Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Monthly Blog Circle - Shallow Depth of Field

So we all love the fuzzy backgrounds you get in photos right?  This months challenge was all about utilising shallow depth of field.  This is something I'm no stranger to, however this last month has been hectic busy so of course I had to leave it to the last minute!

My mother in law has an awesome garden, and the last two days we have managed to have some fairly nice weather for this time of year.  I was blessed with some amazing light, so with that, camera in hand (and Harry in a pram), I went to my mother in laws place and snapped away.

Here is the result :)

Now please carry on the blog circle by visiting Jamie and see her take on Shallow Depth of Field :)

Monday, 1 July 2013

An update...

So I've been a bit quiet on the blog front - for that I apologise.  I have been flat tack shooting families since I started putting myself out there - I am overwhelmed by the number of people who have been in contact and who I have had sessions with - a massive thank you for supporting me in this early stage of my little side business!

On that note I have some exciting things in store - so please watch this space.  Good things take time, so you may be waiting a while, but I hope you won't be disappointed!

See you all again shortly for my monthly challenge post :)

Monday, 3 June 2013

Clickin Moms Monthly Challenge - Beautiful Ugly

Well it is that time of the month again - our monthly blog circle challenge.

This month we had the assignment of "Beautiful Ugly".  Take something ugly, and look at the beautiful aspects of it.

It took me a while to find something, but I'm really happy with the result - but I feel this needs a bit of explanation.

I chose to photograph a shed.  This shed is derelict, looks like its about to fall down, and if you live in Helensville or its surrounds, or you have travelled north via State Highway 16 you may be familiar with it.

Here is a quick snap shot of what is possibly thought of as an eyesore

But this shed actually has a fair bit of history behind it.  Known as the "Slaughterhouse", it is situated on the original Dye's property.  Mr Dye was one of the first settlers in Kaukapakapa, and in many ways responsible for getting the economy up and going by running his own shop and transport along the waterways which wind their way through Helensville and Kaukapakapa.

So how did I go about making it look beautiful?

To say I was blessed with amazing light is an understatement - it was late in the afternoon and it had been a mixed up day weather wise.  Typical Auckland, had provided thunder storms, hail, rain and sunshine all within the space of a couple of hours - the clouds were dramatic and the last photo in particular shows the late afternoon sun lighting up the shed with the dark rainy clouds behind.  Yes it is a derelict shed but the surroundings amazing.

And as if to say see you later, as I was walking towards my car to leave, one last glance had this surprise waiting...

Now please visit Andee who is next in our blog circle and see how she interpreted "Beautiful Ugly"

Friday, 3 May 2013

Blog Circle Challenge - April: Through the Glass

After my hiatus last month (thanks to a tummy bug), I tried super hard to meet the challenge this month.

Let me be the first to admit, this challenge is not easy.

There are a couple of things about shooting through glass -

Reflection - if you're doing any shooting in daylight the only image you get is yourself - everything reflects.

Lack of ISO - My little 450 only goes to 1600 ISO - this made shooting challenging as the only time I could really bypass the reflection was by shooting in the early evening

The photos are definitely not my best but I enjoyed the challenge and learning how to look at things a little differently - think about framing and playing with my cameras settings to get the effect I wanted.

Through the looking glass...

Reading Stories through the glass

Fish Tank Watching

Please now visit Becky for her take on Shooting Through Glass :)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Weekly Challenge Catch Up

As promised here is my weekly photos for the last few weeks!

I'm following two lists - one with my Clickin Moms group and the other with our own private group on Facebook.  Some weeks I've had two photos, others I have just chosen one week to roll with - so enjoy :)

Week 12 - Autumn

I can honestly say Autumn is my favourite time of year.  I love the leaves turning red, I love the cooler mornings but generally nicer days, plus its the time hubby and I got married and had Ash so to me its just an awesome time of year.  After a long hot summer Autumn came late this year, and with this theme falling as early as it did I didn't think I could actually fulfill the request.  However, one afternoon driving along Waikoukou Valley Road I came across some lovely trees opposite Matua Vineyard, which surprisingly had the familiar red leaves to show the time of year.  I was stoked to be able to capture them!

