Share Your World – Jan 30th 2017

joyful-flight

Joyful Flight

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person? Are you kidding? Oh My where to start, sun rises over Uluru and Kata Juta, sun rising over The Remarkables (NZ) with fresh snow, Milford Sound (NZ), helicopter flight over Kings Canyon (NT) New Zealand (take your pick too many spot to choose), 12 Apostles (great Ocean Road), Cape Tribulation, Church of the Good Shepherd. Stop me now…

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How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order? [I refuse to admit, that I actually have an older brother] – Only child with a dead head/idiot in the family somewhere. You cannot pick and choose your family, Huh? What a crock, my friends are my family and I have a wonderful family.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why? Flip Flops (we call them thongs here in Australia)……I live in them Winter or Summer, so comfortable and reliable, but when they snap…………you KNOW it!

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten? I am a bit of a sook sometimes, if it wriggles I am not overly interested……however I have had witchetty grub soup……tastes a lot like peanut butter. I have also had snake, croc, emu, buffalo, and kangaroo.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?  I am so grateful to all my friends (see above aka family) who came to say hello and support me at my gallery exhibit last Friday.

This selfi is just a few! I was also grateful for a four day weekend, I wish we had more of them! This week, I am an open book……….it feels really weird, last year just about every weekend was booked up with stuff, this year I am taking things a little slower, but I am working hard behind the scenes to get new projects started and other exciting things happening.

~ Julz

Tuesday’s Textures…

The Month 5 challenge for my Kaizen Group was Juxtaposition

jux·ta·po·si·tion
[juhk-st uh-p uhzishuhn]
NOUN 1. an act or instance of placing close together or side by side, especially for comparison or contrast.
2. the state of being close together or side by side.

I always thought it meant putting two things together that you would not expect, or placing an object in a scenario you would never expect……..for instance a woman in a red dress sitting on a flooded floor saving a rubber duck! I mean seriously it makes no sense…….sure it’s a fun image but not logical.

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Rubber Duckie

My other images for this month I will do in separate posts, as they have become a series of their own; The Red Dress and What Happened to Super Woman?

To be perfectly honest, apart from for the fun of it, what this challenge is all about……I am sure it will be explained in the fullness of time, some of the images from other people in the group are truly creative and loads of fun.Maybe the point was just to have fun?

~ Julz

Pomegranates…

When was the last time you looked at a Pomegranate? Or ate one? Me………..I honestly cannot remember the last time I had one, but they bring back fond memories of days in the sun in the Mediterranean. I actually cannot remember where, possibly Greece, I have the fondest memories of Greece, or it could have been Italy; sangria and eating cold pomegranates in the sun; I was a child – the where  was not important at the time, and I guess now it isn’t either.

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I bought some today, as I thought they would A/ be fabulous for dark and Moody fruit, but B/ I want to taste them again, remember the sounds, the tastes, the smells of my childhood……….kind of silly I guess. I honestly cannot remember them being quite this messy………looks like a murder scene lol, and I seem to remember them having more ‘fruit’, oh but the taste, that taste completely transported me….oh how I remember that sweetness, I am no poet but it was like sunshine in my mouth (I hope that doesn’t sounds gross lol).

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Isn’t that just decadent and luscious? Those colours, that texture……most of these images are SOOC, I didn’t have the hear to alter them, just so perfect.

To see even more of my Still Life photography, check out my Blog Still Life – Room to Breathe

~ Julz

 

Monday’s Musings…

We had a four day weekend starting with Australia Day on Thursday…….we celebrated by getting up at 3:30am to shoot sunrise at Flinders (an hour away), sunrise was sadly a no go, but I did get a few lovely photos, pre dawn. We walked along the beach, and took some photos and just existed, something about the sounds, the smells, the essence of the beach and the waves, the gulls – everything; it rejuvenates me. It then started to rain and we were very tired, so we went home for a nap! Didn’t do much for the rest of the day, too tired for fireworks and festivities, I’m not big on crowds anyway.

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Friday was the Opening for my gallery exhibit…….huge crowds turned out, it was all very exciting. I had artist friends and photography friends stop by to see the exhibit, say hello and wish me luck, it was wonderful. I also had some very dear friends stay with me most of the night…

These photo all courtesy of Beck Faldon – Photographer, we then kicked on from there with a late dinner in Lygon Street – pizza of course! I have not sold anything as yet, but hopefully…….it’s on for another 2 weeks.

Saturday I had to run some errands and dropped into the market for a few things (among them fresh flowers – seems to be a weekly thing), I found these gorgeous quail eggs……….oh my how delicate and colourful and perfect. Top it off with these stunning tri colour dahlias!!!!!!!!!! Oh be still my beating heart; macro at the ready.

I of course then spent the afternoon playing with eggs and flowers, Moth enjoyed some quality time with the PS4 and Assassin’s Creed in air conditioned comfort.

