February 18, 2009

Just a little beauty

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They call it the magic hour
Just before sunset when the light turns
and the flowers vibrate
And everything is settling in for the night

[current mood] Peppermint Tea & Dusty Springfield's Spooky

Posted by natalija at 8:10 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2008

Leftovers

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Sharing Christmas time cherries with my brother
Cracking macadamias with a brick on the ground like with grandma
Receiving house-warming flowers that are a colour-perfect match

[current mood] Home Made Rocky Road & TV on the Radio on repeat

Posted by natalija at 8:27 PM | Comments (0)

November 25, 2008

My Little Beach Shack

I just moved into a house, only one minute walk to the beach.
The salt-stained breeze delivers peace and creativity.
Finally, a fresh place to call home and to aesthetically punctuate!

I'm going with the pastels. The house being a pastel blue.
The old green table was found out the back and brought to the porch.
Lilac and Green antique bottles hold sprays of beach flora.
The table will be scattered with tea candles when guests converge to natter over tumblers of white wine.
The wrought iron cage houses memories of travels, sea creatures from afar.
The new bikini hangs, dripping salty water onto the wooden slats below.
Even the teacups and crockery will be bought to suit the colours, all sea-tones with hints of rose and yellow.

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[current mood] Home-made Buckwheat Porridge & Mega Puss

Posted by natalija at 4:41 PM | Comments (2)

June 15, 2008

Green with Envy for Munich

I'm in Munich, Germany, full as a goog on sausages and double-sized pints.
I've been walking around with no camera, pen or paper and just observing and trying to commit the images to memory...
Yesterday it was German womens' wrinkled faces, drab and expressionless on the tram, then the cyclists in their black and grey, highlighted by hot coloured scarves, typography that even on office windows and functional street signage had design style of exceptional flair, but it was the english garden that will really stay with me.
A secret garden in the middle of a buzzing city, sprawling with dense leafy trees of a green that is electric. The word tranquil runs through you as you walk and the opaque jade river gushes under the stone bridges.

Today I went back again without my camera (!) but stole my sister's happy snap to try some shots.

As we walked today, the six of us tried to invent new versions of
"Let's make like a banana and split"

We got a little obsessed. Here is our list...

Let's...
Make like a Tom and Cruise
Make like a tree and leave
Make like hay and bail
Make like a rock and roll
Make like a sprout and shoot
Make like an egg and beat it
Make like punctuation and dash
Make like a green light and go
Make like a gay man and come out
Make like a pram and stroll
Make like a plane and take off
Make like a gun and shoot
Make like diarrhoea and run
Make like a boot and scoot
Make like a board and walk
Make like Henry the 8th and head off
Make like Moses and d'part
Make like a market and flee
Make like an ipod and shuffle


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[current mood] Beer & Neil Young

Posted by natalija at 4:28 AM | Comments (5)

May 5, 2008

The Mingenew Project

This May I'm living in the mid-west Australian town of Mingenew.
A three and a half hour drive north of Perth.

I'm teaching photography and creativity to whoever in the community is keen. We're all contributing to a collection of views of this place. Farmers, teachers and sport fanatics who reside in this drought-ridden place are taking part to share what they love, what they live with, what they do, here, in Mingenew.

Here are some photographs from my very first workshop, by some farmer's wives.

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The on-going website is www.mingenewproject.com

I'll be back on my blog after that.
Although I may have some random tidbits to share... like a little video of my car stuck on the railway tracks in an extreme error of driving due to blinding sun. That was a fun start to the trip...

[current mood] Meat Stew & Country AM radio

Posted by natalija at 5:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 6, 2008

A Reflection of The Director

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Shooting people on set is a delicate task. I don't want to interfere with any of the film's production and thus like a wallflower, I sneak in silent shots that don't ask for anything, just take advantage of the light, the props and the people doing their thing.

Here is Christopher Kenworthy surveying the broken mirror.


[current mood] Pepper Steak & LCD Soundsystem

Posted by natalija at 9:04 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2008

Sculptor Scene Snapshots

I've been on the set of The Sculptor all week with not a lick of time to blog despite my determination (and blog-statement) to the contrary.
Seems like 6am starts require 9pm bedtimes which doesn't work with my busy head or afternoon caffeine...

So in a moment when others were taking tea (or more realistically cold pizza, coffee and mints) I snapped up some aspects of the set. I was looking for views that reveal the collision of the the two worlds - that of production and that of the scene.
I'm most envious of Emma Fletcher's job of 'Production Designer' in which she gathers and builds the most beautiful items. My favourite is a huge mauve partition with organic shapes cut out of it revealing a lime tinted wall. She creates every aspect of the set, right down to the detail of envelopes on a table with squiggles of bacteria patterns on them. Emma's job is the best. And she does it absolute justice.
She might just have my idea of the most admirable job in Perth.


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[current mood] Being Tickled with Breath & Stomachs Gurgling on Set

Posted by natalija at 11:20 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2008

I love my photo

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[current mood] Indian Midsummer Nights Dream & Panforte

Posted by natalija at 9:29 PM | Comments (3)

January 24, 2008

Another Cover

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My fourth Drum Media cover - a shoot I did for Something In The Water. It's a documentary on the vibrant Perth music scene and features a tank-load of musician interviews, live footage and Rolf Harris. It's having its first screening on Feb 7 at Astor.
(I share an office with the film company, WBMC.)

I still get a kick out of seeing my photographs published. Not quite the same joyous high I got when my first photograph of Cinema Prague was published in Xpress in 1996... but the good vibes don't really wear off.


[current mood] Clap Your Hands Say Yeah & Bike Riding with friends

Posted by natalija at 9:14 AM | Comments (3)

January 19, 2008

Phone Camera Snaps

I feel like it is somewhat ironic when I observe myself taking photographs using my crappy phone camera. The pixel limitation and image quality is a joke when compared with any of my other professional digital cameras. I've always thought that it is pointless taking images which don't have the quality to support any of the output possibilities - just in case the photo is brilliant, always shoot it at the best resolution possible.

But still I find myself in situations with all but a phone and I leap to my bag before the lights turn green to whip it out and shoot. It's the urge to capture, despite technological limitations. I feel that I must own some version of the image before me. I don't know where it is going go, probably live on my camera til it dies. But hah, when you try to blog every day (rather poorly) then you start stretching the posting potential. So today, some camera pics, just a sample of the things I felt the need to hold on to on walks and outings.
They won't go anywhere but here....

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[current mood] Bob Dylan & Chilli Mussels

Posted by natalija at 4:07 PM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2007

Long Exposures

Friday night alone on a beach in Wollongong.
See what happens?

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[current mood] Crickets & White Dresses

Posted by natalija at 9:06 AM | Comments (4)

November 19, 2007

My first wedding

As a photographer.

After spending a lifetime refusing to do weddings, I finally succumbed to my friends Stu and Sam who got married this weekend in Wollongong. And mostly because they let me shoot it 'my way'.
Here are some of my less traditional shots of a colourful and gale force day.

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[current mood] Mulberries & Crashing Waves

Posted by natalija at 9:55 AM | Comments (2)

September 26, 2007

Nat with Kellerberrin

I was back east this week in the little dry town of Kellerberrin doing a screen printing workshop (more soon on that).
But I found a spare half hour to poke about with my lens...


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Dog with Rake


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Rugs with Fence


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Wheat with Tree


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House with Boating


[current mood] Jam Tartlets & The sound of tummy churning

Posted by natalija at 3:31 PM | Comments (3)

August 7, 2007

Toojay - enough exposure

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Between whirring generators, skip bins, port-a-loos, a railway and heaters, this was a moment of tranquility in Toojay where people camped to watch the Avon Descent.


