Friday, 13 October 2017

More than just Clouds in my Coffee

Hi all,
My post title is referring to song line "I had some dreams, They were clouds in my coffee". I just loved Carly Simon when I was a teen. Anyway, yesterday I was sewing at home and about to refill my coffee cup, having thrown some granules into my mug when I noticed a great swirly pattern in the bottom of the cup, so out came the camera..

Can you see my fingers and the top of the camera?

Having fun with spin blur in Photoshop

Does anyone else see a little alien?

Have a good weekend everybody,

You're So Vain
You walked into the party
Like you were walking on a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf, it was apricot
You had one eye on the mirror
And watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and
You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain,
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you?
Don't you?
Oh, you had me several years ago
When I was still naive
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and
You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain, you're so vain
I'll bet… Full lyrics on Google Play Music

Thursday, 28 September 2017


Hi guys,
I've been out and about with my photo buddies again and the theme I was after was 'glass'.  We were in Sydney's CBD on a cloudy Sunday afternoon roaming the relatively quiet streets taking photos and had a coffee and compared stories afterwards. What more could you ask for? Apart from a few good reflections that is ;))

I've posted a couple of these on instagram where my handle is @valerielebedevas  
I keep finding the most amazing international photographers, travellers, cyclists and sewing people there. The only problem is that it can be a time swallower so it's been a while since I caught up on everybody's blogs. will try to remedy that!
Have a good weekend everyone.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The colour Red

Last weekend while roaming the inner city with a bunch of photo group friends for a colour challenge I drew 'red' out of the hat. I like these challenges because they make you look at the details, like red awnings, red chairs or the famous label on a coke bottle. Happily I got some reflections too.

Have a good weekend everyone,

Friday, 18 August 2017

Riding the Rails

I was standing on the platform at Strathfield Station, Sydney, waiting for a train when I noticed the way the people on the platform were reflected in the train windows if you saw them from the right angle and from the shadows. Out came the iPhone.

Have a good weekend everybody,

Friday, 11 August 2017

It felt like Spring

Yesterday in Sydney was a spring day, even though the calendar says it's a bit early yet. I had to be in the city for work super early. The sky was putting on a show of first golden light and ripply clouds as a soft breeze stirred the air and life felt good. The last shreds of winter will soon be gone.

Old and new. St Mary's Cathedral overlooking the fountain and the hidden roof of the Aquatic Centre.

You wouldn't know it was there from this photo (below) would you?

After work - I was on a half day - I went for a walk through Woolloomooloo to Potts Point. I don't know this area. It is often overlooked by the more glamorous and tourist-friendy Rocks and is a curious mixture of Naval Base, pubic housing and expensive waterfront residences. It's steeped in character and history and historical buildings like St Vincent's College  link
I'll be back with more than a iPhone, when I can get out of bed early enough!

Have a good weekend,

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Medieval Fair

Hi guys,
I have no reflection shot today but instead I have been going through some photos I took earlier this month at a medieval fair north west of Sydney in a semi rural area where there is still enough open ground to experience the odd freezing night and early morning mist. I remember it was very chilly when we got there but burnt out into a dazzling sunny day. Anyway I was going through my photos wondering if any are good enough to enter into my photo club's monthly competition and thinking, 'They don't quite hit the mark'  and 'Why don't they capture what I want them to?' Well I've had something of a epiphany. Photography is all about the light. Cliche, cliche. Of course it is but not just in the scientific sense of light hitting the sensor and the amount of aperture needed and so on. It occurred to me that it is about presenting your subject in their best light. About the light hitting them from the best angle and the interaction between them and the light. So simple I'd missed it, till now. On the street and at any public event there are constraints of course, like not wanting to spook a horse or get hit by an arrow or not being able to physically get to the optimum spot because of barricades and so on. But from now on I will not think so much about where the light is in relation to me and my camera but really look at how it falls on the subject. Like I said 'duh!'

Which photo you like best?
Have a good weekend,


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dappled Reflections

I was skimming through my photos trying to find a half decent selfie (not easy, I do not photograph well) and I came across this pretty reflection from Melbourne and wondered why I had never posted it. I have found that with 'memory' photos sometimes the image is not as evocative to others as your own recollections of walking the river foreshore in the early dawn with camera feeling happy as a bug, but unless I share it I will never know.

The last glimmer of fairy lights.

