CJ by the Lake

CJ by the Lake

Another year has
Come and gone in a hurry:
Time waits for no one

It was my birthday today. I turned 32.

It feels a bit weird, saying that. 32. I don’t really feel 32. But then I never really felt 18 or 25 either. I guess they’re all just numbers to me in the end.

The weather was beautiful earlier and I went down to the lake for about an hour in the afternoon. I took this photo while I was down there. I try to take a photo on my birthday each year and I thought this would be a nice one with the yachts in the background.

In taking it I set up my camera on a table overlooking the lake, then positioned myself and triggered a timer with an app on my phone. I love how easy wifi makes taking portraits like this these days. It’s all right there on your phone, no bulky remote trigger required!

Father and Son

I also took this photo of a father and son while I was down there. It was a nice moment and I like how it looks in black and white.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Sunset 17/08/2016

Sunset 17/8/16

Another sunset
Another day nears its end:
Time goes so quickly

The sunset over the lake was lovely this evening. The light and colours were beautiful, that dreamlike quality you only get on a nice warm day.

I had my camera with me and took a couple of photos. I felt like being a bit creative with the photos so I took this one looking through the trees for a bit of a different perspective.

Sunset 17/8/16

And I tried to give this one a bit of a vintage look to make it a little different too. They both came out pretty well in the end.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Through the Trees

Through the Trees

The sun and the moon
Dance forever in the sky
As times marches on

The sun setting through the trees this past Monday afternoon.

It was a lovely sunset; the light was stunning, particularly off the water, and it was a nice way to end the day.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Belmont Sunset

Belmont Sunset

Nature’s beauty is
Impossible to describe,
Like love’s gentle touch

I took this by the lake, near Belmont Wharf, on Sunday, a few hours after I took the photo of the kayakers.

The light was beautiful and the sun’s dying rays gave the scene a slightly eerie quality, like everything was on fire.

It was a beautiful scene and a nice way to end the day, as well as a lovely way to start the new week.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

On Newcastle Beach

Newcastle Beach 25/06/16

Coarse sand, crashing waves
The smell of salt in the air ~
The ocean is home

I went on a group photowalk yesterday afternoon. There were about eight of us and we wandered around Newcastle Beach and the ocean baths for about an hour or so around sunset, taking photos and talking photography.

It was absolutely freezing and very windy but it was a nice afternoon and I enjoyed taking photos as part of a group. It feels different to taking photos on your own and makes for a nice change.

This is one of the photos I took. I particularly like the contrast between the gritty textures and soft colours, and the way the lines lead the eye toward the ocean.

As you can see, it’s a beautiful spot and the ocean baths in particular are very historic. I’ll have to go back with my tripod at some stage for some long exposures as walking around gave me a few ideas I’d like to try.

I’ll post a few other photos from the walk once I’ve edited them. Will have a new poem to post soon too.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Black Swans on the Lake

Black swans on the lake

Have you ever seen
A black swan on the water?
Their beauty astounds

NSW has had some torrential storms over the last week. Belmont got hit quite strongly – the winds were scary and some of the rain leaked through the roof, leaving us scampering for buckets and towels until it had passed.

Once it had all cleared I went for a short walk along the Belmont lakefront yesterday evening. I was feeling a bit stir crazy after having to stay indoors for several days and wanted to see what the weather had left behind.

There wasn’t too much damage thankfully and as I was walking along I spotted a family of black swans on the water. They were quite curious and friendly and I watched them for ten minutes or so before taking this photo.

I like how it came out. It feels quite moody and atmospheric. The dusk light was beautiful too.

Photo and haiku © 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

A Group of Seagulls

Oh! To see the world
Like a bird, from high above
And be truly free

I took this down by the lakefront in Belmont yesterday afternoon. I had lunch down there and the seagulls left me alone for the most part, which was a nice surprise.

I wasn’t originally planning to do this in black and white but I like it like this. It gives it the slightly old fashioned look I was going for.

And in case you’re wondering, a group of seagulls is actually called a colony, not a flock as is commonly believed. I blame the 80s band for leading people astray. 😉

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016