Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday, 18 October 2021

Taking photos at a sports event

 Hi everyone. I hope you and yours are doing well. 

Over here in Western Australia we have the luxury of having next to no Covid numbers due to strict border controls, and hence we have been going about our lives relatively normally. 

Hence on Sunday I had the opportunity to be one of several photographers from the photography club, the Photography Group of Bunbury, to take photos for the Bunbury Tri Club's Bunbury City Classic Triathlon event (swim, bike, run). 

I was stationed out along Ocean Drive on our Indian Ocean beach front, and it was a great opportunity to practise panning as I photographed the bike leg. With over 500 competitors I certainly had lots of practise. 

I won't pretend to be a sports photographer, but I have photographed a few sports events in the past, particularly dragon boat racing which I have been involved in for many years, and I also photographed the bike and run leg of the Bunbury City Classic a couple of years ago. 

Please click on the link for few sports photography tips from Geosnapshot website: Taking-photos-that-sell

Lighting - Background - Fill the Frame - High emotion - Capture everyone 

The weather on Sunday was perfect for photography - no wind and total cloud cover which meant no bright hot spots and even colour. 

Another few tips from me are: 

  • Know your camera, 
  • Check your settings, 
  • Make sure your battery is charged and you have a spare battery, 
  • Make sure you have several memory cards for your camera. 
  • A backup camera is also a good idea, as I discovered once before. 
  • Check out the site beforehand to work out where is a good place to stand. 
  • Check the weather report and rain or shine be prepared. 

So what is panning, and how do you achieve it? You know those photos where the moving subject appears sharp while the background appears to be out of focus?

Here are 6 tips from the Digital Photography School - pity I didn't read this article before going out on Sunday! However, I am still happy with my results. Do yourself a favour and click on the link for great info and advice: Digital photography school - 6 tips to master panning

6 Tips to Master Panning Photography from Digital Photography School
  1. Set your camera to Shutter Priority mode. Before you do anything else, I highly recommend you set your camera's Mode dial to Shutter Priority. ...
  2. Choose a slow shutter speed. ...
  3. Move along with the subject. ...
  4. Use a tripod. ...
  5. Focus accurately. ...
  6. Position yourself correctly.

I was photographing hand held. A stance with my feet apart in a comfortable position. My elbows tucked into my sides. I used my viewfinder. Try not to not use a digital screen with your arms held away from your body - though my husband got some good results doing this. Swivel from the hips and follow the bike rider, taking 2 or 3 shots as you swivel. A sports mode might help, but I found my camera couldn't keep up as I was photographing in RAW and don't have a high end camera. 

I used a zoom lens. These were my settings if they are any use to you: Manual mode, 1/500 shutter speed, Aperture F6.3, ISO 250, auto white balance, auto focus. 

I need to go back and straighten up some of these horizons before I share them to the photo sharing site for the event. 

The bikes were coming in fast and I didn't always get the shot right....but I must say I rather liked this effect... 

And I didn't always get the whole bike in. 

Though coming into the shot is better than going out...

And sometimes.... hopefully I got a pic of this guy on this second lap 

There were all sorts of levels of competitor - young, old, new, experienced and levels of bikes. Take a look at this guy working the bike with his arms. 

That's it from me today. I hope this has helped you with some tips for next time you might like to take some photos at a sports event. 

Please do go to the links. There are lots more on the web. 

Geosnapshot website: Taking-photos-that-sell

Digital photography school - 6 tips to master panning

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Lemons lemons lemons

 Hi everyone. I hope you and yours are all doing well. I thought spring had arrived but now we seem to be back into winter. 

I have loads of lemons on our backyard lemon tree, and it has started flowering again, so I picked a few yesterday to make Lemon Butter and a sweet French Marmalade. It didn't seem to make much difference to what was left on the tree. I need to start giving them away. It was a wet dreary day yesterday, perfect for a morning in the kitchen. 

