February 24, 2011

Project 365 - Day Ninety-One

I love seeing how other people decorate their houses. Don't you? It is always interesting to see different ideas and sometimes see a person's personality show through. It's a great source of inspiration. A friend of mine has this display set up in her house that I think it so fantastic.

Image taken 23 February 2011

It's it great? I love the use of candlelight. I'd like to set up something kind of similar to this is my home except I'd love to use old printing-press letter blocks. It would be kind of wonderful to have random words scattered all around the house.

Speaking of creative 'spaces'. A dear friend of mine gave me a book called 'Spaces: Where Creative People Live, Work and Place'. It is the most amazing book. It is so well written and has some gorgeous photographs. This book looks at homes and work places of people from a variety of creative professions (photographer, painter, architect, writer etc). It is so inspirational! If you can get yourself a copy. It is well worth it!

There won't be any more posts for a few days as I'm going camping. Feeling quite nervous/excited about it. But if nothing else it will give me something different to photography. So until my next post I hope you're weekend will be wonderful!

February 22, 2011

Project 365 - Day Ninety

Day ninety!!! Can you believe it? It's all going so fast! Today was amazing. Are you like me? Are you blessed to have amazing friends? Friends that can lift you up no matter where you are. Friends that are okay with you letting it all out and grant you the permission to just relax and just be you.

I have a friend (well I actually have a few amazing friends but let's focus for a minute) that just 'gets' me. It's the kind of friendship that can just pick up where it left off no matter how much time has past between visits. It's relaxing, comforting and invigorating. This amazing friend of mine encourages and uplifts me. She is a woman of many talents and abilities. Creativity and compassion oozes out of her. Mrs E is amazing and I am truly blessed to have her in my life!

Anyway I had the most amazing time spending time with a truly special friend and her beautiful little baby Miss S. Yay for some baby snap-shots (and more practice for me)! This wasn't a photoshoot (that will come later). This was just me trying to capture some priceless moments with some precious people.

Image taken 22 February 2011

I love this little girl (and her wonderful mother)! She's pretty special. I think all babies are pretty special. Miss S is so bubbly and smiley. Like a little burst of sunshine. Want to know something awesome? Miss S and I share a special bond - we're birthday buddies. Yep she was born on my birthday. So I know I'll never forget her birthday.

All in all it was a very good day. Hanging out with some wonderful friends and taking a few picture... Yes it was a very very good day.

What did you do today? Until next time whatever today held for you I hope you managed to find a little bit of wonderful.

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Nine

Day eighty-nine marked the first day of university for 2011 (insert kind of excited whoop here). It's interesting being back at uni. I think I made a mistake by doing uni part-time. While it was great for my sanity and general health (rest is so important) it can make for a tough time if you don't structure your timetable well. Plus you just get over it. You know what I'm saying?

Anyway I went to my first lecture. It's certainly different to what I'm used to. I'm studying 'Literature & Visual Text' otherwise known as 'Screen Studies'. Given that I'm usually tearing apart a book by now (Hey I'm a Literature student. What did you expect?) it's a change of pace to be studying movies. But I think it will tie in nicely to my love of photography and visual art. Here's where I attend my lectures.

Image taken 21 February 2011

I really wish I had a super-wide fish-eye lens to take this photo. It would have made this image so much better. I guess that lens is going on the 'to buy list'.

I think it's going to be an interesting semester.

Is anyone else starting something new?

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Eight

I am exhausted! A change of schedule always takes a while to get used to. So after months off doing whatever I want I am suddenly back at uni. It will just take a little to get used to it again. But as a result my blog postings have (and most probably will for a little while) suffered.

Anyway on day eighty-eight I recycled a subject matter. I have taken a photo of my quill before way back on day fifteen. But to be honest the photo back then wasn't that great - that was before I understood how to control depth of field. I think day eighty-eight is a much better photo. What do you think?

Image taken 20 February 2011

I actually like the idea of redoing some of the subject matter from the beginning. It's interesting to see how much I may have improved and how my 'eye' may have changed. For example I think this photo has far better definition and positioning that day fifteen.

Until next I post I hope this new week is treating you well.

February 19, 2011

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Seven

It's absolutely no secret that I love a good macro shot. I sometimes feel like it's a whole other world with the macro lens. You get to see things the naked eye would simply miss.

A friend of mine knew I was feeling depressed and when she visited my yesterday she brought me a lovely bunch of flowers. It's wonderful to have friends that care about you no matter where you're at. In this bunch of flowers was a bright pink gerbera and I decided that instead of taking a photo of the whole flower that I would focus just on the flower's center. Doing this allowed me to see and appreciate the intricacy of the flower.

