Category Archives: studio home

New Year = New Share

By Julia Atkinson - Studio Home // @studiohome // @studiohome_ju #thebluehousenz

That’s right!
With Studio Home ticking over into her 9th year I have once again examined what both you and I want from this site. The internet, in its wild fluidity, is such an exciting place to experiment, reinvent and quite simply, make your own rules. Given that this is a blog, freely accessed by you at any time of your day at no cost, I feel unrestricted and flexible when making changes to present you guys. You’ve been along for the ride for a while now!

Ultimately it’s important to me that I continue to offer you relevant and RICH local introductions from the clever, creative people that live down our end of the world.

I just think we need to go a bit deeper….and be a little looser.

Philosophising aside…the changes I hope to present to you are both inspired by the activity happening around me in the design and art industry AND where my personal interests lie in reflection of what my life is looking like now (9 years down the track!)

My Mum - Julia Atkinson of Studio Home // NZ/Aus creative stories, brands, products and people.A Bit More Soul attendees by Julia Atkinson of Studio Home // NZ/Aus creative stories, brands, products and people.

CONTRIBUTED STORIES + DEEPER POSTS

I want to offer you more than “Hey guys! This week you can buy this! …or this!… perhaps this?” and instead put the power back into the hands of the brands and people I share with you in an effort to reveal more about what makes them tick. In a time where we are constantly pounded with “pretty pictures”, I feel I can offer my subjects AND you the chance to dig a little deeper and learn about the humans behind the products/art/projects/stores and stories presented.

Because, to me, the people are as interesting as the end product…

So posts will now come to you in a mix.

There will still be the normal, familiar quickfire introductions stirred in with more Q+A with those I feature. These posts will then be joined by totally NEW voices! I have already begun inviting photographers, film makers, story tellers, adventurers, experts/knowledge collectors and even brands and businesses themselves to compile, shoot, write and share their OWN stories via the Studio Home blog.

I’m really excited about this as I feel these people belong to a part of the creative world in NZ/AUS that I haven’t really given much airtime over the years….yet they are the ones I enjoy and follow more closely than anyone else!
You might expect to see studio tours, home tours, “how-to’s”, travel stories, personal creative projects, behind the scenes of brands, opinions and advice among whatever great, self generated content comes our way.

 

Ultimately I want to offer a platform that will shine a light on the stories being told AND those telling them.

 

Work will still be submitted and considered on its merits and relevance to you, the Studio Home audience, but if what is mentioned above pricks an idea or even reminds you of a project you have already completed check out the process here. 

You will see the first of these types of features rolling out later this week.

 by Julia Atkinson of Studio Home // NZ/Aus creative stories, brands, products and people. My sister in "Franny" the Caravan by Julia Atkinson of Studio Home // NZ/Aus creative stories, brands, products and people. by Julia Atkinson of Studio Home // NZ/Aus creative stories, brands, products and people.

 

THE HOME FRONT

2017 also marks some changes in my own circumstances that will allow me to dip back into my own design toolbox. Despite running an interior consultancy in my 20’s, I have moved town every 3 years without fail and have never fully been in a position to put some roots down, making a home of my “own” beyond rearranging art and buying indoor plants!

The Blue House - our beautiful NZ villa in Linwood, Christchurch, new Zealand. Join us on the mission to learn to garden and freshen this place up to suit our own lifestyle. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenz

Now with my feet firmly planted in Christchurch I find myself in a pretty cool position involving family, shared interests, handy skills and a desire to create something great!

 

My partner T and I have recently moved into a very tidy and charming villa in Linwood, a non-ritzy suburb very central to the transforming city centre. My Mum, on a hunt for a property investment, purchased it late last year and in January we moved in, renting as her tenants.  Here we have already been able to start making this place reflect the way we want to live. This has included exploring a hidden passion for gardening, space changes on a modest budget AND the painting of my office PINK! Investing in improvements, despite being renters, is due to our plan to purchase the house from Mum following the completion of our new build project we are taking on starting this month!

