The Year of the Cat

2016 may be the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac but in my world it’s the Year of the Cat.  My mascot, Missy, to be exact.

After completing the Photo A Day project in 2015 in the theme of my daily life, I ended up with 365 photos and a photo album with a snap shot and memories of my 2015 year.  It’s magical and so amazing to put together a photo album and click send to have my book printed so I can treasure and leave as a gift for my children when I am not longer in this world.

It was with those feelings that this year, in 2016, I decided to do a daily photo journal of my Cat, Missy.  Not all people are cat people and many people prefer or relate more with dogs, however I have found that I am a cat person.  Missy is a very important “Fur Kid” in my life, she has a calming influence on me and showers a positive energy within my life.

Now this project does not come without a challenge, the challenge to keep the photos creative and not too much of the same thing, after all I must admit, cats don’t do much, they have the same routine day in and day out.  Sleep, Eat, play, get human to wait on them 🙂 .

So far this project has been fun, exciting and interesting.  It has me thinking on a daily basis to capture something different and when I do it puts a major smile on my dial.  Of course Missy is smart and starting to realise that when the camera is stuck in her face she will tend to move on or turn away from me.  We then have to play “cat and mouse” to get that days journal entry.

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I hope you enjoy my favourite Missy photos from January.

Until next time.

Kassy

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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.

Enjoying and Living Life

“Everything in life happens for a reason”.  Have you heard that before?  Do you believe it?  I know I do.  2015 started off with a flood in my studio, my floor removed, part walls taken off – well you get the picture.  After months of rain we have finally had enough of a dry spell to install extra drainage and now have the green light to commence repairs within the studio.  That means within a month I will finally be able to put back together my studio, with a few new improvements, get my creative juices flowing and start my next photography project.

During the last 4 months I have been concentrating more on myself, pushing forward and making changes, whilst still finding some time for photographs. Having watched another close photo friend embark on her own special project after she had some wins in the state awards (each one not related to the other) has renewed my desire and lit the passion inside to go forward with my “Rock” project.  It is time to get it off the ground, time to take my thoughts, ideas and vision and push them into action.  Once the studio is ready I will begin the model calls for this unique project.

In the meantime I will continue to photograph what I see in my life.  Late last Sunday I took a drive initially looking for “Metal” images and ended up discovering Jacobs Well and Cabbage Tree Point tucked in amongst the cane fields.  Heading out in the car just before Sunset gave me opportunity to find some metal on lamp posts, farm sheds and factories.  Once satisfied with my findings I headed down to the jetty and the waters edge to watch the boats and the colours in the sky.

Some "Metal" Findings

Some “Metal” Findings

Such a peaceful experience just sitting by the water edge, watching the keen fishermen try their luck as the birds circle around to steal their catch.  The light was just stunning as I watched the seagulls wander along the waters edge.  I walk up a bit further and see “percy” the pelican fly in and glide over the water as he comes in for a landing and wades along the shallow waters looking for a feed.  All the while watching the colours in the sky over the water turning pink as day turns to dusk.

Peace and Tranquility by the water's edge

Peace and Tranquility by the water’s edge

I was a little disappointed that the cane in the fields was so high, it was blocking out the sun setting on the mountains in the distance however it was almost dusk when I left Cabbage Tree Point and just as you head out of the town you are high on the hill and even though the cane in the cane fields high as you come around the bend there is a small gap and the sun was just above the horizon setting which made for a quick photo opportunity, the last of the day.

Sunset over the Cane Fields

Sunset over the Cane Fields

We are lucky to be alive and living in this glorious world, we need to remember that always.

Until next week.

Kassy

Weekend Adventures

I always look forward to a visit from my photographer girlfriend from Cocos (Keeling) Island, not only for the fact that she is an amazing person and very good friend but also that we end up planning photo adventures that keep me blogging about the funny stories that happen on our travels, the great locations we find and the amazing photos captured along the way.

