20 winter photos to take this australian winter


With suggestions that we might get snow this weekend, I thought I’d put together a winter photo checklist specific to an Australian winter.

There are plenty of Northern Hemisphere-based winter photo checklists, but they all include fun snowy things like snowball fights and snow angels.  We’re not lucky enough to get that much snow here in Australia, but we are lucky enough to get the much-cooler-than-summer weather.  Cool enough (especially for we mountain-dwellers) that there are days when we don’t see the sun and don’t stick our heads outside unless absolutely necessary!

It doesn’t mean that we should put our cameras down for the season, though.  There are still plenty of memory-worthy photos to be taken.

I’m going to aim to take a few of these myself, and post them over on my Photography by Tasha Chawner Facebook page.

want to join in the fun with me?

You can download and print the 20 photos to take this Australian winter photo checklist photos here.

photos to take this winter

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photographing death and decay


death and decay

I’ve been watching this lone, tenacious apple for a few weeks now.  It has held on, slowly shrivelling, while all the other apples on the tree let go to begin their return to the earth.

Death and decay have been hovering in my field of vision for the last couple of weeks. Some near and dear to me have lost ones near and dear to them. And it makes me think, perhaps a little morbidly, that the time is drawing closer to my losing loved ones as well…

As an avid fan of the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell, the subjects of death and decay have fascinated and intrigued me for years.  It’s not a subject I’ve ever been afraid of, but not one I’d thought to photograph myself.  There is a certain taboo and shocking-ness around images portraying death.  Or so I thought until I came across the works of Sally Mann and her Body Farm series.  And when you start Googling the phrase ‘death and decay’, it’s surprising what comes up in results.  It doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up photographing gorgeous families, but it does mean that I’m not going to be quite so afraid of photographing nature and her equilibrium.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Einstein to ponder…

The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there’s no risk of accident for someone who’s dead.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Is death and decay a taboo topic for you?  Or is this part of the cycle of life openly discussed?

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why i still turn my computer off at 7 p.m.

boy with ipod

it has been 4 years since I started turning my computer off at 7 p.m.

When I first wrote about turning off my computer, my motivation was to spend more time with my family.  Add to that I was exhausted and in need of some necessary me-time of an evening, these two factors helped me to sustain the practice.

Today, my motivations remain the same. And since reading about the impact of blue light on sleep patterns, I’ve become all the more determined to continue.

A (very) brief look at the science behind sleep…

Melatonin is one of the hormones that influences sleep. It is released into your body by the pineal gland, a pea-sized organ found in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. And we all know how important sleep is for your physical (and mental) health.

what does this have to do with blue light?

Blue light can keep the pineal gland from releasing melatonin, thus warding off sleepiness.

Studies have shown that exposure to blue light at night can be linked to several types of cancer (breast, prostate) diabetes, heart disease, obesity and an increased risk for depression. (Blue Light Exposed)

now, I’m the first to admit that technology has its benefits

I use it most days myself.  But, I also know I’m a bear if I don’t get enough sleep (from 7-9 hours is recommended for my age group).

And having a teenage, game-addicted boy in the house strengthens my resolve.

I turn my computer and i-devices off at 7 p.m. It’s good for my health, plus I’m also modeling a positive behaviour for my Little Man (8 1/2 – 9 1/2 hours sleep is needed by him).

There are other factors as well.  Time spent on social media is adding to feelings of jealousy, fear and loneliness in people.  We experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and are finding it harder to be still and silent. And while it’s been wonderful making connections online, nothing beats an eye-to-eye conversation with someone you know and love.

learning to power down is an important life skill

And while it may take some time to learn the discipline, your life will be richer (and healthier) because of it.

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you power down your devices daily, or are you guilty of leaving your computer on all night?

Have you engaged in a digital sabbatical before?  Would you do it again?


And finally, some additional resources that you might find interesting:

Scientific American – Q&A: Why Is Blue Light before Bedtime Bad for Sleep?

Harvard Health Publications – Blue light has a dark side

The Sabbath Manifesto – a creative project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world.

f.lux – makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

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{documenting life} bathing the dog on an autumn afternoon

Our dog Jo will be 8 this year, and lately we’ve noticed age creeping up on her.

she’s never been a fan of having a bath

but in true dog-style, she insists on laying in the dirt near her kennel, which meant it was time for a freshen up.

A few years back, Warren took pity on her and started bathing her in the bathtub during the colder weather.  That’s now turned into being bathed in the bathtub whenever she needs a wash.  She’s still not a fan of her bath, but I think she’s grateful for the warm water and towel-dry at the end!

jo's sad dog face when she realises it's time for a bath

pouring water over the dog

the dog doesn't like water on her face

having her face washed

licking her face clean

one last rinse

time to catch the shake

are you going to shake dog?

enjoying the towel dry attention

oh, the indignity

the queen of clean

In the comments, I’d love to hear:

Do you spoil your dog as much as we (obviously) spoil ours?
Baths in the bathtub, or something else much more indulgent?

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