Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Through my writing and photography I seek to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.

I am a Freelance Journalist and Photographer based in Bunbury, Western Australia. My published work specialises in Western Australian travel articles and stories about inspiring everyday people. I have a day job, but my passion is photography, writing, travel, wildflower and food photography. For now my day job supports me until I can pursue my passions full time.

I hope you enjoy scrolling through my blog. To visit other pages, please click on the tabs above, or go to my Blog Archive on the side bar. Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of any of my posts. I value your messages and look forward to hearing from you.

If you like my work, and would like to buy a print, or commission me for some work, please go to my "contact me" tab. Thank you for visiting my blog and helping me "step into the light".



Monday, 13 April 2015

Raindrops on roses

Raindrops on roses I think have suited my mood this past week, and there they were in my garden, like silvery glass baubles glistening on the leaves in the autumn sunlight seeping through the grey clouds.

Autumn has come to my part of the world in Western Australia, and with it has come the rain that we have desperately waited for. It rained in a steady drizzle for several days, a good soaking rain, breathing life into our dry gardens and land.

I used a macro lens and shallow depth of field like F/5 to blur the background. Remember to protect your camera from the rain!

So why my mood? Last week we laid to rest the ashes of my father who passed away on 6 September last year and my mother-in-law who passed away on 26 December.  It felt like leaving behind the last physical connection we had with them. The raindrops mingled with my tears. But I know they are at peace and reunited with their partners, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. They will be forever in our hearts.

 But there is joy too in the memories they have left behind.
I have taken this image through the leaves of other rose bushes, so that the blurred leaves in front softly framed the rose behind. Do you like the effect? 

To lift my mood I went to a follow up water-colour workshop with Marguerite Aberle at Lyndendale Gallery in the beautiful Ferguson Valley near Dardanup. These miniature paintings are going to be made into cards. It is years since I have painted and I have a lot to learn. But I really enjoyed the morning. Thank you Marguerite for a lovely "play" morning and for your generosity of spirit. You are a treasure.

As you can see the paddocks have welcomed the rain. Soon the grape vines and some of the trees will be putting on their autumn colours.

You can see my first post about painting with Marguerite here - Autumn arrives in Western Australia

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday

You might also like -

How to take great flower photos  
Photographing flowers and using clouds as a natural diffuser 
 Autumn arrives in Western Australia

Monday, 6 April 2015

Lunar Eclipse, Western Australia, 4 April 2015

On Saturday night 4 April during the Easter period I was thrilled to be able to photograph the lunar eclipse.  We were out in the central Western Australian wheatbelt visiting my family who farm in the area, so conditions were going to be perfect with absolutely no ambient light from towns, highways, factories etc. 

The total eclipse was due to be at its peak around 8pm. Early in the evening the clouds started to roll in, but I was able to get some photos during the early phases of the eclipse.  In simple terms the lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes between the moon and sun creating what they call "the blood moon".

The explanation below comes from www.space.com - please click here to read more - 
Total Lunar Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon is fully submerged in the core of the Earth's shadow, called the umbra. The outer ring of the shadow is called the penumbra. When the moon passes into the penumbra, it darkens the surface of the moon, making it look as if a "bite" has been taken from the lunar surface. "Totality" occurs when the moon is completely submerged in the umbra, and takes on a deep red hue because of light filtered through Earth's atmosphere.

Sometimes you just get lucky. Thanks to my family who went along with me for the experience, we went out onto a quiet country track and I was in the right spot at the right time. A few seconds after this image was taken the moon went totally behind cloud. My photography friends in my home town were completely clouded out and didn't get a shot at all! But evidently they had a spectacular sunset.  You can't win them all. I just wish I'd had a longer lens. Tripod absolutely essential.

The next total lunar eclipse takes place on Sept. 28, 2015. That comes shortly after a partial solar eclipse on Sept. 13, which will only be visible in Antarctica

For those that missed the lunar eclipse, you can see a video here - Shortest blood moon of the century

While we were waiting to see if the clouds were going to move my nephew and I played around with 30 seconds time lapse and the light from his mobile phone.  The totally black night conditions really helped with the success. What fun! I'd like to do some more of these shots.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Autumn arrives in Western Australia

Autumn has arrived in the south west of Western Australia. Although our Australian native trees are evergreen you can see autumn colour starting to appear in the imported tree varieties that are dotted throughout our towns and countryside.

