Manic Mondays…

You know that saying “Make Hay while the sun shines?” well I have been so busy making Hay, it’s becoming a wee bit………manic! Don’t get me wrong I am loving every minute, and I know I have to take offers as they come in, it’s just some times I wish things could sort themselves out a little me.

Exhibition

All ready and pieces pretty printed and framed, done my artist bio and statement, made the invites, you did get yours didn’t you? Had a few dramas with the framing…….picked up all the frames and then found out one was damaged. Too it back and when they went through their stock quite a few were damaged, finally found the correct size, colour etc (I want them matching) that was undamaged. Also I went into a bit of a panic as I had not written an Artist Bio and Statement before………..thankfully I have access to some wonderful, people in my Kaizen and Awake groups who steered me in the right direction.

Reviews

I have been asked by the wonderful people at SleekLens.com to review the Portrait Perfection Photoshop Actions Collection…….no money for it, but I did get the Actions for free, and quite frankly they are pretty good. Hopefully I might get asked to do more?

Read my full review here if you missed it yesterday

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Other Stuff

I spent all weekend pretty much working, had to finish up my projects/assessments for Kaizen Group, still working on my latest two concept shoots, will post soon I promise. I finished off and submitted my Shiftart submission for January, plus I am taking part in Brooke Shaden’s 20 Day Portfolio Challenge……..was doing great til Friday, now I am behind again 😦 …………no panic, no stress there. I have also been approached to do some still life shots for a web catalogue/ Blog thing…….still sussing that one out, more on that later.

Out and About

On Saturday we had a 21st for my Nephew and then met some friends in the city for a lovely evening out finished off with Papa Gino’s Pizza in Lygon St………BEST pizza! Yummo. We also did another shoot at Princes Pier……..I swear we are cursed with that damn pier, all afternoon had been beautiful blue skies and just a hint of cloud, perfect for sunset right? Get to Princes Pier, wind, wind and more wind, then cloud and it was cold (it’s Summer here remember)……….oh man, it’s just not fair lol. Also the sunset was pretty mediocre; one day, just one day at Princes Pier and I will happily give up!

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Finally after all the work, the food shopping, laundry and insanely inane house keeping duties were done I finally managed to get into the studio to play with some new finds at the thrift store (Pewter Milk Jug and tea cups)and some luscious summer fruits.

I am sure I have not covered everything, but it is enough for now………the rest will all come out in the wash. Til next time I hope you have a truly fabulous week and happy snapping…

~ Julz

 

 

Monday Musings…

A bit of a mixed bag this week, picked up some tummy bug and spent a few days in bed, then was too tired to do much. I also didn’t go to Alowyn Gardens, which I was planning on doing Friday, but will go in a few weeks, once the wisteria is all in bloom, however I did potter in the studio and gardens for a little bit. Then Saturday was the Aussie Rules AFL Football Grand Final; for the record I have ZERO interest. Tradition dictates we attend a BBQ at a friend’s house every year. So off we went.

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It was a good catch up with friends, a good feed and then the game starts, Sting as the pre game entertainment was good, but I have a blocked ear, so had trouble hearing him, plus he only sang like three songs 😦 Anyway someone won…….Bulldogs apparently I sat there on my phone checking out Social Media from places where no one knew about the game. Then I started flicking through album, after album of my friends holiday snaps from a recent trip to Turkey, Greece, France etc, etc. (P.S. lovely destinations she travelled too, very jealous).

Eventually came home and vegged on the couch and watched Dirty Grandpa…..quite funny actually. Sunday was back to work in the studio again, this time it was the new backdrop rig, a trip to the hardware store (actually I bought everything! shocking I know) and Hubby spent the afternoon putting it all up.

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Then I tidied up and put everything away, will need to take some pics next time I have it all set up again………which wont be long. As you can see Miss Chloe, was perfectly content to let us do all the work.

Not much more to tell, Monday and back to work again. Here’s hoping for a more enjoyable week.

~ Julz

P.S. Daylight Savings kicked in Sunday Morning, so more available daylight for walks and shooting!