Image taken 19 February 2011

Isn't it amazing? I wish I had of widened the depth of field ever so slightly to give a fuller view but I still think the detail in this flower is extraordinary. It is so very bright!

Take care of yourselves wherever you may be. In the meantime I'll try and remember to not only do macro shots! They're just so fun but I need to try and not be too boring!

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Six

Day eighty-six is yet another picture of a grasshopper. Are you getting sick of seeing them? I know I am!! I can't seem to get these pesky pests out of my garden. It's driving me crazy! But since they are infesting my garden and I had another at home still in a mood funky they seemed like the best option.

This one was so green!! Or maybe it just stood out more because the background is brown instead of my usual green. What do you think?

Image taken 18 February 2011

These things are taking over my garden!! There were at least 10 of them when I went out to take this one's picture. They are no-so-slowly demolishing my garden. My poor lemon tree is almost nude. I have no idea how to get rid of them.

Until next time I hope your weekend's wonderful.

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Five

When day eight-five rolled around I didn't feel like doing anything. Not even indulging in my passions. Writing and reading held no joy for me and for the first time ever photography seemed like a chore (I told you I was in a mood funk). In fact the only thing I was interested in was eating spoonfuls on Nutella. Am I the only one who gets like this when you're feeling down?

Well anyway despite the dark cloud I felt hanging over my head and the immense weight that suddenly attached itself to my shoulders I still took a picture. I made a decision to do project 365 and I was and am going to take a photo every day no matter how I feel.

Image taken 17 February 2011

This is one of the beautiful roses my amazing mum brought me. Even when I'm feeling utterly down and out one thing I know for absolutely certain is that I have an simply wonderful mother and I am so blessed to have her in my life. She is fantastic!

Until next we meet take care of yourselves wherever you are.

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Four

On day eighty-four I went on an excursion into Brisbane's Southbank to go see 'Wicked' the musical again. But this presented a perfect opportunity to meet up with some of my family members and explore the area a bit.

There are so many interesting things in Southbank - sculptures, a movie complex, theater, art galleries, and weekend open-air markets. As well as a multitude of fabulous eating places, beautiful paths and lovely river walks. But on this day what took my eye was the fantastic sculpture suspended in the sky.

Image taken 16 February 2011

I wonder how many people don't notice the sculpture at all? It's fairly high. The first time I saw it I wondered if it was a real person - you know like those busking 'living statues'. I think it's pretty life like.

What has captured your interest recently?

February 18, 2011

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Three

I took a little break from blogging there. Explanation may come in a later post. Or it may not. I'm still trying to figure it all out. But let's back it up here. Let's go back to before I got into my little mood funk.

I spent the most glorious day with one of my cousins and her precious little baby. It was so much fun catching up with my cousin and taking some snapshots of the little one. This was my first baby photoshoot and it was a blast! I became obsessed with with how small and soft she was and don't even get me started on her beautiful blue eyes. Here's one of my favorite shots of the day of the precious Miss S.

Image taken 15 February 2011

As I said this was my first baby photoshoot. Really my first attempt . I very quickly discovered that babies move around a lot. You've got to be quick and set a high shutter speed in order to catch some beautiful little moments. Sometimes I'd see something that I just had to capture - I would set the aperture and set the focus meanwhile little Miss S would have rolled herself right out of frame! I soon discovered what aperture and shutter speed worked best and set about getting some pictures of this beautiful little girl.

Because I had so much fun and took so many pictures I thought I'd share some of my favorites and let you decide which one you like best.

I fell in love with how super soft she is. Everything about her is so tiny, beautiful and soft.

As well as getting to photograph this precious subject matter I also got to have a great time of sharing and caring with my awesome cousin. It was wonderful to spend some time with these two wonderful ladies.

This is one of my absolute favorites. It may not be spot on in terms of focus but there is just something about it the kind of catches my heart.

She is just such a cutie! I can't wait to capture some more beautiful moments.

So which do you like best? Or are you like me a quite partial to them all?

Until my next post I hope this finds you safe, happy, and well.

February 15, 2011

Fave Photo of the Week!

I always feel a rush of excitement when I find another photo blog! There are some truly wonderful photographers out there just aching to share their art. The blog I found this week is Grassdoe. Man, this guy has such an phenomenal ability to capture the most amazing moments. Just like this one...

