Tag Archives: photography

Carpet Veins

These are two of my favourite photos of The Doors. I first saw these photos when I was about 10 years old & I have never stopped wondering what they were thinking about… or what happened to that amazing carpet; to me it looked like the veins on an arm & they were all coming out of Jim Morrison. It’s possible these photos are the reason I became obsessed with the veins in my own arms & spent years carving them up, who knows, perhaps I was looking for a Door.

The Doors, 1968
Photography by Art Kane

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© Art Kane 1968

Art-Kane-7

© Art Kane 1968

Glorious Construction

A short evening stroll A short evening stroll tonight led me to a glorious sunset. 🌅❤💜

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Freeling, South Australia. ©Violet Ashes 2016

Relief

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It was a relief to see something so beautiful in the sky last night after the terror of the last few days of bushfire in South Australia. I’m so thankful my family are safe. ❤💜

Filtered In Winter

Today is the first of a precious few winter days without rain & the first time I have had to get out into my garden & explore. It is a different place in the winter – the plants either go dormant or thrive. There are hues of brown & purple that are not visible in other months.

I find the garden to be one of the only places I can go to just be where I do not have to think. My mind clears & I lose hours in a sunny afternoon pottering about. Without the garden I would be lost. Sometimes it is not enough to look out from my kitchen window; I was pleased to get out in the sunlight today & took my camera with me.

I have been experimenting with coloured & macro lens filters – it is much more difficult than I imagined. There is no ‘point & shoot’ scenario – it takes time & patience; both of which I find sparse at the moment. The first of our winter blooms came out of hiding with the unseasonable sun – I hope there will be more in the days to come.

Strawberry Bloom - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Strawberry Bloom – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet Succulent - July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

Violet Succulent – July 2014 © Violet Ashes 2014

After The Storm

This morning I drove around listening to Mumford & Sons, trying to find distraction & since then it has been a day filled with contemplation. Good contemplation can, of course, always be done while shopping. Navigating my way through racks of women’s clothes, shoes & jewellery. I found myself standing in the jeans section & looking at the way the store was divided. They used nicer & more marketable words but each section was clearly thus;

Section 1: skinny, young & hip – lovely fabrics, cut well – sizes 6 – 16 only
Section 2: older, fatter, sensible – basic colour wheel & no imagination – sizes 10 – 18 only
Section 3: maternity / so fat you might as well buy maternity – all in garish colours & floral prints – sizes 16 – 26 only

I wandered through each section & also noticed that what was a size 16 in Section 1 was a totally different Size 16 to that in Section 2 & in Section 3. I was confused. How can you call it the same size? What dressmaking school did they attend? I did not understand.

I bought something from each section just to mess with their statistics.

I had to negotiate the grocery store after that – one of my most loathed tasks. People everywhere with no clue what they need or want. People picking things up, smelling them & putting them back. One lady ran over my foot with her trolley. I just stood still on the spot & was tempted to scream.

At least the coffee aisle was the one closest to the entrance of the supermarket. How convenient, I thought. Then I noticed it is the same aisle as the chocolate & lollies. How conveniently annoying – putting something everyone needs next to something everyone wants. Pure evil. I did not give the Cadbury’s hazelnut chocolate any eye contact as I walked swiftly passed & kept my head down all the way to the opposite end of the shop where they keep the milk – you need a winter coat all year round down there.

By the time I got home & invented something for dinner, tucked it away in the fridge & sat down to fold socks my mind was racing. Racing with anger for all the fat people who like coffee & cannot avoid the chocolate. For all the skinny girls that want to dress sensibly but cannot find clothes to fit & fat women that want to dress stylishly with the same problem.

Noticing that I am middle of the road on all of these issues only gave me further pause.