Monday Musings

Wow, such an amazing weekend, with so much happening. Friday we spent setting up for our awesome Vintage Circus shoot. Weeks of planning had brought us to here. The set up took hours, but so worth it.

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This is the behind the scenes shots. I will post more soon.This is a group shot, minus our Ring Master. The three photographers and 2 of our wonderful models, we had 4 in total on the day.

Circus

We then went in a private bird experience on Saturday, where I discovered I am no bird photographer. Sure, I can get some lovely shots while they are still, but once they take off………..hopeless!

Bird 1

Wedgetail Eagle

Bird 2

Nankeen Kestrel

And of course Sunday we spent shooting out Vintage Circus……..started hair and Make up at 9am and finally left about 7pm after the shoot (and dismantle) – one long day!

Sorry there isn’t much more for today, I am running behind, with shoots, editing……..oh the work has finally finished on the studio and I am ready to move in, but have had no time. I am taking this weekend off from everything to try and get it all sorted out and finished; ready to shoot again.

Til next time, happy snapping…

~ Julz

Manic Mondays

I survived! Yes people I’m back after a few days completely off the grid, no internet, no mobile phones, just me, Moth, 20 Tog friends and Betty Boo (our AWD). We took Friday off and drove up through the Victorian Alpine National Forest for a few days camping……..yes camping. I will need a few days to go through all the pictures and tell you all about it.

We stayed at two very remote cattlemen’s huts, one in the valley and one in the high country near Mount Stirling. We shot sunset, sunrise and by a full moon, we froze, took the car on some real 4X4 tracks and cooked on a open fire (and gas stove). Had breakfast with kookaburras and even saw a bridal shoot on top of a Mountain, who took the easy route and caught a helicopter up there! More stories to come.

It was quite an experience of which I will fill you all in shortly. For now I need to finish unpacking, going through photos and sleeping! Here is a gallery of photos from my phone.

Here’s hoping you all have a great week, til next time happy snapping…

-Julz

 

Manic Mondays

Just when I think I am getting my life back on track, scheduled and calm…..it runs slightly off the rails again. It’s OK, it’s all good, just trying to cram so much into life, occasionally something has to give. Next weekend is our big camping trip………yeah, yeah, camping (even the word is ugly lol). We were going to rough it for one night and sleep in the car, Moth convinced me we needed a tent, and then of course something to sleep on (I put my foot down and got a THICK air mattress), then of course our sleeping bags are old and useless, so there was two new sleeping bags. Then of course the powered pump to blow it up. We already have our camping chairs (for our astro shoots) and of course the big car fridge, so we are somewhere near ready. Then there is all the other incidentals; thermal under garments, I need a new coat (it is over 30 years old and threadbare and falling apart – so it has done me well). Got new boots last year, so they are good. We have no lamps, nothing to cook on or with (not sure what to do there, live on vodka, chips, dips, kabana and cheese – we do have the fridge).

So it was a frantic last minute dash to get everything organised, plus we had arranged to meet friends for a tour of the Botanic Gardens and another couple for dinner on Saturday evening. Sunday was spent rehearsing putting up tent and camp bed, making sure everything would pack into the car. Now of course that we have all this gear, Moth is planning on doing more glamping……..oops I mean camping.

Not to mention I am running behind on Be Still 52, Awake and Open2Study………really need to put my foot down this week and get some work done.

Oh and pray to the weather Gods, for phenomenal weather this weekend! For I can get more sunsets (like above) and sunrises

-Julz

Manic Mondays

Soar

Soar – Original Composite Image

Another week down and Autumn seems to be quickly turning to Winter, and much too soon. We had some cooler days this last week and quite cold nights; had me looking for woollen jumpers and scarves! Still, we have some sunshine during the shorter days. After spending the last 2 weeks on my own Still Life Project I figured it was time to turn my attention to other things.

Another photography outing with my new Victorian Awake buddies, had us doing a newborn and toddler shoot. Something new for some of them, and some more play time for myself. We agreed that a studio shoot would be better for the bubs, and as I am the only one with a studio set up, it was decided to be at my place; and I have my gardens for the toddlers. As there were several photographers I set the studio up, but also a secondary mobile studio on the back deck, it has lovely soft natural light out there in the mornings and it can be enclosed and heated.

