Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.
I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. My passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography.
I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab.
Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".

Welcome!

Welcome!
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Sunday, 29 April 2012

Flamenco!

 Planta, Tacón, Talón, Gólpe, Punto, Taconeo - are all Flamenco dance steps terminology - which put together create the stamping toe and heel footwork that is typically Flamenco - a vibrant powerful passionate and seductive dance style - the essence of Spain.  

Flamenco dance has been  burning in Andalucía for nearly five hundred years. It is a a land where music and dance is just part of everyday life, and the Andalucians express themselves beautifully with the dance, and especially with the flamenco dance.  Andalucía burns with life, colour, and romance. It is a place of music and dancing, of plucked guitar strings, and the snapping of fingers, clicking castanets, and the stamping of feet, all of which mould together to create this wonderful culture we know as flamenco. From -  Flamenco in Andalucia 

 


 
Soly Sombra - Nicole from Soly Sombra is now running beginners Flamenco classes on Thursdays at 7pm at the Bunbury Art Gallery. Go to the link below for Soly Sombra to find out more.  
What to try something new - then come and join us -

Click on the link to learn more -  Sol-y-Sombra-Spanish-Dance-Company






Want to see more? - if you "Google" Flamenco or Spanish Dance on the web there are lots of "U-Tube" clips which will have you stamping your feet and clapping, and wanting to experience the passion and vibrancy of Spanish dance.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

On Anzac Day we will remember them

25th April - is Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand.

"ANZAC Day goes beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day we remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The spirit of ANZAC, with its human qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity".
To read more - click here - www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/

In January we visited our national capital, Canberra. The images below are from the Australian War Memorial - it is also a museum which is an amazing place to visit - and I encourage all Australian's to visit at least once in their life time - and allow at least one whole day to see it. The museum takes you through all the various conflicts up to the present day that Australians have been involved in - and gives you an insight into what our "diggers" went through and the thousands and thousands of lives that have been lost.

On the wall of remembrance you can place a poppy next to the name of loved ones who lost their lives in war.
We found the name of my great-uncle Norman Albert Clayden who lost his life in Gallipoli on 2 May 1915 (aged 19), and
my husbands uncle, Richard Ramsden who died as a prisoner of war on 29 October 1943 in Burma (aged 23).
As they are both buried overseas, at Lone Pine in Gallipoli and at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Myanmar (Burma), it was wonderful to be able to place a poppy next to their name at the Canberra War Memorial.

..........
Tomorrow morning we will go to the Dawn Service in Bunbury which is an event that happens on Anzac Day all around the country in cities and towns, overseas where servicemen are still serving, where Australians and New Zealanders gather, at memorials in France, and on the shores of Gallipoli  where thousands go every Anzac Day to honour and remember.


The statue below is a copy of one originally forming part of a memorial which was erected at Port Said, Egypt, and unveiled on 23 November 1932, to remember members of the Australian Light Horse, New Zealand Mounted Rifles, the Imperial Camel Corps, and the Australian Flying Corps, who lost their lives in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria 1916-1918.  The statue was irreparably damaged during the Suez crisis in 1956.  The remnants were brought to Australia and two bronze replicas were made, the first erected in Albany, Western Australia in 1964. The second is this one in Canberra.

The memorial in Albany has been part of my consciousness all my life - and I have always been in awe of the image that the statue portrays of the two servicemen and their horses. Albany was the place from where Australian troops left on their way to fight in World War 1. For many thousands it was the last time they were to be on Australian soil.

Also on display in Canberra was one of the bronze horse heads from the original memorial, and now forming a memorial  to "Animals in War". For those who have seen the wonderful movie "War Horse", it is heart warming that a memorial has been erected in their memory.


Update - ANZAC Day - 25 April 2012

Images from this morning's Dawn Service in Bunbury



 After visiting Canberra, and researching and learning more about Norman and Richard, I found the Dawn Service even more moving and poignant as I thought about these two young men and the circumstances under which they died so far from home and how it must have affected their mother's and families.

Following the Dawn Service in Bunbury we were blessed with this beautiful sunrise - it was a timely reminder of all that we have to be thankful and grateful for.....


My sincere thanks to Flickr contact Stewart Glasson who took the time to research and send me links from The War Graves Photographic Project - click on the link here if you want to do research of your own - War Graves Photographic Project
which has lead us to more information about Norman and Richard - including an actual photo of Richard's grave site, and information about the Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery in Myanmar and background information and history about the war years and the people who are buried there.
We sincerely thank you. 


