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.



Tuesday 28 February 2012

Open your hearts

Sometimes we just need to take time for ourselves, look after ourselves, only do what and when our heart tells us. Time to reconnect and appreciate the life we have been given and the beauty around us. Think about what is important in life. Be calm. Grant ourselves peace. Open our hearts and spread our love. And let light into our life.

And remember - When you open your heart you add light to the world. 

This is white roses with texture - for Kim's "Texture Tuesday".

The brief was to use an image centered around the colour white - so here is an all white rose image (except for shadows) overlayed with Kim's texture - "Annabelle" multiplied, levels & brightness adjusted.
Quote came from the back of an envelope!
Along the bottom is a "stamp" pattern that you can download to your "brushes" in Photoshop. Always learning something new!

Have a wonderful week.

To check out Kim's website and learn about textures or join Texture Tuesday  - go here - Texture Tuesday at Kim's Cafe

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Texture Tuesday

I never intended to photography eggs today, but I saw this beautiful morning light coming in through my dining room window - serendipity really.

 This version is textured with 2 layers of Kim's "felicity" texture, which I have done for Kim's Texture Tuesday.

Also seen on my Flickr site -  Jill on Flickr

 and here is the original unprocessed image below - just cropped off a bit of the bottom of the image. The light to me says "good morning".  I just wish I had some straw and a hen feather to make it look like I had just collected them from the laying boxes.

So how many eggs would you like for breakfast?

Monday 20 February 2012

Languid summer days.....

It is the height of summer here in Australia, and too hot to think about cooking and taking photos of baking - so instead how about a nice cool summer drink and a sit in the shade....

Would you like a glass of iced tea?  The ice and the hint of condensation on the side of the glass I think really makes this image look refreshing.

 Glasses and china from my dear mother-in-law's china cabinet - beautiful aren't they?

I have added myself to the image below to show you the whole story. The images were purposely taken in mid-day sun, natural light, under the speckled shade of my pergola. I added a bit of warming filter in processing to give the feeling of summer heat!
Perhaps I should have had two glasses in the image - but then if I had company I wouldn't be able to just sit and read would I? but please do visit - and I will pour you a glass and we both could just sit in the shade and read.....

 Have a wonderful week!
Thank you for stopping by. I look forward to hearing from you.
I am linking up with Mary and the other amazing photographers at Mosaic Monday. Click here - Mosaic Monday


Saturday 18 February 2012

Free Camping on the Great Central Road - Kalgoorlie to Uluru - Australia

Update February 2013 -
I was thrilled to have this image I took of my son's 4WD on the Great Central Road approaching Warburton in the Great Victoria Desert, on the cover of the latest edition of Go Camping Australia magazine, 2013.

Read down further below the pic for my article about the Great Central Road printed in Go Camping Australia magazine, February-March 2012.

 February 2012

I wanted to share with you my latest published article - "Down the Centre" - published in "Go Camping Australia" magazine February to March 2012 edition.

It is about camping on The Great Central Road which runs from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Winton in Queenslands - although the article only deals with Kalgoorlie to Uluru - we haven't done the Alice Springs to Winton part yet - that one is still on our list.

The images were taken when we travelled across here with our son Paul and daughter-in-law Jen, and our two grandsons in July 2010 on the first leg of their 4-5 month half of Australia trip.

Here is the opening spread of article - with the starting paragraphs below - 

 The late afternoon sun cast a golden light over the spinifex heads as we pulled off the red dirt road and set up camp amongst desert oaks near Giles Creek on the western side of the Western Australian / Northern Territory border.

Our campsite was just one of numerous possible free bush campsites to be found when travelling The Great Central Road which is part of the seven connecting roads that form Australia’s unofficial “longest short cut” known as “The Outback Way”. The 2750 kilometre route runs through 10 bioregions from Laverton north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia through the Great Victoria and Gibson Deserts via Uluru and Alice Springs to Winton in Queensland.

The 1784km trip described here, from Kalgoorlie to Uluru, includes 1078km of gravel between Laverton and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), and takes about 3 to 4 days depending on how much time you have and what sight-seeing you do – or as in our case, how often you stop to take photos – and most travellers free-camp at bush campsites. To us bush camping means peaceful quietness and enjoying the bush without neighbours. It also means no toilets, showers or power, but the reward of sitting around a campfire toasting marshmallows and looking up at the stars far outweighs any downside.

The Outback Way is one of Australia’s great remote driving treks so being prepared is important. An essential reference is The HEMA “The Outback Way” guide book which contains lots of useful information including possible campsites that aren’t necessarily signposted, as well as geological, historical and ecological information.  

This is the original image from the opening spread - It is an early morning shot of Yarla Kutjarra campsite , ninety four kilometres west of Warburton and just one of the free campsites to be found along the Great Central Road.  We were camped amongst the scrub in the lower foreground, and I climbed the outcrop before breakfast to get this shot.

This is another shot from the article - the dry bed of Giles Creek - just west of the Western Australian/Northern Territory border.  We camped near here.

