In the Studio, with Hayley

After a forced leave of absence due to injury, Hayley was back in the studio last week for the first time, and we were very excited to be back working on our Monochopsis Project; So many wonderful metaphors, quotes, and ideas still to work with;

A Single Candle

A Single Candle

“Look how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness” – Anne Frank

The Stars Make Me Dream

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“Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight,. I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight.”  – The Dorling Kindersley Book of Nursery Rhymes

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high. Like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle little star.” – Mozart

Vincent’s Stars

Vincents Star

“Starry, Starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the
Darkness in my soul.
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land.”
~ Don McLean

The Book of Life

JuliePowell_Book of Life

“The world keeps spinning, and the tales keep turning, and people come and people go, but they’re never forgotten. And the one truth we know, it held true one more time… That love, true love, the really, really good kind of love never dies.” – La Muerte (from the movie The Book if Life)

 A Light in the Dark

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –  Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.” ― Roy T. Bennett

The images are dark and moody and oft times the message is too, but my wish is that there is some joy and hope to be found in these pieces also.

~ Julz, xox

Tuesday’s Textures – July Shift Art

Another month and another ShiftArt.com challenge, spurned on by my Honorable Mention and subsequent video tutorial, I jumped into this month’s effort

Julie Powell_Secrets of Last Summer

Secrets of Last Summer

These are three of the images used to create the final composite, plus of course quite a few bits and pieces from my own collection as well. I really played with various Dodge and Burn layers, as well as using the liquify tool.

Can you spot all the changes and adjustments?

~ Julz

Tuesday’s Textures

It seems I have a penchant for metaphors of late, trust me there is a lot more coming. I have been trying to get into more of a story telling role with my images; I mean they do say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Hanging by a thread

Hanging by a thread

Someone said they thought this image was a nightmare, but not really just a metaphor;

Also, hang by a hair. Be in a risky or unstable situation, as in His promotion was hanging by a thread, or With the lead actor sick, the success of our play hung by a hair. This expression, already proverbial in the early 1500s, alludes to Damocles, who vexed King Dionysius with constant flattery.

So I guess poor model Ally is literally hanging by a thread with the cheeky Raven setting fire to her rope………..well at least she doesn’t have too far to fall. Perhaps there is something more there with the burning bush as well, I think there was something in there about a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush; except the bird is neither in her hand or the Bush. I know it is meant that it is better to hold onto something one has than to risk losing it by trying to get something better.

I suppose it could relate to if you love something set it free and hope it does not return to bite your ASS! lol

The background of this image is actually an old shell of a house in Silverton, NSW that we visited earlier this year. I knew this shot would eventually become something.

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I hope you have a brilliant week…

~ Julz

 

 

Manic Mondays

Yes folks, Manic Mondays are back, this last week has been crazy, but so much fun. I must confess to being stiff, sore and tired this morning.

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Spring Beckons – with Ally Xu

So Thursday, after picking my daughter up from the airport I had another photo shoot with the lovely Ally Xu, this time I went in with a plan. I roughly knew what, where and how I wanted the shots, last time we just winged it. I have a few images still to edit, will do another post with more pics soon.

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Workshop #3 – Dark and Moody Fruit

Saturday I had another Still Life/Food Photography workshop in the home studio, second last for the year, all future ones will hopefully be in the new studio with Desley and Pixel Sisters Studio.

5 newbies and one repeat offender (lol, she knows I’m joking), but it is great to see some new faces. Wonderful to teach them some light sculpting and styling and guide them through a few shots and then stand back and let them be creative……it is such a buzz.

Sunday…………well Hayley is finally back and we got to working on our Monachopsis project again, more images, more metaphors, same styling. Sorry, no edited images yet. Life was beckoning and I had to attend to other home duties…………ahh Sunday’s when you have to go to work the next day  😦

This week………..another whirlwind, some more exciting things in the future, I have another Birds of Prey shoot on Sunday, as well as lots of fun stuff over at Pixel Sisters Studio IG and Facebook. Spots are also filling for the workshops. If you have not been to our Blog, check it out, we have challenges too!