On Sunday we Hosted another MPE Shoot at Healesville Animal Sanctuary, wonderful day spent with Togs and then we headed off to do our own thing. That is all I seem to be doing lately, my own thing………not that I am complaining, it’s been truly wonderful – but it does not pay the bills (hence why I still have a day job!). This is a Helmeted Honeyeater, and as you can see……..not shy around cameras; however trying to take your own shots was cumbersome with a bird on the lens!

We ventured off to Warburton to find the ancient Redwood Forest, GPS took us on a magical mystery tour and we went the long scenic route, what should have been a 20 minute drive took over an hour! Finally we found it and I managed to get some more images for my Mask collection………more on that later.

DSC_5258-EditMy Still Life Study has been wonderful and I am thrilled with the direction it is heading, and I have learnt so much, I am doing a conceptual art class later this month, so no doubt that will take me in yet another direction. I set out to learn this year and I can hardly believe just how far I have already come. My photos and composition have improved dramatically, but so has my digital artwork. And as much, as I love exploring and shooting landscapes (City or seascapes) I have learned that I adore Still Life and Portraits…………especially creative portraits, I knew I always enjoyed portraits, but now I know. The whole wedding, big family thing not so much; individuals, kids and babies sure, especially if they let me be creative with the images. But I am adoring the conceptual art, but still have such a long way to go with that.

Til next time, safe travels and happy snapping…..

-Julz

 

 

 

 

Manic Monday

Actually it’s been a fairly cruisy week, not much stress and not much on. Work was work! Nothing new there and I currently don’t have any portrait shoots booked. This allowed me to spend as much time as I wanted on my own projects. I am really getting into my Still Life shoots and instead of making them look like paintings or drawings I have now been focusing on making the photo the art. I Started another online course, this time with Kim Klassen; Be Still 52, she has others as well. I am kind of glad it is self paced, as it is a little slow, in one week I have 26 sessions……granted I have not done all the challenges for each, some of the sessions have no challenge, it’s just watch and learn. It has opened my eyes to a softer, dreamier view on my art.Gave me time to plan what I wanted to do, get some props and drops as Kim calls them to set up quite a few shots and then spend ages doing a whole heap of them – heaven.

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I must say I love it, I will do a post on it later this week with some more pics.Kim also is big on simple, easy, relaxed shoots as a form of mediatation; it’s actually kind of cool. It is possibly just what I need. Slow down, relax, take time, have patience…

We have a few overnight photo trips coming up this month, as well some more concept shoots. It is an exciting, albeit a little nervous month ahead. Nervous, you ask? One spot we are going to is so remote it is 4WD access only (really test out Betty Boo) and there is NO HOTEL! We have no camping gear, so we will be sleeping in the car; Yikes! My overwhelming need to shoot in this spectacular spot is the only thing currently stopping me from chickening out. It’s in an Alpine area and even though it is still Autumn they are expecting early snow next week already, how cold will it be in a few weeks?

Actually I have spent a few days mapping out the month ahead, we have lots planned. Isn’t funny, sometimes you have no plans and can just potter about doing your own thing, then the next weekend you are so busy. We have a whole month like this. But it should be lots of fun.

I have finally managed to finish off my images from my Hosier Lane fashion shoot and will post them soon, as well as the usual challenges and stuff. I am continuing my 1 & 5 posts; I do hope you are enjoying them. And of course I will go into more of my Still Life project, I really love the new direction it has taken me.

Til next time, peace, chill, safe travel and happy snapping…

-Julz

 

 

Manic Monday

Nothing particularly Manic About this Monday at all, in fact even though it was Easter I had a fairly crappy long weekend. I ended sick with some tummy bug and cancelled all plans we had for the weekend. No Shoots, no BBQs, no family and friends, no Chocolate

😦

I am slowly getting back on my feet, my damn ribs are so sore, I think I may have even cracked one……..hurts to move, hurts to breathe. After a few days of having both bucket and toilet as my best friend, I honestly have not done a lot. I potted around on the PC doing a few basic edits and a few challenge posts. I guess I am just feeling a little out of sorts; Man being sick sucks!

