Regular Random, Five Minutes with some Cupcakes

I was actually a little spoiled for choice after my Sweet tooth workshop yesterday, after everyone left I was playing with what remained, we originally started with 6 beautiful cupcakes…


And yes I will admit to a little tampering, I did move them around, but hey I am creative like that LOL. I also was left with some macarons……..but that will be saved for next week.

For more info and to see Desley’s wonderful Pens she posted this week, visit her page

OH……….and no I did not eat any of them, aren’t I good?

~ Julz

Introducing – Pixel Sisters Studio

I have been hinting at something big being afoot again lately and now I can finally let you in it…..Drum Roll please;

Pixel Sisters

Desley (Desley Jane Pictures – and I have started a new business venture together, creating fun photography workshops for Melbourne based photographers. They say you should go big or go home, right? So we have been extremely busy of late, we have a brand new website –, a Facebook page and an Instagram Account. We are moving all this to a large professional photography studio in Melbourne’s South Eastern suburbs and the first workshop is set for 29th July, this has been a huge undertaking and a big adventure for both of us. Until then I am still running a couple of small workshops in my home studio, but it’s time to go big!


Our first Workshop is a Floral Fantasy Still Life and Macro, (honestly did you really expect anything else from us two?), but we are planning more workshops with varied themes, including; Desley’s Planner stuff and my Conceptual Portraiture, with lots of other fun stuff thrown in too. We will be catering to all levels of photographer, with an aim to getting beginners off auto and exposing seasoned photographers to different genres.

So if you are in Melbourne, check out what we have on offer and perhaps join us, if you live elsewhere in the world, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, as we will be posting lots of fabulous images and BTS stuff as well.

~ The Pixel Sisters (aka,  Julz and Desley)


Regular Random – 5 Minute Roses

I was at a loss as to what to shoot for this week’s Regular Random, hence why it is so late, but I was cleaning up the studio and just about to throw out these almost dead roses, and then the late afternoon sunlight hit them, I pulled one out and placed on the table, then grabbed my camera and went to work.

Something so pretty about this poor wilted blossom, I love the eucalypt leaves as well.

For more information, visit Desley Jane’s page, but for now I think I’m finally done for this week’s challenge 🙂

~ Julz

Winter Workshops #1 – Dark & Moody

Well Winter is here; the cold, grey, windy, drizzly days in Melbourne are upon us. Yes, I could rug up and go out chasing waterfalls and such, and I probably will; but it also means it’s time to run my Winter Workshops. I have advertised three so far, and all are fully booked, granted not overly hard when I limit them to six people each. I will run more and am currently looking at a larger studio space (but more on that later). I am also running themes for each of these workshops to keep it all a little more tightly controlled; and………….they are only for three hours, not six – too exhausting! 🙂

Workshop #1 is Dark and Moody Fruit & Veg

I had three workstations set up, and I split my students into groups of two, very manageable. They get to spend at least 30 minutes at each workstation and then we change them all up, so they get to shoot approx 6 settings each.

An Introduction to Light Sculpting

As everyone in this group attended one of my Beginners Classes last year, I decided to teach some more advanced techniques, so we spent the first hour introducing them to the intricacies of Light Sculpting or Light Painting for Still Life. Sitting in the dark with my light wand, we did two set ups to show the difference between flat matte and colour and shiny metal objects.

Table 1 – Dark Backdrop, Natural Light

So this first table is actually old fence palings still held together (just) on the floor in front of the window, with diffused and quite poor afternoon light. Just enough of a challenge. This table features some country charm, citrus and pears and a little autumn colour.


Table 2 – Dark, Dark, Dark

This is probably the easiest table, but looks the hardest. My small, old works bench with a blackboard backdrop to keep out all the light, in the darkest spot on the studio (with the lights off), using just one artificial light source, with a snoot – to keep the light pin point precise. The trick is to underexpose each shot by st least 1/3. This is the Berry table, it was also be a bit of an experimental table for some.

Table 3 – Vintage

This was actually the largest work area, as we switched between a shabby chic table table with old vintage elements, coal scuttle, enamel ware, linens etc. And then brought out the perspex to really have some fun with light painting and reflections.

We then finished off with trying to capture dusting icing sugar over a chocolate cake, much harder than it looks………..oh and then finished off by eating the cake!!

