Crazy Cat Lady

After adding Cats of Instagram and Grumpy Cat to my Instagram last week as well as buying cat shaped paperclips someone made a comment to me that they would be concerned if I wasn’t married – I would be the crazy cat lady (or something to that effect).  This got me thinking, crazy cat lady – I really don’t think it matters whether I am married or not, I do believe that maybe I am the crazy cat lady, actually I am very happy and proud to own this title.

I may only have one cat at home, given the opportunity I would have many, many more.  Missy (my cat) owns this house and I know she would not share.  She has many quirks – will sit on you only if you have a doona over you, doesn’t like some rugs, only drinks her water out of a glass or shower floor, won’t eat fresh cooked chicken or tuna, didn’t like the old lounge.  I could go on and on, there are too many to list.

So you may ask then, with so many quirks, why I love her.  It’s simple she gives me unconditional love and she puts a smile on my face. At the end of each day, laying in bed having Missy come and curl up on my chest happy, content and purring.  Actually I find it a form of meditation, as I lie there with eyes closed, tuned into the sounds of her purring at the same time feeling the subtle rumble from her purrs right through my chest.   It is soothing and hypnotic.

Of course the other thing I adore about my cat is photographing her (which I do every chance I get).  I think Missy has learnt to dislike the camera and lens.  The countless times I have brought out my camera and asked her to pose for me, turn this way, or that way – smile with her eyes and so on.  She doesn’t co-oeprate much now, more often than not she gives me a look that says “oh no, not again”.

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I recall reading in a recent blog that we are like our animals, the traits we find in them we also find in ourselves.  If this is true I have some real weird quirks of my own (time to investigate those I think 😉 ).  Truth be told I might be that crazy cat lady that some joke about, I see her quirks as her personality, her traits as her individuality –  Yes, a lot of the things about her resinate in myself. Is that so bad?   She is my 18% grey that I chose not to live without.

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Do yourself a favour go and find your “crazy” animal to love, it is so worth it.  Until next week.

Kassy.

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The Magic of the Ocean

There is something extra special about the ocean, it is the salt air, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, the feeling of sand in your toes, the clear blue water or a combination of these things?

It’s a place that is good for your soul, it’s where your spirits fly.  You can chose to walk along the waters edge collecting shells as you go or just find a warm place to sit down and just watch the world go by.  It’s a place to find inspiration, to escape, to run and play, it’s the perfect quick getaway.

Normally when I want to take time out I head to Currumbin, which is my favourite Gold Coast beach location.  Not this time, today I decide to stop at Burleigh.  Heading up to the point with camera in hand (yes, my camera is never far from me) I take the pathway along the National Park down to the beach break where the surfers navigate over the rocks to paddle out.

It’s the perfect time of day, late afternoon and the tide is coming in.  I position my tripod at the start of the rocks.  Using my 9 stop ND filter on my camera lens I set up to do some long exposures.  I’m in that kind of mood, I want to capture the surface of the ocean looking as smooth as silk.  Photos that emote calm and peaceful thoughts whilst your eye focus’s on the mist rising as the waves cascades over the rocks.  It is the right kind of photo to relax the body, mind and soul.

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For the next hour and a half I just sit back on the rocks holding my shutter cable experimenting with different settings and scene’s all the while enjoying the serene atmosphere around me.   Each time the waves crash around me I unwind and let go of the negative (or my worries) until I am feeling free and revitalised.  Life at the beach, it’s the best therapy.

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Day is turning to dusk and it’s time to pack up and head back to the car.   Just as I take my camera off the tripod I catch the afternoon light over the high-rise buildings and can’t resist but to grab a few more images before I go.

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Is the beach your special place, the place you know is good for your soul?  If there is a more special place for you please share with me I would love your thoughts.

Until next week,

Kassy.

Smoke and Mirrors

It’s Sunday morning as I look out the window I discover it’s overcast, humid and storms are forecast to roll in within the hour – Another typical weekend during spring storm season.  There go the plans to get out into the sunshine and enjoy a walk in nature with my camera.

I have two choices in front of me, I can curl up in my favourite chair in the family room with a good book, a cup of tea and a tim tam or I could head into the studio for a little rainy day fun play.

