Photography Bucket List

Bucket lists are fun to read. If it’s other people’s bucket lists that is. While they are important for many to outline their goals or dreams or wishes in life, I find it hard to write one for myself.

Mostly I know the things I don’t want to do, either because I have done or tried them already or because they just don’t appeal to me at all. And I don’t like to write down things which come down to fate, for example celebrating 50 years of marriage. I am not normally known to be superstitious, but maybe in that regard I am a little bit.

So any list containing only things I don’t want to do could only be called an ‘Anti-Bucket List’ which sounds terrible, and I won’t write this one down.

But recently I realized that I do have a proper Bucket List when it comes to photography. Because there are a number of faces, places or things that I would love to point my camera at. It’s not a huge list, and a number of points are unlikely and even impossible to ever come true, but there you go, just for fun (one can always dream):

Photography Bucket List – in no particular order:

  • Carnival in Venice
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Times Square in New York at New Years Eve
  • Montana
  • Icebergs
  • Polar Bears
  • the Ghan
  • Oktoberfest in Munich at night, with a security detail to keep me and my tripod safe in the crowds
  • Nordic lights
  • Richard Armitage dressed up as Thorin, in my studio
  • Sean Connery from 20 years ago, in my studio
  • Kate Blanchett with the Oscar and the dress she wore that night, in my studio
  • Inside the Ferrari Factory in Italy
  • harvest time in the Champagne, France
  • the Chelsea Flower Show
  • Mount Fuji
  • tiger cubs
  • a butterfly farm
  • spending a day with a glass-blower, watching them work
  • spending a day with a wood-carver, watching them work
  • Meryl Streep as she is in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’, in my studio
  • inside a LEGO factory
  • Musee D’Orsay in Paris, without people but a crew schlepping my gear for me
  • spending a day with a bookmaker, watching them work
  • inside Versailles, with no people there
  • Grafton, Australia, when the trees are in bloom
  • The city of Kingston as portrayed in ‘Assassins Creed – The Black Flag’
  • the Oresund Bridge, which connects Denmark with Sweden
  • Venice in Winter, foggy, gloomy, Black & White
  • the inside of the original Orient Express
  • the young Grace Kelly in my studio, I still think she was the most beautiful woman that ever lived
  • Douglas Fairbanks jr, as he was in that old movie ‘Sinbad’, this was my first crush, very many years ago ;)


Lost Opportunity

I was more a tom-boy than a girlie girl. Rather would have been an Indian or a Pirate than a Princess, rather followed tracks in the dirt and explored secret caves than playing high tea on the picnic rug with my dolls. I did have Barbies, but mine had a horse and wore pants and went on adventures rather than wearing glittery dresses and little shoes.

I could be found on the local adventure and water playgrounds, building igloos in the snow in winter and having daring toboggan rides.

I didn’t much miss the girlie playdates with endless doll-dressing and re-dressing. However, one thing I always wanted to do and never got was having ballet lessons. I remember being very jealous of friends who did, jealous of their tutus and little shoes, of all the graceful moves they learnt – I always felt clumsy and awkward next to them. I was jealous of their long hair put up in a bun. My hair never grew past shoulder length, and got progressively shorter over the years.

This little lady visiting my studio is a very girlie girl. She loves jewels and sparkly things. And she has ballet lessons. Amazing how jealousy still can sting, even after all these long years, it’s been a while since my childhood after all. And amazing how the sting still hurts but also burns with a lot of sadness and resignation over a lost opportunity.

Probably one reason why I really cherished this shoot. Let my eyes feast. Absolutely gorgeous little lady, and if polka-dots ever suit someone, they do suit her, even if it was just in a prop.



Guessing the View

For a change this restoration was without any faces. This is a postcard from the early 1950s.

On its back we have neat handwriting in blue ink and the postal stamp. At some stage the postcard must have served as a coaster, because there is a clear rim of a wet glass or mug.

Not being a photo per say, but a postcard, the paper was thicker, and the print was different. That might well have saved it from total deterioration.

Nonetheless there is quite a bit of mould going on, some scratches, blue ink splotches and the usual fading and change in colour.

