I live in one of the most beautiful places in Australia – according to ME. I have a job I love (most of the time), 3 beautiful girls, who are old enough now to be independent…but still need their Mummy. #1 is nearly 21, lives with BF, #2 is nearly 18, saving hard for a gap year in the UK and # 3 is 14, loves One Direction and the Hunger Games. Hubby and I have been married 21 years and I don’t know what I would do with out him.

I spend far too much time on the computer – often pretending to work, so when all my words with friend’s games are played and the gossip and news of the world read, I will BLOG.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

One Shot Wonders

What is One Shot Wonders? It was the most fun, most frustrating photography days I have ever had. A group of us from the Artist's Behind Cameras Group got together on Sunday at Mooloobah for a photography challenge, I have never done anything like this before and I will be a lot wiser if I do it again.

We were given a list of photos to take, one photo only, no deletes and in the order of the list. Our cameras were checked, nothing on the disk ***check*** a test photo was taken for the number to be recorded *** check***, camera set to JPEG medium image ***check***

We had 2 1/2 hours for the first 6 photos, my first mistake was not using some of this time to do a recon of the area and choose my photos more carefully.

1. Mostly Yellow

I went for the first most obvious yellow thing I found. Rooky mistake

2. Texture

I am happy with this and would have considered taking this photo of the fence to use as a texture for my photoshop work, I think the plant adds another element to the picture

3. Repetition

We all ended up with a photo that was either under or overexposed, this was mine. There was a group of nippers (young surf lifesavers all lined up with pink vests, they were so cute and all about the same height. As I was setting up the shoot someone called "GO", instinct made me press the button….bugger

4. Leading Lines

The plan for this image was much better than the outcome, I was waiting for the surf to be in the right spot to lead the eye to the couple kissing...of course the waves moved and I missed the 'lines' (and yes I know my horizon is crooked)

5. A Street Scene

I am happy with this image, the family waiting to cross the street, the loo with the view. I shoot in RAW so it was a novelty to put my camera in monochrome.

6. Food

I knew as soon as I saw this heading what I was going to do, I hoped the lolly shop was still operating - this was taken with a wide angle lens held above the table of sweets. (a bit of fingers crossed that my settings stayed right)

After a break for lunch where we shares stories of the shot we could have/should have got, we were ready for round 2. I was hoping to be a bit smarter this time around

7. A beach scene

We were in the perfect location....the hard part was to look for something to stand out from the crowd, the image I had in mind was a group of multi-coloured umbrellas I had seen in the morning, as I headed off to this location I noticed the lifesavers tower, flag and girls in bikinis, I thought this was a very typical beach scene. I will edit this image and include in my portfolio

8. Al Fresco

Italian for dining outdoors, plenty of places to choose from....I didn't want to get up close for this one. I wouldn't want someone asking me to take photos of my food so I went for the dining experience.

9. Round

This was my 'funny' shot, I was going to take this one a few times, as it fits with round, reflection and self-portrait. (I didn't)

10. Reflection

There was two surf lifesavers, one had a pair of reflective sunglasses on, I asked him I could take his photo while he was looking out to the beach - he said 'NO' but this guy said yes, not the result I wanted but still a great portrait shot

11. Movement

Stupid forgot her tripod....I was never going to get a good movement shot without it, in desperation I asked these kids (and Mum and Dad) if I could take a photo while they were playing in the water. Should have used a faster shutter speed this is too blurry in the wrong places (it is well known I am not a lover of blurry/movement in photos)

12. Against the light

I didn't like this heading, it was too early in the day to get a good silhouette image, there was no one around to lean up against the light post for me...thinking outside the square (then I remembered there was judging and most judges 'don't get it'

13. Self Portrait

After being a focus point for one of the other photographers I borrowed her tripod, a quick focus, 10 second delay and jump in to shot. If I liked photos of myself I would be happy with this. (Again I used the monochrome setting in camera)

My test image

The organizer checking my details.

Monday, 9 December 2013

More of my Darwin Trip

I should never finish a blog post with 'I will add more tomorrow' I have been so busy, I have not had time to edit photos or even sort through them,

I will be adding my photos to a set on my Flickr page, anyone can go and have a look at them here

These are not my photos; some of me taken on the Darwin tour, the rest are of the group I got to know very well after 8 days together.

I have been busy with work and family since my return from holidays, Christmas is sneaking up on my too, I decided to take stock and work out a plan of attack. I was going to be the aggressor, I will get this Christmas stuff under my control. I started by getting out all the gifts I have already brought to wrap and place under the tree, I was surprised at how much I have done. 

