Crazy girl and Her Nikon

It’s a Friday morning in Spring, the weather is glorious, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and the birds are singing.  Sounds just about perfect, however at our place you also have the cat who is constantly talking to me so that I finally finish my breakfast, get up off the couch and open the front door so she can go and impersonate a rock for a few hours.

After about an hour of web surfing and a couple of cups of coffee I finally give in and let her out the front.  The day does look so inviting so I decide to take the opportunity to do some photography.  Within a photography group I belong to we have a weekly challenge set by the previous weeks “best photo” winner, (just a bit of fun and to keep us picking up the camera). This weeks theme is water.  I have a great idea in mind, so after letting out the cat I get myself all prepared.

Now this is where the crazy comes into it, picture this, girl (well woman in her 40’s) in oh so comfortable “home pants” that have penguins on them, my “home shirt” a bottle of water, a funnel, a kickboxing bag and of course my Nikon heading out to the front lawn (in full view of the neighbors and all the parents dropping their little darlings off to school).

So I first put down the kickboxing bag onto the front pebbles (I bet you were totally wondering about that piece of equipment 😉 ) sit down on the bag, grab the bottle of water and funnel and proceed to pour water over my Agave’s to create water droplets with a view to get some photos.  Ok first water pour didn’t work that well so with a bit of adjustment of the leaves and myself I go again and now I get some nice little droplets on the leaves (I did however forget to clean them first) never mind, adds character, right? 🙂

SoloImages_WaterAgave-1

Once I have got enough I move the kickbag over to the bottlebrush, which looks about dead after the birds have finished feeding on it over the last few weeks.  Now I am kneeling, again using the funnel pouring water onto the tiny bit of bottlebrush left and of course missed the plant and got the pants, oh well (imagine what the neighbours are thinking now, they must really be worried 😉 ).  The cat is also wondering what I am doing and decides to get into the act and rubs up on me whilst I am getting ready to focus and take a photo.   Take 3 and got the tinest drop on the plant, now for the photography part – this angle, that angle, get below, get above – gee now comes the breeze – this creative stuff is hard work.   I think I might have nailed one shot.

SoloImages_WaterBBrush-1

Time to move on so I decide to head into the back garden to see if there is something pretty and colourful in bloom, whoops lucked out there, forgot I don’t like gardening and have brown thumb.  I find a succulent growing amongst the bushes and decide to give this a go.  Grab water bottle and funnel, pour the water and see what happens, whilst waiting to see the droplets, I now have our Labrador (part Kangaroo) jumping on me to say hello, very hard to focus a camera on the tiniest little water drop and take a photo as well but somehow I managed to get one or two.

SoloImages_WaterSucculent-1

By this time I am spent, I am wet, I have cat and dog fur on me and I have at least one water photo, an adventure to tell and I haven’t even left the house.  Amazing after all of this I still believe the littlest things in life can be the most pleasurable and rewarding.

Until Next Week.

Kassy.

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A trip in the Country

When I find myself getting burnt out or just need to grab a fresh perspective on something, I grab my camera, phone and car keys and just head out for a drive, Destination unknown, time is not an issue, just me, my camera and my thoughts.

Sometime back when feeling this way, I took a drive into the country, in the North Coast of NSW I came across this small village not too far away from Lismore called “Bexhill”, this small village has a population of less than 500 people.  It might be small but is home to something very special.

When driving through the town I saw a sign directing me to Inspiration Point and the Open Air Cathedral, just perfect for a day like today when needing a place to be still.  I had to go and check it out.

On entering and walking up the pathway I was greeted with signs that told me a little of the history and purpose, they confirm this is a place of worship and is to be respected.  At the top of the archway mounted on some timber is a beautiful verse that I just had to stop and read, it certainly set the tone.

You are warmly greeted when you enter

You are warmly greeted when you enter

Walking further through the path I felt warm, comfortable and welcome to this area, the benches invite you to sit down, whether for a minute or an hour, you sit and take in the incredible view.  I am surrounded by nature, love and peace.  When ready to leave I feel the weight of the world off my shoulders, it is certainly an experience to remember.

Open Air Cathedral and View at Bexhill

Open Air Cathedral and View at Bexhill

Open Air Cathedral at Bexhill

Open Air Cathedral at Bexhill

When I arrived home feeling refreshed I had to jump onto google and find out more.  “The Open Air Cathedral has been maintained by the Christian Church for over 50 years and is a perfect place for either an outdoor wedding or a quiet spot to sit and reflect.” “The Cathedral overlooks the Corndale Valley with views of the Nightcap National Park in the distance.” Yes I was right, a great find and a very special place.  If you are interested in more details please check out their website.

Until next week.

Kassy

 

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

Over the labour day weekend in early October I was fortunate enough to catch up with a few friends, who just happen to enjoy the love of photography, at Rossier Park in Benowa Gardens.   Driving to the park out in the West the clouds were threatening rain however the gods were shining upon us and we enjoyed a few hours of typical spring weather without any rain.

On arrival after a few hello’s and hugs we scoped out the park and all decided that today’s mission (If chosen to accept 😉 ) was flower play.   Armed with only one lens, my 105mm macro, I headed over with the others to the rose garden and started to explore.

Some of my finds in the Rose Garden

Some of my finds in the Rose Garden

After photographing as many roses as I could and clicking until there was no other angle, light, detail that I could find I strolled a little further and found the lavender and a few other gems that caught my eye and my interest.  I settled in again for many more photos trying to get into as many angles as my body would allow (I know after this trip my body needs yoga training again, flexibility seems to go the older you get unless you work out 🙂 sorry, rambling again.

