Wildlife. Tigers and Cubs

In the last week, I have been to fortunate to see two amazing and talented photographers and listen to their life and journey’s so far. The first was an Evening with Chris Bray presented by the Australian Photographic Society. Chris is an adventurer/wildlife and travel photographer who has been and done some incredible things and achieved what some would consider impossible. Chris also runs photography tours around the world to some of the most sought after bucket list places.

Chris during his talk certainly can keeps you entertained with his stories, adventures and encounters. His sense of humour is totally infectious, a true story teller you almost feel like you were there too. Trust me it blows your mind to watch footage of a wild elephant be so curious at a go pro on a remote car then next minute that same elephants foot totally destroy that same car and go-pro (it sends chills through me). More bone chilling and maybe a little amusing is to watch beautiful large majestic tigers sniff around a camera, then take off a lens hood with their teeth just before snacking on the camera and lens (thankfully it was a canon so my heart didn’t sink too much 😉 and yet there is a part of me, a big part of me that wants to do that, be there, take that photo (ok maybe not have my camera snacked on … but you get the picture).

Until we either win lotto or sell up and just decide to travel the world, I have to make do with seeing and photographing the animals in zoo’s or parks and the wildlife encounters that some offer. Now I know that not all my readers like to see animals kept captive or encourage participation in encounters offered by many parks out there, I understand and respect that decision. I always try to only support places that dedicate some funds to be used for the good of animal care in general.

In Feb 2016 my brilliant wonderful daughter surprised me with a “meet the tiger cubs” experience at Dreamworld. Our group was taken into a special behind the scenes area where we got to meet the sisters, Akasha and Adira, 2 rowdy playful cute tiger cubs. Not only did I get to spend about ½ hour with them I got to take in my camera and get a few photos as well. Ok so it’s not quite the same as sitting out in the African jungle on safari waiting for the wildlife, camera in hand, I guess at least items experience was up close and somewhat personal.  I came away with some great photos and lasting memories. I am truly blessed to have a daughter so thoughtful.

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Tiger Cubs at Play

Tiger Cubs at Play

When it was over (all too quick for my liking) it was time to head back out in the park, stopping to watch the big cats at play. With a change to a big lens I positioned myself along the fence line with a pole to steady my hand to both watch and photograph the big cats. I tried hard to only take photos as though I was watching them in the wild, observing their natural behaviours rather than any forced or tricks. At the end of the day I am happy with what I could capture given the environment.

I Smell Food ....

I Smell Food ….

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Until next week.

Kassy.

MIA – What Happened?

Hard to believe that on 5th March, 4 years ago, thanks to an awesome web designer and a good friend my new website went live.  That day continued a journey, or maybe it started a new one.  Since March 2013 I got outside my comfort zone and regularly wrote about my experiences, my thoughts,  the wonderful people I meet though my photos and in extension my life, that is until 2016.

So ….  What happened to the crazy girl who would do anything for a photo like standing in the middle of the road, get chased down by ladies with brooms, whatever it took to always get THAT photo.  What happened to the person who was pushing the limits of imagination all with the same purpose of creating something of beauty?

For the last year or so it feels like someone has flicked a switch or locked the door and hid the key.  I feel like I have been treading water, using lots of energy but somehow not moving forward or moving in any direction, just standing still.

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Don’t get me wrong there is still ideas and plans but it’s a little hazy in the brain.   So what is the answer?  Has the crazy women gone forever?  I certainly hope not.  For me the key to pushing ahead is (a) to surround myself with positive creative people and (b) and maybe more importantly take the time within to evaluate what matters, what is important, to find my way back to my why and just keep following the path ahead.

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I am happy to say that I am blessed over the last 12 months to still be shooting glamour portraits for some amazingly talented women.  After all this time it is still a privilege to meet, photograph and be able to show these women just how beautiful they are, both inside and outside.  Stay tuned, those I have met, that will allow me to share their stories and photos, blogs will come this year.

Today I am devoting some time to get back to basics of photography as well as sitting down and writing.  It’s the first step back to reconnection and hope that my followers will enjoy as my blogs become more regular each Friday again.

Until next week.

Kassy.

Life Lessons

2016 is flying by, hard to believe we are almost half way, in just a few days we are officially in winter,   2016 has been just a little crazy, on a personal point I decided to make my health a priority in my life and took steps to get myself well, fit and healthy.  I am pleased that 3 months later I have lost over 10kg and on the road to a much healthy longer life, a life without depending on medications and sugar.  It’s a long hard road but I have decided, I am worth it.

Many have said that the universe will not give you anything that you can’t handle.  The universe gives you want you need, not necessarily what you want.  More than likely it will be a life lesson and believe me, like ground hog day, if you don’t learn the right one, it will keep giving you life lessons until you get it right and the light bulb goes off (or on, if you know what I mean).