Week 13 - Blue

This weeks theme was hard for me as I was short on time and luckily my mother in law came to rescue.  Snoopy our now nine year old cat has always acted like a kitten when it comes to wool so what better but to give him some blue wool to play with?

Week 14: Golden Hour

I LOVE shooting at golden hour.  Light at this time is just amazing, and one of my biggest struggles as a mum of two is actually taking advantage of this time.  Unfortunately mornings are usually spent cuddling in bed, and afternoons is mayhem between dinner, grizzling, feeding and staying under control.  This Sunday afternoon however was quite calm in our household, and Ash and Harry had a little play in the sandpit before dinner.  I love this photo as my two boys are starting to really interact and build a little friendship.  Its wonderful to watch it!

Week 15: Reflection

This week hubby and I attended a wedding in Melbourne - childless!  We have never left the boys for a long time before so it was a little daunting for us but enjoyable.  We decided seeing we could never do it while the kids are young to take a tour bus up Great Ocean Road and visited the 12 Apostles.  This coastline is awesome (although never as beautiful as NZ) so it was worth the investment.

(Please note hubby is wearing my sunglasses - he's not into diamantes...)

Week 16: Animals

Our furry friend Benson has been with us for nearly nine years and often the subject of my photos.  He seemed the perfect fit for this weeks theme (although is in a desperate need of a haircut!)

Week 17 - From a High Angle

This weeks theme was easy for me - I love capturing the kids from different angles.  This shot of Harry I adore - he has had Hand Foot and Mouth and been generally miserable with high temperatures.  In this particular shot he was super grumpy, and just couldn't understand why I was standing above him to get the shot.  I love the expression on his face - one of annoyance but still intrigued - this little guy just absorbs so much, its so nice to watch him learning about the world.

Been a bit quiet...

I'm sorry, I have been a bit quiet of late on the blog front.  I've still been photographing, still been doing the weekly challenge, although I did miss the March monthly challenge due to being stuck in bed for about a week with some lovely tummy bug my beautiful children passed on.

Plus, I'm taking advantage of Facebook.  Since last being on here I have started my own Facebook Page - please check it out (and like if you want to!).

This is a massive step for me starting a facebook page - I have been doing shoots for a while for friends out of love.  I love photographing, and I've loved learning over the last few years I have been doing them.  But demand has started to grow - its awesome people enjoy my photos, but it has come to a point now where it is starting to cost me money (travel costs, lens costs, and most of all time away from my family and other business so I have started to charge.  Only a very small fee as I don't believe my quality is anywhere near those that have studied photography and pursued as a career but enough to basically cover my costs and justify doing shoots.

So over the next few days I will be playing catch up - plus updating with our monthly blog circle challenge tomorrow!

Thanks for stopping in...

PS - here is an updated photo of me and my beautiful boys

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Playing Catch Up...

So life has caught up and I haven't been posting as regularly as I should have been!

Miss me?

We have been super busy.  Feb/March are always busy times of year for us as we have two A&P Shows that require our full attention in the weeks leading up to, and on the day.  Thrown into the mix was a national advertising campaign which I helped to get going, a trip to Taupo to participate in a North Island meeting, maintenance of a million dollar business, running the household and taking care of the two kids.  Its fair to say I have not slept much in the last month and we have been running on adrenalin until this week.

I have however been keeping up with the weekly photographs, and been having fun with the themes.

Week 9 - the theme was Glass.  I really struggled with this theme - a beautiful landscape with water like glass, keeping it simple with a photo of a glass half full, or taking a picture through a looking glass.  Instead I kept it even simpler - a photo of my favourite possession - my 50mm lens also known to many photogs as 'good glass'.  This lens helped me take to take the types of photos I've always wanted to take, and truth be told sits on my camera about 90% of the time.  So here it is: Glass

Week 10's theme was Motion.  This was one was really simple - some lovely light on a summer's afternoon, Dad's strong arms (and bravery) to throw Mr 2 up in the air and I got the shot I wanted...

