Photo Posts

Penobscot Bay, Maine

by Elizabeth on November 18, 2012 · 0 comments

in Photo Posts, Travel, USA

With thanks to the handy little information board at the top of the lookout:

Penobscot Bay, bearing the same name as the Native American tribe indigenous to this region, is Maine’s largest bay.  At approximately 30 miles long and 30 miles wide, Penobscot Bay contains hundreds of islands.  The bay originates at the mouth of the Penobscot River and once served as the gateway to Bangor, the 19th-century lumber capital of the world.  

Widely considered one of the most picturesque landscapes along the Atlantic seaboard, the view before you has inspired countless writings and works of art, including Edna St Vincent Millay’s poem “Renascence”.

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay…”

Edna St Vincent Millay

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A pretty lighthouse, a killer sunset, and a sweet little bird with a broken wing.  We braved the cold for as long as we could because it was just so beautiful here.

Dr Bob painted the Marshall Point Lighthouse for Tim a few years ago to remind him of the summers that he spent there as a kid.  It’s been hanging on our wall for years and it was really special to finally see it in person.

 

Oh! And aside from being famous for hanging in my dining room, this is also the lighthouse where Forrest Gump ended his three-year marathon.  Not a bad location to film, right?

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The moon in Maine

by Elizabeth on November 11, 2012 · 2 comments

in Photo Posts, Travel, USA

I was working on a different post to share with you tonight.  It was almost ready to go when my computer decided to quit Lightroom and Photoshop without warning, taking a bunch of my work along with it.

I won’t tell you exactly what words came out of my mouth, but you can probably guess.

So instead of that post, enjoy this photo of the beautiful moon as it rose over the ocean in Maine six weeks ago.  I shot it from the back porch of Tim’s parents’ house, where the rocky beach is just a few steps away and the night sea is dark and endless.  The very best spot for stargazing, and watching the moon rise.

 

As for that other post?  I’ll be trying again tomorrow!

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Vermont in the Fall

by Elizabeth on November 10, 2012 · 7 comments

in Photo Posts, Travel, USA

This post probably stretches the boundaries of good blogging etiquette in terms of its length.  I’d apologise, but if I did that it would come out sounding super insincere.

New England’s autumn leaves deserve all the real estate there is, and I’ve spent all day reliving this incredible place through my photos.

This is Vermont.

Five weeks later, and we’re staring down Summer here in Australia. Maybe I need a “Summer” house in New England so that I can follow Winter around the world…

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THIS GUY.

by Elizabeth on November 9, 2012 · 3 comments

in Life, Photo Posts

He makes me laugh three hundred times a day.
He always makes the bed.
He’s good at killing spiders and reaching stuff that girls can’t reach.
He’s creative, and he’s talented.
He plays games with Harry until he’s too tired to do anything but wag his little doggy tail.
He has kind eyes, and he’s generous with hugs.
He doesn’t mind if I text him from the next room because I’m too comfy to move,
and if we don’t have to be anywhere early on a Saturday morning he brings me breakfast in bed.

Every morning he makes me coffee, and puts it in the cup holder in my car.
I think maybe I was very good in a previous life.

I love him
(right in the face)
and I’m the luckiest girl I know.

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Task #14 of my 101 Things in 1001 Days project was to visit a landmark that I’d never seen before.  

On 4 October 2012 Tim and I woke up in our cute little apartment in Brooklyn, and with bleary eyes searched the streets for coffee and breakfast.  Once we were properly fed and caffeinated we decided to head to Manhattan on foot via the incredible Brooklyn Bridge.

 

According to my good friend Wikipedia, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and was completed in 1883.  At the time it opened, and for several years, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world – 50% longer than any previously built at 1.8km.

The bridge was originally built by a German immigrant named John Augustus Roebling.  While conducting surveys for the project he sustained a crush injury to his foot when a ferry pinned it against a piling.  After amputation of his crushed toes he developed a tetanus infection which eventually resulted in his death.  He had placed his son Washington Roebling in charge of the project when he died.

