Saturday, 20 December 2014

Merry Christmas


Dear photo blogging friends,

I probably won't manage to post on here over the next week, so Merry Christmas!
Here's a photo I took in London a few years ago. Regent and Oxford streets looked like a fairy land.



I've been fortunate enough to experience a cold UK Christmas but alas without snow! I would love to see one white christmas. I may have to work on making that happen :)

Maybe you long for a christmas in the surf? Of those I have had plenty.

Thank you for your support and for reading this blog,

God Bless, your corner of the earth,

Val.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Reflections and stretching the boundaries


Hello readers,

I do love a good cloud reflection. A mirrored building reflecting blue sky and white clouds is a lovely thing and I have featured them here before. This building caught my eye yesterday while I was sitting in my car in the car park of a nearby town and I happened to have my camera with me ;)
At the moment is how to use photoshop elements to do a lot more than resize and crop. I am discovering all sorts of wondrous things - like cloning and distortion correction. My aim is till to get it right in camera as much as possible but after that the reality is that it's all part of producing better pictures. I've only started to dabble in substituting backgrounds and special effects and colours and the arty side of it. Of course ultimately nothing is as amazing as what nature can do and the starting point is always the wonder of what is already there.



Do the edges of the photo above give the impression of being curved to any one else or is it me? (Did I correct it too much?)





Is clouds and sky enough?


Have a good weekend,
Val.



Friday, 5 December 2014

Surprise Reflection



Have you ever been surprised by a photo, readers?  Last weekend I had a 'let's catch up' lunch with a friend at a pub in Newtown and afterwards we did some window shopping and gelato eating. My friend pointed out this cute homemade Xmas decoration in a window and I took a quick iphone snap to remind myself of how it was done so I could make my own, not realizing that it was actually an interesting photo for its own sake with reflections behind it, so I thought I'd share..


Merry almost-Christmas from a hot and stormy land,

Val.

Monday, 24 November 2014

A Shiny Slinky



Here's another interesting sculpture that I saw at the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition that was on in Sydney a few weeks ago.




It looks like a toy for a giant to play with doesn't it.
Have a good week wherever you are,

Val.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Refraction


Each year Sydney has an open air art exhibition called Sculpture by the Sea link to website.  This year I managed to see it for the first time and do the coastal walk on the late afternoon of the last day. Even so, the crowds were considerable at this increasingly popular event. I walked from Bronte to the headland near Bondi. This is a popular walking/jogging trail for the 'beautiful people' who can afford to live along this expensive part of Sydney and I know they are glad to get their walk back when the exhibition is dismantled.

It was a glorious afternoon, sunny but not too hot. Many of the sculptures are interactive, you can climb in on or walk through them. People had a lot of fun with this mirrored crate.







Next year I will try to get there at daybreak for some better shots.  The photos in the link are much better than mine ;)

The sculptures are different each year but they are always thought provoking.

Have a happy weekend as we charge toward the party season,

Val.
  

Friday, 31 October 2014

Aussie Critter


Dear Bloggers,

We have some unusual creatures here and that includes our bounty of reptiles. I did a bit of a bush walk today and luckily I had my camera with me when I saw two lizards sitting on a log fence. I decided to get as close as I could and one of them ran off almost immediately but the bigger of the two just sat there as I approached and watched me with one eye on me and one eye on the nearby scrub for an escape dash.



I am familiar with a few types of lizards, the little brown back yard lizards and Blue Tongues and Goannas but I had not seen these fellows before with their fabulous dinosaur spines. A google search makes me think he may be a Jacky Dragon

He was about a metre long. Just after I took this he ran off into the bush. Maybe he stalled so that his partner could make her escape? I like to think so.

Have a happy weekend,

Val.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Purple Reflections


Hi Everyone,

My homework for my photo group has been to photograph a purple flower and I have experimented with photographing everything from petunias to thistles and in my quest to get a unique photo of this little purple daisy I ended up with a reflection of the mosaic table on my balcony.


I know the photo features the glass vase more than the flower and this exercise has taught me to look at flowers from more angles than you could imagine but how do you get something that is truly different?

I know I am not the first person to zoom in, and certainly not the first to be fascinated by light as it shines through, in or behind the petals... so my quest continues.


On the subject of purple, I was in the city yesterday to get a dose of art and current exhibitions and while I was exploring the 'arty' end of town I saw this great mural.


I don't know if she is about to start dancing or fighting but it sure brightened her end of the street.

Have a good weekend,

Val.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Reflections of the past



Hello bloggers,

I am slipping this in under Weekend Reflections  link under the guise of there being reflections in the upper windows, but in reality I wanted to share this shot -- on less than ideal settings as I was photographing something else entirely - of this vintage car (Rolls Royce maybe?) that was going down the other side of the street.

It's so lovely in it's design, something grand, something to be seen in, rather than the weapon of speed and destruction that is the modern car.

I hope you enjoy the glimpse of the past as much as I did. Taken in the hipster suburb of Newtown, Sydney.



Have a good weekend,

Val.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Peaceful Reflection



Dear photo bloggers,

The camera sees things differently to how we do. Some things look fabulous in real life but not much on camera. Some things look ordinary at first but amazing when you see the detail.

