photography

all of us in circle, this earth, together


Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.


Dalai Lama

I took these photos on Saturday, I had been sitting with the pain of the wounded earth, Paris, Lebanon, Syria, the Congo, all of it, so many places, so much pain and I am determined to move away from the hate that these attacks are designed to stir. Instead I cry for the mothers, and the babies, and the wounded men and broken women, I cry for mama earth being stained with our ambitions and I check in to see where my responses are coming from, from compassion, from knowledge of the complexity and contradictions of things, from love.

A year ago I was in Paris, celebrating my mother's 70 turn around the sun. She says to me now "If I was born a year later..." yes we would have been there, and yes I would have been one to hug that brave Muslim who stood blind folded and trusting humanities ability to respond with compassion and love. We must keep our hearts, our minds and our borders open.

I dreamt these images, of course they changed in process as things do, but their intention is still the same- all of us in circle, this earth, together, fragile, broken, torn, but together- and at the center... there can be only one thing.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.


Mahatma Gandhi
And a shout out to Catherine Just whose prompt on Begin Deepening had me express it all in images.

Week 2- Sketch a Day Challenge

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, mixed media
Week 2 and I'm managing a drawing/sketch a day, although I am not keeping up with Gillian and all her wonderful exercises. As you can see we are mixing it up with a variety of mediums, subjects and methods, although it is the face that draws me in again and again. I'm loving that these are just sketches, exercises and explorations- in letting go, in mark making, in form and tone, in looking, including and leaving out and on and on. No pressure to make anything, just an opportunity to grow, to watch and see. Already I can feel the growth from the daily practice.

Sketch a day, Galia Alena, Drawn to Expression


One of the sketches found its way onto a page in my journal tarot, my favourite book to work in lately. How I  just love to while away the hours working and exploring in here:

Tarot Journal, Galia Alena, mixed media

And I thought I'd share a little out take from shooting for Camera Craft- Into the Light, the blossoms are just so pretty...
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." - Marcel Proust
Cherry Blossom, Galia Alena, Camera Craft, e-course, online photography workshop

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:

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?c=cart&i=1439372&cl=226019&ejc=2

Camera Craft Guest Contributors



With less than a week until we begin I wanted to introduce all the amazing creatrix and photographers contributing to Camera Craft. Take a moment to sit back and drink in all the beauty they create. EnJoy...

Misty Mawn Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop

 MISTY MAWN

If you haven't already fallen in love with her and her work as I have, then start with this video and then head over to her website: http://www.mistymawnart.com/
Studying photography many years ago, she has dedicated her life to growing as an artist, leading her to play in many mediums, like me that's means they all call to her to express her soul through them. Photography is one that allows her to hold the beauty of her family, her travels and her days, honouring both her love and life through her lens and heart's eye.
Everything she touches is steeped in soulful beauty, I can't wait to take her lesson myself where she will be sharing on portraiture.

 
Danielle Cohen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 DANIELLE COHEN


Danielle Cohen has a sweet and gentle way about her yet her images hold depth and power. In her own words,"Mostly, I help people fall in love with themselves and their lives." Her work is all about helping people be seen and fall in love with themselves.
To learn more about her and see some more of her work visit here http://www.danielle-cohen.com/

Danielle will be sharing some of her lighting  techniques.



Ashley Fincham Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 ASHLEY FINCHAM

"I want to make images that resonate deep within...I know this life is like a lightening bolt; beautiful, electric and dancing. However it is fast and fleeting. I believe wholeheartedly it is worth every bit of documenting." Ashley takes beautiful images, but beyond that she is a creative through and through. When I look at her images I see soulful interpretation, I see the world as if through her eyes, I see her vision. She also is the curator of a wonderful series of creative INterviews over at her on line home A Global Walk, where you can read interviews on many inspiring creatives, exploring idea’s about sacred living, what helps with mending and what rhythm looks like, including other contributors like Danielle Cohen , Erin Faith Allen and myself.

ERIN FAITH ALLEN


Erin Faith Allen Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
Erin and I first met many years ago when we were both active in Female Photographers of Etsy (fPOE) . I was particularly drawn to the intersection of her photography and her mixed media work. Over the years it has been my great pleasure to watch her work blossom and her creative practice become richer and deeper. I love her work and her soul that shines through it. If you are not familiar with it make your self a cup of tea and settle down with this video here http://www.erinfaithallen.com/about-erin/ and then explore some of her wonderful short films on inspiring creatrix, Soul Shakers, such as Orly Avineri and Jennette Nielsen. Its all good stuff, juicy stuff, inspiring stuff.




