Glow

Every phase of the moon is magical.  Each has a beauty all of it’s own.  Like the moon, each and every phase of your life is glorious.  Embrace change.  Love every phase you enter.  You are a miracle of the universe.  Allow yourself to glow……..Livonne

Glow

Glow

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Transformation

We must allow our yesterdays to die to ensure tomorrow’s transformation……Livonne

I’ve wanted to shoot a mermaid for a while now.  I have created a few mermaids but I haven’t shot them specifically to be a mermaid.  I have taken photos that I’ve eventually made into one, but haven’t specifically had the vision of one when shooting.  So I began to plan one.

I found a pink mermaid tail on Ebay a while ago and then a few weeks ago started looking for a mermaid.  A friend gave me the number of someone who might be interested and I was thrilled when she said yes.  I was very lucky that this particular lady also creates costumes so she set to work making a matching top while I worked on a head dress.

I knew I wanted her in water but how to do that when you live in a place that can turn very cold, very quickly.  Planning an outdoor shoot is always precarious, so I had to think outside the square.  I was walking through a department store when I saw a cheap blow up pool and grabbed it.  Trouble was, it was bigger than what I was planning but that didn’t cross my mind when I walked out with my purchase.

It was only when I got it home that I thought about the logistics.  Not just blowing it up but also finding where to put it.  I decided I wasn’t going to let small details get in the way of this, so I borrowed a electric pump and set it up in my lounge.  I placed a tarp and a thick blanket underneath and set it up near the back door, so if I needed to drag it out quickly in case it leaked, I could.

The lovely Kirsty from KLB Images came and helped me set it up, fill it and be my eyes and ears (assistant) for the shoot.  She notices details I don’t always see which is great.  I get so into the story that I miss things that matter, like hair across a face or a crooked headdress.  I worked on my beautiful model’s make up and hair while the pool was filling (courtesy of a hose from the hardware store, attached to the kitchen sink) and eventually we were ready to go.

My lovely mermaid Lenore was an absolute natural.  I could tell she’d done dance by her movements.  The way a person positions their hands can make or break a photo and she had the perfect hands.  She got in the pool (thankfully filled with warm water) and away we went.

With all the things happening in my life at the moment, I knew I wanted to portray the message that keeps appearing at the moment.  That is that if you really want a new life, you have to be prepared for the death of an old one, or at least parts of it.

My mermaid looks beautiful but tragic, caught in a fisherman’s net and seaweed, unable to save herself.  However if you look closely, she is beginning to transform into a human with her tail splitting open to reveal legs.  Just as the caterpillar appears to die before transforming into a butterfly, so the mermaid has to say goodbye to the ocean to become a beautiful young woman, walking upon the earth.

Of course, I watched The Little Mermaid as I was organising it all.  I love Ariel and while her story was a happily ever after, she had to give up a lot to gain the love and life she wanted..  It’s all about priorities and compromise.

Transformation

Transformation

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The set up

My Reality

I’m not crazy. My reality is just different from yours……..Chesire Cat

I just had another memory pop up on Facebook that tells me it is 2 years since I turned my friend Trish into the Mad Hatter.   While I’ve featured one of these images before, why not re-share for an anniversary.

I’m so busy at the moment with lots of different projects so all is a little quiet on here as the images I’m doing for an exhibition won’t be seen until they are hanging on the wall.  Even the models won’t see the ones I choose to exhibit until they’re in place.

Today though, I’m delving back into my fantasy bag of tricks and have a mermaid coming to visit this afternoon to have a photo taken.  I’m quite excited about this.  After all, Ariel, The Little Mermaid is my favourite Disney princess along with Cinderella.  Stay tuned for these images over the next week but for now, I hope you enjoy revisiting West of Wonderland.

 

Revisiting a Shoot

It’s amazing how differently you can see something after leaving it alone for a while and then revisiting it later……Rachel Wolchin

I’m one of those photographers that very rarely deletes any photographs from shoots that I do.  Okay, it’s got more to do with the fact that I’m a hoarder, even of photos, than having a great reason for it.  Never the less, it often proves to be a great choice.  I have a bit of a goldfish brain sometimes and often move onto a new project without fully exploring an existing one.  But I never completely close the door on them.  A photoshoot can keep giving me pleasure for years when I revisit it.  It’s not a bad thing.

A while ago, you saw some photos from a shoot I did at Mount Wilson with the lovely Kirsty.  I knew I wanted to revisit the shoot as there was one that I really loved and wanted to work on but there are quite a few that I took another look at yesterday.

I loved this particular shoot and even though my fingers hurt from pinning the leaves onto the dress, it was all worth it.  Autumn is one of my favourite seasons and although we’ve officially hit Spring here in Australia, I never think that Autumn leaves go out of season.  So, here are another two of the images from the glorious Mount Wilson.

Another Gate

Another Gate

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Since You Went Away

On Gossamer Wings

Think of the happiest things.  It’s the same as having wings….Peter Pan

A while ago I went to a garage sale and saw the most gorgeous little gold dress.  I knew I had to have it.. It was a simple design but I knew it belonged on a faerie.  I didn’t see it as most people would…. I saw the gossamer wings that belonged on the back of it and the sparkles of faerie dust that would dance around it, making it sparkle in the sunlight.  It made me so happy to put it in my car and take it home.  I put it straight onto a mannequin so it could inspire me to create my faerie.

