A Wild and Glorious Dance

Camera Craft- The Art of Seeing- e-course, online photography workshop
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl
The Alchemical Magic of Photography- I've been thinking about this of late as I piece together the final pieces for Camera Craft. There is such an element of magic and mystery with analogue photography and moving in the digital world of photography takes some seeking to find but it is there in many many magical ways.

So much heart and soul has gone into putting this together by both myself and all the wonderful contributors. It is a glorious dance between rooting down with the bones of photography and soaring to creative heights with soulful inspiration- a wild and glorious dance.
If you're feeling the pull to be part of this dance of play, inspiration, rich content and joyous images then take your place in our creative circle- there is magic to be found.

I am loving (and surprised by) how many pieces of mixed media are being offered up, the intersection of the digital and the tangible, adding that tactile element to the digital, allowing for the raw and the real while still holding all the magic (who wants to live in a world without magic right?) and turning visions into touchstones. Yesterday I was adding Misty's lessons to the classroom and, as always, she has inspired me yet again. There are always ways to spiral in deeper with your craft, to find new inspiration and see things fresh, like a child, to see the magic and to hold it tenderly for even just a moment, a split second of grace ...

"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety." Ansel Adams

And a sneak peek from Camera Craft-Into the Light:
Camera Craft- Into the Light- e-course, online photography workshop
To find out more visit here:

Or to sign up:


Paris- Travel Journaling Pt 1

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Walking the streets worn smooth with stories
Leaves slipping to the earth
I feel a crack in my life open,
It's always this way with travel...
Something pulses through
wants more
I hear the stories dance with mine
"Where do you belong on this tiny blue planet"
Impossible seed
Soft and longing
Demanding more and less
Precious seed
When and how you'll bloom I couldn't say
Nor what kind of fruit you'll offer,
Only that you'll stir the stardust in my well
And whisper to my soul...

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Paris first appears as both quaint and familiar, a cliche on every corner but soon I am walking in step with the rhythms of her stories. I feel the stones beneath my feet and glimpse the flicker of a past disappear around the corner ahead.
Our apartment is on Île de Saint Louis, right next to Île de la Cité, where Notre Dame sits regally, and a short walk to a fabulous food market where the quiches and pastries call me back. Through the night I am kept awake by the christmas lights that flicker outside my bedroom window as the Boulangerie directly across the way prepares croissants for my morning coffee. 

Every day we walk. Miles and miles through the streets where there is ever the sensation that not only do I walk through the city but also through the centuries. Lives past whisper to me between the constant sirens. Ghosts surround me with their tales of revolution, of poetry, of commerce, of art, of wars, of occupation, of liberty, fraternity, equality. I feel as if I could slip through a portal to another time (Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris feels totally plausible). The stories tease me, perhaps because they are in French, perhaps because I am not here long enough to grasp their fleeting breathe, perhaps because they are meant only to taunt as is often the way with ghosts- a reminder of the speck of sand that is our time, our lives. Raven is ever present, in case I should ever forget, reminding me of magic and voice, of story and song- you never know what you'll find when you travel, an element of lost which opens doors to finding, seeing, hearing. "Are you listening? Are you ready to sing" she caws.

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

I've been back for less than a week now, shaking the mist of surrealism that travel can bring from living outside normal reality, settling back into routine, snuggling with my babies (one of whom managed to get herself sick so she could have a whole day of snuggling on the couch with me and movies) and marking the end of year portfolios for my photography students.                  Grateful to have the cast removed from my arm days before flying out, it healed enough that I was able to journal while I traveled. How magical to slip into a rhythm of walking, eating, browsing, shooting, looking, absorbing, listening and journaling. The days filled with sights, inspiring galleries, stone stories, weary feet and then collapsing by night to good food, company, wine and the blank page only to rest up long enough to do it all again the next day. And the company I kept- Gogh, Picasso, Nin, Rodin, Monet, Cezanne, too many to list, too many to even begin to absorb, I just have to trust that somewhere my subconscious is holding tight to what they shared with me. Only time will tell.
Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

I still have photos to download (having only looked at the ones I took with my phone so far) and more journal pages to share over the coming weeks as well as my time in London. Until then I will sit with the memories as they wish to unfold. 