[current mood] Pinball Slapping & Lunch

Posted by natalija at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2007

On the streets of Europe

I spent most of my time overseas doing Inflatable Rampage style documentary photographs. (Which is still being updated even though we are back home. But don't that let that stop you from continuing to be jealous that we're on holiday and you're not.)

Looking back through my travel photos now, I'm not finding many images that hold up as a great photo in their own right (without gags to back it up!)
It does depend what your objective is when you're taking photographs, I was prioritising content over composition most the time.

Here are three that I do like that don't fit into stories...

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Florence


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Florence


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Marseille

[current mood] Oranges in Bed & The Beatles

Posted by natalija at 10:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2007

A slide of Kellerberrin

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6.30am, Kellerberrin, 2.5 hours east of Perth, Western Australia.
It's minus two degrees.

I lay within my hot air capsule of doonah and mattress, willing my need to wee away, wishing instead to fall back asleep. I couldn't bare the pain of leaving my sanctuary to enter the chilling air.
But soon enough the pain of the other takes over...

I flipped the blankets and shuffled in white socks out the door toward the cold tiled bathroom. On my way back I passed through the frozen living room of the stately Prevatorium and noticed this ghostly window light hitting the asthma stained hospital-green wall.
I chose to stick out another cold minute, and returned to photograph it.

I will suffer for art.

Posted by natalija at 6:49 PM | Comments (3)

May 20, 2007

The kids are growing up so fast these days

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[current mood] Packing Frenzy & Berocca

Posted by natalija at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2007

Yet another ironic life

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Something isn't right with these suburbs. Clean tan buildings with clipped grass and fences containing some neatly cut wildflowers. There isn't enough... life.

[current mood] Mal Webb and Clapping on the train in 12 beats all the way home

Posted by natalija at 12:30 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2007

Self Portraits in the Bedroom (woo woo)

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[current mood] Helmet Induced Jaw Ache & Laptop Induced Eyeball Pain

Posted by natalija at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2007

First day with Ricoh GR

In preparation for an overseas adventure I bought the Ricoh GR camera - known as 'the professional's compact digital'. I took it with me today for a test drive.
It got me thinking about the difference between photographing something beautiful which in essence is true documentary. (Relies on seeing and feeling and looking) VS The real zazazoo finding of something more than what's there.( A fleeting moment perhaps or a new perspective.) This might mean patience or timing or creativity.

It's this second one that I aim for because I'm becoming tired of just photographing the beautiful. It has to be better than that.

So, Ricoh and I went on a short walk.
These are not examples of my idea of great photography (ahh! hard to follow up my ideals with images) but instead just a little tour of my Sunday morning.

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I had 20 minutes until my lift arrived so I walked down the street looking for inspiration. Then saw the gate to a property for sale. I knew no one was living there so I pushed my way in. And I was welcomed in mosaic.

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I looked around at the mess of a garden for something, anything unusual or special. This is the only view I found that caught my eye. I think it's okay if there isn't always something to photograph. It doesn't mean I'm a crap photographer, I can accept that there is no inspiration.
Technically, I felt limited by the camera's fixed wide angle lens. It makes the view feel 'cheaper' by distortion. I started thinking it's a camera for photo-journalism, travel and people. Not this.

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I wandered down the side and wasn't seeing anything worth a shot. The Ricoh also has a fixed f-stop so I can't choose to have a long depth of field, it's always at 2.4 which is very short. Maybe a limitation I have to work with, and choose the right subject for, not force into being my everything.
(A bit like people hey.)

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Then I found a mirror on the ground that I photographed in various ways and eventually plonked myself in front of, quite wary of neighbours finding me in such a compromised position. Thought about how I'm wearing a lot of black lately - and here I resemble a cat.

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Well, it was time to get my lift so I raced out to jump on the back of Chris's bike. I wore my Vietnamese hill tribe boy's jacket - not quite adequate protection from more than just wind. But to have a scarf floating in the wind and little bell buttons tinkling is a far more stylish way to ride pillion.
Note how wide this lens is because I can photograph myself on a motorbike without distortion!

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I did envisage myself accidentally dropping my new camera off the side at high speed and so I chose a lap-safe angle.

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We arrived at Tarts Cafe for a little business but mostly pleasure.
This was before Chris shooed me away. The camera appears to work great at low and unusual angles.

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Then, as is often best after Tarts, a stroll around Hyde Park. Mid life-disassembly, we discovered the old jetty that usually lives under the water. But the water is so low right now that I was able to walk out on the jetty and take away images of leaves and reflections.
If I could have one tree it would be a Liquidamber.

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This photograph reminds me of the first photograph I ever took - down in Riverview, Sydney when I was 13. I'm still drawn to exactly the same things. Water and leaves...

[current mood] Chamomile & Chocolate Cake

Posted by natalija at 12:58 PM | Comments (2)

May 10, 2007

Slightly Dying Flower

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Flowers die too quickly when you cut them from their source.
Not the greatest gift I think. A strange waste of beauty - packaging something stolen in some plastic to place in a vase that you only glimpse at when passing by.
Next time you look you see its leaves curling brown around the rim and the petals rotting and crimped.
I leave them for weeks as rotting flowers just to get some 'use' out of them.

Go the pot plants!

[current mood] Aikido & Nathan Barley

Posted by natalija at 1:59 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2007

We decided to make a documentary tonight

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Liz turned up at my house with a 'red eye'. We decided it was more than that. It looked lumpy. It kind of hurt. Let's go to the pharmacy. Hey, let's make a documentary, in case it's really bad.

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At the pharmacy Philip did not quell our fears by suggesting we go to the hospital. It didn't look good.

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We arrived at Royal Perth and waited as instructed behind the blue line until the nurse was ready for us.

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The nurse was very shortly ready and he made a few suggestions for a quicker examination.

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Look, just head over to the GP and if he says it will cost you $60 come back. Otherwise he will bulk bill.

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So what you're saying is, if I word it right, I'll be seen immediately and for free.

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We walk away from the hospital in relief. This is turning out to be a shorter night than expected. We can soon return to our beer.

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The GP waiting room is empty. We're first in line.

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But Liz doesn't have her Medicare card and has to 'phone a friend'.

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He gets it right and she can fill out her form (and not pretend to be me). She can now see the doctor as Liz.

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Tick tick. I'll show you my boobs if you sign this form. Sigh. Desperate Housewives.

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Nat reads some pamphlets to kill the time.

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Liz returns to find Nat asleep on the comfortable seating.
"So! What happened?"
"Sorry, they wouldn't let you come in to take photos."
"No, I meant the eye. What happened with the eye?"
"Oh, It's fine."
"What is it then?"
"Just some thing that rhymes with glaucoma and similar to conjunctivitis. hmm."


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So we head back to the car and homeward.

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Bye Nat, thanks for your help and the beer.

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Yeah thanks Liz, next time let's find something a bit more life threatening so we have a decent documentary.

[current mood] Becks & Peter, Bjorn and John

Posted by natalija at 10:11 PM | Comments (9)

April 27, 2007

Seedpod Sweat Shop

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There is a little sweat shop in Maylands where the girl sits up all night sewing Seedpod cards. She folds each card individually, inserting precisely 6 seeds. She then folds it over and stitches a neat border around the logo to seal it shut.
She averages around 40 an hour.

One Seedpod customer said she could feel the 'charge' of the card. The intention was clear because of the energy put into its creation.
It truly is worth it...
I tell her.

[current mood] 20/20 Urban Conversation tonight at Tiger Tiger - BYO

Posted by natalija at 2:10 PM | Comments (2)

April 23, 2007

Image Making

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I'm back on the camera after quite some absense.

