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.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it. And in many ways it is my journal of everyday life. If you click on the Index you can see my posts under various topic headings.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
Most recently I have been enjoying exploring other art genres, including Eco-printing with Australian leaves onto cloth and paper.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

Welcome!

Welcome!
PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO GO TO MY RED BUBBLE STORE.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Dancing in the dark

Hi everyone, it has been a busy week last week as I danced in two sections of the Bunbury Eisteddfod with my dance group - Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company and School of Dance. 
We were awarded first place in both our sections. 

Here are  a few photos....though none taken by me :) 

Wednesday - Over 25s theatrical style troupe -  dancing to Ricky Martin's la Copa de la Vida - a fun dance


my daughter in law and me

And Saturday night -   the flamenco dance Bulerias in the "Any age dance - National Troupe". This dance has no music, just keeping the rhythm and timing with clapping (palmas) and footwork. A more serious and precision dance. 

We just love these colourful sparkly shawls which were simply wrapped around our black leotard and black flamenco skirts.  And of course, add flowers and sparkly ear-rings!

These are all back stage photos as unfortunately they do not allow photos to be taken of the performances. 
That is our teacher and choreographer, Nicole, second from the left. 
I am 4th from left. 



 And our second teacher, wardrobe mistress and makeup artist - Susie, first on left.


 A huge thank you to my flamenco family and to Delia Dillon, our newest dance company member, for these images. All phone photos - I love the editing she has done on this last image. 

I've been a part of Sol y Sombra since 2012 after my daughter-in-law invited me to join. In 2015 we held our 25th anniversary celebration. I blogged about it here Ole - Celebration of 25 years of flamenco
 
Learning flamenco has been both daunting but wonderful too being with this amazing, kind, generous, talented and supportive group of ladies and our one male, Peter. 
I thank them all for their support and encouragement over the years. Flamenco is certainly not the easiest dance form to learn. And I didn't go to dance classes when I was young. I wish I had found flamenco in my 20s or 30s, not my 50s! 

Any form of dancing is great for exercise, co-ordination, memory, balance, timing, confidence, and personal growth being put out of your comfort zone when we perform on stage. And it is fun!

Do you dance? Perhaps you would like to tell us about it in your comments. Never think you are too old to start. My dance teacher also teaches an adult ballet class.  If this old bird, me, can learn, so can you!

 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. 

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, 11 June 2019

Stormy days

We finally got the rain we have been desperately waiting for. Pity it came on a day when I was doing a landscape photography workshop and we obviously had to go outside for the practical part..... still I got some shots I was reasonably happy with. 
Thank you Photography Group of Bunbury for the opportunity. 

My tip is, look for different angles ie down low, shapes and patterns. 
Remember to check for those water spots on your lens and wipe them off so you don't have to clone them out in post processing later.  
A sturdy tripod helps in the wind.

That's all from me for this week folks! Have a great week wherever you are and whatever you are doing.  

Ps... I am not complaining about the rain as it was long overdue and we really needed it. 


These bright shade sales were a welcome splash of colour on the slightly more sheltered Koombana Bay side.



The lighthouse with its light 


Stormy seas on the Indian Ocean facing basalt rocks at the back beach. A quick photo before we retreated to the bay.


Nice clouds over Koombana Bay.


Thank you so much for stopping by. Just a short post from me today due to having a big week ahead of me! However I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. 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!


Monday, 3 June 2019

Boranup Forest lookout loop walk - Western Australia

A couple of weeks ago we took a few days out of our busy lives to spend a few days down at Hamelin Bay in the beautiful Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in the Capes region of south west Western Australia. We stayed at the Hamelin Bay Holiday Park  caravan park which is only a short walk to the beach. 

There are many walks in the Cape to Capes region. Notably the Cape to Cape track 
which one of these days I would love to do. It runs approximately 125 kilometres from Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. But there are also many other walks which you can enjoy in the region.  I've blogged about Cape Leeuwin last year - Cape Leeuwin - meeting of the Oceans

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse - where the Indian & Southern Oceans meet
 
Cape to Cape track

You can pick up brochures and books at the Visitor Centres. We have had this book for many years, Walking The Capes by Jane Scott and beautiful illustrations by Patricia Negus, but there is now an updated version, Walking Round in Circles. The best thing of course about walking in circles, is that you can park your car at one point, and come back to it at the end of the walk without having to backtrack. The book outlines shorter and longer versions of walks, so you can choose how far you want to go depending on your fitness and how much time you have. The illustrations help you identify some of the plants, birds and other species you might see. 



We decided to do the Boranup Lookout 9 kilometre loop (see map above), which starts at the Boranup Lookout, 3km from the southern end of Boranup Drive. From here you can see beautiful views over the coast. No camping allowed, but there is a picnic table.  You can extend this to the 12 km walk.

Make sure you follow the usual hiking tips, wear a hat, carry water and food, wear good hiking boots, and as we found out on this loop walk, make sure you carry a map or guide as sometimes trails are not marked. More on that later. 

The first part of the walk is gentle gradients through mixed forest, peppermint, karris, jarrah.  The track alternates between sand and gravel.  Early on in the walk we disturbed two kangaroos which hopped across the track in front of us, unfortunately I didn't ready my camera in time to get a photo.


It would be lovely in spring with the wildflowers. But there were a few.  Below you can see the red Cockies Tongue - Templetonia retusa. 


Here you can see the Easter Bunny Orchid - Eriochilus dilatatus subsp magnus - and in the bottom left hand corner is Parrot Bush - Dryandra sessilis 

 It was at this point on Arumvale Road where we saw Easter Bunny Orchid, that we misread our map and took a wrong turn to the right onto a side track. It was probably about a kilometre on that we realised our mistake. We did not feel that we were walking towards the beach, but parallel to it! So we had to backtrack back to where we had made our mistake. Looking at our GPS tracker later, I am very glad we realised before we had gone much further.

The photo below was taken in the tall Karri forest, about where we decided we had made a wrong turn. The flowers are karri flowers on the forest floor.
Back to the corner again, we continued on, and yes this time we were heading towards the beach as the track turned from gravel to sand on the coastal dunes. 

If we had read our map correctly we would have noticed that the junction where we intended to turn south along Trig Road was an intersection with the Cape to Cape Track which was clearly marked. This is new Cape to Cape signage.

From here the sandy track, Trigg Road, ran south parallel with the coast. This was a bit of a hard slog up and down sandhills, with very little shade, but great views.
To give you some idea of it's size I asked my husband to pose with this huge Grass Tree - Xanthorrhoea. In the South West, the Aboriginal Noongar name is ' balga'.



A little bit further along the track he spied this Tiger Snake sunning itself by the edge of the track. It is one of Australia's most venomous snakes so we were very lucky he saw it before we stepped on itA timely reminder that we were in the Australian bush, the habitat of snakes!  They don't rear up and attack unless threatened, preferring to retreat, and I think this one was enjoying a sunshine siesta, but I am sure he knew we were there long before we saw him. I took a photo from a distance, then we walked on by along the other side of the track.


After two and a half kilometres of up and down sandhills, we came to the intersection with Grace Road 4 wheel drive sand track which leads down to the beach from Boranup Drive. 


Then back to the Boranup lookout where we enjoyed our picnic lunch.

After lunch we decided to drive back along the gravel Boranup Drive through the amazing karri forest - truly one of my favourite trees. We stopped several times to take photos. The birds were having a high time highup in the canopy where the karris were flowering. It sounded like we were in a giant avairy. Just beautiful.  Our car in this image below can give you some idea of the size the these trees.  

I wanted to show you a little video, but Blogger is telling my my video was too long but you can view it on my Facebook page -  Boranup forest video on Facebook
(I hope you will go and have a look- sorry about the dodgy phone video.... :)


Karri trees typically grows to a height of 10 to 60 metres (33 to 197 ft) but can reach as high as 90 m (295 ft) making it the tallest tree in Western Australia and one of the tallest trees in the world.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this look at bushwalking in the Boranup Forest. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. 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.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Weekend portrait photography workshop

Sadly I don't seem to have much of an opportunity to do portrait photography (a willing model is essential!), and in truth, I don't feel I really have the skills necessary, and certainly haven't had the practice I would like.  

So I jumped at the chance when the Photography Group of Bunbury advertised a portrait workshop with portrait photographer Seng Mah from Venture Photography, though in truth Seng is much more than a portrait photographer.  

