The Dapper Rabbit Series

As most of you are probably aware of the concept series I have been working on for most of the year featuring my Dapper Rabbit………I was calling him Edward Hyde, but Dapper Rabbit seems to have stuck :-), anyway this series is almost run it’s course, but I thought I would show a few more images I have done. I think I am going to go back and re edit them all once I finish shooting, as from start to finish they appear slightly different, as my skills and editing have improved and changed over time.

These were all shot on our weekend away in Beechworth a few weeks ago, mostly at the Mayday Hills Asylum, and some surrounding areas.

You can see some of the other images here and here. There is still a few more images to complete in this series and I am hoping to have a short story written up to go with it. If nothing else I have invested a year of my life and that of my Husband (who is the rabbit) into this project and I want to print it off as a coffee table book……just for us. It has been such a learning curve for me, well both of us really and so many other people have jumped on board and made it become a reality. It’s been humbling and yet empowering to have what started as a crazy idea turn into such a momentous episode in our life. I would not call it life changing, as nothing as really changed; no money, fame or notoriety…………ok well maybe a little notoriety hehehe. But in a small way it has changed me. I know I can do this……take a single thought and turn it into a series of artwork. Sure it is not to everyone’s taste and who cares. Taking a little walk on the dark side can be fun. I have plans for next year, something even bigger, Moth is on board already and plans are under way for my next BIG project and this one is BIG. Sssh……..it’s all a secret and will let you all in on it soon.

~ Julz

Tuesday’s Textures…

Today’s photos are from Crystal Gardens, Marysville. There is a little crystal shop, quite cute and yes we did buy something there; a little lizard statue that Moth really liked.I am sure you will see it featured in some images soon. It was late afternoon and the Winter sunshine was very bright and warm……there is a large display of items from the 2009 bushfires and it is fascinating and horrifying at the same time; what survived and what didn’t, the properties and lives lost, among these items and relics and stories, was this big rig truck, which for some reason seem to encapsulate everything. So big so strong, so permanent – yet not immune to the devastation of bushfire.

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Moth walked and chatted to the owner of the place; nice old guy, full of stories and I wandered around in the serenity of the place and took a few pics.The green, green grass, the peace and quiet, everywhere I looked was some small little wonder and such glorious textures.

Til next time, safe travels and happy snapping…

~ Julz

Vintage Camera Shoot

After a recent Product/ Still Life Workshop I managed to score some extra play time with these old cameras, thanks to a friend through my photography group. Now I must confess that I do not really know much about these old cameras, I really only got into photography seriously after digital inception, but I am assured, that these are very cool cameras.

I decided that they needed an aged analog feel to them and used Nik Analog effects. This is all of them from the Product Shoot.

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Til next time happy snapping…

~ Julz

Tales from the shoot – Toddler wrangling

As I mentioned yesterday I did a baby and toddler shoot with some fellow members of my Awake group (VIC). There was four photographers and five children; Charlie 3 weeks, Maggie 7 Months, Abbey, Blake and Nate, all about 2-3 years old. I would love to regale you of tales of children falling in creeks and chasing butterflies and yelling and screaming and tantrums…………but alas they were mostly a group of quiet, well behaved, pleasant children full of sunshine and smiles; and before you turn away bored……….they were way too cute.

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This munchkin is sooooooooooooo cute and such a happy smiling baby, so easy to get her to smile and she enjoyed all the attention, only got a little cranky when she was getting too tired to sit by herself; our cue to let her rest.

Blake and Nate

These boys were a little restless at first, the studio is not very exciting for little boys, so I took them out to the gardens, the fish ponds, the creeks, the wooden bridges; so much to explore. Then we got out the bubbles and the boys found the dog’s toys and then they were throwing balls and stuff around, lots of giggles, but no one fell in the creek.

Charlie

My pick for the day, what a snuggler, he was so good, hardly complained and let me do just about anything with him. Did even complain when I took all his clothes off, babies often don’t like to be naked.

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Abbey

Abbey was the only shy one for the day, who apart from a few candid shots, did not want to be in the photos, who could blame her, four adults, she has never met, shoving cameras in her face……….we were all probably quite scary. So we gave her lots of space, hoping she may come round, but she never did. This is really the only shot I got of her.

 

Anyway that’s about it, til next time, happy snapping…

-Julz

Tuesday’s Tales from the Shoot – The Dilemma with Dancers in Small Home Studios

I must admit that this is not a major crisis, no one is starving or being abused, I’m lucky my problems are relatively trivial. But it’s my blog, so I can bitch about what I want right?

