Monday’s Musings…

Isn’t funny how things that are planned can change in the blink of an eye, don’t panic nothing bad, just…….annoying.

All week I had been looking forward to my two shoots on Saturday and then my Workshop on Sunday. Last week was a bit of a stressful one and I was so looking forward to a bit of fun. The call came from Mel and Jess that Saturday afternoon needed to be postponed, that’s OK it meant we get a full day to play instead of just 1/2 a day… stay tuned on that one.

Then my shoot for a new model just never happened. I was all set up and ready to go, double checked and clarified everything with her a few days before. Spent Friday night and Saturday morning setting up for it all……..and then nothing. 10:00 am came and went; no message, no call, no text. I tried to contact her several times, but nothing. I still have not heard anything……….very strange. I wonder if she is OK? That’s my second no show from this particular Facebook group, I’m beginning to wonder if I should continue to use them?

So I had Saturday to my self, I played around and did a few images.


And spent the rest of the day setting up for my Dark and Moody Still Life Workshop # 1, phew what a name huh? What a blast, so much fun, these six students had been to my beginner workshop last year, so we did a bit more exotic and advanced stuff.


We have also been having a bit of a Movie marathon; I have been wanting to see the latest Resident Evil movie (I know I normally don’t go in for that type of movie, blood, guts, violence and zombies…can’t explain it, I adore Alice) Moth has not seen any of them, so we went back to the start. Currently seen the first four and are slowly working our way through. Gotta love a good chic flick that gets the guys in too!


I have stuff on this week, my new exhibit opens tomorrow night, unfortunately it was the cause of most of my stress last week, this exhibit is badly organised and lots of confusion and mixed messages, and no answers to inquiries about when where who etc. I just hope it is worth the time, money and effort. I have no heard whether any more of my Alice (In Wonderland not Resident Evil) have sold from my current BSG Exhibit which finishes this week, at least selling one was super exciting.

I have been awarded the Foto Art II (Facebook Group) banner of the day for my Kangaroo pic and also been told my another of my images will appear in July issue of Fine Eye Digital magazine, as well as a in June issue of Artists Downunder, which comes out in a few days.


I might take a few days of downtime, it’s been a busy few days. Don’t worry I have a few posts already scheduled for this week 🙂 Tieve Tara Gardens, some images for my new exhibit and a few other bits and pieces, oh and of course I will pop by everyone’s blog.

Have a great week…happy snapping

~ Julz


Date Night…

Well sort of I guess……Moth and I had not been out to the movies in quite some time, sure I saw Beauty and the Beast a month or so ago with Desley, but not with my poor Hubby. We are usually exhausted from our adventures to venture out at night. So last week two new movies opened of which we had wanted to see. Two movies in one weekend, now that is making up for lost time.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2


Oh my, what a completely ridiculous and whimsical film…………and I LOVED EVERY MINUTE. Starting with the open sequence………oh the joy, I was singing and grooving in my seat. Sweet baby Groot, how you capture my heart. This was action packed, with a way out there story line, hilarious one liners and unexpected moments. Yes there is a moral, yes there is a love story (well kind of), there is some fabulous back story and a killer music line up. Without giving any of it away, if you enjoyed the first movie……….you’ll LOVE this one. Since when did the sequel beat the original?

The action, the comedy, the script, the characters, the music, the CGI, the explosions….all fabulous, maybe I enjoy cheap thrills? lol. Honestly such a fabulous fun movie, probably not for little kids, but for big kids like me and Moth………….UNREAL we gave it 5 Stars *****

Alien, Covenant


Those who know me, know I am not big on horror movies, but I don’t mind a good scary movie, but it needs a good story to keep my interest (and my dinner). I first saw Alien (Has a release date 1979, but it must have been released here in 1980) as a teenager, I enjoyed it, but apart from the chest bursting scene, it was not as graphic as the sequels and you only saw people get snatched and trails of blood, the scene with the cat was memorable and I think I first developed the ability to launch completely out of my seat during that movie 😛 .

I have dutifully seen every movie made since then (I think), including Alien Vs Predator Requiem. And I feel that each one was more ridiculous than the next. I felt as though they were just going through the motions to try to make more money. Grasping at storylines as if trying to keep a dying franchise alive……..I know, I KNow they all made copious amounts of money at the Box office, but seriously I thought quite a few were crap. Even AVPR, which was loaned to me and turned out to be a bad bootleg; with people standing up, yelling and cheering on the baddies in front of the guy illegally recording it in the movies, none of them in english either…honestly it made the movie much more exciting and funnier than it actually was!

Prometheus was a new start for the franchise and answered many questions, but alas left me with many more. I did enjoy the movie, and it was so beautifully made. The FX, the music, the CGI, were all wonderful. Covenant took off from where Prometheus left us, answering many more questions about the evolution of this Alien species, but alas, also left me with nagging doubts and I felt holes in the story line. Some things did not add up in my memory, but it has been awhile since I have seen any of the movies, so it may just be me? Also as technology and special FX have improved, so has the gore content and as much as I enjoy a good thriller and a scare every now and then, I’m not impressed by copious amounts of blood and guts.