Monday, 23 April 2012

Processing with textures

This year I have been doing a e-course with Kim Klassen called "Beyond Layers", and have been learning lots about processing and textures.  

Here's a few from the last few weeks

 Day 23 - Pastel Processing.
Chrysanthemums  overlayed with Kim's "Now" texture added, and soft framing.


Day 23 - we were introduced to  "RadLab". - it is a processing package with lots of easy cool effects you just click on to get the effect you want. You can get a free trial - click on the link to have a look - Rad Lab

I have always wondered how people got these vintage sun washed tones - and here it is - easy as easy - in RadLab! They have all sorts of effects you can get at the click of a button!
Below you can see the before and after.


For day 27 of Kim's Beyond Layers e-course the challenge was to process one image three different ways.

I was given these delicious pears by my friend who owns a small property. And I photographed them this morning on my back patio - natural morning light - on a set of old boards. The plate is courtesy of my mother-in-laws china cabinet. 

The first image is with levels & saturation adjusted, the second is converted to black and white, and the third is overlayed with 2 of Kim's textures - "Thursday" and "Oh my".



I always think when you try new sorts of processing that is nice to show the original and the processed -
so here we have autumn mornings brought to you by Radlabs "cinnamon toast" processing - do you like the morning light glow?


Day 25.
This image taken last weekend on my sister's familie's wheatbelt farm in Bruce Rock - overlayed with Kim's texture - "I am" and one of her "Affirmation" brush texts.
This is a favourite walk when we are out at the farm.
Can you see the birds flying off over the hill?


You can check out Kim's blog, log in to receive free textures, and check out her courses by clicking on the link here - Kim's Cafe

I am linking up with Mosaic Monday - to see the work of Mary and other amazing contributors from all over the world, please click on the link here - Mosaic Monday

Take care and have a wonderful week.  I always look forward to your comments. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Persimmons

 Last year I was invited through Flickr to post some images on the stock image site - Getty - and I have just sold my first image - Woo hoo!!

I can't find out where it has been published - only that it has been bought by ACP magazines which has a HUGE stable of magazines. So if you happen to see it in a magazine or website somewhere - let me know - as I would love to see it in print!

 This is the image - it is a Fuyu Persimmon. Expensive where I live but delicious.


Here is another image -


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Smiling at Crocodiles - Windjana Gorge and Tunnel Creek, Western Australia

Below is part of an article which I had published in the April-May 2012 edition of Go Camping Australia magazine.

Called, "Smiling at Crocodiles" the article covers camping and touring along Western Australia's Kimberley's 350 million year old Devonian Reef including three of the Kimberley's most accessible gorges - Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek and Geikie Gorge (known as Darngku bu the Bunaba Aboriginal people).


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Late in the afternoon photographers gather on the edge of camp amongst the spinifex to capture the setting sun lighting up the sheer cliff face of Windjana Gorge.  As the sun dips to the western horizon behind us, the weathered grey rock wall turns to a rusty gold just as it has done for millions of years, and I am awestruck by the scene.  



One of most easily accessible gorges along the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, the Windjana Gorge National Park preserves a section of a 350 million year old coral Devonian Reef where the Lennard River cuts through the limestone of the Napier Range.  It is regarded by geologists as a classic example of world geology. 

The minimal cost Department of Environment and Conservation campground is perfectly located only 500 metres from the Gorge entrance, and arriving mid morning will allow you to find a shady camp site.  



There are several walk trails to explore. Informational panels along the one kilometre return Savanna walk trail from the campground to the Gorge tell you about the plants and animals of the savannah woodland. You will see many examples of a Kimberley icon – the boab tree – which stores water in the fibre of its trunk resulting in fantastical shapes as the tree ages. 



The dramatic entrance to Windjana Gorge, takes you through a narrow passageway in the cliff face, bringing you suddenly to the river bed flanked by high rock walls on both sides. It makes an unexpected and spectacular entrance.

Once inside the Gorge the shady trail follows the river bank before taking you out onto the sandy river bed.  This natural amphitheatre affords a breathtaking 360 degree view of the Gorge which has a “wow” factor that I could not hope to adequately capture with my camera.  It was late afternoon when we first visited and the white corellas were screeching through the Gorge to their roosting posts.  Be careful not to get distracted and step on a crocodile lying on the sand! 



