This is the creative home of Natalija Brunovs.
Designer, photographer, film maker, artist, teacher, deep thinker, drawer, spiritual seeker and one crafty lady.

I blog therefore I am!

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    Why People Photograph
    by Robert Adams
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    Intimate Communion: Awakening Your Sexual Essence
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    Wild Food: Foraging for Food in the Wild
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Entries in photography (55)


Burnt Hakea Series

We fairly spontaneously went for a walk up a large hill on Monday. I, the unprepared (but trusting) partner and the other the back up for a back up for a back up well packed (but stubborn) partner.

Let's just say that the mountain (Mt Cooke) looked 'that way' with a fairly clear walking trail leading you to it, but instead we took a guess and went the 'other way'. When it was clear we were not heading for the mountain we decided a direct line of sight walk would get us there. After we bush bashed our way through the twice fire-ravaged bush, scraping our legs on prickly moses (was he really that much of a jerk?) and charcoaled limbs of dead trees, we did finally discover the intended path with the help of a drone! 

Mt Cooke is quite spectacular with huge round boulders scattered on the top in a most seemingly designed way, it's one of the more unique scapes I've seen in a while. The view also gives you hope that there may still untouched areas of bush in Australia.

Whilst admiring this view, waiting for my partner to fly his drone around and after I'd eaten my rations and my phone had gone dead, I thought I'd try to just look at my close surrounds, try to see nature in more detail and appreciate it. 5 minutes in and I was enamoured with the burnt Hakea plant. (hakea petiolaris) Each stalk took on it's own little textured personality, reminding me of buffing silversmith tools and feather dusters. I snapped a few with the idea of photographing them on my return. God it's been forever since I did this and it's reawakened my love of nature patterns & details photography especially that in decay and inperfection.

When I came home to research the name of the plant I was smitten with it's layman name 'sea urchin hakea'.

[current mood] Carob Eggs & The Paper Kites


Save Beeliar Wetlands

When people ask what I'm passionate about it's maybe not what they expect.
Sure, I love being a photographer and working on creating beautiful images. There's something truly satisfying in that. But is it passion? Would I passionately talk about it, I suppose. Would I passionately fight for it? Not really.

Passion is both LOVE and ANGER I feel. Whatever drives deep emotions to the surface. 

So what makes me angry? 

Destruction of wildlife and natural habitat. This is the stuff that burns me up inside when I think about it.

I'm passionate about the preciousness of species, the beautiful balance of our ecosystem, the flora and fauna that existed long before humans existed and developed like mad. I actually don't think life is worth living without nature around. Besides the obvious fact that we would die pretty quickly without it. The detachment of people from nature is reflective of our very materialistic world and disconnection from 'paddock to plate' and 'rocks to iphone'!

Nature is my personal gateway to feeling that 'something greater' that the trivialities of daily life. In it's leafy silence, or it's muscial bird calls I am simply and swiftly reminded of the incredibless of life, the big picture of the earth, the cosmos, all the things we do not understand as tiny humans.

And in addition to that I'm moved by its inspirational colour palette, fleeting and changing beauty & inherent life force.

So yes, that's why I am choosing to spend more time using my love of photography to help with my passion for the environment.

First project: Save Beeliar Wetlands - near Bibra Lake Perth.

There are plans to put a big highway through the middle of the two lakes here to help get the big trucks to the port. I believe that a rail system would be a sensible and less destructive way of resolving this problem. Rail is better for the environment from a space and pollution point of view. Less impact on the nature reserves and homes of people in the area.

Read all about it at the Rethink Perth Freight website. 

I could go on but the info is there.

My first step was to visit the area at risk with my super-eco-knowledge partner to look around for myself and see what is in the bushy area between the two lakes. Here's what we saw yesterday afternoon...

We entered through the turnstyle of the Beeliar Regional Park. The new road will go in the direction of the wires. It's typically sandy Perth, the earth under all our houses. Reflective of our hot and long summers. 

The bush is right there though so we get into the scrub and pop our heads out the other side.