I found myself looking at my watch, never a good indication of capturing my attention. Moth enjoyed it, and I guess I did too, just not as much as the first one. Or was perhaps a teenage me sneaking into an Adults only film made it so much more appealing? Don’t get me wrong, beautifully made, the CGI and artwork are impressive, the acting I felt was a little lack lustre from a few characters, but they don’t hang around long!

I gave it 3 Stars ***

~ Julz

Weekly Photo Challenge – Evanescent

ev·a·nes·cent [evəˈnes(ə)nt]
1. Soon passing out of sight, memory, or existence; quickly fading or disappearing.

This week’s WPC theme is evanescent.  So many things can be thought of as fleeting; even life if you think about it. But today I am using a seasonal sort of fleeting, the quickly fading colour of Autumn leaves as they turn and then fall to the ground. To be picked up on vagrant winds and tossed around, or children picking up handfuls and throwing them into the air with glee, or the new buds blooming in the last rays of Autumn sunshine, only to bloom and die in the harsh Wintery winds, all things change, as do the seasons.



As the last of the leaves fall, I am reminded that Winter is nearly upon us and to enjoy the last sunny days while we can. But soon, Spring will be back with new growth and sunny days, fresh green grass and brightly coloured blooms; and I will be there with my camera to capture it all.

~ Julz


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Gardens

I really like Cee’s challenge this week for CFFC – Gardens, I have just visited a new garden on the weekend, one I have been wanting to visit for some time. The Gardens of Tieve Tara at Mount Macedon. I will only showcase a few for now and leave the rest for a post, once I have finished editing all my images.


This is a cool climate garden and it is currently Autumn, although Winter is almost upon us and the leaves have all turned and mostly fallen to the ground, but there was still just enough colour to make it a worthwhile visit.

~ Julz

Victorian Lighthouses – Cape Liptrap

In 2015 and 2016 I embarked on a voyage of learning and adventure by following the Victorian Coast looking for both Lighthouses and shipwrecks and have written many a post. We have been from Wonthaggi all the way to the South Australian border (and beyond). Victoria’s coastline is often rugged and exceptionally beautiful, the fertile soil and hidden gems (gold and precious metals) made these journeys into such dangerous territory, high sea adventure in the extreme during the 1700, 1800 and 1900s. So many vessels and souls lost on that rocky coastline.

This year we picked up that trail again, this time on the South Eastern coastline, as we travelled to Inverloch. We visited the Cape Liptrap Lighthouse.


Cape Liptrap stands upon a rocky cliff top, on a solitary part of the South Gippsland coastline, warning ships of the rocks in treacherous Bass Strait.

LOCATION: Latitude 38° 54′ 5″ S, Longitude 145° 55′ 4″ E (Map)
OPERATOR: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
CHARACTER: Flashing 3 every 15 seconds
INTENSITY: 40,000 Candelas
ELEVATION: 93.6 Metres
RANGE: 18 Nautical Mile
HEIGHT: 9.75 Metres

~ Lighthouses of Victoria

The first Cape Liptrap lighthouse was established in 1913. It was a 2.1 metre steel tower with an acetylene light. As a keeper was never stationed at Cape Liptrap, it is really the first automatic Commonwealth funded light to be put into service. The current lighthouse was built in 1951 in cast concrete, and is octagonal in shape. It was converted to mains power in 1970.

True it is not the prettiest Lighthouse we have seen, but the area surrounding it is stunning and on a clear day you can see for miles. It is also one with a great view of just how rocky and dangerous the shores can be and that vessels coming too close at great risk.

We only have a few left lighthouses left to see along the Victorian Coastline, this time we need to be travelling up towards the NSW border, hopefully we can get them all done one day. Perhaps another week meandering the coast, like we did last time.

~ Julz

52 Week Challenge – Week 35

This week’s challenge from The Girl That Dreams Awake is From Above, this is one of my favourite angles for taking a photo, and I don’t use it as much as I would like. It’s quite difficult to take a good landscape photo from above a subject (unless you are on top of the mountain or skyscraper), and people do not often have their portrait taken this way. But it is effective and can be a lot of fun…..if slightly awkward at times.


Butterfly Kisses


Of course it is just perfect for Still Life, and I adore my Still Life, I often wish I had more time to pursue it, but with the colder months now here, there is more reason to spend time in the studio.

~ Julz

Regular Random – Last of the Hydrangeas

On a recent trip looking for awesome Autumn colour I came across this almost spent Hydrangea bush, refusing to give up on the last fragments of blooms, almost devoid of colour.

I spent at least five minutes and took way too many photos of this stunning plant, for it truly was with it’s subtle blues, pinks, mauve and cream set admit a riot of Autumn red, orange and yellow. You can see it just on the right of the below photo, it was quite large.


So I thought I would use this as my Five Minute Regular Random this week. Such a gorgeous spot in Mount Macedon, at The Gardens of Tieve Tara. I will post more images on these gardens soon.

