• Time Can Make a Difference

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    Yesterday I was listening to Episode 5 of The Photo Podcast Network’s Q & A show, with hosts Scott Bourne. & Rick Sammon. A listener asked why were they not able to produce the same image in the camera as exists in their head. One of the reasons suggested as causing difficulty was that sometimes time is needed between taking the photo & then judging it’s quality.

    I am very harsh on myself when it comes to critiquing my creativity, particularly when it comes to my photography. However around 18 months ago I realised that wherever possible I need to leave newly taken photos alone for a while before determining the quality of what I produced. This realisation came to me when I was searching for an old photograph that I knew I’d taken. As I revisited older photos it occurred to me that many of my photos are not as bad as I first thought. A lot had been left untouched, essentially left to take up hard drive space & nothing more. Yet time made me see that perhaps I’d judged them harshly.

    So now I like to leave a series of photos for at least a few weeks before critiquing them. Somehow time makes them a little bit better.

    The above photo of a lion cub at Dubbo Western Plains Zoo is an example of letting a photograph percolate with time. When I took photos during the day I had in mind what I was hoping to achieve. I quickly browsed my images later that day & was a little disappointed. The high I was still on from having a fantastic day at the zoo made me write off most of the photos as not very good.

    I’ve revisited this series of photos over the past few days & I’m pleased to realise that there are some photos here that work. Some of them might even be worthy of printing & hanging on my wall.

    Kim.

  • A Good Sunset, Again...

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    This evenings sunset was a stunner. The sunsets over the past few evenings have been bland, with little colour in the sky, although the sun has reminded me of a large burning ball, which i guess it kind of is.

    However this one was a show stopper. At the end of a long, tiring day, I walked into the tiny bathroom of our apartment, where a glowing pink light washed the walls. I knew immediately I had to step outside to see what the sky was doing. I was literally stopped in my tracks. With a view of the above, it’s little wonder. I like to see what the sky is doing at any given point in the day (not only at sunset or rise), so when a show like this is on display my heart races a little bit. I grabbed the closest photographic device I had, namely my iPad Pro.

    Yes, I sometimes take photos with my iPad. I know certain people think this is crazy, but I’d rather get a photo, than miss out all together. If I’d have taken the time to get my camera out, find the missing plate for my tripod, put it on the camera, attached the tripod & headed back outside I’d have likely missed the majority of what was on offer.

    I realise this points to my unorganised-ness (is that a word?) but still I was outside, enjoying the beauty around me & got a few photos while I was at it. Far better than sitting around inside, ruing not being organised enough. One day I will be. For now I’ll enjoy photographing with whatever’s at hand during those quick one off situations like a stunning sunset.

    kim

  • A historic day

    FUJIFILM314-07-17KLC_Fuji_X-Pro1 july 2017_2017_DSCF2267I recently had the pleasure of being onboard the PS Melbourne with over 120 other passengers and crew as she cruised along the Murray River making her way to Wentworth, in doing so leaving the Murray River & entering the waters of the Darling River. The day trip starting at 8am & finishing at 4:30pm was thought to be PS Melbourne’s first time cruising this route since becoming a passenger boat many years ago.

    The day had quite the historic feel about it, with many of the passengers reminiscing about their first cruise onboard the PS Melbourne or the time they first met the man who made the Melbourne the popular tourist boat she is today, Mr Alby Pointon. Commentary provided by the Captains also pointed out historic things relevant to both the Melbourne & its owners.

    Mr Pointon’s Granddaughter Ashton Kreuzer had the idea to run this cruise to kick off weekend celebrations at the Wentworth Junction Rally.

    Ashton did an outstanding job, ensuring passengers were well fed, provided with coffee, tea or hot chocolate to keep the cold air at bay and be entertained with art & music.

    As I’ve mentioned before it is not often that I find myself on the water, so I took the opportunity to make the most of it by taking my camera kit with me. Cruising at the slow pace the Melbourne takes afforded me the time to not only enjoy the scenery but to capture scenes ordinarily not seen by myself.

    However the above photo was taken in the minutes before the Melbourne left the banks of the Murray where she was moored. Sometimes these moments of ordinariness are as important as those that are more historic. Here she is, the PS Melbourne doing what she does more often than not: taking on passengers who will for the first time or the upteenth  time be settling in for a journey on the Murray enjoying the tranquility on offer by travelling at a much slower pace. It captures the beginning of another journey -albeit this day was more historic than most.

