Monday Musings

Another weekend over, Saturday was such horrible weather I really did play chicken and stayed home, some of my fellow TOGS braved the weather for the annual Zombie Walk, but alas this year I did not attend, again. One day I will get there. So Saturday was spent doing some useful things (I hope), I have created my own Vimeo and Youtube Channels  (I hope the links work)……no voice overs as yet, but there are two quick edits showing my work flow for a couple of pieces. So that is kind of exciting.

On Sunday we took some friends to Alowyn Gardens in Yarra Glen, after the storms, wind, hail and rain yesterday the gardens were a little washed out and disappointing, but it was still a lovely morning. We then popped next door to the Chocaltiere – yes, a chocolate factory, with dairy and gluten free yummies on offer, as well as a sumptuous lunch overlooking the valley……..the sun even made an appearance as we sat on the heated deck. We then headed to Camelot Castle in Yellingbo. I have often passed this place, and wondered what delights were inside, today it was open to the public for a Medieval festival. To be honest the ‘Castle’ was just  gloried function rooms and not much of a castle, but the costumes and such were wonderful, I met a new friend and discussions are underway for some exciting events and possibilities in the future. Can’t say much just at the moment; more surprises!

As we were so close we stopped at Mount Burnett, the Observatory was closed – but the view from the top of the hill over the valley is one of my favourites, well worth the detour. We then made our way home to a coffee and normality of going back to work in the morning.

Well that’s about it for today, will post more soon, til next time, I hope you have a great week and happy snapping…

~ Julz

Now for something completely different

I’m excited to announce my new Vimeo Channel! Yes I am now making a few videos of HOW I create my artwork, starting with just a few Quick Edit Videos.


My very first video is for Zebra Time, sorry no mic, just yet so only music in the background. Check it out, more to come. And for those who inspired me to attempt this new phase (you know who you are) THANK YOU. Again another learning curve.

Til next time, happy snapping…

~ Julz

See Differently 14-15

Almost at the end of this fabulous challenge, of course there is no reason to stop seeing the world a little differently, just because the challenge is over🙂 OK So this is probably THE WORST photo I have EVER taken, but just look at the swirly patterns and colours……normally I would just delete this. It was hailing and I looked out the study window, (right next to me) and saw it had just started hailing, it was windy, wet, awful day here in Melbourne and then … it started hailing, so I grabbed my Phone.  There is something almost hypnotic about the blurry image.


I even got up and took some video out the back glass door, overlooking the deck………I hope it works.

P.S. that’s my daughter complaining in the background she had to run to her car in that, so she could drive to work! Poor thing. At least the hail was small and it didn’t last long.

P.P.S. Why is it my phone seems to take better video than photos?

~ Julz


Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – It’s all about Nature

Cee’s B&W Challenge this weeks focuses on Nature, here is a gallery of various pics taken on our travels


The ‘jump off’ Hang Glider ramp near Mt Donna Buang


Fog and Mist on the Road the Mt Donna Buang

Twizel, Pelaanor Fields

As the rain approaches Pelanner Fields, near Twizel in New Zealand


Cattle Jetty Point Nepean


Kendall in the grass, enjoying nature


Outback landscape, somewhere in Victoria

Til next time, happy snapping…

~ Julz

Furbaby Friday…

Wow had has been a tumultuous couple of weeks with my Fur Babies, where to start, perhaps with the dogs;

real life-1-3


real life-1-2


My Eldest daughter is currently in the US on holiday and they are both sulking and missing her terribly, she is their second Mum. Buddy has been responding really well to a new (miracle) drug Cartrophen for his arthritis, he has gone from a cripple to climbing onto table tops like a naughty puppy. They tell me it doesn’t work for every animal (we put our cat Teddy on it and did not work as well), but Buddy is the poster child. Except on the way home from his latest vert check he launched out of the back of the SUV and now has hurt his back/ back leg…….I am watching him some times he is fine and other times not; but he is known for really hamming things up to get more attention and with my daughter away he is after LOTS more attention. Chloe’s eyes are gradually getting a little worse as she gets a little older, nothing can be done, but she is mostly happy; just startles easily.

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Wow, Zorro is at his sleekest he has ever been and back to sneaking out of the house and property when the chance is taken. Still a big sook, but standing up for himself these days. That includes beaten up on the other cat and dogs. Often he gets a timeout and is locked up in the laundry. We use a cat pheromone spray to help keep him calm; works well.

