While I was walking...

Late one afternoon on a cold and gloomy day, I was at home feeling tired and snappy. I donned a coat and grabbed the camera and walked around the block. I moved to Fairfield earlier in the year and walk these streets often, but always on my way to a destination. This time, I had no goal other than to clear my thoughts. The first thing I noticed was the house number on the dilapidated fence a couple of doors down. 41. I don’t know if I’d call it a lucky number but it’s a significant number for me, and whilst I’d always been aware of the fence (in an otherwise orderly street its precarious state and the ramshackle yard it fronts is intriguing), I’d never noticed the number before. It was somehow reassuring.
I kept walking and looking around. Front yards, letter boxes, rusty gates, fences, trees, flowers, leaves, bark, porticos, arbours and architectural features.

The light was fading. I made it home just before the rain came down.
I can’t do mindfulness, but I can do this. I think it works just as good.

Have you been for a walk around your neighbourhood with a camera lately?

How to Photograph Flowers

How to photograph flowers in a small kitchen without any fancy equipment.

Ingredients:

One stolen flower from the tree you walked past on the way home

A few pieces of baking paper from the third drawer.

One white chopping board

One camera with macro lens

One tripod

One kitchen window

Daylight

Optional: Spray bottle for water droplets. Timber chopping board for a dark background.

Method:

Tape one or two pieces of baking paper to the kitchen window. (Any window will do)

Place flower with baking paper behind it (backlit). I tried several options, including sitting the flower on a glass jar covered with baking paper, which worked quite well. I also used a complicated combination of a peg and some rubber bands and a spoon in the jar so the flower was ‘floating’. It worked, but was a bit precarious. I have since bought a gadget from an electronics shop that is perfect for holding flowers. I’ll share a photo in a future blog post.

Use the white board to reflect light back in to the shadow side of the flower.

Place the camera on the tripod as you’ll need a smallish aperture to get enough depth of field and you’ll end up with a slow shutter speed and you want to avoid useing a higher ISO to avoid noise in the image.

Camera used: Fujifilm XT-2. 60mm Macro lens.

Settings: A range of apertures between f/2.4 through to f/16. Shutter speeds from 1/125sec to 1/4sec. ISO 400.

Below: Behind the scenes iphone photos. Can you spot the Zebra in the background in the kitchen? (He was just a silent observer and had nothing to do with the photoshoot).


If you like this post or would like to see more photography recipes, leave a comment or at least hit the ‘like’ button so I know you’ve stopped by.
Thanks :-)

Time is a slippery devil.

I was just commenting on Facebook this morning (or was it yesterday?) about how much a broken wrist slows you down. I’m a few weeks out of plaster and hand therapy is going well but I’m amazed at how the year is disappearing. I picked up a brochure last week for a Flower Festival coming up at Tesselaars. This morning I was running through a list of possible things to do with the day when I pick up the brochure to check the dates. I was sure it was for the next month. Turns out today was the last day of an almost month long festival. Somehow, I was a month out.

I’ve been in Melbourne for nearly 9 years now (feels like about 2) and I’ve never been to Tesselaars. So I jumped in the car and off I went and spent a delightful afternoon amongst the flowers and gardens at Tesselaars. Here are a few of my favourites in no particular order.

Hey guys.

“Guys.”

“Hey guys”

“I need some help”

“GUYS!”

“ANDREW?”

“BRYCE?”

“HELP!”

 

Nothing but the swarming buzz of Andrew’s drone. 

 

I survey the situation.

Flat on my bum. My legs wedged either side of a large rock. An ominous looking thistle peering over my right shoulder. A spider web that I’d been dodging not too far in front of me. Camera and tripod safe in my right hand. My left hand positioned at an odd angle to my arm. That’s the end of this morning’s sunrise shoot we’ve been waiting two years for.

Sorry guys.

 

I negotiated with the thistle and eventually wriggled, pulled, pushed, slid and manoeuvred myself into a standing position, got Bryce’s attention to round up Andrew and the drone, and then very carefully, using the tripod as a splint and long ago memories of breathing exercises to manage pain, I walked past the beautiful golden morning sun lighting up the reeds and grasses framing Lake Burumbeet, and headed for the car and onto Ballarat hospital.

 

I have a lot to be grateful for. The broken wrist bones didn’t need to be pinned. Just manipulated back into place and then plastered. It’s summer, so I don’t have to deal with jumpers and skivvies and jackets over a plaster cast. I broke my left wrist and I’m right handed. My workload at the moment is manageable. I only missed one day of work and successfully (I think) completed a 6 hours class yesterday. I don’t think it will interfere with any bigger plans. I can manage most things so far but I do have wonderful people around me to help. I have plenty of painkillers. You get lots of attention and sympathy when you have an obvious malady. I did manage to get a couple of photos before I fell. And the camera lives on.

 

But it’s been 3 days now. And I’m over it. Can I take the confounded thing off now? It’s fucking itchy!

(39 days to go)

Sometimes... you remember.

The incredible lightness (or darkness?) of being.

The incredible lightness (or darkness?) of being.

8G4A9457.jpg
8G4A9504.jpg
8G4A9564.jpg
8G4A9431.jpg
8G4A9372.jpg

the reason you get out of bed, is to create. Because that’s what feeds your soul.

(that first image feels almost spiritual to me)

Managing your life. I mean... workflow. Managing your workflow. Digital files. All those images!

Despite my best efforts at slowing down so I can get caught up with life, it just seems to keep getting away from me. A bit like a kid digging a hole in the sand when they’re too close to the waters edge. The sides just keep caving in and filling the hole up with sand again.

I have so many plans and only one lifetime! But I have managed to squeeze in a Lightroom Course at RMIT so maybe I can help you manage your workflow and file organisation and processing so you can keep up with your life.

It starts Nov 12. It’s only 3 Monday evenings. And you can get a 10% discount with the Code: Light10

Photography Teaching Deborah Dorman.jpg