I have not shopped for gifts or gone Christmas shopping, I have brought a few things when I have seen something that is 'just right'. I must have had a lot of those 'just right' moments. I only have 2 gifts to buy ***plus the mandatory socks and undies for my girls*** then I am done.

I have the family lunch under control, everyone knows what to bring and how much to bring.

I am looking forward to a peaceful day with most of the family and our very close friends. Lots of food and plenty to drink.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Back to the real world

Obviously I am back from my trip to Darwin and the Northern Territory, I have been so overwhelmed by the amount of photos I took, I have been struggling to decide how to approach blogging about my trip.

I am going with the NIKE method - just do it

I have never had a holiday on my own before, this trip was a new and exciting adventure for me, I have been married for 22 years and I have not spend more than 3 nights away from HWMBO. I am so happy that I clicked really well with most of the people on the tour. 

Anyone who has been to the top end of Australia know that November is the worst time to travel, it is hot and humid, the build up to the wet season, this is exactly why we went at this time of year, the plan was to witness and photograph some of Australia's best lightning. That was the plan...but alas there was a huge lightning storm the week before we got there :( . South east Queensland had a massive storm with lightning while I was away - just my luck! I missed the lightning show on our last night in Darwin, I had a few drinks at dinner and just crashed. I will have to brave the weather during the summer and get my lightning photo more local.

Our first night we went to Fannie Bay for Sunset, the very first thing I noticed was there were children playing in the water, I thought the fear of salt water crocodiles was so in built in NT no parent would let their kid anywhere near the ocean. I was a brave soldier and got my feet wet too *** I thought the crocs would go after the kids as they were smaller and tastier *** 

The light on the cliffs at Fannie bay was amazing, photos don't do it justice. I had a play with some crabs and my macro lens.

Day 2 was spent walking around Darwin while waiting for the rest of the tour group to join a few early birds who arrived a day early. One of my favourite photos was taken on our first group outings, a rainbow bee eater happily posed in beautiful light for us, I think all of us got a great shot of this guy with his dragonfly dinner.

Sunset at Mindil Beach

I am not a morning person, never have been, never will be, I have to get up early for work and I do it because I have too, not because I want too. It was a bit of a struggle for me to get up for a sunrise at Lee Point, I am glad I did it was beautiful.

Fogg Dam was out next stop where I got my first look at Brolgas in the wild, I was lucky to have a seat on the bus and a clean window to get a good shot of them before they walked out of range.

We ended the day with a 3 hour cruise on the Mary River where we got our first glimpse of both salt water and fresh water crocodiles. I captured a pair of magnificent sea eagles and a jabiru. As the jabiru was not is a great position to be photographed the boat driver tried to scare him into flying away to give us a chance to get an inflight photo, when guide drove the boat into the water lilies the jabiru just calmly walked further up the bank - fortunately to a better location for photos.

To avoid making this a really long post, I will say good bye and stay tuned for more Top End Adventures tomorrow

Saturday, 2 November 2013

October Mini Challenge

My 104 photo group on facebook often has weekly challenges with a theme, sometimes I play sometimes I don't often I pull out a photo from the achives that suits the theme. It is a bit of fun and a way of sharing photos. For a change in October our illustrious leader introduced a new challenge, 13 photos with a themes chosen by members - I chose Old/Rustic/Broken. There was rules with this mini challenge  - all photos must be new, only one from the archives. 
The List with my photos

1. Peace/Piece
 My Piece of Pie....bring peace to my lips....but not to my hips

2. Rustic/Old/Broken
This old tractor was discovered on the side of the road at Maleny

3. Creative Blur

A macro shot of a fly that was biting my leg - the blur was created with photoshop.

4. Light & Bokeh

5. Bikes and Cars

I am not 'in to' cars, I thought I may stuggle with this one and end up taking a boring photo of my car. Then this car was parked outside the local shops

6. Macro

One of my favorite flowers fuschia, there is a reflection of the stamen in the water drop 

7. Clouds

Most of October was very dry with no sign of clouds, the first time I saw clouds I quickly took a photo

8. Spring

Jacaranda = Spring, this image was taken at 5am at work. I purposly aimed for this time of day, before the flowers were crushed by walkers

9. Obsession

This was always going to be a no brainer, I am obsessed with my camera. This is a BTS shoot from the Angel series

10. Random stranger - talk to them and attach their story in comments.

This is Sharon, she is a part owner in the coffee shop at Maleny, this shop has been open for about 3 years and has a good turn over. She was embrassed about having her photo taken so wouldn't look driectly at the camera. She has been a barista since she was at school and had to borrow money from her family to go into business. 