I have blogged about the Lemon Butter making a couple of times before - if you click here you will find see more: Lemon butter

Here is the recipe: 

  • Juice of 4 lemons and finely grated rind of three
  • 500gm (1 lb) white sugar
  • 250gm (1/2 lb) butter
  • 4 eggs, well beaten together. Make sure they are well beaten so you don't get strands of white in your mixture. 

  • Place all in a large bowl stranding in a pan of boiling water on the stove. Stir constantly until the consistency of honey, but do not allow to boil. This takes about half an hour. 

Bottle and keep in fridge. Delicious on scones! or slathered on a sponge with cream. 

I also made French marmalade out of my old Australian Country Women's Association Cookery Book and Household Hints. This marmalade is a sweet marmalade made from carrots, lemons and sugar, and is so easy to make. 

3 large carrots - I always find this a difficult measurement - how much is 3 large carrots?
2 1/2 kg (5 lb) white sugar
4 lemons
8 cups water. 

Grate the carrots. Cut the lemons into quarters and dig out the seeds. Put through a mincer, including the peel. Mix the carrots and lemons together and leave in a basin overnight with half the water - 4 cups. 
In the morning add the rest of the water, and boil for half an hour. Then add sugar and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Bottle immediately in hot jars. 

Note: This marmalade still seems very liquid when it starts to set, so please test as you go so as not to overcook. I just spoon a small amount onto a saucer and put in the fridge for a few minutes. If it doesn't move around on the saucer when cold it is ready. 

My friend in Malta made this recipe with half lemons and half oranges. She said it was delicious too. 

This is an old favourite photo of mine I created for a special friend on the other side of the world one morning a few years ago. I couldn't resist sharing again. Sharing a cup of coffee or tea with a friend doesn't need to be complicated. 

While the French marmalade was bubbling away I also made a batch of muffins from a packet I bought when we were out in the wheatbelt recently. These are gluten free made from lupin flour. They were nice, but a bit heavier and grainer texture than the muffins we usually make with normal self-raising flour. 

My quince tree has an amazing number of flowers on it this year for such a small tree. I love quinces. Do you? So delicious. I am already looking forward to quince season - but I will have to wait till around March-April! We always net the tree to keep the birds off. 

Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you make jam? Do you have a favourite? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Stay safe and have a wonderful week. 
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Exploring the Bridgetown Jarrah Park, Western Australia

 Regular visitors to my blog will know that spring is my favourite time of year. I feel so privileged to live in Western Australia where there are thousands of different wildflowers. Particularly in the south west which is a recognised biodiversity hotspot. 

On Sunday we visited a patch of natural bushland which we hadn't been to before. The Bridgetown Jarrah Park is located 25 kilometres west of Bridgetown and 25 kilometres east of Nannup on the Brockman Highway. Here there are 3 walk trails of varying distances. We opted to do the Fallers Brand Trail and the additional loop, the Hollow Karri Trail. All the trails were circuit trails so you see different parts of the bush, not walking out and back on the same path. 

I didn't realise at the time, and wasn't properly prepared, that there is an additional loop, the Blackbutt trail. The loops are all connected so you can decided how much you want to do. I will have to go back another time. In fact there are a number of bushwalks in the area, so i think we should spend a few days down here. 

The trails take you through a mix of jarrah, marri, karri, blackbutt and banksia with a mixed understory of flowering plants. It really is a lovely walk and we had perfect weather, light cloud, but not cold, and no wind. 

Below you can see a huge karri I asked my husband to hug so you could get some idea of the girth. The karri trees - Eucalyptus diversicolor - are a medium to tall (10 - 60 metres) forest tree. It is Western Australia's tallest tree and one of the two tallest hardwood flowering plants in the world (the other is Eucalyptus regnans - mountain ash native to Tasmania and Victoria). 

The karris shed great strips of bark which litters the ground all around the base. 

The Fallers Brand Trail is an easy 2.2km with an additional 1km for the Hollow Karri Trail. There are some short steeper sections. Nowadays I take a hiking pole with me.  Much easier. 

We saw lots of wildflowers, some of which I will share here. 

