In the Studio – Introducing Ally Xu

I believe in Karma and my Muse, so when Karma drops a model in my path and my Muse says “that’s her, that’s her” I have to say yes. It was pure bliss with Nikki a few weeks ago and then lighting hit with Miss Ally Xu. I met Ally online and we arranged a date, she is just getting started with modelling, but is very keen to learn, also has a love of theatrics and costumes…….and brought a whole heap with her. Oh, SO much fun.

I really had no idea of what we were shooting, so I was completely blind, feeling my way through with both no preconceived concept and a new model; just proves how much I have grown over the last year or so. No Doubts, and no hesitation I just jumped in. We played with levitation, some more epic Snow White, we even brought in the Creepy Man (Aka Moth), wonderfully epic cinematic costumes and lighting. We even tried a bit of light painting as well. This girl nailed the brooding evil villain, the strong proud warrior and even the sad little lost girl. I’m sure she would rock fashion as well, but conceptual shoots? Man she was great!

I am sure you will see more of her in the future too…

~ Julz

Share Your World – 21st June, 2017

I am running a bit behind, been a very busy week, but here are my responses to Cee’s Share Your World questions for this week;

What is something that people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of? Pokemon Go, although I think it has more or less died out now, hasn’t it? I just could not understand the point. Also those Fidget Spinner things, no idea? Maybe I am getting too old? lol

What quirky things do people do where you are from? Are you kidding? I’m Australian, everything we do is QUIRKY!

What are some things you wish you could unlearn? Holding a Grudge! I am very good at it, wish I could unlearn that sometimes. But everything in live you learn takes you from one point to another, if there was something removed from that equation, you may end up somewhere entirely different from where you are now.

Who is someone that you miss having in your life? I try not to dwell on my past, if people are no longer in my life (for whatever reason), I have made peace with that. My youngest daughter is shortly about to move interstate, I know I will miss seeing her everyday.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Pixel Sisters Studio being launched by myself and Desley Jane, that is very exciting we had out launch last weekend and set up our first workshop. We are about to announce our second workshop, this week.

I also ran a very successful and booked Still Life workshop in my home Studio last weekend, lots of fun.

I am working with another new model this weekend, someone entirely new and completely different from ANYTHING I have done up until now. Well that’s about it for now, I will leave you with some yummy cupcakes from Saurday’s workshop…


~ Julz

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Teddy Bears, Dolls, Toys

Cee’s Fun Foto challenge this week is Teddy Bears, Dolls and Toys – I don’t really have very many of any of these in the traditional sense and they are all in the studio, the little teddies and one big one are for little kids photoshoots, as is Hoggle the Hedgehog puppet, I have a bunch of Halloween stuff we use for photos and Halloween…

My Models are my toys, I know shocking isn’t it? That is not being mean, just honest think of it dress up dolls for adults. Hey! My models love it too, they get to dress up and I get to put them in different scenes and poses, pick different outfits and accessories and stuff. So my models are my main toys lol


Til next time, have fun and happy snapping…

~ Julz

Winter Outings – Light Painting

Winter means one thing, shorter days and time for light painting with our favourite people Melbourne Light Painting; honestly Dee and Bill Holmer are SO Much fun. This time we met at a new secret location on the outskirts of the inner city in an abandoned building. Bill and Dee had already arranged permission and had gone ahead to clear away most of the debri so it was safe, but we still need to be careful.

So rugged up with lots of warm clothes and jackets, snacks and camera gear we all met just before dark at the gates and then set up, such a large group tonight, but still heaps of fun…..really not much to say, I’ve said it all before, oh and of course the big finale? Flaming Steel wool – orbs, vortex and helicopters.

Nice to have a camera and battery and remote hassle free night for the most part, all went smoothly and got heaps of pics. I also caught up with a few friends as well. I just wish there had been a bit of time for some exploring, have not done much Urban Exploration of late 🙂

~ Julz

Shift Art – June

Back again, with another Shift Art entry, it is becoming increasingly difficult working with images that are not my own, it seems. But this challenge does push you beyond your creative limits and boundaries……..and that’s a good thing.

June Shift Art_Comp

So taking these four images from the selection on offer, I decided to merge the woman’s face onto the body of the mannequin, quite an effort in itself, the tonal range and colours did not match, just to start. So I embarked on a series of curves adjustment and hue saturation layers to blend it all in, including removing the lime green. I used the dandelion and oil in water as lighting elements really, as well as some other images in my stocks. Changed the lighting, backgrounds and re did her make-up.

One thing that did annoy me was her hair, so I decided to do something about that. Using hair stock by Cindy Grundsten (DeviantArt), I added hair; piece by piece, moved, rotated and warped it all into position, as well as re coloured it.

