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.

 

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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

 

 

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

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.

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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

Weekly Photo Challenge – Friends

Over the years I had a few fur babies and constant companions, mostly four legged and mostly cat or dog, a few horses and birds thrown in, I also now have turtles. As far as friends go, personally I don’t think you can beat a dog…..faithful, loyal and unquestioning, unconditional ALWAYS by your side, and extremely emphatic; they just know when something is wrong or you are unwell. I know mine do, they become quiet and patient and just sit by your side (or on your lap). Cats on the other hand, some care (when it suits them) others don’t care about anything but themselves 🙂

These are our current bunch of Furbabies……Chloe the Small white Pomeranian X Maltese, is my Baby…each animal has their own Human, but I am Mum to all.

 

Oh and yes! Ted does have one green eye and one blue, for those who picked up on it.

Chloe is the Matriarch of the boys, and all were born within a eight month period, From June 2006 – Feb 2007; Buddy is the Baby. Each friend leaves an indelible mark on your heart, but these group have touched my heart in extra special ways.

What do you Friends mean to you? This week’s WPC

~ Julz

Monday’s Musings…

Had such a wonderful week last week, although the weather is turning much colder and there has been fog and even dew on the lawns in the mornings, and the leaves have all turned lovely shades of red, gold and orange; Autumn really is here. All too quickly it will be gone and Winter will settle in. I had such a busy weekend; Friday evening we attended the opening of my latest gallery exhibit, to which I have already sold one piece and a friend of mine won an Honorable Mention, with such a great piece too. Ran into a few familiar faces, checked out all the fabulous art then headed into Lygon Street for Pizza.

I then had not one, but two shoots on Saturday……

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Honestly could they be any different? But such large personalities and expressive faces. Young Master Quinn, had fun in a circus styled shoot, but we threw in some other fun stuff as well; There be pirates……..ARRRRRRGGGGGG! (Yes I will do a post for each of these shoots, more so one than the other).

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Sunday was Mother’s Day, I did not get the requirement of Breakfast and coffee in bed, alas……but I was awake and up early anyway, so I got my own coffee! 🙂 I did get some lovely flowers and chocolates from my daughter…..need to do something with those flowers! ~ where is my camera lol

We then went to visit with my parents, had lunch and chatted about all sorts of stuff, as you usually do.  Spent the rest of the afternoon in editing mode, so much work. This weekend coming up is free and already my mind is wondering what to do. I still have not caught any real Autumn colour and a few spots have been calling out to me, is there time for a day trip? However there is plenty to be done around the house as well. Sigh.

Last week was quite and exciting week, between the exhibit and my interview, I found it difficult to settle, not to mention the busy weekend. I have most of my editing under control now and can spend this week playing, I have a few more competitions I need to create for as well. So a quiet weekend is not such a bad idea.

Not much else to say, I hope you have a brilliant week and happy snapping…

~ Julz

 

Conceptual Portraits – Monachopsis

Monachopsis – n. the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place

I cam across this word recently and thought WOW! such a great word, full of meaning to not only myself but I am sure many others. In my own life and when out socialising with others I have this feeling; nagging in the back of my head. I often feel I am sometimes out of time too, but maybe that is me too.

But an idea for a Conceptual Shoot started to form and I had so many ideas; I also had the perfect model in Hayley. As another creative soul she also understood this concept well and was excited about working on the project too.

The Wallflower

As a teenager I felt this, but more so as an adult. If I am at a party or social function where I do not know many people, or it is really crowded, I feel like hiding. Wishing the walls or floor could open up and take me away. Especially if I have said something dumb, this happens all too often; making me quiet and not overly fond of social interactions. Sure I’m fine one on one or with friends, but that is very different.

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Life of the Party

Again mostly due to social anxiety, I often feel blind to the fun and frivolity in social engagements. A bit like those dreams where you are naked and blind and everyone in the room is pointing at you and laughing, but you have no idea what is going on. I have often joked that the dead would probably have more fun than me in these situations. I often feel out of place, especially events like Gallery Openings and meeting new clients.

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Waiting to be saved

I guess this image has different meanings to different people, but to me it signifies that person who throws you a life line, engages with you; saves you from yourself and the barren wasteland of unease. This could be a friend or partner who knows you well and offers you a safe harbour. Sometimes it is just the release that is felt once you have managed to remove yourself without making a scene.

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Don’t get me wrong, I do go out and I do interact with people. I do go to functions and have lots of fun (especially with smaller groups, where I know everyone), but to most I probably just come across as quiet and shy. I am also guessing from a lot of the people I interact with on this blog; I am not alone.

It has been an interesting journey working on a mini series for this one little word with so much meaning; Monachopsis.

~ Julz

Meet Grant Alexander McDougall

I normally don’t do street photography, I rarely strike up conversations with complete strangers on the street either, but a recent trip into Fitzroy had me cross paths with Grant, a very cool dude with whom I chatted with for a while, introduced myself, asked if I could take his photo, I gave him my business card and asked him to contact me. I probably should have gotten his details as well. I hope he does contact me…..I’d love to give him a copy of these images. As part of my year of Brave-R, I am pushing myself to expand and try things I normally would not do, challenge myself to overcome silly fears. I mean it is drummed into us as kids DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS……strangers, in some cases are just friends, you have not met yet. Others have random meaning, I may not ever meet this gentleman again, but he will have left a mark on me. I wonder if I left a mark on him?