Washington Roebling also suffered a paralysing injury as a result of compression sickness (“the bends”).  His wife Emily Warren Roebling stepped in and provided the link between her husband and the engineers on site.  Under her husband’s guidance she studied higher mathematics, bridge specifications and cable construction.  She spent the next 11 years assisting her husband in the construction of the bridge.

Emily Warren Roebling was the first person to cross the bridge when it was opened for use on May 24, 1883.  Her husband was unable to attend, but hosted a banquet at his house on the day of the opening.

Six days later, a rumour that the bridge was going to collapse caused a stampede in which at least twelve people were crushed and killed.

(Rumours ruin lives, you guys!)

 

“Give, Coolidge,
a shout of joy!…
I too will spare no words about good things.
Blush at my praise, go red as our flag,
however united states of america you may be.

As a crazed believer enters a church,
retreats into a monastery cell, austere and plain;
so I, in graying evening haze,
humbly set foot on Brooklyn Bridge.

As a conqueror presses into a city all shattered,
on cannon with muzzles craning high as a giraffe –
so, drunk with glory, eager to live,
I clamber, in pride, upon Brooklyn Bridge.”

– An excerpt from Brooklyn Bridge by Vladimir Mayakovsky

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Brooklyn, NY

by Elizabeth on November 5, 2012 · 8 comments

in Photo Posts, Travel, USA

One month ago Tim and I were in NYC.  We only had two days to spend in the city this time, and I was so determined to see some of Brooklyn that we booked a little apartment right near the Brooklyn Bridge.  It ended up being the best of both worlds – we enjoyed the bustle and noise of Manhattan for as long as we could stand it, and then came home to humming little Brooklyn to rest our eyes.

I would live here in a heartbeat.

When you’re in Brooklyn it’s hard to not turn your head to the incredible lights and skyscrapers of Manhattan.  It’s funny how you have to leave the city to really see the city.

 

It’s only been a month, but so much has changed since Hurricane Sandy blew through here.  I look at the people in my photos and wonder what they’ve been through in the past week.  I look at photos of this same skyline in the news and see that so much of it is in darkness.

It’s been hard, really hard, to watch this disaster unfold from the other side of the world.

Perhaps it’s made worse by the fact that our memories are still so fresh.

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You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by month #7 of this challenge.

When it comes to being behind the camera I’m always ready to go.  All I really need is some pretty light and an empty memory card and I can find inspiration just about anywhere!  As long as the subject matter is something other than myself, taking a photo is as easy as taking a breath.  I could do it all day.

Photographing myself is a whole different ballgame, where the balls are made of rock and aimed at my face.  There’s pointy sticks and lots of blood and teeth and… are you following my analogy here?  The point is I don’t enjoy putting myself on the other side of the camera and that’s why I challenged myself to a self portrait for every month of my 101/1001 project.

Each month (without exception) I’ve left this thing until the very last possible opportunity.  I always begin the month with grand plans of whimsical lighting, props and themes to symbolise the month that was… and all of a sudden it’s the 31st of July and my tripod is broken and I’m late home from work.  It’s become a pattern.

This afternoon I knew I had to photograph myself, and once again my heart wasn’t in it.  I decided to set myself a really simple challenge to get the job done.

A colour photograph, straight out of the camera.

 

This photo isn’t the best of the bunch, not by a long shot.  I have hair across my face, I’m slouching and it’s just another reflection of girl holding camera.  The internet didn’t really need anymore of those.

I chose this photo because it was the best in terms of exposure, and I liked the way that my reflector worked in this shot.  The picture is sharp and the colours vibrant.  Tick, tick, tick, finished.

I didn’t set out to be valedictorian of self portraits when I took on this challenge.  At the end of this challenge it will just be nice to have 33 photos of myself that I don’t hate!

And besides, I have a new mantra.