This particular weekend we arranged to meet up mid afternoon for coffee and a chat before heading out to a secret location in Brisbane and meet up with other photo friend to capture tonight’s sunset.  Karen is lucky to live near a wetland reserve so after our hello, coffee and chat whilst looking through Karen’s latest photo book we headed out for a walk through nature.   On our walk we found alot of interesting things including lots and lots of butterflies, dancing in the sunlight.

Things you see in the Wetlands

Things you see in the Wetlands

Heading along the river we came across a man fishing, he has Parkinson’s but is such a friendly gentleman who loves to take photos.  He took alot of pleasure in showing us a few of the swans he saw at this location a few days ago.  He also was kind enough to warn us of a snake up ahead, so change of direction and we are back on our walk heading up the river.  We came to an opening where the trees are coming out of the water and I see reflection, colours and ripples, all the elements to create a magnificent abstract photo in camera.  It was a picture in my head, I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve. Now I know abstract is not everyone’s cup of tea and very subjective but I will show my before and after photos so maybe you can see what I saw.

My Abstract - Vision  Left Image - Real Right Image - Abstract taken in Camera

My Abstract – Vision
Left Image – Real
Right Image – Abstract taken in Camera

Time was getting away from us and we hurried back to the car to head into Brisbane to our sunset location and meet up with Vikki, another good friend, who also shares the love of photography.   We are somewhere on the Brisbane River right under the Gateway Bridge.  From underneath you look up at the Bridge and appreciate the enormity of this structure.  So many interesting lines and curves combined with the calm waterway and a stunning sunset, it’s a photographer’s dream.

"Secret Location" Sunset

“Secret Location”
Sunset

We spent a good couple of hours at our location, talking, laughing and of course taking photos whilst waiting for the sun to set on the horizon.  Tonight’s sunset was another Autumn delight, the warm orange rays from the sun danced and reflected on the water surface.  However the best was yet to come, after the sun went down the twlight colours lit up the sky.

Twlight

Twlight

Another perfect day in Paradise, thanks to Karen, Vikki and Kire for a wonderful afternoon.

Until next week.

Kassy

Life and Gerbera’s

Over the past 4 weeks my life has been turned upside down and inside out (don’t worry it has a very happy ending).  As most of my regular readers know I have an office job that supports me and allows me the funds to fulfill my passion of photography.  I made a decision a few weeks ago to accept a new opportunity and challenge and leave my job that I had for 14 years.

I am a person who is stable and love security in my world, so this decision has totally taken me outside my comfort zone and pushed myself out there to find the next phase of my life, whilst sometimes scary I know that in life you have to always look forward, not back and shine.

I am totally blessed, this week especially, as events and gestures by these wonderful people have left me speechless (that in itself is a miracle).  You may ask what this has to do with photography, well one of my gifts was beautiful pink gerberas.  The pink in each flower has many tones, ranging from the lightest of pink to the darkest almost red pink.

As you have probably guessed by now, Yes – I had to get out my camera and photograph them.  My trusty Nikon in hand with my 105mm macro lens on board I headed into the kitchen, grabbed the vase of flowers and a little water ready to spend the next half an hour photographing this gift from every angle.  It is amazing just how many different photos you can take from one flower and have it look totally different.  I was always taught to “shot it until it is dead” 🙂 .

Oh of course once you go to process the photos you can add much more character and create art.  The beauty of the Gerbera in my opinion is that whether you choose photos in colour or black and white they look amazing and can be totally unique.

Here are some of my favourite Black and White photos from my half hour of play.  I choose to process these photos in 3 different ways, natural black and white, highkey and very contrasting.

Gerbera - In Black and White

Gerbera – In Black and White

Now looking at my favourite colour photos I chose to process two of the photos showing off the water droplets and the lovely changes of the pink colouring on the petals, another photo as soft and faded and the last photo bright, vibrant and a little darker.

Pink Gerbera in all it's colour glory

Pink Gerbera in all it’s colour glory

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a few photos from my half hour play and agree with me just how different one flower can look.   I forgot to add above that this play session was carried out around 6.30pm.  Just goes to show that you can always make a little time for photography, especially when you have such a gorgeous subject to work will.

