Long Days and Busy Schedules

Between work, study and life, I’ve found it hard to update my posts here, and have barely had a chance to even look at my site. On the bright side I have been enjoying my studies and my work/life balance has flowed nicely, so while I’m missing in action in my blog posts, everything is still peachy for me at this point in my life.

As I mentioned, I’ve been studying hard for my Interior Design/Building Design diplomas, and while I’ve been working on my assignments, my camera gear has sat neglected in my closet (I know, it’s a sad thing to admit).

But … that doesn’t mean it’s over for me. I’ve got some things I’m working on for Frankly Speaking coming in the pipeline which shouldn’t be too far away, so I’ll update them when I’ve finalized them.

Although it sounds like I haven’t touched my camera since the last time I posted, I have been using it when I get breaks from study; my partner, his family and myself travelled to Cania Gorge, then to Byfield National Park during the June/July holidays as a short four day trip to get away from our busy lives. We managed to get to Byfield just as the water levels were low enough to allow for safe access to the park after the huge wet season we had earlier in the year. And although it was cold and overcast for most of the trip, both of these locations are worth seeing.

I’ve also been using my film camera where I can. I usually take my film camera more places than I do my digital camera, and sometimes use it even more when I do have my Sony with me. I took it with me when we went to Byfield, though the film came back blank which was extremely disappointing. I did, however take many shots back in November when I was camping with my brothers at Double Island Point, near Rainbow Beach. Here are some shots I took on a roll of Kodak Professional Ektar 100 film. I took them before I fixed the light leaks in the body of the camera, but they still turned out beautifully.


New Years Celebrations

I hope everyone enjoyed their New Years celebrations, whatever it may have been. I spent my New Years on Fraser Island, where I enjoyed crystal clear waters, snorkeling up creeks and watching the sunsets with a drink in hand. I was there for a week and obviously took my camera with me to photograph the landscape, seascape, the sunsets and spectacular night sky.

The days were overcast more than sunny, so it wasn’t overly hot. When the clouds did clear and in moments when I wasn’t swimming in the creek, I walked up the creek or the beach with my new camera, the Sony a7iii. It was a good opportunity to test out my new neutral density filter.

We stayed on the western side of the island, where it was a lot quieter and at a camp ground that is only accessible at low tide through a tidal creek. The water was crystal clear, making it perfect for snorkeling all the way up the creek.

Being an island far enough away from any major city the amount of light polution in the sky was fairly low, making it a great location for astrophotography. Not only this, I could properly practice astrophotography with my a7iii, being the first real opportunity to practice it since buying the camera.

Bring on 2020

2019 has certainly been a roller coaster. I started my studies again, conquered the new challenge of finding a balance between work, study and life, throwing into the mix a new relationship and the loss of my pet cat.

So 2019 has been both challenging and exciting all at once. Which would surely mean 2020 will continue to throw much of the same towards me. Which is okay. This year’s experiences have helped me grow and I’ve become a happier person because of them.

But this year hasn’t offered many opportunities to use my cameras and practice my photography, though I have tried where I can. So in 2020 I aim to photograph more, take my cameras with me more often and set up some side projects. I might even start another photography challange. I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the 2018 Dogwood Photography Challenge, and I learnt so much about my style and photography in general. Not only this but it kept the skills I already had sharp, and helped me grow new skills.

In terms of my blog and social media, however, I won’t be as active as I’ve been in the past. Just like the last twelve months, I will be pretty preoccupied, but I also find little enjoyment in trying to keep up with making content while feeling happy and authentic in my posts and social media. So expect less but know that everything is fine.

Wrapping up, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Christmas and that you enjoy your New Years celebrations, whatever that may be. Here’s to the new year.

I Bought a New Camera!

About a month ago, I received a much anticipated parcel in the mail…a new Sony a7iii Mirrorless Camera! I had been saving for months and months to buy one and finally the day came and I could not wait to try it out.