Windjana Gorge is the prime freshwater crocodile viewing area of the Kimberley and they can often be seen sunning themselves on the riverbank, so there is no swimming at Windjana. I was so transfixed by taking photos that I wandered a little too close to one – but he just smiled at me – or was he smiling in anticipation?…. Thankfully freshwater crocodiles, (Johnstoni Crocodile), which live in freshwater and grow up to three metres long, are relatively harmless, unlike his cousin the Salt-Water or Estuarine Crocodile. Although they will bite if provoked! 


To read this full article please see the April-May 2012 edition of Go Camping Australia. 

Below is the opening page of my article - this is a photo of the tree lined creek at the far entrance of Tunnel Creek.



Tunnel Creek is completely dark except at its entrances and halfway point, and involves wading sometimes waist deep through water, so it is essential to be equipped with a torch or headlight and to wear boots or shoes suitable for wading. Turn off your headlight in the tunnel and you will see how pitch black it really is.  At the halfway point sunlight streams in through a caved in section of the roof, before plunging you into blackness again. 

The trail sign at the start of the walk advises you to be careful of loose slippery rocks, uneven floor and submerged objects. Bats and flying foxes inhabit the tunnel, whilst small fish, and occasionally freshwater crocodiles, live in the permanent pools. Stalactites, stalagmites and other limestone features can be seen along the walk. 

At the far entrance is a tree lined creek where you can sit and enjoy the birdlife before going back into the Tunnel for your return. Unfortunately it is the only way to get back to your car!



On our last night at Windjana we were serenaded by soft ukulele music from a nearby campsite and the haunting ancient sounds of a didgeridoo echoing through the still night air.  The campfires of Jandamarra and his people have gone, but for visitors today Windjana is still a special place. 

You might also like to join me over at my 52 week tour Western Australia -
click on the links -
Tunnel Creek: It's dark bring a flash-light


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

It's time to be out on the Bibbulmun Track again

It is autumn and so it is time to be out on the Bibbulmun Track again.

On Monday we walked 6.5kms from the Grimwade-Kirup Road along the Bibbulmun Track into the Grimwade hut, had lunch and then walked back out again. It was wonderful to be out bush walking again. This section of the track is through jarrah forest, with pockets of banksia, grass trees and a scattering of pines. Unfortunately too early for wildflowers - these will have to wait till spring.

We probably should have left home earlier because we were walking in the middle part of the day, and it was rather hot for April. So always be sure to have sunscreen, covering, a hat and carry plenty of water. We each drank our litre, and were glad for the extra litre of water we left in the car for our return. Good hiking boots and walking poles are also recommended.

Here is a picture of the Grimwade hut positioned high on a ridge over-looking the bush. Such a beautiful setting. It was lovely to just sit and absorb the peace and listen to the bird song.


The Bibbulmun Track is Western Australia’s longest walking track, stretching 964 kilometres from Kalamunda in the Darling Ranges near Perth to Albany on the south coast, traversing some of the South West’s most beautiful forests and wilderness over varying terrain through shady valleys to mountain tops with 360 degree vistas and spectacular coastal scenery.  It has become a Western Australian icon since it was opened in 1979 after Geoff Schafer presented the idea for the Track to the WA Minister for Forests in 1972. Further upgrades and extensions followed in 1988 and 1993-98.

Here is a section walking down a hill along the track to the Grimwade hut.....



Even though the Track is almost entirely through wilderness areas, it can be walked in relative safety.  It is easy to follow the triangular directional markers which are placed approximately 200 metres apart on trees or posts.  The markers feature a black stylised “Waugal” (rainbow serpent) on a reflective yellow background.  They give you a sense of security knowing you are “on track”. Walkers are advised to check their bearings and perhaps double back to the last Waugal if they don’t see one for 500 metres (approximately 8 minutes of walking).

Here is what a Waugal looks like....  


The Track is maintained to a high standard by track volunteers, and passes through nine towns.  Vehicle assess points, make it suitable for a short stroll, day walk, or overnight hike, so more people can experience our natural environment, not just those wanting a more adventurous trek. Three sided timber overnight huts are conveniently placed about 16 to 20 kilometres apart, a comfortable day’s walk.  The huts sleep approx 8 to 10 people and have a water tank and drop toilet - although the amount of water in the tank really depends on what time of year you are there and how much rain there has been.