Until next week.

Kassy

Man on the Bike

Last weekend I needed to clear out the cobwebs and escape from reality for an hour or two, you know what I mean leave my brain at the door, grab a camera, lens, phone and keys and just drive.   Where to go, I don’t know.  I start driving south and decide to go off the beaten track so to speak and take the back road.  I find myself heading towards Tallebudgera.

Due to all the recent rain, the paddocks are lush and the grass very green as I drive along the road.  As I come up to a roundabout on Tree’s Road where I see the famous “Man on the Bike” statue, for those that don’t live near, the “Man on the Bike” statue has a very interesting history within the quiet town.

The original Man on the Bike was erected at the front of the Tallebudgera Village Shopping Centre back in the early 1970’s and has been subject to a couple of arsonist attacks over the years, the most recent in 2014 completely burnt the statue right down to the frame.  Tallebudgera resident Warrick Lawson lead the campaign to restore and rebuild the iconic statue and was pictured next to the burnt status with an actual Penny Farthing bike ready to lead the fundraising bike ride to raise the funds required for the restoration.

Man on the Bike Fully Restored

Man on the Bike
Fully Restored

This statue is very hard to photograph.  If you are looking for a full photo, you have to work with the bike spokes, plants, cars, roundabout and electricity poles.  If you get up close you run the risk of flattening the Man.  Very challenging situation. Hopefully after the hour I spent walking around and admiring this statue from all angles I got some photos that does it justice.

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With thanks to the local community, I escaped reality and found the beautifully restored Man on the Bike sitting proudly in his rightful position, one he will be at for many more years to come.

Until next week.

Kassy.

Guest Blog – Tangalooma Island Resort

This week I am taking a little break, life events have been circling around me, which has left me very short on time this week, so with a little tongue in cheek I sent out an SOS to my wonderful small network of fantastic friends, who also happen to be photographers to write a blog for me and of course they came through, so this weeks blog is from the very talented Vikki Siliato from LaDeeDah Portraits, sharing her recent experience with aerial photography, sit back and enjoy.
Until Next week, Kassy

A camera, a helicopter, an island and a very excited photographer…

Last month I was asked to do some aerial photography for Tangalooma Island Resort. They needed photos of a lake at the north end of Moreton Island that is shaped like a dolphin for their marketing department. Yes, that’s right ‘shaped like a dolphin’ and its aptly named Dolphin Lake.

Dolphin Lake

Dolphin Lake

Now I’ve got to say that this was the dream job… I was sent to a beautiful resort to hop in a chopper and then fly above the amazing Moreton Island landscape and beautiful blue waters of Moreton Bay. At the time the shoot was organised the weather wasn’t the typical ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next’ that we normally enjoy in Queensland. No, it had been raining on and off for weeks, heavy cloud and a fair bit of wind around. I was on call, waiting on weather reports…. and yeehah on the morning of the shoot we got the thumbs up it was going to happen.

Off I go, across the bay to somewhere that I see as a hidden gem and never tire of visiting. After a little wait it was time to climb aboard the chopper for my flight – doors off – over the island. This was only the second time I’ve flown in a chopper and it was also the second time I’ve flown with the doors off, how spoilt is that.

We took off from the Resort and circled back north over the Tangalooma Wrecks and up the west coast of Moreton Island, over Cowan Cowan, Bulwer and around Comboyuro Point and bam there she is – Dolphin Lake… Amazing… and it really did look like a dolphin. We circle a few times to make sure we have all the shots required and I’m snapping away at all the rest of the majestic scenery that surrounds me. Job done we head back to the resort spotting manta rays, turtles and even a shark as we go.

Tangalooma from the Air

Tangalooma wrecks from the Air

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A brilliant day and one I will remember for a long time. Thank you Tangalooma Island Resort and Tangalooma Helicopter Service for a magical experience.

Vikki.