I knew I was avoiding my real problems by filling my mind with trivial ones & only adding to my anxiety but I couldn’t help myself. I took a peak in my email for anything exciting that might have happened in the 10 minutes since I last looked. An email stood out – a WordPress notification from the blog of Jain Carey Photography. A post entitled “After The Storm.” I opened it. I stared at the photograph. I was whisked away to shores of still water & instantly, I was calm. I am always affected by great art & today was no different. Perhaps I should take a copy of this photo in my purse with me the next time I visit the supermarket.. I could have stared at that photograph for many hours, I could have started at it all day… had the washing machine not beeped…

After the Storm by Jain Carey Photography

After the Storm by Jain Carey Photography

After The Storm — Mumford & Sons

& after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
& I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind & not this heart,
I won’t rot.

& I took you by the hand
& we stood tall,
& remembered our own land,
What we lived for.
& there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
& love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill & see what you find there,
With grace in your heart & flowers in your hair.

& now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That’s why I hold,
That’s why I hold with all I have.
That’s why I hold.

& I won’t die alone & be left there.
Well I guess I’ll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full & man so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind & what’s before.

& there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
& love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill & see what you find there,
With grace in your heart & flowers in your hair.

Sunset Ribbons

Sunset 142 ©Violet Ashes 2014

Sunset 142 ©Violet Ashes 2014

A crackled orange ribbon floats through a bruised & clouded sky.
As I peer through my camera lens I start to wonder why
With all this beauty at the end of the day
It took me so long to work my way
Out to the balcony to view the sunset every day.
©Violet Ashes 2014

Every night the sky is a constant surprise to me. Even the sunsets under a dark grey sky with barely any colour still hold interest & the emotion it elicits in me is extraordinary.

My Sunset 365 Project (You can visit HERE) is a third of the way through & although almost every day I forget I have got to go out & take the photo I have managed to do it & also enjoy it. I have seen incredible colour in the sky – sometimes I cannot believe it is real & often comment to Corsmor that no one is going to believe I haven’t photoshopped the colour.

In fact, sometimes the hardest part is finding a quote to match the beauty of the sky. I could not find one today, so I wrote one…

A Spoonful of Sugar…

I was born on Good Friday. So I kind of consider today my lunar birthday. My planet, Mars, is high in the sky near the moon which is full & bright, much like life should be. We had a Blood Moon Eclipse on Wednesday. I should have seen the warning.

A phone call in the early hours of this morning has left me in mourning & it has poured with rain ever since.

I have thought a lot of my uncle who died last night. He was quite young & though not always healthy this was unexpected. My father, near inconsolable, told me through tears & husky throated words. Slipping between shock & understanding as I lamented the loss & offered support. I moved swiftly into protective mode as I always do when either of my parents are upset.

There is nothing I can do. I cannot fight death & tell him to stay away. I cannot promise things will be alright. Of course they will be alright but where Geoffrey should be there will always be a blank space. He is the first of a family of 5 brothers & sisters to die, & suddenly, it is a shock to us all.

I remember Geoffrey most in his early twenties. Sitting me down as a little girl, pointing to himself in his High School pictures & saying;

“This is me, this is when I got sick” & me asking in my 8-year-old way
“what kind of sick? What happened?”
He replied; “I took things & my head got sick”
“Oh,” I said, in almost a whisper
“But I’m okay, I’m happy” he said.

Geoffrey developed early onset, severe & chronic Schizophrenia. There were a lot of tough times after that conversation. Geoffrey lived with us for quite a while; my parents took care of him until his illness became unmanageable. I remember him being there & the care they showed him even when things were tough. I do not remember the stress my parents must have been under with 2 young children of their own & a sick (yet medicated) young adult all living together in a small cottage. I only remember the impression that family takes care of each other & love is important, it makes people happy even when things seem bad. It makes life bearable.

In the decades that followed, medication for Schizophrenia improved. At times Geoffrey made more sense in conversation than the rest of my ‘sane’ family put together. He certainly made more noise. I always knew when he was visiting my other uncle because they lived one street over from us & the noise from his drum-kit would fill the street. That used to make me laugh. Now the thought that I won’t hear it makes me melancholy.

So we are one less but I did learn something. The love of family that takes care of you when you need it most; the ones that feel it when you’re gone, are the ones to keep the closest, if only in your heart.