Sunday was again quiet, a lovely relaxing end to a perfect weekend. This week will also be fairly quiet, not much on, I hope to visit some else’s art exhibit next weekend, but apart from that my schedule is completely open….seems so strange. I am sure it will change quick enough!

I hope you all have an amazing week…

~ Julz

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Repurpose

For this week’s WPC the theme is re-purpose, and I suppose as a Still Life photography (amongst numerous other things) I re-purpose a LOT. Jam and pickle jars, old cooking pans and utensils, old crates, vases, tea cups and saucers people throw away; I spend hours at thrift stores re-purposing things all the time.

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As a photographer, I capture moments in time, but I also get to create beauty with things other people considered rubbish………in the end I guess that really is re-purposing isn’t it?

~ Julz

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge -Construction

Cee’s B&W Photo Challenge this week is on construction……personally I’m not big on standard type construction, either road or buildings, so I thought I would do some else……the stone stacks or Cairns are cool and this was quite the construction site, on Victorian Great Ocean Road, there are 100’s  if not 1000’s of them.

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The construction of the new studio was also quite huge step for us, and very exciting, the kind of construction you spend weeks and months planning.

The last one is a place possibly in need of some constructions 🙂

~ Julz

Brooke Shaden 20 Day Portfolio Challenge….Week 3

So continuing on from Week 2 in Brooke Shaden’s 20 Day Portfolio challenge.

Day # 11 Recreating an Image, Wow this is some hard soul searching stuff……..I have been going through my Flickr account for the last few years and yikes, some pretty awful stuff. However it does show just HOW MUCH I have grown artistically. The Wolf image is a very early one and oh how so much has changed, my selection technique was poor, the colours don’t blend well, the background is messy and blah, the shadows and lighting is all wrong. The Second image is from 12 months ago and such an improvement. My Model, my studio, my own lighting and backdrop. The blending could still do with a little work, but it was one of my very first created shoots and I love so much about it, the start of my colour palette can be seen, as well as more evolved lighting techniques. The last one is one of more recent and still one of my favourites……..it has everything that is my current work, the colour palette, the de-saturated tones and pop of colour, beautifully selected, flowing fabric and hair, and petals. Truly joyous photo. It was so serene and calm to shoot, to edit and I still love to look at it. 

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The things is, I really have not wish to re create any of these, perhaps I could re edit, but I have no wish to re shoot them, what’s done is done.
Day # 12 Working with Symbolism 
Symbolism, this is something I have been trying to do more and more. Sometimes a picture is just a picture, but at other times so much more. I posted an image last night – which I did not plan out like I normally, and I didn’t have a story when it came to editing, it doesn’t quite ‘gel’ I asked other artists what they thought and I got similar, yet at time conflicting takes on the image. I get that the balloon and bear represent a child or childhood, the bright light represents heaven or the afterlife. Does the red dress represent death? I think the long deep dark shadows represent a passage of time, or perhaps they are too dark. The overall colour scheme represents warm and happiness which is conflicting with the other parts of the image. Perhaps she is reflecting on the happy times with her lost child, while mourning the sadness of this loss? I want to try and re edit this in different colours and see how that changes the image. Also how would it look without the balloons and the bear?  Symbolism is not something I have used all that much and I would like to explore further.
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The most common ways of portraying a symbol are through colors and props. Write down 5 colors you enjoy using in your work and/or five props you enjoy using. Now write down all of the different meanings those things could have. For example, I like to use red, which can be seen as love, blood, death, romance, passion, fire, etc. I love to use lanterns in my images, which could symbolize lighting your path, inner strength, and more.

I love red for passion, blue for calm, purple and orange and white for hope, I don’t use much green. Black for death or despair, dark blue for sadness or loss.

I use a lot of birds and angel wings; beauty, hope, peace, strength, freedom. I also use moon, and lanterns and water………more inner peace, strength, inner light, guidance, acceptance. So perhaps I use more symbolism than I at first thought.

Day # 13 Diving into Concept

Concept is something I struggled with at first, with my art I often let my Muse take me where she wants to go, sometimes a piece starts out a certain way and ends up somewhere else. But my photography was different, at first I was listless wandering aimlessly all over the place, learning new styles, new techniques, eventually I started to develop my own style. Ultimately it was coming across Brooke’s work that I found myself, I followed her work, her Instagram, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube accounts (I turned into a stalker lol), I took some of her Creative Live course and really started to make my Concept Art. I did a few workshops locally with Conceptual Portrait Artists as well. My first Conceptual series, I was terrified, I thought no one would get it………but it was a huge success. The Masks We Wear, was a small but simple concept shoot, that led me onto grander plans.

I have found of late, when I look back on my images my favourite ones are the ones in which I have spent weeks or even months planning; colours, props, models, costumes, locations, and most of all stories………I love to tell stories. I guess that is what my concept shoots are all about, not necessarily true stories, mostly dark fantasy. I love to examine dark, weird and slightly creepy side of human nature and morality. My Dapper Rabbit series went so dark and gruesome, we all had a blast I have so many friends working on that with me, my entire family are in it and it is still on going, I have invested over 1 year into this series.

