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.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Monday 25 April 2011

A prayer for peace

Anzac Day was 25 April - a time when we remember those that went before us, who gave their lives to give us freedom, and made our country what it is today. And I send a silent prayer out for peace around the world.

These words are on the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne.

and the eternal flame in Kings Park, Perth

Thursday 21 April 2011

We have this moment sparkling like a star

Wishing you all the joy of Easter and the love of being with family and friends.

In the words of Marie Beyon Ray -

Begin doing what you want to do now. 
We have only this moment, 
sparkling like a star in our hand - 
and melting like a snowflake.

Here are some beautiful frangipani flowers, which I sent to you all with love.

Monday 18 April 2011

Memories in a plate

These beautiful plates were given to me by my Mother-In-Law recently when I was helping her clean out her house in preparation to move to a retirement village. They are exactly the same as a set my Mother has. They were both married in 1951 so I guess it must have been a favoured pattern for newly weds during that time.

My Mother's dinner set was always kept for special dinners - and I always adored them and the beautiful pattern of autumn leaves. My Mother-In-Law must have used her set often, as only these few plates remain. I was thrilled when she gave them to me. I will cherish them always.

So I have put together a little mosaic using the plates. One of the photos you see contains a simple Apple Tart.

We had a busy weekend, home jobs, pruning and triming the garden in preparation for a curb-side pick up of green waste, and yesterday afternoon getting our camper trailer organised for a trip away soon. No time for photography. Late yesterday afternoon I was standing at the kitchen sink peeling quinces, which I bought at the market on Saturday, when I looked out the window and saw the beautiful late afternoon light, so I put the quinces in a basket, grabbed my camera and tripod and ran outside to take some photos before the light disappeared. My husband was left to organise the vegetables for the roast - lucky he understands my photography bent.

Quinces are an old fashioned fruit that you might see in an old orchard. They fruit around this time of year where I live. The fruit is rock hard - you can't eat it raw, but cooked it has the most amazing aroma and flavour, and the yellow flesh turns a delicate pink. Quince paste, as you see in the picture, which I made, goes wonderfully with cheese and biscuits and a glass of wine - I was in too much of a hurry to include them in the photo! oops!

Quinces are delicious - you must buy some and try them if you see them in your market.

Do you remember the peom by Edward Lear - "The Owl and the Pussy-Cat' -
   "They dined on mince, and slices of quince, Which they ate with a runcible spoon,
   And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,  They danced by the light of the moon"....

My post is part of Mosaic Monday. To see the work of Mary and other wonderful contributors, please go to the link - Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

Have a wonderful week. I hope you have enjoyed my photos, I look forward to hearing from you. 

Friday 15 April 2011

Every new day

The end of another busy week - so going into the weekend I send you a few words written by Eleanor Roosevelt -

With the new day ahead comes new strength and new thoughts.

  I am fairly sure this is a Swan River Myrtle - a beautiful wildflower which I found in the Crooked Brook Nature Reserve near Dardanup - about half an hour from where I live. It is a wonderful place to go for a walk during spring when the wildflowers are out, but any time of year you will find something flowering in the Australian bush. I find walking in the bush is so calming and rejuvenating - peace descends as worries slip away. I hope you have a piece of "bush" or forest near you where you can escape to and enjoy being out in God's amazing creation.

Have a lovely weekend in the company of those you love, and give yourself time to do the things you want to do.

Monday 11 April 2011

Souffle for breakfast and pizza for lunch?

My photography lately has met a crossroad and I have decided to learn and experiment this year as much as I can with food photography and food styling. So last Monday, on my day off work (my paying day job that is) I spent the day cooking a couple of simple meals and photographing them in the natural light in my garden.

In this mosaic you can see some of the results - cheese and chive souffle for breakfast and pizza for lunch! You can also see olive bread in this shot, which was bought from a local bakery.

Join me in the post below for more foodie pics from last Monday's exploration, or you can also follow me on my food journey by clicking on the tab above - Food glorious food - and to my Picasa web album by clicking here - Picasa web album   I look forward to hearing from you.  

In the meantime, this post is part of Mosaic Monday. To see the work of Mary and other wonderful contributors, please click on the link - Mosaic Monday at Little Red House

Exploring food photography

I have decided this year to make my project exploring food photography and food photography.
So last Monday, on my day off my paid job.....I spent a lovely day cooking and taking photos of the results.
Most of these are in natural light in my garden, as they say the best food photographers use natural light, although I do still favour my light box for some subjects.