    Kim.

  • There Is Such Beauty In The Sky...

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    I can’t seem to stop looking at the sky. And not just at sunrise or sunset. Some pretty amazing skies happen during the middle of the day too.

    Clouds that streak across the sky, stretched out as though they are trying to reach from one side of earth to the other.

    Or large dark clouds, heavy with rain that doesn’t fall here. Or fluffy white clouds, that promise nothing but beauty.

    Beacuse of the beauty in the sky, and for other reasons too I’ve decided to put my camera bag in the car with me when I go anywhere, even to work. Sometimes the most stunning sky presents itself after a fitfull night sleep or after a hectic work day. So now my camera will be on hand to help me remember the beauty.

    kim.

  • In A Hurry...

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    Towards the end of the day last Thursday I found myself in an all to common situation. Having finished work & grocery shopped, I literally had five minutes at home to get changed, feed my dogs & cover the bird cage before heading out to a flex class. Hurriedly I dashed outside to cover the birds. As I got to their cage I looked up to see the sun setting, creating a section of sky that looked like it was alight.

    My brain kicked into overdrive - telling me I had to capture what I saw. At the same time I knew i didn’t have time to get my camera, put it on the tripod, ensure I had the right lens on & then finally take some photos. I knew however this was not going to happen. All I could do was reach for the ever present iPhone, currently residing in my pocket & be content with the results.

    After taking a couple of photos I turned to dash back inside, only to be greeted by a double rainbow on the opposite side of the sky. Granted, the second rainbow was faint but it was clearly there.

    I knew I had to photograph it, and knew the clock was ticking. So again I used my iPhone, this time taking a panorama as well as standard photos. This was clearly a situation where the best camera is the one you have on you statement rang true.

    The resulting photos certainly aren’t as good as they could’ve been, but considering the circumstances I’m happy  that I managed to get what I did. If only time could be on my side every now & again.

    Kim.FullSizeRender (1)

  • An admiration of decay

    IMG_0453A week ago a friend & I headed out to a lake to capture the setting sun.  Our hope was for some intense colour in the clouds. It was an area I hadn’t been to before.

    I found myself drawn to the mud flats around the lake which contain decaying dead trees. As I made my way to them I noticed animal bones & just had to photograph some of them.

    I’m interested in the juxtaposition of decay amongst natural beauty. It’s visually jarring however I find it compelling.

    Conventional beauty doesn’t interest me a lot, even in landscapes. So I’ll continue to seek out a different viewpoint even if I’m the only one who enjoys it.

    kim

  • Calmness Through Cleaning

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    This weekend & last I’ve made time to do some heavy duty cleaning. I’ve moved the bird cage from the shaded fernery, placing the cockatiels in a better position to catch some warmth in the coming winter months. This meant I had more room for the potted plants so they were rearranged. I’ve used the line trimmer to get rid of unsightly weeds as well as mowing the lawn & doing some less intense hand weeding.

    Inside I’ve rearranged furniture, getting rid of things that weren’t needed & adding a table that was. I enjoy this kind of work. I zone out to everything else in the world, focussing on what I’m doing, determined to get it completed. These larger jobs have each taken me a few hours of work but the feeling on completion is worth the labour. Sure I’m tired, but I’m also pleased with the changes & the feeling of renewal that comes with them.

    The calmness I feel during this work is similar to the feeling I have after meditating. My mind is calm, clear & focussed. I like it.

    Kim

  • Burning Clouds

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    Friday evenings sunset was one of the most beautiful I’ve seen for a while. I wasn’t in the mindset of wanting to take photos - I walked into the laundry to do something & caught a peek of the colours of the sky reflecting through the window onto a wall.

    I dashed outside with my iPhone & was amazed by what I saw. The cloud colour was stunning with the colours being so deep it almost looked like the clouds were alight. I quickly ducked inside and grabbed my Fuji, capturing more of the beauty as the sun sank lower in the sky. I’ll process those photos during the week & hopefully will have a photo that I’ll like enough to print.

    Kim

  • I'm Not Specialising...