As it’s probably hard to see on the big Before and After image, I included some detail images. They show what I tend to find only once I zoom in, and how fiddly this work can be. Sometimes it is hard to fix something 100%, like on the lampshade in the top image. I cloned as much as I could but without a pattern to copy from somewhere I had to get somewhat artistic with it. I copied the right, undamaged side of the lampshade, and flipped it, and used that as a guide for the strongly damaged left side of the lampshade.

Same with the window detail at the very bottom. Impossible to see what is mould and what is leaves and greenery outside of the room. So I was guessing the view  :)



Going Market

It had been planned for some time but now finally it happened: az pictured went market.

Going to a local market or art fair is not as easy as it was many years ago when I was selling my paintings or even earlier still, when as a child I sold my toys at flea markets. So much more complicated these days, let me tell you!

First, one needs to apply. Insurance and all the paperwork and some enticing photos of your products need to be ready to be shown and, once accepted, contracts and agreements need to be signed, and rules to be obeyed and fees to be paid and things to be remembered.

And then the stall needs to be thought through, and stuff bought and printed and organized. And then all the products you intend to sell need to be bought and printed and organized.

We did a few dry runs in the back yard, to set up the marquee, tables and all (this was very important as I am so not a morning person, and to be problem solving at 6am is not my strong side!!). So when the big day came, everything went wonderfully smooth.

The organizing ladies from the 3 Peas Markets are wonderfully inviting and friendly, and the atmosphere was lovely. This cannot be underestimated. Market days are long, long days. Very few stalls can claim to be busy for 6 hours, just selling, selling, selling. There are potentially long dead times in between. Things have got to be nice, otherwise it’s just too grueling (very happy about the mozzy spray that was shared around – who would have thought there would be that much blood lust at 6am?)

All in all it went very well. I had a chat about all aspects of az pictured with a great many people who stopped by. I got to show the brag books with my works, especially the Restorations seem to be a success. I am reasonably happy with the sales. The market had strong competition with two other major events on that day, which drew a lot of customers away. I handed out what feels like a gazillion of leaflets and flyers and business cards (and kept reminding customers that Mother’s Day is in 9 weeks!!!), and as a result my website and facebook hits spiked like crazy, and inquiries and bookings have been made in the last couple of days as well. Yay.

Thanks to everyone who knows me and was able to come, it is very lovely to see a familiar face, you have no idea how much your support is appreciated  :)  And if you missed it, the next market will be Sunday April 13th.

To see more visit my website or facebook page.


The Perfect Sunset

One minute there were no clouds, it looked like it was going to be a dud, then the sky turned the most gorgeous pink and purple with a whiff of clouds that came out of nowhere in between.

Sunsets. They can be wonderfully serene and beautiful and nature’s beauty and all. But they can also be quite infuriating, because they are relatively unpredictable, and they don’t much care about photographing mothers.

It is a great misfortune that most of my days sunsets coincide with dinner, bath time, laundry, school notes, homework, brushing teeth, feeding the dog, reading and good-night kisses.

That is summer. Sunsets are just way too late, by the time the sun slowly goes down at the horizon I’m all buggered out and nothing will get me off the couch anymore and in the car, lugging my gear with me down to some spot at the lake to capture the skies hues. Obviously winter is pretty much the opposite, when it’s getting dark pretty much right after we just got in from the school run, but still I have managed a few lovely shots. Autumn and spring are my prime time for shooting sunsets. The batteries are always charged and the camera bag packed and everything ready to go.

I looked it up and, as expected, there are no scientific foolproof guidelines for determining whether it will be a great sunset (or sunrise for that matter). However, here are some things that I have learnt over time:

1. Skies are usually more interesting when there are a few clouds about, especially high clouds like cirrus or cumulus clouds. They do reflect the colours better and make the sky more interesting. Clear skies can give nice sunsets, but it is more of an afterglow and there are not that many colours.

2. Clear atmosphere with low humidity (colder months) generally gives more pinks and crisper colours. Also after rain, the sky looks better. It has to do with particles in the atmosphere. The big hazy sun ‘ball’ occurs more during warmer months when it hasn’t rained for a long time and there are more particles in the air, but also when it is very humid.

3. Be clear whether you are after the ‘sunset’ or the ‘golden hour’ or ‘twilight’ shots. Different things.

4. If bad weather is predicted for that evening or night or the coming day it could be great sunset. So listen to the weather forecast.