I hope you all have an amazing week…

~Julz, xo

 

Regular Random – Strawberries

Desley thinks she is obsessed with stationary and pens, and possibly she is, me, on the other hand, seem to be hopelessly addicted to shooting dark and moody fruit, even when it’s not all dark and moody 🙂

So this week’s Regular Random I spent five minutes with some sumptuous strawberries dipped in chocolate, oh the first one they are plain, just to prove they are real and imperfectly perfect! Then I played a little with angle and lighting……five minutes goes so fast.

 

Just a quick recap of the RegularRandom Rules:

  • choose a subject or scene
  • spend just 5 minutes shooting it
  • try different angles, different distances, even different lenses, shoot through something, under it, play with the light

Have a wonderful week…

~Julz

Share Your World – 5th July 2017

I find myself literally sitting in the dark, with only the glow from the computer screen, as I type this week’s Share Your World. I have power (obviously) just no lights, it’s very surreal.

For your main meal do you prefer sweet and sour, hot and spicy, spicy and sweet, bitter, salty, bland or other? Food, is generally my answer here. I do not enjoy anything too hot or spicy, or overly sour, but I do like things a little tart from time to time. I like sweet and savory, mot overly fond of bland food

Where do you hide junk when people come over? Love me, love my junk I say, it’s a bit like the animals. Everyone has junk, so why hide it. I don’t like to have too much junk hanging around anyway, I prefer things to have a ‘spot’, but what junk I do have is mine…..so if you visit, deal with it.

What daily habit would you like to introduce to your life? I should say exercise, but I would love to say not getting up to go to my 9-5 job, that would be brilliant

If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?  Wow, that’s a tough call, definitely not the trapeze or high wire (Hate heights), not overly funny so not the clowns. Lion Tamer could be interesting, but scary. Perhaps I could work with the beautiful circus horses or elephants. Do circuses have zebras? That could be kind cool too.

 

Julie Powell_Zebras - Adrian d'Blanco

Zebras, artwork by me, original photo by Adrian d’Blanco (with permission)

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

 

I had a super, duper week last week, placed well in some competitions, had four images in two different magazines, had an enjoyable weekend with friends, a fabulous lunch and afternoon of planning with Desley for Pixel Sisters Studio for so many exciting projects we have planned.

I hope to pick up new PC this week (really looking forward to setting that baby up), I have another shoot with Ally Xu tomorrow and then a Workshops on Saturday and Hayley is back in the studio on Sunday, after a few months off. Such a busy week, and I am looking forward to every minute of it. Conceptual Portraits has become like an addiction for me, my finger itch to pick up a camera or to create something on the computer……..every image is a struggle with the PC of late, cannot wait to get my new one up and running 🙂

And last, but not least my youngest daughter comes home for a few weeks away, I will pick her up at the airport tomorrow. I have tried to leave her be on her break, to refuel and reenergize for the busy months ahead, before she permanently moves interstate. Not an easy thing for a parent to deal with, but I am sure we will.

~ Julz

 

In the Studio – with Claude Duse

I put a call out a little while ago for a new male model for some Tarot Shoots I wanted to get done, I wanted a new face, cannot use my poor Hubby for every shot. I had a gentleman by the name of Claude contact me and said he would be interested. At first I was unsure, in my mind I was thinking someone younger. But then my Muse tapped me on the shoulder, “I want him”, and I don’t like to argue with my Muse, as you know, she is usually right!

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It was a cold, wet Winter’s morning, we met and settled into the studio with heaters roaring, I had four different shots or sets in mind and I honestly think we did them in record time. Even with set and prop changes, and minor wardrobe changes, light set-ups, we were all finished in less than two hours! Such a warm friendly soul and so helpful, and followed direction very well; but he has done quite a bit of Life Drawing modelling, so he was used to direction and sitting still for extended period of time.