Source: a free printable by Talisa from I {heart} Nap Time

 

I’m thinking of starting a club for reformed perfectionists, and I’m pretty sure that this going on our crest.  Can somebody find me a Latin translation so that we sound credible?

Or you know, Italian will do.  Look at that – it’s working already!

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Every month, as part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge, I’m taking a self-portrait.  The temperatures in Melbourne have plummeted this month so it was pretty easy to pick a theme this time.

These two photos look very similar, but I like them for different reasons.  The bottom photo is sharper, and perhaps better in terms of composition.  But there’s something about the first one that looks a little more spontaneous, less staged.

I can’t make up my mind, so I’ve decided to leave it up to you.  Which one is The One?

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Winter weekend

by Elizabeth on June 10, 2012 · 11 comments

in Melbourne, Photo Posts

 

It’s Sunday night. For me, traditionally, Sunday night is for sulking.

I am an equal opportunity sulker on Sunday nights, I try to make sure that nothing is missed. I sulk about things like not finishing my weekend “to do” list, which is always far too long and does not account for the fact that I sleep in every Saturday (and Sunday).  I sulk about the long list of emails that will greet me when I get to work, and the fact that my officemate will take her first coffee break at the busiest part of the morning so that I have to do her job as well.  I sulk about having to be a grownup with bills and expensive hobbies and the fact that I can’t retire yet.  At thirty-two.

Most of all, I sulk about the fact that my energy and best waking hours are forfeited to my colleagues for five days a week, people who just don’t consider them as precious as I do. I sulk about the frown lines that all this Sunday night sulking gives me.

I waste a big chunk of my Sunday sulking about Monday.

But not this time. It’s Sunday night, and thanks to a little birthday happening on the other side of the world (long live the Queen!) I have another day of resto relaxo to look forward to tomorrow.

I become an unshakable monarchist every time the June long weekend rolls around.

 





 

Tim and I needed this long weekend.

Things are always really easy for us, as far as our relationship is concerned.  We’re pretty nice people, we’re pretty nice to each other, and we’d rather spend time with each other than anybody else.  We’ve been like this for six years now, cruising along without having to work too hard because it just works.

But lately things have been just a little bit crap.  It’s nothing to really worry about, we just know that it could be better.  We could be better.  We’ve been butting heads and pushing each others’ buttons, and sometimes we’re not reading each other all that well.  It’s all a bit confusing when you’re used to things ticking along like clockwork.

So this weekend has been all about us.  It’s been for talking, kind words and understanding.  Listening, smooching, and reminding each other (and ourselves) what matters most.  So far, this has been exactly what we needed.

I feel like we’ve peeled off a few layers.

 









 

It has rained all weekend.

When I moved to Melbourne I dreamed of Winters like these.  Icy cold air on my face, layers of cosy long-sleeved clothes and tights.  I spent today with my study window wide open so that I could listen to the rain and the little birds in my neighbour’s tree.  Tim planted himself happily by the heater, and I spent as much time as possible soaking up my freezing, gloomy city from the comfort of my cosy room.

Cold air on my nose, and cups of tea to warm my hands.  Few things make me as happy as a wet, wintery day – especially when I can spend it as I please.

 









 

Our weekend so far.

:: drawing faces :: cold fingers and toes :: hot showers :: sixty hearts on a steamy mirror :: risoni salad :: vegemite toast and coffee :: Blankets by Craig Thompson :: Of Mice and Men :: candles :: roses :: a warm puppy, and belly rubs :: peanut butter with a spoon :: a tour of Mum & Dad’s Hong Kong hotel lobby via Facetime :: early morning snuggles :: minestrone :: a long chat with my grandmother :: furniture polish :: ABC Classic FM :: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo :: kisses :: the sound of rain on the roof :: lanterns :: quality time with my camera :: an impulse purchase :: sleep-ins :: bare winter branches :: bare skin :: kind words :: last autumn leaves :: fajitas :: pizza :: listening :: love ::

 







It’s been two days, and already it feels like five. We must be doing something right.

