Blog on the move……

Well I thought moving to wordpress would make my life easier but thats just not happening. I cant keep up with the blogs I have subscribed to so I have moved my blog back to Blogger at    I know some people have subscribed here so please re subscribe over there and you will still get my Blog updates about my photo shoots.  I wont transfer everything over and hope to see you over there.

My dog blog is also over there at    I know some people have subscribed here so please re subscribe over there and you will still get my blogs plus you can access the blogs that I like to look at.
Natalie – OTB


A Dream week in Paradise………….

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Well I have just returned from the most amazing week.  I was fortunate to be able to spend the entire week at a photography workshop on Hamilton Island which was held by 3 of the great photographers in our country.  David Oliver, Peter Eastaway and Bruce Pottinger.  WOW, what a team.

The course was made even nicer by the fantastic group of participants from all walks of life and as there were only 13 of us on the course for the week, we got to know each other really well as well as the teachers.  The shots I have seen coming out of the week are brilliant and I still have over 2000 RAW files to edit.  Sadly, time at the moment is a premium so I have done a very quick edit on some photos to show you what we did.

We covered portraits in natural light as well as studio lighting, fashion photography, wedding photography, architectural photography, Landscape Photography as well as talks on Peter’s knowledge on Photoshop and Bruce’s Capture One program.  By far though the highlight has to be the Aerial photography.  I went up with a complete fear of flying and after a starter flight of 10 minutes over Hill inlet in a Robbins 44 with the doors off I felt a little better equipped to handle the one hour flight out to the reef and back – with no doors.

I was lucky to be in the same chopper as Peter for both trips and he was brilliant at telling the Pilot exactly what he wanted including the “can you turn the bird on its side” that almost made this bird poop herself!  I mean, if you are not over a fear of flying in small aircraft after being tipped 90 degrees onto the great barrier reef with no doors on the aircraft I dont know what will do it for you.

I am happy to say that now I will have no problem going up in Geoffs RV4 to start our next big adventure of Aerial Photograph over the beautiful South Coast. The photos will be put up online when time permits but I hope you like the samples.

It was a week of very little sleep and not for reasons of late night partying ( although there was plenty of that by the others).  I think I was up before 6 am on 3 of the mornings to do sunrise shoots ( some of my own choice – what was I thinking).  Then we would finish around 5.30 so the days were long and exhausting.  Then I would return to the room to find one friend who had been having a real holiday all day ready to do something.  We then had dinner presentations each night as well so there really was very little down time ( not that any of us complained!)  It has taken me over a week to catch up on some much needed sleep but you can sleep anytime so I was not going to miss a thing.

The most memorable things about the week for me was the following.

1) I want to create photos, not just take them

2) Bruces presentations are priceless!

3) Hamilton makes good cocktails – even if they charge like a wounded Bull!

4) I want to go away again to another workshop…….without kids, husbands and dogs!  Then again, Might take the hubby this time………

Anyway,  when I get more photos done Ill put them in the Gallery on my web page.  until then….happy snapping!

Life repeating itself….

hmmmm…must be something that is live De Ja vu e.  We had another camera club judging on Wednesday night and I got another 3 merits and another credit.  I had put in 5 photos and even the one that go nothing was meet with nice praise from the judge.  Again, its nice to be able to see if you are on the right track or not and this time i was lucky to have my husband there as my dad was up and he baby sat the boys for me.  Not an overly exciting night sitting on a cold chair in a draughty hall for some 3 hours while they went through every photo, but it has become more of a learning exercise for me than a night out with my shots.  You see things you usually would not see and the critics whilst sometimes can be brutal, they really open your eyes up to what is in front of you.  One ofmy shots ( which is the banner on my web page) she said was “Just Exceptional”.  Well that one I have to agree with!  she also really liked my peacock and said she would with out question blow it up and put it on her wall as you could look at it for hours”.  Thats a pretty cool comment about your photos.  so here they are……


Never work with animals and kids…….