[current mood] Sports Commentating & Fruit Saland

Posted by natalija at 10:41 AM | Comments (2)

March 26, 2007

Leaving Uluru

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I'm back now.
It's hard to take untouristy shots in a touristy place. But if you're too snobby about it, you won't take any shots at all.

[current mood] Chewy Muesli & Nerves

Posted by natalija at 7:57 AM | Comments (2)

March 22, 2007

3 times and you Never Leave

They say that if you see that Todd River in Alice Springs flow 3 times, you'll never leave.
Some avoid looking. Just in case. It's been flowing something chronic lately.

Here are some of my images of scuttling around a rainy Alice Springs
between hotel wall gazing.

Now my camera crunches as I focus.

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[current mood] Home Licks & Water

Posted by natalija at 4:39 PM | Comments (3)

March 15, 2007

Untitled 2

Playing with your shadow side
Makes you feel alive

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[current mood] Kiwi Fruit and Pittapatter

Posted by natalija at 7:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2007

Untitled

View from my room
Lovely in the afternoon

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[current mood] All natural, No chemicals, Silence but Crickets

Posted by natalija at 10:05 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2007

Visual distractions

Do you know
when you can't stop looking
at a shape dancing on somebody's neck?
the way their movements effect the length of the patterns and curve around their skin?
How their fine blonde hair glistens in the spotlight.
You become so mesmerised that you are no longer present in conversation... and that is when you can turn this apparent rudeness into a legitimate art form by taking your camera off the table and satisfy your urges.

Does this happen to you? Because I'm doing it constantly.

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[current mood] Asahi & Classic FM radio voices

Posted by natalija at 10:30 PM | Comments (2)

Blink on Artshub

Here is the article I wrote for Artshub on The BLINK Project.

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A crowd of thousands are sitting and staring expectantly at a super sized screen at Perth's Supreme Court Gardens. Images of country WA flick along with a 200 person choir and a spectacular percussion ensemble...

It's the opening of the Perth International Arts Festival. Those are my photos and the photos taken by the people of Meekatharra and three other remote communities! That is the end point of my journey being shown up there, and this is how it started...

September 1, 2006...
I peered through my little grey window frame at the plains of ochre land spotted with shrubs and long violet smudged shadows. It was my first impression of Meekatharra, the town that I would integrate myself into over the next 30 days. After touch down I was given keys to a ute and a house, and left to discover a town of 800 people and start introducing myself.

I was one of four lucky photographers thrown into a regional Western Australian community last year to teach, inspire and create hundreds of images. I chose Meekatharra as it was the most remote town. I was right in thinking that the contrast would challenge me and provoke the most inspiration.

It's funny how the project answered all the things I was looking to do next whilst utilising all the things I'd learnt to date. I had to be a photographer, facilitator, creative marketer and social liaison officer (beer drinker). I'd had some similar experience working in Papua New Guinea and Perth multicultural groups using photography as a medium, so I felt equipped with some successful methods to get people snapping and learning at the same time.

With a couple of preliminary meetings with The Festival of Perth and Country Arts, we were geared up with eight digital cameras and a brief of some length, with various goals including...

  • Encourage the theme of 'the human family' whilst challenging the notion of what family could be.
  • Engage with all members of the community - the pilots, the teachers, the indigenous families, the miners, the farmers and the children.
  • Improve the visual literacy of the community. (ahh, big one!)
  • Ensure the images are of a quality that they will look impressive when displayed behind a choir at the Perth Festival opening.
  • Create a slideshow out of the images to be shown to the community at the end of the residency.
  • Take my own photographs too.

    I theorised how it would work, coming up with workshop plans and catchy opening sentences. I thought about simple exercises that would help people create better images whilst capturing the imaginations of children and adults alike. It all looked fabulous on paper and one month sounded like a rather long time. Show me those tick boxes!

    My first approach was to pull out a workshop diary and begin booking in dates with all the organisations - the local school, School of The Air, shire workers, hospital staff. Within this arena I quickly established many connections. Most of these people were quite interested in participating, each taking their own slant on the project. I also picked up on how I needed to cull my mile-long description and instead tailor my pitch to the individual. What subject inspired one person (My little joey) would contrast with another's (The hilarious old lady at the hospital). I felt like a travelling salesman, working it and getting commitment from man, woman and child!

    However, what commonly emerged was their desire to learn to use all the buttons on their digital cameras. My heart sunk a little at this, as I didn't see 'technical assistant' in the list of my objectives - I had so much more to offer! In the end I chose to see this as their initial attraction and understanding of what they could get out of it and perhaps these deeper aims of mine would be discovered through the photo-taking and not so much the verbalisation. After all, I did have my workshop book filling up with names. Tick!

    I chose to start with a workshop on photography principles, which secretly I called 'life appreciation'. I focused on just three basic elements in aesthetics - colour, texture and pattern. Deceptively simple concepts with lots of room for analysis. People could understand these principles on multiple levels and instantly feel more aware of why a photograph was better or more interesting. These principles apply to all forms of art and nature and thus provide a deeper appreciation of our environment.

    I then took the small groups on a walk of their town, either the main street they detested or the back streets in which they hadn't ventured, and asked them to photograph these three principles. When I saw the genuineness of their searching I began to experience the first reward of the project - people engaged!

    This is when the fixation on camera buttons fell away and the people began to notice the beauty around them. In a street which they usually saw as dusty and dead, they found barbs lined in patterns around rusty hues, bougainvillea bracketed by strong white lines and coiled orange pipes offset with a hint of blue tape.

    The photographs were stunning and people exclaimed how much they learnt in just this one workshop. It set off sparks and got people shooting! Tick! Or should that be Click?

    I continued to run workshops on aspects that would help achieve technically better photographs. I got people shooting themes around family and their Meekatharra life. I ran a blog website simultaneously for people to get the instant high of seeing their work online and to watch the progress of the project. I added tips and info which benefited families living on stations that couldn't come into town.

    egg_and_girl.jpgThis website was really successful and loved by those back in Perth. I was getting the back pats already, but what bothered me was how the website and the workshops were not connecting with the majority of the Meekatharra population. The Aboriginal people had shown no interest in turning up for a workshop in a Telecentre they never used, nor exploring a theme decided for them. I had to consider why I was there for them.

    So I explored a different approach - wandering. I walked the streets, bumping into people, chatting about their lives and discovered why they would want to participate. These other people in town wanted to see themselves and their friends doing what they love to do. And most of all, motivated by the idea that these photos would end up on the big screen at the Outback Festival in two weeks.

    I took a simpler approach where I just said a lot less, and let the people talk to me through the images they created, and these, once shown, enabled more of a conversation (interjected with tips) to occur.

    As the project went on I took more risks and gave individuals cameras to take home. I wish I could have done this from the start as the photos were very special. I got to see footy celebrations, fishing in the creek and the things people treasured in their houses. I started to see the images that would really make up the Perth Festival show - the REAL photos.

    My camera got a major workout too as I was taken from christening to roast at the pub to the lookout. By the last week I felt so integrated and embraced by the community that I was delighting in the soap opera-like gossip over tea and cake and even got a date to the Meeka Ball (Thank goodness he was a good looking cop and quickly filled the gap left by the flippant pilot. However I did have to turn down the miner.)

    At the end of the project, on the Friday night, an arc of families on rugs surrounded the screen and watched the images accompanied by hip hop music for 25 minutes straight. I stood amongst them listening to their comments and soaking up their laughter at the characters, their friends and their town. One lady told me that it truly captured the whole town and the different families and communities within it. I was thrilled that I had spread the vision so wide.