JuliePowell_Lady in the straw hat_2000

With fingers crossed, I rated another Honorable Mention  and something else good came from it, a few people requested a tutorial on HOW I did the hair, so another tutorial was created by request for…………….and THAT is a great thing! If you are a member, go check it out.

~ Julz



White Cranes

I was working on a Conceptual Portrait recently and I wanted Origami white cranes, I asked many people, but no one I knew, knew how to create them. So I did what any self respecting adult does in 2017 – I googled it. It took awhile to find just the right set of instructions, and to wrap my head around them, but I did get it done.

This is the website I ended up using  20170615_110411

Actually I got kind of good and knocked up lots in a short period of time


And then what did I do with them?JuliePowell_ White Cranes


This is very similar to the original image before I added the cranes

I LOVE photoshop…..and I love creative conceptual photography.

~ Julz


Mondays Musings…

Go big or Go home..isn’t that what they say? So I jumped, sometimes you have to make a leap of faith that all your training, your planning and sheer determination will make an endeavor pay off; sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. This weekend marked the launch of Pixel Sisters Studio, I wrote about this yesterday. We also had out Instagram, Website and Facebook all went live as well. Desley and I have been very busy behind the scenes, planning and arranging our very first workshop, which is already starting to fill up, so very exciting.


I ran another of my own smaller workshops from the home studio on Saturday, Light and bright, cakes and candies; I dubbed it the Sweet Tooth Workshop. People commented it was the tastiest workshop they have ever done…lets hope I have not set a dangerous precedent 🙂


Sunday was the last of the planning and editing I had left to do and just pottering around, even a bit of a tidy up in the studio.

Oh and did I mention I had another two images published in Living the Photo Artistic Life magazine (page 8) last week, yay me!

Julie Powell_Barn Owl-1

I am hoping to work with another new model next weekend and getting everything arranged for the next Pixel Sisters Workshop.

I hope you all have a fabulous week ahead, safe travels and happy snapping…

~ Julz

Regular Random, Five Minutes with some Cupcakes

I was actually a little spoiled for choice after my Sweet tooth workshop yesterday, after everyone left I was playing with what remained, we originally started with 6 beautiful cupcakes…


And yes I will admit to a little tampering, I did move them around, but hey I am creative like that LOL. I also was left with some macarons……..but that will be saved for next week.

For more info and to see Desley’s wonderful Pens she posted this week, visit her page

OH……….and no I did not eat any of them, aren’t I good?

~ Julz

Introducing – Pixel Sisters Studio

I have been hinting at something big being afoot again lately and now I can finally let you in it…..Drum Roll please;

Pixel Sisters

Desley (Desley Jane Pictures – and I have started a new business venture together, creating fun photography workshops for Melbourne based photographers. They say you should go big or go home, right? So we have been extremely busy of late, we have a brand new website –, a Facebook page and an Instagram Account. We are moving all this to a large professional photography studio in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs and the first workshop is set for 29th July, this has been a huge undertaking and a big adventure for both of us. Until then I am still running a couple of small workshops in my home studio, but it’s time to go big!


Our first Workshop is a Floral Fantasy Still Life and Macro, (honestly did you really expect anything else from us two?), but we are planning more workshops with varied themes, including; Desley’s Planner stuff and my Conceptual Portraiture, with lots of other fun stuff thrown in too. We will be catering to all levels of photographer, with an aim to getting beginners off auto and exposing seasoned photographers to different genres.

So if you are in Melbourne, check out what we have on offer and perhaps join us, if you live elsewhere in the world, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, as we will be posting lots of fabulous images and BTS stuff as well.

~ The Pixel Sisters (aka,  Julz and Desley)


Weekly Photo Challenge – Focus

I must admit I am actually finding it difficult to focus on anything at the moment. You know when something BIG is about to happen, the suspense is building and you find that you can’t sit still? That is my plight at the moment, so much is just about to happen and I’m currently chained to my day job – frustrating and annoying.

Back to the main point of this Week’s Photo Challenge – Focus, So scrolling through my archives I had lots to choose from, but these two caught my eye. Both are intensely soft focused, with just enough detail in the subject to catch the eye. The Helmeted Honeyeater in the flowers has his eye and beak in sharp focus, the rest of his body soft and the background is intensely out of focus, the blossoms are just focused enough to tell what they are. (This piece is also digitally painted over the top adding to the soft feel)

Julie Powell_Helmeted Honeyeater-1DSC_1659

This second one is a really high F/stop possible F/2.8 – F/3.5 sorry, I do not have the Exif data on the image. I often work with a high F/Stop, giving a lovely dreamy background to my images.

~ Julz