to a reasonable and doable list!
Wendy said…
Thank you Becky! It was difficult to stick with the project some days...and I did stray a few times, but it was a good experience overall - definitely.

I hope you enjoy creating your project for 2020. I haven't a clue what mine will Look like just yet. Still deciding.
Nadeen said…
You managed to fulfill your project so well, not giving up when uninspired or dealing with limited choices. Your take-aways are enlightening. Your work and how you've executed the editing is brilliantly accomplished.
Wendy said…
What a lovely compliment....thank you Nadeen!

I can hardly believe this project is almost's been a quick year. Now I need to find a new project to keep me going. I haven't a clue What yet!
Joan Showers said…
Wendy, your image so perfectly captured what you've experienced this year. A lovely challenge and clearly fulfilling for you.
Wendy said…
It's been a good challenge and learning experience Joan. The challenge now is to find a new challenge equally good for next year!