As enticing as curling up with a book is I am itching for a little camera time.  So heading into the studio wins, time to have some fun with smoke photography.  You don’t need much equipment to play with this type of photography, all you need is incense burner tray, some incense, lighter, camera, macro lens, 1 or 2 flash units and some triggers.

In the studio I set up a black table with a black fabric backdrop behind the table.  Placing the incense in the burner tray and setting 2 flashes with their triggers (one on each side of the burner) making sure they are close but far enough away so the flash won’t be in the frame within the photo.

Now let’s have some fun – I grab my camera, light the incense and start taking some photos.  (Photo Tip – Make sure that you focus on the tip of the stick of incense as the camera will not focus on the smoke.)   With smoke photography, in my opinion, there is no right or wrong photos – each photo is unique is dependent how the smoke reacts.   You will see so many patterns form depending on what you do.

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To add some variety and to see what happens with the smoke, I added a fan on the floor to create a wind effect, I also tried the “whack it” approach (I was taught this special technique from some very experienced tutors).  For clarification and a safety warning – you whack the table whilst at the same time being careful not to knock anything over or send your flash flying, it really is an art form you need to master.

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At the end of the day it is amazing what you capture just by the movement of smoke.  Why don’t you give it a go yourself this weekend.  (Another quick tip – I have found it much more fun to have a couple of friends around whilst playing, you may end up laughing more than taking photos – a great way to spend a rainy day  🙂 )

Until next week.

Kassy

We are all Gifted

A couple of weeks ago my close friend and mentor, Sheryn, invited me to an event called Gifted.   The event was created and hosted by Heart Centred Money Makers and held in their Tweed Heads headquarters.  The tag line was “Unpack your gifts & share them with the world”.  The event was especially for women and with 10 very amazing and inspirational speakers, it was a life changing day for me.

During the day we were challenged to discover the feminine energy within our body and our life.   Embrace the real you, find your inner calling and your life purpose.   This day was designed to enlighten, open up the body and mind to the vast possibilities available to us all.

Each speaker was empowering however from my personal view 2 women stood out to me, chilling me to my core, taking me deeper than I have looked in a long time.   The first was Michelle, The High Class Hippie – Michelle asked the question that made me freeze in my steps (well as we were sitting – in my chair), tears welled up and a lump formed in my throat – you may ask what question could do this? – The question is “Why” – everyone on this planet is here for a reason, Michelle asked a simple question, What is your “Why”, then she asked us to write it down.   I couldn’t, I really didn’t know – heartbreaking right? Wrong, I needed to look alot deeper, connect within myself, find love and believe I am enough.   During a 30 minute call with Michelle I was able to unravel the “maze” and start to put the pieces together.  There is always a positive from a negative – remember that in life.

The second speaker was Emily – Emily is an Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur.  Emily is a truly inspiring woman, full of life, love and enlightenment.  She shared her story with us, her journey so far, how she found her inspiration in life.   At this moment in time it is hard to put into words how Emily has begun to change my life, I felt an instant connection and hung onto to her every word.  Within her message the universe was pulling me, telling me – this is part of your path, your destiny.  Emily gave me a further gift that day, asking for those who felt they needed help with inspiration, Emily gifted me with one of her books,  Inspiration Bible.  Another 365 stories to inspire me further.  I hold this book very close and dear and read a little each day.

There is a plan coming together for the next “big” thing, well maybe not, but that’s how I describe it for now.  It’s time for growth, new projects and new experiences.  It is an exciting time to be alive.  A final thought – Everyone that is in your life, your inner circle, your network, is there for a reason – you need each and every one of them, so be kind, grateful and support those in your life, discover your feminine energy and live your life as the Gift it is.

Until next week.

Kassy

PS If you feel you need a helping hand or would like more inspiration in your life – here are a few links to some of those that are helping me and of course I am available as well.

My Photography Mentor and Friend – Sheryn Ellis  (photography mentoring and workshops)

Michelle Slayter  – The high class hippie (helps to design you)

Emily Gowor – Author and Inspiration (inspiration)

Heart Centred Money Makers  (caring business makers)

My web guy and friend – Steve O’Brien Get IT Happening  (IT and web specialist for your websites and blogs)