    I loved one participant, Dan's, quote about the project. He simply said "You changed my life". That is why I call that first workshop 'life appreciation' - you think you're going to learn what the buttons do and you end up finding out why you want to learn what the buttons do.

    To see the archive of the project online visit www.meeka.com.au or visit the Perth International Arts Festival where the four slideshows will be displayed in the Perth Concert Hall.

    [current mood] Hammocks & Tweety Birds

    Posted by natalija at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

    February 16, 2007

    WAM cover shot

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    I was really looking forward to Thursday this week when Drum Media would be published with my photograph for the WAMI's (Western Australian Music Industry awards) on the cover. It was odd actually that I wanted the days to speed up to get me to Thursday. I even had dreams about it... It is a terrible thing to 'will away time'. I intend to stop it at once!

    Here it is, 5 WA band representatives: Eskimo Joe, Mink Mussel Creek, Schvendes and The Panda Band.
    It was a super fun shoot:
    The sky was glary white and the light was disappearing fast, we had a gale to contend with and a bunch of cakes to eat!
    The lady who owns this spectacular house was very tentative at first about a 'band shoot' in her front yard, but once her daughter confirmed the identity of Eskimo Joe, the whole street began to get excited.
    They all set themselves up next door, facing the yard with 'tv' dinners and watched the entertainment. (nothing quite like this has happened on Wood St before)...

    This is one of the shots I loved that didn't make it to published state.

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    [current mood] Chinese Green Tea & Jurassic 5

    Posted by natalija at 3:55 PM | Comments (3)

    February 11, 2007

    Blink goes Massive

    blink_festival.jpg

    This was the view at Supreme Court Gardens on Friday night.
    After a friend cancelled on me, I rushed down alone, to join a crowd of thousands and ended up standing on the edge to watch my experience be shown. A huge choir sang a Ngoongar Welcome To Country song and Tetrafide Percussion swung their fuzzy headed sticks whilst the Blink images flicked in rhythm.
    I felt sad that I had no one to squeeze me on the arm.

    [current mood] Same as before & Becks

    Posted by natalija at 12:14 AM | Comments (2)

    February 7, 2007

    Blink - don't miss it

    Fabbo! BLINK is getting publicity.
    Here is an article from today's West Australian Newspaper's art section. Written by Nyanda Smith.
    Click for a zoom up you can read.

    We are into phase two of the BLINK photography project. First was my residency in remote town, Meekatharra which concluded with a big screen slideshow of images at the Outback Festival. Now it's Perth's turn to experience slices of life from a far away place.
    The images will be on display throughout the Perth Festival for the next month or so and featured on opening night! Wacky splendidoo.

    I considered these strikingly different audiences whilst I was up there photographing... there I am framing up a captivating picture of a little girl in a nappy holding her baby brother on a cushion in a yard full of rubbish, cherishing the contrast and insight, and a whole load of intellectual aesthetic wank. Then when I turned the camera back to their eyes, I saw a different experience being had. "Hey, look at me and my brother!"
    This difference didn't just apply to young people, but to adults too.
    The project was all about balancing these two perceptions of photography - one as art form or documentary and the other as a enjoyable process, perhaps art without the analysis?!
    I tried my best to create meaning for both. There I am, some city slicker girl wandering in and asking an entire town to take photos with the theme of the human family... "uhh, why would I do that for you?"
    Instead I left that objective to the side and spent time with people to find their individual desires to be in images, to create images, to share images.... and through passionate engagement ultimately creating stunning photographs for their own real enjoyment and what appears to be Perth's appreciation too!

    boy_flipping.jpg

    One of my favourites. Shot by a boy from Meekatharra District Highschool.

    [current mood] Classic FM & Dairy Products

    Posted by natalija at 10:53 PM | Comments (3)

    February 4, 2007

    And Kingston...

    oscar_pup2.jpg

    I didn't mention that there is not only Oscar but Kingston too!
    My housemate couldn't resist...

    Here are some Sunday pics of Oscar. I will restrict myself to weekends only.
    Expect tales of weewee, poop, no chewing/eating plants/biting, fetch!, good doggie and c'mon boys! Or perhaps just photographic essays so that it falls within my blog description.

    oscar_pup1.jpg

    oscar_pup3.jpg

    oscar_pup4.jpg

    [current mood] Panforte and Cheddar & The Knife

    Posted by natalija at 5:53 PM | Comments (1)

    January 22, 2007

    I'm Having a Puppy

    Sweet little Oscar doesn't come home to me for 2 weeks, so I have to look at his photo whenever I get a craving, I fall more in love with him with every glimpse! I feel that googly excitement of when I first start dating someone, funny tummy, can't wait to see them, distracted by the thought.
    Maybe this blog will turn into an Oscar-blog... hmm. okay, maybe just a monthly update.. or as Bec was telling me, like the political blog she reads which posts a photo of his cat on Sundays.

    Well, Quite unexpectedly, my family are behaving like I'm having a baby!
    Oscar is a new member of the family my mum says, dad is impressed with my choice of breed and my sister has offered to 'sit' him and claims I stole her future dog's name! My brother just grunted as most 23 year old boys do...
    Well, for the rest of them, this comes in shocking contrast with the years they spent tut-tutting me on the idea. "Do you realise the responsibility? The committment??" To them (including my younger sister) I am still the 20 year old they once knew who can't be relied on to wash a dish, let alone walk a dog.
    (They forget that I have run my own company for 6 years).

    But it looks like the 'not running it by them' approach has worked, just go about it confidently, independently and send them his photo via text message as a cheeky introduction.

    bot_tigerlils.jpg

    Here is my latest paid shoot.
    For Birds of Tokyo.
    It is so hard to find unique locations in Perth for band shoots. We do lack cool dives, old facades and wacky locations. You gotta have some kind of access that others don't so it feels special or mysterious. I need to go scouting and build up a stockpile to offer to musos or models.
    This shot was done in Tiger Lils. Newly decked out with lanterns ahoy. They had some auto-changing coloured lights which created a range of different hues on their faces.

    [current mood] The Pussycat Dolls & Dandylion Tea

    Posted by natalija at 5:49 PM | Comments (3)

    January 17, 2007

    Look and you shall See

    dont_hands_air.jpg

    Saw this as I was falling asleep...
    I quite like leaping around in underwear taking photos when I should be sleeping.

    [current mood] Kakulus Assortments & God I Need Some More Music!

    Posted by natalija at 3:50 PM | Comments (0)

    January 12, 2007

    How do you respond?

    bw_photo_beach.jpg

    'They' say it is irrelevant what the artist's intention was.
    Did she even have one anyway?
    Most of the time the artist (me) (as previously discussed) struggles to explain her reasoning, her symbolism and messages, it wasn't so much a thought as a feeling.
    This is best to avoid a contrived construction.
    She sees, she shoots.
    The more in touch she is with her intuition, the more successful the results.

    So now she has done her bit, it's over to you for the meaning.
    'They' say that your experience of the image is of more worth to you than hers.

    Can you share with me your feelings towards this?
    (Before reading others).

    oh! I feel a photography flow coming on.... just starting to receive the phone calls now.

    In other news, I finally reached tipping point. I started doing a whole bunch of things I always said I would. Maybe it's a bit early to proclaim - but bugger it - a whole 5 days of vege juices and 6am yoga! Right now I'm feeling like a bit of a vegetable actually, (I need a little wee break from this health binge). But for the first 4 days I was bounding around like a positive pogo stick! Let's see what next week brings and if I have truly turned a leaf (or just a page)...

    [current mood] Lying About Alone & A Fruit Salad of Perth Festival Music

    Posted by natalija at 5:48 PM | Comments (4)

    November 13, 2006

    Half Eleven Sunday

    smoke_joy_division2.jpg

    Last night after photoshoot.
    The image was just there in front of me.