Below is Clematis pubescens - which is a climber. You can see it clinging to the karri tree in the photo below. 

Below is Tree Hovea - Hovea elliptica - also a bush or climber. So vibrant. 

Not to be confused with this one below here - Native wisteria - Hardenbergia comptoniana. Also a climber, the main difference I can see between the hovea and the wisteria is the the leaves of the Native Wisteria are in groups of three. 

We also saw a lot of the Water bush- Bossiaea-aquifolium - You will know why it is called this if you brush against them after it has been raining. There are several colour variations - the one we see commonly up in our area is a darker yellow and more orange. 

Below is one of my favourites - a small tree called by the unusual name of Snottygobble - Persoonia longifolia. It is a papery type bark that is red underneath. Don't you just love the name1 

Below is an unusual one - Emu Berry - Podocarpus drouynianus. It is unique in that it is believed to be the only one of the podocarpus to have survived when the ferns and rainforest died out due to drying climate 2-10 million years ago. Only produces edible fruit following burning.

Below is the tassel flower - Leucopogon verticillatus

And a few others - clockwise from top left - one of the Banjines - one of the orange pea flowers - one of the wattle varieties - and Karri Hazel - Karri Hazel-Trymalium odoratissimum

And of course there has to be orchids - we were lucky to see these. The Leaping Spider Orchid - Caladenia macrostylis - happened to be right on the edge of the track when I looked down. And the snail orchids - I think these are the Slender Snail orchid - Pterostylis aff. nana - were clustered under a tree.

We were hoping to see more orchids, and we could see where leaves were emerging, but probably we were a couple of weeks too early. 

The last part of the walk takes you past the "Shield Tree".  Introduced to forest management mapping in 1924, this was part of a system of one mile grids into which the forest was divided. Within each grid reference trees were marked with a shield cut into the trunk and engraved with the grid identification. 

I hope you have enjoyed this walk with me in the Bridgetown Jarrah Park. I wondered why I hadn't been there before. Possibly because it is about 2 hours from home! But I will be back. 

A useful book I have when I am looking for a different walk is Bushwalks in the South West - published by the WA Department of Environment and Conservation 

Nannup Tourism has a downloadable app with maps etc of trails as well as lots of other tourist info. Experience Nannup

You might also like to check out HikeWest's web page - their main banner is one of my images! (smile) 

Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you have a favourite spring bushwalk - perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.

Monday, 20 September 2021

Hunting for wild orchids - Western Australian wheatbelt

 Hi everyone, I hope you and yours are safe and well.

It is spring and wild orchid time here in the south west of Western Australia. I've blogged about wild orchids before...Here is one... Hunting for wild orchids in Western Australia's mid west ... more links at the end of this post. 

So as you can see I love wild orchids. Many are shy and tiny and hide under bushes or logs, so you need to look carefully to find them. Some of their colours also blend in to their surrounds, particularly the green ones. 

Our orchid hunting this year started back in mid August as we were making our way south through the mid west and wheatbelt after being in the north west of Western Australia for 6 weeks. The wildflowers have been spectacular throughout Western Australia this year, but more about them another time..... 

Our first orchid find was in the Wilroy Nature Reserve, about 18 kilometres south of Mullewa. These little snail orchids were hiding under a tree not far from the carpark. There are several varieties of snail orchid - Pterostylis - all very similar, so I can't identify which variety this is. They tend to grow in colonies like this one. 

Continuing south our next orchid find was at our campsite at Bunjil Rocks about 25kms south of Perenjori. We have camped here before and it is always a nice quiet camp off the highway.  
Granite rocks in the wheatbelt are always a good place to look for orchids around the edges of the rock, and also in the little rock gardens formed on depressions on the rock. We were devastated to see the influx of weeds at this camp and the damage done to the trees by tropical Cyclone Seroja in April this year. 

We had seen Little laughing leak orchids - Prasophyllum gracile - here for the first time last time we camped here and knew where to look in one of the rock gardens. These orchids are tiny and really blend into their environment. 

