A Day in the Countryside

The last month of Autumn traditionally has the most spectacular sunrises and sunsets, due mainly I think to the crisp clear skies at this time of year.  The month of May in Queensland did not disappoint, the clouds and sunset colours lined up and set the sky on fire.  Just check out a wide variety of social media posts, (not now, whilst reading my blog 😉 ), you will find some breathtaking photos, some of which I watched in envy for 3 days straight whilst I was busy with yearly budgets at my desk.  As I had holidays booked for the following week I decided a day in the countryside was in order to try to capture a breathtaking sunset photo in the county.

It was a clear sunny day as we set out west.  As we had the whole day ahead firstly we headed up the range to Toowoomba, pay a visit to the Japanese Gardens.  The Japanese Gardens are jointly owned by University of Southern Queensland and Toowoomba City Council and is one of Australia’s largest and most traditionally designed Japanese Gardens (for more information check out http://www.usq.edu.au/campus-services/garden

SIP Toowoomba Area 2

On entering the gardens, for lack of a better word, you feel the Zen feeling take over your body, from the moment you step through the red archway and gate you are greeted with an abundance of colour, especially in Autumn, from the deep blue sky to the vibrant reds and the different shades of yellow and green.  As you walk around the gardens you hear the sounds of the ducks, birds and the trickling of water down the rocks.

SIP Toowoomba Area

You are transported to Japan with the subtle placement of statues, paths of stepping stones and of course the red bridges connecting the different parts of the garden and in essence blending everything together.   Take the time to not only walk the gardens but sit and watch the turtles and ducks swim around.  Or maybe just sit in the one of the gazebos and experience yourself in the moment.  It is worth the visit and a couple of hours of your time.

SIP Japanese Gardens

It was now that time of day to find that perfect spot for my Autumn breathtaking sunset, no pressure – right.  We decide to head out from Toowoomba on the road to Warwick and see what we find of interest to be the backdrop to the sunset.  I can’t tell you the roads we travelled, there were a few including some back roads, in the end we ended up on a main road overlooking the country hilltops and trees.  As the clouds were not looking that interesting, I knew in my heart, that breathtaking sunset was not going to be today.  Still you never let an opportunity go by so we chose a location to set up the tripod to see what transpired.

SIP Sunset West

As I said in my heart I knew it wasn’t that wow photo I dream about getting but the sunset was still something nice.  To stand there in the moment, no noises except for the occasion truck, it was worth the time and effort to complete the day.

SIP Sunset West 1

Until next week.


Just a girl and a Nikon on a Road Trip

Last weekend was Queen’s Birthday long weekend and I had a to do list – after looking at the paperwork in the study and reading the instructions to re-calibrate my computer monitor I decided it was better to grab the camera bag and go on a road trip.

Heading down the highway at 100k we take off heading south no destination in mind just drive until we find something interesting or run out of light.  Just south of Byron I see some parachuter’s, so me being me, I hang my head out the window with camera in hand (yes strap on wrist, thanks to hubby for reminding me) to shoot them, can’t be that hard at 100k I mean dogs hang their heads out windows all the time and they are comfortable and love it.    Wow firstly the shock of the wind hits me, then try and hold the camera straight and still, then focus and actually take some photos, great idea this – not!!  Lucky I did manage a few photos.


About an hour down the road and through the cane fields we stop to grab a drink and I find a unique building that could have either been an old fire house, church or small school.  On the side of the building there is a bell tower with a small bell, only one small issue that I can see is the rope to pull the bell is all the way up at the bell.  I guess this bell hasn’t rung for years but on a positive note a great subject to photograph.


We drive further until we fnd the sea, our stop was Woolgoolga as we stumble upon the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk.  The afternoon sun is behind us as we stroll from point to point, bench to bench and take in the scenery of the beautiful NSW coastline.  I am careful to follow the path, keeping away from the cliff edge, who knows what could happen with my two left feet.


Our final destination for the day is Coffs Harbour, wow has this place changed since I was last here.  It’s all modern and very chic, have to be honest I was a little disappointed not to find some great old historic buildings in the town.   We headed down to the waters edge and the Jetty, it was there I managed to find a little history with the Australian Navy Cadets base and training ship TS Vendetta.


As we head out onto the jetty itself, it is around 4.30pm and the sun was starting to set over on the hills in the distance which is adding some golden light onto the Jetty timber and underneath beams as well as shadows and reflections, perfect opportunity for a sunburst or two.



In the end hubby had to drag me away as the sun faded away and our road trip journey came to an end and we turned the car around and headed back home to Queensland.  A wonderful day exploring, leaving the study and paperwork a distant memory.