 

Yip! It’s home making central this year!

 

With our powers combined (T is a bricklayer and has built and sold several other properties) we plan to present an interesting and beautiful alternative to the normal, bland and shiny spec home. Armed with a plan completed by an architect friend, the large family home will be built in Prebbleton with us shortly entering consent stage and completing the project in addition to our daily work commitments.
I am super excited to be back specifying and creating a new house for someone, as yet unknown!

The home office transformed to PINK! Using Dulux NZ Petite Pink. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenzThe home office transformed to PINK! Using Dulux NZ Petite Pink. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenzThe home office transformed to PINK! Using Dulux NZ Petite Pink. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenz

It’s an elaborate plan but to be honest, it feels like a welcome re connect with my love of interiors and undertaking something as a team.

And so I plan to be sharing this all with you!
Some of you will have already joined the nesting plus design/build journey on my new @studiohome_ju instagram account. Here you’ll expect to be party to my ideas, progress, day to day and, no doubt, mistakes along the way via imagery and the stories feed. I’m kind of loving that stories business actually!
I will also be sharing a break down of improvements slowly made at the villa as room by room posts on here but, of course, as real life would have it, these will be irregular and simply bought to you as we have the time and money to do them!

You can follow this specifically on instagram via #thebluehousenz

Present for boyfriend from my favourite antique store; Chaos Collections. Perfect spot on the George and Willy peg board! Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenz The home office transformed to PINK! Using Dulux NZ Petite Pink. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenz The Blue House - our beautiful NZ villa in Linwood, Christchurch, new Zealand. Join us on the mission to learn to garden and freshen this place up to suit our own lifestyle. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenz The Blue House - our beautiful NZ villa in Linwood, Christchurch, new Zealand. Join us on the mission to learn to garden and freshen this place up to suit our own lifestyle. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenzThe Blue House - our beautiful NZ villa in Linwood, Christchurch, new Zealand. Join us on the mission to learn to garden and freshen this place up to suit our own lifestyle. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenz The Blue House - our beautiful NZ villa in Linwood, Christchurch, new Zealand. Join us on the mission to learn to garden and freshen this place up to suit our own lifestyle. Find more via @studiohome_ju and #thebluehousenz

So that’s really it my friends!

I hope you enjoy the transition to a slightly less structured but majorly more personal format here. Studio Home remains strict in its down under creative focus but excited to be freeing up the content and inspiration coming your way.

Thanks,

Ju xo

Julia Atkinson of Studio Home - creative stories, brands, products and people from New Zealand and Australia since 1998 - follow @studiohome and @studiohome_ju

 

 

Posted in studio home | 5 Comments

A wrap up

Design blogger Julia Atkinson of Studio Home est. 2008 // Creative people/brands/products and projects from New Zealand and Australia

Merry end of 2016!

Just a last check in before Studio Home has a wee gin and tonic in the sun while we turn the leaf for 2017.
Writing this reminds me a lot of the Christmas time family “newsletters” that used to whizz round ( both sides of my family are large!) – first by mail, then there were the fax years and finally, artfully put together as photo filled pdfs. You’d get a run down of each family members latest and to be honest…it was kind of nice! I don’t partake in this at all (except in my mothers own that she sends out) but at this time of year I always feel compelled to say “hi”, and “this is whats going on, on my end” to you, the eyes on the other end of what I share here and on my social channels.

This year has been a massive one for me! I’ve driven up and down the length of NZ 4 times, presented my social media workshop to over 250 small business owners and done my fair share of agonising over my own too! I’ve found the launch of Studio Home Biz Brains to be hugely rewarding with the opportunity to connect with people face to face, the type of people who reflect the hundreds I have written about over the years. It kind of felt like I got a glimpse of the “coal face” and I loved it.