    [current mood] Whistler Chocolate Covered Licorice & Blank

    Posted by natalija at 1:59 PM | Comments (2)

    November 11, 2006

    Kalli Shoot

    kalli_photo.jpg

    Unedited image possibly for use on CD Cover for Kalli.

    I've established an awesome girl team for photoshoots.
    Today we worked with a girl called Kalli. She is releasing her debut EP shortly which I'm designing.
    We submerged her in a paddle pool to get the watery hair effect and two tone top. And we had Liz working tooth and nail (quite literally) to hold down the sequin material whilst Narelle positioned the reflector and tweeked Kalli and I stood on both a banana lounge and stool leaning over her head to get the shots.

    I like that once the photo is there no one knows all the chaos going on just outside the edges.

    Here out the outtakes. Click for closer inspection.

    [current mood] Cuddles & Hair Brushing

    Posted by natalija at 7:04 PM | Comments (5)

    October 30, 2006

    Now the old blokes are finding me

    fasttalkin_capone_sm.jpg
    I was standing on weeds in someone's yard taking a photograph of a twiggy tree when a man spoke with an accent from the footpath. I looked over and he was posed like that bird stance in The Karate Kid.
    I was followed for the entire journey to work by this man, he talked continuously a third in French, third Italian, third English and some sporadic German. I practiced my French. I guessed his age quite accurately as I tend to do. 65 I guessed. He's 68.
    He has been surrounded by women all his life - he had multiple women in multiple cities.
    His younger sister died at 8 months of age when he took her out into the cold winter for a walk.
    He recently bought his mother a beautiful silk dress, jewellry and a cartier watch.
    He believes all but 4 languages should be disposed of in a rubbish bin. Including Italian and English.
    7 out of 10 women say yes when he goes up to them and asks to kiss them.

    As much as I am curious about old men (see previous post) there comes a point of irritation. Not all old blokes... But the ones that don't stop for breath, don't let you walk away when you say goodbye, who keep showing you their passport photograph and saying do they really look that bad? And then insist on getting your PO box address so they can send you a postcard from Paris.
    That bit was okay.

    And the photo doesn't do Capone justice.

    [current mood] Pancakes with Bacon and Banana & Iron and Wine

    Posted by natalija at 11:14 AM | Comments (1)

    October 27, 2006

    I love wrinkly blokes

    lamp_man.jpg

    I decided after days of head breaking construction work both in the apartment below me and in the doorway at work that I would avoid it all by taking a day off.
    A weekday off feels completely different to me compared with a weekend day.
    I think this may be the secret to me feeling inundated with possibilities... on a weekend I go blank and it seems too hard where as on a weekday I'm cheeky, I'm free and I can do anything! Suddenly inspiration is back.

    Yesterday Liz and I went on a wee sojourn that involved multiple lattes, salty love (that'd be the ocean not each other), shell collecting and then I veered off into Maylands to spy antiques.
    I could pore over the tidbits in that locked cabinet for hours.

    I was in that rare sunny mood to talk with strangers in shops and smile at people on the street.
    So it was a chance to further explore my overwhelming bittersweet love of old men...
    Something about these old blokes takes me on a journey from warm love to despairing crying. It's one of the most powerful emotions I've had to date - possibly because I don't fully undertand why it hits me the way it does.

    By way of trying to understand it: At first I am aesthetically drawn to their curious and flawed faces, their stance, their old world oddity. Then I'm absorbed by their innate kindness, calmness, their non-sexual sweetness... the pleasure they have in chatting with me for an endless time.
    But then I begin to mourn their imminent death. It makes me love them all the more - I want to reach out to them, savour their days with them, treasure their beauty, be that beautiful.
    And with them I am beautiful. They don't judge on the same crock of criteria as the rest of this society. And I don't judge back.
    So for a moment we are kind and that feels too rare.

    I was glad to think at the end of my day off that at least I have named a new passion... Old men.

    My way to address this is through photography rather than counselling.
    I am now going to start by meeting all the old men of Maylands...
    I'll give them an ear and let them share their life of knowledge with me.
    And then find an image in it.

    [current mood] Rainbow Colours & Dim Sum Hangover

    Posted by natalija at 3:16 PM | Comments (6)

    October 11, 2006

    Dog Friends

    butcher_dogs.jpg

    How do dogs become friends? And choose to wander together, wait for each other to sniff, decide to head to the butcher?

    [current mood] Date Scones & Cleanliness

    Posted by natalija at 9:53 AM | Comments (5)

    October 9, 2006

    Opening New Shutters

    The photography project up in Meekatharra has given me more creative juice to work with when it comes to photography. This is what happens when I teach others, I get re-inspired by the words I'm telling them. It is like my eyes open again to the myriad of opportunities and explorations ahead.
    A great relief because I often find photography can feel exhausted to me and I can't seem to THINK of anything new.....
    but now I know it's just a case of working out how to access the creativity. First you have to know it's there....


    After I photographed a shop front for a client, I found this reflection to play with. I tend to include myself for the people-element that I think is needed to make photographs come to life.

    reflection_city.jpg

    Here is the band Birds of Tokyo from our shoot on Sunday. Definitely spent more time eating spring rolls and drinking coffee than we did photographing, but we all ended up happy!
    I'm not sure why Kenny looks like an old china man here... do you agree?

    birds_tokyo_natbrunovs.jpg

    Posted by natalija at 5:59 PM | Comments (0)

    August 30, 2006

    My Day in 3 Pictures

    I'm having all these worm tunnel flash backs to my childhood this week. Scents, colour combinations and walks are hurtling me into the past. I've never experienced so much of it. And a lot of it is cryptic and distracting, like this specific bright green & black strip that I noticed on the ropes at yoga is connected to something I used to love as a kid, but I can't put my finger on it. The closest I've got is that it is a toy and made of plastic. Not good to be wondering during a downward dog...

    Anyway, my life in pictures today... with only 2 days to go til I jet off to Meekatharra for a month... things are getting a bit wirey and wacky.

    corn_beans_toast.jpg
    hair_glasses.jpg
    glitter_pens.jpg

    Creamed Corn with Baked Beans
    Now that's a bit of being 8 years old sitting around the breakfast table!

    Sunnies in Hair
    My semi wet chaos hair all thrown around by the wind meant my sunnies got stuck quite extremely.

    Glitter = Office Happiness
    I am surrounded by tampons at the moment. And my male work colleague is getting quite the unexpected education! Why? Because I am designing tampon packaging! Amongst it all, it dawned on me how glitter pens provide so much happiness for those with dull jobs. Not that mine is, it isn't even my pen! I am simply just a pen-magnet, never buy anything but black artlines.

    [current mood] A Sweet Goodbye with a Drink & Dessert

    Posted by natalija at 5:40 PM | Comments (0)

    August 23, 2006

    Odd Cloud Formation

    weird_cloud.jpg
    Finally, I had my camera in the car when I saw something worth photographing.
    I can't make sense of this cloud... Can someone else explain it to me?
    or is it sky-voodoo?

    [current mood] Porridge & 1080

    Posted by natalija at 9:04 AM | Comments (4)

    August 17, 2006

    Out Takes The Cake (sorry I am pun-central these days)

    david_jacket.jpg

    I keep remembering that when I'm doing a shoot to step out of the goal for a moment and just shoot things that amuse myself. This image is from some rehearsals for 'What A Man's Gotta Do'. My job was to shoot casual portraits of the performers, but in between I took a few shots of Dave's feet, jacket and the wall. A little obscure. But kind of fashionable - don't you think?
    Funny I think how fashion photographers spend ages setting up for shots like this, but they are often easier found when not trying!