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Ted E Bear

Teddy was born with a busted up tail which never healed properly, by the time we rescued him there was not much we could do, either amputate or leave it and see what happens; we took the latter. What happened was arthritis….we tried the Cartrophen drug, but he has bad side effects and it puts him off his food, also it is not helping as much as we would like. He is in pain as his tail will not bend and it is difficult to sit down and even use the kitty litter. So an extended visit with the vet, we have had a blood test taken to check his liver and kidneys are all OK to do an anaesthetic for X-rays. Found elevated kidney proteins, needed a urine sample! A urine sample from a cat, seriously…………..oh my 22 hours that cat held on while locked in a laundry with an empty litter tray and a bowl of water, just to entice him to ‘go’. Urine sample showed evidence of infection. So a course of antibiotics is required, only one thing worse than giving a cat tablets, is giving a cat tablets that hates you for locking him in the laundry for 22 hours so you could collect a urine sample with NO cat litter………….so we opted for a more expensive injection, still had to catch him and take him the the vet for his shot. We still need another urine sample in 2 weeks and we still have not even done the X-rays yet! If it was not so expensive and painful, it would be hilarious.

Next is the turtles……..Sheldon is big and strong and weighs 178 grams and is 15cm in diameter and you need two hands to hold him, considering he was no bigger than a 50 cent piece when we bought them home; Sheldon is thriving.Crush unfortunately is not doing so well, a month or so ago he cut his leg, turtles are cold blooded so they do not fight infection as well as normal pets, so oral antibiotics and antiseptic baths. Only thing harder than giving a cat tablets, is giving a baby turtles drops! My Children thought it was hilarious, it was a nightly battle that took two people. Honestly he is half the size of Sheldon and ALL Attitude (aarrgghh!) All cleared up after a few weeks. Then he started getting funny marks on his back feet, it looked like something was chewing his feet……..after a few vet visits and more drops and more anti fungal creams and baths, we discovered the root of the problem – Sheldon was eating him! OH MY GOD! Seriously?  Apparently turtles get cannibalistic tendencies when they think they are threatened or don’t have enough space. So now they both have their own tank, Crush who was not eating and was losing weight, was so stressed out and in so much pain, poor little bugger, but now in his own big boy tank he will hopefully thrive like Sheldon is doing. Even after a few days in his new tank he is again eating and seems so much happier and his feet are healing; he will probably never be whole, but with us looking after him and keeping him away from Sheldon, he will hopefully now live a long happy life.


So that has been my very expensive, tortuous and stressful couple of weeks, thank goodness I have my art and photography, otherwise I would be freaking out.

~ Julz


52 Week Challenge – Week 42

This week’s challenge was green. Green in Spring, that means fresh grass, leaves, gardens, there are pale green buds burgeoning and softest green flowers peaking through the trees and garden beds……… I went into the studio, closed doors, curtains, turned off the lights and played with Christmas lights, martini glass and cocktails and long exposures🙂


ISO 100, 24mm, F/4.0, 2.5 seconds

My Lights are those one that run on a cycle, change colour and then flash and then new colour, flash, new colour etc…….I’m sure you get the picture, so I got mostly reds, mostly green…dsc_2603

Then at the end of the set they all come of and flash, this was shot on black perspex with a blackboard painted ply as the backdrop. Camera on a tripod  and my wireless remote trigger.dsc_2614

It just goes to show, you don’t need anything fancy to make amazing pictures, just some time and a little effort (well I did have to dig the lights out).

~ Julz

See Differently 13- 15

Some of us have been Seeing the World with Different Eyes this month, sharing 15 images which depict the weird, the surreal, the strange and always the beautiful; a play of light and shadow, the very small.

This afternoon I was looking at the gorgeous Spring skies on my way home from work, strange high cloud, wispy and light. I noticed how de-saturated the sky gets when looking towards the sun, and how bright it appears looking the other way.


OK, so nothing new here, but today it just seemed……….so pretty, so calming, so Summer like, it is even lovely and warm about 24c. I live for weather like this, shame I was stuck inside my office all day. Still have a cuppa on the back deck while I post this. Both pics captured on Sony Smartphone and edited in PS Express.