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My Winter city

by Elizabeth on June 4, 2012 · 7 comments

in Melbourne, Nikon D800, Photo Posts

If every weekend was exactly like the one that just passed I wouldn’t mind one bit. 

That boy up there?  The one with the stubble and the mustshereallytakeanotherphoto smile?  He was the best part of all.  He was the guy who bought me breakfast at 2pm on Saturday and charmed my friends.  The same guy who made breakfast to my exact specifications yesterday and then brought it to me in bed. 

I must have been so good in a previous life.

Saturday’s pretty sunset was a distant second to the boy I love, but it was still pretty great.  I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but when I am a squizillionaire I intend to buy one of the Elwood mansions that faces this beach so that I can photograph it every day.

Until then I’ll just have to visit.

 

My little city is so beautiful, and right now we’re in the middle of my two favourite seasons. 

My love affair with Melbourne continues.

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I’m taking a photo of myself every month as part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge.

You guys are going to be so sick of seeing my face by the time this challenge ends.  But don’t worry, there’s only 28 more months of this to go!

 

… I know.  I’m so sorry.

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My list of 101 things to do in 1001 days is never very far from my mind.

I explained my project to a workmate last week, and she told me that she loved the idea but could never sign up for that kind of thing herself.  It’s a conversation I’ve had a hundred times.  Mostly people tell me that they could never come up with 101 things that they wanted to do (really? That’s terrible!) or that they would wind up resenting the burden of another “To Do” list.

And what if they got halfway through, and then realised that they didn’t care about those goals anymore?

And I get it, I do.  It doesn’t make any sense to take on a commitment like this just for the sake of it, and it probably wouldn’t work out anyway.  The only way to succeed at this thing is to have some sort of an end goal in mind.

To do this well, you have to be able to speak confidently for the person that you will be in thirty-three months time.  You have to know yourself well – the good, the bad and the downright ugly – and be ready to grow.

My list is a really interesting snapshot of the person I am right now.  It reveals a lot about the qualities that I value, and which areas of myself and my life need work.  Even the fun, meaningless tasks on my list have some sort of basis in improving my life, my thoughts, my happiness or my relationships.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been worried about whether I’ll be able to finish my project.  When I think of my list, I’m not daunted by the number of days I have left to complete it.  There are no chores on my list, nothing to dread.

My list is invigorating because it was written for me, because I took the time to get it right.

 

Earlier today I sat down and wrote a new kind of list.  It’s a list of things that I can do right now, or the next time I have a spare afternoon.  Each of the things below will help me to cross an item off my list and get me close to my goal of 101 Things.

  • Make an appointment to donate blood (#2)
  • Get out the car manual, and find the instructions for changing a tyre (#6)
  • Investigate short courses at university/tafe/community groups (#8)
  • Pick a famous landmark to visit in the USA in September (#14)
  • Pick a new town to visit this weekend (#15)
  • Choose a 5km fun run, and register! (#23)
  • Go to a yoga or cardio class (#24 and #25)
  • Find a hiking trail nearby, and set a date to do it (#36)
  • Find daisies, make a daisy chain (#39)
  • Start a jigsaw puzzle (#40)
  • Wake up early and watch the sun rise from the beach (#41)
  • Buy tickets to the drive in cinema or the Astor, or see a movie by myself (#48, #49 and #50)
  • Watch a Scorcese film, an old classic or a silent film (#51, #52 and #53)
  • Find a YouTube video and learn to juggle (#58)
  • Write a note to hide in a library book (#62)
  • Start reading an old classic, or one of Tim’s graphic novels (#63 and #64)
  • Pick a cookbook from the shelf, and choose a recipe to cook (#71)
  • Take a sketchbook to a park and draw (#72)
  • Take some photos with black & white film, or on my Instax mini (#77 and #78)
  • Photograph myself (#100)
  • Sew something by hand or machine (#82 and #83)
  • Learn to crochet, or find a pattern for a soft toy (#84 and #85)
  • Spend some time art journaling in my altered book (#87 and #97)
  • Draw or paint a figure, face, hand, tree or still life, or something from my imagination (#89 – #94)
  • Make a video of a drawing or painting (#98)
  • Make a mix CD, or make some cover art (#99)

It’s hard to feel overwhelmed when you break things down this way.  Best of all, it looks more like a list of My Favourite Things to Do than a boring old To Do list!