    There are plenty of opportunities at shoots to capture moments when people don't realise you're doing it - particularly if it could be a significant moment in time, like people rehearsing for the first time together, or more behind the scenes stuff - like someone fixing their collar or the stylist playing with someone's hair...

    The shots can end up in places you never would have thought of either.

    [current mood] Cure: Soto Melt & Chamomile Tea

    Posted by natalija at 3:13 PM | Comments (1)

    August 2, 2006

    In the bottom quarters

    Nurses_Kitchen.jpg

    When I was staying at the Nurses Quarters in Meeka, the light hit these wildflowers at 8am thru the grill, thru the window, thru the sign... And because I'm thinking 'photography' I rush off to get my camera before it changes. These are the kind of images I'm encouraging people to find in their Meeka-day.

    [current mood] radio interview on 3 cups of coffee.. bad idea

    Posted by natalija at 3:04 PM | Comments (3)

    August 1, 2006

    Quick Dip In Meeka

    road_ends.jpg

    This morning I was jogging in Meekatharra.
    And I came to the end of the road...

    Now I'm back in Perth at my computer.
    It was just an overnight trip to meet all the peeps I could.
    And like Insurance Salesmen, Francis and I sold everyone this fantastic photography residency I'll be doing.
    I'm feeling VERY excited about being back there for the project in a month. Everyone was truly receptive and ready to participate. Got plans to go down mines, go out bush, watch art being made, hang with the kids, work via the school of the air... everyone is gonna be snapping!!

    [current mood] Beer & Dumplings

    Posted by natalija at 8:28 PM | Comments (2)

    July 25, 2006

    Great Balls of Water

    Gerbera_Drops.jpg
    I'm fascinated by how rain clings to flowers in such perfect globes of water.
    They appear to be very viscous. And they hang there for hours in the sunlight.
    Showing off I think.

    [current mood] Too many Swedish Biscuits & The Necks

    Posted by natalija at 5:05 PM | Comments (1)

    July 4, 2006

    blink - and I'm gone!

    I received a hug by the world today
    I was chosen
    for a residency in Meekatharra
    playing with the community
    using photography as a means to grow
    to see
    and to connect
    with our human family

    It's called BLINK!
    Being run by Country Arts in association with PIAF

    I look forward to sharing this journey with you!

    [current mood] A clean studio & The sound of my heart beating

    Posted by natalija at 5:19 PM | Comments (10)

    June 5, 2006

    Northbridge presence

    star_shadow_red_door.jpg
    I think this is the best photograph I've ever taken.
    Today, walking around Northbridge for 4 hours with Janelle and Anne, we noticed things.
    I think Janelle should teach a course called 'life appreciation'.
    I've never felt so present in this place.

    [current mood] Sohan's homemade bread with jam & Iron and Wine

    Posted by natalija at 10:16 PM | Comments (5)

    May 27, 2006

    Self Portrait In Studio

    selfportrait_studio.jpg

    I secretly shoot myself when the client is getting ready.

    [current mood] The Soundtrack to Reform at PICA & Home made fries

    Posted by natalija at 5:06 PM | Comments (5)

    May 25, 2006

    Prehistoric Creature

    crazy caterpillar

    This little sucker was found in Mount Lawley this week.
    He tried to make a run for it, but he was the equivalent of 15 stories up, plus his legs were like suction cups and didn't allow for high speeds. It was however quite incredible to witness his flexibility particularly in the upper regions as he craned for a view of safety.
    I had to shoot him, i'm sure you can understand... my life was in danger!

    Please click the image for a close up of his danger zones. (please note, we're both in need of a wax).

    [current mood] Still more Gypsie Kings & Must for Dinner Date with Bec

    Posted by natalija at 4:53 PM | Comments (0)

    May 13, 2006

    night in our city

    What a strange little world the CBD alleyways are on mid week evenings around midnight. Sohan and I went exploring with camera and microphone. We were in our element there, quietly collecting whispers and drips, angles unseen and broken. There was the accidental stepping into someone’s alley way home to then receive a long monologue of life in jail, of killing and cops… he talked with a proud bloated chest and a hand that moved his bandana and its jangling saftey pins back and forth across his face, whilst he shuffled with wariness. Then there was the broken ATM door that sounded like a gag reflex as it jutted back and forth. The screaming women repeating the same words over and over. The rattling of coins in his palm as he sells a newspaper. And two little people running about the deserted art space, giggling and creating…

    [current mood] Electrelane & 24, The 3rd series

    Posted by natalija at 9:10 AM | Comments (2)

    April 26, 2006

    Backstage At Fashion Show




    These images are from my backstage wanderings at the show 'Hems on the Outskirts of Temptation' which was held out at Midland Railway Workshops. I loved the contrasts of peeling walls and the ephemeral - like champagne resting on an old tractor. I eagerly swam around the surface capturing the soon to be lost images. There was so much adrenalin fueled activity in the hour that preceeded the show that it caused me to miss being part of the flurry of performance preparations! It's a familiar state from my adolescence as actress and saxophonist and alas given up for design and photography.. hmm - I wouldn't mind emmersing myself back into that hullabaloo soon. Just looking for a stage role...

    [current mood] TV plugged in after 6 months off & Pistachio Il Gelato

    Posted by natalija at 9:36 PM | Comments (5)

    April 25, 2006

    droplets on dropped blossom


    Nature is up to her usual beauty. Making art out of the elements: colour, texture, water, pattern.

    Posted by natalija at 12:56 PM | Comments (1)

    rainy days and tuesdays always get me....

    Today is one of those days where I feel like the whole world is in the same mood. And there has been some uncanny parallels between my friends... like this weekend the mood was certainly hibernate.
    Today's public holiday drippy flavour makes me just want to cosy up with acoustic music in my favourite winter jumper, drink some healthy tea and slowly tackle my studio's building piles of 'stuff'.... but first, a request by Yvette (see previous post's comment) - to give my pictorial take on today's weather. Click on images for a bigger view.
    Lately I'm trying to express more 'painterly' qualities in my photographs, so, long exposures that give more life and impression to a frozen moment, capturing light and mood.
    And as I took these photos, balancing on the outdoor furniture, I managed to step right through the glass coffee table which made the hugest noise on the block - quickly followed by my goofy laugh...

    [current mood] Porridge & Simon Nield

    Posted by natalija at 10:38 AM | Comments (3)

    April 21, 2006

    Who wants to come over for breakfast?

    Quick! There is still some left.

    If you can't make it, then make it:
    Tin of peaches, boil in sugar and water (1:2), bruised cardamon pods, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and bay leaf.
    keep going til liquid is syrupy and peaches are getting yummy looking
    Approach Wolf Lane Studio for the homemade sourdough bread
    whir up soy milk and eggs, dunk em in and fry with butter

    combine above with ricotta!

    awww... best breakfast ever!

    [current mood] Can't Get Enough of Smog & Walking Laps in the Heated Pool

    Posted by natalija at 9:02 AM | Comments (3)

    April 16, 2006

    Leaf Bugs


    Leaf bugs really are the coolest

    Posted by natalija at 3:40 PM | Comments (0)

    April 10, 2006

    beautiful dry dead things

    driedflower_dryskin.jpg

    I admire most the decaying things, those that lie dissolving into the ground, their curling crusting ends, their tones and colours more telling, their frozen preserved appearance but a lie, as they will soon be crumbled under foot.
    These finds are more beautiful than ubiquitous flowers, more mesmerising than a perfect green leaf. This is the true artwork of nature as it combines mortality with beauty.
    My skin, also dry and dying, is the perfect background for these photographs. (more soon).