I also called time on my Auckland existence and moved to Christchurch to discover a lifestyle I didn’t expect. Food, family, architecture, design, Banks Peninsula, food again and cohabitation! No complaints here except for the clothes that don’t fit me at the moment ha! (we’ll deal with that in the New Year ok?) This was all made better by finding the tiniest but coolest city pad to live in (which by the way is coming up for rent!). You can snoop by searching #studiohomehq on instagram or clicking here.

Studio Home has continued to tick along with new and existing TEAM.WORK collaborations circulating out there between NZ and Australia. There are more of these on the table too – I consider myself very bloody lucky to be able to work with such motivated, talented minds on these. I am certain/hoping it rubs off right?

It was also SUCH a relief to see an amazing person take the reins of Juniors Design Blog and run hard with what I started in 2014. Time (or the poor juggling of it) had meant that I couldn’t do it justice and the guilt of letting that project AND that amazing local industry of kids based products, art, clothing, furniture, food and brands drift away was killing me!
So cue the arrival of Rachel Thompson and the amazing refresh and relaunch of the site.
Please visit here! 

Studio Home HQ // Christchurch, New Zealand // NZ/AUS design blog since 2008 Studio Home HQ // Christchurch, New Zealand // NZ/AUS design blog since 2008 Studio Home HQ // Christchurch, New Zealand // NZ/AUS design blog since 2008

But what of 2017?

Well, first up will be the clock ticking over to mark 9 years of this blog and its resulting projects, communities and friendships. The internet is still very much stuck in fast forward, so I’ll admit, I am very proud that despite the immense amount of information presented to you daily, you have remained attached and engaged with the local introductions I bring you. Thank you so much!
As my ability to interview and shoot my own content has been impacted by the growth of other projects (much to my dismay, its my favourite thing…) I have sat back for a little while to watch, learn and consider the direction of Studio Home for the future.

Spurred on by the incredible stories shared by our down under photographers, writers and content creators on their own channels, I’ve decided that the 2017 will see an opening of the doors to allow more contributed stories to be shared here. However the focus will be as much on the storyteller as the story itself, to celebrate this part of our creative community who often are missed as they aren’t “making or selling” us anything.

Anyone interested is welcome to pop me an email and I will share with you the breakdown of this opportunity: hello@studiohome.co.nz

The Demystifying Guide to Facebook and Instagram for Small Business will be taken online alongside my Pinterest and Pitching to Media workshops. Right now this hurts my brain but will be a really gooooood move forward in allowing more people to access these classes. I’ll also be taking on more one-one-one clients as a sidekick to the growth of their own projects.

And lastly, 2017 will see me stepping back into my interior design shoes to take on a new build, residential project with my partner here in Christchurch. I’m really looking forward to sharing this process with you as well as the softer upgrades we will be doing to a lovely villa we’ll be moving into in January! Talk about old vs new!

I’d love to invite you to join me on these more personal projects via my instagram feed: @studiohome_ju.

NOW lets get you connected to some content you can browse from the archives!!! There are 9 years of them!

– Browse my favourite category “Art” here for NZ/Australian talent to the max.

– Looks like my own interviews will be disappearing into the background going forward to maybe you’d like to read the stories of those I have met over the last few years:
– Creative HQ – a peek inside homes and spaces.
– Fly the Coop – interviews I have done with kiwi and Aussie expats in Bali, Australia and New York.
– Store Front – inside the doors of some local stores.
– Locations – some personal travel stories that I plan to update with the Maldives soon!
– Real World – my personal favourite selection of interviews done by Studio Home sidekick; Sarah Allen. Sarah met with some industry go getters to glean advice and wisdom for all those of your out there trying to establish your own business/career.

– Take a trawl through those posts we listed as “emerging designers/artists”…these were people we felt we would most definitely watch rise above the rest.

– Explore out New Zealand or Australian posts separately to see what was featured this year (or ever!) from your area.

You can find the rest of the categories in the left hand sidebar PLUS search by year in the dropdown menu.
I hope you find a lazy shady tree to do this under OR not at all.
Taking a technology break is a good idea!

