What I learnt from the nature photo challenge

Seven days ago, my sister in law tagged me in a nature photo challenge. I had to take one photograph every day for a week and share it on Facebook. The only rule was that the photo had to be linked to nature.

I’m not really “at one” with nature. My recent move to the countryside has been easier than I thought, but I honestly couldn’t tell two trees apart and have no idea what’s growing in my garden.

I sat on the train traveling from the North East to the South of England and had no longer left the city, wondering what I would photograph, when we soared through Britain’s beautiful countryside. An easy photograph and a perfect view.

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But after that, what was there to photograph? Where would I start? I don’t even know what to look for. I’m in the process of looking at bouquets and button holes for the wedding and haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about. Apparently, “um…maybe some greenery” isn’t really a helpful response when deciding what to go for. I like nothing more than taking photos but… of nature? Not exactly my area of strength.

I got home, surveyed the house, and cringed at the dead tulips that had been wilting in an empty vase since their last drop of water several days before. I couldn’t photograph those… could I?

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Turns out, I really love this photo. I felt quite proud. (Of the photograph, but not of the way I let the poor buggers die.)

At the weekend we went for a walk down the canal, a mere two minutes from our front door, and wandered around to the cow fields. This made Sunday’s photograph fairly easy and I was starting to feel pretty chuffed with my efforts.

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Normal service resumed fairly quickly and I mainly photographed my usual subjects: my partner, our cats, and food. Dashing around London for meetings on Monday, I suddenly remembered my challenge. There were buses and taxis and people and buildings and… where was all the nature? And then there was this. And I know this is mainly The Shard, but there is a tree and there are clouds, and there was something about the contrast that I really loved.

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I was enjoying this challenge, and the way it had changed my week. Things were ever so slightly different to my usual walk about town. I was seeking green, looking for opportunities to capture, and it was fun. Really great fun.

I shared a couple more snaps as the week went on and ended on the most hilarious photograph I’ve taken in a while. As we drove home through the country fields, excitedly talking about running our own business one day and enjoying the spring sunshine, we drove past a road sign and smirked. Having decided this was the perfect way to end the photo challenge, I reversed, we jumped out, posed and took this photo, then giggled and ran away as the locals looked at us like we were nuts. It was a great week, and a delightful challenge to take part in. Now – what’s next?

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