MY NEWS AND ESCAPADES

Sometimes something happens and it just needs to be shared with others, this is one of those stories. If it helps a few of you to get off your arses and just do something its worth sharing....................

CHRISTINES STORY........

I decided to share a very special story which happened a few years ago now on one of my Lake Eyre workshops. A lady by the name of Christine booked in and turned up and I quickly worked out she was lacking confidence and had so much self-doubt but more than that she was sad and I sensed it straight away. I had no idea of Christine’s background but I knew something was up. Sometimes on these trips I am more than just a teacher or guide I become a councillor and a friend and I take on what others are feeling as I tend to be very sensitive believe it or not if you have met me I am a very strong woman but I have another side very few see. 

As the trip went on and we started talking I will never forget the conversation in the car when she told me she had recently lost her husband who died very suddenly and they had been married for over 20 years probably closer to 30 years I cant quite remember but I just remember thinking how devastating it would be to have a partner for that long, be so reliant on them and then loose them. This conversation delved into her being very reliant on her husband for most things over the years and now he was gone.

I asked her what bought her out here to Marree and she told me life was to short and the shock of her husband passing away had motivated her to live life to the fullest so she was motivated by my story and wanted to come out to see me and the area. This was a big deal for her I could feel that. She had never been anywhere without her husband, never been to the outback, never been camping, never been so lonely.

She drove herself greif stricken from Victoria to Marree to see me, that in itself is bloody inspiring to me. When she told me this as we were driving back in from a morning shoot and there was so much self doubt going on, I simply turned to her and said just look at what you have done you booked a workshop, you got in your car and drove all the way here to Marree, your better than you think you are. And with that she started crying and said thankyou so much and I was trying to hold back my tears also, and I meant every word I said. This was a special moment for both of us. It was the start of her journey and I was part of that.

Christine has come a long way since then, she has been been back out here again with a presence that is undeniable and full of confidence and positive vibes. From someone who was petrified of coming through the Quorn pass to someone who now has been camping and travelling all over outback Queensland and the Flinders on her own. She took a leap of faith and didn’t let fear rule her life like so many of us do in so many ways. She says I inspired here but it’s the other way round for me. The other thing I want to mention is her adult sons who not only encouraged her to get out amongst it but helped her get set up properly and safely so she could start travelling and seeing some of Australia. Bloody legends in my mind.

So many people especially men would have said you can’t do that or your crazy and we let them do it!!! But this is a whole other write up for another time. Below is a short statement from Christine to me, which was on my facebook timline as we have been friends for a few years and this has prompted me to write this now as I think its time to share.

FROM CHRISTINE

This lady took me to some amazing places and gave me some extraordinary experiences and taught me some phenomenal photographic tips, but best of all she helped me to see what was hiding inside of me and encouraged me to find the courage to dig deep and release it!
Thanks Julie - I am so glad we met!

 

MARREE LAKE EYRE WORKSHOPS...........


I had to post this testimonial from a previous workshop a couple of years ago. Its not so much because of what Sue had to say about me but what she had to say about the area, you see, she got it, the heart beat of this special place, the silence and the space unfortunately not everyone does get it, they are here just to get the shots and not much else and this is why they generally fail. Why am I writing this you may ask? well because I like people going away with not only some nice shots but a respect of this place also, as Lyall says this is paradise if you give it the time it deserves it will give back ten fold. This is a bloody hard area to shoot and overwhelming due to the vast flat amounts of space and small window of excellent light. You have to be open, and be connected on some level out here or you will fail. If you listen to me on arrival I will give you many tips on how to approach this region especially Lake Eyre. I will help you with composition but I will also encourage you too WALK, explore and have a go on your own allowing you to be challeneged by difficult scenarios and making decisions and mistakes. I am priviledged to have access to private property and I have the upmost respect for these privileges and the directions of the land owners as should all my participants. Private property is exactly that PRIVATE.

In saying this I will have another workshop or tour on out here later in the year so if you are interested in coming along please subscribe to my newsletter and I will let you know when its on in due course. Below is Sue's testimonial..............

 

TESTIMONIAL SUE CHAPLIN

Around Marree.............

Testimonial

Sometimes, out of the blue, comes opportunities that should be grabbed with both hands and are not to be missed. It could be the location, the timing, the activity or just the sponteniety that makes it special. Joining Julie Fletcher on her inaugural Lake Eyre Photography Tour was one such opportunity that I definitely didn't want to miss, after all there is only ever one inaugural trip anywhere, and I knew this was going to be special.

The timing was perfect - being South Aussie born and growing up in the driest state in the driest continent on earth, I knew that to see water in Lake Eyre was a rare event, something that not everyone gets a chance to see and possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. Wet Season rain flowing down from the north and fortuitous rain in the far north of South Australia a couple of weeks prior to the trip made it even more special, the outback was awash with green, the cattle fat and rivers and creeks flowing into the lake making it a spectacle to behold.

Our tour group consisted of 5 avid photographers of varying skill levels and we were treated to some of the most amazing locations in which to hone our skills. Julie shared with us her favourite places, giving us the opportunity to emulate some of her famous and popular outback shots, from high above the lake to starry outback skies, bullet riddled car wrecks and the most special of all, her favourite and 'secret' spot on the lake that is inaccessible and unknown to the general public. This place is unspoilt and pristine, its rugged beauty in daylight stark contrast to the soft pastels of the lake at dawn and dusk and the most amazing salt bed you will ever see. I would rate this special location in my top 3 travel destinations, up there with the beauty of the Maldives and the adrenalin rush of walking the rim of an active volcano at night in Vanuatu. It has a presence that is indescribable, a serenity that belies its harsh and arid location, and a beauty that is felt, not just seen.

Julie's love of country and her chosen field is palpable. Her ability to work with workshop participants of varying skill levels is masterful and encouraging. Her down to earth approach makes it easy to learn and she is determined that everyone WILL learn something, even those like me who march to the beat of their own drum and do things their own way!!!

If the opportunity ever presents and you share a love of photography and our amazing country, a workshop with Julie won't disappoint, regardless of its location. If you get a chance to see Lake Eyre in all its glory, just go. It is a rare occasion that all things come together and put on a show like we were treated to.

So, location, check. Timing, check. Activity, check (who could resist 3 days of photography with no interruptions!). Spontaneity, check. And if I get another chance, I'll be there with bells on.....

 

 

Fun was had by all on this workshop, great locations and some basic post tuition along with a couple of critique sessions open peoples mind to the possibilities of creativity and finessing work. I also provide help in the field with settings and composition making sure everyone comes away with some great images. If you are open to listen I want to help you and you will come away with alot of helpful information. On this workshop I had a very experienced photographer David who has in the past been a judge for the AIPP awards and been a photographer for a long time. He was a great bonus to have on this trip and offered up his experience as well as taking on board my workflow and tips and took way a fresh perspective in the great outdoors. I also took away some valuable information from him and made a great friend. Although this workshop had a variety of levels of experience everyone got something out of it as I make sure I have enough time to spend with everyone if required and thats why I keep my workshops small and intimate.

I will have a couple more workshops before the end of the year and am gearing up maybe one weekend tour specifically for Lake Eyre and nothing else, no post in this one at all just photography at the Lake. I will also be starting Kangaroo Island workshops over summer which are still in the planning stages so stay tuned. If you are interested in joining me please subscribe to my newsletter which are specifically for letting you know what workshops and tours are on and when. You will not be bombarded every week maybe only a few times a year.

Hope to see you in the great outdoors sometime.

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