Shift Art Update…

Just in I won First Runner Up in this month’s Shift Art challenge, very exciting, especially considering the piece that won…..awesome. Check them out here.

 

Julie Powell_Secrets of Last Summer

Secrets of Last Summer

Shift Art is very challenging, as you are not working with your own images, for me, I find that extremely challenging. Each month I try to work my magic on a hodge podge group of images given to us to work with…….hence the challenge, I can only work with images give to us for the month and frequently many of the images use the same elements. The trick, I guess is creating something unique and wholly your own.

Anyway off to pick out my prize a texture pack from the wonderfully talented Caroline Julia More 🙂

~ Julz

 

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

JuliePowell_Stars make me dream

“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

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“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

light in the dark

“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

Share Your World – 18th July, 2017

What is your favorite cheese? Being lactose intolerant, cheese is NOT my friend! However, there have been major improvements in the taste of Lactose-free cheeses. They actually taste better than the packaging these days. I can tolerate a little hard cheese, parmesan for instance. And if I am feeling particularly naughty I love some Edam or Gouda……..just a little.

Are you left or right handed? Right handed, although there is quite a bit I do with my left hand. I believe that spending so much time on a PC and typing has taught my brain that my left hand is actually quite useful and I should use it more often. I still don’t use it for fine motor skills; writing, drawing and such, but holding a cup of coffee, texting and scrolling through my phone.

Do you prefer exercising your mind or your body? How frequently do you do either? LOL my mind, my body is so crippled these days. I know I should get fitter and lose weight, but it is painful. I save my energy for trips with my camera and worry about the pain afterward 🙂

Complete this sentence: Hot days are …much better than what we currently have here in Melbourne. In Australia, we have Winter, OK so not like below freezing with snow kind of cold, but I doubt I would cope well with that. Give me warm tropical breezes any day. Mind you once it gets over 36° – 38°C (approx 100°F) hot is just hot and not much good for anything apart from swimming.

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

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My new PC, finally after such a long wait it is finally here. I have had to ‘make do’ with what I had or could afford before and it was driving me crazy. This time no settling, I would be overpowered and over capacity for my needs. It’s wonderful and quick and the bonus is it even has a good sound card, so my music sounds better too! I am still putting it through its paces, but so far I am very happy with it.

I have also been finishing off some images I shot with Hayley the other week for our Monachopsis Series, something a little more hopeful and cheerful this time.

 

JuliePowell_Stars make me dream

The Stars Make Me Dream

 

Next week, I have a little project I am working on with a new Hair and Makeup Artist, and she is bringing a model I have not worked with before too, so hopefully, it will be a fun day too. I have been busy doing some behind the scenes prep work on that one.

I hope you have a fantastic week…

~ 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.

Julie Powell_Spring Beckons

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

 

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

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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

 

White Cranes

I was working on a Conceptual Portrait recently and I wanted Origami white cranes, I asked many people, but no one I knew, knew how to create them. So I did what any self respecting adult does in 2017 – I googled it. It took awhile to find just the right set of instructions, and to wrap my head around them, but I did get it done.

This is the website I ended up using  20170615_110411

Actually I got kind of good and knocked up lots in a short period of time

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And then what did I do with them?JuliePowell_ White Cranes

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This is very similar to the original image before I added the cranes

I LOVE photoshop…..and I love creative conceptual photography.

~ Julz

 

In the Studio – Boho Forest Fairies, with Desley

What makes a huge studio concept shoot even more fun? Sharing it with friends. I had Desley (Musings of a frequent flying scientist) join me in the studio for a Conceptual Boho Forest Fairies  Photo shoot, as opposed to our normal Still Life, which we normally do together. This was Desley’s first time shooting under lights in the studio with models, we had my favourite girls Jess and Mel come in, with dresses, makeup and wigs by Micaela (Glam to Perfection), we refuelled the Smoke Machine, we also got smoke emitters, Floral Crowns were specially made by Desflora. Oh what a day…….three hours in make-up and then three hours in the studio.

While the girls were getting ready Desley and I set up, checking lights and things, while also organising a few bits and pieces………I think I can spill the beans (a little) Desley and I have formed a business Partnership and will be teaching Workshops out of a big Photographic Studio…..Pixel Sisters Studiois about to be officially launched shortly, stay tuned.

Now the Boho Forest Fairies did not come without it’s share of issues, the original outfits (ratty tutus and corsets) were not used as A) Jess had a fabulous outfit she brought with her, B) Jess also fell in love with another dress she wore for part of the shoot and C) none of the corsets and most of the dresses would NOT fit Meellisa and her ample bosom…in fact I only have one dress that fits this girl, and she didn’t bring any backups…oops! We also could not find any fairies wings I particularly liked (they were all covered in feathers……fairies have dragonfly wings, not angel wings!),  so I resorted to shooting without and adding them in Photoshop on a few.

This was also my first time working with smoke emitters (AKA Smoke bombs – but we are no longer allowed to use that word)…oh dear, lucky for me Desley and her cool hand luke persona were there. We tried one in the studio (with ALL doors open), there was a LOT of smoke, but what we didn’t count on was it falling apart, poor Mel got a slight burn on her arm (nothing major) and a big chunk of it fell on Jess’s wig, which Desley quickly snatched away; getting her own minor burn 😦  before Jess’s wig went up in flames, a few minor scorch marks, but Jess was all OK. And it stinks! I mean really stinks. Luckily the weather was good, so we ended up going to the local park to play with some more smoke, the late winter afternoon sunlight hit the smoke in the most beautiful shafts of light……….so dreamy.

Julie Powell_Forest Fairies-1

Not much else to say, so I will just post a few pics………I took SO MANY!!!

And here is a few behind the scenes shots……..I really must remember to take more!

~ Julz, xo