RAW – Natural Born Artists

Well this weeks blog has been a challenge in many ways.  Firstly it has been a difficult blog to write (that’s a story in itself), secondly after finally finishing the blog when saving the draft the website lost the lot.  It seems my first draft wasn’t the right draft according to the universe.

I have amazing and exciting news to share, I have been asked to showcase at the Gold Coast location for RAW: Natural Born Artists.  You may ask who are or what is RAW – “RAW:natural born artists is an independent arts organization, for artists, by artists.   An international community made up of creative individuals across the globe.   Their mission is to provide independent artists within the first 10 years of their career with the tools, resources and exposure needed to inspire and cultivate creativity.”

The location for the Gold Coast RAW is at the Currumbin RSL.  The event is called BOLD and is to be held on Wednesday 23 September commencing from 7pm.  I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity to show off my passion, my photography and my story so far.  The next month or so will be very busy, I have a long to do list organising prints, books and some special surprises to make the most of this amazing opportunity.

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To help make this event a huge success I need to ask for your support.  Tickets for the event are $20 each and available by clicking on this link http://www.rawartists.org/kassysolomon once on my page you need to click on Buy a Ticket for this Artist to purchase.  Whilst on the page please take the time to read my story and inspirations.  I am really looking forward to seeing you all there.

Until next week.

Kassy

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Toowoomba – Full of Colour and Beautiful things

Stepping back in time this week to re-live a great day trip.   It’s 8am on a Saturday morning and out of the blue I get a text to ask if I would like to grab my camera and head on a day trip west to Toowoomba, my girlfriend wants some company on a day trip to check out a fellow photographers exhibit.  I can’t help it, I jump at the opportunity to not only spend the day with a great friend but to take some photos and check out this amazing women’s work.

With 3 kids in tow we head out on our road trip.  After just over 2 hours on the road our first stop is the local art district, the gallery is down a side street a little out of the main town – it seems very industrial, such a great location to showcase the talented work of Hannah Roche.  After a good hour of wandering around and appreciating her work we headed off for some lunch before checking out a couple of Toowoomba’s best sights.

We decided as it was the middle of summer to check out Toowoomba’s botanical gardens, we should see lots of flowers and thousands of bright colours.   A short drive later and help from google maps we find the gardens and start to explore.   Walking through the garden one of the first things I see is the sunflower garden.  I love sunflowers they really do brighten your day and put a smile on your face.   After getting lost in the moment and spending time exploring sunflowers we move along to the gardens full of colour – there is red, pink, purple, white and a little green as far as the eye can see.

Toowoomba Botanical Gardens

Toowoomba Botanical Gardens

After walking around for awhile we realised that the other “must see” feature, The Japanese Gardens, was actually not here but another location all together.  We pack up and go to head out from the gardens, on our way out we come across a garden bed full of yellow, orange and red flowers.  With such amazing colours together it was a excellent opportunity to try out some abstracts in camera, so here we all are – moving our cameras up, down, sideways and trying a few round and round.  We were having so much fun that time almost got away from us.

Fun Creating Abstract "whatever" with colourful flowers

Fun Creating Abstract “whatever” with colourful flowers

Back on the road we had a small window of time to see if we could find the Japanese Gardens and explore.  I am so glad we did as the gardens are just stunning with so much to see and photograph.  The contrast of colour, between the bright red rails of the bridges, the green trees and add in the timber structures – it’s a photographers delight.  We don’t have enough time to explore everything and having the afternoon bright sunlight made things challenging with the photo gear I had with me, I did still manage a few images I feel were keepers.  On the positive side this location is on the must visit again list.

Toowoomba Japanese Gardens

Toowoomba Japanese Gardens

Other interesting aspects of the Gardens

Other interesting aspects of the Gardens

It was getting late and we still have a couple of hours drive home, so reluctantly we head off for home.  A great day out with fantastic company.  If you ever get the opportunity to visit Toowoomba please add these 2 locations on your must see list.  It is truly worth the time.

Until next week.

Kassy.

Melaleuca Wetlands

It is 6.15am on a Saturday morning and I am waking up to the sun shining in our resort unit at Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort, I only need to move about 15 steps from the bed to the balcony in my pj’s to capture this morning sunrise complete with reflections off the water.  It is so still and peaceful and quick, after 5 minutes the sun disappears into the clouds.