    [current mood] Porridge & Quiet Classical Drifting From The Bedroom

    Posted by natalija at 7:21 AM | Comments (0)

    April 4, 2006

    Something's Amiss...


    This photo has had me in hysterics now for five minutes...
    I was documenting my coffee making process with my new stovetop thingyami bob. I was looking through the camera, getting the pourer in focus, kind of wondering why there was such a distance in the focus between the mug and the pourer, but began to pour anyway, and as I shot the coffee pouring in front of the mug, I thought, something is amiss here!

    After cleaning up the kitchen floor, I am left to the following conclusions...
    a) I have gone too far with thinking the camera lens is actually my eyeball
    b) Only take photographs AFTER my first coffee
    c) The camera never lies!

    cafe_amiss2.jpg

    And here was the original story...
    I have lived through plungers, filters and expresso machines. And I always found myself popping out for a take away because they just taste better!!
    Until now...
    I have combined the perfect set of ingredients to create an experience I am happy to have at home.
    A real italian Kitti Oro Espresso Coffee Maker, Fairtrade Organic Ground Coffee, Heated Vitasoy and my favourite hand painted mug... and low and behold - it's a pleasure to make, it tastes so good and it doesn't have all those other poisons that make the coffee hangover so much worse!

    [current mood] uhh.. Coffee & Not Road Works outside my window

    Posted by natalija at 10:44 AM | Comments (5)

    March 16, 2006

    This is what sedition looks like

    I like to be seditious - I'm more seditious than you! (Badge idea care of Rebecca Giggs). And I'm discovering that I do it daily in a variety of ways.

    The Art of Sedition is something I'm mastering. I find it to be blood red, involve snipping and nervous laughter, dark corners and unmarked envelopes. This time my sedition is played out through red ribbon, canvasy paper and a few careful stitches.
    These papers are going out to a select group of powerful figures who will ideally be intrigued and inspired by the project written on the pages. From here they may make or break our fireball dream, so next week will be either a delight or a drop.

    I can't tell you much about this project - at this stage. It's a shout to our government, an awareness raising hell and an artists' inspiration plan. So soon soon soon I hope to give it public displays of affection.

    [current mood] Dried Fruit & Running Water

    Posted by natalija at 6:36 PM | Comments (0)

    March 3, 2006

    Those who know don't say, and those who say don't know.

    [current mood] Leftover Curry & The Moon - later tonight

    Posted by natalija at 2:08 PM | Comments (2)

    February 27, 2006

    birthday slippers

    A gift of hessian slippers from Narelle. I did not know til 5 minutes ago that hessian comes from hemp! Funny how you miss things like that in life. These slippers might just be the epitome of aesthetic over function! Love them!
    This photo reminds me of ballet slippers as shot by the talented Jon Green - Perth dance photographer. I've been talking to him recently and assisted in a shoot in order to witness his style. Such a gentle man. He really shows you how important it is for the photographer to make the model comfortable. The art of photography entails so much more than framing up a good shot. It is also about being a teacher, a facilitator, a conversationalist, an energy creator. Many of my shoots have fallen in a heap when I get stressed (normally equipment failure or self-conscious boys), my ability to hold the room gets lost in the tension of my mind. So, I think an early night and a camomile tea would be better way to approach a day of shooting. for sure..

    I am also currently 'head over heels' which when I tried to photograph made me realise my yogi postures were in need of serious refinement... And then I googled the term... turns out it is another of societies screw-ups...

    Meaning
    Excited, and/or turning cartwheels to demonstrate one's excitement.

    Origin
    Many people would recognise that meaning. What most wouldn't do is take time to consider that it makes no literal sense - after all head over heels is the normal posture. A version of the phrase originated in the 14th century as 'heels over head', which is really what we mean when we use it. The phrase evolved into head over heels much later as it was used in everyday speech without a great deal of thought.

    And in other news, today when waiting in line at the post office, I realised I had two clothes pegs in my pants pocket from hanging out sheets this morning. I clipped them both to my pocket for safe storage. And the thought did cross my mind - and then played itself out as I left - a women approached me to point out that I'd left some clothes pegs on my pants!
    Oh, perth, how you will never be able to see the art!

    [current mood] Tosca & Herbal Joy from Leaf Tea House

    Posted by natalija at 6:44 PM | Comments (0)

    February 23, 2006

    You know you're really an adult when you buy bocconcini

    This photo is for those of you who come for the food porn.
    Rye and Caraway Bread
    Organic avocado
    Organic roma tomato
    Basil from the garden...
    And sliced bocconcini!

    [current mood] Fresh Air & A Silver Mt Zion

    Posted by natalija at 2:07 PM | Comments (0)

    February 19, 2006

    child's art

    Yesterday I travelled to the hills, to the scarp, to bush I hadn't seen. I stopped for a coffee next to a candy store and through the window I saw this delicious eye candy. Just two button necklaces hung over a chair. The sign said "locally crafted" and "$10.50". The rainbow, the length and then the price meant this one was mine.
    I asked the owner, who made this? "My daughter" she replied. Looking at her face I thought this daughter must be young... "15" she tells me. Ruby is her name.

    I was even more warmed that a girl had made this necklace from gathered buttons and used her pure heart to build something that excites her. No university or marketing method, just a girl on her bedroom floor. Authentic art I'd say - nothing contrived. Is it less valuable because of this? Or more because it is fleeting?

    Well, now this colourful string of buttons swings with me over my bicycle handles and rolls across my chest as I design and dance.

    [current mood] "I feel like a child" Devendra Banhart & Brazil Nuts, way too many Brazil Nuts

    Posted by natalija at 3:38 PM | Comments (2)

    February 12, 2006

    loveletter.jpg
    This is what love letters should look like.

    Posted by natalija at 3:52 PM | Comments (0)

    February 10, 2006

    mango inspired

    mango.jpg

    The way to my heart
    is through stone fruit

    The way to my soul
    is through sun

    The way to my mind
    is through deep curving tunnels

    Or

    you can read my face
    it does not lie

    [current mood] mango & chai

    Posted by natalija at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

    February 5, 2006

    It's a rocky road

    Rocky Road from Coode St Cafe… the mouthfuls of marshmellows, coated in thick milk chocolate, the crunch of peanuts and the chew of lolly raspberries.. each taste a different combination of the above.

    If I drop one addiction, another one replaces it. It seems I need something to repeat, something to crave… what are some of these things? Coffee, chai, nectarines, curly wurlys… and then there are those things you can’t eat… work and affection…
    What makes a person an addictive type? The need for the crutch? There are so many levels of addiction too. I think it is defined by the finding of happiness within the external. It is ignoring the inner voice and blocking it with a hit of fufilling desire, and perhaps it is an easier option than sitting with the need we feel and addressing what we are trying to fill.

    [current mood] Pasta cooked with love & Death Cab for Cutie

    Posted by natalija at 7:39 PM | Comments (3)

    January 29, 2006

    Food Photography

    This is one of the reasons I’m not vegetarian… salami. oh yeah. Anyway this post is about food photography. I’ve analysed what makes a good food shot, I’ve been studying Donna Hay and other food publications to see if this rule is the guiding one.. and it is. It is all about ‘window light’. Coming from behind/to the side. This can be created using a soft box and white light, and the effect is just the same - probably better. The reason? Mum’s just baked a delicious chocolate and raspberry high top muffin for you and placed in on the window ledge. The sunny backdrop gives a positive glow to the food, and radiates a homely morning. It seems to be the one-trick rule, as well as short depth of field and beautiful presentation. A new magazine just came out in Perth - Spice. I’m going to chase them I think with my theory and my follow up work… more than toasties I swear!

