To clever for my own boots sometimes, I pre wrote this post for Photo 101Photo, as I was sure we would do Swarm again (we did in October 2014) Anyway I had the post, and I figure why not use it anyway? It was a fairly funny incident. So here it is;

Photo 101 -Swarm

This started out innocently enough at the time, a few pictures of seagulls, what harm could it do?

Lake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau

Lake Te Anau

Next thing I know I literally being mobbed by them, flying straight at the camera………..anyone would think I had hot chips????????????

This is my Swarm from last year, not particularly exciting really………oh well

– Julz

Lights, Camera, Action!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Show Must Go On.”

If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!).

Never the performer……….no way. I hate being in front of the camera, maybe as a kid I would ham it up and my Mum always said I was such a little actress, but these days I hate being in front of the camera. Can I be the camera woman? That’s what I wanted to be as a teenager a camera person at one of the TV Studios. I got the TV studio bit, but girls weren’t camera men back then, so I went into the film and graphics dept. So No, on the Camera woman? OK, so then I would be the director, if I couldn’t be the writer I would still need some creative context and that would be the director.

I suppose in some way being a photographer is like being a director, if you are shooting landscapes or even people you cannot ‘write’ the scene, you work with what you have been given and get as creative as possible. Some times you have to guide your subject to get the best out of them.Lauren's 21st-6They often complain they feel silly, but it creates fantastic shots. Don’t forget about candid shots too. When it comes to landscapes and scenery you may have to create a different mood or feel with lighting, that’s the directors job too isn’t it?

Family Time

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Food for the Soul (and the Stomach).”

Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations?

We don’t really have a favorite family meal, maybe my spaghetti bolognese, it’s more about family time. My children are adults now, living adult lives, even if they are living mostly at my house. But they usually at Uni during the day and working evenings, so we do not eat together very often. However when we do, it does not really matter what we eat. Sure we have our favorites and if I know everyone will be home for dinner on a particular night I always ask what every one wants. We have a very stable favs which get brought out every now and then

  • Grilled Lamb Back strap and Fried Rice
  • Chicken Schnitzel and Caesar Salad
  • Chicken and Beef Tacos
  • Spaghetti – either Chicken and Bacon Cabonara or Bolognese

But it is more about bonding time, than eating. We usually discuss current events or joke about who is doing what. Normally it is a light hearted affair, with lots of jokes and laughter. And if you add in some extended family or friends, it becomes a impromptu party.

One another note, when my children were smaller it was always a chance to sit down and discuss what was going in in their day to day lives, school, friends, reminiscing about stories of our youth. That sort of thing….family bonding time.

– Julz

Walking the line – 5 rules to live by

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Walk the Line.”

Have you got a code you live by? What are the principles or set of values you actively apply in your life?

There are quite a few sayings, morals, fables if you will, many of which I live by.

  1. Treat others as you would have them treat you – In general I do this to everyone, I treat them politely, with respect and courtesy. This is how I would like to be treated by complete strangers. You do not know me, my troubles, my joys, my life. So please be nice, share a smile, it does not hurt anyone to share a smile………and it might just make someone’s day! But if you are a complete a**hole……….expect it in return, in shades! I cannot tolerate rudeness and I will hand back two fold! Especially rude shop assistants/ clerks, drivers, random strangers on a street. You have no right to treat someone you have never met as dirt, regardless of the color of the skin, nationality, what clothing they are wearing, how skinny or fat, or any other possibly reason. But, if you are rude to me, do not expect me to be nice back.
  2. You get more bees with honey than vinegar – It is a continuation on number 1 in some ways. If you want something, ask nicely. Do not demand, ask and be polite. If you yell and scream or tell me to just do it, I will not react well. I do not really do this to other people and I do not like to have it done to me. So be polite and ask.
  3. Charity starts at home – I may not be popular with this one, but I believe in helping out my family and friends. There are so many charities and disasters these days, it is hard to know where to begin. It’s not that I don’t want to help, it just that if I give a little to everyone of them I have nothing left for me and my family. So I have a few trusted places I donate money too, Red Cross Shield Appeal, Good Friday Children’s Hospital – these are once a year and I always give my spare change. I will offer food and clothing for some natural disasters (if I can spare them) and help out with the CFA Xmas appeal. But apart from that I am sorry, but my family need to eat too.
  4. Honesty is the best policy – I am a terrible liar anyway, so if I do something wrong I will always confess. I am sorry but people who do the wrong thing (whether intentionally or accidentally) and then lie about it a very low. They usually get caught out anyway, so why go to all the trouble, the lying, the sneaking around, making up cover stories? I mean if you break something by accident, just admit it, mistakes happen. Apologies and move one. If you intentionally do something really bad………..perhaps you need to talk to someone who can help! Remember Karma is a bitch!
  5. Be True to yourself – this is probably the hardest one. As a child you don’t really know who you are, as a teenager you are just trying to fit in, as a young adult you are usually trying to ‘find’ oneself. It’s not until you are older, that you know who you are, what you want. It’s not until you have lived a little do we truly embrace the unique, strange and unusual. I guess what they say is true in a way, youth is wasted on the young!