Lavender and other Gems

Lavender and other Gems

After a few hours of shooting and a little walking, oh and getting stalked by a swan we decided to head up to the new cafe, sit on the balcony with coffee and cake and catch up on each other’s lives and adventures before heading back home.

You may think that I only get enjoyment from taking photos but actually as I learn more and more in editing I am finding I am having fun and playing more in my digital darkroom.   I call it a digital darkroom as contrary to what some people believe and think about photoshop, back in the old days of film, photographers would go into the darkroom not only to develop but create and make an image their own by dodging and burning, adding textures and other cool stuff, today we have these tools digitally.

Created in my Digital Darkroom

Created in my Digital Darkroom

The above image was firstly processed in Lightroom to do the basic edits from the raw image then I took the image into photoshop and applied a filter from the program Alien Skin and added a sun flare to give the photo an extra element and more interest.

You can get caught up and carried away when playing in your Digital Darkroom

You can get caught up and carried away when playing in your Digital Darkroom

With this rose image above I started with a similar process to the previous then using Alien Skin colour vintage filter turned this rose more red, I really liked the change.  After saving this option I then “played” more and changed it to a high contrast filter which gave the edges of petals an almost burnt look, again I really liked this image and decided to save as another option.

I always enjoy an outing that includes coffee, photography and friends, there is not much better in my opinion.

Until next week,

Kassy

 

Pink October

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. A couple of different types of events can be held during the month being a Girl’s night in or a Pink Ribbon Fundraiser with the official Pink Ribbon Day to be held on 27 October 2014.

Prior to 2008 I had very little knowledge about Cancer and especially Breast Cancer. Growing up I knew a couple of my family’s friends who had Breast Cancer and had operations and treatment. Actually we often joke now 20 years later that a certain family friend used to walk down the shops with a bird seed stuffed bra with the birds following close behind as it slowly fell out and on the ground.

Now before I get the hate mail, I do know that Cancer in any form is not a laughing matter, those who have followed me for a long time know this story well, so forgive me whilst I share again.

Just 5 days after Mother’s day in 2008 I had a telephone call that changed my outlook on this disease and my life. My sister in law was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and needed an immediate operation as it was in the high risk category. During the next 18 months Carine was Cancer free for 3 months but sadly lost her battle.

She was an amazing positive lady who gave it her all, she fought so hard, it just wasn’t enough in this case. We badly need those research funds to find a cure so those like Carine don’t leave our lives too early. Since having this experience so close to home I have each year since 2009 being involved in at least one fundraiser each year raising funds and doing my bit.

The month I decided to turn my Instagram account (SoloImagesPhoto) Pink for the month of October, sharing a photo a day within the Pink theme.   Feel free to follow me and see all my pink photos on Instagram.

Instagram - Day 1 October Pink Photos 4 Pink Chairs on the Beach

Instagram – Day 1 October Pink Photos
4 Pink Chairs on the Beach

Day 2  Pink flowers in Sunlight

Day 2
Pink flowers in Sunlight

Day 3 Pink Sunset

Day 3
Pink Sunset

At the end of the month I will personally donate $49.00 to the Pink Ribbon Fundraiser being $1 for each pink photo during October and $18 to represent Carine’s battle.  To most of you this will sound like a very small amount, yes it is and I wish I could afford more. I have already this year taken part in the Biggest Morning Tea raising funds so every little bit counts and when it comes down to it I know my Angel in the sky knows this comes from my heart and soul and is done out of love for such a wonderful women who remains on my fridge and in my heart forever.

Until Next Week,

Kassy

 

Just a Girl with a Nikon

It is a typical Spring afternoon on the Gold Coast, the day has been warm but not too hot, the sun is slowly setting in the West as day turns into night.  There is no one around me other than the sounds of nature and the occasional bark from a dog before I see the human walking them.  In the distance I see a couple walking to the other side of the lake to set up drinks and nibbles as they prepare to watch the sunset together.

As I sit here on the edge of the broadwalk, reflecting on my day, thoughts turn and I centre myself to my current surroundings and just take it all in.  Peace is all around, there is now nothing except a girl and her Nikon.

SoloImages_Sunset-1

I stroll around the path near the lakes edge and hear a distinctive “honk” from a very friendly and loud Swan, he/she comes right to the water’s edge and is happy for me to get up close and take some photos before we both continue on our way down the path.  It follows me for awhile and stops just before the jetty poles as I turn to walk out on the jetty.  I think it thought I would have fed it by now so it gave up.

As I am standing on the jetty the sun is fading and just about to head behind the hills, the sunset is enhanced with the presence of clouds both white and with a slight shade of grey.  The sky is turning orange and pink and is now fading fast.  I quickly keep snapping frantically off frames from different angles, zooming in and further out.  Even though my eye is firmly against the viewfinder I can still appreciate all the beauty of what is happening and where I am standing, out on the water in the total peace and quiet.

SoloImages_Swan-1

Dusk is here, the street lights are coming on, one after the other and whilst I am slowly strolling back to my car I am watching for hints of light dancing off the buildings and surrounding objects.  The way the light hits enchances the colours in the architecture and something I love to see, watch and of course photograph.

SoloImages_Dusk-1

Just a Girl with a Nikon - Exploring a love of Photography

Just a Girl with a Nikon – Exploring a love of Photography

It amazes me that no matter how many times I visit Emerald Lakes there is something new, different and exciting to see and photograph every time.

It is just another great end to a day in the life of a girl who loves her Nikon and her photography.

Until next week.

Kassy