Want to join us, there is still time, visit Robyn at Captivate Me for more info

~ Julz

Light Sculpting – Review

A little while ago, while taking part in an online class I discovered Light Sculpting Still Life, I wrote a post on my Still Life blog here. I discovered a few different artists creating work this way, but I was particularly struck by Harold Ross. I spent a month (well more actually) watching his tutorials, looking at his work and actually conversing with him via email. Unfortunately for me he lives in the states, but his work on Still Life and Landscapes is truly stunning.


Harold Ross Fine Art

This style of images spoke to me, in a way very differently from other types of Still Life, and it was something I was very keen to have a try, I did not have anything to re create it with.

“Light Painting (or Sculpting) requires working in a completely dark studio, opening the camera for extended periods of time, and ‘painting’ the light onto the subject. This reveals greater shape, texture and colour, and is very much sculpting with light.” – Harold Ross

The system Harold Ross uses is quite expensive, he also now makes and sells his own version, also still expensive, I had no idea if I would be any good at it, it looks quite complex. So a Friend of mine (who is very clever with lights) offered to make a prototype version for me. This is it here on the left, it doesn’t look like much, but it is VERY, VERY cool.


It has multiple RGB LED down one side, I can have white, seperate colours, or a combination of various LEDs.See same rose shot with various colour LED combinations, below.


I started out small and have been gradually working my way up. It can also be used in conjunction to poor natural light for a softer look.


Now the images are becoming more complex, not so much as the subject, but the way it is shot and processed.


Single shot with light source


Multiple Shot and Multiple exposure blended in Photoshop


Single shot, multiple lights, multiple exposure


Multiple shot, multiple exposure, multiple lights types, blending in Photoshop for maximum Shadows and Highlights

It is critical that the subject remains constant and the camera is set up on a tripod, I have a slight halo in the last image as I must have knocked the tripod during a shot. Sure I could have deleted it, but then that’s not what this experiment is all about.

Now remember you are working in almost complete darkness, so you need to first set up your shot, get your focus and then turn the lights off and play with various exposure settings. The aperture should most likely remain the same, although I did play with mine to get various different effects for DOF as well as light.I also use a wireless trigger, so as not to bump or move the camera (in theory). Because you are working in the dark and moving the light wand, it disappears from the shot, if you ‘see’ the light, then you’ve stuffed up and need to re shoot. Sometimes, like when you are after highlights you can mask the wand (or your hand) out of the shot in Photoshop.


This is what happens when it doesn’t work properly……….you can see the light 


Now I know if you look at my attempts and then go back to Harold’s image they are worlds apart, but he has been at it for years and years, I have only had a few attempts……’s a LARGE learning curve on this one and I am also inventing a little bit as I go. I am hoping to perhaps run a workshop or two on this next year. So I better get back to it. No doubt I will post a few more images along the way. I just adore the soft, almost painterly effects you can achieve with just light.

~ Julz



See Differently 12 – 15

Ooh only three images to go……this has been a really interesting challenge, very different from the normal pretty pictures I know I usually post, I have found that I can look at the most uninteresting and mundane objects with a new eye and see the beauty in something as simple as a play on light………and more often than not it has been. I have also mostly used my Sony Smart Phone camera and the Lenka App, pushing myself to take interesting with the most simplest of tools.

But, today was different, today I got out the SLR. This spark has been banging around in my brain for awhile, just had to DO IT. Have you ever looked at a party sparkler? No I mean REALLY looked? they are fascinating, seriously! This shot is simple enough, light three sparklers and place them in glass jars, I put them on black perspex to create a reflection and placed black chalk board behind to help absorb the light.


I had to take several photos to get the exposure right, such bright light in the dark (yes lights off, once focus is set). Granted some of the whites are over exposed, but I love the way it looks light fire flies in jars, not Photoshop here folks, just some good fun. PS I am not sure if the glass jars will survive, quite scorched and the there is a residue of phosphorous (or whatever) is on the sparklers on the perspex, I am yet to try and remove! Yikes……..also the smell in the studio……….woah nelly; stinks to high heaven lol.

For more information check our Robyn’s Page

~ Julz

P.S. If you are going to try this watch your lens, perhaps even put on a cheap filter if you are planning on getting close………..these sparklers can seriously do some damage.