Finally after a two week internet delay (Telstra are you listening?) we would like to present  Alex Poulos as ‘It’s a Hard Life’s’ very first local Jindabynian featured artist. The photograph above is an intriguing portrait of a grey gelding Alex happened across in a misty paddock early one morning. Asked why she liked it more than other possible photographs that she could have selected to publish she replied simply ‘I think it captured his personality’.

And indeed it has certainly expressed a keen understanding for her subject. Alex’s chosen theme is something that is dear to her heart, she is one of the elite Snowy Mountains horsemen and women that inhabit the region and as a show rider she has a love of grey horses and of photography.

At seventeen, Alex has by her own estimation led a charmed life. Inspired by her beautiful surroundings to work for and buy her own camera she considers photography is the most modern form of art and that what draws her to the medium is the ability to freeze frame a moment in time.

Alex believes she has been incredibly lucky to grow up in the Snowy Mountains and as the daughter of Con and Donna Poulos, local ski-ing identities she has divided her time between the ski-slopes and the riding arena.

Yet Alex longs to see other parts of the world and after pursuing her dream of completing a degree in advertising and media I would not be surprised to see Alex jetting around the world camera in hand… but I know her heart will always belong to the Snowy Mountains..

What can I say?

Top to bottom at Thredbo in some of the finest snow I have seen for years….

Put this classic tune into your ipod and just bask in the beauty of the mountains.

I know we can be heros today…

 

 

 

 


Seen around the Station Resort….

Gumby and the Pink Panther playing the Strongbow Pear Cider game with the lovely Strongbow Pear Cider girl Belinda.

I thought my life was hard until I saw a seven foot man in a dark green suit… well I guess if your only friend is the Pink Panther what can you expect?

Ahh winter has well and truly begun…

Photography and ski-ing have a lot in common really…

I mean everyone knows that old joke about ‘bendz zee kneez’ when you are ski-ing but its pretty important to bend them when you are taking photographs as well. Bending your knees when you have a camera in hand can lead to all sorts of new visual terrain and creative image making.

While sports photography in general and ski photography in particular is often really quite straightforward it can require special equipment and skills that not everyone possesses. Some of the most spectacular types of ski-photography require the photographer to trek into back country wilderness equipped with specialised lenses and lighting and this is just way beyond the means of most keen snappers.

So how can you turn your precious ski-ing moments from just more than ubiquitous photographic wallpaper on Facebook into something that could be printed and hung on a wall to savour for all time? Well lets begin with the angles…

Photography is 90% composition and 10% inspiration….the best photographs always have a natural sense of grace which can generally be attributed to their compositional strengths, in fact there are some rules that can guide you to improve your composition but the very best photographers generally have an innate sense of what those rules are and then try and break them at every opportunity. Real artists show us a different world through their eyes and often can take an ordinary photographic situation and can turn it into an extraordinary image.

But what has this to do with your wish to capture and create a great photographic memory of little Annabelle who is ski-ing down the slope by herself for the first time? Well if you look at todays picture you will see that this is a very different photograph of ski activity than most of us are used to.

Though in many ways it adheres to many of the very conventional compositional rules that are commonly used in photography.

In this case the frame is broken into three horizontal sections by the outline of the safety net.  This kind of structuring of the image into three sections is known universally as ‘The Rule Of Golden Thirds’. It is used to create a more interesting image but is dependent on the placement of other objects inside the frame.

Of course to make this image it was absolutely crucial to bend the knees. Taken from a standing viewpoint this image would not have been as interesting as it would simply have been an amorphous photograph of a jumble of people ski-ing Front Valley at Perisher.

Without the inclusion of the safety net there would be no specific subject and this is important to give the viewer a clearly defined idea of what they are meant to be looking at. In this case one can see that the safety net pulls the necessary information into clear focus, this is about novice skiers making their way down the hill.

This photo was taken with a standard lens and a just short stroll to the bottom of the ski slope.

So next time you are on the hill with young Sarah or Jack and you want to make a photograph that is memorable but not a big deal to capture,  just remember ‘bendz zee kneez’ and you might find a whole new world open up for you…

So if you had the chance to be a published photographer what image would you like to see in the space above?

At ‘Its A Hard Life’ we really want to see what you guys out there are pointing your cameras at… whether thats a gnarly free ride ski shot or pics of your favourite four legged friend.

Each Friday will we feature a photograph taken by you that says something unique about the Snowy Mountains region. After we select it we will contact you and find out a little bit about why you shot it and what it means to you.

Later on in the 2011 Snow Season ‘Its A Hard Life’ will be offering full day photography workshops and we will select the photographer who submits the best image to participate free of charge.

So here is your chance to attend a photography workshop given by ‘Its A Hard Life’s’ esteemed photojournalist Lisa Hogben, who has worked for TIME, The New York Times, The Australian and The Sun Herald and won innumerable photographic awards. Hogben has also been a highly regarded mentor and teacher at The Australian Center for Photography and North Sydney Community Center and has shot a feature length documentary ‘Beautiful Music’ on the exploits of the Sydney Street Choir in the Northern Territory. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at The Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, The Australian Center for Photography and IndexG Gallery in Toronto to name a few.

So hurry up and start snapping, at ‘Its A Hard Life….’ good photography makes us smile!

Please submit entries via our group site at Flickr with all your relevant contact details or email us via our contact page.

Well maybe not literally but Riana Begg certainly knows how to transform young faces with face paint.

Her four year old model Leah Bottrill from Jindabyne  was concentrating on her metamorphosis from cute Snowy Mountains kid to Snow Angel at the Banjo Patterson Playground this morning.

The ‘Touched By Olivia” Foundation, headed locally by Louise Williams held a rally at the playground and invited Member for Monaro John Barilaro and Jindabyne Mayor John Cahill to attend in an effort to increase awareness of the community need to provide more adequate facilities for the growing population of younger children.

Nothing quite like a visiting “pollie” to get things moving though… new bark had been laid yesterday under the existing playground equipment.

‘Its A Hard Life’ alright but no-one does it better than this…