And lastly Week 11.  This weeks theme was "Night Portrait".  This was very much a challenge for me - I've never done a night portrait before aside from kids sleeping.  We work late into the night most nights, so taking advantage of hubby when in true concentration was ideal.  While its not 'technically' correct, I actually love this shot.  Given where we are at at the moment with our business, and the stress we've been experiencing of late trying to keep things under control I feel his expression, the mood and slightly off black and white represents how we're feeling.

This is what I love about photography - the ability to be able to take a moment, and save it forever.

See you all next week!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Blog Circle - Month 2: Food

So this month we had the theme of Food for our monthly blog circle.  I have never done any kind of food photography, and am certainly not particularly creative when it comes dressing food or anything like that!  So when the invite to a Mexican Food Night came up as a farewell to one of our good friends heading back overseas, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to take advantage of my camera and theme.

None of the food was particularly pretty... but the company was great, the chatter even better, and the food tasted as it should - dam good!  So thank you girls for letting me take photos of the night, and also for letting me come along and enjoy the company.

Once you have stopped by here please make your way to Pastiche Photography and check out her take on "Food".

A perfect end to a perfect evening :)

Saturday, 2 March 2013

A shameless plug...

A wee while ago I did a lovely family shoot with some really good friends of mine, and to say thank you they were kind enough to give me a lovely camera strap for my SLR.  The strap is fantastic - not only is it functional but it looks so dam pretty - which is no surprise given its Sitting Pretty that makes them.  And its obvious I'm not the only one who thinks they're pretty cool - within a few weeks of launching they had completely run out of stock but of recent times they have managed to catch up with demand.

So if you're a photographer looking for something that will differentiate your camera for the rest, or you need a gift for that difficult-to-buy for photog definitely check out these guys!  Oh, and they're on Facebook too...

2013 Week 8/52 - Shadow

A boy and his bike.  You just can't go wrong.  We purchased Ash his Wishbone bike when he turned one (and frankly I can't wait till Harry gets his one too!), and since its hefty purchase Ash and his bike have been inseparable.  So for this weeks theme being Shadow I thought it filled the theme in two ways - one being literally a shadow shot, and also as Ashton's shadow - his bike!

2013 Week 7/52

Weekly Challenge - Symmetry

So I got a little behind in the challenge this week - had lots of ideas floating around in my head but nothing could be brought into fruition!  Finally I decided to take the boys to visit a small butterfly garden in New Lynn called the West Lynn Garden.  This place is known for its butterfly house and seeing Ash and I grew some Swan plants and watched caterpillars turns into butterflies I thought it was quite fitting we give this place a visit.  On top of that I thought a monarch butterfly would be a perfect photograph for this weeks theme - Symmetry.

So we got out there - this place is literally in the middle of a residential area and is the perfect place for a toddler to burn some energy.  The property consists of 4.5ha of gardens with winding paths through plants and small trees.  The butterfly house is at the start and was chocka full of monarch butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalis'.  While the butterflies were certainly lovely to look at, it was actually a fern that took my eye for the theme - perfectly symmetrical and it fit my lens nicely.  So here is the final result - symmetry :)

Saturday, 9 February 2013

2013 Week 6/52 - Texture

So a little while ago my friend Paige mentioned that in Kaukapakapa there was a Garden Centre that also had a walk which had sculptures scattered throughout.  This afternoon hubby left for a stag do leaving me with both kidlets and a free afternoon to find something to do.  A quick text and Paige met me there for a gander at the Kaipara Coast Sculpture Park.  This place is fantastic!  There are 60 sculptures in total, the paths are all nice and easy to walk around, pram friendly and there is an awesome little park for both little and big kids alike.  Paige has a 1 year old (Gemma who you would have seen a few times during my 366), and of course I had Ash and Harry.  Ash and Gemma loved the park and we nearly missed closing time as we were having so much fun!

I took a few photos while there, but this was the one subject that stuck out for this weeks theme - a cross made out of barbed wire.  There was no explanation as there was for the other sculptures so I'm not sure if the cross was actually representing a life or was there as art.  In hindsight I wish I had spent a bit more time trying to take the photograph and getting a better perspective but for now this will do.  I definitely intend to go back sometime in the near future so maybe I can re-look then :)

Monday, 4 February 2013

2013 5/52

This weeks theme was Low Light Photography.  Normally I love getting my tripod out and getting my shutter speeds nice and slow but this week I struggled, I think because I have done so much of it during my daily challenge it was hard to find inspiration to do it for this!  I did have one idea in mind but that idea would have meant leaving the house at about 4:30/5am and with a little person who relies solely on me for food and has had a nasty reaction to formula it was not going to happen.  So I turned to what I know best - taking photos of my kids.