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Look at that face, so expressive, this guy has been round the block a time or two. So different from all the lovely girls I work with, but I did get to explore some scenarios which I had sitting in my journal.

The more I am working with these sorts of Conceptual Fine Art Portraits, the more I fall in love with this type of photography, I am honestly barely touching them in Photoshop, loving the whole cinematic feel; the colours the textures in camera.

~ Julz

Tuesday’s Textures…The Tarot

I have been working on the Tarot Series again, this time with Claude Duse, another new model, my offering for this week; The Fool and King of Wands;

Julie Powell_King of Wands-1

King of Wands

The King of Wands

This card is of the minor arcana and signifies a dark man (Open to interpretation as it seems to have no reference to skin), friendly, countryman, generally married, honest and conscientious, This card usually also signifies honesty and may mean news concerning an unexpected heritage to fall in before very long. Can also mean Good but severe, austere, yet tolerant.

Julie Powell_The Fool_Tarot-1

The Fool

Card 0 – The Fool

This card signifies; folly, mania, extravagance, intoxication, delirium, frenzy, betrayal, can also represent Negligence, absence, carelessness, apathy and vanity.

I also did a more cinematic version of this card, as well as a slightly different edit as well.

Julie Powell_The Fool_Cinematic-1

The Fool – Cinematic

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The Thinker

Which version do you prefer?

~ Julz

Monday’s Musings

Julie Powell_The Fool_Cinematic-1

The Fool, Cinematic version, with Claude Duse

A relatively quiet weekend for me, I had a shoot with another new Model; Claude Duse and then I spent some time arranging my new custom built PC…..very exciting, should receive it next week. This one is OK it’s just so under powered for Photoshop and Creating Videos. So a new one is on it’s way. May take awhile to sort it all out, but so worth it.

Desley and I spent most of last week working on Marketing for our new venture Pixel Sisters Studio, quite an undertaking, with two Workshops running one week after the next and quite diverse as well; Tickets are selling, so we are off to a good start 🙂 Please do stop in at our website, or Facebook or Instagram and say hello, we’d love to hear from you, and if you’re in Melbourne or surrounding areas, we’d love to see you at one of our workshops.

Things have been a little quiet on the travel front, poor Moth has injured his knee and after scans and x-rays is now off to see a surgeon. Fingers crossed, but at least if we can get it all fixed up before our trip to Bali. Meanwhile, I am the able bodied of the two of us at the moment………..that is never a good thing lol.

Not a lot of this week and then this weekend is one of my rare completely free weekends, I plan on celebrating a very dear friend’s birthday and perhaps catching up with a few other friends and maybe another strategy session with Desley.

All very quiet apart from that, not a bad thing it gives me a chance to catch my breathe and work on some new projects for future shoots, I feel July and August are going to be hectic months, but oh so much fun.

I hope you all have a brilliant week, safe travels and happy snapping…

~ Julz

 

In the Studio – Introducing Ally Xu

I believe in Karma and my Muse, so when Karma drops a model in my path and my Muse says “that’s her, that’s her” I have to say yes. It was pure bliss with Nikki a few weeks ago and then lighting hit with Miss Ally Xu. I met Ally online and we arranged a date, she is just getting started with modelling, but is very keen to learn, also has a love of theatrics and costumes…….and brought a whole heap with her. Oh, SO much fun.

I really had no idea of what we were shooting, so I was completely blind, feeling my way through with both no preconceived concept and a new model; just proves how much I have grown over the last year or so. No Doubts, and no hesitation I just jumped in. We played with levitation, some more epic Snow White, we even brought in the Creepy Man (Aka Moth), wonderfully epic cinematic costumes and lighting. We even tried a bit of light painting as well. This girl nailed the brooding evil villain, the strong proud warrior and even the sad little lost girl. I’m sure she would rock fashion as well, but conceptual shoots? Man she was great!

I am sure you will see more of her in the future too…

~ Julz