Usually this blog contains very few words, being a platform for sharing my photographs….but as part of our first assignment for Kim Klassen’s Beyond Layers, we are asked to write our story…..as I’m going to use this blog to share what we learn in this year long course, I will do that here but I’m only going to focus on the photography aspects of the story – there is more than enough about me on my other blog that does not need repeating here! So here goes………..
I was lucky in having a Father who was fascinated by photography, had many cameras and did all his own film development and printing of black and white images at home. I grew up being the subject of many of his photos and was encouraged from a very early age to take them myself. My first camera was small Kodak Brownie which I was given at about 8 years of age – I think it was this model.
Since then I have had various cameras, a 35mm Yashica which traveled the world with me in the late 60′s, an Olympus which was a gift from my Father in the late 80′s, and then another much larger SLR Canon with a selection of lenses which he no longer used. This one sadly, was stolen one Christmas when a house was broken into, but with it I took many great photos of my children when young. Then there was the first digital point and shoot Nikon which died after being dropped from a great hight, and its replacement, a small digital Canon which I am still using. I love taking photos, particularly close ups of sexy flower parts, insects and other small things, as well as the usual things one wants to remember or record, and had been doing that with my point and shoot, but feeling a bit dissatisfied with the results. A couple of years ago, I was thinking I would like a better camera, had mentioned it to a couple of folk, and had actually started saving my dollar coins with the goal of eventually buying myself a digital SLR.
Unbeknownst to me, for a birthday in September 2010, my nearest and dearest conspired to buy me a Canon 550D with a macro lens – the most wonderful gift for which I am endlessly thankful. Since then many of my previous creative activities, such as sewing, embroidery, quilting and caring for my 2+ acre garden have faded into oblivion as I pursue this new found obsession. Rarely does a day go by that I have not been out and about with my beloved Canon. I have learned a great deal, taken many thousands of photos, deleted almost as many, bought a couple of extra lenses, some accessories and software, and continued to try and learn more about it all the time. I have had the thrill of having a first photograph published in an Australian Photo magazine, and won a competition run by one of the photo shops in Melbourne – where the prize was a ticket to a workshop later this year with an international wildlife photographer. Most of my photos are taken on the property where I live, and I really enjoy the ongoing challenge of seeking the best shot, catching something unusual with my camera, and sharing it with friends and the various online community sites.
I was intrigued when I first saw photos online that had a painterly quality about them, and it was not long before I discovered Photoshop, layers, textures, and in particular Kim Klassen’s website and classes. I have done her Photoshop – the Essentials class, which was most enlightening and enjoyable, and usually submit something for Texture Tuesday. Beyond Layers promises to be equally as inspiring and I’m looking forward to it, to sharing my work with other participants, making new online friends and continuing on this particular creative journey. Who knows where it might lead?