One of my favourite shots from the article - approaching the WA-NT border. The Schwerin Mural Crescent Ranges clothed in early morning low cloud - 

Just east of Laverton the bitumen ends and the gravel begins.  We found the road in excellent condition, but this is dependent on when it was last graded and boggy sections may be encountered during wet weather.  Be aware of the blinding dust created by road trains and pull over to the edge of the road.

The distance for our particular trip from Kalgoorlie to Alice Springs - 2,227 kilometres (plus travel from Bunbury to Kalgoorlie) and then we returned from Alice Springs via the same route. 

You must be fully prepared for remote travel, and the campsites have no facilities. Diesel fuel and provisions are available at Laverton, Tkukayiria Roadhouse, Warburton, Warakurna Roadhouse and Yulara (Uluru).

The Great Central Road brought us to Australia’s heart, Uluru, and on our last evening Uluru dished up a spectacular sunset. 

To read this full article please see the February-March 2012 edition of Go Camping Australia.

 Further information:

Recommended reference: HEMA The Outback Way Atlas & Guide

Please note: Permits are required to travel across the Aboriginal Lands that the Great Central Road travels through.  The permit is free and you can download from the net -
Western Australia - http://www.daa.wa.gov.au/en/Entry-Permits/EP_Y_PermitForm/
Northern Territory - http://www.clc.org.au/articles/info/application-for-an-entry-permit

You will need to purchase a permit to visit the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.  This can be purchased when you arrive.

Thank you for stopping by to look - if you would like to leave a message I would love to hear from you.
I hope you enjoyed the post.


Monday 13 February 2012

Wedding day

It was my youngest nephew's wedding last Friday. His new bride was a vision in a "30s film star" style wedding gown with a pink ruffle going over one shoulder and white rose bouquet. Stunning. 

When I have permission from the happy couple of show you some photos that actually show their faces, I hope to bring you some more images from what was a beautiful day. But I will have to wait for them to return from their honeymoon.

I have usually done my mosaics through Picasa - but this "story-board" template comes from Kim's "Beyond Layers" e-class. "Beyond Layers" promises to be 52 weeks of inspiration and learning. Thanks Kim - check her classes out here -Kim Klassen Cafe

 This is the church where they were married - St Mary's Anglican Church in Busselton. Built in 1844-45 - it is the oldest stone church in Western Australian. Many of the area's earliest pioneers are buried in the small church yard.

It would have been nice to have blue sky in this image, but it was a cloudy day - and clouds are wonderful for photographing people. It really evens out the light.

And an image from the wedding reception - the bride and groom in a slow dance. This was a very dimly lit image so I've rescued it by adjusting levels etc in Photoshop Elements and then converting to black and white. Yes, it is grainy, but I rather like the effect - and the 1930's look.

I am linking to Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. Click on the link to see the wonderful work of Mary and other photographers. Mosaic Monday

And wishing you all a beautiful Valentine's Day.

Sadly we lost an amazing singer yesterday - Whitney Houston -  her beautiful voice sadly silenced too soon. I have added a tribute to my play list.  If you would like music when you scroll through my blog, please go to the Playlist icon on the RHS, and click on the "play" arrow. (I haven't worked out how to have it play automatically yet!).

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Camping in the beauty that are Western Australia's National Parks

I am sharing with you my latest article in print - "Park Yourself" - published in Australia's "On The Road" magazine, February 2012 - about camping in the beauty that are Western Australia's National Parks.  My special thanks to Paul Harrison for his images and details about camping in the Francois Peron National Park at Shark Bay, and to Jennifer Harrison for her images and information about camping in Karlamilyi National Park (formerly Rudall River) in the northern Pilbara, and Cape Le Grand and Cape Arid National Parks east of Esperance.

Here is the opening image - the road into Carawine Gorge in the Pilbara east of Marble Bar.

 The article starts -

The stars of the Milky Way shine down on us like a million sparkling diamonds on a cloth of black velvet. The Aboriginal people have many dream-time stories about the stars and how they came to be there, but I am just enjoying the peace I find sitting here in my camp chair gazing up at the universe above.

We are camped in the Karijini National Park in the heart of Western Australia’s Pilbara region, just one of around 164 National Parks and Reserves that spread across the far corners of Western Australia. The WA Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) manages more than 27 million hectares of national parks, marine and conservation parks, State forests, nature and recreation reserves containing some of the States' most stunning natural treasures and an extensive network of camp sites and walk trails.  Their location ensures you can experience coral reefs and pristine beaches, towering forests and tumbling rivers, mountain ranges and savannah, sand dunes and deserts, rugged gorges and wilderness areas and a chance to escape from the stresses of modern urban living.

Western Australia is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world and the south-west is the only recognised terrestrial biodiversity hotspot in Australia. Shark Bay, Ningaloo and Purnululu have World Heritage status.

Whist not all Parks allow camping, or camping is restricted to designated sites, many maintain walk trails with interpretive signage that helps you learn about the environment. Some Parks charge a daily visitor entry fee, or camping fee, so the most economical way is to purchase an annual or four week holiday pass.  All park fees go to park maintenance and facilities or the provision of new safety equipment. Some parks have camp-hosts during busy periods.