Image originally found here.

Isn't it simply amazing? I love the play of light and dark. Ocean and sky... With a bit of sun thrown in to balance it all nicely. This photo fills me with such peace. I adore it.

The photographer's name is Jonathan Levitt and while I don't like all his stuff I can appreciate his ability to capture whatever moment he is searching for.

What about you? Have you got a new-found photographer (or blog) you've fallen in love with? Please share

February 14, 2011

Project 365 - Day Eighty-Two

I am not a huge fan of Valentine's day. In fact I think it's a over-commercialized way of making single people feel bad about being single. As if I need reminding that I'm still single. I don't need it rubbed in my nose thank you very much... (I say all this knowing full well that if I am ever in a couple I'll probably be a big fan of the big V-day)

Anyway as I'm sitting here feeling a little touchy about being single the negative 'tack' begins. You know what I'm talking about? That relentless loop of negativity constantly running through my mind. I start to worry that I'm not good enough. Not beautiful enough. Not smart enough. Not 'normal' enough. Not wonderful enough. Simply just not enough to be worthy.

But then I remember:

Image taken 14 February 2011

It's true. I am enough! I may not be in a couple and I may be on the far side of weird. I may even be lost in my own world of creativity more often than not. But I am who I am and who I am is enough. I don't need to try so hard to be what I think I need to be. Who I am is enough. It's rather empowering to be able to claim that over my life. I can choose to stop the track of negativity on a constant loop in my brain by believing that I am simply enough just the way I am.

Until next time I hope you're having a great Valentine's Day be you single, in a couple, or anything else altogether.

February 13, 2011

Project 365 - Day Eighty-One

So far over the course of project 365 I have discovered that the photos that I pre-plan and pre-visualize turn out a lot better. Day eighty-one was one of those days. I knew the look that I was going for. I knew where I wanted to set up the shoot and I knew what I wanted to shoot. I knew the kind of colour scheme that I was trying to get. I even knew what time of day would be the best time to get what I wanted and the depth of field I was going for.

It turned out exactly how I wanted. I find it such a rush when something I've been visualizing in my head finally comes off. The picture turned out exactly as I planned.

Image taken 13 February 2011

Finally!! Some shoes I actually wear... on very rare occasions. They hurt and rub in all the wrong places. So I only ever where these when I don't have to do any walking. But I thought it was about time for me to have a shoe shot with my legs attached! I think the black stockings really make the red shoes stand out.

Until tomorrow I hope your week's looking wonderful.

Project 365 - Day Eighty

I've talked before about my deep love for all things musical but my complete inability to in act it. My guitar still remains unused in the corner of my room. At least it's a cool decoration.

Anyway I was relaxing in my room racking my brain for ideas for day eighty when something shimmed in the corner of my eye. The tuning posts (who knows if that's the right word?) were catching the light in the most beautiful way.

Image taken 12 February 2011

I think focusing on the small things in life has really allowed me to appreciate the beauty that surrounds me no matter where I am. My macro lens is certainly getting a work out! I think the surrounding black really makes the tuning post stand out all the more.

More blog updates coming soon. In the meantime I hope your weekend has been wonderful!

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Nine

I went for another visit to my grandma's place to catch up with some out of town relatives. It was another lovely evening. But whenever I go to my grandparents place I am always drawn to my grandma's garden. She grows the most beautiful plants and flowers. I wish I had her talent in the garden.

When I saw this flower I just knew I had to take a picture of it.

Image taken 11 February 2011

I love the two-toned petals! Unfortunately I didn't have my macro lens with me so I couldn't get a really close shot of the petals. So there's a little more background than I usually like (I tend to like filling up the shot). I also would have liked to widen the depth of field a bit so the whole flower is in focus but I was keen to get inside and catch up with some wonderful people.

More photos on the way...

February 11, 2011

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Eight

Due to a change of plans my original photo idea didn't work out (that's completely okay... just saving it for later). So I found myself a little stuck for idea and suffering from a complete lack of inspiration.

As a result day seventy-eight's shot is of a simple display I've recently set up in my home. You see I've recently been bitten by the decorating bug and I'm itching to redo the whole house. This however isn't that practical so I've taken to doing minor things to give the house a bit more of a creative vibe.

Image taken 10 February 2011

You can see my little Instax has been getting a bit of a work out! The glasses are the ones for watching 3D movies (what's with everything being in 3D at the moment?) I always forget to put them in the recycling bin.