This year the universe has yet again challenged me and my patience, when my NAS data backup system blew up … in english this means that all my photo catalogs, documents and other special items went with it.  After exploring many avenues my drives went to forensic recovery and unfortunately the discs are scorched beyond repair.   Thankfully I had alot of data backed up elsewhere, what I did lose, due to thinking things were backed up and too busy to double check, was more personal – road trips, other creative photos taken mainly between 2014 to present.

After “melting down” over what was lost, I had time to reflect on the situation and look at the bigger picture and hopefully find the right lesson in the experience.  I am grateful that most of my photo adventures since 2014 had been blogged and documented, at least I can look back over the photo collages and stories to relive those memories.It’s now time to move on, get back out there, go on adventures and share new stories. After all I can go back to many places and photograph from a difference perspective, a different mindset.

I now value and understand the importance of my writing and my blogs, if not for anyone else, at least for me.   Writing as a teen came easy, I used to write down everything in diaries and journals.  As an adult, for reasons that escape me, I stopped writing, I didn’t honor that part of me.  Believe me these days the writing doesn’t come as easy, but I now understand why I was pushed and for such a long time continued to get out a blog weekly, trust me some weeks were not as easy as others.

The life lesson is clear, it is time to pick up that pen and paper (or fingers onto the keyboard) and write, I have a gift and the universe tells me it is one that I need to share.   I hope that even though my regular blogs have not been so regular since February you will still join me and share my journey through my eyes and my blogs.

Until next week.

Kassy

Road Trip

What happens when three friends who also happen to be photographers decide it’s time to go looking for Sunflowers …. ROAD TRIP!!!!

Over the Christmas/New Year holiday break very early one morning I set off to meet up with my photobuddy and great friend, Karen, to head out west to see if we could find and photograph the sunflower fields.  For those that recall we headed out about 12 months ago but most of the sunflowers had been damaged with storms and as I say “At first if you don’t succeed try and try again”, or it’s a great excuse for a day in the county in the company of friends.

After about a 2 hour road trip in the west direction (I think) and over the range we arrived at our first destination to meet up with our other friend and photobuddy, Glenda.  Glenda is much of a local to these areas and was willing (does she know what she is in for 😉 ) and able to take us on a tour of back roads, interesting sites and various destinations.

Our first stop was close in town at the old Good Year store, Glenda had been wanting to photo this piece of history for awhile, when we first arrived we were disappointed to see a car right in the way however just as we were voicing our disappointment and wished that the car would move, within a minute, the car owner came and drove away.  The power of positive thoughts, right!   Out we hopped and had a great time photographing, one ticked off Glenda’s list.

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During our day together we found many treasures, old churches, cemeteries and trees (lots and lots of tress) to photograph but unfortunately not many sunflowers, most of the large fields had been harvested early leaving behind just acres and acres of bare land.  I am unable to recall the actual names of the places we visited, there was just too many – loads of back streets and dirt roads travelled.

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Of course with 3 photographers in the car there was the more than occasional –  “stop here, now” moment when something special was found and had to be photographed, thankfully we were not on any time constraints.  Truth be told when one of us couldn’t be bothered saying stop, and to the dismay of the other 2 of us, hung her camera out the sunroof, as the wind was howling, and just took photos that way.

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Our last stop for the day was to enjoy a drink and late lunch at the Bar before we heading off for the 2 hour odd journey back home.  By the time I got home that evening I was very tired but so elated.  There is something about a day in the country that just calms the soul, maybe it was the great company, the many many laughs we had or the raw nature that we are blessed with – I think it is a combination of all these.

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Thanks ladies, can’t wait to do it again.

Until next week.

Kassy

What does 2016 have in store for you?

Once the Christmas/New Year celebrations are over, the first few weeks of the new year involves goal setting, forward planning and updating my vision board.  This process involves reflection, time and diving deep within myself to see what I really want and need for the coming year.

This is different from just setting New Year’s Resolutions as most of those don’t last the distance.  All thoughts and ideas are written down and then put into list of priority then each task is broken down into a planning time frame in order to keep myself accountable and ticking off the goals by the end of the year.  By doing this I find that it makes those goals not so daunting and there is a plan to ensure that you achieve and succeed.

2016 will hopefully take me into a new direction whilst still perusing my photography I have some goals that will allow me to expand and grow – new ventures and challenges.  Let us see where the universe takes me on this year on my life journey.   So my question to you, do you plan ahead or do you just make some New Year Resolutions?  Are you a person who makes a vision board?  Do you believe that if you put positive thoughts and ideas to the universe, it will deliver what you need back to you?

Trust me and embrace the power of the universe and positive energy around you, it’s a powerful thing and very rewarding.  Do yourself that favour, you DESERVE it.   Start planning now for the life ahead that you love and live not just exist in.  I look forward to sharing 2016 with you.

Until next week.

Kassy

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.

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)