I met the lovely Annica and knew that this dress would be perfect on her.  So, along with Kirsty,  the best assistant in the world (and one hell of a sports photographer), we went to a little creek here in Katoomba and got our glitter on.  We climbed over rocks and sticks to get the right look and I have to say, when I’d finished I was thrilled with the result.  I changed the colour in one of the images and left it gold in the other.

It’s not always the big wins that make us the happiest.. Finding the perfect dress for a shoot may not be someone else’s idea of perfection but it is mine.  Sometimes it’s the smaller things that put the biggest smiles on our faces.  And thinking of the happiest things IS the same as having wings.  Yes indeed!!

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On Gossamer Wings

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Reflections

Try One More Time

When the world says “give up”, hope whispers “try one more time”…… Author Unknown

I had a memory pop up on Facebook this morning.. I hardly ever look at or share these pop up memories as I figure I’ve lived that day…..onward and upward, don’t look back.  You know the drill.    However this morning, I was a bit taken aback to see this particular one.  You see, it was two years ago that I posted an image that I’d just made of a mermaid.

It wasn’t a new photo that I’d worked on.  I had taken this photo of the lovely Hannah much earlier while I was still at TAFE.  I had already edited it and loved the slightly cartoon effect I had put on it.  I had already stepped out of my comfort zone when I edited it first time and it was one of my favourites from my time at TAFE.  Obviously two years ago, I wanted to try something a bit different again.

I had known for a long time that I wanted to make art from photography but really didn’t have the nerve to step out of my comfort zone and try it.  Then late one night, I gave it a go and Hannah turned into Hope, my mermaid.  I have to be honest, when I’d finished it, I was quite overwhelmed.  I felt like I had finally proved to myself that I could create what my mind imagined.

In all honesty, it was a fairly simple fantasy image but it will always be one of my favourites as it was a turning point for me and my belief in myself.  I named her Hope to match the quote which suited me so well.  Hope has become my muse.  She whispers words of encouragement in my ear when I doubt myself and tells me to keep going when I sometimes want to give up.  She is more than an image.  I could probably rework the image with all I’ve since learned but I won’t, as to me she’s perfect as she is.

It amazes me that it’s really only been two  years since I started to  create what I was imagining, but then it was only in 2013 when I started studying photography, having never picked up an SLR or DSLR in my life.  All of my photos up until that point had been taken with point and shoot cameras.  It certainly has been an eventful 4.5 years but they are years that have brought me much joy.

So now, it’s onward and upward again.  I am already working on a new mermaid shoot which I’d planned before I realised this was two years ago.  Now it’s time to create lots more art as my mind imagines new worlds and scenarios.  Time to take my work up a notch again as the learning process never really ends.  But right now, I’m having a glass of wine and drinking a toast to my muse, Hope….

Hope Whispers

 

The First Leaves of Autumn

We shared the brief but magic sun.  By the first leaves of autumn you were gone… Not until the rain has touched my face. Not until the first leaves fell from space.  Not until that moment did I see.  I never realised what you meant to me…..The Fureys

I’ve had a plan for a while now that I wanted to do the four seasons in a series of images.  I’d already done a spring setting which showed the lovely Kirsty sitting in a bath full of spring flowers with a corrugated iron backdrop called Wash Away the Day.  Where I live in the Blue Mountains, the trees are starting to produce the most magnificent colours with the beginning of Autumn so I was inspired to do the next image in the series which is Autumn.

So on Tuesday, I went out to the beautiful Collit’s Inn with my gorgeous model Rachael and my assistant extraordinaire, Kirsty.  The back of my little car was filled with camera equipment, candles, candle holders, ivy vines which had been painted gold and a myriad of other Autumn foliage.  We stopped at Blackheath on the way and gathered a few garbage bags full of fallen autumn leaves along the side of the road.  As I mentioned, the Blue Mountains is turning the most amazing colours at the moment.  The trees are a kaleidoscope of colour and the paths are carpeted in fallen leaves, so it was easy to pick up huge amounts of leaves without even being able to see where they were taken from.

Arriving at Collit’s Inn, we set about using the beautiful rustic bathtub that sits in their garden as a bench.  With Rachael sitting in the bath, we proceeded to cover her in the leaves and other foliage.  My mystical creative muse must also have been happy with the process as in the midst of a miserable day, the sun came out just as we started to set up which meant my lovely model wasn’t a mass of goosebumps from the cold.

After taking the necessary photos, everyone was still happy to keep going so I handed Rachael a red lace dress that I had put in the car, just in case.  I mean, why just do one theme when you have a model there and ready to go?  The red dress fitted beautifully so we went out in search of the local cemetery.

There was someone there when we arrived, so instead of disturbing someone visiting their loved ones, we moved on to another nearby cemetery.  I have the utmost respect for cemeteries and understand what special places they are, not just to the family and friends of those who had passed but also as a source of history.

We ended up at  Hartley Cemetery which is a lovely peaceful resting place and has many very old graves.  I’ve often called in there and taken a walk around the graves, reading about the people buried there.   We did a few photos there, one of which I posted yesterday, called Earthbound.   Just as we were heading to the car, the skies opened and the rain started.  We were definitely looked after by the weather Gods.

So here is the second in the Seasons in the Bath series, The First Leaves of Autumn.  I was a bit worried about trying to do something that could happily stand next to Wash Away the Day, as that image is one that I am the proudest of.  I have to say, I’m pretty chuffed with the way this has turned out.  It was definitely what I had in mind.  Now to start preparing for Winter..

The First Leaves of Autumn