So all in all not the best shot in the world. But at least it gives you a little taste of the happenings at my place... To be honest the rest of my home is filled with books (life before my beloved Kindle), a multitude of art supplies, and endless amounts of technology.

I'm in for a bit of a change of scenery today so hopefully that will get the creative juices flowing. So until next we meet on the wonderful web I hope that your week has been great and that your weekend's looking wonderful!

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Seven

I'm a bit of a bower bird when it comes to shiny things. Even to the extent of commenting on a total stranger's jewelery (I promise I'm not a freak). I just really like shiny things. Like most girls I have a modest jewelery collection but because of budget constraints most of it is the cheap stuff that you can only wear once before it starts turning green.

But I do own a couple of slightly more substantial pieces made of real sterling silver and everything. There is one particular one that I never leave the house without.

Image taken 09 February 2011

I love this ring!! It rarely leaves my finger. In fact I tried to get a picture of it actually one my finger but I couldn't stay still long enough (this shot was taken late at night). It has no real sentimental value - it wasn't past from mother to daughter. I simply brought it on eBay because I thought it was beautiful.

One of my favorite things about this ring is the moonstone (Did you know I went a specifically purchased a moonstone ring after reading 'The Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins?). I love it that it changes colour depending on how the light hits it. It reminds me that there is always a different perspective to any situation. This shot really captured the vivid blue that can shine through in the right light (okay so the picture was doctored ever so slightly to highlight the blue. All I did was push up the contrast). I have to wear it whenever I leave the house. If I ever forget it I feel naked without it!

Do you ever have this problem?

Music That Moves Me

This week I have fallen in love with Foals (the band... although I am partial to cute little horses as well). I know, I know I'm a little (or very) late to the party but at least I am now on the band-wagon. I just l-o-v-e their sound. The lead singer's voice is simply mesmerizing. Just so beautiful. Best yet they're from one of my favorite places Oxford, England.

My favorite song at the moment is 'Blue Blood'. There is something so deep and emotional about it (at least to me). I find it fantastic to listen to when I'm suffering a bad case of writer's block. It just soothes me somehow... Anyway here's the official clip for the song:

Now I may be pretty bias but I think it's wonderful! The thing I love about it is it defies expectations. When you first hear the song (without seeing the video) you expect something totally different. Or at least I did. I love the idea of a little kid getting completely immersed in the music. He puts so much emotion into it! It's just beautiful.

There is just something about this song that I love. They are in Australia at this very minute and I would have loved to see them live... Unfortunately I missed out. Hopefully I'll get to see them next time if they come this way again. If you like what you hear be sure to stop by their myspace.

What about you? Are you a Foals fan?

February 9, 2011

My Camera Family...

I've introduced you to my camera family... including the latest member of the family - my precious little Instax. But someone's missing.

There's a gap in my camera family that needs to be filled. For I am yet to own a 35mm film camera. More accurately the Holga 135BC TLR. I saw this little beauty and I just knew this was the missing member of my camera family. Here's a picture:

Image found here.

Isn't it beautiful? I just know it would be the perfect addition to my little (or not so little) camera family. The great part is that it takes plain old 35mm film - none of this weird size frames for it. Plus it's reasonably inexpensive. I'd love to have a dabble in Lomography. Here's a pretty good review of it.

This little Holga is on the 'camera gear to buy list'. My obsession is such that I've set up a savings account specifically for my photography costs.

Also on the 'camera gear to buy list' that I have been drooling over ever since it was released is the Nikon d7000 body. I am convinced I'm in love... and that I desperately need this body in my life. Take a look at this beauty.

I could go into all its amazing feature and specs. I could even go on and on about all the things I love about it and explain the reasons why I need it. Instead I'll just let you read this most awesome review. And after you've read that take a look at this video to see this gorgeous camera in action:

I think I want the D7000 more than the Holga. They're duking it out in my mind as we speak. Maybe I could have both? Better start saving in earnest now... 2 minute noodles anyone?

Quote of the Week

This week's quote is a bit of a mystery to me. You see there's an accredited source but I'm just not sure if the person really said it. Plus I found this quote on tumblr which, let's face it, isn't the most reliable source of information.

But whoever wrote it it presents an interesting idea... and does it really matter who said it?

Image found here.

As you can see this quote is accredited to the ever so lovely Zooey Deschanel (who I have a huge girl-crush on. She's just so quirky, beautiful and genuine). It's claimed she wrote this letter to VOUGE when she was seventeen. I'm not sure of the validity of this claim.