We had also seen Lemon Scented Sun Orchids - Thelymitra antennifera - here before, but never in numbers like this clustered under a tree at the base of a rock - glorious! Also known as the Vanilla Orchid, this is one of my favourites. I love their little faces. This orchid is very common and opens with the sun and likes wet area around granite rocks. On a cloudy day or early in the morning they will most likely be closed up. 

Our next stop heading south was Mia Moon Reserve, 17kms west of Wubin. This is a flat rock area which we had visited several years ago. Here we saw again the Lemon Scented Sun orchids and the Little Laughing Leek orchids, but also the Bee Orchid - Diuris laxiflora. It was nice to be able to show some other visitors these orchids. 

We now headed slightly east further into the wheatbelt and stopped at Xantippe Tank. Built between 1923 and 1927 this is similar to 11 other tanks throughout the wheatbelt. The water is channelled into the tank via a series of rock walls near the base of the rock and constructed with pieces of the rock itself. Here we saw donkey orchids and again the little laughing leek orchid. For an orchid we had only seen for the first time last year, we were certainly seeing a lot of them! Perhaps we just know what to look for now. 

We had lunch in Kalanie and noticed the the sky was progressively looking darker - rain clouds were approaching. We were keen to get to our next destination - the old Kwolyin townsite camp about 37kms east of Quairading. We had also camped here a couple of times before and were happy the rain had cleared by the time we got there - although the mosquitoes were in full force! 

However a little later we were able to have a campfire and cook the last of our marshmallows. 

Next morning we took a walk around camp and over the rock behind the campsite.  Below you can see donkey orchids (there are many varieties), the lemon scented sun orchid (not open), and the Clown Orchid - Caladenia roei - also known as the ant orchid or jack-in-the-box orchid. I love his little stripy pants We had only seen this orchid a couple of times before, and not in these numbers, so he was a very exciting find. 

We were now only 41km to our final destination before home for our trip - Bruce Rock - where my sister's family farm. It was lovely to catch up with family, especially my two cousins who were part way through a driving trip from Tasmania. The canola and lupin crops were looking fantastic. 

While we were there we went out to Bruce's Rock and the old rifle range with my sister and cousin to look for orchids. My cousin from Tasmania had never been orchid hunting before. 

At Bruce's rock we saw....yes...you guessed it... Lemon Scented Sun Orchids and Little Laughing Leek Orchids. This laughing leek was more brown in colour than the greener varieties we had seen before. There are actually around 25 species of leek orchids in Western Australia - orchidswa.com.au/prasophyllum-leek-orchids/

We then went out to the old Bruce Rock rifle range. I had been told by a lovely lady in the Bruce Rock CRC (Community Resource Centre) that orchids were starting out there. It is quite a large area of bush and we wandered around out there for quite a while. 

We found donkey orchids, spider orchids and blue fairy - Pheladenia deformis - orchids. I won't even try to identify the variety of donkey and spider orchid - there are many many varieties. 

As you can see in this pic below many of our wild orchids are tiny....

There are acres of everlastings and many other wildflowers along the road verges and through the bush in the wheatbelt this time of year, drawing tourists into the wheatbelt. But more about them another time.

The next day we headed 4 hours to home. We have just started seeing orchids around our area. I'll be back with some of those another time. 

I hope you have enjoyed this little look at some of the wild orchids found in the Western Australian wheatbelt. There are many more which you can find if you know where to look and are able to travel out to the wheatbelt during orchid time. Around the base of granite rocks and in their 'rock gardens" is a great place to look. I think we were a little early to see many varieties. September would have been better. 

 A good orchid identification resource is helpful like these two: 
Orchids WA

WA Native Orchid Study & Conservation Group

You might also like some of my previous posts:

Hunting for wild orchids in Western Australia's mid west - September 2017

Down in the woods today - hunting for wild orchids - September 2018

Hunting for wild orchids - Dunsborough - September 2019

Orchids in the Stirling Ranges National Park -  September 2020

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

Hello there! I love reading your comments. If you scroll down to the bottom you can comment too! I would love to hear from you.