After a coffee I decide it is too nice a day to not head out and explore.  Whilst walking I come across the Melaleuca Wetlands nature section and take a detour to explore the area.  The timber broadwalk winds around the trees and the wetlands as you move along on the walk.  At this hour of the day it is so quiet, you are alone, there is such a stillness in the air that I cannot describe it.  I get feelings rushing over me that are calming, uplifting and relaxing as I become one with nature.

Allowing the body and mind to be Zen – this is the place to be, there is so much to look at and appreciate.  The many Melaleuca trees appearing out of the water form interesting lines, shapes and reflections.  Coming around to the section that is “most wet” I am greeted with “green carpet floating on the water” it is breathtaking, I can hardly contain my excitement whilst at the same time appreciating the Australian nature at its very best.

Melaleuca Wetlands

Melaleuca Wetlands

Being so early in the day the sun is yet to rise much above the tall trees so the lighting conditions are just about perfect before the “dappled” light gets too harsh for the elements.  Photographically it is a dream, there is so much opportunity to capture the scene from every angle, close ups, wide shots and of course for me perfect for abstract photos and just when you think you are done you take another 10 steps and can start again using similar elements but I can assure you that each photo has something unique and different.

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After an hour or so my battery is dying and it is time to leave.  I am completed relaxed and ready for what the day has in store, after all tonight is set to be a big night with a huge birthday gathering for a very dear and special friend who is responsible for getting us all together at this fantastic location this weekend.

Here are some of my photographic abstracts from my walk that I am most proud of, now I just have to narrow it down to the best to print and hang on the wall.

Abstract Heaven

Abstract Heaven

Until next week.

Kassy

Fungi Fun

I get a call from a friend after the recent rain, the light is right and the fungi is growing everywhere; grab your camera and come and play.

If I am truthful (which I always aim to be) macro photography is still something I am yet to master.  Macro photography is not as easy as you may think.   The focus fall off of a true macro lens is different to all other lens, instead of having 1/3 falloff in front of your focus point and 2/3 falloff behind, you have 1/2 and 1/2 on a macro lens.

All whilst having fun I did learn a few lessons from this afternoon of play;

First – Either take yoga lessons or make sure you have a the live view function with focus ability on your camera.  You may need to get down very very low and it can be difficult to see through the eye piece let alone correctly focus at that level.

Second –  Composition, even though you think that leaves and dirt can add to the “rustic” feel of the image, it can also be a huge distraction.  Oh and be careful with the angle and positions as fungi can end up looking like something you didn’t expect it to look like.

Third – Have a reflector handy, fungi is normal in dark places and a reflector will help to bounce light where you need it.

Fourth – Most importantly have fun, shoot it until its dead, this way you will learn from your mistakes and find joy in your successes.

I have put together a couple of sets of photos so you can see what I consider as my successes and in full disclosure I share with you a few of my mistakes that I will learn from.

Success with Fungi

Success with Fungi

Love the colours here

Love the colours here

Learning Images

Learning Images

Until next week.

Kassy

Black and White

Whether you prefer colour or black and white photography the fundamentals are the same, a great photo comes from the love of light, the way you control that light and the way you process the photo to make it unique and your own interpretation.

When you think of black and white photography the first name that comes up is Ansel Adams, clearly one of the most influential and amazing landscape photographers of his time.  Photographers, young and old, are still learning from him well after his death, his technique and understanding of light teaches us to continue to push and chase the light until you master the image in your mind.

Recently I have discovered another master, the works of Frank Hurley.  An Australian photographer and adventurer.  If anyone could get me in the freezing cold and begging to go to Antarctica it is this person.  His imagery is very powerful and clearly he has the techniques and control of light that has produced some breathtaking landscape images of this area.

So with the greats in mind on Sunday I wandered around my yard and immediate surrounds (when learning it doesn’t matter that the subject is not somewhere like Antarctica as the principals of learning the technique are the same) and tried to produce some interesting black and white images of very ordinary “weeds” by controlling the light.

Like all aspects of learning there were hits and misses with my photos.  I never delete a photo, my very amazing mentor and teacher always taught me you learn more from the wrong than the right.  Every photo I take is something to study, learn from and try to improve.

Here are some of the hits and yes, misses, from my adventure.  I hope you enjoy my photos and I welcome any comments.