But whoever wrote this I choose to celebrate it. I don't think women (or men for that matter) should have to 'shove' themselves into what is considered beautiful. Differences should be celebrated not shunned. This note made me stop and think for a while. You may not agree with what was written or you may be cheering. But it does make you consider a different point of view.

Isn't that the beauty of life? The ability to debate and consider other ideas? To ask questions and earnestly seek out answers? (Wow! I got a little off track there hey?)

What do you think of this note?

February 8, 2011

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Six

Today's picture is the realization of a concept I've had for quite a while. But because I kept on forgetting it took me a while to get all the components together.

I have talked about my contacts lenses before. As you can tell I adore my contacts. They are so darn useful and it's fun to have a change for time to time. Anyway to get this shot I had to collect my used contacts for a couple of days. Then I got the have some more food coloring fun.

Image taken 08 February 2011

I think it looks pretty cool. It turned out like I was hoping. I would have like to have spaced the contacts out more evenly but they are so sticky and hard to control so this is the best I could do. The bright white really makes the color pop. They are such cute, little cups of color. It's great to be able to reuse the one-time wear contacts. I always find it such a rush when an idea I've had becomes a reality.

Until next time I hope you're life is filled with wonder.

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Five

I spent day seventy-five feeling sick and sorry for myself. In between long sleeps and bouts of general grossness I belatedly realized I hadn't taken my photo of the day. I decided this was the perfect time to take a picture of something I use every day.

You see as well as being an avid photographer I also love to write. I love writing fiction, essays, poetry, and (obviously) blogging. So I decided it was time to take a photo of what I do the majority of my writing on. The keyboard of my beautiful little netbook.

Image taken 07 February 2011

I spend so much of my time tapping away on these keys! It's surprising that I haven't worn away the letters yet. But this is where I do the most of my writing, planning, and researching. I don't know what I would do without computers. They are so much a part of my life it's hard to imagine life without them.

Are you a writer? Do you prefer pen and paper or are you a computer person like me?

Fave Photo of the Week!

I have had a lot of interesting experiences in my life. But one experience I've yet to experience is I have never, ever seen snow (in real life I mean - I have obviously seen pictures!). I desperately want to see it. Especially given the heat and humidity that enshrouds my area most of the time. So in honor of this desperate desire to see snow my picture of the week is of this lovely, white, fluffy stuff.

Image originally found here.

It just looks so bright and clean. Just like the world is frosted for a while. Now I know that those of you who live with snow (for at least part of the year) probably find it annoying and frustrating with the shoveling and the like. But to someone who has never played in and experienced snow it just looks glorious! Simply beautiful.

Have you ever seen snow?

February 6, 2011

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Four

I have talked about my latest photography toy. My super beautiful, super cute, super fun to use Instax Mini 25 instant photo camera. There really is something magical about instant photos.

Anyway I thought it deserved it's own picture and I was in need of subject matter for day seventy-four. Here's what I came up with:

Image taken 06 February 2011

I would have loved to have taken the photo with the lens extended but that made it topple over. So this was the best I could come up with. This little camera is just great. It prints out such pretty little photos! Plus it's just fun to use. I'm actually surprised at how much I like using it... I should start saving for some more film now!

So I'm interested what are you thoughts on instant film?

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Three

Day seventy-three was a pretty flat photo day. I was super tired (I didn't get any sleep the night before) and it was super hot outside. So it was a bit of an uninspired day. But I went down to a local park to see if I could come up with something.

While I was there I snapped a picture that I thought was kind of great at the time. But when I got said picture on the computer screen at home I discovered it wasn't as good as I thought. Such is life I guess.

Image taken 05 February 2011

In my minds eye it was meant to be a relaxing picture with soothing water surrounded by vivid green. So it didn't turn like how I wanted. I suppose I just find it a little disappointing . But it's time to move on and figure out what I can learn from this photo. Number one: don't go aimlessly photographing when your eyeballs are almost falling out due to tiredness. Number two: to make the photo more interesting maybe I should have put an external prop into the mix - like a instax photo or something. Time to put it down to a learning experience and move on.

What's your weekend been like?

February 5, 2011

Project 365 - Day Seventy-Two

I went to the movies... AGAIN! That's three times in one fortnight. Eek! Yes, yes I truly have an addiction. But after a long dry spell it was nice to get back in the saddle again so to speak. I'm not sure if there are any more movies I want to see. Why do they always release great movies all at one time? Ah, the wonders of life...

