One Four Challenge – November in Review

We sneaked in another Monday in November and December is review month for the One Four Challenge hosted by Robyn at Captivate me, although it was hosted by Nic in November, and I must say – Great Job, well done! So I thought I would sneak in another edit as I promised I might. So I will do a Review on Novembers images and add in an extra edit.

I ran various edits and pushed my creativity to new heights in November (well I think I did anyway), with my old truck, which I went to great lengths to capture (refer week 1 post) for the full story.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4 is by far my favoured image, it was something I had not really attempted to this level before, I felt that it was no longer a photo but a piece of art, I could happily print that on a canvas and hang on a wall.

Western Port Bay District

Week 4

But I thought there was one more edit to do, a simple one, just a plain B&W………I had not done that at all this month and it is usually my go to at the end of the month………so here is my B&W, enjoy

Western Port Bay District

Western Port Bay District

I took the original unedited photo and ran through Topaz Impressions Charcoal filter, tweaked a few setting and then in PS added a textured background and using a custom brush and a masking layer I removed some of the edge and let the background come through.

Til next time, happy snapping…….

– Julz

Manic Mondays

Things are starting to fall into place for the final mad dash to Christmas. I ran a Christmas photo session for kids on the weekend, set up a heap of lights and props in the studio, made everything very Christmas bling-bling.

And if all that wasn’t hectic enough on Sunday me and my Daughters thought the Fur babies needed their Christmas photos done too!

Xmas 2015-7

HuffleI also have a new weapon in my arsenal, his name is Huffle the Hedgehog. He’s a hand puppet, so far the slightly older kiddies love him, the newborns don’t seem terribly excited – tough crowd those newborns, very hard to please. Although my latest little angel seems to like Christmas lights and cow bells? Anyway, back to Huffle, I bought him to get kid’s attention, I am still to master the use of him with my left hand (still need my right to shoot, even using a remote).

Not much more to say, here’s hoping you all have a brilliant week, til next time, Happy Snapping………..


WPC – Transition

[tran-zishuhn, –sish-]
1. movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change: the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is transition, Well you cannot get much more of a transition than pregnancy, my Mumma to be delivered early at 37 weeks, so we never got a full term picture.


Here he is at 14 days young; Xavier

Til next time, happy snapping……….


Photoshop Artistry – Part 4

Never one to do things by halves, when I decide to do something I jump in head first and usually give 110% (sure, sure it’s a mathematical impossibility, but I specialise in that!) So when I saw and then signed up for the Photoshop Artistry Course (which is roughly 26 weeks) I launched myself into, as well as a few additional course to boot!

I have learnt so much after 3 Modules, it’s amazing, already have I seen my skills and art grow, I am still working my way through the various Weekly Challenges. Module 4 encompassed more on reading material and things to ponder about, like marketing, social media, to sell or not to sell, pricing, elements of composition and various other things. One was entitled ‘Taking your Time’ , maybe I should go re read it lol. Therefor there is no real assignments as such for this module. It has given me the courage to put my art more out ‘there’, ask for what I believe in, accept praise which I believe I am due, to stop listening to the naysayers (whether they feel threatened, challenged, or are just plain bullies), I do not need them, I have my own voice, through my art.

Challenge 12 – Your “Artist Card” or Canvas Display Card
Challenge 13  – Summer and Winter
Challenge 14 – The Lost Page of a Secret Childhood Journal
Challenge 15 – Conveying a Story of Loss
Challenge 16 – A Powerful New Habit or Change

Between the freebies from this course (and there a loads) and other stuff I have created, accumulated and even bought, I now have a huge back catalogue of fonts, textures, backgrounds, layers etc. As well as the skills to use them all, I am excited about what the future will bring. I would like to say a special thanks to those who encouraged me to take the leap which they had done. I am sure I will re-visit various Module elements, from time to time to brush up on skills; it really is a fabulous resource to have. I have also signed up already for Awake 2016 (the follow up course), I cannot wait! Thanks for following my journey.


I can’t stay mad at you – Hell! Yes I can

I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges or do you

believe in forgive and forget?

Apparently it’s one of my least redeeming qualities (according to Moth), but yes I can hold a grudge, and hold it for a very long time! I don’t hold with the whole forgive and forget scenario on the biggies, sure little things like, who ate the last chocolate biscuit, or who forgot to empty the dishwasher………..that’s just life not pain, dishonesty, treachery, mistreatment, malice or bullying.

I can forgive and forget those little annoyances, it’s the big ones I can’t. Fool me once, shame on you…………you rarely (if ever) get a second shot. I guess it does not help that I often wear my heart on my sleeve, I have a (bad) habit of wanting to see the best in people, who have yet to prove themselves worthy, and I have a terrible time not taking insults personally. Some may call this passive – aggressive behaviour, but is it? Really?

It doesn’t mean I am plotting revenge, I don’t necessarily dwell on it (well sometimes I do), but once bittern I will never trust you again and in some cases I never want to see your face again. An Apology goes a long way, yes, in some circumstances I may forgive (depending on the person and the deed), but I will never forget. I can even come to an uneasy truce with certain people, because of family or other friends, just because I am polite, and don’t sit there plotting your downfall, don’t think I have forgiven nor forgotten your misdeed.