Stacy de la Rosa Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop STACY DE LA ROSA

Stacy's work is all about rising women up in their power and how they see themselves, working with story and archetypes. In her own words "I'm a photographer, advocate and instigator for creative women. I am a woman awakening her Queen within. I take photos, write words, and offer courses designed to reflect back to women their unique brand of beauty, magic, and joy. My greatest passion is to bear witness to women who rise into their power and create the life of their dreams."

She shoots like a girl... 
Ivy Newport Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop 
IVY NEWPORT

Ivy is a mixed media artist who is doing amazing work on the intersection of photography and painting in pixels. And she is such a generous soul that she has put together two gorgeous lessons for you, one on post production (making your images beautiful after shooting them) and another on encaustics and photography ( I love love love encaustics and it adds such a wonderful and tactile effect to photos). You can find her and all her wonderful work over here: http://ivynewport.com/

Eileen West Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop EILEEN WEST
Eileen is a photographer and a life coach, she use photography to explore her everyday world and she helps others to develop their own intuitive photography to express their inner creativity. You can find out more about her and her photo a day challenge here: http://www.westofwhimsy.com/

Believer in the universe…
 
Jeannette Le Blanc Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
JEANNETTE LE BLANC

Jeanette LeBlanc is a writer, photographer and inspirationalist. She believes in chocolate and the ocean. She also believes in the artist in EVERYONE and the beauty in EVERYONE. She will be sharing a piece on the intersection of photography and words and will be doing so with a surprise guest. To find out more about Jeannette visit her here: www.peacelovefree.com & www.jeanetteleblanc.com/blog/ 


PEACE LOVE & CHOCOLATE


Liz Morgan Lamoreux Camera Craft Contributors- online photography workshop
 LIZ MORGAN LAMOREUX
"Self-portraits are one way I invite myself to feel deeply seen. How I give myself the gift of knowing that I’m not alone. How I remind myself that I’m not disappearing into the roles I play.
Through my lens I capture joy, grief, silliness, quiet, fear, exhaustion, stillness. I capture all the pieces that make up me. This is how I practice self-care and how I reach toward an understanding of who I am..." Liz, excerpt from Camera Craft
 Liz shows up fiercely vulnerable and true to herself and strives to give other women permission to do the same.
Have a listen to her talk about her own work. Be warned though, she may just make you tear up like she did me.
You can find her here



To find out more about Camera Craft visit here or  to try a sample lesson visit here. And, of course, to sign up, you can do that below :

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?c=cart&i=1439374&cl=226019&ejc=2

There is healing in the light (and the winner is...)

Galia Alena Photography
Creativity is the type of learning process where the teacher and the pupil are located in the same individual. Koestler
I have this quote on my teaching page. It makes perfect sense to me. It is both how it should be and how I want it to be.  There is much to be gained from staying open to learn as you  teach, both from the process and from the students. Yet I wondered how that would play out with photography “101”, what would I learn in a field I am already  an “expert”.

Well class hasn’t even begun and I’ve already  learnt so much about my own photography (and myself), about how deeply to my core it is rooted, how it is a form of both meditation and prayer, how I honour precious gifts with it and how much further I have to go with it. Both the digging deep, through my own archives and my reflections in putting the lessons together as well as the beautiful cross-pollination  that comes from collaboration (not to mention the beautiful and heart felt comments on my last post), have cracked a wound open that I have with this medium (its complicated ;) ) to let the light stream both in and out. 


There is healing in the light.

I’m finding for myself all those things I’ve promised to the participants: connection, inspiration, light and shadow dances, seeing, magic, play, curiosity, delving deeper and then more inspiration. It has renewed my own dialogue with this craft, and the dance between technique and pure expression. There’s been some unschooling and some wide openings. It’s the edge where light and shadow meet, that magical place. And, as for so many women, it is the portal, the invitation into deeper creative expression and self discovery. The beginning of a new journey...

Galia Alena Photography

And so putting this together has been both a labour of love and a gift- now, go forth my little baby, and inspire…

And, the name pulled out of my singing bowl is Brandi, so pleased you will be joining us. Xx For anyone else feeling the call, join us here.

Galia Alena Photography

Savouring Life Intensely- A Giveaway Xx

 “When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
- Ansel Adams
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft

Photography is one of my first loves. I love the way it holds moments tenderly and how it can express what is precious, I love the way I am able to open a book of photos and suddenly I am holding my new born child again, I love the way I can be looking for something on my computer and am suddenly swept back to a magical day. I love the way it speaks that which has no words while leaving room for the mystery. I love the way it allows me to breathe in the moment, to drink it deeply, to savour it...

Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft


I've put together an e-course to honour that love of photography and share it with others. It's part technical, part inspiration, and fully soulful AND I have some amazing collaborators joining me sharing their love for the medium (pop over here to see who these wonderful women are). To celebrate I'm giving away a spot in Camera Craft.
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft
To enter, all you have to do is tell me how photography has touched your heart, pop it in here in the comments and I'll write your name on a slip and toss it into my singing bowl from which I will draw a name in a week.
To increase the number of times I write your name you could do any or all of the following to spread the love, just be sure to pop back and let me know in the comments:
☆ share this competition or the class on your blog, twitter, pinterest, google, facebook page or other social network platform
☆ subscribe to my newsletter in the side bar here.
☆ like my facebook page (or invite some friends to)
☆ Tell me why this class is calling to you
☆ subscribe to this blog
I will pop back in a week to announce the winner, thank you and good luck. And if you want to join in this amazing journey click  HERE. We will be starting at the end of the month and I can hardly wait :)
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Riboud
Camera Craft Photography e-course www.galiaalena.com/cameracraft

Camera Craft- The Art of Seeing



'Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.' Picasso
I'm so excited to be able to finally spill the beans on a project I've been working on all year, or more like 20 years, and I am thrilled that I have some amazing contributors adding their own unique magic to the offering. Here's a sneak peek about it but please visit here for full details.
 
You love taking photos but somehow your images don't quite turn out the way you imagined.
You're overwhelmed by the choice of cameras on the market these days and are not sure where to start.
You have a camera but you are not quite on a first name basis yet.
You learnt photography back in the glory days of film and are not quite sure how it all works in the digital age.
You admire many photographs and wonder how they achieved this or that effect.
You want to add some more magic to your images.
You've tried to learn photography before but the technical side leaves you cold.
You just want to play and be creative and express your vision but the how is tripping you up.
Or perhaps you are just like me and the beauty of this world catches your breath and taking photos is a way to explore, hold and honour it all.
Camera Craft is designed to help demystify your camera and the technical side 
of photography, empowering you to follow your inspiration, and make expressive
  and beautiful images. It is photography 101 and it is so much more. I want the
 participants to walk away feeling like they have enough of a grasp of the technical 
stuff that they can really let their creative voices sing. Between all the samples 
and the guest contributors you wont be able to help but be inspired.To find out more 
visit here or sign up to my newsletter in the side bar to hear when sign up goes live.
 

Delightfully Wicked Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookie, Galia Alena Photography


As an act of pure civic duty I have very selflessly set myself the task of discovering the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. So, much to my children's delight, I have been experimenting and modifying, and while I'm not sure I have the best yet (I think I should keep testing ;) ), I certainly have some damn fine and insanely yummy cookies. I'd love to hear how they vanish in your house.
NB: I'm not sure these fall under the Paleo diet but I won't tell if you won't.
Warning: extremely moreish!!

Delightfully Wicked 
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 170 grams butter
  • 250 grams of dark chocolate
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2  eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions:
  1.  Melt the butter and half of the chocolate in a double boiler. Allow mixture to cool a bit.
  2.  Cream the cooled mixture and the sugar with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Adding in the eggs, one at a time, mixing some more.
  3. Sift all the dry ingredients together and then add to the butter mixture and mix together. (here you could mix the wet mixture into another bowl holding all the dry ingredients which would give you a wonderful bowl to lick but I hate washing up so I'm a one bowl wonder).
  4. Break up the remaining chocolate into chunks and add to batter- I like to bash a block against the bench while still in the wrapper preferring uneven chunks to little uniform chips you can buy (you could also add nuts here as well).
  5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while your oven heats to a moderate temperature (180 degrees). I don't know why this step is so important, I'm sure there is some Hestonesque reason, but it is, trust me.
  6. Onto a greased trap (or silicone baking tray) spoon roughly formed cookie blobs (yes high tech, you don't want your cookies to evenly formed but rather a bit rough and ready for some texture).
  7. Bake for between 10-15 minutes (depending upon your oven- mine likes about 13 minutes).
  8. Allow to cool, if you can stand to wait, and then demolish alone or with friends.
I recommend cooking only half the batch at ago and keeping the other half in the fridge for the next day. This slows the cookies consumption down, but only marginally- cookies will still disappear in the middle of the night. You could even portion out the cookies and freeze until needed. You never know when you might have a cookie emergency (or a chocolate- these double for both).

EnJoy     

Take me back... Paris


Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris Seine
 Today I vanished down the rabbit hole of going through my photos from Paris. I was meant to be looking for photos for a little sumthin sumthin I'm working on (shhhhh... no spoilers but if you would like to know when I announce please sign up for my newsletter in the sidebar). Photos filled with memories can be such a magical distraction.

Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris
My trip to Paris wasn't about taking photos. Since my arm had just come out of a cast I only took Baby Canon with me and left heavy cameras and lenses at home. Mostly we went to galleries and food markets with lots of walking. With a group of 5 of us there was not much stopping to take photos and most of these shots were taken on the fly as I trotted to keep up.

Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris graffitti

Even the graffiti is interesting in Paris

Galia Alena Travel Photography Parisi
I'm sure these will not be the last images I share from Paris... You can find more photos and a sneak into my Paris Journal here & here and to see more of my travel photography visit my website here

Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris Seine
A nod to Atget whose presence I felt on most streets
Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris Notre Dame

Galia Alena Travel Photography Parisi Dali

Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris
Parisian swans...

Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris
Photo shoot locations everywhere...

Galia Alena Travel Photography Paris cat
A Cat on a window sill in our courtyard. I really hope they remembered he was out there...

In other news, this week I was featured over at a Global Walk, you can read the interview here and while you're there check out some of the other interviews in the series including Pixie Lighthorse, Flora Bowley and many other magic makers.
And  A World of Artist's Journal's has finally been released, I'm honoured to be included and can't wait for my copy to wing its way across mama ocean.


Today is a Perfect Day to just Be...

Galia Alena Photography, quotes and texture

"This morning I'm composed after the wild day and night that was the pull of the full moon in Scorpio. I sit quietly in the garden nursing tea, still amongst the busyness that is always going on out here. The bees buzzing along their familiar routes, the chit chit chit chit of the birds cracking gum nuts, the tiny insects that dance in the autumn light. My garden is always a flutter of winged ones and I in rhythm with the gentle breeze that meanders through the grasses. I commit to nothing today but rest and gentleness. A bath, some chi gong and yin yoga sounds pleasant, perhaps a walk, perhaps I'll not move from this spot where I watch the sun rise through the trees. The blank canvas shall make no demands on me today but I steep in the rush of downloads the muses sent with the moon. Today is not a day to do, today is a perfect day to just be..." excerpt from the journal

Galia Alena Photography, quotes and texture

Leaf Song- new class

What Can I Say

What can I say that I have not said before?
So I'll say it again.
The leaf has a song in it.
Stone is the face of patience.
Inside the river there is an unfinishable story
and you are somewhere in it
and it will never end until all ends.

Take your busy heart to the art museum and the
chamber of commerce
but take it also to the forest.
The song you heard singing in the leaf when you
were a child
is singing still.
I am of years lived, so far, seventy-four,
and the leaf is singing still.

~ Mary Oliver ~
I'm so excited to have been asked to teach another class at Soul Fire Retreats, and just when the muses had whispered, no sung, the seeds of this new class to me, I'm really looking forward to it, its going to be beautiful:

Leaf Song-

To pay attention- this is how we pray…

In this class we will be using photography and sketching as a means to bring us to a place of mindful presence, entering into the center of now and creating a silence that allows us to hear the songs all around and within in us.

There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth. Rumi

A teaser

Mixed media journal menarche keepsake Galia Alena

Mixed media journal menarche keepsake Galia Alena
I am sharing a little teaser here of some of the pages coming together. I have to say that working on a secret project for my daughter is proving quite an interesting challenge- she is finally back at school after the summer holidays, but her brother has taken two weeks off, and now she has taken a week off (so far). How's a mama to get anything done and stay sane, not to mention work on clandestine art projects!!

Still, its going to be so beautiful, I'm having fun and she is going to treasure it.

If you like you can join me here:


One Perfect Day

Galia Alena Photography Queenstown
The Picnic
Galia Alena Photography Queenstown
The View
Galia Alena Photography Queenstown
The Treasure (from my son )
Galia Alena Photography Queenstown
The Inukshuk (we built & left for the next travelers)
Galia Alena Photography Queenstown
The Walk Home
Into the Setting Sun

Today was a perfect day
Today the children saw magic
& the light delighted across the water.

Today was a perfect day
when all were nourished by
the sweet silence of a pristine land

and we all drank deeply
of the water at our feet,
hands scooping purity to our mouths,
quenching more than our thirst.

Method Press- Issue 02


 Method Press-Issue 02 is now available from magcloud. This issue has an article by me on the wonderful Gabrielle Jones and her art (see images below or visit her website) as well as features on Sophie Blackall & Frankie Norstad. This gorgeous read is 76 pages jam packed with art, intellect & humor. Issue 02 is the perfect way to rock out the end of summer (or winter if you're in my hemisphere), low-fi style.

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter
 One thing leads to another
Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter

Galia Alena Photography, Gabrielle Jones acrylic painter