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    For a very long time I thought that to be a photographer I had to specialise. I had to find a subject & concentrate on it. Get to know it intimately so that when I print photos the viewer would feel what I was feeling about it.

    Lately I’ve come to realise that for me this is not going to work. There are multiple things that I like to photograph & I can’t make myself focus on one thing. I like close up’s & macros, landscapes, architecture & abstracts.

    This frozen flower image was created after reading a photojojo.com blog post. I love what happens to flowers after freezing them in water. It’s a great subject to photograph when the weather is bad, because all it requires is a well lit spot inside.

    I need to love what I’m doing otherwise I’ll abandon it completely. If I continue to photograph subjects I love I won’t be abandoning photography.

    Kim

  • Digital Creations

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    One thing that is nice about digital photography is the plethora of options available to post process images & the ease of obtaining the software & learning how to use it. I mostly stick to using CaptureOne, but every so often I like to ‘play’ with an image to see what else can be done with it.

    In the case of the above photo I’ve used Corel’s Paint It to convert a panoramic iPhone photo into a water colour sketch. On becoming a water colour sketch the fine detail in the photo is lost, though I still feel it conveys a sense of the location.

    The sketch also provides inspiration. I’m slowly teaching myself how to use water colours; my preference is water colour sketching. Perhaps one day I won’t need software to create this kind of look. Although the beauty of Paint It is I’m not limited to water colours. There is among others oil painting & pastels, two things I know I’ll never learn. Transforming my photos to digital paintings will suffice.

    Kim

  • A Closer View

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    Here is another instance where being on foot has allowed me to photograph an image I’ve thought about numerous times when I’ve been a passenger in a car, without having had the ability to stop to allow me to take photos.

    I love the rhinoceros statues found throughout Dubbo. They immediately conjure images of the zoo in my mind & something about their various incarnations & locations brings a smile to my face. Of them all the mother & baby outside the zoo itself are my favourite. The material they have been constructed of implies a sense of life to the statues & it’s because of this material that they appear different every time I see them. The shadows in the crevices of their skin I find particularly fascinating & I wonder if I got that close to a real rhinoceros would I notice that too?

    I think taking the time to experience a destination on foot is by far the greatest opportunity to get to know that place. On the flip side, experiencing a location by car does allow me to see a lot more of a place & if time during that visit allows or perhaps a return visit takes place then I can take a tour on foot of the places that captured my imagination while I was a passenger. Perhaps that is the best of both worlds?

    Kim

     

     

  • Looking With Different Eyes

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    Whilst taking a holiday is good for the soul, sometimes it can also be good for the mind. On holiday only days ago, I made sure I took some time out from catching up with my dearest friend to look for things of interest to photograph in her home town.

    I had no expectations or goals to meet. I was on foot & alone which meant I was able to take as much time as I needed at any given location. I was happy to meander & observe the world around me.

    I found myself lost to the beauty around me, capturing some of it with my camera but also happy to simply observe it. The sounds around me were particularly electric, consisting mainly of the raucous squarks of sulphur crested cockatoo’s.  I stopped & observed them a number of times during my walk, enjoying the site of large flocks of them & marvelling when for a few brief seconds they ceased their seemingly endless noise.

    When my few hours of photography time was done I felt relaxed & at ease. That’s when I know a photography outing has been a success. Sure the resulting photographs are important to me, but equally as important is the feeling of reconnection, mediation & happiness. All I need to do is work out how to get that into my life a bit more often.

    Kim

  • Construction On My Mind

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    The construction of our new home has provided me with a lot of unexpected photographic opportunities. I initially thought that my photos of the build would be of documentary style only, showing progress as the house is built.

    However I’ve found ample there has been opportunity to get creative with my photos. The strong lines of the house frame has provided me with a couple of fruitful photographic shoots, one of which I’ve already blogged about.

    These two photos were taken after I’d mown our lawn (and weeds!) last Sunday. The garage slab had been poured then topped with water so it didn’t dry too quickly. I sat in the house & noticed the shadows cast by the frame. I took advantage of having my phone & took some photos.

    Documentary style photography of the house build is important to me; this type of creative photography is proving to be equally important. It provides another way of looking at something that might seem mundane.

