my life in the land down under


GOYA: March 2013

I’m making an attempt to catch up on blog posts, which have been few and far between recently. This one is from back in March.

About twenty members of our camera club met in a local cafe on Saturday 23rd March for the third GOYA outing (the second I have attended). After coffee and some social time, we were given the topic for the day (‘Yellow’), and had the rest of the day to photograph it however we wanted to. See here for an explanation of GOYA itself.

There was plenty of material to choose from.

Yellow walls…




Being creative with some multiple exposures in the garden…


Some discoveries in a nearby ‘two-dollar’ shop…



A school sign…


Tanks with spiral stairs…


Reflections at the marina…


And my entry (unplaced this time), which I called ‘Bargain Hunting Colours’ as it was taken outside the Briscoes store.


Previous GOYA posts:


GOYA – Wood we or wouldn’t we?



Looking Back / Looking Ahead

Its that time again, when we tend to look back at what’s happened over the past year, and look forward to what the new year has in store for us.

I’ve appreciated reading other’s summaries of the high & low points of their year, so I thought I’d write a list of my own. Rather than letting the year fade into obscurity it would be good to remember and appreciate what 2012 held for me (or alternatively, be glad its over! though thankfully not too much of that). Some of these I’ve already written about in more detail, others may become blog posts in the future. Here follows a mix of good & bad:

Shared meals during the year with family, celebrating birthdays, Christmas and ‘just because’.

Missing other family members who live overseas, and appreciating the technology that enabled us to make a Skype call to some of them last week. It was a nice surprise for my parents, who didn’t know why we had invited them around!

The sad loss of my brother and sister-in-law’s baby at two days old (Elijah had Trisomy 18).

Extended family (and non-family) dramas and confrontations that I could have done without. Hoping 2013 is a year relatively free of stress in this area, though realistically we expect some of it will continue well into the New Year. I just need to learn how to deal with it more calmly!

The occasional coffee outings with a supportive friend; very necessary at times to keep my sanity. 🙂 Looking forward to more of these in 2013.

Injuries of various kinds, which made us appreciate parts of our body we would normally take for granted (e.g. shoulders, toes!).

The privilege of holding my nephew’s hand as he went under anaesthetic for surgery on a fractured toe this week. Even though I’ve worked in paediatrics for a long time and in operating theatre for a year (way back), it’s quite a different feeling when your own family is involved. All went well and he’s back home now.

The children’s ward where I work moved to a new environment mid-year; hopefully the last move for some time.

I joined a beginners’ quilting class back in May and started to make my first quilt, then attended a couple of quilt shows and had my eyes opened to the amazing creativity, variety of patterns and colour combinations out there. Later in the year I learned what a Postage Stamp Quilt was and participated in my first swap as a newbie – see Treasures in the Post and Treasures from Around the World. Progress on the Made with Love quilt has come to a standstill recently, but I plan to have a more positive report soon.

In May I also started this blog and have since ‘met’ other bloggers from around the world with shared interests. I have enjoyed their humour and been inspired and encouraged. Thanks to all who have read my posts over the year, liked, commented and followed. You are much appreciated!

We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary in September.

Around the same time I joined a Christian women’s book group and read ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Anne Voskamp; although I missed a few of the meetings I did finish the book and highly recommend it. I look forward to seeing what’s on the agenda for the group this year.

Early in the year I changed from a PC to a Mac computer, and felt as though I was learning a new language for a few months!

I learned how to use the movie capability on my Nikon D7000, and the Mac programme ‘Fotomagico’ for the first time to put together a fusion audiovisual (digital photo slideshow with music and video incorporated). Christmas in July has some of the images I used in the AV and gives the background story.

Over the year we have photographed hair models and family portraits, and learned more about drawing out shy children in front of the camera.

In early November, I attended a photographic convention out-of-town with friends from camera club, which meant being away from home for four days without my ‘other half’. The convention was great, but I missed him!

A Garden & Art Festival was held here in mid-November. Thanks to friends I received a free ticket for one of the days; we visited some beautiful gardens to which I did not do justice with my camera.

I resigned from the position of webmaster for our camera club website, after 11 years; the End of an Era.

I also decided not to renew my subscription to a B&W photography magazine after almost as many years. This doesn’t mean I’ve lost interest in B&W photography, just that I have quite a number of unread magazines and it seemed silly to keep buying them when I wasn’t keeping up!

