30-day photo challenge

During the month of June I will be taking part in a 30-day photography challenge inspired by White Peach Photography. Each day has a different theme (except days 1 and 30, which are both self-portraits) and I plan to share my pictures here. It promises to be lots of fun and what better way to take a moment or two out of the daily routine to be creative?
Day 1 - Self portrait

And we're off! The photo challenge started today and the theme is 'self portrait' or, in my case, a one-woman photo shoot. I LOVED doing this and had a really fun 20 minutes composing a picture. As we are going into a four day weekend, I doubt I'll have the time to indulge the next couple of themes to the same degree but each day will no doubt have its own fun!

Day 2: What I wore today

Today's theme was a bit more challenging not least because it was a public holiday and we went for a family trip out - but, I still managed it. I have to admit to picking an outfit that I thought would photograph well but I don't think there are rules against that! I bought  this sequinned top 5 years ago and wore it to see Madonna at Wembley for her Confessions tour. It has lots of happy memories of a great night out. The last time I wore these white jeans was two summers ago (I even found an old receipt in the pocket). Two years, another pregnancy and baby later and they still fit - yippee!! Enjoy the pictures...

Day 3: Clouds

On the hottest day of the year so far, when the sky was clear and blue, my challenge was to find clouds!!  Well, I craned my neck all day, enjoying the warm weather but secretly wishing for a sighting of the elusive white streaks - there were enough aeroplanes flying over the Danish air space but I don't think their white trails would count!!

I had to wait til past 9 pm and the sun began to set to take this one. This is Copenhagen and even as I write this now at 10.30 pm, it is not yet dark. This photo was taken using my most powerful zoom (300m) and a polarising lens to bring into focus what my naked eye could barely make out. Talk about a challenge?! Onwards and upwards...
Day 4: Something green

Today we went cycling through the forest trails behind Karen Blixen's House in Rungsted. Everywhere we turned there was greenery in all tones and shades - it was absolutely stunning. If it wasn't for the photo challenge, I'm not sure I would have had my camera with me and so I'm happy to have had an excuse to try to capture the beauty of it all.
Day 5: From a high angle

We live in a third floor flat and so I hung out of the windows and over the balcony to take these pictures 'from a high angle'. I like the long shadows thrown by the late afternoon sun in the top photos and the lines of the washing drier and the flagstones in our shared back yard in the bottom one. It was fun looking at things from a different angle.
Day 6: From a low angle

The difficulty I found with trying to take a photo from a low angle is that the subjects I was photographing became unrecognisable - except for tall buildings and the like, which are normally viewed from down below! It took me a while to start taking pictures that didn't look distorted. Who would have thought it?!
Day 7: Fruit
Some days being a stay at home mum and wanting to do something for myself during the day are two opposing forces that conspire to leave me a bit worse for wear. Day 7 was one of those days. The fruit sat out on the counter in the kitchen as I struggled through the day. When I finally got the space, the daylight had faded. BUT, this challenge is supposed to be fun and so I guess it doesn't really matter if day 7 slipped into day 8, does it?!
Day 8: A bad habit

Well, I can't take photographs of the noise I sometimes make if I gulp when I drink water and so instead I thought I'd picture my caffeine addiction - the Nespresso capsules in all their multicoloured glory and the perfect froth on a cappuccino.
Day 9: Someone I love
Someone I love? Or more importantly, someone I love who doesn't object to being photographed. When I first met my husband he told me that he doesn't like having his photo taken as he believed the camera stole part of his soul - I swear he was a Maasai warrior in a former life(!) Ten years later he is more accommodating but he was at work today. My son was at school and so my daughter unwittingly obliged...
Day 10: Childhood memory
My life here in Denmark is so far removed from my childhood growing up in Northern England - I struggled to find anything of that past. However, I was preparing lunch for some friends and made a fig and feta salad and seeing the figs immediately brought back memories of the fig trees that grew in the garden of a house where we stayed in Agami in Egypt. I also made some butterfly fairy cakes and these reminded me of many a tea party and girl guide cake sale back in the 1980s. And so these are the photos of the memories I recreated today.
Day 11: Something blue

A blue sky over the Copenhagen Carnival in Fælledparken, blue wigs for sale and blue slush ice - so much blue to choose from....
Day 12: Sunset
Yes! I've finally been able to capture something of a sunset. This was taken a couple of days late but the sun has not been obliging as it sets behind clouds. This beautiful building is the entrance to the old national stadium, which is opposite our flat.
Day 13: Me with 13 things
I hope these photos aren't too literal an interpretation of today's theme!! I've been munching on honey roasted almonds all day and so a handful of nuts seemed an apt snapshot. A necklace made of the brightly coloured wooden beads from my children's beading jar is something I've often thought about making and today was the perfect opportunity.
Day 14: Eyes
This was a tough theme. It feels so intrusive to photograph only a person's eyes and while I did consider asking some friends to pose for me in the end I was too embarrassed and so I asked my son. He and I have the same eye and hair colour and he likes to remind me about this sometimes. He always gets complimented on his long eyelashes.
Day 15: Silhouette
I love taking photos of shadows and I actually have a whole collection of 'silhouette' shots that I'm saving up for a blog post one day. Today's theme was right up my street and as the sun was shining this morning, my excitement mounted. This picture is the shadow cast across the window sill by a vase of gerbera flowers. They were wilting in the afternoon heat which I think made for great composition.
Day 16: Long exposure
I was looking forward to this theme as I have no experience of taking photos with long exposure and I relished the opportunity to learn something new. I did a bit of reading up and discovered that for a good long exposure picture it should be taken at night (or low light) and with a tripod. I waited for nightfall and there was a heavy rain shower so I tried to capture the rain falling under the street lamp but it didn't really work. Not having a tripod I stabilised my camera on a pile of books and I guess this is the kind of improvisation that leads to very amateurish looking pictures. Oh well. Maybe another day..
Day 17: Technology

