my life in the land down under


GOYA – Wood we or woodn’t we?

Here’s the follow-up to my previous post on GOYA, as promised.

The Set Subject for the day was ‘Wood’ – interpreted any way we liked. Some of the group headed off to an area with old buildings, others were talking about a park with lots of lovely trees, so I fully expected some shots with gorgeous autumn colours to appear in the final entries.

John & I travelled about an hour out of town to attend an appointment with a client. When we got there we discovered they lived in a two-storey wooden house surrounded by bush. After we had been there a while and had a cuppa with them I explained about GOYA and asked permission to take some photos inside the house. We saw some of his wooden carvings and she told me a story about a tree near the house – when the fruit ripens at this time of year, the tuis get drunk on it and their birdsong goes all wonky – they make strange sounds amongst their musical notes anyway, but apparently they go way out of tune. I think she called it a strawberry tree (?).

After we left them we visited a local boat ramp with a wooden jetty and boat sheds. A man who lived up the hill saw us photographing and came down to talk with us – when we explained our subject was ‘wood’ he led us up the hill to a group of very tall trees and recommended we lie on our backs in the undergrowth and photograph upwards, which John proceeded to do (earlier he also lay full length on the jetty to get a different perspective; he is much more adventurous than I am). I was a bit lazier and just stood looking up with my camera, but had to lean on a tree to keep from falling over backwards. I think this is called ‘serendipity’ as we had no idea the trees were there.

We travelled a bit further looking for interesting ‘wood’ subjects, and found an old barn which John also got a great shot of, using a wooden fence to frame it (which I hadn’t even thought of). We saw lots of autumn colour but decided not to photograph any of it, as expected we would have some competition from those who went to the park.

After arriving home, doing some editing with Adobe Lightroom / Photoshop, and asking the opinion of other family members, we decided on our entries and emailed them through to Jason (GOYA organiser) on Sunday. Then we had to wait until our camera club meeting on Thursday night to find out how we’d done.

There were a number of great entries but apparently the majority really liked the trees, and so I won the Popular Choice vote! Jason tells me my prize is free coffee & cake at the next GOYA meeting, so I’m hoping he organizes it on a day I’m not rostered to work.

Old Barn

Awesome Foursome


1 Comment


Jason from the camera club we attend has recently started an activity called GOYA (Get Off Your A–). He arranges a date and club members who want to be involved meet at a local cafe that morning, to be given the set subject for the day. Photos have to be taken before midnight that day and your best effort emailed to Jason by 6pm the following evening. The entries will be shown anonymously at the next camera club meeting and a popular choice vote takes place. There is no prize as such but the glory of winning. Its a great idea for people to get out and photograph in as creative a way as they wish. It also takes the pressure off those who are self-conscious about entering their photos for evaluation and being critiqued in public.

The GOYA idea was originally started by Zack Arias, a photographer in the States, as a way of getting himself and his colleagues out to do some personal photography as opposed to the commercial shoots they were involved with. Thanks Zack, your idea has now spread to our part of the world. 🙂

This morning we met at the cafe and there were about 20 people present. After some discussion it was decided that only those present would be able to enter – several others had emailed or texted Jason saying they also wished to be involved but weren’t able to make it to the meeting for various reasons, and asking for the topic to be sent to them. The group decided that as part of the reason for GOYA was a social gathering where club members could get to know each other better, there should be no exceptions – those who couldn’t make it to the meeting weren’t eligible to enter. Some of us thought it was fairer to make an exception this time but make the rules clear for future meetings, however there were some strong personalities who over-ruled. I could see both sides of the argument but found this especially hard as it excluded husband John, who was unable to attend the meeting as he had an appointment with a client this morning. We had planned to go out together and photograph the set subject this afternoon, incorporating it with another appointment out of town.

This was the second GOYA meeting; the first was held on a Saturday at the end of March but neither of us made it to that one, I was sleeping after a night shift and John was also busy with work commitments.

Now I’m waiting for John to finish with his client; lunch is made, the thermos cups are waiting to be filled, and camera gear is collecting by the front door. We’re heading out of town via the cafe so John is ‘official’…

I will announce the subject in another post, after entries are in, but here are a couple of photos from today.

Sunlight on Trees

Seat and Shadow