Some people  are loved by the camera but you would pass by them in the street and not notice anything out of the ordinary. And you know what, even landscapes follow this rule. This is a dam in a local regional park with a little viewing platform on one edge next to some picnic areas. I took a photo from the platform and wow! it looks bigger and much more impressive than it really is and pretty enough for a weekend reflection ... link


Happy weekend,

Val.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Cat's Cradle


When we were children, my brother and I used to play a game called Cat's Cradle on rainy days (pre ipod, computer games or mobile phones). A piece of string was tied in a loop and held with the outstretched fingers by one person while the other person made patterns with the string. The string-pattern went form hands to hands until something slipped and you got a tangled mess like the cat had been playing with it..then you started again. We loved it.

If you were good at it, the patterns could look something like this.



Or this.


What on earth is it?  The view up the centre of one of these..



Have a good weekend everybody. Seize the day and treasure it.

Val.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Sitting around



Sitting around waiting for customers in the hair extension shop.


No I haven't gone traveling, except to a nearby suburb in south western Sydney. I asked these ladies if I could take their picture and they all started to pose so I said, no, please just do what you were doing and they did.

I'll be linking to weekend reflections, James's meme. Check it out.

Val.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Seagull Reflections


Is there anything as free, or as independent as a raucous seagull?

Yes, a bunch of them sitting on posts in the winter sunshine watching progress on renovations to my favourite sea bath at my favourite beach.


I will be linking to weekend reflections at the end of the week.


Stay safe and well,

Val.

Monday, 25 August 2014

The Sea

Sometimes I just need to breathe sea air. Stand on the shore and watch the endless waves. What does not ever change is the changeableness of that vast energy. They say we are made of the minerals of the ocean and a little bit of dust. We come, we go. I stand and watch the ocean that will be there when we are all gone.

Edited to add that this is written for my mother, who passed away last night. The last four years were hard but the last 16 days, since surgery, were very difficult. She wanted to go, she was ready. I am sure she is in that other place with Dad and other loved ones. Young again, beautiful and always elegant. Goodbye Mum.




Friday, 22 August 2014

Tilted Windows



This shot is another 'selfie' from a few months ago. There is a waterside restaurant with tilted window frames just asking to be photographed..




The building reflected in the background is the Novotel Hotel at Darling Harbour, Sydney.


Have a happy weekend,
Val.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Ethereal


Last week Sydney finally got washed over with winter rain for several days. I took some shots of  Cymbidium orchids on my balcony as clouds were looming, while the petals were still perfect and had never felt rain.






Do you like my orchid shots?


Val.


Friday, 15 August 2014

Sparkles


Hello,

Once again I have pulled a photo out of the archives. I took this a few months ago during a photo meet at a nearby suburb that has a rich diversity of people and cultures. I could not walk by these sparkly dresses. I will be linking to Weekend Reflections


Speaking of imports, later today I am picking up my very first full frame camera and a new lens with macro capability. I am excited!

Have a good weekend,
Val.

Friday, 8 August 2014

No Reflection this Week


Hello.

I would like to thank everyone who commented last week and said that setting up a shot as a means to an end is part of what the art of photography is about. So, here are a couple more of my efforts.



Let's Have a Party




 Crystal Bouquet


Have a good weekend everybody,

Val.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

At the front gate



Part of photography, maybe a large part, is being at the right place at the right time to get the shot, paired with technique which is as we know a never ending learning curve...like, get all of the subject in your frame girl and try to make it level! I am still working on to taking time to compose a shot while working against changing light but the other week I was lucky enough to capture the flame of a sunset in a Victorian era cottage window.




The other thing I have been doing is experimenting with macro flower shots by going out in the early morning, getting some dandelions and photographing them at home instead of crouching down in cold wet grass. Makes for an easier subject but is it cheating? Or is it a step toward creating art?





Opinions welcome and have a good weekend,
Val.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Reflections at knee level..


Last week I met up with members of the Sydney Street Photographers Group for a 'Down and Dirty' challenge. We met at a inner city suburb, Newtown, that is known for it's arty/student/hipster vibe and went about getting down low to photograph whatever took out interest. As part of the challenge we made our way to a very old graveyard that I did not know existed..

On the way I photographed this reflection. Trendy boots, the car, and me..


Graffiti


Twigs and flowers


At the entrance of the Church and graveyard a marvelous Moreton Bay fig



The graveyard...  Just the right touch of spookiness.





Hot chocolate and waffles afterwards, yum.



Have a good weekend,
Val.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Waiting...

Hi people. These shots were taken during my last photography meetup at The Rocks in Sydney.


Waiting, waiting.



Waiting in line 


Waiting for it all to make sense


Waiting for spring.
I'm linking to James's Weekend Reflections. His one today is especially good!
I'm off to get 'Down and Dirty' with my photo group today. Will post about it later hehe
Val.

Friday, 4 July 2014

The Seagull Preacher



Well no, he is just one of many seagulls that were having their morning bath in a city fountain but to me he looks like he's preaching to the flock.


I'll be linking to Weekend reflections tomorrow but in the meantime have a good weekend everyone'

Val.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Fractured Clouds


Clouds in the reflection or clouds in the sky, what are they anyway and how is it that we can we see them at all?






Have a good Sunday people.

Val.



Monday, 23 June 2014

Mid Winter


Katoomba, a small town in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney holds a Festival on the winter solstice every year to celebrate the shortest day. It used to be small, a bit of a hippie/alternative thing but it has become something of a yearly tourist attraction and draws a large crowd. I went there as part of my Street Photography meetup group.












There was certainly something for everyone. After the parade there were stalls with handcrafts to look at, music, dancing in the streets and lots of characters in costume willing to be photographed...

It was an experience!

Val.