Category Archives: Photography

My Favourite Bokeh Flower Photographs

Just a curated selection of some of my favourite Pinterest photos, this time featuring Bokeh Flower Photography. Think Romantic, blurred backgrounds, soft colours, a vintagey feel, out of focus shots, light glows, orbs.

Eye Candy!
(Images sourced from: Pinterest. You can find them on my Board, “Inspiring Flower Photography”).

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Going For Gold

When I was first starting out in mobile photography, on an Apple iPhone 3, I read about the Golden Hour and decided the magical sunlight quality that we get here Western Australia was too good to pass up on. I am a firm believer that different countries have different qualities of light, and some offer better photo opportunities than others. That may be why I’m drawn to the idea of living in Tuscany in Italy.

In Western Australia, our sunsets are often quite spectacular, and the dusky pinks and oranges often linger in the sky for nearly an hour after the sun has gone to bed.

Wikipedia defines the Golden Hour thus:

In photography, the Golden Hour (sometimes known as Magic Hour, especially in cinematography) is a period shortly after sunrise or before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer compared to when the Sun is higher in the sky.

It’s that time of day when everything is covered in a soft shimmer of gold, and photos often turn out magical, even if the subject is mundane or pedestrian. Mother Nature’s gifts to the human eye.

Even to this day, nearly 5 years after picking up my first smartphone camera, I still like taking photos at around sunset.

These days, you don’t really need the Golden Hour or Magic Hour to get the same effects in photography. There are photography Apps and software that will allow you to recreate and/or add the same effects from within your own home. After-effects, so to speak. You can add bokeh, sparkles, light trails, firefly glows, the list is endless. With some imagination, you can create the most awesome photos.

Having said that, there are still some happy flukes of Nature that allow great photos to be developed without the need for any external, human or technological assistance. Right place, right time, right eye for detail, right capture.

Here are some of my favourite images from Pinterest, that celebrate not only the Golden Hour/Magic Hour, but also the colour Gold in its myriad shades and intensities.

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Amazing Places

I have a Pinterest Board called “Amazing Places”, where I pin up pictures of the most fantastical places, places that I would like to see for myself some day. My Bucket List of Destinations, so to speak.

Maybe it’s the luscious photography (not mine, I’m sad to say), or just the quality of the light, or just a Romanticisation of the country or place…no matter. There are some places on Earth that are just plain awesome.

If you want more information on these places, find me on Pinterest and look for my board there, under “Amazing Places”. When you click on a photo there, you’ll be transported to the originating link or website where the image was pinned from. Did you think I was going to say you’ll be transported to the place in the photo? Oh, how I wish that was possible!

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Glass Beach, MacKerricher State Park, CA, USA

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Wind Cathedral dunes, Namibia

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The Ocean Flower, Maldives

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Antelope Canyon, Arizona, USA

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Porto Katsiki, Lefkada, Greece

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Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand

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Perfume River, Hue, Vietnam

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Khao Luang Cave Temple, Phetchaburi, Thailand

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Osaka, Japan

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Sintra, Lisbon Province, Portugal

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Gardens By The Bay, Marina Bay, Singapore

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Guilin, China

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Paso Dello Stelvio, Italy

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Mount Fitz Roy and Laguna Torre, Los Glaciares National Park, Patagonia, Argentina

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Yosemite National Park, USA

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Mount Rorraima, Venezuela

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Pamukkale, Turkey

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Waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

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Red Forest, Cantabria, Spain

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Bora Bora, Tahiti

Oh, I could go on an on (and on), but I think there’s enough here to fire up your imagination and wanderlust…

Artist Inspiration : Igor Simanowicz

Most photographers have their niches or chosen subjects. Some specialise in landscapes, or street photography, or flower macros, or water drops, or animals, or architecture, or travel etc. It’s what they have found that they excel in, or that they truly enjoy. More often than not, it’s a calling or vocation, rather than a commercial requirement.

Igor Simanowicz’s specialty is in insects, reptiles and arachnids. Yes, the creepy crawlies. The ones that, if I met them on a sunny day, I’d normally be running from, screaming “Eeeek eeek eeek!” I can’t help it, the only insects I actually like are ants, bees and ladybirds/ladybugs. The only reptiles I like are those safely behind glass. As for arachnids…shudder!! Hey, I’m only human.

Having admitted that I’m not a big fan of insects, Igor Simanowicz’s photographic skills are amazing, in how he manages to seemingly anthropomorphize them or capture his subjects posing and doing creepily human-like things. Things like hugging, or smiling, or posing cheekily with raised arms a la Village People and YMCA!

