Emily – 2

I had hoped to get time to do a nice little photoshoot with my niece Emily this past weekend. She’s such a cutie.

Sadly Emily was ill this past weekend so her level of cooperation was at an all time low and her nose was snotty. Two things that don’t make photoshoots fun.

All I managed was a couple of photos in situ and the odd iPhone shot. There’s always next time and she’ll probably just get cuter as she grows.

Emily eating pancakes
Emily drawing
Emily playing peek-a-boo
Emily
Emily takes saving money very seriously

Maygen

Maygen – 12

To say Maygen is funny would be an understatement. She has a way of reacting to situations like you wouldn’t expect, Maygen has a quick wit and she’s always ready with a comeback.

Next year Maygen will transition into high school. I hope she manages to maintain her demeanour and she isn’t eaten up by the system that high school can be.

Maygen is loyal and loving, though she doesn’t always let on how she feels.

I’ve loved spending the couple of days I did with her and am grateful for her stepping in front of my camera. You can see from the photos below how much fun she has doing this. I hope, unlike her older brother, she’s happy to continue being in front of the camera as often as I can point it at her.

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Maygen
Maygen Jumps
The Kids
Maygen and Dolly

Alek flying on four wheels

Alek – 15

Alek, one of my nephews, age 15, flying down a hill on his skateboard.

His grandmother has kittens when we talk about him doing this, probably because she remembers a time my Dad put my older brother on a skateboard and sent him hurtling down the steep hill near our great grandmother’s house in Kogarah. Brian didn’t fare so well, pretty sure some skin was removed that day, but at least he didn’t make it to the busy road at the bottom of the hill.

These days, kids are wearing helmets and kneepads and sometimes elbow pads for protection. While grateful Alek was wearing them he didn’t need them, seemingly gliding with ease down the hill on which speed was easily achieved.

He tells me this isn’t the big hill. In this park there is a bigger, steeper hill that he’s not brave enough to try, but I think he’s plenty brave to take this one on.

My brother, Greg, didn’t do so well, no protection means when he tried Alek’s skateboard, from about halfway up the hill, when he came off his knee became a bloody mess.

Over the past weekend, Alek stood in front of my camera a few times. He’s a great kid.

The second day we went back to the park where we photographed the photo above but we walked around the place stopping at different places when it looked right. You can see the results below.

At one point we were down by a lake, using the stone wall as our backdrop and a guy approached walking his dog. I was all ready for Alek to want to stop, to go all shy and think it was “uncool” but he didn’t. He was ready to keep shooting. It was great that he has this confidence and self-assurance. I wish I had that at his age.

Alek flying on four wheels
Alek
Alek
Alek

Jacob – 17

Jacob is not long 17, my nephew by marriage I have known him all his life, he’s one of my favourite people in the world.

Here he is pictured with his first car. I hear he sold practically everything he owned to get it, including his beloved motorbikes. Granted, he’s become somewhat gun-shy on the bike front since his massive accident that saw his leg snapped clean in half, his foot broken and his wrist broken. He had a long road to recovery so I can understand if he has given it away for a while, possibly for ever.

Being the wheeler and dealer Jake is he’s already considering the sale of his car in the hope of getting something new. In a move that surprises, he’s looking for something more practical, something less pretty. I guess he’s growing up and seemingly faster than most young tradies.

I don’t get to see these kids often, living in Melbourne while they are in Sydney means we only get to see them a couple of times a year. I miss a lot of their growing up. I miss that.

Jacob Extreme Portrait
Jacob with Kimana
A boy and his dog
Jacob and his first car
Jacob and Dolly

Focus Stacked Yellow Flower

Rainy Days are Good Days For Photographers

Today Kathryn was coming over so we could grab some breakfast in the Marsh and head out and take some photos of mushrooms with our macro lenses. Only thing was our plans were mostly washed out on account of the rain that wouldn’t stop falling on our heads.

Such weather is not very conducive to crawling around in the undergrowth looking for fungi to photograph so a plan B was enacted.

We still went for breakfast. After looking at a few places, even sitting down in one and leaving, we went back to the Lucky Pot Cafe, which David & I went to last weekend. It was OK, but not awesome.

Photogaphic plan B was to stop at the roadside flower store and grab some flowers to take macros of in the warmth and comfort of our kitchen. A plan that worked well. We spent about $20 on a few bunches of flowers and set ourselves up on the kitchen table.

Kathryn actually forgot to bring her shiny new macro lens, but luckily she brought her Canon camera (she also has a Sony & a Nikon, the latter she has the macro lens for) so we could share lenses. She also brought her little ring flash to try out.

We each pick a place on the table, with a black backdrop in the background, and went about snapping our macros. You can see one of the results above and below.

This image is eleven images focus stacked in Photoshop to form the one image. The blurred areas are where I was too impatient with macro rail and moved too quickly through the focal plane. I’ve used this technique before, with a better result on my “Water Colours” which one best digital photo for 2013 at the Williamstown Camera Club.

The original bunch of Flowers
Our Little Setup
Focus Stacked Yellow Flower

17 Years – Happy Anniversary

Ok, so now it’s after 6:30 I’m finally allowed to say…

It was about this time, 17 years ago today that I first lay eyes on David. The man who’d become my partner in every way. These have been 17 of the best years of my life.

People still can’t believe it when we tell them how I moved in the day we met, but really, when you know it’s right, you know.

He makes me laugh, he makes me happy, he brings me joy. I can’t think of a life without him in it. To use a cliche, he truly is my rock; caring for me when I’m ill, and standing by me on my down days.

I’m stronger for having him in my life, he taught me what love really is. He supports my mad hobbies, mostly without question, and he doesn’t get too annoyed about my hoarding ways.

Here’s to the many, many more years ahead. And here’s to starting our life afresh in our new home in just over a week, what an awesome anniversary present to ourselves. 😊

Yellow Rose Macro

Macro Flora

We head off to the State Rose Garden today at Werribee to take some photos around the grounds and to check out the Werribee Mansion (a must visit if you’ve never been there before). Mum probably went here last time she was down, almost 8 years ago, but she has her camera now so we thought it might be nice to visit.

Of course we’d already dragged her around all over the city this morning, so she wasn’t up for too much of a walk and the grounds are quite large. To be honest, after the last couple of days I think we’ve walked more than I would usually walk in a month, so I’m not surprised she and we were tired.

Here are some photos I took with my macro lens, not unhappy with them given it was kind of windy, as it always seems to be when one wishes to take macro photos in the wild.

The sign at the State Rose Garden
Dying Rose at the State Rose Garden
Macro Yellow Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee
Macro Pink Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee
Macro Pink Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee
Bee on a Pink Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee

Me driving for the first time.

Driving Solo

This is the first time I ever drove a car solo. I was 17 and still 5 years away from getting my licence. Greg, Jennifer & I were visiting Dad and we were at Nan’s caravan park. Dad said I could go for a drive around the park with Greg.

I’d not driven much by this point.

Greg and I, being Greg and I, decided going 5kph was boring and left the caravan park and made for the highway. We went along the old highway instead of the real highway and ramped it up to 70. Flying along we both commented how fast it seemed. It wasn’t until we stopped to take this picture that I realised the car was so old it was still in miles per hour!

We got up to a few things in our youth, my little brother and I. There was the time caught a train from Penrith to Glenbrook with our bikes, went through the National Park and the rode down the Pacific Highway almost literally shitting our daks at the speeds we were going.

And then the time he was in hospital for an operation and bored, so I put him in a wheelchair and we went missing for an hour or two, we visited several wards including maternity to look at the babies, before coming back to a berating from parents and doctors.