The workshop is one of a series of workshops that the photography group is offering this year through a grant allocation. 

The workshop was held at the historic Bunbury Regional Art Gallery, and after an introduction on the basics of portrait photography we were lead through a series of settings using fixed and strobe lighting in a studio setting, and then out onto the street to photograph in natural light in shadow (street art in an alleyway was a perfect backdrop for this), and natural sunlit situations.  

Here are some of my pics from the day.

Participants getting in close in the dance room of the art gallery. 


The beautiful faces of Hal who was a pleasure to work with. I really love the bottom one changed to black and white. 





Dino, who is quite new to portrait modelling 


 All these photos were taken with my 50mm lens, on full manual mode.

A few basic tips:
Connect with your subject - communication and collaboration with your model is the key
Expose for the face but focus on the eyes
Turn face towards the light 
A portrait should be a story about the whole person
Lighting can evoke different moods - shadows can sculpt the form and create drama 
Do you want your background blurred, or included to tell help tell the story?
                                       .................................

Last August I had the opportunity to join a 20s style glamour photo shoot with the Photography Group of Bunbury, also using fixed lighting in a studio type setting. This was totally different to anything I had ever done before. These workshops are helping to build on my skills and make me feel more confident. 
 
Here is Sammy and Veronica. 




I really love these opportunities, but I also like candid family or travel shots too. These require a different set of skills. Talking to the subject is very important, ask them about themselves, what they are doing. Show them the photo, offer to send them a copy.

This was taken last year in Spain. As we were on a walking tour I was very sorry I didn't have time to stop and talk to this guy playing his guitar on steps in the old town of Albaicin in Grenada. I should have gone back and dropped some money in his hat. 


 Do you like portrait photography? Do you have any tips for better images? Perhaps you would like to share in your comments. 

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.  

Live in Bunbury and want to join a photography group?: Photography Group of Bunbury

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.

 

Monday, 20 May 2019

Autumn colour in Western Australia

Hi everyone, how is life treating you? Life is busy here for me. In our little south west corner of Western Australia winter is showing its presence with cold mornings and evenings, and we have been lighting our fire each night to warm up our house and ourselves.  The clear warm days of autumn are beautiful, but we really do need rain as it is very dry out there in the paddocks and the farmers are desperately needing rain to get their grain crops going and are having to hand feed stock. 

A week or so ago we took advantage of the beautiful weather (beautiful for us at least) to visit the Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup, which is undoubtedly one of the best places to see autumn colour.


Only about an hour south of our home, it makes for a perfect day out. The park features a collection of deciduous trees which are showing off their autumn colour right now. But you need to get there before the leaves have all fallen. To see this colour is amazing for us Western Australians as our native trees are all ever-green, so we don't get the full flush of autumn colour like people living in the northern hemisphere do. So visiting the Golden Valley Tree Park is very special. 

I've blogged about the Golden Valley Tree Park before - you can click on the links to revisit
Autumn - Season of Change
Autumn in the Golden Valley Tree Park

Despite the drying paddocks and the smoke haze from burning off when we visited this year, the park was still beautiful.


 So different to when we visited the year before when the paddocks were green.



Leaves flutter down
    golden, orange, red, purples and dusky browns,
reflecting the hues of the late afternoon autumn light
   as it breaks through the sky's thin grey winter cloak,
and leafless branches
   stretch up toward the sun, shivering, 
stripped bare of their summer clothing. 
                                                                                                            by Jill, June 2017
Red Oak
I really love this avenue of Chinese Pistachios planted in 1999. 

Chinese Pistachio

Pomegranate

I couldn't resist picking up some leaves to take home and print on paper. These are Red Maple and Bradford Pear



The Golden Valley Tree Park is a sixty hectare landscaped park set in the picturesque hills of Balingup. The heritage listed site has a collection of trees that was begun over one hundred years ago, and is now the largest arboretum in Western Australia. Many of the trees are labeled.
The Park is managed on a voluntary basis by a not for profit incorporated association, Golden Valley Tree Park Inc., (GVTP Inc.) in partnership with the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
 Entry is free but a donation will help the work of our volunteers.

 To find out more information on the Golden Valley Tree Park, please click here Golden Valley Tree Park

 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. 

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.