Igor is a scientist foremost, and photographer second. In the lab where he works, he studies how insects capture their prey. This entails close-ups of parts such as insect jaws. It naturally flows that close-up or macro photography is a useful tool for this purpose.

Igor took up photography around 10 years ago, to keep his mind off the winter blues, and to satisfy his own quirky sense of humour. He uses the same kind of lighting and staging that a fashion photographer would use, only Igor’s “models” are of the winged and scaly kind.

Here are some interesting articles I found on Igor while searching Google:

http://www.hhmi.org/bulletin/spring-2013/beautiful-beasts

http://www.pxleyes.com/blog/2010/10/mindblowing-macro-photography-from-the-micro-cosmos-by-blepharopsis-with-exclusive-interview/

I had a look at other Google Image hits, and it appears Igor Simanowicz has also ventured into Micro photography and photo manipulation. He’s also won several photography awards, most notably the Olympys Bioscapes Comptletition http://www.olympusbioscapes.com/gallery/photographer/igor-siwanowicz

The following images are all curated from Google Images. Enjoy!

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And here’s the man himself.

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Inspired by the Dalai Lama

After writing about the Dalai Lama in my previous post, I was inspired to create some digital photography art ony Samsung Galaxy Note 4. I had amassed over a hundred images of Buddha statues in the past. But done nothing with them. Now was the time.

I’ve created 3 images so far. My favourite is the 3rd one, I do love colour, so I may make more in that vein.

Enjoy! And have a wonderful day, wherever you may be!

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In the Mood for Flowers

I don’t have a green thumb, but I adore flowers. Flowers are such tarts, flaunting their pretty blossoms like Victorian petticoats, tempting the eyes with their vivid colours and exotic structures, tantalising the senses with their heady fragrances.

I wish I had a knack for growing flowers, or indeed any plants. Alas, no, so instead I contend myself with taking photos of them whenever I see any that catch my eye. And if there aren’t any around, why there’s always Pinterest.

And so here are just some of my current favourite flowers, curated from my burgeoning Pinterest board “Inspiring Flower Photography”. If you need further information on any of the photos, just go to my Pinterest Board and click on the photo in question, where you will be whisked away to the corresponding weblink.

Enjoy! And have a great week ahead! Flowers always make me happy. :-) I hope they make you happy too!

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Happy 1st of June, everyone! :-)

Some more Mashups

Just some digital mash-ups of my Gelli plate monoprints, that I created using just 3 Apps, namely Photo Blender, PicsArt and Photo Editor. I love the riot of bright colours.

I might put these up on Kess InHouse Design’s website. I’ve been rather neglectful about updating my artist portal on Kess InHouse Designs. It’s high time I posted up more designs to be licensed, and why not these? I think they would translate very well to duvet covers, cushions, wall art, rugs etc.

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Graffiti Art : Baldivis

Baldivis is a newish suburb a few miles down the road from Rockingham, where I live. It started out with some new housing developments, a couple of schools and a small shopping mall hardly worth mentioning. Without a car, the Baldivis mall is terribly inconvenient to get to…there are only 2 buses that go anywhere near it, and 1 of them stops half a mile away.

That was then. This is now. Over the past 2 years, Baldivis’ “Stockland” shopping centre or mall has slowly been expanded and renovated. Just recently it celebrated the grand opening of a new extension. And what an extension it is. It’s gone and quadrupled its size from 7000 square metres to a whopping 29500 square metres.

I happened to visit Stockland Baldivis just last week, as the newest extension was opening to the public. As hubby parked our car outside McDonald’s, I noticed 2 great big walls filled with the most wonderful, vibrant graffiti. So, after having our lunch, and before going into any of Stockland’s shops, I took the opportunity to take some photos of the graffiti.

Here they are. I hope you’ll find them as cheerful and happy as I do.

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This mural is a collaboration between 2 well-known street artists, “Beastman” aka Brad Eastman and Kyle Hughes-Odgers. Click on the hyperlinks to access their respective websites.

I hope no one tries to deface this beautiful mural, or spark off some graffiti artist turf war. I’ve seen similarly wonderful graffiti art in Perth City defaced by lowlife scumbags with no respect or intelligence. Hey, people, it’s Art and it’s meant to be enjoyed by everyone, so please respect it and leave it alone!

Art Around Perth : At the Esplanade Bus Terminal

Just some pretty Art on the walls of Perth’s main Bus Terminal at the Esplanade. I was going to use these for projects, but, being an eclectic magpie and with an attention span just as fleeting as a bird’s, I’m onto other projects now so these have fallen by the wayside.

You’re more than welcome to save them to your own devices and use them however you like – as backgrounds for digital photography art, to print out as postcards, for collage, for art journals, etc.

