Sunday, 30 December 2012

Reviewing my works in 2012

This one year I have spent times to upgrade myself by learning more photography skills and photoshop. Luckily, for my photography at least I can see some improvement in my works but not for photoshop as it is a long process for me to learn.

The bad new is that I have not hit my target of 10,000 readers in bloggers as my daughter set the target for me to reach in 2012. I am happy that at least I have reached 9,000 plus readers so it is not a bad achievement.

In my 2012, I have my first photo published in a book to aid the water grant even though it is not a big deal but I am happy that at least I can do a little bit to help those in need in India.

In year 2013, the charity group where 127  plus photographers have join and they are going to do at least a few more books to aid other charities. So I will be more busy than year 2012 but will carry with my travel dairy blogger to write more on my travels.

At least in 2012, I have crawl out of my shell, and joined a few on line website such as google+, 500px, Flickr, Pixoto and Deviantart and meet lot of great photographers and  become friends from all these networks. With their help and supports that help improving my skills within  a year. There is still a long way for me to learn and plenty of rooms for improvement in 2013.

Wish all my friends and readers ~~ A Happy 2013 New Year ~~  Enjoy a Prosperous 2013. Cheers! Cheers! Cheers! My friends and welcome 2013.....

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Day Trips to Kent University on 5/12/12

My daughter has a interview at Kent University on 5/12 so I had booked a hotel room at The Inn on the Lake which cost £49.50 gbp for a standard room.  We left home a day early and it took us about four hours to reach the hotel.  It was about 5.00 p.m. when we checked in so we took a rest for two hours and went out for dinner.  I had accidentally booked the night at the hotel about half an hour away from the university.  We went to dinner at Gravesend Town Centre. Had an Italian dinner and then we have a little walk at the town but there was nothing much to see in this little town so drove back to the hotel.

As Trixie's university appointment tour start at 10.00 a.m. and we must leave at around 9.00 a.m. to reach the university. As usual I woke around 6.30 a.m. and ready to take some early morning photos of the lakes surrounding this hotel and the natural reserve park that near the hotel. Unfortunately, we have a snow storm early in the morning which created chaos to the nearby airports in London, railways and motorways. I can't go any where further due to the heavy snow storm.

Thanks to one of the staff, whom showed me the way to the hall where it leaded to the lakes and I am able to stay in the hall instead of getting totally wet.  I stayed for two hours to take some photos but due to the heavy snow storm so I didn't manage to trek to the natural reserve park. Went back to the room to let Trixie know that it was snowing heavily and we need to make an early start in case there was difficulty to reach the university in time for the appointment.

After Trixie and my husband had their breakfast we drove to Kent University and it took us about half an hour to reach the university.  We were able to park our car at the Historic Dockyard car park at Chatham.  We went to the students' gallery which is directly opposite to the car park. After handed over the portfolio of Trixie's works then we walk all the way to the University where the talks and tour will be conducted by the lecturers and students.  After the talk we went to get some lunch and then Trixie's went to attend her interview and tour and we will wait at the car park for her.

We  slept in the car for 3 hours and while waiting for Trixie to be back so I venture out around this Historic Dockyard. This is a beautiful place where there is a lake directly in front of the students' galleries/workshop. Luckily, the sun came out and  no longer snowing anymore. Enjoying myself taking photos around the lake and met an old artist enjoying himself with a remote control of a 70 years old sail boat which had been left by his father.

He told me the history of this docks where there were 3 lakes and one river but the government have drained the two lakes and make it to lands for car parks and buildings.

Chatham Historic Dockyard is a maritime museum on part of the site of former royal/naval dockyard at Chatham.

Chatham Dockyard covered 400 acres (1.6 km²) and was one of the Royal Navy's main facilities for several hundred years until it was closed in 1984. After closure the dockyard was divided into three sections. The easternmost basin was handed over to Medway Ports and is now a commercial port. Another slice was converted into a mixed commercial, residential and leisure development. 80 acres (324,000 m²), comprising the 18th century core of the site, was transferred to a charity called the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and is now open as a visitor attraction. It claims to be the world’s most complete dockyard of the Age of Sail.

