Daily photos: free, freeing and freed

I take daily photos on my iPhone for pleasure alone. This playful process is virtually free and it frees my spirit. A tiny minority are shared on Facebook or this blog or find their way into a photo booklet. My daily photos form a sort of random visual diary. I think of them as a self-indulgent secret of my personal creative life.

That multipurpose smartphone camera

Today, I will free a few photos below not as illustrations but for their own sake. If you don’t like them, no matter: you doubtless see thousands of far superior photos every day. But it pleases me to handle them and look at them one more time before they are flicked into oblivion.

Now, which photo shall I share first? The wind was roaring last night, so how about this demolition job in Courtenay Place?

City street with a large tree branch on the footpath.
Wind in Courtenay Place rips down a big tree branch.

Now that I see the photo full size, I notice other things. An excellent, ugly public toilet. A yellow bus. A few cafes. Traffic lights. Hardly any people (Covid-19, the wind…) And the Hannah Playhouse in the background. Suddenly that’s exciting, because—

Show Ponies will perform there next year in the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

Show Ponies is a glorious punk cabaret of poets with music and dancers—and this time, I’ll be one of the poets! I’m so excited… only 4 months to go! Oh, I didn’t mean to skite but that’s what random photos do: they bring on a rush of thoughts and feelings.

Let’s move to something cosier: Ursula posing in an unusually rotund shape. Most of the day she is standoffish, but cuddles up when I sit down and watch Netflix, especially Sky Castle. My stomach (blue) and leg (black) also feature in the photo.

Chocolate tabby cat squirming and looking pretty at the same time.
Ursula the snooty British Shorthair cat squirms on my knee and still looks pretty.

Done the daily cat, now we need the daily sunrise.

Sun coming over a forest covered  hill beyond a house.
Every morning around 6:30 I do tai chi on my deck and say good morning to the Earth and, on this occasion, to the sun.

Back inside, I nod to my little windowsill shrine. I usually come home from a walk with twigs or flowers, and today we have corokia cotoneaster looking ever so assertive.

A twig of corokia cotoneaster looks adorable in my shrine.

That’s enough, surely. But no. Last week I walked past a house where I lived for two or three years, and was happy to see it is loved by its current owners. You can’t see the ginormous flowering cherry in the back yard though. Is that still there? Who knows.

Old two storey house on a hill with a flourishing garden in front.
11 Orchard Street, where once I lived. An old wooden house with good bones and tricky access.

You can tell I’m pretty keen on the native plants of Aotearoa New Zealand. One last snap of a brave little native iris fighting its way through rubble and weeds to show its tiny white face.

Small white flowers push up through dead flax leaves, grass.
Tiny white flowers of Libertia Ixoides, an iris native to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Accessibility poll about daily photos: please answer in Comments

  1. Did all these photos appear on your screen?
  2. Did they arrive quickly or slowly?
  3. Do you take random photos like this?
  4. Are you having a good day?

Thank you! I doubt I’ve ever loaded six photos on a single blog post, and I want to be sure this works for you. If not, I’ll adjust my settings. (OK, I overstepped the mark with my questions.)

35 thoughts on “Daily photos: free, freeing and freed

  1. 1. yes
    2. yes
    3. no (I rarely have my phone on and out)
    4. yes

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Awesome! Look, you did my poll. My hero!

  2. 1. Yes
    2. Quickly
    3.Not quite random – but they are a daily diary of whatever I come across
    4. Yes

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      And so did you! I’m very relieved that 2/2 readers get to see the photos quickly. That’s 100% so far. I’m enjoying this “result” for now and I so enjoy your photos.

  3. 1) Yes
    2) Quickly, no loading problems.
    3) All the time.
    4) Yes!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Janis, this is such good news about the photos loading fast. And–you too, with your own photos?

  4. Alan Ralph says:

    1. Yes
    2. Quickly
    3. Not as often as I used to
    4. A very good day, all things considered. 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Thanks Alan, much appreciated. I like your “all things considered”–that’s a rewarding way to look at life.