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Until next week,

Kassy

Highlights – Looking back at the last 6 Months

It’s hard to believe that we are almost at the end of June and into the second half of the year. Where does the time go? I have taken some time this week to reflect on the first half of my year. Today is Day 175, we are 7 1/2 days away from the middle of the year and the half way point of my 365 Photo A Day Project. It is hard to believe that I have taken at least one photo everyday and I think that only 3 so far are iphone photos. For those that will allow me to indulge below are some of my hightlights and memories of the last 6 months.

January started with a pet photography session that was almost enough to drive me to drink, tear my hair out and swear – you really can’t depend on a cat to do as they are told, let alone pose and stay where they are meant to. After suffering through my pet shoot I finished the month by heading off on a day trip to Brisbane in a heat wave to photograph 9 different models on location.

January 2015

January 2015

February is always a special month, with our birthdays and wedding anniversary however on top of that this February has produced my favorite memory, I met 2 amazing larger than life women in their early 50’s for a You are Beautiful glamour shoot, these ladies were sisters who are so warm, funny and friendly. This shoot was a surprise 50th birthday gift from one sister to another and was such a pleasure to shoot.

February 2015

February 2015

March, the start of Autumn and from what I recall it was pretty hot with a few afternoon storms, still managed to capture an Autumn sunset or 2 as well as the trees and nature.

March 2015

March 2015

April was huge, it involved some major life changing decisions and moments. As scary as it seemed the changes were just what the doctor ordered. On the photography side, finally had some amazing autumn sunsets, some time to catch up with friend from over the ocean and a late afternoon outing under a bridge.

April 2015

April 2015

May the rain cleared and my studio finally got fixed and re-built after the flooding earlier in the year, this had a flow on effect into the main house with some DIY projects on the go. I think the most photographed object this month was the house. However I did manage to find a few other interesting things to fill up the month, including a beauty shoot for one of the Queensland Finalists of Miss Universe.

May 2015

May 2015

That brings us right into now- June, so far this month it has been about clear winter skys, road tripping and a very special pregnancy shoot in the new studio. I also can’t forget that this month we are in the thick of State of Origin football (Go the Blue’s 🙂 )

June 2015

June 2015

A jam packed first half of the year, I wonder what will come in the second half … What ever comes my way I will continue to be blessed, live and be grateful for every day.

Until next week,
Kassy.

It’s a Beautiful Baby Bump

The studio has fresh paint, new timber flooring and I have some new lighting accessories to play with. It’s the perfect time to organise a photo shoot. Last week I was contacted by a very good friend and fellow photographer Steve O’Brien from FotoZero, enquiring if I was available for a “baby bump” shoot. It was the opportunity I was waiting for to try out some creative lighting photos. So a date was set for last weekend.

Meet Chloe. Chloe is 39 weeks pregnant with Jackson. Chloe has had some challenges within the pregnancy and to keep both Chloe and Jackson safe, Jackson is due to be born this coming Sunday (which is also his due date).

There is something extra special about a pregnant woman, it is like nature, an indescribable beauty. Chloe is no exception, she is glowing and her smile lights up my studio. I have a specific type of shoot in mind I want to show off her belly as well as her body, as a celebration and documentation of the miracle of life in raw black and white form, this is where my new lighting “toy” comes in.

For the first half of the shoot I am using a large soft box over my light source positioned facing away from Chloe into my “white” space to bounce back a soft spread of light. My main light I am using has a beauty dish attached, pointing straight at Chloe.

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My vision is to capture the quiet moment where Mum and Baby Bump are one, a powerful love and moment where one is just enjoying the feeling of a swollen belly and the little and not so little movements that one experiences at this stage of the pregnancy. I want these few photos to silently speak of the love and emotion and I am choosing to process in Black and White. I believe by taking away the colours you are drawn to the moment. This is what I aim to achieve.

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The second part of my vision is to use the lights to “enhance” and “direct” the light on all or certain areas of Chloe, again showing off the beauty that is a woman’s body with child growing inside. I want that raw beauty and again process these in Black and White, I want Chloe to have a memory that shows off her beautiful pregnant body.

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In my last photo I asked her partner, Mason to join us and arrange for him to wrap his hands around her and rest on the belly – directing the light onto the bump and his hands, this photo to me is a family full of love excitingly waiting to meet their precious little boy.

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I am truly blessed to be asked to capture these memories and wish Chloe, Mason and little Jackson a very happy and healthy life.

Until next week.

Kassy