Blood Moon Eclipse 2014

Blood Moon Eclipse 2014

Violet Ashes Sunsets

For my 30th birthday my family bought me a new camera. A Canon EOS 450D. I had always wanted to try my hand at ‘real’ photography – yes I was the annoying person at parties with the camera out – but I had never had a decent camera to really stretch myself.

I have been practicing with this camera for on/off 4 years now. So this year I decided I would do something that would stretch me & ensure that I learn – fast.

I started a Tumblr photo blog – http://violetashes-sunset.tumblr.com

The aim? Take & present a photo of the sunset every day of the year 2014.

Each day I go out & take a photo of the sunset. Then I come inside, choose the best one & post it to the blog along with some words about sunsets.

I try hard to lay off Photoshop & only soften or sharpen the images with the occasional crop & colour saturation enhancement. This can be hard sometimes – especially when presented with a gloriously colourful sunset. It is easy to get digitally carried away – so I have learned to just take my shot & when it is a nice shot with lots of colours, I cross-post to Instagram (http://instagram.com/violet_ashes) with some fancy filters just for fun. That way I get it out of my system & keep my photos for the Tumblr as natural as possible.

I have tried to take the shot from approximately the same position every day – but sometimes I am out & about so I take it from a different location. On the odd occasion I simply cannot do it I ask a friend to ‘guest’ for me that day – which has produced a couple of really nice shots.

It is only April & already I have learned so much from this project – not only about photography but about commitment & patience. Getting that ‘perfect shot’ is harder than I thought it would be. I have learned all about my camera & I am still learning.

As I approach taking photo number 100, I look back on what I was taking at the start of the year &, already I can see how far I have come.

I feel positive about this project – it gives me a sense of accomplishment & satisfaction that I can produce something beautiful. I am gaining confidence, not just with photography but in my writing & presentation of myself to the world as an artistic person. It is a learning curve & I am happy to be on the journey.

Sunset 70 11 March 2014

Sunset 70 11 March 2014

I Hope Not.

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I hope that I am wrong about God
I hope that there is magic in this world
That when I die I awaken to a splendour
That takes my breath again

I hope that being an atheist
Does not upset God or the Fairies
I hope that they forgive me
When I finally meet my end

I hope that the Circle of Oaks
The chanting & the sacrifice
The stone temples & the statues
Were not bred & built in vain

I hope that underneath the ground
There is a heaven to be found
Where I can see those ones again
Whose hearts refused to beat

I hope the feathers I have collected
Reveal messages & dreams
Of untold stories & romance
From a friend I have never known

I hope through all these faithless years
I have missed out on something special
& when I die I will kick myself
For not knowing life is precious

Written by Violet Ashes 8th April 2014
Image taken in ‘The Forest’, 14th September 2013
© Violet Ashes 2014

Tea With Faeries

Faeries in the gardenRiot Grrrl sent me this pin today & instantly my mind flew back to my childhood. Of many hours spent in my Grandma’s garden chasing faeries. Rioty, of course, knows this as we have spent time chasing faeries together – you know a girl will be a friend forever if she will chase faeries with you. It makes perfect sense to me even as an adult.
 
 The photo was taken in a garden on Woodside road in a town called Chester in the UK. Upon reading this I knew the photo was special, for reasons of my own.Coincidences are everywhere at the moment.

It is a beautiful sunny day today & the air is just moving enough to knock the white & pink petals from the almond trees onto the ground. It looks like a blanket of snow – but the warmth that makes my skin tingle tells me it is not winter. As I spent time cutting back the nearly flowering Jasmine on our front hedge I remembered all the gardens I have spent time in, first as a child & as an adult. I have never been far away from one & they are still my favourite places.
 
I found this photo of me as a kid in our garden; the sun on my hair is just like today & my smile has not changed. It was taken by my Aunty JB & it looks like I was looking to host a very big tea party – I remember that tea kettle – it spent many years on my arm while I chased faeries & drank tea with Grandma.

Tea with Faeries