Until next week.


Just a Girl, a Nikon and her Pet

I’m back!  Wishing all my blog followers a Happy New Year and welcome to 2015, may it be everything you dream and much more.

We had a very quite holiday break and are now trying very hard to get back into “work mode”.   Without going into a lot of boring details a few “interesting” things happened during the break, the biggest one was a small flood which in turn affected the Studio space and means that the floor and part of the walls will need re-building.  So the Studio will be out of action for about a month (hopefully not too long) whilst repairs are done however I am excited as it will be re-done better than before and maybe will include a couple of changes.

Just before they pulled the floor up I decided I would do one quick last shoot.  I have been wanting to do a cute pet photography series with our resident mascot come assistant “Missy”.  I had so many thoughts and dreams, spent lots of time researching and finding all these photos of Guinea Pigs in cups, with little glasses on, cats on suitcases, in suitcases, sleepy kitty’s, dogs on chairs, with glasses, sleepy, well you get the picture – surely pet photography can’t be that hard ….

Firstly I gathered my prop, my very old vintage suitcase and popped a white fur lining inside for added comfort, now to entice my subject “Missy” (normally this is easy, Missy loves the Studio space).  Missy was not that co-operative, for some reason she didn’t like the case, maybe it was because of the fur lining (she is very fussy with rugs etc), so I take that out, put some treats in, entice again to no avail.  What next I wonder, so I put down the camera, get myself up off the floor and actually put her in the case, she sniffs around, I breathe a sigh of relief, success – oh wait .. not so quick she jumps straight out again.

Back to the drawing board, I find my pink feather boa and start throwing it in her direction, moving it around her nose, feet to get her interested, sadly only one swipe and she lost interest in that as well … maybe if I just put it over the case she will get in and play.  No, that doesn’t work either.  By now I am sweating more than the cat, so I pick her up again and plonk her back in the suitcase and she gets out again before I can get my camera ready, she seems to want to play this “cat and mouse” game, unfortunately I was not winning.

I finally get a brief moment of success, with just enough time to get back on the floor and pick up the camera and take a photo (that’s right – a photo, just 1) before she starts to move again, this time I just give up and just start shooting the events as they happen, she gets out of the case, comes around in front of me, lays down and refuses to look at me.  When I do convince her to look, I get the “evil” eye look and then only her side view.  After another 10 minutes I decide to put away the camera and call it a day.  5 minutes later I find her in the suitcase … are you kidding me but as soon as she sees me she is gone.  I have been told, it might be cat language but I understand her very well.


Missy starring in her own shoot


This is Pet Photography

This is Pet Photography

They do say not to work with children or animals, today I discovered why at least you don’t work with animals.  The upside is I ended up with some funny photos to share with you.

Until next week.




World of Macro

Waking up to an overcast day would be not be ideal for some people, however in my world an overcast day offers the perfect soft diffused lighting conditions for some photography fun.  An added bonus for me was it had rained, nothing heavy just a shower that was enough to wet the ground and garden.

Today with this lovely diffused light I wanted to explore the garden further through the world of macro and right next to the front door my eye caught a spider and his full web, as it had just stopped raining the silk web was full of beaded water and I was able to get those classic web shots against a bright green background as well as some interesting photos of the spider.  Another must have shot ticked off the list.

Macro Spider

Macro Spider

After the rain and having my macro lens on the camera, I couldn’t go past getting more water droplet photos.  There were lots of drops around (without having to use a bottle or funnel), against the green leaves there were many opportunities to create some magic.   Even the weeds looked amazing in macro whilst wet 🙂


Continuing on my discovery I went over to one of our large trees that was fairly bare as it had already finished flowering.  It is amazing what you find hidden until you look carefully, bits of moss so tiny and other objects that are just hanging onto the tree, come to life in the viewfinder within the world of macro.  I spent well over half an hour just looking at each branch and photographing my findings.

What you find in the Macro World

What you find in the Macro World

Once finished with the tree, flowers close to the ground were dangling down wet from the rain, whilst wet they had some interesting patterns and colours that you would not normally see, another bonus of the world of macro.

During my exploration I did manage to find a moth resting happily on a leaf.  It was just sitting their, posing, making it a easy for me to play with.   Even if I say so myself I managed to make him look very attractive.  It is a shame it wasn’t a butterfly as I am yet to photograph them, being another must have on the list, so my attractive moth will have to do for now.


Once in the world of macro you get caught up in everything small.  Objects that you normally would not take the time to stop and look at become your focus and take on an unforgettable beauty.  For that reason in my opinion the world of macro is well worth exploring.

Until next week.


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? 🙂


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.