Anyway driving home after the movies I noticed the sun was setting in the most perfect way. So fighting the traffic - getting annoyed that they didn't get out of my way (Don't they know I'm chasing the sunlight? This is a time limited opportunity). I finally got to my spot, grabbed my camera and my tripod, and raced to set my kit up. After all that I actually managed to get a beautiful shot.

Image taken 04 February 2011

While I was in this glorious setting I decided it was a perfect time to whip out my little Instax. I think it turned out wonderfully... It's completely perfectly imperfect. And there's nothing I can do to change it. That's the beauty of instant film. You have what you have and that's what you've got. My only complaint about this picture is I must have had a bit of dust on my scanner so little white flecks have shown up. I'll need to get better at scanning these little Instax films. Despite all that I think it's really beautiful. What do you think?

Until next time stay safe and well and I hope you find a little bit of wonderful in every single day!

My Kit...

I thought I'd introduce you to my camera gear. Maybe you're interested, maybe you're not. But I thought it might to nice to show you I'm using.

Here's a bad photo of most of my kit (I was forced to use my old point-and-shoot! How I ever lived without manipulating my settings I'll never know!)

So I have a:

~ Nikon d5000 body - I have found it to be a wonderful camera to use and to learn the basics (and some not so basics) of DSLR photography. It's a really great camera even though I have been not-so-secretly lusting after the new d7000 body. But that's another story.

~ Nikon DX 35mm 1.8 lens - I cannot give this lens high enough praise!! It's a fantastic little lens. Great in low light settings. Easy to produce smooth bokeh. The ability to have a super sharp, shallow depth of field makes this a great every day lens

~ Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro lens - This lens is great if you're into macro photography. True it sometimes has to 'hunt' for the focal point in low light conditions. Having said that it still performs admirably well. In my research though I've found most macro photographers suggest manual focus is the way to go regardless of the lens. Another huge point for this lens was the price - it was more than half of the Nikon equivalent. Being a student on a budget made this lens the obvious choice and I haven't regretted it.

~ Nikon 18-55mm & 55-200mm VR - These are the kit lenses I got with the camera. I found them really good to start off with. Really great for someone just starting out. But as I started to get more serious about this photography stuff and learning more about apature and the like I started using these lenses less and less. In fact they haven't been on my camera in over 6 months! I simply don't use them. So they permanently stay at home.

~ Nikon 18-105mm VR - I brought this lens to take to Europe with me as I didn't want to have to constantly change lenses and it performed great. It does suffer from slight barrel distortion at the lower and higher ends but that's easily fixed post-processing. This lens is always in my camera bag (replacement for the 18-55 & 55-200). On very rare occasions I attach it to my camera body and snap away. But this really doesn't happen all that often. I find I work almost exclusively with my prime lenses (35mm & 90mm). I just like them better is all and I think I tend to get better photos with them. Using them has really taught me the importance of framing and appropriate use of depth of field.

~ Third-party external flash - I don't use this often but I always have it in my bag. It works really well and can move and tilt every which way allowing me to bounce light. I'm still trying to work out this flash business to be honest. I find I tend to try and use as much natural light as possible.

~ Fotobestway tripod with ball head - really a must have for most night photography. Plus I tend to use it a lot for my macro shots as well. In fact I's say I use my tripod 90% of the time. The thing I love about this tripod is it packs up small and is quite light yet strong enough to hold my camera at odd angle with the heaviest lens. It's really easy for me to carry and I find the ball head so versatile. I also own a gorillapod zoom which can handle the weight of my kit but is still small enough to shove in my bag.

~ Instax Mini 25 - That's right! I brought it!! It is so fun to use. A completely different experience to working with the DSLR but it has amazing sharpness and clarity for an instant camera. There's something so fun about holding a actual photo within a couple of minuets of snapping the shot. Because of it's lens and settings you can get a beautiful vignette with vivid colors. I'm having so much fun exploring a different side to photography. So expect a few scanned instax photos in the future.

~ I hold all this kit in one of two bags... well except for the tripod. I own a Vanguard Up-Rise 45 backpack (pictured below) for when I go out for a full day shooting. The thing I like about this backpack is it has space up the tip to hold some food, a water bottle, or whatever else you need for a full day shooting. Plus it has quick access to your camera if you need it in a hurry. (For a full description click here)

BUT when I was thinking of starting project 365 I knew I didn't want to be hauling around a big, bulky, black backpack everywhere I went. So I got my hands on a Tenba Messenger Camera Bag in Plum (pictured below). Finally a bit of COLOR!! I use this bag about 95% of the time. It can hold loads of kit, plus all my daily bits and bobs (keys, wallet, id, etc), and it neatly holds my Kindle and/or my netbook! I just like it because it doesn't look like your everyday camera bag and it's super comfortable to wear. (For a full description click here)

So that's my photography kit. I hope you enjoyed the tour.