I have a home studio, we have converted the garage into one. It’s not a particularly small garage, it holds two cars and a LOT of junk, the cars are out, but some of the junk is still in. We put up a mezzanine floor to hold most of the junk (suitcases, Christmas decorations, old kids toys and furniture – I am supposedly holding for the Grandkids if they ever get born), we have put shelves up across just about every wall and that leaves the main area free for shoots.

This has worked quite well, especially for toddlers, small groups, newborns and couples. Bring in some TALL dancers and ask them to dance around the studio, suddenly there is no room. Even a small dancer, like Megan and my backdrops are not high enough, nor wide enough (who knew 2m high and 4m wide was too small?), Oh the mayhem when they attempt a jump! Fortunately most of my set up is relatively inexpensive and quite hardy.

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It also means sometimes I have to get creative with my edits, as you can see the areas outside of the studio floor in shots; fans, umbrellas, lights, tripods, brick walls, etc.

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When they are working on the floor, it’s not so bad, it’s when they stand up and move around!

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Sometimes I can incorporate it into a shot, but let’s face it, it’s not brilliant.

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Other times, I completely remove the background in PhotoShop and add in an entirely new one.

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Who knew dancers required SO MUCH ROOM! I think perhaps I should go to their studios? Or perhaps take them outside (already done that once)………I’m thinking a lovely Autumn shoot by the lake with lifts and jumps and other fancy stuff?

Don’t get me wrong, I still try, it just makes me get more creative, and sometimes a little frustrated my home studio is not bigger, perhaps one day when I win Lotto I can buy a custom made studio, or if the kids ever move out I can take over their end of the house! I suppose at the end of the day, I should be grateful I even have the studio I have got – grass is always greener and all that stuff. Still I can envy those wonderful large studios with tons of space and fancy gear, can’t I?

Til next time, happy snapping…

-Julz

Tales from the Shoot – Summer Night Skies

DSC_2934-EditAs I am sure you have all heard me babble on about the Astro 101 Workshop that Moth and I ran over the weekend……..it was a complete bust as far as the Summer night skies was concerned. Working with Mother Nature can be amazing and have it’s rewards, but she can be unpredictable. We also knew when we first arranged this shoot over a month ago, we had NO control over the weather. I had been watching the weather report for days, looking at satellite forecasts and such. Hoping for the best, but knowing deep down it was going to be no good. Still you never know.

I went prepared with sparklers, glow sticks and torches in case we wanted to try some light painting; but they were never used. Moth and I had decided to spend the whole weekend down there, so if it was a waste of time, at least we didn’t have far to travel.

All day the numbers attending was dropping, early on every time someone dropped out someone else jumped in. We had set our limit to 20, figuring at least 1/3 would be no shows. We had been booked out early with a rather large wait list. Final numbers settled on 16 with about 12 (plus me and Moth) actually attending. We met in our pre arranged meeting point and we took them all up to our ‘Spot’. It was early evening and the sunset was about 45 minutes away. Most split off and quickly went exploring down on the beach.The clouds did make for a glorious sunset, so that was a real win.

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It was at about this point the clouds which had stayed away all day quickly started to roll in and they just kept coming.By the time it was dark it was very cloudy, some left feeling it was a complete waste, although I felt there was still something that could be gained.

By nightfall, our numbers had dropped to roughly 8, which had me on my toes. There were so many different cameras, I only know Nikon, so it was good the attendance was small; trying to figure out how to change various settings on cameras I do not know was frustrating and challenging. They all learnt the basics and we had a brief break in the clouds were everyone was madly shooting, there was a few excited shouts when we could actually see the Milky Way in the sky, and even more shouts when a lucky few managed to capture it. They all knew that none of the shots that were captured that night were very good, but I think most of them were happy with what they learnt and would be able to continue on their own.

Some, now knowing the basics were already keen to attempt other areas, and methods of Astro Photography, and asked if we could run another workshop. I was by this stage exhausted and I hadn’t managed a single shot myself past sunset. I was kind of glad by the time the clouds had completely closed in and we all called it a night by about 10:30.

Will I run another one, perhaps, but not just yet. I think I prefer to run casual meet ups in gardens and things where everyone can do their own thing. Workshops are a lot of work.I apologise for using the same old shots, but I have nothing else new to add.

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Anyway til next time, happy snapping………….

-Julz

Tuesday’s Tales – Writer’s Block?

Normally when I write a post for Tuesday’s Tales I try to write something insightful, or funny from a weekend shoot. Or at least about a shoot……….nothing to report this week. In fact this week I am already feeling a little burn out; how is that even possible – it’s only like the first week of Feb!