I've never really looked at the inside of a washing machine before but for today's challenge I started to think about the technology that I use every day. So far as the kind of technology that I couldn't live without goes, after our bikes the washing machine is definitely up there. Here are some shots of its inner beauty.
Day 18: My shoes

I know they're not just my shoes but I do think there is an aesthetic quality in a family's shoes all stacked up in the hallway and I couldn't resist a picture of my daughter's first shoes and her brother's Converse sneakers. Although I see them everyday, I still pause to admire their cuteness!
Day 19: Something orange
It turns out that I don't have many orange things in my life. I was keeping a keen eye out when  I found this orange camper van parked at a fair this afternoon. Its a 'napbus'!!! I didn't have my 'good' camera with me and so this is very much a point and shoot picture but at least I managed to catch two of the bubbles that floated past...
Day 20: Bokeh
I'm very disappointed with this photograph. I don't feel that I have really captured what bokeh is and I didn't have much time to experiment and explore the challenge further. This is a work in progress and I am going to return to it one day when I have more time.
Day 21: Faceless self-portrait

I spent a bit of time this morning discovering how the self timer on my camera works and setting it off and then posing behind a magazine but it all felt a bit staged. Then I had a bit of a play around taking photos into the mirror - it was fun and I think my daughter enjoyed it too!
Day 22: Hands
I hope this picture counts although it is of one hand only! I tried balancing the camera to take a picture of both hands but it required far too much contortion...
Day 23: Sunflare

Today was a stunning day - sunny and warm but with a refreshing light breeze - and I spent it on the beach with my mother and my children. It was perfect. We cycled up to Klampenborg and on the way I stopped off at the Arne Jacobsen petrol station to take some pictures. I even managed to catch the sunflare!!
Day 24: Animal

We don't have any pets nor any friends with pets and we live in the city - not a good start for finding a subject for an animal shot. Copenhagen does have a fabulous zoo but we didn't make it. Instead, I remembered my lovely leopard print top...!
Day 25: Something pink
At last, I remembered to take my daughter's beautiful pink cardigan out of her room while she napped!! She wore this to my brother's wedding in May over a pretty white broderie anglaise dress. During the drinks reception in the grounds of the church overlooking the Forth Bridge, she played in the grass, and by the time we took her home to sleep it was more green grass and brown mud stains than pink and white. But for a couple of glorious hours my daughter was a pretty little girl in pink. 
Day 26: Close-up

Anyone who knows me knows that I love taking close up shots. I love magnifying detail especially the detail of texture and colour in food. Today's challenge was a real pleasure. I made the cupcakes for my son's end of term school party and here in Denmark pea pods (well, the peas inside, not the pods themselves!) are a popular snack and we've been trying them out too. And, of course, the dansk jordbaer are in season and are delicious....
Day 27: From a distance

The lifeguards on their perch and the ships on the distant horizon - some of the views from a sunny day on Klampenborg beach - my favourite picnic spot for this summer. (I've just noticed that this picture of the horizon doesn't really work as the foreground is in focus, not what is in the distance!)
Day 28: Flowers
Yes, my blog has been a bit quite for the last couple of weeks. Thank you to those of you who have noticed and pointed this out to me (I'm secretly thrilled that anyone has noticed!!). One of the reasons for my silence has been my parents' first visit to Denmark since we moved here in February. Its been wonderful to have company and I wept this morning when they left. One of their kind gifts was a big bunch of lilies and the beautiful scent wafts through the flat to remind me of the great time we've shared together.
Day 29: Black and white
I have my friend (who also happens to be a professional photographer!) Heather to thank for this picture. She gave me a great tip for taking black and white pictures: look for texture and contrasting colour. These bells are on a woven band (the texture) and then the black spaces on the bells contrast with the white background. I think it works.
Day 30: Self portrait

Yes, I managed it. It was no small feat to have two kids at home all day, a list of jobs to get through, a Danish class to prepare for and a self portrait to take and upload but I managed it all before midnight. And so, the month is over - it has been great fun and I have learned so much. I am inspired by so many of the other people taking part and their beautiful pictures (these can be seen on the Flickr group page). Thanks to White Peach Photography for a wonderful adventure!