5. Sometimes bushfires can give an interesting tinge to a sunset. But since bushfire skies are unfortunately something Australians are just too familiar with I stay away from that.

6. If today is a cold day and tomorrow is supposed to be a much warmer day, the sky will almost always be red at sunset.

7. Don’t pack up too early. You’re already there, twenty minutes more won’t make a difference now. Stay and wait till the very end. Some of my best shots happened literally in the last 20 seconds before the sun was gone.

8. Always take one more piece of clothing that you expected to need. Warm socks and shoes in winter, I have had some soup with me some times. Mozzy repellant in summer and after rain, otherwise they might carry your camera away :)

These are the cues I have learnt for my area, which is between a large lake and the ocean. Obviously it will be different everywhere. Best advice is to keep checking the skies and if it is not pouring with rain and you have planned to go out and shoot, just go and do it. You’ll never know what’ll happen. Be grateful if it is great, this is nature after all. If not, well, find peace in the fact that you are not alone in this pursuit of the perfect sunset.

Find more of my work on facebook and my website.


Lens Cap Chronicle

With great excitement I can announce that the first ever issue of the Lens Cap Chronicle, az pictured’s very own e-newsletter, has been a big success!

Another big hurdle taken. Who knew there’s so much to be learnt, getting an online newsletter organized? From all the technical issues to the legal ones, to setting up detailed planning for a whole year in advance to writing the articles and preparing the accompanying photos: the things a woman can do ;)

So, if you’re interested in the latest and greatest of az pictured, special promotions and hopefully useful and interesting background information, you might want to sign up to receiving the bi-monthly publications of the Lens Cap Chronicle. Next issue will be out in April.

To sign up please contact me via my website or sign up on my facebook page.

Now that that is all done and on its way for the year, I can go back to taking photos, yay.   :D


Who’s Ed Cal?

Every year towards the end of December a lot of notes tend to be everywhere around our house, with things to remember for the new year. It got a bit out of hand some years with so many notes, I lost track what was written where and got in trouble with my husband because of all this ‘paper stuff’. This year I was set on getting some order in this mess, so many of the post-its were saying things like ‘Ed Cal for Easter’ or ‘Ed Cal: to remember’ or ‘size for Ed Cal?’.

Only when the young one saw ‘Hang Ed Cal’ and asked me “Mum, who’s Ed Cal and why do you want to hang him?” I realized that my notes could get me a visit from DOCS if I’m not careful.

Ed Cal has worked for many, and is now my solution for the paper mess and he is a great help! Have you figured it out yet?

Ed Cal is my Editorial Calendar, which is now hanging in the office in shape of a cork board with lots and lots of post-its, papers with scribbles, notes, newspaper and magazine cut-outs, all pinned with fancy new pins on to a large 12 month preview of 2014.

Ed Cal may be fairly new for us but already has become a standard name in our family. He gets mentioned almost daily. When we saw something that could be a great idea for az pictured at the mall recently, the young one said very matter-of-factly to the shop assistant that we don’t need a bag, as ‘we pin this straight onto Ed Cal when we’re home’.

Thanks to Ed Cal the husband is happy, the mess is sorted, my brain feels wonderfully light and prepared, only poor Ed Cal is putting on quite a bit of weight.

I like having him in the office with me, he is the quietest, cleanest co-worker I’ve ever had. If only he could give me a hand with the stubborn printer or bring me a coffee every once in a while.

But I guess I’m getting way ahead of myself here ;)


Bride & Groom 2

One more time the same couple. This photo also had been displayed in a frame for a long time. Apart from the discolouration due to exposure to direct sunlight, the glass panel of the frame must have not been smooth but had a bumpy sort of pattern, because this bumpy sort of pattern got imprinted onto the photo as well. Big sigh!

The pattern gave me real grief! To get rid of that and fix up the colours I worked separately on everything: faces, flowers, dress, suit, background. Quite time consuming, and there are things that just cannot be rushed!

After a lot of TLC this is the result.

Please remember to use not your precious original photos for display! Keep them in a safe place and use a copy only.        



Bride & Groom


This 40 year old wedding photo had spent considerable time in a frame. The part of the photo that was exposed to light turned slightly yellow. The part that was hidden under the frame kept its original colours much better. You can see the change in colour best on the grooms arm.

A very good photo, I might add. Perfect lighting, whoever the photographer was, this was a job very well done.