We had waited till about 4.00 p.m. and we still haven't see Trixie. We were getting panic and went around to the university twice, trying to find her but unfortunately, we had no ideas where she was. We had drove around the university and then went back to the car park as been told by the staff that the student will get their portfolio back at the students' gallery/workshop. We drove back to the car park at the Historic Dockyard again and hopefully she will be able to find us there. It was so dark around 5.00 p.m. and we waited for another half hour and she was out with a group of students. I had no ideas that their tour and interview was for one whole day.

We drove to London Leicester Square for our dinner.  Enjoyed  ourselves with the roast duck  noodle and rice.  We took a stroll at the Lesicester Square but we didn't linger long as we had another 3 hours journey to drive back home. On our way, we by passed Oxford street and the Christmas decorations were so beautiful.  The traffic in London was horrible, it was a long traffic jam and it took us one and half hour to get out of Central London.

Finally after four hours of driving we reached home around 2.00 a.m. in the morning. It was a long journey to travel by car to Kent but at least the petrol cost around £60.00 gbp for to and fro from Kent. It was cheaper to travel by car than by train as train ticket cost £80.00 gbp per person and by coach £40.00 gbp per person. As for food, we spent about £50.00 gbp dinner for 3 persons at the Italian restaurant on the first night but it only cost us £24.00 gbp for 3 persons at the Chinese restaurant in China Town. There is a congestion zone charge of £10.00 gbp in the Central London.

Kent is a beautiful city but we did not have times for sight-seeing. Trixie has been accepted by  Kent's University and it now have to wait till her final "A" exam and if she can score the 1 x A  and 2 x B there will be a place for her in this university. I love this university for the art students' workplace/shop which surrounded by a lake and the students can use the maritime museum facilities to create their works also.

Place: The Inn on The Lake, Shorne, Gravesend, Kent University, Chatham, Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Lescester Street, London and Oxford.
Scored: 7 stars
Dated: 4/12 and 5/12/12
Photo by: Catherine Suen

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

A Merry Christmas to all my friends, relatives and readers whom following my blogging. Happy Christmas and enjoying a lovely times with your families.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Attending a photographic lesson at Chase Terrace College

(Note: The above photography is taken and process by Trixiebella Suen and it is not my work.)

My daughter is taking her "A" level in Chase Terrace Technology College for her final year. Her courses for the AS exam are  art, photography and business. I had attended their school arts exhibition  and some of the students works are amazing. The standard of works are higher than their level of school year. Unfortunately, during this exhibition  the spaces for the arts works displays were quite small and cramp  to display 2 years of students' art works.

I had never enjoyed myself in the art's exhibition a year before as I found the students works more on repetitions or too  similar to each other works.  This year I found that I really enjoy myself with the students works and ideas. Some of the students works are awesome and amazing high standard. Most of all there aren't so many repetitions of same ideas  of art works produced by the different students. This exhibitions even been published in the local newspapers twice, which I am not surprise as their works are higher than their level.

To my knowledge that during my daughter 'O' level final year, the art teacher resigned and came a new teacher whom was Mr Marinkovic. When Mr Marinkovic came to teach them the last term of the year, all the course works for the year were to be dumped away and restarted from beginning as he doesn't like any of the works been produced. Trixiebella achieved a "B" for her art in "O" level and I happy for her as she expected to get a "C" with her previous art teacher.

During her "AS" level, Trixie got "A" for her art and photography and "B" for business. I am trying to understand why and how this teacher able to help the students produced such a high standard level of achievements. I asked my daughter to  ask Mr Marinkovic to let me attend a lesson on how he teach and guide  the students throughout their lesson.  Thank to Mr Marinkovic and I am allowed to stay and see how they work in the classroom.

