journal

elements mind body studio opening

In days gone by serenity, calm and peaceful were not words I associated with fitness and exercise, my approach was go hard or go home. Having found my inner sanctuary through my photography I realised I had also found a penchant for crisps and cheesecake… time to find myself a place that embraced not only helping people with fitness but did so in a way that supported my approach to life, a place of contemplation, of energy…

As fortune had it, right at the moment of my epiphany a group of old friends asked me to photograph them for their new venture Elements Mind Body Studio, serendipity? Well it seemed fate, destiny, the cosmic force or just the fact that I have a wardrobe full of clothes that don’t fit had intervened and guided me.

embs-10

After a week of daily classes I am spending my day off aching, wincing and feeling fantastic about it. Tracy, Lee and their team certainly have created a unique environment, hard work has been done, muscles have been punished, but mind and soul are treated, recharged. My Barre Attack classes have been a revelation, doubtful the Bolshoi Ballet will call any time soon, but even in those tough moments, thighs pleading for me to stop, my mind felt nourished, soul felt renewed.

Could a wellbeing centre be better named? Elements… perfect! A sanctuary that brings all the aspects of our wellness and combines them, focused exercise with caring encouragement. Exhausting classes balanced perfectly with renewal of energy and self-belief. So, Sunday is a day of rest, a day of reflection on my journey this week. I have found my temple, it’s not my body as the rhetoric claims, it’s all those elements that make me, body, mind and soul.

If you happen to see me there please say hello…. but you might have to wait for me to catch my breath before I say hello back…….

signature

 

 

 

 

 

leaving anonymity behind…..

karen

 art in front of a lens……art behind a lens…..art thru a lens…..

We are only 15 days into 2017 and it has already brought so much change into my life.

With a very deep breath, I have made the move from behind the camera, to promote my work and take on more commercial projects.

In 2016 I turned 5o, and for over a decade I have loved having my camera in my hand, more than I ever loved holding a paint brush. Throughout that time I have been rewarded in having my work presented to many local and international dignitaries, both through my work in the aviation industry and the subsequent political relationships that I have fostered. Appearing in local news articles, art shows and hanging on the walls in homes of friends and local businesses.

Turning 50 was a milestone, and thanks to the confidence that a 365 project and the guidance of a fantastic teacher, in Kim Klassen I have come to the realisation that if I do not take art thru a lens to the next step I never will…….and I don’t want to regret not trying anything in life.

Through this journal I will be sharing some photography tips, a few recipes, travel adventures, in general a glimpse behind the curtain.

So please, feel free to come and join in the journey, bring your cup of tea or I can open a nice French red, pull up a chair and lets have a chat……..

Blog Signature

(photo credit my talented husband Nick who loves nothing more than getting me in front of a camera)

 

And a new year begins…..

I dont think I have ever looked forward to a new year starting as much as 2017.

We have so much planned for this year that I am quite excited.

One thing I will be making a point of is to keep taking pleasure in the small moments, not to stress if I am stuck in traffic or if appointments are running late but to use that time to sit quietly and enjoy the time.

2017-01-02-09-36-40-2

I look forward to sharing the journey that Nick and I are going to take this year and not all will be about photography but I can guarantee there will be lots of red wine and good food….

Blog Signature

And we say goodbye to 2016……

…..and hello to 2017.

This year has been a year of acceptance for me. I have had to accept a lot of things that I had no control over. Especially in my day job.

I have ended this year comfortable in where I am with myself, knowing where I am heading in 2017 and continuing this adventure with my soul mate……

I have completed my second 365 project and in reflection my photography has grown and I have finally found my niche. I will continue my 365 in 2017 and see where that takes me.

 

2016-12-10-10-00-24

I am not a believer in New Years Resolutions….. my will power is never that strong. I have instead chosen a word for 2017……CREATE. Everything I look at for 2017 involves me creating it, creating the freedom to be me, creating a healthy mind, body and spirit, creating the grace to accept what I cannot change and creating my art.

While Christmas has always been for family, New Years is for friends and this year my best friend and soul mate will be opening a couple of bottles of Moet, along with some fillet steak and a good French brie.

I am looking forward to 2017 with a new project in mind for my photography and I hope you will join me for the ride…….

Wishing everyone a happy and safe new year……..

Build a photo

Sometimes life is so busy it is hard to take 15 minutes for yourself each day.

I recently had a week like that but I was lucky that I saw it coming so I was able to plan ahead.

I knew I wasn’t going to have time for my 15 minutes each day so I decided to take 5 minutes…… everyone has 5 minutes they can spare during the day don’t they?

I also knew that some late nights would mean my lighting might be a bit hit and miss which meant I might be down to our halogen lighting.

On Sunday I sat and wrote out the days of the week on coffee stained paper. I then grabbed a tray and placed one object on it. I picked the rose for the initial photo to watch it whither over the week.

I then added one object each day and put the name of the day in the photo.

Quick post process in Lightroom which was made faster by all photos getting the same treatment.