My darling (he suggested I call him this rather than the impersonal ‘other half’) recently introduced me to the brain training website ‘Lumosity’ as an attempt to keep us young and sharp. Challenging but great fun. 🙂

With some help from a friend, we survived a swarm of bees which made their home in the wall of our house; see Bees in my Bonnet and Fake Rain.

Last but not least, we successfully raised and released a grand total of 128 monarch butterflies from caterpillar stage in November / December. I celebrated the 100th with this post. Our swan plant is slowly recovering and the next batch of caterpillars are growing up, but we’ve shut down the ‘nursery’ for now. I love seeing butterflies flying around the garden. 🙂


So goodbye 2012, welcome 2013.

Happy New Year everyone!

What’s on your list? I’d love to know! 🙂



End of an Era

Today (Tuesday) I handed in my resignation for a voluntary position I’ve held for over 11 years.

I’ll probably keep going through the motions for a few weeks or months, but only to get things ready to hand over to whoever will be my successor. At this stage I’m not sure who or when that will be.

This position has been a large part of my ‘identity’ within the photographic group I belong to, and its been a time-consuming and sometimes challenging (though mostly enjoyable) position. It’s almost as though I’m losing a part of myself, so I feel a bit sad and strange at the moment. It really does feel like the end of an era!

It was inevitable that I would resign at some stage, but it’s come more quickly than I expected. Although ultimately it’s been my choice, the catalyst was some strong public criticism from one individual, followed by an apparent lack of support from others involved in running the group.

It always surprises me when another person’s perception of who I am, and my motives, is so different to who I think I am, and how I come across to others.

My husband got a cross look when he suggested that now I’m not filling this role any more, I’ll get more housework done. He says he was joking. Ggrrr! He also suggested a few other (nicer) things I might get done, which included blogging, quilting and even getting into the darkroom again! 🙂

However those things might be a little while away, as I also have to put a work portfolio together within the next month.

I’ll be posting this later in the week, so the news of my resignation has a little time to filter through the ranks first.

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Friday Focus: Introduction

We have a collection of old cameras living with us. Most of them are from the 1950’s – 1960’s, most are usable. There was never an intent on my part to start a collection; rather I aimed to find a few examples of old cameras that I could use. It was the novelty that attracted me to them initially; the thought that this simple old technology would still work after 50 or more years, and produce interesting results. After purchasing my first folder (folding camera), someone on the Photo.net forum commented that it was addictive. He was right.

This post will introduce a series on some of the individuals in the collection. I’ll aim to photograph each one, give some info about it, and show some examples of photos I have taken with it.

I’m mostly using B&W film, developing it myself in our camera club darkroom, then scanning it on an Epson V700.

In a way these cameras are very ‘simple’ or should I say ‘basic’, yet they are a challenge to use – because the controls are all manual, you have to think about what you are doing rather than just press a button and let the camera do the rest. There is no auto-focus or auto-exposure.

Each camera has its unique features and idiosyncrasies, but  the process usually goes something like this; not necessarily in this order…

Consider what ISO film to use and load it into the camera if not already done. Check exposure (use a light meter or my digital SLR). Set aperture. Set shutter speed. Check focus – set distance manually by guesswork (I’m not very good at this) or use a rangefinder; or use a smaller aperture and hyperfocal focusing to give greater depth of field. Cock the shutter (in some cases). Compose the shot. Fire shutter. Wind on to the next shot. In some instances there is a shutter lock if you haven’t done this, in others you can easily make double-exposures – that’s fine if it’s intentional!

See? – simple!

I learnt photography with a fully-manual Pentax K-1000, but have been using a digital SLR almost exclusively for several years now, so going back to the old manual film cameras really makes me slow down and think. I also really like B&W.

And on the subject of film, because its relatively expensive and there are only a limited number of frames per film (worst-case scenario is eight frames), you need to think about appropriate subjects for colour vs B&W and composition. You can’t check the image until the film is developed. There isn’t the opportunity to delete the image and take another that’s better.

The magic is in developing the film and waiting to see what you have captured. 🙂

Following are some images taken with the K-1000 way back when…


River #1

Rocks in River

River #2

I will aim to post something on an old camera each week, so watch this space… 🙂