Well thats what we hear all the time.  Luckily for me that is pretty much what I enjoy shooting.  Animals more so than kids but the opportunity came up to do both when Miss Cleo came for her photo shoot the other day.  Cleo is a 10 year old cavalier who has her own little human.  Cleo not being the most patient of dogs was a challenge to shoot but could not outwit the master ( that was me!) and I was able to come up with the goods.

She did present her challenges though, one that I captured of this “try to outwit the photographer” is actually one of my favorite photos for the day (pictured on the left).  I like to get up high and shoot down and in this case we had the beautiful liquid amber leaves which I thought would make a fitting background for her lovely color coat.

After enticing her to sit still on the ground shots with a bit of food in my pockets and hands, she cottoned on that I was the person with the food so when I hoped up on the chair there was no way she was going to stay down “there”.  I must admit she even put on her happy face for this shot which I actually really like.  I cant put my finger on why and I have left it un cropped but I think its just a shot as to what really happened.  Click on the photo and you will see it in full size and her amazing eyes in this shot.

Then comes the child shot.  We thought a photo of Alex and Cleo together would be nice as we were there anyway so why not give it a go. Cleo worked out that this was an opportunity to make herself look good and the kid not so, so when Alex had a melt down, Cleo became the photo queen of good behavior.  Alex had decided he was not impressed to be in the photo with her and Cleo was the picture of a pro. Note the look on Cleo’s face of “I can’t work with this child!”.  

All was not lost for the day.  The Bebe put on his happy face, Cleo behaved and we got some amazing shots.  You can see them in the gallery under Animal portraits/Cleo on my web page at  Who ever said to never work with kids and animals never had the joy of working with these 2!


3 Merits and 1 credit …….

I believe that in order to improve in your photography, you need to be able to open yourself up for criticism.  There is not better way than to put your photos into the camera club monthly judging and then have to sit back very quietly for hours while each photo is critiqued and discussed.  Given you are put at the mercy of someone who’s style might be very different to yours, it can turn out to be a very long and painful night.

I am happy to say that the other night whilst absolutely bitterly cold sitting in a draught y hall, was a good night for me as far as judging goes.  I entered 4 photos into the set subject for the night ( 2 color and 2 mono) and am very happy to say I walked out with 3 merits and 1 credit.  I think I had a tiny advantage where the set subject for the month was “pet photography”.  🙂

So here are my winning shots – 2 of which are now in the Library on display.  It helps me to know I am on the right path.

first blog off the ranks…….

Well here is the first of my Blog entries about shoots that I do and events that I have shot at and generally what is coming up and happening around OTB.  I have always enjoyed the Blogs that go along with the photos and seeing the out takes as well.  I mean, lets face it.  For every brilliant shot you see there has to be many many that did not work out.  You will see and example of that in my first Blog entry coming up……..

Where does the time go……

So all of a sudden so much time has passed and I have learnt so much in such a little time but am still madly paddling trying to take everything that I have learnt.  I decided that I really wanted to learn a little more than what the camera manual told me and signed up to do a Diploma in photography through the Australian College in December.  Well if I wanted to be pushed outside my comfort zone then this is exactly what I needed to do.   The study itself is not overly hard however the assignments for submission make you do things you would not ordinarily do.

Take for example my second assignment.  It was to show a “sense of place” where you had to pick one location and then submit 6 photos from that same location.  2I chose a the local bridge which I had driven over for 10 years, yet never taken the time to really have a look around it or under it.  Have to say I am amazed at what I found and will never drive across it in a daze again.

It was during this shoot that I realized with out question what type of photography I wanted to do.  I knew I always wanted to do animal photography and action photography but I never dreamed I would enjoy B & W as much as I did.  So not only have I found a new found interest, I found and interest within that interest.

Anyway, The lesson I learned though this assignment was that if you really open you eyes you will amazed at what is right in front of you.