I wonder if you can tell which ones were natural light and which were halogen…..

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Blog Signature

Things get wrapped up in time…

On a good day during the week Nick and I will walk through our front door at 6pm. Now most people would think thats a normal time to end a working day but when you start off your day at 5am it does tend to wear thin a little. We are greeted by our three cats who constantly try to trip us up until they are fed, it is these moments I am most thankful to my husband, I am sure one day children will play outside my house shouting about the crazy cat lady. Once they are fed and watered we are free to go about our nightly chores.

I will step back a moment here and tell you I am taking part in my second 365 project. I finished one in 2014 but to be honest by the end of the year I was just going through the motions and taking a snapshot that fitted the word without any real thought behind it. My photography didn’t improve and I came to resent the daily prompts, honestly they were quite crap really. This year I am using my photo a day as my quiet 15 minutes, my meditation if you like. My 365 project is through the Instagram account of @365_today. They put up the week’s prompts in advance on a Saturday so if you are short of time for the week you can plan your shots over the weekend. I actually don’t use the prompts literally – I use the prompts to find a quote or a song lyric that resonates with me and the photo seems to come from that.

So, having come home from work, fed the beasts and removed the shackles of the business suit from our mindsets by pouring a rather large glass of red. Nick  then gets shackled to the kitchen, and not in a good 50 shades of grey kind of way, and I get to play, again not in a 50 shades of grey way. I normally pick my quote the night before so during the day I have the quote roaming  around my head, meandering into my  subconscious giving me ideas while I work (they called it daydreaming when I was in school – and I got straight A’s for that). The prompt for the picture in question was ‘Wild’ and my quote was “To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake.

Down to the basics. Grab a tea towel, a book, a cup of tea or coffee and some weeds from the garden (well if you went into my garden thats all you will find). Move a table near a window and set a timer for 10 minutes. Place the items on the table, take a photo, take another photo from a different angle, move the weeds, take another photo, move the book and take another photo keep going until the timer goes off then take your camera to your computer and download your photos. Or if you are using your phone go to your favourite app and play.

_DSC7092

This is straight from camera no post processing and as you can see at this stage the cup is empty (I am still drinking my evening wine at this stage) once I am happy with the shot I then make the tea so it doesn’t go too cold and I can drink it while I am playing in Lightroom.

_DSC7094

_DSC7095

The before and after shot. Yep a lot of cropping, straightening and tweaking but I will admit that is half the fun.

So by now I’m ready to take his ball and chain off and eat tea, settle into the sofa a little more relaxed, having clutched at just a small moment of tranquility. Mine is from the bustle of the office, maybe yours is from the howling kids or the crying baby, whatever you are looking to escape for just a moment, I recommend putting your camera in your hand and locking the world away for just 15 minutes.

Blog Signature

Chris Hemsworth, 15 minutes and a glass of red wine…

Years ago when all my children were young, I painted. I lost myself in my painting so much that on numerous occasions the school would ring me to see if I was picking up my children at all (this probably explains why my children never call me) or other parents would notice I was missing in action so to speak and automatically bring my children home. Life, then got busy, and a belated career boost had me put my paint brushes and pastels away to concentrate on the corporate world. Big mistake. Huge error. As the youngsters say nowadays, ‘epic palmface’.

Having had the wine glass surgically removed from my hand in January, I have this year found my creative passion again. Once more, I have found a love of losing myself within an art form, and good news, post editing photographs means you can drink at the same time. Thanks to the modern wonder of the only social media worth doing Instagram (sorry Facebook people, and don’t worry Twitter people you stopped reading at ‘probably’) I found sharing my photos easy. There is no expectation that you have to like or comment on any other photo and you can ‘follow’ people without feeling like you are stalking them (well ok I am stalking Chris Hemsworth on IG, but I’m sure he’s fine with that (btw Chris if you are reading this a signed picture would be really nice….)).

One of the girls I came across on IG when I was looking at the magnifying glass tab, was the talented Kim Klassen. So out of all the self indulgent duck face selfies and the check out my abs shots, I actually found something worth looking at. This took me to Kim’s blog last year and when she opened up a My Still Sunday course it felt like it was made for me. If anyone is thinking of doing any of Kim’s classes I can highly recommend them. More than the technical side Kim’s generosity in sharing her family’s life and how she found stillness in her photography makes these classes extremely personal, and because they are online you can drink while watching them.

Which I think, brings us about up to speed. What I am going to share over the coming few weeks is some of the flat lay photography I have done as part of My Still Sunday, how I fit in my photo a day between walking in the door and pouring a glass of red, feeding the cats and asking my husband to start dinner (yep I truly have cracked the secret to life, the universe and everything…….how to get a man to cook without a bbq).

 

_DSC7095

The picture above was taken, edited and put on IG in under 15 minutes. No studio lights were harmed in the taking of this picture. Over the coming week I am going to share how I did that, what I did to it and even the original before I cropped the living room curtains out of it.

Blog Signature