11. Faces

This is my from the archives shot, these faces are messy and ful of fun

12. Negative Space

HWMBO wanted to check out the new walking track on Ngungun, I was lucky there was a girl on the top happy to pose for my photo

13. Rivers/Lakes/Oceans

Beautiful afternoon at Bribie island, lots of families enjoy the weather.

This month the photos will be judged and a prize given to the winner, the judge will be someone who doesn't know any of us. (I am guessing the prize is a slight boost to your self esteem....this is the usual prize)

Only 3 more sleeps until I go to Darwin, I am packed and ready to go and now very excited

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Tired...oh so tired

Today I am so tired I can hardly think straight, is it such a good idea to write...please forgive rambling, mistakes and typos. I am on leave for 3 weeks from Wednesday and my mind has started to go into holiday mode, which is hard because I have some big days at work to get through.

Yesterday was a 15 hour day for a medical conference, hard day, nice people, they feed me and give me chocolate. Today is a Student Church group they are also very nice (some would say too nice... seriously who is this happy at 6 am on a Sunday) but they are loud. 
I am not a religious person, I have been to church a few times as a child and for weddings, funerals and christenings. I don't remember there being rock bands at any of the church services I attended. What's with that?

I think I have worked out why I put off by this group, not the noise (I might just be old) it is that a lot of them have invited me to join them today and listen to the word of GOD. I smile and say thanks, but no thanks, a group of them gave me a sermon on why I should join in their prayers and songs. This is exactly what I don't like about organized religious groups, they all feel the need to convert you.  I believe in fate and a higher power, I believe what goes around comes around and I believe you get what you give. These students are passionate and full of love I admire that but please go away and let me 'work'.

I am working on photos from a shoot I did with #2 daughters friend and her boyfriend. I had trouble finding a good location for this idea as the places I liked most were private property. We ended up at a look out on the Landsborough Maleny Road, there was road works on this stretch of road so we had an audience most of the time. The police (after booking someone) sat in their car and watched the whole session. I did wonder if they thought I might make the kids jump over the edge for a 'good' photo. HE HE

Behind the scenes out take 

 Falling Angel

At the risk of over talking about it, my kit kat lasagna recipe had been stolen and used on another website, I don't have a problem with someone using the recipe or even my photo, however I do have a problem with the fact they have copied and pasted my words and my photos. I sent an email to the lady asking her to take it down or remove my photos. No response yet.  I guess there is nothing I can really do if she won't. I found my photo on a few web pages doing a Google picture search, a lot of them were linked back to my blog (which explains how it went viral) I will probably do nothing....after all is imitation the highest form of flattery. (Although I am not sure about plagiarism)
 Edit.... the post was deleted with apologies :)

Have a great week

Thursday, 10 October 2013

A donation to diabetes

As mentioned in my last post, my Kit Kat Lasagna blog has gone viral, I can use that term now because my picture was found on a random Facebook page. Their post had been shared 81 times and there was hundreds of likes. Should I be worried that my picture has be 'stolen'? I am not, I am flattered that so many have seen and enjoyed my post...I laugh at the comments about diabetic comas and sugar overdoes, I mean seriously who would eat more than a small piece.

This is the Facebook post.

At the risk of everyone thinking we are a sugar addicted family I am going to share #1 daughter's post about the lolly bag cake she made for   #3 Daughter's birthday in June. This cake was so awesome and sweet, it was funny how all the flavors sound so gross yet work so well together.


I have been busy the last two weekends with groups of fellow photographers, there was a macro day with my flickr group at Ewan Maddock Wetlands, this was a learning day for me as I picked up the macro lens only a few hours before we met so it was learning on fly. I know this form of photography will take a lot of practice before I am happy with my results. It is a good thing I like to practice.

I have recently joined a group of photographers on the Sunshine Coast - Artists Behind Cameras, it is similar to a camera club, with out all the rules, committees and BS. It is a group of like minded people who meet once a month and share pictures, ideas and arrange outings. I have only been to one meeting and one outing and they seem like a good bunch of people. Last Saturday #3 Daughter and I joined them on the 6th Annual Scott Kelby World Wide Photo Walk. Details here


Our walk was around Maleny, this is a small country town in the Sunshine Coast Hinterlands. I spend a bit of time in this town so it was not very appealing to me... I joined in the fun and helped #3 with her settings and composition. I took a few photos I was happy with and even entered one into the competition. Chances of winning.....slim and none. It was a fun day, I look forward to more outings.