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

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

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

Tuesday’s Textures – July Shift Art

Another month and another 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.


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.


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


Monday’s Musings

July………….WOW, where has this year gone! Not much to report, but lots going on. This past week has been all about forward planning, and loads of it. I have my own shoots, plus Pixel Sisters Studio stuff in the mix. Desley and I have our very first Floral Fantasy Workshop in four weeks, and still so much to arrange. We spent Sunday doing just that, planning, arranging, scheduling and coming up with exciting ideas for the weeks and months ahead……..but more on that over on the website.

For me………I have two shoots coming up this week plus another Still Life Workshop in the home studio; busy, busy, busy.

I had a truly fabulous weekend, even though I barely touched the camera, on July 1st I had two images published in Artists Down Under magazine, I also had two images published for the first time in Fine Eye Magazine as well. Then to top it all off found out I won 6th place for my Helmeted Honeyeater in Light Space and Time “Season’s” competition

Julie Powell_Helmeted Honeyeater-1

Same picture also won 3rd Place in the Photography section and I received an Honorable Mention for another image…… excited.

Add that to the Shift Art tutorial that was posted last week and I have a very successful week.

Here’s hoping to another very successful week, I hope you have a great week too

~ Julz


Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Furniture

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is Furniture; chairs, tables sofas…….mine seems to extend as far as tables and chairs, some inside, some outside

New HamletJuliePowell_MusicMan_3Outback Group Shotalice drink me

JuliePowell_Seeking Answers

Seeking Answers


Some of these photos show sunny warm days……..oh how I miss sunny warm days. I’ts been cold and grey and yuck a lot lately, not too much rain, but just grey. I miss the sun, they are not kidding about the Winter Blues I feel them every year. Just cannot seem to get enough sun.

~ 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


The Thinker

Which version do you prefer?

~ Julz

Shift Art – June

Back again, with another Shift Art entry, it is becoming increasingly difficult working with images that are not my own, it seems. But this challenge does push you beyond your creative limits and boundaries……..and that’s a good thing.

June Shift Art_Comp

So taking these four images from the selection on offer, I decided to merge the woman’s face onto the body of the mannequin, quite an effort in itself, the tonal range and colours did not match, just to start. So I embarked on a series of curves adjustment and hue saturation layers to blend it all in, including removing the lime green. I used the dandelion and oil in water as lighting elements really, as well as some other images in my stocks. Changed the lighting, backgrounds and re did her make-up.

One thing that did annoy me was her hair, so I decided to do something about that. Using hair stock by Cindy Grundsten (DeviantArt), I added hair; piece by piece, moved, rotated and warped it all into position, as well as re coloured it.

JuliePowell_Lady in the straw hat_2000

With fingers crossed, I rated another Honorable Mention  and something else good came from it, a few people requested a tutorial on HOW I did the hair, so another tutorial was created by request for…………….and THAT is a great thing! If you are a member, go check it out.

~ 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