Monthly Archives: March 2014

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.