I’ll see you back here in January.

Cheers,
Ju xo

Design blogger Julia Atkinson of Studio Home est. 2008 // Creative people/brands/products and projects from New Zealand and Australia

Posted in studio home | 1 Comment

Studio Home HQ – Auckland

Apartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - Macdonald

Late last year my friend and talented photographer; Bonny Stewart-MacDonald flew to Auckland and spent a morning taking some pics of my Auckland “studio/home”. In hindsight I realise now that her visit has documented my spot in the world for the last 3 years and a really cool and exciting time in the development of Studio Home and all its projects (successful/unsuccessful/almosts/maybe next times…)

While I have now begun to nest and create a new HQ in Christchurch, the ideas and MANY hours alone with my computer in that Auckland apartment are still very much developing and there is a large part of me that will really miss that little bolthole in the central city.

The apartment was originally bought by my Mum and sister around 8 years ago as an investment property while my sister was finishing up post grad study and working in Auckland. I joined her to live in it for 6 months before heading back south but for us at the time it was SUCH a clever, compact and streamlined space to live in, in vast contrast to our largely rural upbringing and the decrepid old flats post high school.
In many ways it fulfilled my dreams of living in boat ! Of course absent was the actual sea and romance that comes with that but the spaces were clever in their use of space for storage and we had a glorious “top deck”!

I returned to take up residence again in late 2012 and can still distinctly remember the crazy feeling it was to swap my view of the dark mountainous Wanaka skyline for the glowing Sky Tower which I could even watch from my bedroom window. I’ve always relished a change of scene and the moves to and from this apartment have always provided the best comparisons!

I’ve been lucky enough to share the two bedroom apartment with a couple of treasured flatmates over the last few years and despite me taking up a good “end” of the living space with my desk it has been easy to have both privacy and awesome opportunities for socialising. Argh….just talking about that inner city spot has terrific memories rushing back! A stream of visitors dropping by on summery Friday nights with bubbles, late nights sitting in the bean bag on the balcony attempting to keep chat to a whisper, frying in sunlight on the rooftop, locking the door to the world and sessioning movies from my little sofa, ragtag friends in transit to far off places on airbeds upstairs, teary counselling sessions with girls sprawled on my bed, battles with the warped freestanding mirror I just needed to throw away! …..)
ANYWAY…..I’ve come to very much believe that change is a good good thing.

36 Fisher Point Drive has been given a full once over!
New carpet, paint, lighting and more to spruce it up (and fill all those holes I put in the wall) ready for some lucky people to enjoy the awesome lifestyle of the Beaumont Quarter. If you are looking for an Auckland apartment you can view the entire listing and all details with Kellands here. There is an open home this Sunday 20th of March.

Farewell to the fort. Such brilliant times. x

Apartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - Macdonald Apartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - Macdonald Apartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - Macdonald Apartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - MacdonaldApartment of Studio Home's; Julia Atkinson // Auckland, New Zealand // Photography by Bonnie Stewart - Macdonald

All imagery by Bonny Stewart MacDonald
View apartment for sale here.
……………..

Posted in creative hq, interior design, new zealand, studio home | Comments Off on Studio Home HQ – Auckland

Break it down

Lake Pukaki and Mt Cook, New Zealand by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home I really hope you are staring down the barrel of some GREAT down time over the next few weeks!
For the first time in years I have decided to take a real proper digital holiday,  meaning no posts or social media activity until the 11th of Jan (we’ll see if I can stick to that!)
I’m going to be spending Christmas and New Year in the Southern Lakes followed by the rest of January in Christchurch and surrounds …… getting used to my “soon to be” permanent base!
Yes! Change is a foot!

Once back you can expect the release of my February dates for North Island workshops in Tauranga, Hamilton, Napier and Auckland (South Island coming in March) as well as the announcement of NEW informative classes we’ll be hosting to aid small business. Coming hot on those heels we will introduce some new TEAM.WORK collaborations  (which I’m super excited about!) as well as a richer, better direction for the delivery of great down under content for you!