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Isn’t it funny what Karma will throw at you if you open you heart and mind to possibilities? Have a fantastic week my friends…

~ Julz

Tuesday’s Textures…

Last month’s Kaizen Group Challenge was inspired by the amazing Artist Brooke Shaden, now she does not do Steampunk (well I don’t think so), but it is her methods and use of textures, objects and story creation that in part inspired this piece.

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Remnants

Now I have not really done much Steampunk before either but I bought some Steampunk kits from Mischief Circus and I really wanted to play. My Model Luke again. I actually did quite a few images using Luke, we did a shoot months ago, and we did some strange stuff in hopes I would someday use them……..and now I have 🙂 .

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Portal

This is another piece using Model – Lizzy D photo by Caroline Julia Moore, titled “Portal” what if you could step through one door and be transported to another world? Frankly I was just playing around and loved how it turned out, so did Ms Lizzy D who contacted me and thanked me and asked to put it on her Facebook page………how cool is that?

~ Julz

 

Monday’s Musings…

Isn’t funny how things happen? I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic and she thinks that when karma, kismet or whatever it is happens, it’s Big Magic….and maybe she is right. When creativity, muse, divine intervention throws an idea at you, you need to be ready to catch and run with it, or it might just move onto someone else.

As you all know I am taking BRAVE-R to the edge this year, I also believe in trying not to say NO (Unless of course it is something that I really don’t want to do), so I got a message from a fellow photography asking me if I wanted to work with a new model……sure why not, if it’s free then I am interested. A few messages were exchanged and a date set for Saturday just gone.  I am still going through a real Brooke Shaden phase and many of the images I set up with fantasy, but dark, with hope and light on the edges, if that makes sense.

I had many ideas set up and notes taken, I had only seen a few photos of this girl. What I did not know about this girl…well woman actually, she is a survivor of domestic violence. I spent the morning with her, chatting away about stuff I honestly knew nothing about; it set fire to my creative soul……I wanted to bring beauty and fun and fantasy to her life.

My Kaizen Project group this month we are working with a charity, any charity…….can’t say much more about it yet, when I read this I cringed….really? A charity, who, The Lost Dog’s Home, Children’s Hospital, Red Cross………what could I possibly create for them that was inspiring and unique. Now don’t get me wrong, these are all good and worthy charities, but they didn’t excite me creatively; and then I met Hayley…….wow – KISMET!

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Time to see what the future holds

So we had a wonderful few hours together, such a lovely, courageous young woman, who started modelling to build her confidence back up…………..WOW, kudos to her.

I am still editing those, but I did manage to sneak in a little Still Life, a Regular Random for this week, food shopping and cleaning, and even sat down and watched a movie – call me super woman! lol.

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This weekend we are heading away for a few days, the weekend just gone Moth was on call, so we really cannot plan on anything, it is frustrating, but we are used to it after so many years. So the next few weeks we have loads planned, trying to fit is some Conceptual Portraits this month as next month is crazy.

Anyway I hope you have an amazing week, til next time, happy snapping…

~ Julz

 

Concept Shoots – The Red Dress

A little while ago I took The Red Dress out again for another spin, this time it was my daughter (Youngest), and her flowing long hair (before she cut it all off for charity). This time I saw sweeping beach vistas and knew just the place to visit. Down Blairgowrie/Sorrento way. It was still quite warm and not too hot and my eldest daughter cam with us as well.

I have three shots I really wanted to try, two meant climbing through sand dunes, lugging camera gear and paraphernalia with us. This is both my daughters, assistant and model……we made a girls night of it.

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It was lovely and warm, but not too hot, I wanted several images for my Brooke Shaden 20 Day Portfolio challenge, as well as a Kaizen Group Project and also to add to me Red Dress collection.

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Sunset Reflections

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Learning to Fly

This is one of my favourite spots for long exposures and night photography, it is part of the Mornington Peninsula National Park in Blairgowrie on the Back Beach (Bass Strait) side of the point. Then lugging all the gear back down to the car we drove to St Paul’s Beach  (Other side of the point) to much calmer, warmer waters. Where I really had an image in mind, but we tried a few other things first, just as well, as it did not work as well as I wanted……dress is too big and too heavy in the water.

We had quite an audience by now, remember – Summer Peak Holiday Season, at the beach on warm night. My Daughter decided to then fall back into the water, my other daughter did a live feed onto my Facebook, I can’t seem to show you the actual video, but if you go here it might work, scroll down til you see the live feed of the women in a red dress standing in the water. Oh man was it funny, all the people watching could not believe she just fell back in a full ballgown, there were audible sighs, groans and shouts of NO! Then lots of laughs as she repeated it again………..she then got a round of applause as she attempted to climb back up the beach dragging a VERY heavy wet dress behind her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were all laughing so hard. What a great night out and a special memory for me with my daughters.

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Into the Unknown

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The Waiting

I love the first two, and I have processed these last two images, but I seem to be drawing a blank with some of the others, I am sure it will happen in time. Forcing the issue does not help. “Into the Unknown” has become a Nemesis of sorts, with about six edits and I am still not completely happy……..maybe it will never be what I imagined?

Now will the dress survive for another shoot? Time will tell, I had to hose all the sand and salt water off and just let it hang to dry…….poor dress, but it has served me well.

~ Julz