For more information or to join us in Regular Random, check out Desley Jane’s page

~ Julz

Share your world – 23th May, 2017

What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? Apart from travel to various places (Egypt, Cambodia, Vietnam, Jordan, Istanbul………more, more, more), I don’t think there is anything I have left undone. I am the Just Do It girl, remember? If I want to do something I do it, I wanted to exhibit in galleries, done it (about to have my third this year), I wanted to be published in magazines, done it, now been in lots. Flew in a helicopter. I guess the only thing I have not been able to do is lose weight and get fitter.

How often do you get a haircut? Whenever it is annoying me, I have gone years without getting it cut, then get sick of it and cut it short, then get sick of cutting it and ignore for a year or two……’s a constant cycle.

In regards to puzzle what’s your choice: jigsaw, crossword, word search or numeric puzzles? Not a big puzzle person to be honest. I don’t mind a word search, but I get awfully frustrated with jigsaw puzzles and crosswords (unless they are ridiculously easy), occasionally I might play sudoku on an easy level. I like things to be straightforward and uncomplicated.

How many cities have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities. I’m a Melbourne girl, sure I have travelled a lot, but Melbourne has always been my home, and probably always will. I have not even really moved around much, since I left home, I have lived in 6 different houses, this current one for 16 years.


Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Update from last week on Hayley, she is home and doing really well. I am sure she will be back modelling for me soon. Thank you for all your wishes.

I had a super fun weekend, went to the movies twice with my Hubby, caught up with a friend for coffee. We visited Tieve Tara Gardens and Hanging Rock up at Mount Macedon. I launched three Still Life Workshops and all are fully booked, with request for more. I have another two new models coming in for a shoot soon.

I have another new gallery exhibit starting next week, I have two fun photo shoots on Saturday, one with Jess and Mel (always so many laughs). I run my first Still Life workshop for the season on Sunday…… a big weekend!

I hope you all have a terrific weekend, and I hope everyone stays safe and well, with horrible events happening in the world of late. I will spare a thought of goodwill to those involved, but I will not dwell on them, that is what THEY want. PEACE PEOPLE

~ Julz, xo

P.S. for more info, visit Cee’s page

Topaz FX Labs

I have fallen in love with an old program that is fairly new to me; Topaz FXLabs, I received this in a bundle I got a little while ago from Topaz Labs. Sure I regularly use other programs in Topaz; Adjust, Denoise, B&W, Impressions, just to name a few. Some of them seem to crash while trying to use them and I eventually gave up. FXLabs didn’t really seem to make much sense until I watched an eye opening tutorial by Jai Johnson at Daily Once I learned just how amazing and powerful this program could be, I could not wait to start playing with it.

Now my first few tries, weren’t exactly a huge success, but it did not take long to get use to it. It has built in layers and masking and scale, and adjustments, you can open multiple images from Photoshop or without, but the beauty is you can then access all the Topaz plugins directly, and so far………..NONE of them crash while inside FXLabs.

The control and ease of use of the program as become a go to for me, sure there are some things I still do in Photoshop and Camera Raw and basic editing I still use Lightroom, but I must say I am adoring this cool new (to me) program. It can be used with other editing software, like Paintshop Pro as well.

I must admit I have done several YouTube tutorial by Jai now and they are mostly quite long, but very informative on this subject, her backgrounds and overlays which can be purchased are truly stunning as well, and yes I have purchased a few to play with.

Julie Powell_Barn Owl-1Julie Powell_in Flight-1Julie Powell_Kestrel-1

I was concentrating mostly on animals, birds in particular, but have branched out and used it with people with equally stunning results.

There is something so sumptuous and earthy about these textures and this technique, I love the end results I am achieving. There is a 30 day Free Trial available on Topaz Labs if you want to check it out too, it’s not on special or anything and quite frankly the whole bundle is expensive, but if you can get it on sale or afford just a few of the kits, FXLabs, Clarity, lens effect, Adjust and Impressions……….it’s a great start.

~ Julz

Monday Musings…

Wow another Monday already, the weekends just vanish too quickly. I spent Saturday working on finalizing things for a new exhibit, starting shortly; but more on that later.

Sunday we met some photography friends at Mount Macedon to visit the Tieve Tara Gardens, I have been wanting to go, but I always seem to forget, it is truly stunning in Autumn and Spring, in fact that is the only times the gardens are open.

We then went into Mount Macedon for a lovely lunch and to visit a few galleries and shops.

We then drove through very low cloud (not fog) and made out way to Hanging Rock, finally…………we tried to do this a few months back, but alas………poor timing.


One of the locals at Hanging Rock

You will have to wait to see some pictures of the Rock. We then drove back home, had coffee with a friend and BAM! time to get ready for work again.


View over Melbourne from Bolte Bridge

This week I have two concept shoots on Saturday; another themed shoot with Mel and Jess in the studio and I get to work with one of my new models for the first time, so that will be exciting and exhausting. And then the First of my ever popular and always full – Still Life Workshops; this time we are doing Dark and Moody! I may need a holiday.

In fact I am pretty much booked up solid with photography things for the next couple of months. So many exciting things coming up.

Anyway that is it for me for now, I will try and get some pics done for posts, later in the week. Til then I hope you all have a fabulous week…

~ Julz

P.S. All pics from today’s post of the Smart Phone………will post good pics later 🙂