However….you may also be here hoping for some holiday perusing.
Well never fear, there is 8 whole years of introductions sitting here on Studio Home that will still be of interest to you.

YOU COULD:

– Explore our back catalogue of interviews telling the stories of creative Kiwi’s and Aussies on both sides of the Tasman. These fall under the Creative HQ and Fly The Coop categories and also, not to forget the local NZ interviews by Sarah Allen aimed to dredge up wisdom for students and graduates. Browse the Real World series here.

– Browse and make use of the categories listed down the left hand column. Click on Art, Interior Design,  For the Home, Jewellery etc to get specific on the posts that interest you.

– Want to get reallllly specific? Use our search bar located near the top of the side column. Enter brand names, locations or keywords to get into the nitty gritty. For example – “cushions“, “bedlinen”, “Trestle Union“, “Wellington“….go for it!

– Interested in children and family specific product?
Welllll, while Junior’s has been on “pause” of late there is still a large back catalogue of NZ/AUS brands, products and kids specific content sitting there for your to browse in all the same ways as I suggest above.
The exciting news is that Junior’s will be relaunching with a new owner and exciting schedule of content early in 2016!

– Maybe you’d like to trawl through our Studio Home and Junior’s Pinterest accounts ?

Have an AWESOME couple of weeks and I’ll see you back here soon all fresh and rejuvenated like! I really value your visits and support!!

XO Ju

Posted in studio home | Comments Off on Break it down

Links + tips for the at home picture taker

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio HomeOkay – I’ll admit that I woke up feeling a little nervous when I realised I had ambitiously declared I would deliver you some demystifying photography advice! I mean ….. its unlikely I know much more than you BUT if there’s one thing I do know how to do, its use the internet to find out the answers to everything and I have some favourite spots to share with you.

The questions below are ones that I have wondered myself and not been all that willing to ask!
I also share my own process which is by no means the “right” way but I really want to communicate that its not all as mysterious as we think!

To interrupt the text I have scattered pics from a dreamy getaway to the Coromandel with good friends last weekend.

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

SHOULD I PLAY WITH THE DIALS ON MY CAMERA?

A purist would scoff at this heading but seriously – sometimes I wonder why you would when I look at the terrific results my compact but meaty old camera used to achieve on largely automatic settings!
I’ve just got to a point in my thinking that if you don’t want to play with settings and would like the camera to take care of most of the decision making, then there are SO many awesome, high quality compact options out there for you ….. eg. you DO NOT need to go buy some great big hefty model!

If, like me, you were getting a little curious and had an idea of the type of imagery that you want to create then YES! Its time my friend!
I opted to go for a mirrorless camera in the form of the XT1. Much smaller and lighter than their larger DSLR cousins, they are packed with technology and MORE than enough of it for my use.  I attempted to diligently read the manual and it all dragged me swiftly back to high school maths and a rising anxiety. It really sounded like cracking the code of ISO and aperture was only for fanatics.
Fast forward to 30 minutes with Joseph Michael and everything changed. In fact my whole entire photo taking process altered. I am not going to attempt to explain how to use your camera on manual here BUT I will say it was less about the terms and so much more about understanding the effect the dials had on each other and understanding where to start them to begin framing up a shot.
From there it was simply all practice and excepting that taking shots take longer for me now as I have dials to deal with BUT I am finding that I am doing much less time editing on the other end….which I find interesting!

On writing this I realise that perhaps I need to herd in an expert to give you all the basics in manual camera operation but in the mean time check out this massive well of knowledge called Pinterest and YouTube (links to pre loaded searches!)

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

WHAT ON EARTH IS A RAW FILE + WHY SHOOT IN THAT RATHER THAN JPEG?

Essentially your camera will save an image as a JPEG file or a RAW file.
JPEG’s are smaller, all ready to go, can be downloaded from you camera to computer and viewed immediately, edited, emailed on or printed.