 Here is the original image that was used in the opening spread -

 another image from the article - camping in the Warren National Park in Pemberton
 Ningaloo Reef, Exmouth, Cape Range National Park
 In the article I talk about National Parks from the Kimberley, through the centre, and down the coast 
all the way to the Eucla National Park on the edge of the Great Australian Bight.
To read this full article, please buy "On the Road" magazine -February 2012 edition.
 You might also like - please click on the links - 
Walpole Wilderness
 On the Road in the Kimberley

Sunday 5 February 2012

Learning about textures

Well I have finally done it - after a year of looking at other photographic artist's texture work on Flickr and their blogs, I have finally signed up for a couple of texture e-classes with Kim Klassen.  Thanks Kim! You can check out her blog and classes by clicking on the link - you might be interested in learning about textures. Click here - Kim Klassen Cafe 

So for today's Mosaic Monday I thought I would share with you some of my texture work. Please remember I am only new to playing with textures! Textures is not for everyone. I see it as adding "art" to an image.  And certainly not every image would benefit or should have texture added. It really depends on what look you are wanting to achieve.  For instance, I probably wouldn't add texture to a grand landscape. Textures can also help you rescue a less than perfect image as I think my last image "baked" demonstrates.

In each of the images I am showing you the original image, and the textured image, as I think it is interesting to see both and compare. Playing with textures you can come up with all sorts of effects.  It's fun, and can be very time consuming!

 Hydrangea - On the left you see the textured image
with textures added from Kim's textures - "beach sand" and "peacock" with painterly effect.
On the right is the untextured image - straight from camera.

Lavender - One of Kim's textures which I have used on this image, on the left hand side, is called "empty page" - fitting I think because doesn't every day of our life start as an "empty page"?

 I have just learnt this neat little trick where you can pick the colour of your text from a colour in the image - as in purple from the lavender in this example. Neat! thanks Kim!

Mourambine church - wheatbelt, Western Australia. My father's family lived in Mourambine between 1939 and 1942 - there is only the church and one or two houses there now. My grandfather and grandmother are buried in this church yard.

I think it is interesting to see the before and after when playing around and learning about textures. Texture used here, on the bottom image, is "paper stained light" from Kim Klassen's skinny mini e-course.  I think it certainly adds to the "aged" effect. What do you think?

This is one of my favourite images - I have played around with it before. This is an everlasting (Western Australian wildflower), treated with Kim's "awaken" texture. Original on the left, textured on the right.

This is a bunch of dried roses that I have had for many years. They are starting to look a bit worse for wear.

The texture I have added I created myself by scanning a section of a piece of bought "scrap booking" paper. 

And the inspiration? - Currently we have aging parent issues which are taking up a lot of our time and energy. As I look at my father who is my mother's full time carer, it comes to me the beauty of his love for her that has never faded.

So I have used the dry roses to represent the beauty of a love that endures time, and the trials of health issues encountered during the winter of their lives.

Dare to dream and follow your dreams.
Perhaps using the frangipani to represent this is me dreaming of escaping and laying on a beach in the Pacific! 

This is a frangipani flower treated with Kim's "Plastered Square" texture. Original on the left, textured on the right. 

Some of you might know that my project in 2011 was food photography. However, I am off to a slow start this year, as family matters are taking my energy - and it is too HOT to cook!
 We are in the height of a HOT summer, when Australia is baked and the colours and landscape can be harsh. In fact when I look back over my images I don't know if I know how to photograph "soft-light-dreamy" - perhaps my Australian environment has something to do with it!

So I am representing "baked" with a cooking theme. Taken in full midday sunlight! I positioned the elements so I could have some negative space.

Thanks to some processing tips I have learnt from Kim, I have -
added a blur layer (then rubbed some off to achieve more selective focus)
adjusted the levels
added two textures - "plaster square" and "pumpkin grunge" (thanks Kim). The pumpkin grunge gave some extra oomph to the wooden tools.
and added a new font called "pea snowflake" - you can check out free fonts here - kevinandamanda.com/fonts/fontsforpeas/

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog - I welcome your comments, and look forward to hearing from you.

Have a wonderful week.
I am linking up with Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. To see the work of Mary and other wonderful photographers around the world, please click on the link here - Mosaic Monday

You might also like these posts - please click on the links - 

Thursday 2 February 2012

Meet you on the porch

Meet me on the porch and sit awhile. Good friends don't need words or fancy cakes - just a simple cup of tea with bread and jam and a place to sit. And as my dear Flickr friend, Lindannajones said to me, "find a seat on the porch and just sit, saying nothing. What is there to say?"

Food-tea-IMG_7181- only adjustment is slight sharpening - otherwise straight out of camera.

Here is a great little tip I learnt from Kim Klassen - when adding text you can "pick" the colour of your text from a colour in your image - neat huh!
I'll meet you on the porch..........