On the weekend I celebrated the arrival of autumn by joining a water-colour workshop run by Marguerite Aberle at Lyndendale Gallery on Crooked Brook Road just out of Dardanup, about a half hour drive from my home. I had been promising myself to attend one of Marguerite's workshops for a couple of years, and what a joy it was to finally attend. The theme for the workshop was autumn colours.

Please click on "read more" to keep seeing and reading more

Monday, 23 March 2015

Continuing my 52-2 project

My regular readers may remember that in 2014 I completed a 365 project - one photo a day for a year. If you go to the link you can see my 2014 year in pictures - 365 project  It was a huge undertaking, but I found it hard to stop when the year ended so I embarked on a new project - 52-2. This is a project conducted through the Western Australian Photographic Federation and is encouraged by our local Photography Group of Bunbury. You can read more about it here - WAPF - 52-2 project

The brief for the project is to take two photos a week - one colour and one mono for 52 weeks. It is actually a great way to get into the habit of experimenting with mono images. I introduced my project to you on a blog post in early February - A new photography project for 2015 and I thought today I would bring you an update

Please click on "read more" to keep seeing and reading more

Monday, 16 March 2015

Melting Moments & Hydrangeas in the garden

Do you sometimes have a day when you set out to do something, and then it ends of as something completely different? That's how my day was today.

Inspired by a recent photo I had seen of afternoon tea in a lavender garden I made a batch of Melting Moments from my Mum's recipe that I used to help her make when I was a child. It is a happy memory I have from my childhood, pressing the top of the biscuits with a fork to make the pattern.

While the biscuits were in the oven I set up the chairs and table in the garden. 
It's nice to use pretty cups sometimes don't you think?

Please click on "read more" to keep reading and seeing more

Sunday, 8 March 2015

10 things to do in Yallingup without going to the beach! - Western Australia

Some people would think it would be impossible to go to Yallingup without going to the beach. But trust me you can.

The Yallingup-Margaret River region in Western Australia's south west corner is well known internationally for the great surf.

In fact in April  "The top 32 ranked male and top 18 ranked female surfers in the world will descend upon the Margaret River Region to surf its world-class waves in April for the Drug Aware Margaret River Surf Pro. The event is expected to see thousands of spectators flock to Surfer’s Point in Prevelly to watch the world’s best surfer’s take on the famous Margaret River Mainbreak". Click here to read more -  Margaret River Surf

But what if you are not into surfing? I know I’m not. I never did master being comfortable in big waves. Give me a quiet sheltered cove like Meelup Beach any day.  

Please click on "read more" to keep reading and seeing more

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Sol-y-Sombra and Flamenco at the Multi-Culutral Festival Bunbury

This last weekend in Western Australia we have had a Labour Day long weekend - 28 February to 2 March.

One of the events over the weekend where I live was the Multi-Cultural Festival held on Saturday evening. This is a family based free event showcasing cultural dances from around the world representing the fabulous mix of cultures who live in our region. There was also a fusion of wonderful international tastes sold at the various food stalls around the event.

I am involved with the Sol-y-Sombra Spanish Dance Company and School of Dance. This year they danced the "Fire Dance" at the festival.  Below is my favourite image from the night. This is our teacher Nicole. Don't you just love the swirl of those "fire" shawls?

Please click on "read more" to keep reading and seeing more!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

A forest of sunflowers

Today I have some creative writing for you - a writing group exercise this week.
My grandmother did have a huge vegetable garden, and there was a man that lived over the lane we used to visit, but I don't remember his name, and I don't remember any sunflowers, so this story is partly true and partly fictional.

A Forest of Sunflowers

There is a forest of sunflowers at the bottom of my grandmother’s garden, up against the back picket fence between the chook pen and the outhouse under the weeping trees.