As the original came to me already scanned, as usual there was a lot of dust, especially visible on the grooms blue suit. By now you’ll know that I’m good at dusting in Photoshop ;)

To fix the colours was quite a bit of work, as the skin hues of the bride and the groom are naturally very different. I had to work on them separately and it took some tweaking till I was happy.Now it’s all brought back to its former glory. I hope the original stays safely in an album this time, and only a copy is being displayed.


Awesome Blog Content Award

I have been awarded the Awesome Blog Content Award. Yay :)  I am totally thrilled and honoured and humbled by that.

Thank you to the wonderful Gwendoline, for being so very supportive and kind. If you want to read a truly gorgeous blog, check out the Reluctant Retiree

To accept the award, the awardee has to do the following:

  1. Display the award on their blog.
  2. Announce the win with a post and thank the blogger who awarded them.
  3. Present 8 deserving bloggers with the award.
  4. Leave a link to these blogs and let them know in a post that they are an awardee.
  5. Write a word or phrase about themselves for each letter of the alphabet.

There are very many great blogs, and each Blogger has his or her agenda, as to why they blog, be it just for fun, for the love of writing or the love or sharing their thoughts or photos or artwork. For me, it is both an enjoyable experience as well as a necessity. The blog gives me an opportunity to explain in more detail what I do, my thoughts behind my work. And online presence is the thing to have, the marketing gurus say. But for a one-woman-business, it is also a bit like doing the splits between fun and work, and there are only so many hours in a day. Some blogs I would have liked to nominate, don’t accept awards at all or not any more. It is a time consuming thing to receive an award, that I have discovered. However, awards are rare in my life, mostly I am content with hugs from my children, a cake decoration that turned out well and a happy customer. That is why I very gladly accepted this award :)

My Awardees are as follows (and it was hard cutting down to eight, I did toss a coin a couple of times, apologies if you expected to be in this list and are not):

This young woman is trying to point out the art in everything in our daily lives, through her photography:

Angelina’s very sophisticated blog at . We share a love for dark chocolate, foot massage and photography. Angelina challenges herself to discover new perspectives through her photos and her writing. : G’Nat has a kitchen window vegetable garden, something I’d love to have someday. He has concluded that life is what he makes it, which is very wise and positive and something I believe in also. : The blog of Laurianne, who loves travel, reading and food. Her travel descriptions always include descriptions of what she ate, something I can very much relate to, as for many trips, I remember the food more than anything else.

Susan, who invites the reader to grab a cup of coffee and stay for a while, which I do, looking at her beautiful photography and reflecting on the words that accompany them. :  Not many places in the US are on my bucket list, Montana is one of them. Love these photos, gorgeous landscape.

Baz, an Aussie bloke, very outdoorsy person, which I am not. So I enjoy seeing faces and places of Oz that I don’t necessarily will ever get to. great blog about food with lots of colours. Always get hungry when reading this blog.


OK, and here comes the alphabet:

A  astute to the point of painful, as I am not necessarily a diplomate ;)

B black, my favorite colour to wear

C camera, obviously

D doodle, I doodle, especially during phone calls

E essence, my husband says I am good at getting the essence of a book, movie, article, probably ties in with A

F foot rubs, love them

G I am a glass half-full kind of person

H humor, apparently it is wicked

I impossible to beat in an argument, said the kids and the hubby, hmmmm….

J jump, it feels like I’m jumping through hoops some days to get everything done

K kitchen, a place a like

L laughing – we do laugh a lot

M Mum – best job ever

N nice – the one word I don’t want in my epitaph

O optimist, ties in with G

P photography

Q questions – I do question things, a bit of a rebel in me

R restorations – my great passion

S soul mate – my husband

T travel – more in the past, not so much since the kids, but the time will come again, no doubt

U utilitarian – everything has its use

V victory – apparently you get champagne ;)

W walking – I like long walks

X xtraordinary, what else?

Y yolo – going with the times here ;)

Z zoom – love my zoom lens


Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!


Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer

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Dreaming in Arabic

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G'Nat's Eye View

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The Reluctant Retiree

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Baz - The Landy (Out and About having fun)

I'm on a journey to climb the world's highest mountains, and in-between to travel the Australian Outback, but crikey, above all else - to just have fun and a good laugh being Out and About!

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everything has got taste

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