Brandon and Rachael Engagement

A sunny afternoon in a pine forest with a gorgeous young couple in love. What more could you ask for? (the answer is Mozzie Repellent!)

 

Cloudehill - The final Diggers Garden

Of the three Diggers Gardens, this one was my least favourite. Not that there's anything wrong with it (it's majestic), it just wasn't my style. It may have been tainted by the service (or lack thereof) at the cafe on the day.  It's not often I walk out of a place but one can only take being ignored for so long before giving up. 

It was not the best time of day to be taking photos on a bright sunny day. Too much contrast between shady and sunny areas ruled out a few photo options. The camera just doesn't cope with such extreme contrast (unless you're doing HDR).  I still managed to grab a few favourite shots before we headed to Sassafras and Miss Marples for a late lunch.  

 

St Erth - Diggers Club Garden

We arrived at St Erth just in time for coffee and cake before the cafe closed. It was a chilly day but the garden had a way of warming your soul. This is my favourite of the three diggers gardens. A little less stately than Heronswood and way less formal than Cloudehill. This one matches my personality perfectly. 

Ballarat Botanical Gardens

Going from Lambley Garden and Nursery and heading to St Erths garden, we stopped in ever so briefly at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens for Stew to check out the Begonias. He was smitten. Probably about the happiest I'd seen him so far. He was impressed with Heronswood, pleased with Lamley, but he was like a kid in a lolly shop with the Begonias. 
I was more impressed with the combination of reds and purples in the garden beds. I've been

Lambley Garden & Nursery

One of the best things about having visitors from out of town is finding out about places you've never heard of. Like Lambley Garden & Nursery, just out the other side of Ballarat. Big brother Stew being a gardener, he knew all the best spots and what a little gem this place this. The gardens are wonderful. Well worth the drive and a photographers paradise. 

Diggers Club Gardens

With my big brother Stew in Melbourne for a week, we did a garden visiting blitz. I'm now a member of Diggers club and we went to all three of the Victorian Diggers Gardens. Starting with Heronswood, in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula. I was greeted with a swathe of my favourite flowers, Cosmos, before we even got in the gate. It just got better and better after that. Starting with a great nursery and shop and leading into the fabulous grounds and then onto the veggie patch. If you've never been it's well worth putting on your list of places to go. We spent so much time in the garden we missed the cafe but the views over the bay are enough to tempt me back. Not to mention the endless photo opportunities. They even have a training room so I might look into the possibility of running a photography workshop there. Let me know if you might be interested. 

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

A dangerous day of being stimulated and inspired that could lead to you ripping up your whole yard to implement some seriously cool landscaping and garden ideas. 

And I've discovered I'm a new fan of Dahlia's. 

Show of Hands Photography Exhibition

If you're in Melbourne, and you weren't one of the 180 people who joined in the festivities of opening night last week, then get yourself out to Manningham Art Gallery in the next couple of weeks. The "Show of Hands" exhibition is a veritable smorgasbord of photography styles. There are 11 mini narratives to immerse yourself in, so there's something for everyone. There's also a floor talk on April 22 where you can speak to some of the contributing photographers.

Here are a few highlights from opening night. 

Photos taken on the night by Paul Johnstone Photography

Photography Exhibition

Prints are being delivered to Manningham Art Gallery tomorrow. 
Here's one of the images that will be exhibited. 


Fine Art Ink Jet Print on Canson Rag Paper. 60 x 42cm

Wild Honey Photography Fine Art

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

Have you seen the time lapse on the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Shows website? Mesmerising! http://melbflowershow.com.au/
I'll be heading there next week when my big brother comes to visit. He's an award winning gardener from Toowoomba so we'll be visiting lots of other gardens too. 

There's an interesting story about how this day with the crutches and the flowers in the hair  (taken at last years flower and garden show) ended up being the start of the inspiration for my current work about to be exhibited. I'll get back to tell you about it soon but I've just looked at the clock and it's 2am. I better get some zzz's. 

Flower Photography Tours.jpeg

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers - Photography

Do you love flowers and nature and parks and gardens? Do you wish you could take better photographs of all the things you love? Well, I've got just the thing for you!