So that is it, the 5 main rules I live by and tried to instill in my children. Not always easy, I am no angel, but I think they are good solid rules that apply to anyone. I don’t care where you come from, where you live, what nationality or religion you are, I think these rules should apply to everyone.

– Julz

Tales from Middle Earth

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “What a Twist!.”

Tell us a story — fiction or non-fiction — with a twist we can’t see coming.

I will not say this is fiction or non-fiction, let’s face it truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. It’s possibly an urban myth, but it’s still a great story, names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Johnny was late 20’s, possibly even early 30’s and lived at home with his parents, Mr & Mrs Smith. Johnny has Aspergers Syndrome (a form of autism), this made him a little bit socially awkward, among other things. He was completely obsessed with Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit, he would read the books and watch the movies over and over.  He would go down the the local nature reserve and and look for Hobbits, a relatively safe hobby as far as Mr and Mrs Smith were concerned. Johnny would go down at least once a week and his parents would ask him “how did you go” and Johnny would always reply “nothing”. Then one day they came home to find Johnny sitting on the front step, so agitated and excited, they had never seen him this way before. He was up and running toward them before they could even stop the car. Clearly something was up! “I found one, I found one!” Johnny was screaming at them and pointing at the side gate, urging them on, “quick, come see” and started running toward the gate. Mr and Mrs Smith quickly followed suit and went with Johnny to the back garden shed. They could hear a raucous from inside and wondered what on earth was in there.

When Johnny threw open the door, inside was indeed a Hobbit,  trussed up and locked in the garden shed! On closer inspection it was not a Hobbit, but a dwarf. Johnny had never seen a dwarf and had assumed the poor guy randomly wandering the park that morning was a real life Hobbit. Mr and Mrs Smith just stood there for a minute looking at the dwarf, not really even registering what was going on for a minute or two. They just stood there in stunned dis belief. This poor man looked up at them and started trying to make noise and kick things around (he was gagged and tied up). Eventually, Mr Smith came out of his fog and quickly un-gagged and and untied this man, apologized the whole time.  The Dwarf was furious and once untied, immediately started yelling and called the police to say he had been kidnapped and held prisoner against his will. Mrs Smith just stood there in shock. Poor Mr Smith was trying to calm this gentleman down and explain the situation, Johnny had not meant any harm.

When the police finally turned up, Mr and Mrs Smith( who had finally collected her thoughts by this time) explained to them about Johnny, his social awkwardness, his obsession with Hobbits and the fact that he had never seen a dwarf before. The Police, obviously trying not to laugh about the whole incident, were taking down every word and trying to convince the dwarf not to press charges. It was very tense and stressful time, of which Johnny could not cope with and had left the scene, amongst all the yelling and screaming. Eventually the poor man calmed down and agreed not to press charges. It was agreed by all parties (except Johnny) that Hobbit hunting was no longer allowed. So that anyone could walk through the park and not be kidnapped.

– Julz

Black and White 5 Day Challenge – Day 5

Day 5 – All done. Thanks Chilly Bella for Nominating me

Last but not least my beautiful new model Miss T


For Day five I challenge Taylor Vincent from Darkroom Nerd, I really like his images and would love to see more of his work

So Taylor, the criteria is to post a black and white photo for 5 days and then to challenge another blogger to do the same, are you up for it?

There is no pressure to accept this challenge. After all it is for fun 🙂

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 |

– Julz

Photo101 – Triumph

Sometimes it are the little things that are triumphant, that really make a big difference. Not everything is about the Big Things in life. And if nothing else Triumph is intensely personal.

