Posted in Life, Writing

Life’s like that: On being a guest blogger

A message pops onto my screen as I’m scrolling through my phone one day last week. It’s an invitation from my sister, Debbie – an invitation to write a guest post on her blog in a new series she’s starting called ‘person of interest’.

If you’ve been a long-term follower of my blog, you’ll know that I blog for days and days on end, and then go quiet as other areas of my life take precedence, or as I search for something to blog about. Those silences have been known to last for months. I blogged yesterday, for instance, but it was my first post in a month.

Life’s like that. Fits and starts, slow patches where nothing much happens and you wear a dent in the couch, then suddenly it starts to warm up and still moments are hard to find.

At least, that’s what life’s like for me. A burst of energy, blog posts pour forth, images are taken and posted, creative thoughts engulf you and you make plans for projects and then teaching takes over, there are provocations to record, discussion posts to write, ideas to be shared and explored and challenged and questions to be asked, responses to student posts to be crafted to ensure warmth and encouragement and generation of thought, assignments come pouring in and feedback needs to be given that’s warm and encouraging and generates thought, and your daughter falls ill and you fly interstate to support her in her recovery and prepare nutritious and delicious meals like vegemite on toast to tempt her to eat again, and your dog is run over and you spend a week crying in the shower, while you’re walking to the station, in bed late at night, eating breakfast, and your dad gets sick and is taken to hospital and spends days not being able to talk walk eat stay awake and you hold your breath and prepare yourself for news you don’t want but know will come one day and days later he wakes up and is able to feed himself breakfast.

And then stillness, quiet, time for contemplation and an invitation pops onto your screen from your sister, inviting you to be a guest on her blog and you write responses to her questions and think about what those responses say about you but you send them in anyway, in the end knowing that you’re you and you own your responses and the person they represent.

Life’s like that.

And writing responses for my guest post sparks something in me that’s been dormant for some time and I figure if I can do it for my sister, I can do it for me too. So here I am …

… except more assignments have just poured in which means more warm, encouraging, thought-generating feedback needs to be written … and my blog will have to wait just a little longer.

I love the light in Tasmania. This image has nothing outwardly to do with my post, but I felt the calmness and serenity captured by the light suited my mood.
Posted in Life, Photography, Portraits

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One of the (many) things I love about Tim is the way he supports me in my photography hobby. He doesn’t only model for me, or provide me with lens and camera combinations that create beautiful images, but he also provides opportunities for me to learn more about photography. We went to Sydney a few weeks ago so that I could attend a workshop on portrait photography. It was fabulous because a whole lot of technical things clicked for me, allowing me to take more control of what I’m doing behind the camera.

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I don’t know if my developing skills are apparent to anyone else but me, but I’m now taking images where I control all the really important elements – and by that I mean the light.

Here’s a shot from an impromptu shoot this morning where I was testing a different lens/camera combination than my usual set-up. This was taken using a 42.5mm lens (full-frame equivalent = 85mm), at f1.2. It’s a beautiful lens – look what it does to the background: it gives a gorgeous bokeh* and beautiful separation of subject (Tim, in this case) and background.

The bokeh forces the viewer to focus on the subject and thus its appeal in photography. If all of the greenery had been in focus, the image would have been very busy and the background would have been competing for attention.

Thanks Tim for being a model and especially for being the means of me continuing to learn about photography.

*Bokeh – a Japanese word meaning ‘blur’.

Posted in Photography, Travel

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The Table Cape Lighthouse at Table Cape (Wynyard, Tasmania).

This is another photo that was highly commended by my photography tutor.

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The lighthouse was built by Chance and Luck (one was the designer, the other was the builder) in the late 1880s.