WPC – Admiration

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Admiration, and must admit after spending one weekend in Victoria’s Alpine Region I have a lot of admiration for the hardy men and women who forged this land. The Cattlemen (and Women) of the Victorian High Country led such rugged, harsh and lonely lives. True the grandeur of the area is undeniable, but I was there with clear skies and cold nights; no snow, no rain or storms and certainly no bush fires, which are known to ravage these lands.

Craigs Hut

This is Craig’s Hut, it is a replica built for the movie The Man From Snowy River, it is still fairly accurate in it’s construction (This is the fourth rebuild,  mostly lost to bush fires).

And this is Fry’s Hut built in the 1930’s and is the only remaining original bush hut in the high country.

Til next time, safe travels and happy snapping…



Daily Post – Solitude

I don’t often write a Daily Post anymore, but every now and again I go look at the topic and decide if I feeling like writing one, today I obviously did.


I rarely get solitude these days, I have been a wife and mother for 25 years, and peace and quiet and solitude is a rare and priceless commodity, as I am sure any Mother will tell you. At work I am often surrounded by people, at home there is always somebody around, even in my 15-20 minutes Zen time with a coffee after work on the back deck in the late afternoon sun, I am frequently not alone. My Dogs (and often the cats) follow me everywhere I go, even when I am in the studio creating I often have someone with me; cat, dog, daughter, friend.

I recently spent a night on top of a mountain, it truly is an experience, you should try it. I watched the sunrise on that mountain and in that cold frigid air I saw glimpses of true beauty, the solitude, the wilderness; I felt at peace. I was not alone on that mountain, but I found myself in my own bubble of solitude in the quiet, I guess everyone else felt the same, few spoke and when they did it was in quiet hushed tones; or maybe I just didn’t notice them. Once over, everyone reverted to the noisy humdrum of a groups of friends. I still stood there admiring the view, it was amazing, wanting that feeling of inner peace to last just a bit longer. These moments feed my soul and make me feel alive.

I remember in my late teens or early adulthood, I hated being alone, now I cherish the few rare times when I am truly alone. Sometimes I sit on my PC with my headphones on, working and listening to music………that is as close as I can usually manage towards solitude. My art, allows me to completely absorb myself and feel a sense of that calm and inner peace.



Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Hiding

This week’s Black and White theme is Hiding or Camouflage, these seals we spotted of the coast of New Zealand, near Akaroa were so well camouflaged against the rocks, I didn’t even notice them at first, it wasn’t til a few moved that we spotted them, and once we had them we saw they were everywhere!

Akaroa DolphinsAkaroa Dolphins

I know not technically B&W, but so monochromatic, I figured it worked :-). If I made them B&W the seals might disappear!


And then there is this little guy, I caught waiting for Momma to come back to the nest. Til next week, safe travels and happy snapping…


52 Week Project – Week 17

Week 17, Still Life.

I thought I would cover off two items with one shoot. Week 31 for My Be Still_52 was hanging bottles and my Week 17 was Still Life. So I cut a fresh Grevillea blossom from my garden and put it in a small glass bottle, which I then tied with hemp string and had it hanging on a towel hook over some natural coloured linen. All against the brickwall on the back deck with that gorgeous afternoon light. Also suits Friday Flowers…………..enjoy.


ISO 250, 50mm, F/4.5, 1/200 Seconds

Til next time, have a great weekend, safe travels and happy snapping…



Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge – Week 21, Landscapes

Has it really been 21 weeks?  Wow time does fly and I know we are only posting twice a month so I guess it has actually been longer. This week Cee asks us to concentrate on Landscapes and compositional rules.


Keep your horizon level.  We talked about this during our composition classes, but unless you want to give someone a headache or a queasy stomach, always level out your horizon.  There are a lot of free applications out there that will help you with that.

Show perspective.  Chris and I went to the Grand Canyon once and were really disappointed. It was a drizzly kind of a day, which flattened out everything we were looking at.  There wasn’t anything in our line of sight to give us perspective, or depth to what we were seeing.  It didn’t look like anything interesting.  I know that sounds plain crazy, but when what you are looking at is so immense, if you don’t have a frame of reference, your brain just yawns and looks for something else to entertain it.

I have just spent an amazing few days up in the Victorian Alpine Region, so I have plenty of photos I can use.

Craig's Hut

This first one is a 7 shot stitched panorama, but I love the whole vista spread out before you, the bushes the the left and in the foreground gives some depth, as does the mountain range in the background and the little hut gives a sense of scale.

This next image  I straightened the horizon line as much as possible, however with such mountainous terrain it is quite difficult to get it 100% straight.


The next two images are using rule of thirds as well as bottom 1/3. The horizon is difficult to get straight, due to the lay of the land, the fence and paths……..it’s all an optical illusion. In the end as long as the roof line looks mostly straight and the vertical post of the fence were straight, it’s about as good as it will get.


This next one was also a little difficult to get a straight horizon line………….I still feel a little like I’m sliding off the screen? I also left the car in for a sense of scale. Unfortunately you cannot see the angle of the incline in this image; picture it in Winter – it’s a major ski run!


The next two images definitely needed to be straightened, the bridge making it much easier to get a straight line, also used rule of thirds and left in some cars for scale, as well as the empty foreground in the bottom image to give a sense of scale to the draught affected lake.


Til next time, safe travels and happy snapping…



Cover Make Over – Breakfast In America

We have had another request, this time from Embeecee from sparksfromacombustiblemind. She put forward the music album Breakfast in American by Supertramp.