Digital Photography magazine's Macro edition , Volume 12, says that "Food ultimately looks its best right after it has just been served. Often food will start losing its full appeal no more than a couple of minutes after leaving the kitchen. At its best, you should still be able to capture the steam rising from its surface and savour the fresh succulent juices still oozing from the dish that has just been served"

So with this in mind, here is what I learnt.

Here are the eggs ready for the souffle. Take time with the arrangement. This photo was taken in window light, and then sharpened and brightened in Photoshop Elements. 

Cheese and chive soufflé. The soufflé may look fantastic in the oven, but it starts to fall as soon as you take it out, so have everything set up to take the photo as soon as the soufflé comes out of the oven. I had everything set ready to go, but just taking it from the oven to my garden was enough time for the soufflé to start to flop.

I think this one (on the left) is my favourite from the soufflé series.

If you are going to take an overhead picture, then make sure you are totally overhead so everything is in focus. However, I still like this arrangement and photo.

Pizza for lunch?

This is a tomato, salami, mozzarella and pumpkin pizza decorated with a few basil leaves, and made on homemade pizza base. Photographed in natural light under the shade of my pergola in my garden.

What I learnt - use more Mouzarella so the cheese is dripping when you lift the piece of pizza. It is difficult to focus, use a shutter remote and pick up the piece of pizza all at the same time!  It would have added a nice touch to have had some wine in the wine glasses in the background.

Would you like some Olive Bread with that Pizza?
I bought the Olive Bread from a local bakery. I think the basket and the outdoor setting adds to a rustic natural homely effect.

Biscotti - almond bread - for desert?
This one was taken in my light box, as I wanted clean sharp lines with no distracting background.
What I learnt - when you buy a packed of biscotti, half of them will be broken when you open the packet!
I think this shot would make a good magazine shot as there is room for writing at the top. Placing the biscotti to one side of the shot, would also have left room for writing if it were to go into a magazine.

Thank for joining me on my food journey. I hope you have enjoyed this post. The results were certainly yummy to eat!

Thankyou to "Tiddlewinks and More" for giving me the inspiration to start a food project, the Flickr Food Styling group and its members for continued inspiration (their work is amazing), and to Kate, Martha and Linda on Flickr for their continued encouragement.

And to you for looking! I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday 7 April 2011

The rain has come!

Finally after 72 days without rain - and drought conditions in our south west corner of Western Australia  - during last night we heard rain on the roof! What a sweet sound it was. Throughout the day we had showers, interspersed with sunny skys. It has been a long hot dry summer and the rain has freshened everything. I ran outside with my camera this morning before work and took a few photos of the raindrops on my roses.

and leaves......

and in my lunch-hour I drove to the beach and sat in the car and watched the rain......

I picked up a little book of quotes, called "Enjoy the Journey", in a cafe in town today - here is one of them. We are going through a difficult time at the moment and this quote was a gentle reminder to cherish every moment - as it is all part of the "tissue" of life.


Life, we learn too late,
is in the living,
the tissue of every day and hour.

 by Stephen B Leacooke

Monday 4 April 2011

My summer Agapanthus

Every summer in early December the buds on my Agapanthus start to open. I look forward to this event as I love to watch the gentle unfolding of the bud and the parts of the flower emerge.

The Agapanthus is a native of South Africa (sometimes also known as 'Lily of the Nile' although it is not a Lily). It is common in gardens all over Australia.

By Christmas my Agapanthus is in full bloom on long tall stems - and combined with the colour of the red Coral Bush, and the yellow daisies and Day Lily's, the purple/blue, red and yellow put on a brilliant display in my front garden for Christmas.

Then in January the flowers start to wilt - see below left - and by the end of March the seed pods form - see below right. I have never grown the plant from seed, but they come up in my garden everywhere, you can split a big plant into smaller plants, and they are very easily grown. My friend has her driveway lined with plants that I have given her - they really make a lovely colourful entry during the summer, whilst throughout the year the long strappy green leaves remain green and lush. 

Here is a bud, and the same picture with a bit of pp work done in Photoshop Elements to add a textured feel and the colour adjusted. I am wondering which one you like the best.


Thank you for visiting my blog. I love my Agapanthus and hope you have enjoyed these pictures.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Today's post is part of Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. To see the work of Mary and other contributors (many of whom are in the northern hemisphere and still surrounded by snow, whilst in the south west corner of Western Australia where I am it is still hot and dry), please click on the link - Mosaic Monday at Little Red house