A few weeks ago I was out on a shoot at Cape Schanck, Victoria with some Photographic friends with Social Snappers. I had commented that I really wanted to learn how to use ND Filters and take some long exposure photos. I had tried my self, but just couldn’t get the hang of it. Under the Guidance of Leanne Cole she walked me through the steps, not really hard once things are explained, I guess. Just need some practice. Anyway after many blurry attempts I was quite happy to product two photos. Not the most exciting to be sure, but they are my personal triumph and I was excited by them.

Cape Schank & Pulpit Rock

Picnic Dinner

If you would like to read more on my ND shoot, you can find it here Using ND Filter for the first time.

My other personal triumph this month was a properly set up studio shoot with a 7y.o girl, 2 large dogs and some snakes. I have not really done much in the way of portrait photography, but was keen to try. I was extremely happy with the final result, as were her parents. I now have a new model for whenever I wish to Play (especially dress up!) For more on Tales from the Photo shoot, read here


Here is my Triumph from last time

So what was your Triumph this month?

– Julz

Close, but No Cigar

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “But No Cigar.”

Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

If you had the chance to do it all again, would you? Would you do it all the same or make changes? It’s a philosophical debate that has been going on for years. The butterfly effect, if you changed just one thing you may not be WHO you are today or even where you are today. I may not be happy with every step my journey has taken, but I am happy with where I have ended up, for the most part. You can play ‘What if’ til the cows come home, but is that really going to make a difference?

There are critical points in one’s life, I guess you could call them cross roads, whether it be a person, a job, even a chance party that could change your life forever. I have had a few of these, that changed my life in big and small ways, some good, some bad. If I were to change just one, even a really bad one, what would happen? If I were to life my live differently, how different would I make it?

One of these was a job I had, and a part of my life that almost ended in my downfall, to be honest the fact that I made it through relativity unscathed physically and alive is a minor miracle. I did things and got into situations that were dangerous, really dangerous. I was a wild & rebellious teen and young adult, I was far from good or perfect (not that any of us are), my job, my associates, I guess I would call them, as my true friends either tried to steer me straight and I left them behind or they gave me a very wide berth, were getting me into a lot of trouble, the guy I was seeing encouraged that. It was one of those wild, passionate, fiery relationships they write about in movies, but never end well. Ours wasn’t the Romeo & Juliet kind of ending, but it was messy and ugly. In our separation he won the associates and in the end my job (we worked together). I lost site of myself and became an introvert. Some of my real friends took me back, patched me up, cleaned me up and got me on my feet. That whole relationship made me take stock of who I was and where I was going. Eventually I came back into the light of day (hadn’t seen much daylight for while to be honest),  In some ways I was born again out of that fiery hell.There was one thing that happened, one point in time I can put my finger on (the ugly details are not important), my relationships probably would not have imploded. How long would we have lasted? Would we have survived or become a statistic? We were heading down a dark, stormy road of death and destruction. If we had stayed together it would have been nasty…….really nasty. We were like each other’s kryptonite.

The funny thing about all this is, as ugly and painful as it all was, it eventually lead me to Moth, my children and my current friends. I ran into him about 15 years ago, our relationship was hell on him too, our separation was a slap in his face to get cleaned up as well. It just took him a bit longer to react to the slap. He eventually got cleaned up and he even got married and had kids too. He left the job, it didn’t help either of us, it was a bad situation. The meeting was chance but it was good, as over the years I had turned him into the villain, the monster in the cupboard, but he was none of those…he was a victim of circumstance, just like me. We parted as friends, but we have never seen each other since. I still wonder about him on occasion, I hear an old song on the radio, or randomly pass a spot we’d been. Some of it I can recall fondly, but mostly it’s just fragments of a miss spent youth.

So would I change any of it? I doubt it. It made me a stronger person, it showed me who my true friends are and it brought me to Moth and the girls…………so no I wouldn’t change a thing.

– Julz

Black and White 5 Day Challenge – Day 4

Day 4 – Seagull………..I think this was shot somewhere in NZ, but it could have been here as well?


For Day four I challenge Stacy Fisher from Visual Venturing, I really like her images and would love to see more of her work

So Stacy, the criteria is to post a black and white photo for 5 days and then to challenge another blogger to do the same, are you up for it?

There is no pressure to accept this challenge. After all it is for fun 🙂

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 |

– Julz