Supertramp_-_Breakfast_in_AmericaBreakfast in America is the sixth album by the English rock band Supertramp, released in 1979. It featured four U.S. Billboard hit singles: “The Logical Song” (No. 6), “Goodbye Stranger” (No. 15), “Take the Long Way Home” (No. 10), and “Breakfast in America” (No. 62). In the UK, “The Logical Song” and the title track were both top 10 hits, the only two the group had in their native country. Breakfast in America won two Grammy Awards in 1980. In France, the album is the biggest-selling English-language album of all time, and the third biggest seller overall.

Breakfast in America became Supertramp’s biggest-selling album with more than 6 million copies sold in the US alone and was No. 1 on Billboard Pop Albums Chart for six weeks in the spring and summer of 1979. The album also hit No. 1 in Norway, Austria, Canada and Australia. It was also their biggest album in the UK, reaching No. 3 (for five consecutive weeks) and remaining on the charts for exactly a year.


I decided for my version to go a little off book with some Vintage Advertisement graphics I found in my stash, so I had a little fun with it. Not usually my sort of thing, but hey why not go a little kitsch now and then?

Breakfast in America

Every week we get together and re create or completely make over cover art of a book, album or Movie Poster, feel free to join us, don’t forget to tag your post #CoverMakeOver and Pingback to this page so I can find you for next week’s wrap up.

New Covers are listed each Thursday and then I do a wrap up featuring all the artwork for that cover on the following Thursday. Also happy if anyone would like a to request a cover for us to attempt.


Cover Make Over – Wrap Up

Last week we did a Cover Make Over for the cult classic American beauty, love it or hate it, I think we all did our own version of ‘American Beauty’.

Trev from Silly Old Sod, decided to do a take on the film title as opposed to the actual cover, and I applaud him for that, just brilliant!

Anyway, I decided to make my cover on the first thing that came into my head as opposed to the storyline of the film. I chose an Oldsmobile car as to me, it’s an American beauty. The background is a silhouette of the New York skyline and I’ve added some simple clouds, some highlights to the cars headlights and the American flag. That’s about it. I hope you like it.


Sarah from First Night Designs, took an interesting approach to this cover and decided to focus on actor Kevin Spacey and not the Rose. I think the placement of the people, almost out of shot, it adds a sens of drama and the fonts are wonderful.

I knew I wanted to avoid a rose but what was my main focus going to be? I decided it was people so I swiped a slice from Tallulah Bankhead, a profile shot of Spacey from Wikipedia and set to work, the idea being that Spacey’s character is yearning for the out-of-reach schoolgirl (alright, so Bankhead was not a schoolgirl even when she was a schoolgirl). If knowing it’s Bankhead disturbs you, imagine she’s Spacey’s wife, Bening!

To be frank, I’m not enamoured of my treatment but — as so often — time was running out and I didn’t want to miss out, especially as I probably won’t be able to take part next week. Fonts used were Skia Regular for Sam Mendes, Bening and Spacey, Times New Roman for ‘American’ and Zapfino Regular for ‘Beauty’.


This is my version, although Jema is technically an Australian Beauty! Ran this image through a pencil sketch filter and added the rose and subtle colouring.

American Beauty

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Yellow and Red

This week’s theme for CFFC is Yellow and Red. I though instead of yellow objects and red objects in different images, I would try and find images with both colour…….not as easy as I thought; it turns out. Red is one of those colours that can be quite difficult to capture well. So here is my gallery of Yellow and Red for this week’s challengePicnic DinnerGasworks-3-5

Til next time, happy snapping…


Autumn Wanderings – Healesville Sanctuary Pt 2

Last week I did a post on our trip to Healesville Sanctuary, and posted mainly the Australian Animals. One of the highlights of this sanctuary is the birds of prey, Spirits of The Sky show, it is fabulous for any age, photographer or not. There were other, smaller predators, but they were so quick I either got blurry images or air 😦

Black Breasted Buzzard

This guy is so cool, he uses a rock to break open emu eggs (Which are extremely hard), to get his dinner.


This is a Barn Owl

Wedgetail Eagle (Aquila audax)

This has to be the coolest dude in the show, his latin name translates to Audacious Eagle, and he is………………sorry my American Friends, but our eagle is far superior, to your Bald Eagle.

  1. It is a proper Raptor eagle and not a Sea Eagle
  2. It is the largest confirmed eagle, a female was confirmed as having a wingspan of 284 cm ( 9 ft 4 in, ) Biggest Bald Eagle? Maybe 230 cm (7 ft 5″).
  3. It puts on unbelievably awesome aerial combat shows, including taking out hang gliders and para gliders!

We are oddly proud in Australia, that virtually any native animal, bird, mammal and insect, has the ability to be deadly to humans, even some of our sea-life are deadly. And don’t be fooled by how cute they are, we breed them tough here in Australia………just sayin’.

Til next time, safe travels, and happy snapping…



Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge – Season

According to Hugh’s post this week, has Hugh been abducted by Aliens and Ronovan stepped in, excuse my ignorance not sure who or what Ronovan is? Anyway Ronovan has set a theme for this week’s challenge: Season. So what is it a season for?

Well I live in Melbourne, Australia…that means Australian Rules Football season. Let me start by saying I am not a fan; in Melbourne it is probably sacrilegious to admit that, but it’s true. Also I have no photos!

But it is Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere, so that means the leaves are turning reds and golds and starting to fall, it is also mushroom season! Not a huge fan of eating mushrooms, nor picking them, but love to photograph them!

William Ricketts-Park-7-2Park-5-2