    Kim

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  • Not Perfect, But Not That Bad

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    Often when I view my photos when I return from a photographic outing, I find myself disappointed with the results. I see flaw after flaw & rarely notice anything that I like about them. Yet when I return to them later on, after a a week or more, I seem to be able to see something that I felt wasn’t there originally. Something happens in that time frame, which allows me to see the photos in a different light.

    I think the time gap between first & second viewing puts space between what I had in my mind creatively & the resulting images. In fact often I forget what it was that I had intended to photograph. This space seems to let me see the images for what they actually are. By no means do I think I create a perfect photo, but more often than not if I give my images time, I find I’m happier with the results.

    I also notice this experience with sketching. I’ll sit down & made a sketch of something & when I’m finished I feel satisfied with undertaking the act of drawing, but don’t think much about what I’ve drawn. Yet when I go back & look at that sketch again, I see that what is on the page is actually ok. Sometimes I’ve even made a sketch that I can say is good.

    So I’m trying to learn to put distance between the completion of a photo or a sketch & making a judgement on the quality of what I’ve produced. I hope each time I try this I’ll get better at not judging my work so harshly.

    Kim

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  • Valentine Close Up

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    An unexpected gift of flowers from David for Valentines Day provided me the opportunity to get a little creative.

    As soon as he handed them to me I knew getting in close was going to be the way to photograph them. The intricacies of the tiny little petals that make up one large flower head were begging me to photograph them. Best of all, the bunch has three of these large beauties, along with an assortment of tiny flowers and gum leaves. For the purposes of this post, with its valentines theme, I’ve posted a couple of photos of the red flower, however the creamy colour of the other two flowers are equally as interesting.

    Having not yet committed to buying myself an extension tube for my Fuji, I grabbed my iPhone this morning to see what I could achieve. I find the Camera+ app is a great tool for this type of photography giving more flexibility than the native camera app. I’m happy with the results, with a good number of photos that I like and a couple that I might even print during the week.

    Of course this exercise has fuelled my desire to get in even closer to subjects like this. I think next time an online camera store sends an email offering free delivery I’ll jump on it and buy myself an extension tube. I’m imaging now the fun I’ll have getting nice and close using one of those :)

    Kim

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  • February Words

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    This month I’m a first time participant of International Correspondence Writing Month - better know as InCoWriMo. I’m having a blast sitting down every day writing a letter note or card to someone.

    I’m writing both to people I know, and to those that I don’t. I’ve taken some names from the 28 people on the 2017 Official Participants list to write to, as well as people who’ve asked to receive a letter through the InCoWriMo blog.

    There have been a few days when I’ve struggled with finding the time to write a letter, but I have so far managed each day to squeeze in the time to write. Somehow the act of letter writing is proving to be a little cathartic. And it is encouraging me to write more often, so far for myself only but there might be something more that comes out eventually if I can keep up with the writing.

    I’m looking forward to receiving correspondence myself. Nothing beats the excitement of receiving personal correspondence from someone.

    Kim

  • When Travelling

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    I love the opportunities that are presented when holidaying at a location that I’ve stayed at before. Although nothing beats the thrill and excitement of visiting a new destination, there is satisfaction to be found in returning to a place I know. It becomes intimate to me in a way, by knowing where good coffee and food is to be found, or which side streets to use to get somewhere quicker. Or even knowing that wandering the length of a particular street will provide ample architecture to photograph/

    Sometimes it’s a simple as returning to a site I admire, preferably when the conditions are favourable for photographing it in its glory. But other times magic can be found by viewing a location from the eyes of someone else. Whether it’s a self guided walking tour, a thematic tour (architecture, food, drink) or a guided tour by someone who knows their city and its intricacies, viewing a place in this way is always fruitful.

    Last year David and I took a short break in Adelaide, with the primary goal of attending a show we had tickets for. We took the opportunity to do something different, and paid to be part of a walking tour of Adelaide city with Graeme Fanning of Down To Earth Tours. Surprisingly it was the two of us and Graeme, which made for a terrific opportunity to drink in his knowledge of Adelaide. For whilst I have visited Adelaide multiple times, I had never really taken the opportunity to learn about how the city came to be. It was a fascinating walk, and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in this kind of thing. We enjoyed it so much that if given the time on a return visit to Adelaide we would take one of the other tours on offer. And we’ll certainly take tours like these in other locations we visit.

