Sunday, August 25, 2013

Family Portrait with a Twist

Today I took some photos for my second family, the Dad of which is off on an overseas mission for some time. They wanted some family portraits, and I saw an idea which I thought was right up this technology-infused family's alley, so I tried it...
I'm cross that I did not see the glare on the Mum's laptop, and I do need to get to know the capabilities of my flash more.... but cest la vie.
In the first one they posed with a picture (of their choice) of themselves on a device. It works. But I LOVE the second shot where they tried to replicate the photo on the screen. Hilarious. And so 'them'.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Indelible Memories

There are some occasions that you know you will never forget - such as our evening last night at Auckland's Euro Bar and Restaurant. The synchronicity of great friends, amazing food and some pretty fine wines was enhanced by our position at the chef's table, where we were cooked for and waited on by our own personal staff. Their ability to interact when appropriate but allow us to totally enjoy ourselves, the food and the company, was most appreciated. Yes, we paid for it, but because it was such a special night, I am sure the pain in my wallet will fade long before the lingering memories on my palate, and the warmth in my heart.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Happy Post

I'm not quite sure where to focus this bog post - no pun intended. While the photos below are about the fun and interesting learning I did today about flash photography, and while that learning was the reason I went, I came away with a full heart for a combination of reasons.

Yes, I loved indulging in my passion for a whole day; being the student, being pushed out of my comfort zone, successes and failures, some quality learning experiences. But a very significant aspect of the day (and the learning), and a huge contributor to my enjoyment, was the dynamics of the group of seven strangers thrown together for the day.

Of these seven, I was the only Kiwi born - gotta love living in Auckland. We also ranged in age and in photographic experience. The first person I met was a seasoned photographer from my spiritual home of the Bay of Plenty. He lived in Waihi, but had had originally hailed from the UK, and when he came to NZ in the 70s, settled in.... Edgecumbe, basically where I grew up, and where I went to college. Another of the women was UK born, and another from the US, and she had just finished her primary teaching training as a mature student. A third girl was Dubai born, and Richard was from Korea, via a stint in the States. The story he told of his departure to NZ being marred by a certain historic world event - the bombing of the Twin Towers - began the longest introductory session our tutor said he'd experienced. But hearing and sharing small pieces of what brought us to the group certainly set the scene for the day, and made for a vibrant culture; one that no doubt contributed to the collaborative nature of our learning. Our tutor, a South Africa native, had a personality which allowed for and encouraged our individuality, questions and sharing.

So I guess this post is about learning and about people. A reflection on my work life and what really 'worked' for me as a learner today, and how I can translate that back into my school life. And people... not only the positive vibe this group created, which in turn facilitated said learning, but also about how much enjoyment I get from opportunities to meet, mix and mingle with different folk, with different strokes. And while I may or may not have made lasting connections today, I will recall this day with memories of warmth and genuine enjoyment. It was a happy day.

Playing with bounce flash

Experimenting with second curtain

Getting gear ready for off camera flash shooting

Getting settings sorted for Spooky Alleyway Shots lol

Don't Look Back #1
Don't Look Back #2

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Changing Skies

As I have blogged about previously, I visit the same patch of grass many times each week, and have done for over 6 years since getting my dogs. Try as I may, and I often do, I cannot always see something different in such familiar surroundings, even when using my photographer's eye.
Tonight, after reasonably late work departure, I taxied the boys to the reserve for a quick run as the sun was on its way out for the day. I had my camera in the car, so tried to find that 'something different'.
These pics were taken within a ten minute time frame. They have had very little post processing. While they may not be the most technically brilliant shots, they do show the different moods in the sky, dependent on where I was standing and focussing, in relation to the sun.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What is the meaning of...

We watched a couple of YouTube clips as part of our staff meeting today.

This little dude, philosophizing on the meaning of life, could teach us a think or two about reflection and introspection.
When asked "Are the events in life pre-destined" he says...
"It may be pre-destined, but you can change that destiny. I might be wrong, it might be just scheduled, like some play or something, and you act it, not knowing you are part of it... But all the same, maybe destiny's just telling you maybe you just know it, and that's what destiny is. Destiny is just a guess; a guess of what it knows about you, and what it knows you would do... But then again, I might be wrong. Destiny could totally be in control of you."

Now I must add that the topic of the staff meeting, and a major thrust of our professional learning this year, is 'Gifted and Talented'. "Gifted" is a label that generally makes me cringe, for the narrow view that is typically attached to it, particularly by the population at large -  that of academic aptitude. Don't get me wrong, this is an important area to acknowledge, but there are so many other aspects of a person that scream "exceptionality" (the new buzz word that sits far more comfortably with me).

In addition to the philosopher above, check out this dude, who made a "Rube Golburg" Monster Trap. He totally rocks! Exceptional!

Saturday, August 3, 2013


This weekend  am feeling lost. Lost because it's the weekend and I don't have my fifth limb, my camera.
I lost my camera about ten days ago, and have been asked several times how and where I lost it. A valid question. As I was involved in gathering shots for a competition I basically had it with me all the time for about a week. I have a best case scenario theory of how I actually lost it, but fact is, I was clearly careless and left it behind somewhere. While I think I know where (a very public place) I cannot be 100% sure, a conundrum that makes me incredibly cross with myself. Alternatively, someone, somehow could have taken from my car - if I had left it unlocked, which I never do.
However the fact remains that it has gone, and my best recollection of events has been told to police and insurance. And despite being approved for insurance over a week ago, I am still waiting for the payout, and approval to upgrade, the one thing about losing my camera that gives me a bit of light.
I have been fortunate to have had the loan of a good friend's camera, identical to the one I lost, for the last little while, but handed it back to her yesterday. So grateful for the time I had it!
Pending insurance, the pic here is what I intend to purchase. A Canon 6D with a 24-105 lens.
But until I have one in my hot little hands I am feeling a bit mopey and ... lost.