I Do

Well, they did. I was just there taking photos, pretending to know what I was doing. It was all a bit stressful, and I didn’t come away with as many photos as I would have liked; but I did come away with some I was pleased with. I’ve included my favourites in a small gallery.

I was doing a favour for a friend and was especially nervous because I didn’t know anyone else at the wedding, hadn’t met the bride and groom (rookie mistake), and ended up arriving too late to be able to settle into shooting due to circumstances well beyond control. Even though I was disappointed with myself for letting stress and anxiety overwhelm me, I am happy that I was able to give them some nice photos of their day. The friend who enlisted my help made a scrapbook with the photos for her sister – the lovely bride – and from all accounts she was extremely happy. So smiles all round.

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Family Time

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I am far from a professional portrait photographer. I’m far from a professional anything photographer. So when my sister-in-law asked me to take some family photos for her towards the end of last year, my natural reaction was to panic. Had the request come from anyone else, my answer probably would have been a flat out no! But, because it came from family I felt a little give. I discussed my worries with my husband (I don’t know how to pose people; My photos are nothing compared to the array of professionals around town; I’ve never attempted to capture a large group before) and eventually decided that I would give it a go.

It took a bit of organising to decide on a time for a session that would suit everyone, we had to work around children in school, preschoolers, a recently born baby, and the roster of a Police Officer in training; all up there are eight people in the family, with the children ranging in age from newborn (creeping up on six months old now) all the way up to nine years old. We set a date and I set about researching ideas for capturing the family in the best way possible.

Part of my research was practising on anyone who would let me point the camera in their direction, and trying to find a way to run through some group poses to give me an idea of settings; I wanted to make sure everyone was in focus and able to be seen. So I called upon a friend and his family, tacked them onto ours, and voila! the perfect practice family. Unfortunately, most of those photos were horrendous and ended up finding their way to the cutting room floor. No fault of the models, all down to my lack of experience and skill in that area.

When the day rolled around I was still extremely nervous about it all, and I think I let them get the better of me. I didn’t come away with very many useable images, and I felt that I had wasted everyones time in even attempting the session. I wallowed for a little while in my own disappointment, and eventually told my sister-in-law what was going on. I wanted to try again, but didn’t want her to have to go through the hassle of organising all the children again when I didn’t even know that I would get any good images the second time around; but she agreed to another session and we headed up for another wander around the park. This time we went a little earlier in the day and I mostly just followed the children around, trying to capture them as naturally as possible. There were one or two times where we asked them to sit or stand in a certain spot, and those images worked reasonably well too.

I haven’t finished working my way through them just yet, my computer is ancient and temperamental at the best of times, which makes processing photos a slow and frustrating task; but I am mostly happy with what I have worked through so far, and what I have given the family.

Would I do it again? Maybe… It really depends on who was asking and what they were after as an end result, and they’d need to be well aware of my NOT PROFESSIONAL status. And… I might need to put a new computer on the wishlist before any of that was to happen; but let’s not get started on wishlists, we could be here until next week.

 

Rocky Hill

Although the name provokes images of movie montages and fist pumps, the hill itself is actually quite beautiful. Not too steep, which makes it a pretty good walk for the kids, and there’s plenty to look at while you’re walking along. The kids spent a fair bit of time surveying the landscape below, mostly trying to find our house and their Dads work. It’s pretty cool being able to spot certain landmarks from on high, I like the sense of perspective and scale that you get; kind of puts you in your place.

Madalyn 2013-07-02-Rocky Hill-Toadstool-002_small 2013-07-02-Rocky Hill-Toadstool-003_small 2013-07-02-Rocky Hill-Wattle-001_small Not only did we spot those familiar landmarks, but we also spotted some native fauna; a family of kangaroos. One even had a joey in its pouch. They startled very easily, not surprising when you’re exploring with noisy children, and so I didn’t get any good photos of them; but we did see them. Pinky swear.

One of the sights I usually love seeing as we drive past Rocky Hill, is all the spring blossoms colouring the hillside. I wasn’t expecting to see any of those blossoms making an appearance while we were there, considering it was (is) the middle of winter, but there were quite a few starting to flower; and in the last few days I’ve seen more tinges of purple as we drive past.

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I’m still learning and experimenting with processing, trying to find a style that I like; and although I tried to keep all of these in the same style, they still came out looking different. I usually just try and stick to basic processing, but I branched out a bit with these. Still not really sure about the final products.

Enough of my prattling on, I have to go charge the battery up for a drive to the alpine region tomorrow. It was actually cold enough to snow last weekend, and I’m holding out hope that one of my favourite places will have a bit of cover this weekend. Fingers crossed.

Fluff and Feathers

I’ve previously shared with you some photos from our regular visits to the Botanic Gardens, but I have so many photos of the animals there that have just been sitting, waiting to be shared. So I thought it would be a nice way to brighten a dreary day, at least it’s dreary where I am.

I always see people calling them Botanical Gardens, though I’m 100% sure the sign to ours says botanic and not botanical, and have often wondered which was correct usage, and couldn’t start this post until I knew (stupid brain); so I turned to trusty Google to find out. It didn’t really help. The Wikipedia entry is for Botanical Gardens, but most of the following results (on the first page at least) were for particular Botanic Gardens around the country. Except for Tasmania, theirs is a Botanical Garden. So obviously it doesn’t really matter which you choose to use.

2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Donkey_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Goose_small2013-04-13-Pigs-2_small 2013-04-13-Pigs_smallAll the animals up there have their own interesting personalities, and most of them love seeing people come through. Especially when we visited after some recent rain and cooler weather. The geese are so obnoxious, honking and hissing as they follow you begging for some food. They actually scare the kids a little because they’re so pushy and noisy. For some reason donkeys always sound like they’re sad, but always look like they’re smiling about something. The emus are scary as all get out, and I think they know they freak me out. One started leaning over the fence during our last visit, they can extend those necks a fairly long way; although they do make some amazing throaty sounds – almost like a didgeridoo.

Who knew pigs grew so fast? Well, I did, but some people may not. It was only about two months ago that the two photos of all three pigs were taken, and now they’re massive. I’m not sure what happens to the pigs when they get too big for the pen in the farm area, one was quite possibly the roast we had the other night. They would be perfect for crackling; I doubt they get much exercise to build muscle and make them all tough and gamey.

2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Pig_small 2013-05-25-Botanic Gardens-Alpaca_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Donkey_small 2013-05-23-Botanic Gardens-Peacocks_small2013-04-16-Botanic Gardens-Emu_smallAlright, I had better save some for another time. I do enjoy taking the kids up there, but I’m not really sure how often we will visit over the colder months. I turn into a bit of a hermit over winter. Do you have any Winter activity suggestions?

A Walk To Remember

On the weekend I was lucky enough to have a break from our three kids and was able to take a bit of a drive with the husband. We had heard about a cider festival being held in a little town nearby and had planned to check it out, Batlow is nestled in the Snowy Mountains and is famous for apples. During the week I was looking at the other sights around that area and found something called the Sugar Pine Walk not far from where we were headed, and after looking at some of the photos around the internet I was dying to visit. So visit we did.

Sugar Pine Walk - State Parks of NSWDon’t let the light in that photo fool you, that was probably the longest period the sun was out while we were up there. Fluffy snow clouds hung low overhead all day which made for a cold walk, but it was definitely worth it.

As we were getting out of the car and I was getting my gear ready, an older couple emerged from the trees. The gentleman had a camera around his neck and commented that it was ‘a little dull in there for photos’, so I was a little bit nervous about how my photos would turn out. I did take a tripod, but wasn’t able to use it because the base plate was still on my mums camera. Duh!

My husband and I wandered up the path, chatting about how cold it was, and this and that; but a couple of metres into the trees we stopped dead and looked around in amazement. I think there were a few exclamations of ‘wow’ while we took in our surroundings. It really is magical.

2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-1_small2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-5_smallIt was so quiet in there that you could hear the trees creaking as they swayed in the breeze. The ground was covered in pine needles, which made the ground as soft as carpet – maybe even softer. There are felled trees lying around with moss growing all over them, pine cones bigger than my husbands feet, and plenty of other wonders if you looked hard enough.2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-4-Mossy stump_small

2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-6-Toadstool-3_small  2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-3-Toadstool-2_small 2013-05-18-Sugar Pine Walk-2-Toadstool-1_smallI wish I had a dedicated macro lens for those little fungi, the first of the three was smaller than a finger nail.

I imagine that the walk would change during the different seasons, we have been told it is especially wonderful after some snow fall, and I will definitely be heading back throughout the year.

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To Be Honest…

I haven’t posted for a while. Usually I would come on here and make excuses about not being good at keeping up with all the stuff in my life; but today I’m not going to. While that may be a little true, I do struggle sometimes, it’s not exactly with being organised.

I started this post with every intent of being honest about my procrastination, and now I can feel myself banging on with crap to push it back. Some people reading this may already know what it is I’m alluding to, some might be able to guess. It is hard to take the step to put it all out there, when that is a lot of the problem; but I hope being honest to myself, and whoever follows along, will help me take steps towards overcoming the issues.

I suffer from depression and anxiety.

I know it’s not uncommon for people to be battling a mental illness, but there does seem to still be a certain stigma attached to admitting you’re one of them. Happiness is a huge industry these days, it seems like there should be a quick fix. A one size fits all solution to being sad. Except that it’s more than just being sad. A lot more.

My biggest battle is the anxiety, it stops me from doing a lot of things – like posting on my blog regularly and having any confidence in myself what-so-ever. I feel like I only have myself to blame for the confidence thing, I have let my anxiety win for years. From missing an audition with my local university to gain entry into the acting course after I finished school, to being too scared to post photos anywhere for people to see. Some days I struggle just to make the short trip into my backyard to hang washing out.

I can’t count the number of times I have written a post on here, uploaded the photos, and laid everything out exactly how I wanted, only to trash the entire thing. I second guess myself on absolutely everything; mix that with a dash of introversion and slight perfectionist tendencies, and something I’m supposed to be enjoying can turn stressful pretty quickly.

It’s funny, a month ago I wouldn’t have been able to articulate any of this into a post, which means my head is starting to clear and everything is starting to take form in the lifting fog.

Now if only I could find a way to streamline all the information coming at me from social media, I’d probably be a close to normal functioning human person.

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Fly Away

I took this a little while ago after hearing what sounded like a motorbike heading towards our place. I was taking care of some domestic duties when I heard it, I shrugged it off initially but when it became extremely loud as it approached, and started sounding like it was above us, I had to have a look out the window.

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Flying scares me, a lot, but for some reason this looks like it would be an amazing experience.