And this is the inside of a hut - simple accommodation - open at the front - but very comfortable. I suggest bringing a very warm sleeping bag and thermals if you intend hiking during winter - it can get freezing cold in these huts at night!


There is plenty of opportunities for people to do short day walks or over night walks on the Bibbulmun Track.
These are outlined in the Bibbulmun Track guides and maps and on their web site. Click on the link here -  Bibbulmun Track

Who wouldn't want to wake up to a view like this.............


If you would like to read more - please click on the links below  to go to some of my previous posts about the Bibbulmun Track.


I hope you have enjoyed this post. Perhaps it has given you a taste, and you might take a walk on the Bibbulmun Track one day soon.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

An old bucket and a bag of apples

I found this fabulous old bucket in an antique store in Guildford the other day - so just had to use it for a photography prop!

Photographed in morning light - sprayed the apples with some water to give that fresh just picked look - photographed on an old board - slight pp adjustments.

Don't you just love the crunch of fresh picked apples? 



Or perhaps we should bake an apple tart............

Apples are such a versatile fruit - they can be eaten raw or used in sweet or savoury dishes. For this recipe you cook some apple down to pulp, which you lay in the bottom of the pan, and then lay slices of apple on top and sprinkle with slivered almonds. 

I photographed these in natural light on my back patio.  The plates and spoons are from my mother-in-law's china cabinet.


Serve with cream or icecream - hot or cold - delicious!


or maybe some apple muffins.........sprinkle the top with sugar and cinnamon....
These are photographed in natural morning light coming in through my kitchen window.


Apple muffin and coffee or tea? Would you like butter with that?



Tuesday, 3 April 2012

An Inspiring Story - Photographer Penny De Los Santos

 The internet is an amazing place. Through the internet - and my Flickr food page - I was today sent a link to Penny De Los Santos's page which then brought me to her blog and the video link here - pennydelossantos live talk.  Penny's presentation starts with her talking about food photography - but it is about much much more than that. 

Photographer Penny De Los Santos takes us from a candlelit dinner table in war torn Lebanon to the grave of a loved one, asking us to stop, connect deeply and take the time to strengthen and honour the bonds between us.

This short video of Penny's talk is inspirational - I encourage you to view it - please click on the link and view her video -click here - Penny Delos Santos 
 When I viewed Penny's video I felt like had been given a gift.


 Penny says"When I walked off that stage after a huge exhale, I realized something: My life, all this work, travel and photography have led me to something far greater than I could have ever imagined. It is far more enriching and fulfilling than just photographing stories and travelling. It’s been an incredible opportunity to encourage people and to remind them to believe to dream and to put one foot in front of the other and just try."

Penny is a professional photographer who specializes in travel, food and people. She is a senior contributing photographer at Saveur Magazine as well as a contributing photographer to National Geographic and other USA based magazines. Her blog is dedicated to her passion for documenting food culture around the world. She has been on assignment in over 25 countries telling those stories.

Here is the link to Penny's blogpennydelossantos.com

 

Monday, 2 April 2012

Heritage architecture in Bunbury

The project for Project Flickr this week was "windows and doors".

There are some lovely old homes in Bunbury in what is known as the "tree street" area. So I decided to make a mosaic of some lovely doors and windows and entrances. They have such beautiful styling, detailing and warm welcoming feel.
People probably wondered what I was doing driving around stopping outside of houses and taking photos!

It is a lovely area - not one street, but a collection of streets. There are lots of old style houses - some grand, and others more simply styled, but many beautifully restored. I really like the detail in some of the entrances - with the gates, the arbours, erns, and planters. And see that bay window draped with the lace curtain? beautiful. And for a simple cottage homely feel, I really like the one in the middle of the top row - a terrace house. 


Below is the entrance door of the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries. It is a beautiful building - and the former Sisters of Mercy Convent and Chapel built in 1897 in Federal Free Medieval style, a blend of Gothic and Southern European architectural characteristics.
The building is pink and I really like the decorative plasterwork you can see here above the arch.

 Doors within a door - I can see 4 in the picture (& also my reflection)


I love this building, and I often photograph it from different angles - here are some of its beautiful arches.


And another mosaic of Bunbury architecture - some old and some very new!


Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to Mosaic Monday. To see the beautiful work of Mary at Little Red House and other contributors please click on the link - Mosaic Monday