A RAW file can be downloaded to your computer but cannot be viewed or printed until it has been “processed” by another programme (like Photoshop or Lightroom) This sounds pointless right? But the beauty of a RAW file is that it is highly editable, acting much like a digital negative – if you are interested in bringing out the best in your photos, these are the files that let you have ALL the fun!

RAW files are big so do take up a lot of room on your computer – you’ll want to get an external harddrive to store and handle them. (Once you have processed and edited you then save them as JPEGS ending up with a RAW and edited version of one image.)
JPEG files of course are much smaller and much less high maintenance in many respects. You can still play around with them in Photoshop and to a lesser degree sort out any issues you might have had with brightness etc.

I’ve read about the “types” of people that might want to stick to JPEG instead of RAW (parents, bloggers…???) and think its kind of MORE about if you want to roll up your sleeves and get creative! It is time consuming but better than watching TV!

I found this article today which I think is BRILLIANT and goes into more detail on each of these file types.
Click here for “A Beginners Guide to Start Shooting in RAW – The Easy Way” by Christina Greve

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

DO I NEED TO EDIT MY PHOTOS?

Of course not! Camera’s are so awesome these days. You can shoot in full auto and get great clear results!
BUT I’ve got to tell you – editing is super fun and not nearly as hard as you might think! Its such an effortless form of creativity that you can pick up and put down at any time. No mess, no stress, no commitment, just you fiddling round and experimenting with sliders, actions and more.

I started by shooting in RAW then opening images in Photoshop (it has a built in program called Camera RAW that pops up to allow you to tweak exposure, contrast, sharpness etc with the file first then on to the main screen)
I’ve always been drawn to imagery that has a subtle film-like quality. The world of ultra high definition has always felt a bit jarring and “real time” as I like images that look like thay are a memory or frame from a movie. SO my lack of experience with Photoshop meant that I really needed somewhere to start the editing process and that port of call was the beautiful collection of actions by Wellington based photographer; Peta Mazey.  You can browse them here – my favourite is the Schoolyard set and from time spent experimenting with the opacity and contrast sliders I slowly created the vibe I wanted.

In the last few months, with my new foray into shooting in full manual mode (!) on the Fuji XT1, I decided to throw caution to the wind and begin using Lightroom to process my images instead. This has been mostly under the guidance of my pro photographer heroes and I’ll admit, has not all been smooth sailing! Its not that Lightroom is harder, in fact all those using it claim its photo organising ability, batch processing etc is far more efficient and I’m enjoying experimenting with the VSCOcam presets I have downloaded ….but I just really miss my Photoshop opacity slider 🙁
ANYWAY I am very determined to go down this road and have actually found YouTube tutorials to be insanely helpful! It took a while but I have quite enjoyed the ones by American photographer, Anothony Morganti. His results are a little more saturated and full on then I am trying to achieve but he clearly explains and guides you through the million functions available!

How do you “get” Photoshop and/or Lightroom? 
Well I bit the bullet this year and now subscribe to the Adobe Creative Cloud and for about $11 per month I have access to the very latest updates in the Photography Plan. I’ve got to say it is brilliant and means my programs are always at the front of the new technology.

What are “actions” and “presets” ? 
Effectively they are prepared sets of tweaks and effects combined to be applied to an image. Its like using Edmonds pikelet mix instead of starting completely from scratch but of course allows much interpretation by the editor/cook!
Actions are for Photoshop and Presets are for Lightroom.

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

INSTANT GRATIFICATION: CAMERA’S THAT TALK TO PHONES!

For an instagram enthusiast ( I know I am not alone!) I have LOVED the fact that my camera can connect with wireless tech to my phone! This means that I can select a shot in real time that I would like to share, convert the RAW file to a JPEG on the camera, turn on the wireless function, locate and join to that on my phone then using the Fuji app I can simply download that ready to then open in an editing app or post/emailing directly …. no chords or cards or anything!
This has been surprisingly handy and for anyone using social media as a business channel, it allows you to always be presenting topnotch images without too much fuss!