The main reason I went with the a7iii was because of it’s low light capabilities. I love shooting astrophotography, and it’s probably my favourite form of photography, so obviously a camera with excellent low light capabilities, as well as a full frame sensor, was the way to go.

I had done astrophotography before on my Sony a65, however with it being a more outdated and amateur camera, paired with the crop sensor, I couldn’t really get the types of shots that I dreamed of capturing.

So of course after I received my a7iii in the mail and I unboxed it on my bed, I went outside to shoot the stars.

Not a show stopping shot, but certainly better than those taken on my Sony a65. Shooting with 1600 ISO was unheard of on my Sony a65 simple because of the poor quality it gives. Now though, I have more than enough ISO to play with, as well as the benefits of the full frame sensor on the a7iii.


New Branding!

If you’ve been following my Intsagram or watching my site, you would have noticed I’ve made a huge change to my branding — actually, I’ve changed the whole thing! Except the name of course.

Old logo
New logo

I made my original logo in Uni a couple of years ago for my final major project, but for the past year I just haven’t been happy with it and have wanted a change. The problem was I needed time to design a new logo and I didn’t actually know where to begin. I’ve been busy with life for the last seven months and haven’t been able to focus on it, until recently, when I chipped away at a new logo between study time and work.

I wanted to keep my name (Frankly Speaking) to keep it consistant and not get anyone confused, but I wanted to change it to represent me now, not in 2017, because since then I’ve changed so much as a person and as a photographer. I needed something to represent me as I am, not some ametuer graphic designer/photographer with high expectations and unrealistic dreams (lets face it; we’ve all been there at some point). I realised after I graduated six months after I finished my degree that while I wanted to do great things and work in a successful business with other designers and photographers, it actually wasn’t for me. It might look good in theory and in my head, but when I tried it, it really took the fun away for me.

Which is why I choose not to advertise Frankly Speaking everywhere, because I’d rather do my own creative work than be constantly hired for jobs my heart just isn’t in. And that’s okay! Photography is my passion, and while I enjoy doing shoots for people and families and couples, I couldn’t do it everyday. Cudos to those who do *que the applause*.

So now I’m going to focus more on blogging, which I thoroughly enjoy. I’m not the best at it, haven’t been at it for a long time, and am probably being super boring in my posts droning on about my basic life (but I really hope not). But that’s not the point, the point is I’m still working on my site and my blog, I’m updating Frankly Speaking to represent me as I am now. I’ve realised that I now don’t have unrealistic expectations of my future and that I wish to follow the beat of my own drum, not that of the people who say what I should be doing or where I should be in life. And I can do this through my passion; photography.

I started photography at Uni as a minor while I was studying Graphic Design, using my mum’s ameteur Sony camera for my classes (the a65 that I still use today) and since then I have fallen in love with it. My pop bought me a second hand working manual film camera (my Ricoh zf35) a year ago for $2 at a garage sale and I fell in love again, but this time with film photography.

So, basically what I’m saying is not the cliche thing your mum told when you were ten years old and you wanted to be an astronaut (even though mumma knows best everywhere else in life). No, I’m saying follow your passions, the things that light the fire in your belly and in your soul. Because sometimes following your dreams can leave you misguided and lost, while following your passions will leave you sure of your life path and of what you enjoy in this life.


New tides…

I’ll start this post by saying sorry; I’ve been MIA for the last month and a half and haven’t posted anything to my blog. I’ll explain why.

This year, I’m studying again (excuse me, what?). I know – crazy. A Dual Diploma in Interior Design/Interior Decoration and Building Design. Classes started at the beginning of February and the course goes for two years. So I’ve been fairly focused on that, which is why I haven’t been active on the site.

Which is also why I won’t be doing a 2019 photography challenge this year. Though that doesn’t mean I won’t be uploading anything. I’ll keep the site updated with what I’m up to and my latest work, in both my studies and side projects.

On a different note (and also so that this post is not all boring), here is a project I completed a few weeks ago. I found an old necklace while cleaning out my cupboard, and got inspiration to create some (dorky) photos with it.