Even though we kept things fairly simple this was a more advanced class than the ones I taught last year. Concentrating placement, exposures and shooting angles; which works best on tall objects Vs flat objects, which is better for various light conditions, flat lay or 90°  or 45° or even 20°.  WHAT is the hero of a setting?

What a blast, so much fun sitting in the dark with six friends playing with light wands and random bits of lighting.

~ Julz

Tuesday’s Textures – Studies in Light and Form

I have a new gallery exhibit starting this week. If you are in Melbourne feel free to stop by for a look. Scugnizzo Ristorante in Little Bourke St, Melbourne until 9th July.

I realise most of you cannot just stop by, so I thought I might show a few of the artwork on display, just in miniature 🙂 “Studies in Light and Form”

I decided to go with a Chiaroscuro styled Still Life, a little old world masters with a new modern twist. I have them matted in white in simple black frame, will hopefully stand out against their cream coloured walls.

I also have a set of four nudes at the same exhibit, similar in style and colour, but a little more abstract.

So…what do you think? I hope they appeal to the business and corporate clientele this restaurant has.

~ Julz


52 Week Challenge – Week 35

This week’s challenge from The Girl That Dreams Awake is From Above, this is one of my favourite angles for taking a photo, and I don’t use it as much as I would like. It’s quite difficult to take a good landscape photo from above a subject (unless you are on top of the mountain or skyscraper), and people do not often have their portrait taken this way. But it is effective and can be a lot of fun…..if slightly awkward at times.


Butterfly Kisses


Of course it is just perfect for Still Life, and I adore my Still Life, I often wish I had more time to pursue it, but with the colder months now here, there is more reason to spend time in the studio.

~ Julz

Regular Random – Mother’s Day Flowers

Desley might be taking a break, but I decided I would continue on…….Poor girl is so busy. Anyway I finally got around to taking some photos of my Mother’s Day flowers from my daughter. I left the flowers where they were and moved myself and the blackboard I use to block unwanted light and as a backdrop. I decided to take the gerberas out and shot them on their own…..they were the stars 🙂

Oh this is the rest of the flowers, still so pretty, but I just was not sure WHAT to concentrate on.


Til next week, happy snapping…

~ Julz

Monday’s Musings

OK, my crazy month of April has finally come to an end…….it was a wonderful month full of travel, friendships and experiences beyond my wildest expectations. So Now I am back in the world of reality, work, family, housekeeping and Portrait shoots 🙂 I loved every minute of April, but it did leave me exhausted. So time to find some stillness and catch my breath.

So I spent most of last week between editing images, catching up on housework and relaxing, the weather is really getting quite crisp and I feel Winter is coming soon ( as is the next Game of Thrones installment, but that’s another tale 🙂 )

I spent Thursday and Friday evenings try to sort out the studio, I had dumped stuff everywhere from workshops and travel, my prop box needed to be sorted out as I had a Concept Shoot on Saturday with the wonderful Hayley. We wanted to work on some really different pieces, more emotive, but based on a similar theme. Hayley has a creative soul and enjoys doing things just a little different. So I wanted to delve into some styled shoots I have wanted to try but had not had the chance. It was a relaxed morning and and easy shoot, even the edit was not overly taxing.

JuliePowell_Silver Linings-1DSC_0965-Edit

I also went back to shooting portraits this month, because……….well hey gotta help pay the bills somehow right? I Had a lovely lady who wanted a fashion/glamour look in the studio. Hair and Makeup done by Dee Harding. Interesting shoot, I don’t do a lot of fashion but it is fun.

I also finally got around to playing with some still life, I had to let the ball drop on this one, as I had so much on with travel etc. So it was really nice to just play and breathe; my Still Life is my Zen, the ying to my dramatic yang as it were.


This weekend, coming up, I have another corporate shoot and a concept shoot, this time I am shooting with another photographer; so that should be fun. I am setting up some workshops for later this month and next month; Still Life and Conceptual Portraits………so that is time consuming, but will be exciting. I have also been doing a big clean up on my photographic catalogue. Sorting it all out, it’s such a mess, but now slowly getting under control. Finding lots of images I forgot I had, or which I had shot but not touched for a few years; and would love to re edit. Something for those cold wet, rainy days I don’t want to be out shooting 🙂

So here is to a great week ahead & happy snapping…

~ Julz