  5. 1. Yes
    2. Quickly
    3. Often – for example, after brushing my teeth last night I took a photo of the things beside the bathroom basin – a sort of still life.
    4. It’s early yet, but it looks promising!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Lovely news from 1-4

  6. realruth says:

    1. Yes
    2. Quickly
    3. Yes
    4. Yes

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Ah, I’m starting to feel confident about that download speed. Thanks!

  7. Nemorino says:

    1. Yes.
    2. OK.
    3. No.
    4. Yes, thanks for asking.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      OK makes sense. My own internet speed fluctuates. And of course, those for whom the photos downloaded very slowly wouldn’t wait around to comment. Thanks!

  8. 1. Yes
    2. Quickly
    3. Yes
    4. Is there any other kind of day?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      A perfect Peterism once again

  9. haoyando says:

    Yes, they do appear, and very quickly. Sorry, I don’t take random photos. I think I should. LOL. My day is fine. This Monday is so much better than last Monday.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Never heed those “shoulds”, Haoyando. You do you, because nobody else can. And bring on better Mondays.

  10. judibwriting says:

    I am in less pain so yes a better day!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Wonderful news. I’m having a good day too: sun’s out and I’m seeing a friend for lunch. And some delightful bloggers are contacting me 🙂

  11. Prue says:

    Immediate photos! And yes to everything I reckon 😊

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Super cool, Prue! Big yes to you right back.

  12. I enjoyed your photos. I sometimes take photos because I find colors attractive, but mostly I use them to illustrate my tales of life in the mountains. Your photos loaded quickly. I appreciate that, because once in a while I look at a post and give up waiting for the pictures to load.

  13. cedar51 says:

    I take a lot of photos – but mostly to record what I’ve been doing creative-wise – this morning after I signed and dated my latest lots of creativity – counted them up – 28 over a 6 week period. A few are missing due to “stuck what next” and all the original layouts are missing but their respective papers are probably in some of the 28. No titles yet, as I’ve decided on Series (xyz not decided) 001-099…
    When I’m out walking, I’m still having dizzy issues so I do some photos but not many, and right now round and round on the same circuit…Keep thinking now that the “roadmap” states I can wander further, I haven’t got into that yet, because I will have to bus and some of the back door step up – are rather high (back door @ enter/exit right now).
    And yes, since I altered my daily schedule due to the lockdown, life has been far better…keeping relatively busy stops that loneliness and other issues…

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yes, the camera is a smart way to document your work as an artist. Sometimes the most impressive accomplishments are ephemeral. I’m really glad you are managing your schedule in a way that brings more good days. Yay for you.

  14. Hello Rachel. They all loaded quickly. I love that you and the cat are watching Sky Castle together! And I frequently take random photos now that I’ve joined Instagram… I love that you can add music to an image on Instagram (good fun).

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Yes, fun! That’s what it’s all about

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Loaded fine and quickly. I take pictures but not randomly. I do like the chance to capture moments with the kids. I am having a fine day in my repainted and rearranged office where I am blogging.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      As a fellow blogger you understand the importance of speedy download, so that’s good news. Long term, it’s the people pics that are keepers.

    2. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Elizabeth, just to say I’ve been commenting on your blog but frequently mess up– through impatience– so sorry! I do love reading it.

      1. Elizabeth says:

        Thanks so much. I love knowing that.

  16. srbottch says:

    Photos popped up great. My wife asks me why am I always snapping photos. I don’t need to tell you, it’s therapeutic. At least it is for me 😎

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Of course it is therapeutic! Entrancing, too. Besides, it is an aid to vision. I see more detail by enlarging a photo– crucial for tiny text. There. Fully justified.

      1. srbottch says:

        How shall I describe your reply? Does ‘BINGO!’ work…😉

      2. Rachel McAlpine says:

        Like like like

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