I love old photos

Sorry I’ve been a bit distracted of late and I’m behind with my blog.

I have a thing for old photos. I love what they tell us of times gone by.

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This is a photo of my maternal grandmother and my mum. I hardly recognize my grandma as she was always an older woman to me (she was 60 when I was born). I look at this photo and it speaks to me of what their life was like. It is a snap shot in time.

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This is a classic image of my mum with her younger siblings. Another moment in time that our family cherishes.

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Another precious image in our family – two little girl cousins – meeting for the first time, with their mothers looking on lovingly.

We take so many photos today – it’s very easy with our digital cameras and mobile phones etc, but do we take the time to capture these images that will transcend time in years to come?

I really want to be a photographer that tells the story, and I hope to share some of those images with you in due course 🙂

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Balance – following the rules and trusting my instincts

Since joining my Camera Club last year, I’ve learnt buckets. Judge’s critiques of my own work and others has been so valuable as I try and put it all together. Yes its ideal to follow the rules but you have to trust your creative instincts too.

Here are some recent images of one of my favourite locations ….. Long Jetty. There was not much colour in the sunset but I liked the atmosphere and was trying to show the jetty a little differently, especially in the second image.

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Pink Grandma

My paternal grandma Emma was an amazing woman. Born in 1908 in Liverpool England, the youngest of four children. At the age of 13 she was allowed an exemption to leave school early and enter domestic service. Five years later she left her home country to immigrate to Australia on the “Vedic” arriving in Sydney in July 1926. The family settled in North Sydney and probably had one of the best views from their house of the Harbour Bridge as it was being built.

Young Emma

By the end of 1929 she had met and married my Grandad Jack. They eventually had 4 children but there were some tough times including the great depression and a period when my Grandad was out of work for a long time, and they lost one child at 18 months of age. In time, she became a grandma – a role which she excelled at. Emma was such a fun and energetic woman, feisty with a wicked sense of humour.  She would take all 6 grand daughters out for the day – on her own! We would return to their street and she would say she was too tired to walk up the hill to the house and we would need to push her. It must have been quite something to see this 60 something woman with 6 young girls pushing her up the street – at break neck speed.

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Sadly, she died after a terrible illness, at the way too young age of 66. Even though its many years ago now, we have such lovely memories of our Grandma.

PS she was our Pink Grandma and our other Grandma was our Blue Grandma.

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Faith Hope Love

My favourite verse from the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13 v 13 in The Message translation.

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly.

These are some images I took a while ago that seem relevant for this Easter weekend.

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Learning from children

So I met a friend at one of my favourite spots to take some sunset shots but unfortunately the weather had other ideas.  While we waited, we shared a picnic shelter with some families who were having their photos taken in between rain showers downpours.  I try to be careful about photographing children without permission but this was really hard as the kids were having great fun playing in the puddles.  You can understand our delight when the parents said “you should get some good shots” and we didn’t have to be told twice that we had permission.

We all know how much we can learn from children.  It was joyful watching these kids playing and not worrying about getting wet (and their parents weren’t stopping them either).   As we grown up we lose our ability to just surrender to play.  It was a nice reminder.

 

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I am a photographer

So let me tell you a little about my development as a photographer.  Just the fact that I now call myself a photographer tells you lots.

I’ve been interested in and enjoyed photography for many years – since I was a teenager and that’s a long time (because I’m a mature young woman).  I won’t bore you with all the details of how I’ve evolved through makes and models, but I am a Canon gal and currently using a Canon 600D.  I also use my iphone when convenient and a Canon Ixus if I can’t take my big camera (but that is rare).  I have a camera with me at all times.  I enjoy using my 600D and have learnt so much about what it can do – particularly over the last 12 months and its great to consolidate on that, so I don’t plan to upgrade for a while yet.

A little under 12 months ago I joined my local Camera Club.   I think this has had a huge impact on how my output has improved.  Let me tell you there is a massive difference between posting your photos on Facebook and having all your family and friends “like” them (which is lovely and appreciated) and submitting your work for a professional judge to critique and provide feedback.  Yes its scary and annoying at times, but also encouraging and inspiring.  You also benefit from hearing the critiques of the other photographers. If you can take all that feedback and apply it, combined with reading your camera manual, and articles etc and subscribing and talking to other photographers – and then a lot of just getting out and doing and taking a lot of shots – then you can’t help but see an improvement.   I thoroughly recommend participating in a camera club – you make good friends too.

One of the adjustments I have made over this time is – I’ve gone from simply taking pictures/photos to attempting to create images.  I’m no longer content with just snapping away at anything – I want my images to tell a story.   I aiming to be a visual storyteller.  I’ve worked on my composition a lot, and have really fallen in love with light – particularly the golden hour and mostly the afternoon and sunsets.  I still have SO much to learn and struggle at times to put it all together but I believe I’ve finally found my creative outlet and its become a passion for me.  So this blog is a further extension of my photography and an opportunity to give it a wider audience, and I welcome your comments and feedback on the images I will post.

I don’t just take photos now…. I create images and I am a photographer.

Below are some late afternoon / early evening images of Long Jetty NSW. 

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Grateful for Ancestors

So another of my interests is genealogy/history and I’ve been really fortunate to have some lovely distant relatives share what they have gathered over the years – this is priceless. One lady in particular shared an enormous amount about my mum’s side of my family …. and I’m proud to say I’m mostly 4th generation Australian on that side. Well this just made my dad’s side of the family look neglected. I basically had his parents and grandparents (all English) but not much further. I started researching that side and am really pleased to say its looking a lot more healthy these days, and I’ve been able to go back an additional 3-4 generations, and found out lots of interesting things, about where and how they lived. Of course genealogy becomes addictive and it can be so frustrating when you hit a road block.

I’m trying to incorporate my love of photography with my family history. One image shows the signature page of my grandmother’s “Daily Light” book given to her by her Sunday School Superintendent at Liverpool on June 10th 1926, before her family left for Sydney; with a photo I was given of the Liverpool church St Cleopas. Wouldn’t it be great if she was in that photo? When the family departed Liverpool they left one of their daughters who was already married, and never saw her again, which would have been heartbreaking. 2nd photo is my wonderful grandmother – Emma in the middle with her mother Rosina on the right. I love this photo of her – she was feisty and this really shows it.

On my mother’s side I have a number of pioneers who came to Australia around the 1850’s and earlier. Yes I even have a couple of convicts! This was a really difficult trip to make – leaving family and country for a tough new life in a far away country. I’m so grateful for the sacrifice they made and that I am here now because of them – I honour them, and encourage you to look into your history. Its fascinating.

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Creativity at 1.43am

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So it’s 1.43am and no one is awake in your time zones to talk to, what do you do?  Create a blog.  A little something as an outlet for creativity – a little somewhere for images and words.  Will it be any good, well we’ll have to wait and see.  Please be patient as I work this out.  Thank you.