Note: I have not been paid for my review of any of these products.

What's in your bag?

February 4, 2011

Music That Moves Me

Finally a music post!! Sometimes I just like chilled out music. Actually more accurately I generally prefer chilled out music. As such I do so enjoy the vocal stylings of one Joshua Radin.

His voice has such a soothing quality. Some of his songs seem made for a lovely lazy summer day. I find his music (and many others) perfect for my various creative pursuits. It's great because it's wonderful music that doesn't necessarily demand your full attention. (I suppose that's the reason why I can't really get into heavy rock).

Take a listen to 'They Bring Me To You' and see what you think:

What music are you loving this week?

Project 365 - Day Seventy-One

To be otherwise called : 'The Folly of Listening to Talk Show Hosts'. I've spoken before about my former shoe addiction and the absolute stupidity of having said addiction. All but one type of shoe are detrimental to my feet. But these are the WORST possible shoes I have ever brought.

You see I was watching a daytime talk show and the host said that every woman simply must have a pair of black, high heeled shoes. Feeling as if I wasn't at all womanly because I didn't posses such shoes I quickly went out and brought these monstrosities.

Image taken 03 February 2011

Yep... Those are stilettos with about as much sole surface as a postage stamp. Considering that I fall over easily in flats these were the most stupid shoe selection in the entire world. In fact I have only worn them for a total of two minuets in my bedroom. I attached them to my feet, attempted to stand, and promptly sprained my ankle. Thus ended my love affair with the stiletto. Now I simply admire them from afar.

Until next we meet on this interverse (see what I did there? Yay for a new world. May internet and universe ever be mixed) I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Project 365 - Day Seventy

So you've heard me talk about it before and I have been holding on to my review until I got the perfect picture.

And I've finally done it. I got a picture that does it justice. Here's my picture of one of my favorite things. It's time for you to meet my Kindle.

Image taken 02 February 2011

First I've got to tell you that the screen isn't actually that blue... I think I went a little overboard on the contrast. I LOVE this device! It seems I either have my camera or my Kindle in my hands these days.

For anyone who doesn't know a Kindle is an electronic reading device... and it is amazing!

I've talked about the idea of getting a Kindle in a previous post and after weighing up the pros and cons and getting to see one first-hand I decided to go for it. I am ever so glad I did. It is a pleasure to use and makes my reading life much more comfortable. No more tossing and turning trying to get into a comfortable position with a heavy book. No more sore wrists from holding weighty books in odd positions. Books download in a snap! If you're a 'series finisher' like me it's wonderful to not wait for the next book (providing it's been written). The clarity is amazing - in fact after a while you forget that it's an ereader and start thinking it's a normal book. Plus I get the latest 'New York Times' delivered to me wirelessly every day. How awesome is that? It doesn't cause any eye strain - it's just like reading from a 'real' book. Another great feature is that all the classics (anything that is over 100 years old and out of copyright) are free! That's right I got my beloved 'Pride and Prejudice' downloaded in a second all for free. This beautiful little device can store up to 3500 books making it the perfect travel companion. The books you do have to pay for are very reasonably priced ranging from around $0.01 to $12.00 (some priced high, some lower). I have purchased most of my books for an average of $2.50.

I could go on and on and on (just ask some of my friends!). But to sum it all up I think the Kindle is the perfect reading companion. A must for anyone who loves reading!

Until next time stay safe my dear friends...

Quote of the Week

This week's (late) quote of the week isn't really a quote as such. It's really more of a saying. (Is there a difference? There is to my mind and because this is my blog we'll just go with it). But this quote/saying just gives me pause.

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

I have no idea who came up with this saying but isn't it fantastic? It just reminds me to watch what I'm doing in my life because it's so easy to let your thoughts control everything in your life.

What do you think of the quote?

Project 365 - Day Sixty-Nine

So I've fallen behind yet again (for shame, for shame). But after two busy days I was a little wiped out. However it is now to move on and the share what's been going on.

Day sixty-nine was one of the most AMAZING days!! It was the day I finally got the see WICKED!!! I have been wanting to see this musical f-o-r-e-v-e-r and now I actually saw it. This adventure has been in the works for quite a while - I mean I brought my ticket before I left for Europe. So as you can see I've been waiting for a while. And then disaster struck... On the day I was meant to go the performance was canceled due to flooding (remember the Queensland flooding that covered around 75% of the state).

