Ripper Little Christmas (an Aussie Christmas Song)

I finished writing my annual Aussie Christmas song earlier today. I left it a bit later this year but I’m happy I got it done.

This is my eighth song now and this year I settled on doing an Aussie version of Holly Jolly Christmas called Ripper Little Christmas.

I chose it as it’s very recognisable and should be an easy one to follow. I also chose it as it’s just a fun song and we could all use a bit of fun after this year, don’t you think?

It’s more inspired by the original song than a true parody (I changed the rhyming and structure a bit as I didn’t want it to seem too cutesy) but it also lets me tell a bit more of a fun story, which is what I wanted to do too.

I hope you enjoy it and if you have any suggestions for next year’s song, let me know. 😀

Kangaroo Bauble

Ripper Little Christmas

Have a ripper little Christmas
It’s a beaut time of the year
We’ll have lots of fun in the sun
And a glass or two of beer

Have a ripper little Christmas
And when you go to the beach
Say hello to mates you know
And shout em a cold one each

Oh oh look how the lights glow
So pretty on the tree
Grandma’s baked a cake again
Save a slice just for me

Have a ripper little Christmas
Enjoy the fun and cheer
And make sure you have a ripper little Christmas
This year!

Oh oh look at Uncle Joe
He’s fallen asleep by the tree
The kids are playing in the yard
While we enjoy a cup of tea

Have a ripper little Christmas
Hold your loved ones near
And make sure you have a ripper little Christmas
This year!

My other Aussie Christmas songs:
The Aussie 12 Days of Christmas (2008)
Aussie Jingle Bells (2009)
We Wish You An Aussie Christmas (2010)
Deck the Ute (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2011)
Have Yourself an Aussie Kind of Christmas (2012)
Santa Matey (an Aussie Christmas Song) (2014)

I’m Dreaming of an Aussie Christmas (2015)

Sitting by the Tree

The Two CJs by the Tree

Lights, music
Gifts under the tree:
Another Christmas
Has come again

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating today. I hope you have a wonderful day with much joy and laughter and have a peaceful rest of the year.

I took this photo last night for a bit of festive fun. I was trying to think of what I wanted for Christmas, then it hit me – I could really use another pair of hands around the house, so I asked Santa for a clone. My wish came true!  Thank you Santa. 😀

CJ and Friend

I took this one too which was fun. We have three of these mice, they’re very cute. And mischievous as you can see.

CJ by the Tree black and white

And this one too. I try to do a photo in front of the tree each year. I like how this one came out in black and white.

Merry Christmas. I’ll have my annual Aussie Christmas song posted later tonight as well. 😀

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016

Steampunk Photoshoot

My photography group did a special steampunk-inspired photoshoot last weekend. It was a very fun shoot in a rundown part of Carrington in Newcastle which really suited the theme. Our model for the day Tina and makeup artist Jaymee-Lee were absolutely fantastic and very creative.

This was a bit of a first for me. I’ve done portrait work before, including for friends and clients, but it’s almost always been in a controlled environment with flash. This was a very exposed environment, with lots of reflective surfaces and very harsh midday sunlight. So it was an interesting challenge.

We used reflectors to soften the light a bit and rather than try to avoid them, I decided to use some of the reflective objects and backgrounds as much as I could to create some interesting textures and shapes in Tina’s funky glasses. I also shot a couple of photos in black and white and I think those came out very well, particularly the final photo which is my favourite.

Overall I’m happy with the results. It was a good learning experience and was definitely something I’d like to do more of in the future. These kind of themed portrait shoots and covering convention cosplay are two things I’d really like to get into going forward.

I hope you like the photos.

Photos © CJ Levinson 2016

The Chess Match

The Chess Match

Do you play to win
Or for the love of the game?
Life is how you play

They say no one knows you like you know yourself so I thought why not play myself in a game of chess and see who wins? So here it is. Chris vs. Dark CJ. The prize? My soul! 😉

More seriously I took these last night for some fun and to experiment a bit in Photoshop. I’d wanted to do a quirky self-portrait like this for a while and as I wasn’t doing much last night I thought it was the perfect time to try it.

Chris vs Dark CJ

Chris warns Dark CJ not to get cocky

Creating the images looks hard but it’s actually quite easy and you can do it with any kind of camera, even a simple point and shoot. The most important thing is having a background that doesn’t move and using a tripod or a flat surface so the perspective doesn’t change. You can then take as many photos of yourself in different positions as you want.

When it comes to combining the photos I use Photoshop CC but you can do it in Photoshop Elements or a number of other programs as well. You simply open the photos you want to combine, copy and paste them on top of each other, and then use a layer mask or an eraser tool to paint over/erase the sections where the other versions of ‘you’ would appear. Because the background itself never changes, you should end up with something like this.

Taking these was a lot of fun and has given me a few ideas for some other projects as well. I’m still not sure who would win the match though. I’d like to think Chris would but maybe Dark CJ might have more to play for. Might have to go best out of three. 🙂

Chris Levinson smiling

I took a more normal self portrait as well which came out quite well too. Think I’ll use this as my writer’s photo for the year.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Star Wars: Episode X – The Dark Side Rises

Just a bit of fun to go with all The Force Awakens hype this week. I know people are starting to think about Episode VIII now but I thought I’d turn my attention further ahead, to the next trilogy. And I think I already know who the villain might be…

(Warning: there are a couple of mild spoilers for The Force Awakens in the video if you haven’t seen it yet).

Apologies for the audio by the way. I used the StarWars.com creator to make this but for some reason the share/export isn’t working so I did a screen capture instead. It made the audio a little tinny.

What did you think of The Force Awakens? I’m going to do a post after Christmas touching on it and nostalgia in general but basically I enjoyed it. I liked it but didn’t love it I guess – I thought it felt too familiar and nostalgic at times. It sets up Episodes VIII and IX well though and hopefully they will be more original.