And on that note, I hope you’re all well, wherever you may be, and I’ll catch you next time.

– Frankly

My Incurably Ill Cat

A few weeks ago, I woke up to a mad and pained kitty in the middle of the night. My cat had a blood clot lodged somewhere in her back in the middle of a Tuesday night after I got home from work, which led to temporary paralysis of her hind legs and a lot of pain for her. I had no idea what to do, let alone what it could be after checking her for ticks, and took her to the vet at 12:30 am.

Long story short, my cat, Cleo, has heart disease. Feline heart disease is a disease that most commonly effects only certain, more ‘exotic’ breeds of cats. She was a stray when we got her, she was barely out of kitten-hood I would guess, and we have no idea what her parentage is, let alone what breeds she is. She looks like a regular Moggie, except her colouring is quite unique compared to the regular Moggie cat community’s coats.

We took her to a specialist who was able to properly diagnose her and get her stabilised, after she went into congestive heart failure; her heart just couldn’t keep up after her clot. They stabilised her, called us down, and told us she is to have five tablets a day, to keep her indoors for two weeks and that she will only live another 5-11 months, despite her being middle aged, around seven years old.

At around the two week mark after she came home, I had a day off work and decided it was time to see how she goes outside. I stayed with her, but took my camera with me, knowing I wouldn’t have much more time with her. Usually my other cat, Peanut, steals the limelight when it comes to the camera.

She is getting better at taking the pills and getting used to it still, but she is content and at home, which is all I could ask for.

19/09/19 NOTE: Cleo passed away on the 11 September this year. She was a sassy, stubborn little farm cat, but also an adorable soul that I loved dearly, and will always be remembered as such. She developed the heart disease at the rough age of seven, as its a disease that develops in middle aged or young cats, but not old cats. This is something a lot of people are not aware of, and something cat owners specifically need to be made aware of.

2018 Photography Challenge Week 52

For the last week of the 2018 Dogwood Photography Challenge, I was to capture a creative self portrait of me. So on the Friday before New Years Day, I thought about what I could do and mentally noted some ideas.

The next day, I had my plan of attack. I gathered some of my favourite plants, including my Alocasia Frydek (Green Velvet Plant), which I sat in my bookshelf with it’s longs stalks and leaves facing the camera. I then took multiple shots of the other different plants I had planed out earlier, transfered the shots to my computer and got to work on creating my final piece.

This project took me a day, with a three hour work shift in between, with me putting the finishing touches in at 9 o’clock at night. It’s just one of many side projects I am proud of.

2018 Photography Challenge: December

Week 49: Vision: Look Back: This week the task requires me to redo a task from earlier on in the challenge to see how I would photograph it now. Personally, I chose to do the Full Manual task, Week 3 (in the 2018 Photography Challenge: January post). This year I have discovered astrophotography which I love, so i chose to capture the night sky for this task. I was late in doing this task because my cat had sudden health issues one night and for that week I couldn’t think of anything else, so I was a week late, which put me in line with the yearly Geminid meteor shower which I was hoping to capture. Thanks to ex-tropical cyclone Owen we had constant overcast days and nights so I had to wait for a night when the sky would clear, and this photograph is about as clear as it was going to get for me for about five minutes before the clouds formed together again.

Week 50: Composition: Golden Ratio: This one took me a bit to master and understand, but I eventually decided to use my Gerbera flower as the subject and place the center of the flower in the middle of the spiral that would be Fibonacci’s rule.

Week 51: Technical: Exposure Compensation: For this task I used my plants that are in my room as props with my new lace curtains as a back drop. I used the curtains because I know it would confuse my camera into being lighter than the scene actually is, and used my cameras exposure compensation to bring the exposure back to where it should be.

Week 52: Creative: Self Portrait: I created this composition in week 51 because I knew I wouldn’t have time in week 52 given it is a short week. I wanted to create something that was a bit unique, showing my love for my plants as well as for books and knowledge.

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