Come away to Toowoomba, the Garden City, at the best time of year (Spring!) for a festival of flowers, fun and fantastic photographic opportunities. If you've never been to the Carnival of Flowers you really have been missing out. Come with me and my brother to show you around the best of our home town and teach you how to take better photos. Opportunities are chosen to provide a wide range of situations to inspire and challenge you photographically. You'll receive tips and support all along the way.  As well as the wonderful parks and gardens, we'll try our hand at photographing fireworks, the night carnival, the street parade and much, much more. We'll stay in historic accommodation and travel around with ease in a mini bus just for us. We'll have a small group (maximum 10) so there's lots of time for one on one guidance with your photography. 

You can find out more about the Carnival here and more about our tour here

The new Toowoomba Airport has direct flights from many locations including Melbourne, Sydney and Cairns. We can pick you up from the airport or bus station.

I'd love to talk to you about this great get-a-way and answer all your questions. Drop me an email or give me a call on 0417 768 318. I hope you can join us!

 

Here's a photo of my brother and I on Mt Kosciusko in 2015. Stew is an award winning gardener who can answer your horticultural questions, especially when it comes to growing vegies (he has a blog here). He will also double as our bus driver and teller of bad jokes. 

I get by with a little help from my friends

I've been so busy making sure everyone else is on track with their exhibition planning and printing that I've kinda forgotten about my own work. Fortunately, I have a wonderful friend who lent me his house, his printer and his cat for an intense weekend of printing. 

Show of Hands - Group Photography Exhibition

A while ago a few of my past students from RMIT short courses expressed an interest in taking the next step with their photography and exhibiting their work. I asked for a 'show of hands' to see who was serious, and now we're about two weeks away from opening night and I think I can officially add 'herding cats' to my CV. There are 11 of us - two photography teachers (myself and Bryce Dunkley) and 9 past students. If you're in Melbourne you might want to call in and check it out. Opening night is April 5 and it runs for a month. 

Me, my Fuji, and the Melbourne Botanical Gardens

I'm loving my new Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Camera. When I was a teenager I carried a compact camera with me everywhere but the slr is a bit heavy and bulky to do that. The iPhone has been a stand in for a few years but, while it's better than nothing, it is a bit limited. So I saved my pennies (tax return) and bought myself a birthday present last year. My first slr was a Fuji, so my choice was swayed slightly by nostalgia. It goes in my handbag and when I go for a walk I can whip it out any time I see a flower or garden I want to photograph. If I'm on a dedicated garden walk I'll take the Canon with the 100mm macro. I might save up for a macro for the fuji but I'm pretty happy with what I can get with the 18-55mm lens. 

I had a meeting on the other side of town last week and I walked back to the city afterwards via the Melbourne Botanic Gardens. Good thing I had the fuji in my bag so I could snap a few photos along the way. 

My favourite pic of the day. See below for the 'before' shot. I had a class coming up on composition and design at RMIT and I wanted to add another example of 'filling the frame'. This one will do just nicely. I also like the lines and the colours. It just has nice 'feel' about it, don't ya reckon? I call it 'Shark Fin'.  It's an Agave. I initially thought it was a kind of cactus (cacti?), so I can show you how to photograph it but I'm not too good at plant identification. That's why it's handy having a horticulturist in the family to correct me. He's my big brother and you can ask him questions too if you have any. Here's his blog. He'll be our bus driver and resident green thumb on the Carnival of Flowers tour. 

My favourite pic of the day. See below for the 'before' shot. I had a class coming up on composition and design at RMIT and I wanted to add another example of 'filling the frame'. This one will do just nicely. I also like the lines and the colours. It just has nice 'feel' about it, don't ya reckon? I call it 'Shark Fin'. 
It's an Agave. I initially thought it was a kind of cactus (cacti?), so I can show you how to photograph it but I'm not too good at plant identification. That's why it's handy having a horticulturist in the family to correct me. He's my big brother and you can ask him questions too if you have any. Here's his blog. He'll be our bus driver and resident green thumb on the Carnival of Flowers tour. 

 
This is the 'before' shot of the one above it. A clump of agave with a playground on one side and the loo on the other.

This is the 'before' shot of the one above it. A clump of agave with a playground on one side and the loo on the other.