Have a great day!

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You’ll notice the signature of the artist at the bottom of a few of the photographs. I tried searching for “Leanne” the artist, but was sadly unable to find any mention of her or of the wall art at the bus terminal. If anyone knows who “Leanne” is, do let me know so I can update this post, many thanks in advance! :-)

A Morbid Fascination

I remember a trip to Singapore many years back, standing at the Victorian-style bay window glass double frontage of a Doll and Teddy Bear store. I’d gone there to look at the teddy bears, but it was the doll displays in the next window that caught my attention. For some reason, the dolls looked like dead babies, grey and ashen against the delicate pastel lace and frills of their accessories.

For this reason, I’ve never been into dolls, least of all the lifelike ones, or those that can cry and pee. I didn’t mind the Barbie-types, with their impossible proportions. I didn’t mind the GI Joe types for boys. I’m talking about a 40+ year-old woman here, dear readers, not a pre-teen girl.

Recently, though, I’ve discovered that I DO like dolls. Only one particular type of doll, though. And not because they’re beautiful, or cute (they’re both)…but, most bizarrely for myself, because they are plain weird, strange and morbid. Hmmm…maybe a reflection on myself? LOL.

I’m talking about Monster High dolls by Mattel. They appeared on the scene only a few years ago, in 2010, but such is their appeal that they are the Bratz dolls of the Noughties. Bratz are so 20th Century hehehe.

Monster High uses the strapline “Be Yourself. Be Unique. Be a Monster”. The range is inspired by monster and horror movies and popular thriller fiction. Think Frankenstein, the Loch Ness Monster, Dracula, Big Foot, Dia de Los Muertos, Jekyll and Hyde. Think dragons, ghosts, banshees, gargoyles, werewolves, big cats, mummies, gorgons, invisible men. Creatures from popular culture, turned into highly articulated 10-12 inch dolls (1:6 scale).

Monster High (MH) dolls have elfin faces on disproportionately large heads, a very curved spine, short torso and long, long legs. Some sport protruding ears, tails, fangs, fins or scales. They come in a wide range of colours, from normal flesh colours, to blue, green, lilac, grey. They have amazing to-die-for hair, in envious shades, lengths and styles. Their limbs are articulated, at the wrist, elbows, shoulders, neck, hips, knees and ankles, allowing them to be extremely poseable. Apart from the clothes they wear (expandable with the purchase of “fashion packs”), each doll comes with its own accessories, which may be a coffin-shaped mobile phone (but of course!), shoes or boots, pet, and any other accessory relevant to the theme or the doll’s character.

The original MH line began with a few main characters but soon expanded to include over 2 dozen, with weird and wonderful names like Frankie Stein, Operetta, Draculaura, Robecca Steam, Ghoulia Yelps, Spectra Vondergeist, Lagoona Blue, Jinafire Long, Skelita Calaveras, Marisol Coxi, Abbey Bominable, Toralei, Catrine deMew, Avea Trotter, Gigi Grant, Rochelle Goyle, Nefera de Nile, Cleo de Nile, Clawdeen Wolf, Howleen Wolf, Twyla, River Styxx, Venus McFlytrap, Casta Fierce etc. With each edition, or “Wave”, Mattel releases new versions of these characters, placing them in locations like Paris (“Scaris”), or Hollywood (“Frights, Camera, Action!”), adding new clothes and accessories, and along the way introducing some new characters and hybrids too. And yes, there are boy Monsters too, known as “Mansters” – Deuce Gorgon, Invisi Billy, Jackson Jekyll, Slo Mo Mortavich, Holt Hyde, Heath Burns, Gil Webber, Clawd Wolf, Porter Geiss, Neightan Rot etc. Headmistress Bloodgood of Monster High is literally headless, as in she’s able to carry her head in her hands, and rides a blue horse called Nightmare.

Add to this already highly successful franchise a range of movies, online videos, Young Adult books, clubs, add-on packs, furniture sets etc and Mattel have a real winner on their hands.

Yes, yours truly knows her Monster High dolls, because she’s been secretly researching their suitability for a future Project. Shhhh!! ;-)

I believe MH dolls should be considered Art Dolls, as they are manufactured to very high standards, and their degree of articulation and poseability, and appeal to all ages, is unsurpassed. All other dolls fall by the wayside when compared to MH. Which is why many artists have taken to customising MH dolls, with startlingly beautiful results.

Here are just several images of my favourite customised MH dolls, curated from Pinterest. You’ll appreciate why I’ve waxed so lyrical about these dolls. They’re amazing! And the artists that created them – WOW! SUCH TALENT! is all I can say.

Enjoy! From this:
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To these:
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