    [current mood] The Necks & An Empty Stomach

    Posted by natalija at 4:52 PM | Comments (0)

    January 3, 2006

    Friends in December

    My beautiful friends came over on xmas eve for drinks. Although xmas means absolutely nothing and each year this becomes clearer and clearer when I wish people ‘merry xmas’ and don’t really know why. But ignoring that, I see it as an opportunity to come together in celebration of life and friendship. It’s an excuse for people to stop working, come home to Perth, look family in the eye and share great gifts of life.
    My friends are just truly awesome. Take Mel for example, she turns a broken set of reindeer antlers into a rooster headpiece…. just like that.

    [current mood] Hoodoo Gurus & Water

    Posted by natalija at 9:41 PM | Comments (2)

    December 19, 2005

    Concrete Launch Photos

    Here is a link to the progression of images from the launch of Concrete Dialogues.

    [current mood] Rhubarb & Wicked Beat Sound System

    Posted by natalija at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

    December 6, 2005

    Some Dreams Come True

    It was quite synchronistic when I received a call from a film producer a few weeks ago asking if I’d like to shoot stills for her upcoming film. I had just been having one of those weeks asking myself why I wasn’t in hollywood living up the dream lives that those DVD extra’s seem to portray. Oh the fun of making a film, the splashing about in champagne and torrid affairs with ruggedly handsome stars…
    So, I came up with a method to get myself into that arena.. I already have the passport, all I need is a job. I thought photography was the ticket.
    This led me to the plan of being a stills photographer on film sets… well, as it happens, my dreams were answered in the form of this stepping stone - a film by Christopher Kenworthy and Chantal Bourgault called “Some Dreams Come True”.
    It stars Paul Goddard, Claire Hooper and Kelly Paterniti.

    It’s been quite eye opening, mostly because its not all fun ‘n’ games. There is real professional seriousness that creates the needed atmosphere to get the work done… but then again when you’re shooting a quirky scene, people do have fun… creating those out-take moments.

    These photos are from day 2 of 3 - the reception party scene in which Paul’s character realises his ‘dream woman’ in not that fantasy girl but in fact his new bride.

    Click on images for a closer look

    Posted by natalija at 5:28 PM | Comments (0)

    November 23, 2005

    new space

    seedpod studio

    This is a peek into my new studio space - albeit temporary. I heard that green induces the most creativity (and envy?) so I’ve got that most fashionable greeny turquoise facing my eyes all day. Out the window are leafy green trees and occassional happy splashes from people using the pool. It feels like a secret getaway studio…
    (Click image for a closer viewing)

    Posted by natalija at 11:09 PM | Comments (0)

    September 22, 2005

    colour palette

    Colour-Exhibition.jpg

    I’m printing the above design on a 20 x 20 inch canvas.
    It’s my colour palette of Madang, Papua New Guinea.
    It’s going in a colour exhibition this Friday - Wednesday at Kidogo Art House in Fremantle.
    My friend Janelle Cugley is organising it and is presenting a paper on her theories. She is doing her PHD on colour palette creation with communities for energy and connection. She is spicy and green eyed, I like her!

    Posted by natalija at 9:43 AM | Comments (3)

    September 20, 2005

    my wheel of fortune

    I’m shooting Baby John Burgess tomorrow. Life just got a little bit weird.
    I need some Life after Wheel of Fortune ideas for the shoot.

    Posted by natalija at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)

    September 10, 2005

    Choose

    I was asked to choose 2 photos from PNG for a spread in Smooch Magazine. Cool! And then I realised I simply could not choose… I love my close up flower photos but they might be perceived as a bit dull, but what if I contrast them with a people shot… but what is the meaning there? Are the people like nature? How about a piece of PNG art, that responds to nature… but are those photos of mine actually good photographs or just documentation? I think I should use something that captures an essence of PNG. That is the skill I guess I want to show. After all, this is somewhat of a marketing exercise. I know, what about dozens of thumbnails of all my colour/texture pattern shots… I’ll ask the ed…
    No.
    What about 4 on one spread? I ask…
    Yes! Ok, I’ll bring together all the ideas from above…
    So, here is what I ended up submitting…

    png_smooch.jpg

    Posted by natalija at 11:19 AM | Comments (0)

    August 15, 2005

    Memories like Flowers Decay

    PNG Memory

    PNG exists only in my mind. Clouded by everything happening here, did it ever happen? Those 6 weeks are just a flash. My photographs take part of me back, to wandering around gardens of exotic flowers, twisting limbs around fruit shapes, shaking soft hands and meeting beaming smiles. I can’t seem to integrate this life into my current one. I don’t want to lose it. Photographs are the triggers to take me back, a gift of the universe.

    Posted by natalija at 8:18 AM | Comments (2)

    June 28, 2005

    A palette of the University in Madang, PNG.

    c_t_p.jpg

    Posted by natalija at 1:54 PM | Comments (1)

    June 15, 2005

    the man shall not win!

    Bec Patterson of Breathless We need a big meeting in Perth with all photographers. I am starting to think that I might have to organise it. Every photographer in Perth should get together and have a frank conversation about rates - And how we can force certain ‘Western Australian’ newspapers and magazines’ not to exploit their monopoly by bulling photographers (and writers) into working for a pittance.

    The industry standard, I learnt at University - some seven years ago, was about $100/hr. So, where do they get off refusing to work with me for more than $50 for 3 hours work in the year 2005?
    I know $100/hr sounds like a lot compared with other jobs, but after you take away the expenses of the camera, lenses and lights, you are just making a living.
    I have had many a strong visual image in my head that expresses the way I would like to respond to this, however I have mostly just talked to the (imaginary) editor from my car seat. So, why don’t I just say “Take this job and shove it”?
    Well, I kind of did, but then they asked me to a civilised lunch (I had to pay) to be ‘convinced’ that I should do it for less…
    why? Opportunities? Some money better than no money? Experience? Maybe more in the future? Guaranteed amount of work?

    The usual slimy scare tactics… that just keeps the big boys afloat.
    Well, It seems the only solution is to organise this meeting with all the photographers that say YES (such as the strange person that is offering to shoot products at $5 a pop?) and thus causing other photographers to have to weaken their worth and be devalued.
    We can all rise up, be firm and create a union so that we get what we deserve!

    I shall not work for people that do not respect the work I am giving them, that think they are doing ME a favour. I must not bow to the short fat man, instead I am opening my side wings to the universe and trust that she shall keep me flying.

    Posted by natalija at 5:51 PM | Comments (5)

    June 3, 2005

    it's all rainbows

    rainbow-collage.jpg

    Out the back of our new office in Mount Lawley, this amazing double rainbow appeared. We all admired its splendour. It feels like this is the kind of office in which we’ll see the beauty of rainbows. We are all grinning and happy in this old shop, freshly painted chalk and coral.

    Posted by natalija at 8:32 AM | Comments (2)

    April 16, 2005

    allsorts

    neil

    Jacob’s dad on a recent photoshoot with me. He is a bit of an allsort! And a lovely chap who buys you coffee when you most desire it.

    Posted by natalija at 10:27 PM | Comments (0)

    March 16, 2005

    da Vida

    davida.jpg
    I used to claim strongly that I would never do fashion. I am not into models and I don’t want to deal with them. But this one is my bestest friend. It has now tickled my fancy and I already have a job with a Scoop Magazine rival, coming out in June. More soon!

    Posted by natalija at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

    February 22, 2005

    Silver Shirt, Blue Sky

    thailand.jpg

    This girl was sitting on top of a truck as we took a slow barge across a river. One of the three we had to cross when leaving Cambodia for Thailand.

    Posted by natalija at 10:30 PM | Comments (2)