You know what would be great?  If you can see something on my list that you can help me to accomplish, drop me a note.  Teach me to juggle, send me your book and movie suggestions or tell me where to find the best frozen custard in New England.  Whatever you can share that will get the creative juices flowing and keep me inspired.

This project can feel like a solitary journey sometimes, so I would really love to hear from you!

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My brand new Nikon D800 arrived earlier this week.

Unfortunately, thanks to a retailer I will never use again, there’s a really unpleasant story that goes along with it.  Part of me wanted to put the entire story here and let Google preserve it for all of time, but what good is revenge at this point?  The damage has been done, and I have responded by buying my lenses, memory cards, Black Rapid and my parents’ HD video camera elsewhere.

If you’re buying a new camera in Australia I suggest you do the same.

I took the day off work yesterday so that I could go to an appointment, and while I ate my breakfast I heard the screeches of a flock of cockatoos as they flew over my house.  I’ve heard them a few times lately, but they tend to fly overhead and disappear before I have time to grab my camera.  This time they stayed, and at one point they even gathered on my front lawn as a group to nibble the grass.  There must have been 200 birds.

The photos are beautiful, but they don’t even begin to explain just how many birds there were yesterday.  Cars driving down my street were honking their horns to scare the birds off the road so that they could pass.  People came out of their houses and gathered on the footpath to watch the spectacle.  At one point about one hundred birds flew directly over me – just two metres above my head – and I had to dive for cover in case I was bombed!  The dog almost lost his mind at that point.

It was this wonderful, magical experience that lasted for about 10 minutes.  I felt so lucky to have been home that morning, to have had my lovely new camera in my hand, and to have been able to capture some of the magic without really knowing my way around the new gear yet.

It was almost as though the Universe was trying to help dispel some of the negativity I was holding on to.  A little bit of fairy dust in the form of a flock of birds, and a morning at home so that I could enjoy them.

This camera really does change everything for my photography.  I am such a lucky girl.

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One day in April

by Elizabeth on April 30, 2012 · 0 comments

in 101 in 1001, Life, Photo Posts

 

When I decided that I was going to take a self-portrait once per month for 1001 days I thought it would be a breeze.  After all, how hard could it be to put myself on the other side of a camera every 4 weeks?

It should be easy, but I came really close to forgetting this month.  I had all of the time in the world over the weekend to take my self-portrait but it never once crossed my mind to do so.  Not until I was driving home from work tonight, with a splitting headache behind my eye, did I remember that today was the last day of April.

Bugger.

So here is the very best I could manage.  It’s the face of a girl who was on her feet for most of the day, but was clever enough to wear a wedge instead of skyscraper heels.  It’s a photo of somebody who eventually had to kick off her shoes completely to move furniture when the other guy didn’t show up, and made sure everyone else met a deadline.  She’s the girl whose laptop crashed and destroyed an hour’s work (but she didn’t lose her temper), and who made time to help somebody that nobody else wanted to deal with.

A girl who finally microwaved her lunch at 3.15pm, and ate it cold at 4pm; desperately in need of two Panadol, but too busy to walk the 50m to go and get it.

More importantly, the girl in the photo managed to get so much done at work today that she wasn’t about to drop the ball on her own little project.  It may not be beautifully lit, and the circles under her eyes may be darker than usual, but it’s done.

And it’s me.

A photo of me, one day in April.

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