I was so devastated! I thought it would take ages to reschedule. But lo and behold only two weeks after the cancellation I was off the see the wizard!! Here's a picture of the stage as I was waiting for the show to start.

Image taken 01 February 2011

This photo simply doesn't do the show justice. It was AMAZING!! So wonderful, so breath-taking. I was held spellbound from the first word. It's hard to find the words to accurately explain how beautiful it was (a scary idea for a wanna-be author). Every one must see the show. I so desperately want to talk about the characters and the story but I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it. I'll save that for it's own special post. Needless to say it was absolutely brilliant!! It was a wonderful night.

More updates soon but in the meantime I hope your world is wonderful!

February 1, 2011

Project 365 - Day Sixty-Eight

This post could instead be labeled 'my other art supplies'. I sometimes enjoy being a girly-girl. As such I do love a bit of make-up. All I really own is eye make-up though because I inevitably rub off anything else within five minuets of putting it on.

So stuck for ideas for day sixty-eight I decided to turn to my other art supplies. This is what I came up with.

Image taken 31 January 2011

I love accentuating my eyes. They are one of my favorite features. I remember stumbling through my awkward teenage years trying to figure out what looked best (thank goodness there are limited pictures of some of those travesties!). But I slowly figured it out - learning how to mix color and what looked best where. This is one of my favorite sets - the natural look which enhances what you have with a little bit of shimmer to make life fun. Sometimes I love being a girl!

Until next time I encourage you to enjoy the little things in life.

Project 365 - Day Sixty-Seven

Hello my name is Tafline... and I'm an Etsy addict! The only thing that stops me from blowing all my income in this online heaven is I'm on a strict budget and I'm trying my hardest to stick to it.

Well anyway I was on Etsy and I struck gold! I've talked before about my love of all thing owly and I found this little treasure. A steampunk owl! Could anything be more perfect?

Image taken 30 January 2011

You can't really appreciate it in this photo but in his little belly is the inside of a watch. You can see the cogs and everything. I like it because it reminds me that there is always a story behind time. I mean whatever you are doing with your time there's always a story behind it. You just have to use your time wisely right? It reminds me to make the most of my time and appreciate it for the gift it is.

I hope your week is starting off right!

Project 365 - Day Sixty-Six

You may not know this about my but I'm a bit of a movie buff. I have watched so many movies I've lost count. You know you have a problem when the staff at the video store knows you by name. In fact it's a bit of a hassle for everyone around me when they're trying to find a movie I haven't seen. It must be frustrating!

But anyway I went to the cinemas on Saturday -- in fact I went twice. I went to see 'The Kings Speech' with a most wonderful friend (a fantastic movie and spending time with my friend was even better). Then on the way home I was so bitten by the movie bug that I stopped in at the local cinema to watch 'Black Swan' (stunning, disturbing, petrifying, fascinating, and wonderful in an odd sort of way).

Anyway as I was sitting in my assigned seat before the lights went down I noticed the 'lines' of the cinema.

Image taken 29 January 2011

I'm not entirely happy with this shot. I should have focused on the closest cup holder instead of the closet seat. But it was extremely dark in the cinema (thank you slow shutter speed) and the other patrons in the cinema wouldn't have appreciated me using external lighting to get the perfect shot. (As it was I heard a few people wondering what I was doing.) Plus the lights went down and the movie started the minute I pressed the shutter down - talk about bad timing. Even though it wasn't exactly the shot I was going for I still think it looks okay.

Are you a movie buff? What have you watched recently?

Project 365 - Day Sixty-Five

Sixty-five days down only three hundred to go. It's going so quick! I'm still really enjoying the project. True I sometimes struggle to come up with an interesting subject matter but I am enjoying the challenge.

I headed to my garden again to ferret some interesting thing to capture. Now I know I have taken a picture of a grasshopper again but this one was just so cute. Sitting there so still on a half eaten leaf I just knew it wanted it's picture taken.

Image taken 28 January 2011

When I compare this grasshopper shot with the one taken near the beginning of project 365 I can see that I'm slowly getting better. My focus is sharper and I'm getting better at using depth of field. I love it that I can chart my progression in this art as well as have a record of a year in my life. In short I am loving project 365!!

Until my next post my dear blogger buddies I hope you manage to find the beauty in ever single day!