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My Vintage Circus was a collaboration with two other photographers and was months in the planning and one day to shoot. I still have people compliment me on that shoot.

My Avalon series was shot in one afternoon and was fabulous, the stories are not overly complex, just simple little tales, as is the ongoing Girl in the Red Dress Series, which there really is no continuous story line, but a lot of little stories, but all have a red dress in common.

Choose one Concept to focus on for the year…………….oh dear that would be difficult. I have one that I would like to start and it is loosely based on Tarot Cards, heavily symbolised as one would expect. But I have not moved past the planning stage really.

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Inspiration for next series

Day # 14 Delivering your Message

I actually had to write an Artist Bio and Statement recently, I was scared silly, I had never written one before, actually I wasn’t even sure of the difference, Google………my friend. I also asked a few artists I admire and trust for help. In the end it wasn’t as hard as I first thought;

Moving beyond the realm of simple photography, Julie Powell creates surreal, whimsical and fantastical works of Digital Art, often capturing emotion and moments in time along with symbolism to explore reality on a slightly different level.

Born in Melbourne and living there her whole life, surrounded by a vibrant and exciting art community. While not classically trained, she is mostly self-taught with a background in graphic art and design, Julie has transitioned from more traditional art forms to the digital art medium, often depicting images in her own unique painterly style. Being published both online and in Magazines, Julie is a regular contributor to Living the Photo Artistic Life Magazine, and was featured artist in August 2016 Issue. As an Artistic Coach and Mentor for the Awake Program, as well a member of the Kaizen Project, Julie thrives on helping and encouraging other emerging digital artists, and is widely active and respected throughout the digital artist community.

Three images I would show to match my elevator pitch to explain what I do.

Day # 15 Creating something new

  1. What is your signature color and lighting palette?
  2. What idea do you most like to explore?
  3. How can you use symbolism to enhance your concept?
  4. What new technique can you use to enhance the image?
  5. What do you want your viewers to understand from this new creation?

This is actually something I have been thinking about, I love to work with a series, it allows me to explore the topic and get the most out of it. There is often a story behind the series, or even a series of stories within a single idea; The Red Dress for example.

My new series for this year is loosely based on the Tarot Cards, there is Major Arcana and Minor arcana and all have symbolism and hidden meanings, they can even be flipped or inverted and have the opposite meaning. There are 21 Major Arcana cards, including well known ones, The Fool, Death, The Lovers, The Hanged Man. I am sure that this can keep me in digital art for many months. Each one lovingly created from start to finish.

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The High Priestess

The High Priestess holds the key to the secrets of the universe, passion, science and wisdom. Secretive and sensual, the High Priestess is mostly tied to sexuality, sensuality, femininity, the moon (Stability and wisdom) and inspiration, fitting she is the first in this series.

~ Julz

 

 

 

 

Vanguard Alta Pro Tripod – Review

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Another item on my christmas list was a new tripod my old Velbon was having issues, we still have the Manfrotto, but it is also having wonky leg issues and it is way too heavy. So a friend showed me a link for the new Vanguard Alta Pro 263AB Tripod with SBH100 Ballhead (V230269) [this is not where I bought it from, but it does have pics and specs] I got mine from Amazon for US$150.00…….but I can no longer find the link 😦

OVERVIEW

  • Lightweight (5.38 lbs/2.44 kg)
  • Maximum Height of 5.67′ (1.73 m)
  • Load Capacity of 15.4 Lbs (7 kg)
  • Folded Length is 28.125″ (71.5 cm)
  • Magnesium Alloy Ballhead Included
  • Ballhead Includes 2 Bubble Levels
  • 25- 50- and 80-Degree Leg Angles
  • Central Column Moves From 0-180 Degrees

It was a little tricky to figure out the central column, but once done it is brilliant.

PROS

  • Levels are wonderful – straight photos (well mostly)
  • Perfect for flat lays and awkward positions
  • nice and light, easy to carry
  • Quick set up and take down
  • leg clips easy to use with cold stiff fingers 🙂
  • Quick and easy mount for tripod
  • lovely fluid motion with ball head.
  • All screws and clips are easy to turn, twist or click; I have limited mobility in my hands at times (apart from the screw for the head mount)

CONS

  • Carry bag does not have pocket for bits and pieces
  • I’m afraid to hang too much weight off the central column, it just does not feel sturdy enough, when fully extended
  • It’s possibly just me and it being new but the ball head feels a little clunky at times.
  • The head mount is a pain to screw into the camera and needs the key (which is still attached to my tripod) or a coin. The Velbon and Manfrotto has a lever to twist.

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Overall I love it, lightweight and easy to use, I took it with me on a trip to the sand dunes and nice and light, quick set up etc. the ball head and levels are fabulous.

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Our trek through the dunes…….I’m still carrying the tripod lol

In conclusion I do love it…………nothing is perfect, but for right now it comes pretty damn close 🙂

~ Julz