Travel Journal Paris- Galia Alena

Gratitude: Feel the love and pass it on

My friend Joanna of Live Love Whimsy, is doing a month of daily giveaways to inspire and delight you. It is a gift as an act of gratitude for her, gratitude being the theme, and is designed to fall in line with Thanks Giving. I am honoured to be providing one of the pieces to be included in this offering so I am sitting with the muses to see what that piece might be. Get yourself over to her digs and sign up, it is a free gift.

In the meantime, some recent iphonography:
Galia Alena Photography, Queenstown

Galia Alena Photography, Queenstown

Galia Alena Photography, Queenstown

Galia Alena Photography, Queenstown

Galia Alena Photography, Queenstown

Galia Alena Photography, Queenstown

Everything Blooms

I've just finished experiencing my first real spring and I had no idea, absolutely everything blooms. Back home (Sydney) we don't really have seasons other than jacaranda season, followed by mango season (otherwise known as Daiquiri season) and so on, it's one warm weather rolling into another. Here I am astounded by how the place has literally come to life- I finally get daffodils, heralders of all that is to come. They had always seemed rather an obvious flower but now I can only imagine the sweet joy they bring after months of bitter cold, promising warmth and growth.
And those 49 rose bushes I pruned back in the snow without gardening gloves (with my new found admiration for the dedication of Prince Charming- I'm pretty sure he didn't have gardening gloves either), have all sprung to life in a kaleidoscope of colours. They remind me of all the effort my grandmother put into her suburban garden back in Sydney, a garden that won awards and had garden tours, never did all her efforts result in the bounty that my neglected rose bushes adorn my garden with. So many plants that I looked at and thought "I should pull that dead bush out" have now come alive to amaze me (and make me thankful for my lazy gardening skills- zealous ignorant gardener probably not a good mix).
As for the mountain side, it was dripping with blossoming trees heavy under the weight of their abundance and is now covered with patches of yellow everywhere, interspersed with purple. It is absolutely amazing.
My wonder knows that it is a wonder that can not be truly captured on film, and so I didn't even try but here are a few snaps from the iphone as I wonder what summer will bring and I wait for the ripening of the blueberries and strawberries. Wishing warmth to all of you in those cold places snuggling down ready for snow.

Spring- who knew...

Scenes from the Art Space

I'm very much missing my art space with the beautiful rainforest view out the window. As I look around myself now surrounded by a sea of boxes I wonder if I can create such a space again. I know everything is here in the boxes somewhere (minus the rainforest) but the new space is different, it offers different oppurtunities and lacks other familiarities  I long for when I look at this photos. Stay tuned to see what emerges from the chaos.
You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche
Some scenes from the week:

Galia Alena Photography

♥ Instagram- come and play.

Still Waiting

I'm still waiting for furniture to arrive which maybe delayed by the "worst" snow storm in 50 years (lol), but this is what I look at while waiting!!!


Winter sun
Rosy cheeked children
the lake
anticipating snow
a community unfolding
open fires
exploring our new lives
hot chocolate with bush honey
the kindness of strangers
a carpet of snow

Sounds and Sights from the morning walk

Well there would be sounds if I knew how to insert an M4a into blogger.
Anyone have any clues?
So these are some of the treasures that I found along the way on my morning walk this morning. Why is it that those first few steps to the front door are always the hardest- how I love it when I'm actually out. Only thing is that a walk for a photographer is not always the best form of exercise, even without a camera device in tow (given that we can now shoot with a listening device instead) as we constantly break our stride to stop and shoot treasures along the way...