Serenity Circle – July 2020

Welcome to July’s Serenity Circle.

Please note: The girls in the Serenity Circle group are taking a break from posting for a short time. We would like to thank everyone who follows the circle each month and encourage you to stay posted because this is not goodbye, but rather “bye for now”. We hope to resume again in January 2021.

A couple of months ago, I enrolled on a documentary workshop hoping it would help me record these historic times through photography.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to connect with this workshop for some reason or other.

Nature photography

When it comes to nature photography however, I could lose myself for hours shooting and editing this particular genre. It’s a real fine creative outlet and beautiful pastime—I’d be lost without it.

The difference between ‘documentary’ and ‘nature’ photography

Documentary photography involves observation, anticipation and thinking quickly on your feet during the unfolding of a scene which may or may not be action-packed. It’s more edgy than nature photography and gets the adrenalin pumping.

Nature photography is much slower in pace and affords time to relax and ponder a scene. It teaches you to slow down and appreciate the beauty that is all around you; to find beauty even in the mundane. Because the scene isn’t quickly evolving and changing (like it so often does with documentary-style photography), there is time to walk around your subject, observe and experiment with various heights, angles, artistic settings and lighting at leisure.

Finding my niche

I enjoy being outdoors whether in the wide open countryside or in the garden. I love the sweet scents of summer wafting in the breeze, the sound of birds chirping happily in the tree tops, and the rich colours and tones of the surrounding plants and flowers. Being able to wander leisurely amongst nature with my camera is where I feel most at ease photography-wise.

Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.


I’d love to learn the skills required to successfully carry off documentary photography, but I may have to accept that perhaps….. just perhaps this particular genre—which I so admire in the work of others—may not be suited to me…. or perhaps not in this moment in time. The last thing I need right now is having to anticipate additional situations; I’m finding it difficult enough anticipating food shopping amdist COVID, lol! 😜 😆

We are much smaller in number this week but not deterred ☺. I’m reminded of a quote by Beau Taplin which says:

Whoever said the small things don’t matter has never seen a match start a bushfire!

Next to share some serenity moments this month is Nancy Armstrong, Kansas City Fine Art Photographer with her post “Ad astra per aspera” which sounds really intriguing! Nancy is a very thought-provoking writer who has a beautiful way with words and an equally talented way of capturing fine art photography which captures people’s attention. You are in for a real treat. Enjoy! Ad astra per aspera.

About the Serenity Circle:  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—if not the longest—running circle of its kind online.  It was set up by Nadeen Flynn, multi-genre photographer and teacher from Northern California.

The Serenity Circle goes live on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Serenity Circle – June 2020

Welcome to June’s Serenity Circle.

On Sunday afternoon, hubby and myself packed a picnic basket and headed out into the countryside. It was misty and even drizzly at times, but it was quietly comforting being inside the warmth of the car enjoying the scenery in passing after not having taken a trip like this in so long.

We kept well within the required ‘local’ vicinity (i.e. a 5 mile radius of home) but even so it seemed like another world! I couldn’t fathom if this was because we hadn’t been into the countryside for a good long while or because the weather seemed to drape the old familiar in a protective misty blanket making it take on a totally different appearance and atmosphere—perhaps it was a little bit of both.

Don’t be afraid to go into the mist—be excited because you don’t know where you will end up.

—Sophie Madden

The countryside was so incredibly ‘quiet’ and ‘still’ and in a way it felt as if we’d stepped back in time to when there was much less traffic and noise on the roads and everyone walked or cycled from village to village. It was nice to get a ‘glimpse of a kind’ into what life may have been like years ago (before most people could afford a motor vehicle)…. and I believe I could definitely get used to it—the peace and quiet side of such anyway!

I was reminded of a saying that has been repeated in various places over the past few months and one which has stuck in my mind since hearing it:

In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.

—Dave Hollis

So many of us have tasted a more relaxed and much simpler pace of life in recent months and it’s going to be difficult adapting back to the ‘norm’ we once knew—if such is even possible that is—but perhaps like the above quote by Dave Hollis suggests, we can be a bit more careful about what we choose to include in our new ‘norm’ and what we can leave behind with the old now that we have tasted the difference.

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