 

Below are a few other shots from wandering through the gardens. And this was only a small section as I was passing through along one side, and it was the middle of the day, not exactly ideal for photography. I discovered a little Craft Cottage (no photos of it this time, the light was too harsh) and talked to the lovely folk about maybe running a photography group there. 

Colour Combinations

I was flicking through some recent photos, trying to keep my Lightroom keywords up to date, and started to notice some nice colour blends. Here's a couple I put together, all shot from wandering around my neighbourhood in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago. I might have to go back through some older photos and look for some more as I quite like these. Or maybe I'll just grab the camera and go for another walk to see what I can find.

Don'y you just love the different colours, shapes and textures of flowers?

 
 
 
 

My Favourite Nursery

It's probably just as well that Ceres Nursery is in Melbourne where I'm limited to gardening in pots, and not in Qld where I'd go broke filling up my yard with all the delights they have for sale. I went for a walk there yesterday and it was so hot and muggy I piked out and caught the tram home. In true Melbourne style, today I'm wearing a jumper! (Why do we always talk about the weather in Melbs?).
Anyway, it's just the cutest little nursery and I bought myself a punnet of lobelias for my pots. I snapped a couple of shots while I was there and thought I'd share them.
Gardening is good for the soul. (So is taking photos!)

The Granny Flat Warming BBQ

It started off as a true blue Bunnings style sausage sizzle.

It started off as a true blue Bunnings style sausage sizzle.

I'm at home in QLd for a couple of weeks to finish off some work around the house and sent out the invitation to a 'Granny Flat Warming Party'. The only problem is, I don't have a barbie. I was planning on going to Bunnings when Mum asked why I wasn't checking out Gumtree (seeing as I drove her crazy through the building of the Granny Flat with my Gumtree bargains). Good idea, I think. And so, I did. 

And lo and behold there's a barbecue in my area that's FREE. But it's huge. It won't fit in the car. I ring the number to ask if it comes apart. Not really, the guy says. I discover he's only a few blocks away and consider wheeling it home. But the heat and humidity pretty much ruled that out. And then he offered to throw it on his ute and drop it around. So, I get a bloody huge 4 burner barbie with a side gas thingy and a rotisserie that I'll never use, for free, delivered.

It took me two days to clean the thing but it came up trumps (must get a new expression as that one has negative connotations these days).  I feel a little bargain-hunters shiver of contentment every time I look at it. 

I even had a volunteer to cook on the day. Thanks Arthur (my second cousin). Top job mate. Love the apron. 

I even had a volunteer to cook on the day. Thanks Arthur (my second cousin). Top job mate. Love the apron. 

My special boy saying 'Croc's Rule'.

My special boy saying 'Croc's Rule'.

The freshly painted pergola with the twinkly lights from Ikea, the new barbie, the piano waterfall, the granny flat in the background, with the doors from an old pub in The Rocks in Sydney that I swapped a photography job for, surrounded by a mix of mine and mums plants. I think this is an area that will get a lot of livin;. 

The freshly painted pergola with the twinkly lights from Ikea, the new barbie, the piano waterfall, the granny flat in the background, with the doors from an old pub in The Rocks in Sydney that I swapped a photography job for, surrounded by a mix of mine and mums plants. I think this is an area that will get a lot of livin;. 

Organ Pipes National Park

I'd been past the sign dozens of times but I'd never been to Hanging Rock. So on New Years Day I charged up the camera battery and set off to finally explore it. It's only an hour up the road and there was a great episode on Radio National on Blind Willie Johnson to keep me bopping along.

But Hanging Rock is going to have to wait for another day as I decided not to pay the $25 entry fee which I later discovered was because there was a New Years Race Day on.

So instead I called in to the Organ Pipes National Park. Good call. Firstly, it was free. And it was just perfect. Not crowded. Plenty of things to photograph. And my soul just sings when I'm walking along in nature with my camera in my hand. It's my happy place. 

Here's a couple of favourites from my wanderings.
Next time I'll take the aerogard though.

Fascinating Flora

This ageing flower was sitting in a vase at my kitchen window in Melbourne. I was washing the dishes and admiring them when I figured I should grab the camera and and see what I could come up with. Aren't the colours and lines and textures great? 
Taken with the Canon 5D Mark II with the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens. Processed in Lightroom.