Trip to Thames & Kids Xmas Carnival 09

I find myself itching to write entries for my blog these days. The warmer weather is really getting me excited and I'm starting to think of more things to shoot, ideas, concepts and locations. As I am still an amateur, I've decided to start with some family shoots. Hopefully I can organise a time to do it as Xmas should be a perfect time to get together for some formal family photo's.

The more I practise, I also find the more I don't know! Some things seem so simple and yet when it comes down to it there are alot of situations which makes taking GOOD photos very challenging. I notice myself being more conscious of the background now as well as different intensities of light. Since getting my new camera I think I've also been a lil obsessed with the Aperture priority mode , more specifically large aperture settings (blurred backgrounds). I think I need to branch out a little! I'll get there :-) I guess I just love the versatility of the blurred background. Its often not possible to get a nice background, so blurring it out is just so darn handy! It also ensures your subject is very much the focus of the shot.

Whilst in Thames for a church visitation, I took a few shots of my sister on the side of the road. Having no obvious appealing backgrounds to choose from I opted for the blurred background effect. It was so funny though, trying to get some natural shots. My sister is so funny , always joking around, and over-the-top obvious posing. It was all in good fun though. And I love her cause she isn't afraid of the camera :-) She had fun taking some photos herself.

Ok so this shot below was kind of inspired by the e-book that I bought from Darren Rowse, editor of Digital Photography School website. You can purchase the book here. So far it has been very helpful and makes me want to do more portraits.

I just added this shot in here because I thought it was so funny lol. Its so obviously posed. Sometimes it just doesn't work haha. But its worth the laugh.

The picture below was actually taken by Doug. I was so impressed I decided to include this in my post as well. I love the composition, the colour and the blurred out background (I told you I'm obsessed with the blurred background :P) And its just so perty :-)

Its also the season of Christmas Parties. Yay. My work puts on a yearly Children's Christmas Carnival. Doug and I took his niece and nephew to it for the first time. I had a fair idea of what it would be like but didn't expect too much. The kids absolutely loved it and had a fantastic time! There was face-painting, a bouncy castle, human fly wall, mini ferris wheel, and a gladiator fighting arena thing. Awesome! I particularly enjoyed watching the ladies doing the face-painting. Talented indeed.

Human fly on the wall

Kids on the Ferris wheel

Don't ask about Cyrus' face paint. Boys will be boys!

Composition Practise

Time for an update! I think I'm going to try and update this now at least every week. So my challenge is to come up with new content every week! Even if its flashbacks from the past I think it will be cool.

Exciting times these next few months. Summer is coming!!! I LOVE SUMMER. And with summer hopefully comes less rain which hopefully means more time spent outdoors, with more opportunity to shoot. It shouldn't really be an excuse when the rain is out though - I've seen some amazing pictures done when the weather is grey or raining. I'm just a bit scared to take my camera out in the rain just yet!!

I'm thinking to start doing some walkabouts with my camera. Just me and my camera so if you see me around town, give me a friendly smile and a wave haha. Its getting boring taking pix from my apartment although I still LOVE the view. I need something new. My black and white assignment is coming up and I think it might be cool to find some nice old building for that one.. Hopefully one with detail. I've been meaning to go down to the DFS building and take a pic of that at night. I've just been so so busy lately. Its great!! Being busy makes those weeks go by all the faster, which brings my holidays closer wooop.

ok enough of my blabber . I did a small series of pictures one afternoon from my apartment for my composition assignment. Hope they are good enough. I'm still trying to get the hang of my manual settings to make the most of the sunset light. I think I did ok?

Zoomed in on the skytower. Its out of it, when I looked at the picture full size it looked like one of the people sitting in the restaurant was looking back at me!! hahahaha Paparazzi!!

I also kind of like this one of the skytower. I know its crooked this was intentional. But I like how it really stands out against the background. The light on the tower is from the setting sun, and I love the deep blue from the sky and clouds behind.

I just like the look of the clouds in this one. Although maybe the tower is a little distracting if you didn't realise what it was. Still I like it. If you don't, oh well too bad lol.

I was taking pictures in between cooking and doing my washing how funny. Came back to the balcony every 30 min or so as the light got dimmer. I love the colour of the sky at dusk. Beautiful.

Wow I finally found the bulb setting on my camera haha. AWESOME. I know I'm a noob but I never had this feature on my older camera. As long as you hold down the shutter button it will leave the shutter open for as long as its held down. And this means super long exposures for night photography. I was getting my frills getting the light trails from the cars. I totally have to try this effect on the ground instead of up at the apartment.

I am yet to really make the most of my flickr account. I think I should upload some of these. I know its not the new year yet, but all my landscape shots have made me think that one of my goals next year will be to save and get a really cool wide angle lens. Apparently they are the most difficult lenses to learn how to use but I think I am up for the challenge. Always learning always progressing :-)

Till next post!


Well I decided its time to give an update. I didn't really get a chance this weekend to go out shooting as I was so busy with trying to organise my new apartment. Its so cool. Above is the view we get from the apartment. Its not a big place but I love it.

I was sad when my old flatmates left to go home to China. They were such nice people and really good flatmates. But I was so excited when my new flatmate moved in last night :-) She's cool, she's from Japan. And all people from Japan are cool. lol. Hajimemashte. lol. Sorry I can't do the Japanese characters.Its great to have someone else in the apartment because it can get really lonely living on your own.