I stitched together a really basic little view of how this all works below.

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1

EDITING PICS TAKEN ON/OR SENT TO MY PHONE

When snapping moments on my iPhone to share on instagram I always use the inbuilt camera (eg. don’t take the photo using the camera in instagram or any other external app.)

I then open and upload that image to an “external ” (eg. not instagram) photo editing app. (This is also where my process would start with the images sent directly from my camera as in the vid above)
Up until recently I have solely used After Light but have just started experimenting with VSCO cam.  With both of these you have a lot of options for tweaking brightness/contrast, sharpness and then applying filters. I have found over time that I tend to wind down the “opacity/strength” of any filters I use to about 50% or less. I also tend to stick to one or two max to achieve a cohesive vibe between my pictures. Just looks nicer!

Once you have finished editing in the app then you simply opt to publish to instagram and off you go with your editing done!

Another popular editing app that I know some of the insta super stars use is Snapseed.
I believe that all of these are available on Android too!

Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1 Weekend in the Coromandel with the crew , North Island, New Zealand // Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home / Shot on Fuji XT1Photography by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
Shot on Fuji XT1
…..

I hope this has been a little enlightening for some of you. Please don’t hesitate to leave any questions in the comments below and I will do my very best to point you in the right direction!!

Posted in new zealand, photography, studio home | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Fujifilm and Studio Home

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

I discovered my love of taking photos purely by accident and entirely out of necessity.
When I began wanting to interview and share stories with you, I found myself in the rather boring position of simply having to take the pics myself – there was no budget floating around to hire a pro. It was pure bloody luck that I actually loved the photography the most (and that you guys seemed to like it too?!) and armed with a basic 15 min editing lesson from Camilla I began experimenting. I learnt that shooting in RAW meant I could rescue many of the muck ups  I’d made with exposure etc in Photoshop and then tweak “actions” to suit my taste (which is still changing!).
This process is probably one of the most creative things I have done consistently since leaving school!

I’ve also found out what it is to be someone really interested in photography but be generally intimidated by the industry itself which can feel very techy, full of jargon and imply that it might be a maths equation to get the shot (and camera!)
I have watched many an eyebrow shoot up in surprise when arriving with my small compact camera to take photos for my website – to be honest, this actually felt good and kind of released me from the pressures of people assuming I was a “real pro” photographer! With this in mind, while I felt ready to move to something with a more manual set up (as I was advised when pointing out pictures that I really wanted to achieve!) there was no way I was willing to take on board the physical/mental/emotional burden of a full scale DSLR kit.

No wayyyyyyyy!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

FujiFilm, much like me, has in recent years steered clear of the producing largescale DSLR cameras and instead concentrated on leading the way in digital devices that all level of photographers can use!
This couldn’t have been more evident when I visited their Auckland HQ to discuss what it was that I actually needed. They coped well with my chat about wanting something light, cool (of course!), basic in its set up so I didn’t get lost in the upgrade and when it came to lenses I just said “What would be the equivalent to an all mountain ski?”. Having a view finder, full manual control AND lens options felt intimidating enough!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

The result is what I feel is a magical and manageable set up!
Fuji have been seriously mastering the mirrorless revolution and I jumped right on board with the XT1 – nice looking in a slightly retro way with a XF 16 – 55mm lens. When the lens is locked into the XT1 , it seals to create a robust water resistant unit!
I’ve had the last 3 months to get my head around this beautiful upgrade, stealing 30 mins from Joseph Michael to learn the fundamentals of shooting in manual, lots of photo taking of seagulls and my cat followed by the download of Lightroom CC and some hours watching editing tutorials on YouTube!!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

There IS a reason I am sharing all this with you. Yes, hopefully you’ll enjoy an improvement in pics going forward BUT most of all I know that many of you out there would love to record your life and get creative with technology that isn’t just the latest smart phone release. I also know many of you might be reading this with a guilt knowing that you haven’t touched that enormous DSLR that you bought with the best intentions 2 years ago…but seriously…so BIG!

Tomorrow I am going to share with you all the little things that I personally have gleaned and discovered on my own search to be a great and happy photo taker without being an overtly expensive professional one! This will include some breakdowns of techy jargon (eg. what is RAW and why no Jpeg?), editing tools, programs, tutorials and some of the super futuresque features I am loving about the XT1. Yes, this thing talks directly to my phone..!

New partnership between me (Studio Home!) and Fujifilm New Zealand - non pro photographers can take pics too! // Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Sarah Allen for Studio Home

Below I am sharing travelling, family and general life photos from two recent stints I have had based in the South Island. I think this is what having a camera is about, snapping whatever seems to be cropping up each day and I wanted to spend some time recording whatever that may be instead of an organised shoot (like the pics above as taken by super sidekick, Sarah Allen!)

All are shot with the same camera and lens set up, downloaded as RAW files and edited in Lightroom. I am only just mastering this programme and have also been playing around with some VSCO cam presets. You will notice this perhaps in the inconsistencies of the pics but hey! learning in public here!

DOWN SOUTH WITH THE FAM

Horangi Atkinson - South Korean escapee living in New Zealand with long suffering family ;) // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home I spent some time creeping around documenting the hard renovation work being completed by my sister and brother in law in their sweet little workers cottage in Christchurch. Bike riding aside, they worked away diligently – even with drinks in hand by car headlight!

I was also reunited with that huge feline who took great pleasure in pretending he’d never met me in his life. No loyalty.

Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeSister - Canterbury, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeSister - Canterbury,  New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Sister - Canterbury, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Sister - Canterbury,  New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Home renovations - Addington, Christchurch New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeHorangi Atkinson - South Korean escapee living in New Zealand with long suffering family ;) // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home

I then bounced north to Ashley to spend some time with the folks. The autumn Canterbury light was so beautiful and even made Mum doing her animal jobs look romantic! I also got to watch her zip around at Rangiora One Day Event.

Mum on the farm, Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Mum on the farm, Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home Mum and Didi, Rangiora One Day Event 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // Photo by Studio Home on Fuji XT1DSCF9218On ANZAC day we gathered to follow Mum and a legion of 99 other horse and riders complete a historic ride to commemorate the horses that went to WW1. It was an amazing event to witness ! Much tea was consumed in Francesca the caravan as we followed the progress of the march until the terrific and emotional ceremony at the Waikari War Memorial.

Francesca the caravan - ANZAC Day 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // photo by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home // Fuji XT1Mum on Didi for the 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeBro in law - in Francesca the Caravan, Canterbury,  New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeFrancesca the caravan - ANZAC Day 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // photo by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home // Fuji XT1Francesca the caravan - ANZAC Day 2015 , North Canterbury, New Zealand // photo by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home // Fuji XT1100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMum on Didi for the 100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home  100 horse reanactment celebrating WW1 soldiers who took their horses to war Canterbury,  South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeThen, on managing to thieve a car from the family I dashed to Wanaka for a long weekend of birthday surprises, catch ups, ski boot finding and most importantly some time at my special place, Lake Pukaki at the foot of Aoraki-Mt Cook. I stopped to suck up  the goodness on the way down and way back and had two distinctly different experiences as you can see!

Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMe at Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeMe at Lake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeLake Pukaki, South Island, New Zealand // shot on Fujifilm XT1 by Julia Atkinson for Studio HomeAll photos by Julia Atkinson for Studio Home
Shot on Fuji XT1
……

I hope I see your here tomorrow!
If you have any questions at all that are amateur photo taking/camera wrangling related please feel free to ask in the comments below. If I don’t know the answer I will certainly endeavour to find out for you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Posted in new zealand, photography, studio home | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments