Sunday, August 29, 2010

Catch lights in their eyes

My on-line photography course with Karen Russell finishes tomorrow night at 5pm (middnight her time) and we (all the students) are very sad it's over. We are all staying on board with the forum, posting pictures of the day and everything that we have been through is still there with the exception of Karen. Most of her past students stay together as a group on-line which is great. It's been fantastic and Karen was an amazing host/teacher and very accessible and down to earth. The course was everything I expected and more. She isn't teaching a class this fall (that's US talk) as she is going to Greece with Ali Edwards (scrapbooker) and another lady called Jenny Bowland to teach so I look forward to seeing her amazing photos soon on her blog.

I wasn't new to photography when I started the course as I had bought my very first Canon AE1 film SLR when I was 17 years old. I bought it from Ted's Camera Store in the city and it cost me $380 which one about a months pay for me in those days and I was working full time. This was the camera + the twin lens kit lenses. Wages have come a long way since then, but my friend and I were so excited to get cameras and learn how to use them so we enrolled in a photography course at West End and also learnt how to process B&W photos (that's also what you did back then in the dim dark ages....)

I knew that camera inside out and had put hundreds of rolls of film through it until I was over at Southbank at a cafe with a friend of mine who was visting from Perth and the camera dropped onto the ground from the seat and it broke the shutter mechanism and it never worked again. I was devastated and couldn't even bear to throw it away for years.

Fast forward to the digital revolution and I bought my first Digital SLR when James was 8 months old and basically shot in AUTO most of the time. A few years ago I started scrapbooking and reading blogs because of scrapbooking and the whole photography thing was revived for me. I wanted to take better photos and here we are today. So back to why I started this post in the first place and that was to show you the "catch lights" in James and Sienna's eyes in the photos I took of them yesterday. Lighting was a key thing for me to learn and master how to better use it and I'm thrilled with these pictures. I'm hoping to keep improving on this subject because with the right lighting you can do wonders.

Friday, August 27, 2010


I was looking through some old photos and thought I should post something "scrapbook" related. These 2 pages were my first attempt at doing something in photoshop apart from editing a photo. It was back in the later part of 2007 when I had no idea what I was doing and probably no idea how to do it again at the time. I am definately more comfortable with photoshop now than I was then. James was 3 1/2 years old when we went skiing at Mt Buller. He went to ski school and learnt to ski and he loved it. He would cry at the end of the day when it was over and had to go back to our unit. He was hooked. Sienna was only 1 and 1/2 and was not a happy camper at the day care there but now she would be in ski school and love it.

When you see the kids on the first day on skies they basically walk 2 metres, ski about 2 metres, get on a conveyor belt for 4 metres and repeat this process for a few days bending down to go under hoops etc. So on day 1 he couldn't ski and on day 4 he skied down the main drag of Buller famously known as "Bourke Street" all by himself which just blew his parents, Aunty and Nanny's mind away. At one stage he was going down the hill in front of me and someone fell over just a bit down the hill straight in front of him and I was picturing the collision of him running straight into the fallen down person but not so, he just skied around them and I have never seen anything like it. Kids pick up things so quickly and it was amazing to watch.
So what do you think of my pages done from scratch!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Little models and natural lighting

We had a little photography session playing around with natural window light and William was one of our models and didn't he do a great job smiling for us. Libby (his mum) took the bottom two pictures of him and did a great job as she is new to the whole DSLR thing. It was quite funny because he kept rolling over so we had to take a pic, roll him back, take another pic etc. but he was great fun to photograph.

Sienna and Ged were also co-operative subjects and they got together for a little photoshoot themselves. Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths!!!!! (ummm.. well maybe that's what the picture looks like). Lots of fun talking photography with Libby and having someone's else's kids to photograph is great.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An early visit from the Easter Bunny

Yesterday morning after breakfast and before school/kindy Sienna had on her Easter Bunny outfit which includes the pretty pink ears and a white fluffy tale (not shown as I think she was sitting on it at the time) but these pictures and moments make me laugh and I want to remember them. Here she is pretending to be a bunny.

The kids also played "snap" together with James' new Ben 10 cards and the game didn't end in tears so another kodak moment I want to remember. A big brother playing cards with his little sister. aahhhh beautiful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ben 10

James has "Book Week" at school this week and yesterday he bought a Ben 10 activity book which came with some cards. You use the cards on one side to do a puzzle and on the other side you use the cards to play snap. He was very excited to get home and put the puzzle together.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What's growing

This morning I took these photos of our veggies and they are thriving to say the least. I swear the lettuce doubled in size overnight after that rain on Thursday. I have some Chinese cabbage growing which are going well and am keen to make the "Chinese Noodle Salad" with these which are our families favourite salad.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A birthday morning at the park

Yesterday morning we went to a local park to have a play and celebrate a kindy friend's 5th birthday with yummy homemade chocolate cupcakes which were a big hit all round. I also managed to complete part of my photography assignment while I was there using Libby as my model which was great. We are now 6 weeks into the course and most of us (ie the photography students) have run out of co-operative subjects to use and are now photographing tea cups, candle sticks, stuffed animals actually anything we can get our hands on however this particular assignment on "lighting" required a patient human being (so thanks Libby).

I also took a few pic's of Libby's 4th baby William who is adorable and has the chubbiest cheeks and the cutest smile. I love the picture of Sienna and Ged entertaining baby William.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Backyard Fun

This afternoon I was going to sit down and do some reading (ORGANIC by Don Burke and then read my week 7 photography notes) however I did bring it outside and put it on the table and then went back inside to get my camera as James was entertaining himself with his remote control truck and this was another photo opportunity not to be missed.

Sienna was watching on like a good sister does and I wanted to get a "story" picture of the two of them together. I really like the one of Sienna on the sidelines watching James with his truck and also the one of James by himself with his hoodie on. I was practising "exposure lock" on my camera and I exposed for his face, then stepped back, focused and took the picture. I really like this one of him.

I love when my kids are playing outside and I love watching them at the same time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Tram Museum

In Brisbane's earlier days the main transport was trams which operated between 1885 through to 1969 when the network was finally closed down. Brisbane was one of the last capital cities to close down with the exception of Melbourne which still currently running their trams today.

In 1968 the Tramway Museum Society was formed to preserve our trams history and in 1980 located themselves at Ferny Grove on the Northside to operate the Museum and house the trams. It's only open once a week on a Sunday afternoon for about 4 hrs and is run by volunteers who dress up in their tram conductors uniform.

We went 2 years ago and had the best time even though it's basically a little paddock and a couple of sheds to house the trams and decided it was time to go again. You jump on the tram and the conductor tells you about that particular trams history and then they drive it up to the top of the hill to the shed, we all jump out and then they get another tram out and we jump on that one and the tram goes down the hill and they tell you about that tram. They then drive you back up the hill and repeat the process by getting another tram out of the shed. It's interesting and fun at the same time and local for us so it's a great afternoon for the kids.

The conductor got the kids to help him pull on the rope to pull the pole to connect it to the wire which they loved and then we had some pictures with the conductors hat which are very cute. The museum has 24 trams in total which they look after and preserve and keep in working condition. We were riding trams from the 1940's which is just amazing really and they have the old advertising signs up for dances, advertising (BEC's) the headache tablets back then. It was a great afternoon and you just keep riding the trams until they close if you want.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Who knew?

Yesterday I took the kids for a little drive through Samford to Dayboro which is not far from our place. Samford is about 20 mins away (considered country) and Dayboro is another 23kms after that. When I told the kids we were going to go for a drive to the country, James piped up and said, really, are we going to South America to which I laughed. I said not that country, but he insisted on telling Sienna we were off to South America.
Anyway we stopped at an antique store for a browse and drove a little up the road and to my surprize there was a whole field of pineapples growing. I had no idea we had pineapples growing that local. I know they grow heaps of them on the Sunshine Coast which is just over an hour north but locally, I was amazed. We pulled up and bought a pineapple from the little trailer and popped our $1.50 in the honesty box (well I threw in $2 because, why not) and took a couple of photos. I still find it hard to believe it takes 2 years to grow one pineapple which you can cut and consume in less than 30 mins. It's amazing what is in your own backyard, Pineapples, who knew.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ekka - Part 2

The top photo is us with the famous "strawberry sundae's". When I was a kid these ice creams were something to look forward to and they were about 10 cms high out of the cone. Now all this time later they are about 3 cms out of the cone and don't look as impressive but they did taste great. The 4th ice cream I'm holding is for my sister who was behind the camera.
The bottom photo is of my sister (the kids Aunty Lisa) taken along the pathway to get to the EKKA. I loved the grass and the light and if we hadn't been on a mission to get into the EKKA and start enjoying it I would have hung around here for some more photos.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ekka - Part 1

Yesterday was a beautiful Brisbane day and myself and my sister took the kids off to the EKKA (our Royal Show) where the country comes to the city. We all had a great time and got to see and do a few things suitable for a 6 year old and a 4 year old. They wanted to put the balls in the clowns mouth again this year and we also went on the dodgemcars which you can tell by the kids expressions had a ball.