Don’t get me wrong I am not Saint Julie, I am not perfect and sure I stuff up from time to time, I (try to) admit when I am wrong and I apologize if I have hurt someone, or was not there to support them in their time of need, I missed a Birthday or anniversary. Sometimes we unintentionally hurt the ones we love, when we get caught up in our own life. But if you treat me badly, treat me as nothing but dirt, someone to take your crap, then you are looking at the wrong person.

I am also a big believer in Karma, sometimes she is slow, but she is methodical; you treat me like shit, it will come back on you ten fold. Hopefully I will be there to see it, but then if you are deemed not worthy to be in my life, I wont Ce sera sera!


Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

awardAn award was sent to me by my blogging friend Leya at To See a World in a Grain of Sand

I am not a big fan of sending out awards, it’s not that I don’t appreciate other people’s blogs, I do, but the first few times I felt like I was putting a burden on people to carry it on as a form of chain mail. But it is nice to be appreciated, and I do say that your kind words and comments are all the appreciation I need, but I will thank Leya and her kind thoughts. I will try and answer all questions, but I won’t be forwarding it on. I hope you don’t all mind. I know a lot of people don’t like to participate.


The answers to the questions that address the award rules are:

How would you describe what your blog is about?

My blog is about my travels, my art and my photography, with a little about my life and family thrown in; but not too much.

Do you see your blog changing (as in expanding or developing in any way) at some stage in the future?

I actually used to have two blogs, one for challenges and writing and one for photos, but I merged them into one. My Blog has evolved so much over the last 12 months already, I really don’t see it changing much now.

Do you write your blog posts straight onto the WordPress page or onto a word document first?

Straight into WordPress, I can edit and pre schedule my posts if I choose so I seldom pre write anything. I have a calendar, which I roughly use to pre map out the month’s blog ahead of time and write to notes about future I want to write or places I want to visit (and then write about).

When you write, do you need to be on your own or are you happy to write with others around you?

I am usually on my own, but I don’t care if there are other around, as long as they are not looking over my shoulder – that’s just creepy!

Which is your favourite species of tree, and why do you like it?

Not really ‘into’ trees, but I would have to say from an artistic point of view I quite like an Australian Ghost Gum, a Wattle Tree, frangipani, grevillea. 

If you were to have a day out somewhere easily reachable from your home, where would it be?

This is a difficult one, as I frequently have days out and they are all different. I love the beach, but I do not lay on the sand and sunbake with a book. I love to explore rocky beaches and tide pools. However I am also very at home in a forest, the lush dense rain forest around my home are some of my favourites.

Which ‘celebration’ (annual or otherwise) in the country where you live do you enjoy the most?

I guess My favourite is Christmas, there is always something exciting about Christmas, and it is not juts the gifts, Christmas marks the start of Summer here, warmth weather, lazy days, holidays, BBQs, friends and family, I love the Christmas lights, and the happy attitude everyone seems to have.

Which way would you choose to travel, given the choice: car or train?

I don’t really like the train much, but then I have only ever been on short, crowded city bound trains. I have never been on anything like the Orient Express or the Ghan (in Australia)or over the Rocky Mountains, it might be fun. 

Which subject did you enjoy the most at school?

Easy Art! and I also enjoyed english and ancient history, I especially like ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian history.

What do you think is the best thing about being a woman today?

I am free to make my own choices. I can be a Mother, a wife, a lover, a friend, a boss, a leader, a co worker, an artist, a business woman. I may not have always made the right choices, but I was free to make my own way and make my own mistakes, no one chose for me.

Thank You Leya, perhaps my readers and blogging friends will now know a little bit more about me.


Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Things that fly

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge this week is anything that flies. Technically it’s a Monochrome piece, not quite B&W, but Almost (so I am being a bit cheeky)!! I actually took this shot when I first got my camera, I still really like it. It’s not the world’s great shot, not quite sharp as it could be, but it is expressive and a reminder of where I came from.

Grant's Park

Til Next time, happy snapping…….


Tech Talk – Tamron 90mm Macro Lens Review

90mm Tamron

90mm Tamron

A little while ago I bought a Tamron 90mm Macro lens, an early Christmas Present (yes Moth got a new lens too! But that’s another post), and as much as I was excited to get it and use it, I really have not had much of a chance to do anything with it! So I carved out some time recently to spend with my new little friend, although he really isn’t that little!

At 405g (14oz) and 9.7mm (3.8″) it’s not that little. It has 9 diaphragm blades and f/2.8 (macro 1:1), so it is quite a jump from my 50mm prime (I still love my nifty 50!)………. I really wanted something that would create a lovely bokeh effect (9 blade diaphragm is supposedly very good for this), and something I can shoot my flowers and things with, not so much bugs (not really a bug person), but I also like random textures, rusted nails sticking out of wood, that sort of thing.  You can get  all the specs here from Tamron. It is supposed to be the lightest 90mm lens on the market (at the time of purchase, [Canon 600g, the Sigma 450g]). add that to the weight of my D7100 and it’s fairly hefty!

I know when shooting macro, you are better off to use a tripod, but honestly I often find it a pain, as I am down low, or on a really strange angle, which I cannot get the tripod at. Tripod is OK for still life type shots, but for the everyday shots I am OK with out the tripod…………….unless I want to attempt a stacked shot. I find it is also really nice for portraits (well of the dog anyway 🙂 )I find it is a little soft, not as crisp as my Nikon 50mm, I have found that with some lenses (Sigma and Tamron) where as with the Nikons, they are all super sharp. I don’t mind, perhaps I need to play with the manual focus a little more?

til next time, happy snapping…………..