For the last month it’s been Go! Go! Go!, and now it’s like eehh, whatever. Do you have days like that? or weeks? Like Writers Block, but for the digital art variety. I know in my Photoshop Artistry course, they say just play around, try different things; even if you aren’t feeling particularly creative. But honestly today I just can’t be bothered. I just want to sit on the back verandah with the dog, a cuppa and read a book; alas I have to work!

What do you do when you suffering from the ‘Blahs’? Someone once told me to take it and run, enjoy it and eventually it will all come back. I don’t stress over it like I used to, but it does make coming up with a post a bit tricky…………or does it?

Anyway I thought I would showcase another recent artwork; Suburban Serenity

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Look familiar? The alleyway was used in a shot for Cee’s B&W challenge recently

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Hopefully I will be back next week with something a little more interesting than the fact that I’m bored and really can’t be bothered to do anything! Sorry about that.

-Julz

 

Tuesdays’ Tales

I briefly mentioned my studio shoot yesterday, but I didn’t go into too much detail. I had a friend who is a fabulous dancer, graciously agree to be my model for some more non traditional portraits and creative session. We actually had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to set up a few shots.

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Actually we got a few cars slowing down to watch us walk up the park with a ladder and camera gear in tow! lol

And he did it all few a for few free head shots and a generous heart…………many thanks Luke, trust me you will see him again. I then spent countless hours on the PC and Photoshop……….still going!

On another note, I am still trying to learn my Speedlite………..it is easy enough on the camera, it’s all automated, it’s off the camera I’m struggling with. I have watched a few videos, need to watch some more I think 😦

Til next time, happy snapping

-Julz

 

 

Tuesday’s Tales

It’s been awhile since I did a Tuesday’s Tales. Not that I have really done any studio shoots for a while, actually apart from a few day trips and our trip down the Great Ocean Road, I really have not had the camera in my hands much. To be honest I am a little frustrated with my dirty image sensor…….it is becoming such a pain and I keep using Moth’s camera when I need to. It is becoming apparent I need to get this looked at, but everywhere was closed over Christmas weren’t they?

So what have I been up to, I have already written a little about the courses I am currently enrolled in; Creative B&W and Awake, plus the 52 Week challenge. I have already learned an enormous amount, I’m still surprised at my learning capacity. Some days my head is so full of ideas I cannot sleep at night. Some of my ideas are turning into projects that I NEED to see through. Maybe you can or cannot understand a NEED to create something, but it can be consuming.

My first project was an idea I had that started with simply lighting and B&W images; Angel. It then turned into and amazing piece of art.

The next project I had, called for something Blue, so that was this weekend’s studio setup. I set up a small table with some black cloth and a black backdrop and then hunted around the house looking for blue items.

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The painting is one of mine from a few years back, a study on roses with the lovely blue mottled background……I grabbed a few brushes and tubes of paint, a fabric rose………then I liked the idea of the tea light lantern (this time no one was holding it, so it is steady) and I really liked the blue top of this bottle of wine. Not that I drink red, it was given to us and well…… I at least got some use from it 😛

I also did an extremely dark blue bottle in front of a white background and back lit with a light behind the bottle. Kind of cool effect, but perhaps needs a little fineness.

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My other project was to play around with a new Speed Light (or flash unit) I had just picked up. Nikon SB-910. Now this is a complicated bit of kit……….just the manual itself is confusing. At least it has the advantage of putting it on the camera and it sets most of it up for me, however I want to shoot with it off the camera. Let’s say a LOT more reading and investigating is required. But so far it seems pretty cool, as long as I diffuse it with an umbrella or bounce it off a reflector…………without it seems to be way to bright (and I am yet to figure out HOW to drop the intensity down). Once I have this figured out I will write a more in depth review. But I had decided I needed more light in the studio. The continuous lighting, while cheap has been largely effective, but many of my shoots can appear dark, I need more light on my subjects faces and the speed light seems to be the way to go after much reading (well studio strobes seem to be, but they are much more expensive), so I figured I would give this a go and build from there. It never hurts to have various different types of lighting around, also the speed lights are portable!

I have more projects I want to work on including some more body work in the studio in B&W, some artsy stuff. Just trying to convince my adult models to go almost nude, lol. Of course I need to get my model Xavier back in, he’s two months old now. babies change so quickly, it’s time for an update. For once I do not have any portrait sessions booked……wow it feels kind of weird, but I am sure that will change.

Well that’s about it from the studio, til next time, happy snapping…….

-Julz