The sunflowers are so tall that when we stand amongst them we can only just see over the top. We crouch down on the dusty dry red dirt amongst their stiff scratchy stalks. The sunflower heads are so big they form a canopy shading us from the hot sun and casting a yellow glow over us. Sometimes we take a book with us and read it sitting amongst the sunflowers. It’s our secret world where anything is possible.  As we doze in the sun the world of the Faraway Tree comes to life under the sunflowers.

Please click on "read more" to keep reading!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Playing around with food and light

It's been a little while since I posted about food photography, so today is the day!                                                          If you are a newbie food photographer with only basic equipment you might struggle with light. I know I did. I                                                            You should study the light around your home as you will probably find that the light changes around your house throughout the day. My patio is great in the mornings, and my kitchen window is great around midday or later on if I am looking for backlighting.
Please click on "read more" to read more!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Busselton Jetty swim 2015

What does one do on a beautiful summer's Sunday morning in Busselton? Swim 3.6 kilometres around the Busselton Jetty with 2000 other people? Of course! but did I? No not me! I stood on the jetty and watched - I wouldn't want to get my camera wet would I?

But seriously this is what 2000 competitors, male and female, ranging from their teens to their eighties did on Sunday morning 8 February. It was the twentieth time the Around the Busselton Jetty swimming race had been held. Each year the race grows in numbers of competitors.

The event is unique in that the swimmers swim straight out into the ocean along the jetty, turn around the end of the jetty and then race back to the shore. The race can be viewed by spectators for the entire length of the course. 

In the image below you can see the competitors waiting on the beach for the start of the race.  I can imagine their nerves would have been playing havoc with them at this point. Or perhaps they just wanted to get in the water and start swimming.

 The inaugural swim in 1996, attracted 82 participants (18 solo females, 30 solo males, 8 four-person teams and one duo team), mostly local. Competitors travel from the Perth metropolitan and surrounding areas. Good support is provided from the districts of Bunbury and Margaret River. There have also been several interstate and even overseas competitors in recent years.

Numbers of competitors were capped this year for teams and individuals at: 120 x 2 person relay teams, 60 x 4 person relay teams, 1520 solo swimmers = Total swimmers 2000.

The swimmers are sent off from the beach in "waves" according to what time they estimated they will do the swim in. Each level wore a different colour swimming cap. In the pic below you can see the first of the "yellow cap" (fastest) swimmers leaving the beach. 

The Waves started at 08:00am and continued at 2-minute intervals, 2 and 4 person relay teams start at 08:15am.

After that it seemed to be a flurry of heads, arms, legs and froth. 

  That's the end of the jetty you can see in this pic below. There is an underwater observatory at the end of the jetty, and a small train which you can take out to the end. Might be an easier way to get to the end than swimming.

  There were plenty of people on hand on boards, dingies, jet-ski's and boats to help anyone in need of assistance during the race, and there are ladders along the jetty if people decide they have swum their limit.

 I was at the event with my family, sister and brother-in-law. We had gone to the swim to watch my nephew, my sister's son, and his girlfriend, compete in their first Round the Jetty swim. 
Below is a lucky shot I managed to get of my nephew swimming alongside the jetty back to the beach. This was the only time we saw him during the race, and we weren't even sure it was him. Should have checked his number!
He was pleased with his first attempt time 1:04:51

 There was a close tussle in the final homeward straight. These guys you see in the top image below where the first ones to finish.

 Overall male winner was Tim Hewett in 42 minutes 55 seconds, and female was Jamie Bowler in 44 minutes 45 seconds. Tessa Chapman was the first under-15 years female across the line in 50 minutes 18 seconds and Ross Rann was the first under-15 male across the line in 49 minutes 51 seconds. 
The first relay team in was "Double Trouble" - Hannah Greenfield and Maddison Johnston-Walker - in 1 hour, 1 minute, 11 seconds. 

You can see the full results by clicking here - Busselton Jetty swim results 2015

 Congratulations to everyone who competed. Just to complete the swim is a huge effort.
Here you can see some of the competitors coming into the beach, and the buzz on the shore afterwards.