I had my first visitor last night too. (Apart from Doug). Sunshine came over! Haven't seen him in ages. He used to live with us as a home stay when I was still at Mum's in Milton Rd. So we had dinner and enjoyed the view. It was cool.

For this post I thought I would just post a few pictures of mine that I really love. And I hope you enjoy them too:

I love trees. I like the diversity in this shot. I love the different colours in the wood. This was taken at Cornwall Park - Auckland.

See I told you I love trees haha. This was taken when I was in Fiji last Dec / Jan. Beautiful place but do not recommend going there during these months. Its extremely hot and humid. But I loved it anyway :-)

This photo was taken while I was on the Gold Coast for my family reunion. I just love the colours in this picture. The girl on the left is my little sister and the others are my little cousins - all playing in the surf. I think they got hidings from their mum from getting all wet. LOL. Samoan side.

This picture was also taken at the same beach but up on the headland. I really fell in love with this place while I was there. The weather is perfect around 15-20C (It was winter by the way).
I love this shot with the surfer and Surfers paradise in the background. I actually sent this in for my photography course. My tutor liked it ;-) woop

I really have a thing for panorama's. Until I can get me a wide angle lens, I am going to continue to have my love affair with panorama's. Just feel like its the best thing next to actually being there. This picture was taken at the highest point (or close to it) on Whakapapa. Beautiful day as you can see!!! LOVE IT. In the picture is Tim and Doug my snowboarding peeps.

By the way I got 80% on my aperture assignment YUSS. haha. Onwards and upwards :-) And I just want to do a little shout out to all my little followers..All 5 of them :-) Doug, Jacob, Ashwina & Andre and some random guy LOL. Thankyou for your support and tell all your friends to join :P If you have comments please do share. It makes my day :-) Positive or constructive. Hope you all have a great week!

ps: all these photos were taken with my little s1000Fuji. Good times good memories.

Weekend shooting, assignments & Dryke

I just looked at all my old posts since I started this little blog and I just realised I have started all bar one of my posts with "So...". LOL. So I need some practise already, oops there I go again lol.

Its been a bit stressful around my place with my flatmates leaving to go back to China. It was a bit of a surprise to me, but its ok. I have finally managed to find a new flatmate. And its pretty cool because my uncle got me in touch with her saying she needs a room. She's from Japan but her english is pretty good. She has studied here in NZ before. I'm happy I have found someone nice and NORMAL. There are some strange people out there.

Anyway the weekend was pretty good. Daniel, Doug's brother was over from Sydney so we had some family time with Doug's niece and nephew. Salome, boy she is such a poser, but she is so funny. She's a real character that one, loud just like her mum haha. But she's great. Cyrus too, he's a real cheeky one as well.

Here are some pictures from the weekend. I finally got around to doing my 4th assignment too for my Proud Photography course. Its actually quite difficult to find the time and get out there and actually read my assignment and do it. But once I set my mind on it, it actually wasn't that hard at all. The assignment was on Apeture and how to control depth of field. I'm actually starting to get the knack of the manual controls too after watching a vid on good ol YouTube. wooooo. lol.

This is Salome holding Dryke - she's so photogenic hey?

Dryke again sleeping - cute!

Talk to the hand..haha

At the start of this blog I have my first photo submission for my Apeture assignment. We had to submit a photo with a large F-stop (i.e. everything should be in focus). The shot that follows is the second submission where you use a small F-stop and your subject should be in focus with the background out of focus giving you a small depth of field. Its pretty cool learning all this stuff. I was familiar with F-stops and shutter speeds before but having this little course is putting things into a nice organised format. Next assignment is on black and white photography and then on to my favourite stuff = travel photography :-)

Introducing - Dryke

Doug has finally decided to get his puppy that he has been telling me about forever and ever. Its a big decision because he did have two puppies before - Dre and Daxter which he had to sell both because we were looking to move over to Australia. But that didn't happen, mainly because I got my new job and so we decided now we are staying. I mean I wouldn't mind living in Australia but all my family is here. I love NZ , its beautiful here. I can always hop across and visit. You just can't beat shopping in Melbourne, really!

Dryke is the most beautiful lil puppy. But do not be fooled by his cute exterior! He is a tough lil guy. He's a Staffordshire bullterrior. Very tough and when he grows up he will be very stocky. They are extremely loyal dogs and I guess that's why doug loves them. I'm not really an animal person, but last night I just couldn't help but smile as he curled up on the cushion we have assigned him for sleeping. He's just so cute! But he has this problem of biting recently. So we are working on training him to inhibit his bite. But I think Doug gave him a good whack and now he's much more careful. I think you're not really supposed to hit them though so we try not to do it too often but to discipline in other ways. But he's so cute when he's sleeping. I just like holding him.

But you just can't help but love this little guy. He's just like a little baby, he snores when he sleeps and he can't control his bladder yet. So during the night Doug has to take him outside to do his wees...hahaha so funny. And we've been discussing with each other on the best way to discipline him etc. Haha training for parenthood right. LOL. I love how he's so black and small. So cute...haha

Anyway he arrived last sunday so we had fun taking lots and lots of photos ;-)

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Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand