Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A new look

I bit the bullet today and decided to have your fringe cut. Your hair is so glossy and shiny and even when I tie it back well for school, you come home looking like you've been running a marathon - hair everywhere! So - here's the end result. Taken at the Thai in Albury.

I love it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

First tooth gone :(

Well it happened. I've been dreading it only because I know how much your face will change and how much more grown up you'll look.
It's been loose for about 6 months now - but recently it's become very loose. Well - you couldn't eat because it was troubling you so much so we tried to get it out and believe it or not Daddy finally got the pliers out and voila! it was done :)
Yes the tooth fairy did find you and we couldn't believe it when you got a note - yes $5! I think the tooth fairy did that because you are so familiar with coins and she wanted you to have something special first time! Go tooth fairy!

Before it came out when the offending tooth was very wobbly!

This is the little tooth .....

And then the next day ready for school.....with a new smile :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Photography Course - fun for me task!

The course is nearly over and I feel very sad :( ... but I've learned so much I can't stay sad for long!

Here's my final entry (I think). I have just over a day before the forum closes so who knows if I'll get a chance to do more. We'll see.....

This photo I wish I hadn’t applied the rule of thirds!!!...but love the cheeky grin…

Looking forward to some PS on the one below !

Should have zoomed in a little or moved Eb away from the tree a bit (below)

Better but almost lost her foot and I’m still forgetting that rule of thirds!!!

same in this one below….

rule of thirds! rule of thirds!....where art thost

hmmm.. feet missing and a bit of blur below

chopped off foot again :)

...anyway - that was just a bit of fun and a bit of practice for me….and some different locations to try out! Eb was amazing and we really enjoyed it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Photography course week 4 entry

Wow - another week of learning - learning - learning! I have never Photoshoped in anyway - so this is a first. I bought Elements 9 (just before the course began) - but decided to try out the trial Version of CS5 for this. I’m really struggling with different techniques but am learning fast! Sheye I’ve no real idea of what I’m doing but decided that any entry I can submit and learn from is worth doing - so here goes!

Sheye’s original….

My first attempt….not enough difference to me

Attempt 2 - b&w…(but with just a fraction of colour)

This will be my final attempt below…....I am getting more comfortable and did play with the eyes (and curves!) a bit in this one - but I’m so totally out of my depth! I didn’t want to just give up so have tried my best given my limited time at the moment and my lack of knowledge! Evolve I PROMISE I will have better PS skills! xx

Gosh I’m going to miss you Sheye - Fran and all the gorgeous girls doing this course! xx

I think you did a great job Jen!! The last one is my fave! xo (Mel Riddell)

My amazing JenJen - the last looks perfect to me. It’s certainly not easy - I think there are alot of us that are newbies…but with practice I’m sure we will ‘evolve’ and our photography and PS skills will be outstanding!!!

Lou. X

Hi Jen!

I think you did sooooo well. For someone who is so new to PS, to achieve such a lovely edit is fantastic. It’s natural, it’s enhanced, it’s got a great amount of light and still feels soft. All the things I wanted for that image.

The black and white is well done..I’d probably add a wee bit more contrast just for some further depth but you’re well on your way which is great, conversions can be tricky.

I’m reeeeally impressed and you should be too! I can’t wait to see what you pick up over time because it seems this is really quite natural to you!

Thankyou for the wonderful effort.
Sheye x

ps, I agree the first edit is probably a little ‘light’ on the enhancements and I see more reflection in the eyes than I’d normally add..By the time you got to the third edit though you’d turned pro so it’s all good smile
x (Sheye)

Sweet Sheye - I have had some ‘teachers’ in my life ..... but NO -ONE comes close to you when it comes to encouraging critiquing - I can’t thank YOU enough and let me say that this time YOU brought tears to my eyes. I’ll miss you until we ‘meet’ again….. (Jen)

jen you did sooo well, you are a star ... love the b&w x

Awww!! You’re so good to me! Thank you Jen, I just love doing this so much!

To be able to create beautiful images of other peoples families is so rewarding but one step further, to teach people to do it for themselves, is even better to me smile .... Sheye

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A weekend at Granite Flat

We managed to get away for a weekend again! I was so thrilled. This time we made it to the place we planned to go to early in January and we got there just as a second car pulled in - but they happily left us there! It's such a great spot and we love dour time here. We relaxed and spent time doing 'family stuff'. Gra fished again (with Eb at times). Eb played beautifully and there was no need for DVD's this time! I still got time to do what I wanted and yes - we used the shower again. It's great! We have come such a long way and we are getting very self-sufficient. I love it! and so does Gra and Eb ::::: yeah!

Here's some of the fun in video format!
A bush walk that involved blackberry's!

and a log jam - this was amazing. Saw this in the States - but never expected to see it here. The river was so high in comparison to normal.

and this one is taken in a spot we camped at when you had been with us a whole 4 months...sadly it was closed to camping because of the damage of the floods....

breakfast in the bush!

Eb's 'heart rock' she found....and lost.....and found

Great kicking!....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Photography course week 3 task....

Documentary - Connect - Warmth ......... Giggle

Just by the way - every one of these was shot in Manual! 3 weeks ago I knew there was a manual on my dial - now it’s becoming my friend

Firstly - I have had so much fun doing this task - the anticipation and the shoot were really fun. It was very hard getting two excited little girls to do what I was wanting them to do but - that’s photography! We had a family reunion at the beach this weekend and the weather was a bit against me - but although I’m not really happy with the photo’s - I know that once I learn more in Photoshop I’ll be able to ‘work’ them much better. These photo’s are SOOC….and I was using my new lens for the very first time in many of the photo’s - so….here goes!

Documentary - I was trying to piece together a session that had a bit of a story relating to Connect - Warmth - Giggles. I really hope othe story comes across….I think the giggles, warmth and connection comes across with these gorgeous cousins (who we call Ebony and Ivory :)....the ‘documentary was the harder part!

First - the ‘documentary’ shows 2 photo’s of uncertainty….

Then along comes ‘connect’ in the form of Eb’s cousin Lizzie…..

Then ‘warmth’ with Lizzie showing love and care….

I love how, in the photo below, Ebony touches Lizzie’s hand as if to say ‘thank you’....

Then it was time for ‘giggles’....and lots of them!

...and finally - ‘connection - warmth’.......and more giggles!

I am still feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure about a lot of things…and keep having to remind myself about things like the ‘rule of thirds’. I will get there though - I’m so determined and I so love what I’m doing.

and here is Sheye's critique...


Oh Jen, I have tears in my eyes too. You really, really did SO well at this task and I am thrilled to bits you shot it all on manual. It’s funny because sometimes I read over the words I set and they suddenly seem so difficult to combine! I think you pulled off ‘documentary’ so very well..your images tell the story perfectly. It’s so sweet that the girls were keen to help you with this project, you can see they were happy to act out your tale. Great job to them, and you!!

The first image particularly jumps out at me as being exposed so well. That beautiful blue sky and lovely skin tones all in the one frame - this is not easy to do. The colors are just lovely and it shows what having the right settings can achieve.

I also love the tight framing throughout, the connection part of your story is strengthened just through having these close focal lengths. The giggles images are so cute..I can imagine the commentary :)

As the light dropped, I think you may have been able to increase exposure just a little further. By the last image, things are a little flatter overall so an ISO bump might have just given a little lift without risking over exposure.

Your compositions are great Jen, I know you would change the subjects position in some of them but overall I think they’re wonderful and make a beautiful collection of images. They will certainly treasure them.

On a personal note, I want to say that your story, and the images of your beautiful girl, have impacted me greatly. With today being one of the more challenging days, I see Ebony and I am reminded that with time and patience, perhaps there are bigger things waiting. Beautiful, amazing, always-meant-to-be things. You don’t know how much I needed this today. Or then, you probably do. Thank you Jen.


Monday, March 07, 2011

Photography course week 2 task

This was my entry for this weeks task...

I never want to be this late again! I’ve had a very, VERY hectic - but lovely, birthday weekend and then had to go to Albury for the day today. I’ve spent many waking hours thinking about how to go about this - it’s done my head in at times…..but it’s been so worthwhile for so many reasons!...and I gave up looking at others entries after about the first 3 because I knew it was going to do my head in even more!

I’m going to upload this main photo first .... but if I can get a better one in the daylight tomorrow - I’ll try to replace this one….or I’ll post another one…if not - I hope this will do and I’m sure glad we’re not being critiqued on our photography!

Just as a note - I would have LOVED to add a photo of my much loved camera here - but my point and shoot is being very hard to get on with and the battery went flat in a very short period so I just couldn’t add it in :)

Now - some words to go with my ‘All about you’ entry…..

Wow - how amazing it was to delve into a ‘style’.

The colours in this collection relate to the beauty that surrounds me - it’s a reflection of the gorgeous colours of the earth…and the beautiful blue of the sky. I love these two colours together and that’s why I chose them as the ‘theme’ of my B&B (photo of the sign at the bottom).

The heart(s) are for love - for all the love I still have inside me…and all that I have given away. I love, love, love to love. I love my family, I love people and I love my life….and I LOVE this course!

The frame itself was made by my Dad. He is still alive and I love him more than words (as I do my precious Mum). He made a lot of these frames for me and they represent my love of nature and country. Even the ‘window’ effect is so me.

The book is my Bible - much used and much loved. My faith in God underscores much of who I am today.

Up the top is my engagement ring (would have included my wedding ring but it’s not been off my finger since it was put there 18.5 years ago!).....along with my husbands ‘eternity’ chain - which I gave him on our wedding day because his work doesn’t allow him (too dangerous) to wear a ring.

The little book on the left is snippet of the journey that led to Ebony and I treasure it. I put it together not long after we returned home.

There is a photo of my scrapbooking desk (and inspiration area) and there is a photo of my kitchen (bit hard to capture but that is a window behind the stove top)...and I love working in my kitchen and being able to look out the window at the beautiful, peaceful, grassy garden area we have made out there.

There is a picture right up the top of my Netbook with a rose on it (they are both pink!)....I love my Netbook - it’s one of my favorite companions :)

There is a photo of candles - I love candles in any form - they create such a beautiful mood (along with music!).

There is a photo of my bed - I don’t seem to get a lot of time in there…but I love it and I wake to the most amazing views from it.

Couldn’t leave out a photo of my favorite ‘chai latte’ and a cupcake. I so enjoy both!

The little bear is ‘Yogi’ and we were given him when we hired a motor home to travel around Canada before we took on 4 weeks of traveling from N-S-E-W of the USA back in 2005. Yogi was our travel companion from that day - right through our trip to get Ebony. Sadly, Yogi was retired when Ebony came into our lives….but I’ll never part with him - nor forget him!

Now for the photo’s…..

Top left is our life before Ebony - our marriage - then the celebration of Graham’s 50th birthday - then just one from the amazing (and plentiful!) photo’s we took on our trip to the USA and Canada - it was taken at the Grand Canyon.

Bottom left is our journey to Ebony - first is the referral photo we received 8 weeks before she was placed in our arms (and the same one that lived under my pillow - in my wallet - by the sink - on the mirror in the bathroom - in the laundry - in the car…you name it!) The second one is the one that touches my heart more than any other photo I have - it’s the moment Graham (who is a biological dad to a son and daughter..and now has a grandson and granddaughter) broke and realised that this precious little life was ours to have and to hold and to love until the day after forever. The third one is the amazing and unforgettable moment we became a family of 3.

Top right is all about firsts for me - the very first kiss my darling girl ever gave me - just before she turned 2. The second photo is the first time I dressed her up in a little Chinese outfit that made her look like the beautiful little princess she is - we’d only been together a very short time. The third photo is a celebration of her second birthday….the first birthday that she ever celebrated - we filled her day with as much love and joy we could to make up for the loss of her birth and first birthday.

Bottom right - another favorite photo with Ebony’s hand in Graham’s ~ candles that I love and finally ~ a gorgeous photo of the views from our home.

Phew - that was HUGE for me - but I’m happy with the end result and hope that it fits the bill!

What an exercise in self-discovery. How amazing to have to look at a task and come up with a style. I guess I did do it for the B&B but it wasn’t as hard as this!

Now I’m going to enjoy going and catching up with what everyone else has done! Can’t wait for next weeks task… has to be easier????doesn’t it?????

Saturday, March 05, 2011

My birthday!

51 - gosh, it sounds so.....much older than last year. But we had a lovely night. We were lucky enough to be able to leave Ebony with friends of ours (the day after my birthday) and go out for dinner just the 2 of us. The first time for about 4 years. We had a great night juggling through some issues - but a great night all the same! We went to The Ivory Rooms at Tawonga - great food! Thanks Tan and Stan :)

The view from the balcony at The Ivory Rooms