Hello camera, nice to meet you again

I’ve recently found myself in a bit of funk – I should know by now that moving to a new town is the quickest way to feeling off balance. After a weekend sightseeing and exploring some of the Victorian High Country last week I felt inspired to whip out my camera for the first time in, well years. It turned out to be the perfect time to reacquaint myself with my Nikon D3000.

I’ve been undecided for years now whether or not I should start investing in upgrading my equipment. I went into the Easter long weekend thinking that the only way I was going to start enjoying photography again was with an expensive new lens. I was, and still am dreading the thought of shelling out a few hundred dollars for the lens that I want, but I was also pleasantly surprised at what I was able to accomplish with just my kit lens that has been with me since the beginning.

My main goal for the weekend was to try out some techniques that I haven’t in a while and just photograph whatever happened to catch my eye. With the Albury Botanical Gardens as my playground, I set out on Easter Sunday to get to know my camera again and hopefully find a bit of passion again.

I discovered two things. The first being my basic kit lens is actually pretty versatile, something I wish I would have forced myself to realise years ago. The second thing? It was exciting testing my skills and being inspired by what was around me. This energy is a wonderful feeling and I’m not going to let it slip away.

Here are a few of my favourite snaps from the gardens and a drive in the mountains the day before. Enjoy!

Landscape view of the Albury Botanical Gardens
Nikon D3000 f/8 1/250 sec.
Hibiscus flower at the Albury Botanical Gardens
Nikon D3000 f/8 1/100 sec.
Bokeh at the Albury Botanical Gardens
Nikon D3000 f/4 1/500 sec.
Red flowers at the Albury Botanical Gardens
Nikon D3000 f/8 1/60 sec.
Beverly Hills palm tree vibe at the Albury Botanical Gardens
Nikon D3000 f/10 1/250 sec.
Road signs at Tawonga Gap between Mt. Beauty and Bright in the Victorian High Country
Nikon D3000 f/5 1/800 sec.
white flowers at the Albury Botanical Gardens
Nikon D3000 f/8 1/400 sec.

What do you get for the car that has everything?

If you know me, you know that I have a passion for anything with four wheels that goes fast – not really into motorbikes but hey they are still pretty cool.

Career wise, my dream job would be working in a media/marketing/comms. role that has to do with motorsport or cars in general (a recap of my weekend volunteering at the Eastern Creek/SMP round of the V8s is coming soon!).

When Supercheap Auto announced their Big Break competition to crowdsource their next advertising campaign, I knew it was a project that I had to do. The challenge for me in this would be the execution of the 30-second commercial. I haven’t done much with video so I approached it in the same way that I would approach writing an article or developing a photo series. Read and reread the brief: in short, “what does Supercheap Auto mean to you” and put together a 30-second commercial that was brand relevant and conveyed the message.

The concept for me was the easier part of the process. My Rx-7 is my pride and joy, my spoiled only child which quickly became the focus of the concept for me. I also needed to make sure that I was working within my capability as a filmmaker and wasn’t biting off more than I could chew. I enlisted the help of two friends and we spent five days filming, editing and revising the scenes and fitting everything together. I also spoke with some friends who have much more experience in the film and television industry than I do and took in as much advice from them as I could.

I am incredibly proud of the final product and so grateful for the help that I had along the way. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the top 10, but what I learned throughout the process will only benefit me in the long run. The full 30-second commercial is below – here’s to next year’s entry!

The power of perseverance

The power of perseverance

I feel that this is a fitting topic for my first post, given that I had every intention of my first post being months ago. With just under 10 weeks until the end of my final semester of my undergrad, the subject of perseverance has never been more prominent. For those who don’t know my story, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: eight years, five educational intuitions, two countries, an Advanced Diploma and Associate of Arts Degree later – I’m finally going to have my Bachelor’s Degree.

A common phenomenon in the States is Senioritis, where high school seniors gradually become more apathetic towards their school work as the year goes on. To say I’m suffering from Senioritis is an understatement and I am constantly reminding myself how hard I  have worked over the past eight years and how if I mess it up now, I’ll only have myself to blame.

When I first started at UTS in the autumn of 2013, I discovered that the three years of university I had completed in the States along with my Advanced Diploma from TAFE only afforded me six subjects of Recognition of Prior Learning, or a semester and a half worth of credit. At 23 I was starting all over again from scratch and with only being able to take three subjects per semester, would spend the next three years at uni. I was devastated. The idea of not finishing my studies until I was almost 27 was disheartening and the idea of taking first year subjects with 18-year-old students fresh out of high school was painful.

Looking back now, I’m grateful for the journey that I have taken. The stopping and starting and working while studying part-time, I feel, has given me an advantage over other university grads who are stepping out into the world at 21 or 22. I have learned more about my chosen field because I have been able to apply what I’ve learned in a real context as I’m learning. I have also been able to apply experiences I’ve had while working and the skills that I have gained to my assignments. Sticking with my studies also meant that I was able to be a part of UTS Motorsports, which ultimately helped me answer the age old question of “What do I want to do when I grow up?”

There were certainly times when I felt like giving up. There was a period of around two years where family problems made it incredibly difficult to focus on anything but the personal issues that seemed to be unravelling my life in front of my eyes. I am still unsure how I managed to continue going to classes and not fail any of my subjects.

I have been taking my final semester one day at a time, in all honesty, I’ve taken most of the semesters one day at a time. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is the most agonising and exciting feeling rolled into one. It’s so close I can almost taste it, all as a result of never giving up.