Have a good end-of-week everyone

Friday, 7 July 2017

More Architectural Reflections

My previous post was of modern Sydney architecture. Here are some shots of tow fine historical Sydney buildings. There's something lovely about the way sandstone absorbs then reflects light.
The building is the Department of Lands building link built in 1878 and the church reflected in the glass doors is St Mary's Cathedral. Shot with my iPhone because that's what I had with me, then edited in photoshop. By the way I often wondered how professional iPhone photographers came up with print-worthy resolution shots, you now the ones on billboards because if you blew up normal phone photos to that size they would look grainy and pixellated. They do it with special lenses attached to their iPhone cameras. Mystery solved!
link to the story about 'shot with an iPhone' advertisements

Have a good weekend everyone.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Architectural Reflections

I love the shapes and lines of architecture. It doesn't matter if it's old or new, they all have their charm as long as there's good design. These shots are from Sydney's Barangaroo, an upwardly expanding suburb that sprang from a site where shipyards and merchant docks used to be. It's now something of a tourist precinct. People are keen to live, work or just eat by the water. It's a pleasant area to walk, eat, look around and take photos!

Have a good weekend,

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sydney in the Rain

Two weeks ago I was in the city on a rainy day. Rain spells never last here long as our rain tends to dump'n'go. It's not the genteel drizzle that lasts for hours that I experienced in England but it's always welcome. Of course it makes for good reflections and a different take on a well photographed area of my city as the day faded into evening.

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Colours of Vivid

After my previous post about the Sydney Vivid Festival, I went back on the last evening with the
Canon and the tripod, mainly to shoot some of the smaller installations. Here are some favourites.

What is it about pretty coloured lights that makes us go ooh! ahhh! I don't know but the atmosphere was great.

I just have to say, in the wake of the terrible things that have happened in London and Paris and Brussels recently that streets near the waterfront were blocked off completely to traffic. Police presence was considerable and increases each year. It shouldn't be that way but that's the world we live in. My heart goes out, especially to all Londoners who've had such a bad run. 

My usual reflection-themed post will go up later in the week.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Harbour Lights and Vivid

Hi everyone,
It's winter in Sydney and a few years ago someone had the bright idea of lighting up Sydney on cool winter nights to draw people into the city. Well, it worked and it has turned into a carnival atmosphere with markets, food stalls, people busking, special exhibitions at the Zoo..the list goes on..  vivid Festival Sydney 2017.
I was in the city to see some photography exhibits but then night fell. Ah, who needs an excuse? Here's my little tour.

Darling Harbour at dusk.

Night markets and a bite to eat in Chinatown.

A brief walk back towards Circular Quay, past Sydney Town Hall. Those steps seem to be a place to sit for a little rest for many a tourist bottom!

I was intrigued by this lady in an alleyway.

Down at the Quay, behind Customs House I knew there was an art installation a alley and sure enough the sight seers were equalled by photographers with various grades of equipment. I did the best I could with my little hand held. The projection was made onto a gauze like tarpaulin hung between the buildings and it was stunning.

Then at the Quay side I had the not-so-bright idea of going into one of the ferry wharves to get a shot of the Museum of Contemporary Art building lit up. Moving pier makes for not so steady photographs  ;)

At Circular Quay railway station I took the shot below leaning against a perspex barrier. I was not risking my life in mid air but it looks like it!

Vivid finishes tonight.

Have a good weekend,

Friday, 9 June 2017

Flinders Street Station

Hi all,
Here are some more reflections from my recent trip to Melbourne, two of Flinders Street station, a rail/bus interchange where we caught the express bus to the airport for the flight home.  the last photo is of one of the fabulous little laneways that branch off Flinders street, where we enjoyed cake and coffee and of course people watching.

Happy memories!
Have a good weekend,

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Melbourne Reflections

Last weekend my DD and I went to Melbourne for a weekend of culture, sightseeing and shopping. Neither of us had explored Melbourne before and it did not disappoint. Sydney and Melbourne have an age old rivalry for the best capital city in Australia. Sydney is stunning and showy and sunny and brash. Melbourne has a quieter more genteel beauty but is beautiful nonetheless. The climate is cooler, the ambience more cultured, the people - dare I say it - better dressed. The National Gallery of Victoria is stunning with a complex on each side of the river.  There are other art galleries galore. I was in art exhibition heaven. The main reason I went to Melbourne was to see the Van Gogh 'seasons' exhibition and it was fabulous. But we also had some great meals, rode the free city tram, explored alleys and decided we liked Melbourne, especially for shopping! My daughter eclipsed me in that department. Good times. I did not manage to photograph the city at night, due to rain and tiredness, but I did get the big camera out for some early morning shots on the last day walking along the trendy Docklands down to the Webb Bridge. I enjoyed it immensely. Here are some reflections.

The Webb Bridge (last two shots) is apparently stunning at night and lit to showcase the structure as a work of art as well as a footbridge. I'll definitely be there at dusk next time I'm in Melbourne. Because there will be a next time..

Have a good weekend!