    Kim

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  • A Closer View

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    I have been considering buying a macro lens for my X-Pro1 for some time. I’ve seen some amazing macro photos, and it’s a genre I feel I would enjoy. If I look around my current surroundings, there are a lot of things whose detail is often missed. There is the grain on the wood clothes basket, the patterns in the skin of apples, or fine details in my jewellery for instance.

    However purchasing a good quality macro lens doesn’t come cheap. And I’ve so far had no luck obtaining a cheap second hand lens via eBay or gumtree. So for now, I’m content with using the close up filters I bought for my X-Pro lenses and using the macro setting in the  Camera+ app on my iPhone. These options don’t give me true macro, nor do they allow me to print large quality photos, but for now they whet my appetite.

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  • Architectural Abstracts

     

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    The past fortnight has seen a lot of movement on our building site. The floor was completed, thankfully as the frame was ready earlier than expected. It’s been amazing to see the progress take place relatively quickly. It’s not quite finished yet, as the garage slab needs to be poured. Once it has set it’s frame and roof trusses can go up.

    While I was walking through the house frame I realised the trusses create some fascinating angles. The best way to photograph them? Laying flat on my back! I then had a little fun playing around in post processing, creating these two images. I think they are a nice contrast against the ‘boring’ (read taken from a normal angle of view) photos that I’ve taken of the frame.

    Kim

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  • A Riot Of Colour

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    I love photographing the streets of Melbourne. I particularly find the variety of architecture in the CBD inspiring, so the bulk of my photos taken in Melbourne predominately feature buildings.

    I’ve recently come to enjoy photographing the graffiti found in so many laneways and other spaces around the CBD. The colours, mostly bright bold shades, almost scream at the viewer for attention, and the artistic quality of so much of the artwork is high. I wouldn’t hesitate to hang some of them on the walls of my home, if that was possible. The idea that a piece of artwork might not be there the next time I visit, is both exciting & disappointing at once. At least by taking some photos I can admire them into the future.

    These two photos were taken in Hosier Lane, which has been on the list of places for tourists to visit for years. I used to avoid it because of the tourists, but now I don’t. Now I look forward to what I’ll discover during my next visit.

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    Kim

     

  • Reaching For The Sky

    fullsizerenderMy home is surrounded by a table grape vineyard. I enjoy keeping an eye on the progress of the vines throughout the year. They go from being heavily laden with bunches of grapes, to being empty of fruit as its snipped off by workers, then slowly as the season changes the leaves begin to fall, leaving bare branches. Long, woody & bent in weird ways, I love the architectural look they produce. Eventually they get cut short and tidied up, and in what feels to me like a blink of an eye green shoots start appearing, and a new cycle of growth begins.

    I amazed by how quickly the vines grow. And by their tenacity. The vines behind my back yard fence grow up and over my fence, draping downwards, growing along the ground. I leave them there, because although there are no bunches of grapes on them, they are covered in leaves that are a beautiful shade of green. And they also provide a little bit of shade; at the right time of day my dogs happily take refuge in it or go looking for critters hiding among the leaves.

    It feels to me like the vines in this photo are growing so much they are trying to reach for the sky. Of an evening, when the colours produced by the sunset are just right (which thankfully is more often than not), I like to take a moment to stop & drink in the beautiful view.

    Unfortunately the view has now changed. The vines have been covered in plastic wrap to protect the still growing grapes. Lots of white plastic isn’t pretty, & of course it’s stopped those vines from reaching for the sky. I look forward to next season when I can get back to capturing photos like this.

    Kim

  • A Quick Inspiration

    img_0827This landscape was taken at a location that I visit a number of times throughout the year. It’s close to where I live, taking me about 5 - 10 minutes to reach by car. It’s closeness is ideal because even if I’ve had a long tiring day at work, or if the weekend day has been hectic, I know I have a location that I like & can get to quickly.

    This tree has captured my imagination. I have photos of it in flood, half covered by water, that I took while wearing waders to get nice & close. Other photos show the tree & landscape surrounded by even less water than is seen here. Every visit I’m presented with a different landscape to capture.

    Photography for me is relaxing; in fact if things work out right it’s meditative. The chatter in my mind & the world around me disappears. All that’s left is me, my camera & the subject. And a little bit of bliss.

    Kim.

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