Puffing Billy – toot toot!

Puffing Billy – toot toot!

What makes a kid smile bigger than on Christmas morning? A real life steam train that you can dangle your legs out of – yes please!!! This was our trip on Puffing Billy, Melbourne’s best-est and tootiest scenic railway. The train winds it’s way through the mountain side and that’s really nice. Dangling your legs out of a moving train, also quite fun. But, for me, the most fun was being with and photographing my darling nieces and nephew Leah, Josh & Holly. (and the grown ups of course too) You may notice a lack of actual train photos, yeah, sorry about that but between the leg dangling and auntie duties, the train kind of got lost in the background.

These are photos from my everyday life. Nothing staged. Just as it was. Just as I saw it. Something that day inspired me to look through my 50mm and make a some photographs. Other days I prefer not to. These are not just pretty pictures, these are moments of my family life. And that is why photographs are SO IMPORTANT to me.

Why are photographs important to you?

A weekend in the Highlands

A weekend in the Highlands

This weekend we took a trip up into the Victorian mountains to a special place called Dinner Plain.  We rented a kick-ass house with a blazing open fire and sleep inducing leather couches. The power went out. We napped. We ate like kings. We played charades. The power came back on. There were some close encounters with some icky creepy spiders. We got rained on in the spa bath. We BBQ’d up some massive New York steaks – yum. A big fog settled upon us. We ran out of chocolate. We sang kids songs to baby Max. We took a walk in the rain. We also took a walk in the hail. We got muddy on the 4WD tracks and…. we took some photos.

This was a special place yes, but even better was spending time with friends who are so darn wonderful. Here are some of my photos from our weekend away.

Featured in these shot are Adrian & Shirley, Dave & Fel with the ridiculously cute Max Danger, my boy Andrew and the 10 out of 10 doggy “Oreo”.

P.S – LOVING my new camera

Tiptoe through the Tulips

Tiptoe through the Tulips

Yesterday we woke up and had the whooooooooooole day free. That’s right, no plans, zip, zero, nuttin’. Between friends, family, cycling & all the worky stuff, that rarely happens, ever. I started to wonder what my camera and I could get up to.

A few phone calls later and we were off on our way up the mountains to the annual tulip festival. As far as flowers go, tulips tick all the boxes for me, they are pretty and colourful and they don’t make me sneeze. I don’t expect much more from a flower really. But boy, was I in for a surprise to see just how spectacular an entire field of tulips actually is. It’s truly a photographers dream, the fields were alive with tulips AND photographers.

Here’s a few of my frames of the buds and my buddies.

Thanks to Tammy for taking a few shots of Andrew & I

And Thanks to Helen & Alexandra for helping me with this blog title

Photo Safari in Melbourne

Photo Safari in Melbourne

What do you call a person who you be-friend on twitter and then get to meet in real life? A Twiend perhaps? Isn’t it strangely wonderful when your worlds collide? Well for me, last Sunday, my twitterverse and my “real” worlds came together as Kellee Walsh and I went on a Photo Safari. Kellee is a Sydney based photographer who I met on Twitter, and she just happened to be visiting Melbourne for the weekend, so a Photo Safari was on the cards.

With my post wedding shoot hangover in tow (any wedding photographer knows exactly what this feels like) Kellee and I hit the beach, not just any beach. Yep, we went to the only beach in Melbourne, possibly Australia that is full of the cutest scattering of 82 heritage listed beach bathing boxes. A photographers delight!

Check them out, they are all jam packed with colour and character which gave me that other-worldly feeling just by being there. In fact, I had never even been there until Kellee suggested it (Great idea Kel). The day was overcast and a hint of spring was in the air, it was portrait time!

Introducing the lovely Miss Kellee Walsh and the Brighton Beach boxes. If you have a camera, and are ever in Melbourne, I highly recommend you take a trip together to this very cool part of the coast. After the beach, our coffee & cake plans got put on hold as we took a quick visit to Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, another photographers delight (and just so happens to be one of my favorite places).

Whilst Photo Safari’s originated in a more African kind of way, I think Kel and I had a great adventure as we discovered parts of my own city that I was yet to explore. Who really needs to wear Khaki and get sunburnt? Taking photos is always fun, but making new photography friends makes it all the better. You can read Kellee’s version of events on her blog here.

What will your next photo safari will be?

The last weekend of winter

The last weekend of winter

On the last weekend of winter we returned to my childhood holiday coast with some friends. It was cold and wintery and at low season it felt like we had the whole of the coast to ourselves. On the Saturday I road my bike along the Great Ocean Road, perhaps my favorite stretch of road in all of Australia. Like many Melbournians, I have passed along it countless times in my life. Always heading for a the beach, always busting with excitement to get there already, always sad when we parted. I didn’t take any photos of my favorite stretch of road, I just pedaled my bike and soaked in all it’s nostalgic goodness. Ok, it’s a road, get a grip Gemma.

Besides my euphoric bike ride, the weekend was amazingly relaxing. In between reading the paper and mandatory weekend away nanna naps, I even found some time to potter off to the local lighthouse with my camera. Anyone from Victoria will recognize this place, it’s Airey’s Inlet. These days I find myself shooting a lot with my 50mm, my poor 28-70mm is being rather neglected. Here you will see the tilt shift came along for the ride too.

This was my last weekend of winter 2010.  Now, come on spring, it’s time for some sunshine.
Shot’s from Airley’s Inlet, also featuring darling little Oscar.