My daughter required 4 to 5 piece of logs and it needed about 4 to 5 ft tall. So I went round the to the wood cutters to get these for her course work. After we got the logs we have to burn the both the top and bottom end.  These logs then sent to the school on Tuesday whom Mr Marinkovic help to move these to the classroom then he used nails to hammered the log onto  a piece of flat board.

On Thursday, we went to fetch my daughter's friend Beth as she will model for her in this photo shoot.  Trixie staying at the classroom to set out all the equipments for this photo shoot. The classroom became a small studio with the standard equipments which was soft box, lighting and black canvas. Camera ready on the tripod and waiting for us. Trixie took a few shoots of her model to get the correct lighting and focus.

After that, Beth was requested to change into a black dress and Trixie started on her makeup and doing her hair styling to suit her shooting. It about half an hour to makeup and styling her hair.  Then Trixie started to take photo of her model and requesting  the movements and posing which she needed for her photo shots.

Mr Marinkovic came in to check on her work progress and help her by giving some new tips or ideas on the posing or change of lighting and additional makeup to put on the model. While Trixie was taking the photo and doing the makeup for the model, the teacher had another student in another classroom taking photo shoot where  he needed to help and monitoring their progress.

(Note: The above photography is taken and process by Trixiebella Suen and it is not my work.)

The photo shoot only took about 20 minutes each but the makeup  and styling of hair took about one and half hours. The times spent on back stage work were longer than the actual shooting.  Then after all the shooting Trixie had to pack up all the equipments and re-arrange the tables and chairs  for the classroom.

In this lesson, I learn that the students not only take photos but  make photos. The students ideas were explained to the teacher on how they want their work to be produced and the teacher will help them by giving tips and techniques to help them make the best photos and artworks.

Finished with the photos shoot we went out for our dinner and sent Beth home. After these photos taken Trixie needed to do the final process which involved in photoshop to put layers and layers of different lighting and work on the photos so to make this into another artwork and not just a simple portrait photos.

I have learn a lot from this lesson. The following are points of what I have learn so far.

1.   Students are teach not only take photo but to make photo.

2.    Students are encourage to develop their ideas into work of arts even with pros or cons. Sourcing the pros and cons plus the black stage works are to be done by the students.

3.    Students works or photos must tell their own story and not just composition as we take photos of landscapes.

4.    Makeup artists works also the students' work.

Thanks to Mr Marinkovic for this opportunity and I have learn a lot to improve my skills of photography after attending this valuable lesson. There is also some good new that when we visited the exhibition and lot of visitors wanted to buy the students' artworks but the school can't sell them but now they allow  any visitors or parents whom interested to buy the artworks from the students. The commission will be given to the students after deducting out the cost of printing and administration charges

Place: Chase Terrace Technology College
Model: Beth
Scored: 9 stars
Photo by: Catherine and Trixiebella Suen

Monday, 17 December 2012

Trip to Venice- Day 5- 18/12/12

Our last day at  Venice and our flight back to UK was at 3. 30 p.m. so we packed early and ready for our trip back home.

Took a bus to the train station and bought the tickets to Monfalcon station which cost $8.40 euro per person.  This was the cheapest ticket to Monfalcon Station but we have to wait for 2 hours before there was one train to this station. We waited at the cafe and have something to drink.

The journey to Monfalcon station took about one hour and half.  We walked to the bus station to  take a local bus to the airport.  This time amazing the local bus to the airport was free and it took us about half an hour to reach the airport.

We were 3 hours early for our flight but unfortunately, Rynair flight delayed another 2 hours so by 5.45 p.m. then there was a plane back to UK.  We have lunch at the cafe and wait till the flight was ready to take off.

The plane back to UK was  half empty and we were allowed to have two seats instead of one. Reached UK about 7.45 p.m. and we took the train to Birmingham Centre to have some dinner and took another train to Lichfield.