Til next time, happy snapping (I wish)…

-Julz

Manic Mondays

DSC_4545As much as I would like to complain; just how stiff, sore and tired I am, I won’t, as I had so much fun and would happily do it all again. But…. I am really tired. 🙂
Worked all week, not much happened, edited some pics, did some assignments and did some tutorials, you know same old, same old. On Friday we picked up some new ND filters and then tried them out a Clifton Springs Jetty early (very early) Saturday morning with some Tog Peeps. Grey was the best way to describe the morning. Even in colour they still look grey, grey water, grey sky, eh….Melbourne. Then a few of us headed to Indented Head (shipwreck) more long exposures, then onto lunch and exploring in Queenscliffe. A bit of photography and some retail therapy, such fun. We finished the day off with a ferry across the bay (complete with dolphins…..sorry no pics) and finally home late. image

Up early again Sunday (so early the homeless were still asleep under the bridges we passed on the train) for a fashion shoot with a difference with models and designer wear from Gypsy’s Sewing Box. Gothic, Steam-punk and Lolita in Melbourne’s iconic Hosier Lane…..raced home to attend a friends birthday. I then spent the evening going through countless pics. I am so tired. here is just a few happy snaps from the phone. Will post more later.

Til next time, happy snapping…

-Julz

 



 

Manic Mondays

We are on a roll with another 3 day weekend, this time it is Labour Day, us Melbournians call it Moomba. It’s a silly name with loads of meaning; it signals the official winding down of the Summer festivals and a signifies that Autumn is here, we celebrate with street parades and fireworks, food and wine festivals and more; we even have a King and Queen of Moomba – it changes every year.I did plan on a attending another fireworks photo shoot on Saturday night, but I was so tired from my shoots on Saturday, so we didn’t end up slogging through Melbourne with all our gear. Just as well apparently brawls broke out and the police had to intervene.

My little angel Grace was back with her Mum and Dad and extended family and new cousin Hunter.I have been shooting Grace since she was a newborn and it’s so lovely her family are regulars; I get to capture her growing up, she is getting so big!

The other excitement came in for form of the new outdoor furniture finally arriving, and I got to set it all up, with plants and nik naks and stuff………..such fun (yeah I know girly) stuff to do. But isn’t it so pretty? Still more work to do, but when you work all week and then on Saturday it leaves little time, thank goodness we have so many long weekends over the summer months. I can’t wait for the official chill out party to commence! :-). I get such lovely light in here I think I might have to do more shoots out here too. Isn’t it funny how we often ignore what is right in front of us?

DSC_4462Sunday I took some members from my Tog group and a special guest out to explore the Wilson Botanic Gardens nearby, it was still quite warm and humid, but some of the Autumn colours are coming out. There was a Dog Group there with their dogs setting up for a shoot, so we joined in and took some pics. We then took my special guest Desley out to visit some of our favourite spots in the Dandenongs. Desley complained she had lost her creative photo mojo a little of late (with all her move to a new city and all), so I dragged her out with us; careful what you wish for lol. Honestly we had a lot of fun! But man did my feet hurt.

I have the usual challenges on this week, I have scaled back some and picked up new ones this year, I still do Cee’s Fun Foto, B&W and Compose Yourself challenges. I have picked up Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge. There is also Desley’s Contemplation posts and don’t forget my own challenge; Cover Make Over; don’t be shy…….join in it’s fun for all levels.

I have also started a new photographic series as well, I am going to be working with flowers and fruits, doing a studio shoot on light, shadow and shape, partly for my Awake course, but also for myself. I am not sure if it will be exhibition material, but hopefully will give my portfolio some depth and artistic character. Taking my photos more into the realm of art than photography; but more on that later in the week.

Not much else to add, need to get stuck into some more editing, I hope you all have a truly awesome week, til next time, happy snapping…

-Julz