For more information on the jetty swim please click here - Busselton Jetty Swim

This year's race also marked the 150th anniversary of the Busselton Jetty and there were lots of other events held over the weekend around Busselton. 
The heritage listed Busselton jetty extends 1.8 kilometres across Geographe Bay, and is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

Originally cargo ships tied up at the jetty. Since those days the jetty has been a popular spot for locals and visitors - as a place to fish or to just walk. When my husband's family used to go to Busselton for their summer holidays, my husband and his brothers spent hours out on this jetty fishing. There are not too many places where you can walk out 2 kilometres into the ocean to fish.

For more information about the jetty please click here - Busselton Jetty

I am pleased to be able to tell you that the terrible bushfires we have had at Northcliffe and Boddington where my son has been working in the logistics centre are now finally under control and he returned home today. 

Thank you for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to Mosaic Monday, Travel Photos Monday, Our World Tuesday, Wednesday Around the World, Travel Photo Thursday, and What's It Wednesday.  Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

You might also like - 
Australia Day on the beach at Busselton & Meelup
Busselton Jetty & the Equinox Cafe

Sunday, 1 February 2015

A new photo project for 2015

So we are already a month into 2015! How are you all going with your New Year Resolutions? I must admit I don't make any. But I do start to make a few plans, and there are a few big plans waiting in the wings for me for 2015, but resolutions? no.

I can hardly believe I am saying this, but I have embarked on a new photographic project for 2015.  Those that follow me on my blog probably know about my 365 Project in 2014 - one photo a day every day for a year. It was a challenge - a huge challenge at times. When I reached the end of the 2014 and the successful completion of the 365 project I said thank goodness for that, it is over.  But do you know what? I couldn't stop taking photos every day just in case I decided to do a fool thing and do another 365 project! And then fate stepped in. A week or so ago I woke up about 12.15 midnight, and realised that I hadn't taken a photo the previous day.  The first I had missed in over 380 days. Now I could have gotten up out of bed and taken a photo, but no, the day was past. It was a relief really. 

Please click on "read more" to read more!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Australia Day - 26 January - on the beach

26 January is Australia Day and the day we celebrate everything Australian, our history, the future, way of life, mateship and cultural diversity. 

I'd love you to waltzing matilda over to my post from last year to look at a more humouress look at what Australianism is - Celebrating Australia and Waltzing Matilda

Why do we celebrate Australia Day on 26 January?  This is the day in 1788 that Captain Arthur Phillip landed in Sydney Cove with the First Fleet (eleven convict ships) from Great Britain. They raised the Union Jack to symbolise British occupation of the eastern half of the continent claimed by Captain James Cook on 22 August in 1770. We should also remember on this day that Australia's first inhabitants, the traditional indigenous owners, have a slightly different view of this event. You can learn more by clicking here - Australia Day History 

Please click on "read more" to read more!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Bunbury street art on a Sunday morning, Western Australia

So what does one do in Bunbury on a Sunday morning?

  • Go to the beach
  • Take a walk
  • Have breakfast in a cafe
  • View the street art
  • Go to the art gallery

Or as we did on this last Sunday all of the above!

Please click on "read more" to read more!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

St Werburgh's Chapel, Mt Barker, Western Australia

Years ago we visited St Weburgh's Chapel not far out of Mt Barker and north of Albany on Western Australia's south coast.
I wanted to visit again, and this last weekend we took a side trip to Mt Barker and St Werburgh's on our way to Denmark.

St Werburgh's Chapel is nestled in a small grove of trees on a hill surrounded by farming land and overlooking Hay River. It is one of the few church buildings in Western Australia which have been built by a landowner on their own estate.  

Dedicated to Saint Werburgh (English Abbess 7th century AD) the chapel was built from clay pug and completed in 1873.

Please click on "read more" to read more!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

And that's a wrap - 2014 and my 365 Project

And so 2014 is at an end. What a year it has been. When I started my 365 project back on 1 January 2014 I could not have imagined where the year would take me. It has been interesting to look back over my year in pictures. At times the project has been challenging and I didn't think I would be able to maintain taking at least one photo every day, but I have and it has been immensely enjoyable and very rewarding. During times when life has been a little tough, my camera has been my solace, and a welcome distraction. 

To read more please click on "read more"