During our this journey to Lichfield, there was a teenage girl whom suffering from fit and had a fall and fainted. Passengers were requested to open the windows to let fresh air into the compartment and luckily, a woman whom had some knowledge of how to take care of this illness took over. The woman even accompanied the young lady home.

We reached the Lichfield station about 9.30 p.m. and were knackered as we need to work for tomorrow. Our daughter 's friend came to fetch us from the train station. Our this journey to Venice, no doubt we wasted the first and last days of our 5 days trips but it was worth it. The total cost which we spent on the hotel room, air tickets, trains tickets, bus tickets and entrance fees around $700.00 euros for 3 persons. Food cost us about another $500.00 euro.

Place: Trieste Airport and Monfalcon Station
Scored for Venice : 9 stars
Photos by: Catherine Suen
Dated 18.10.2012

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Trip to Venice day - Day 4 on 17/10/2012

Today we woke up around 9.00am for our breakfast and it were cakes,
bread rolls and hard boiled eggs. We took a bus to Venice and hopefully today were low tides, so that the ferry can go Murano. We were lucky
that we able to go to Murano today, the journey there was an hour. We reached there and a sale representative near the quay asking whether we want to watch Murano glass making. Don’t waste time at this place they are trying to get tourists to buy the stuffs only.

Went into the town centre, and asked around if there was any shops/factories which showed demonstration on glass making. There was a factory, which allowed us to watch the master create works of murano glass each person, cost 5 Euro, picture allowed. The glassmaker approached us and told us he will show us the glass making and had an English translator to explain the process.

The master made a flower vase the material of the glass was made by substance sand, different material created different colours. Using a metal pole, which had sand on, was placed into the oven kiln (1000-1200 degree) to melt the substance. Once melted, the master will take the metal pole and roll on broken glasses to make this vase decoration. All of his creation was created by mind. After that its put back into the kiln then rolled out. As for the handle, the translator helped by heating another set of sand and added a different material to the colour. Using a different tool to help create the curve abd the handle. Whilst the material is still hot, it’s placed onto the vase. Once completed it’s left to cool down in a different kiln at around 800 degree which takes 24 hr.

Walking around this little town then we went to take ferry to another island and on our way to the quay, there was a big factory and their 5 to 6 workers were busy making the Murano glass and I stayed at this place to watch the process of glass making.

We took another ferry to Burano, which was famous island for lace makings and with beautiful colourful houses. This little quirky town was much better than Murano. It was so peaceful and quiet in this little town and not much of water traffic also.

We went into a lace making shop and the old lady was embroidery a lace
Her old fingers were nimble and fast and amazing beautiful lace work with every stitch. Afterwards we walked around the little town and came across a famous artist whom was a pop artist, which won lot of awards. She was painting a canvas, pop art in acrylic paint and luckily she was talking on the phone and able to take a photo of her while she painting and talking.

Another 2 hours spent on buying some gifts and ready to head back to the quay for our ferry to Murano then change another one to St. Mark Square. It took us about 2 hours to reach Saint Mark Square and will get our dinner here then head back to the hotel. Once we reached St. Mark Square, there were some filming crews doing some shoots and took some photos of this place and we went to look for our dinner.

Oh!!! Tonight we decided to splash out and enjoy our last night here with posh food. We had seafood dinner and Trixie had pizza. The food was good and beautiful and the service was all right. The meal cost us about $105.00 euro.

We went back to St Mark Square, and hopefully able to take some
night view of this Square but unfortunately the filming crews was still filming and change location, there were so much crowds even at 10.00 p.m. so we decide to go back as we were knackered and we have to walked back to Railto to take a ferry to the bus terminal and took a bus back to our hotel.

Place: Barano Island, Murano, St. Mark Square, Venice
Photos by: Catherine Suen
Scored: 9 stars
Dated: 17/10/2012