I actually had the intention of getting a night photo of Harry - he's just moved into the cot so I thought it would be special.  But he chose last night to be extremely unsettled so I couldn't get the shot that I wanted.  His older brother also chose to perform last night and refused to go bed until about 9:30pm, and that was only after many a tantrum.  He eventually fell asleep lying sideways on the bed so after giving up on Harry it was only by pure chance that I popped in and found Ash like this.  The light source is the hallway light, the peace and calm all his...

Here is Week 5

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Blog Circle - Month One: Close Up Portrait

So as part of my New Years Resolution to spend a bit more time on my photography this year, I have joined up with a Blog Circle through Clickin Moms.  Every month we have a theme and we take photos then link to each other.

The prospect of being linked to these ladies is somewhat daunting as they are all amazingly talented and majority are professionals (and trust me you can see why!).  So little old hobbyist me is hoping I don't drop the bar too low.  If you have found this post from Katie Woodard Photography - welcome thanks for being here.  And can I please ask after stopping by here, can you please move on to Pastiche Photography.  Oh and if you're really game, please leave a comment!

This months theme was Close Up Portrait.  I decided to take photos of my two beautiful boys - Ash aged two and a half, and Harry three and a half months.  Harry is a dream to take photos of - he sits still, he smiles nearly on command, still has the baby wonderment going on in his eyes, oh and did I mention (again!) he SITS STILL!  Ash on the other hand is a typical two year old, always on the go, and it was after much bribery of chocolate and other treats that I managed to get him to sit (relatively) still for two seconds at a time to take some shots.  I'm not entirely happy with Ash's shots but in these situations you have to make do and in recent times he has been asking me not to take so many photos of him (probably exhausted after my 366 Challenge last year) so as a dutiful mother I shall provide him some respect!

So please don't forget to visit other wonderful photographers in our group, and I hope to see you again another time.

Over and out

2013 4/52

This weeks theme was Weather.  Recent times we have experienced amazing weather - days filled with blue skies and warm sun - so quite difficult to get an interesting shot of.  But those days all ended with amazing sunsets - mostly thanks to the fires in Australia which have been making our skies beautiful colours.

Muriwai as I have mentioned before is a place very dear to me.  It was the first place I saw my husband on our wedding day - not too far from where I took this photo in fact.  We had our wedding photos done before our ceremony, and with only the photographers and three closest friends witnessing Bryce and I shared a very special moment at Maori Bay overlooking Oaia Rock.  That day was terrible weather wise, a storm was brewing, the skies black but dry.  So it was in stark contrast this photo was taken, there was an Easterly so the waves were clean but calm and the weather beautifully sunny.

So here is Week 4 :)

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Daily Photo Challenge - Week 52 (The final showdown)

So here we are.

2012 is officially over and our daily photo challenge has now come to a close.  366 days worth of memories and I think it is fair to say that our group have all grown their talents immensely.

Next week I start a new challenge - Challenge 52 of which we are now up to 26 people!  If you would like to keep up with all our 52 challengers see here.

Thank you for visiting this blog, thank you even more if you have taken the time to leave a comment either here or on facebook.

Thank you very much to my family for continually letting me take photos of them - many a time there was a roll of an eye, or a telling off from Master A to put the camera down so I could keep playing soccer...  Thank you also to hubby for keeping the kids entertained whilst I uploaded my images every week.  And most of all thank you to our little photog group who continued to support each other, continued to keep taking photos and continued to inspire me every single week.

This year has been massive.... lets see what 2013 will now bring!

Arohanui - now over and out xxx

Sweet slumber

Big toes little toes

Presents from Santa

Hands are cool

Beautiful Birthday Girl

Waterslide fun

NZ's Xmas Tree

Day 1 of Potty Training

Final Sunset of 2012 (thanks Muriwai Beach)