It's a bit of an enchanted space. Quite open with twisted Paperbarks and pigface succulents on the ground. The flowers and fruit of this succulent is prized bush tucker that tastes like a salty kiwifruit. I actually tried it once, yummy!

We then discover all the Banksias that make up this beautiful woodland which is also scattered with a mixture of Gum Trees (Coastal Blackbutt and Marri).

And in these woods are birds. First we see the New Holland Honey Eaters and then the loud and proud Black Carnaby Cockatoo and baby. Snacking away on the nuts of the Holly-Leaved Banksia. There's the constant call of the baby crying out for dinner. They must roost nearby as it's getting dark. I wonder where. We'll have to come back to find out!

Of course my partner would then notice all the burrows around us, and in particular the evidence of the Quenda (Southern Brown Bandicoot). A cute little marsupial that loves the damp and dense bush that we are now getting into.

My partner pointed out this quirky plant that is a fire survivor called Prickly Moses. I got a bit caught up in it's sharp thorns. A real fighter this guy!

The lucky ants that find the seeds of this plant grab them and take them to the nest as they contain a special food reward. I was told about the special ant in the burrow who has the right mouth parts to release the reward and as a result the plant has managed to have their seeds safely smuggled underground where they will be ready to germinate after the next fire. 

Banksias have always fascinated me. Sort of remind me of an old man with lots of mouths. But this one looks like chocolate macaroons! 

Who needs fireworks when you have these beauties? It's the Holly-leaved Banksia (bird food!).

It was feeling like a great little adventure exploring this urban nature reserve. Just minutes away from my place where wildlife lives and survives as it should. If I never went, I might not miss it. So it's important to go and see what is going on and how we are part of a bigger beautiful picture.

I invite you to join me on a walking photo tour some time soon. It's a chance to explore plus learn for free from me some camera skills on the way. It's really fun walking super quietly to allow the birds to not be scared off to get those close up shots!

If you are interested then please send me an email nat[at]seedpod.com.au

Of course you can go take a wander any time you like, dogs on a lead allowed!
Visit the Walk the Roe 8 Facebook group 

[current mood] Carob Bears & ABC Jazz


Indian Doorways

I love doorways.

I love people.

So imagine how I feel about people in doorways...

Here are some photographs from Rajastan, India of people in doorways.




I got a coffee the other day and the guy said 'the soy is the angry one' and I thought, too right!

So I turned my frown upside down. And the segue to the subject of this blog is... missing...

(Hang on, I worked one out, this is a photo I instantly put on instagram instead of my blog.)

I've had a blog since the days they were called "web logs". A geek friend coded me one in 2002.
I loved this outlet, I could get my pics and dorky poems out to the world!

10 years later... with a bucket more wrinkles and cynicism... ;-)
I'm weathered by the changes of the interweb world! 

There are now countless ways to get the pics and poems out there. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter... I am a mere dot in an ocean of voices.

It's mostly pics and a handful of characters... you don't see so many essays online these days! or if they are there, not sure who's making the time to read them.

Social media has come and met me with all its tools and everyone's joined in!

However my blog suffers because it's like getting on a dinosaur with a message in a bottle to throw into the milky way... cooooeeeee??

Yes, anyone, anywhere can see it without being a 'friend' on my various social media channels... but is that more valuable than me speaking with my 600 friends (some long lost) on facebook?

Or the 150 followers on my instagram?

And then there's the feedback, the instagratification! Yep, I just coined that (and I'm not going to google it to discover I wasn't the first!) I know that mostly someone is gonna say hi when I put up a pic.

Just one pic or one sentence can mean a whole dialogue.

Here I can write paragraphs and it meets silence.

So what to do? I am learning to accept that the blog is less populated, quieter, it is still read by some.
And that this is just the way its evolved. Can't fight it or myself actually.

So today, which just so happens to see me sitting on a comfy bed in Melbourne celebrating my birthday with the company of tiny tweets from birds in a fig tree, I will blog some instagram pics that if you are following me will be "old news" but if not will be seemingly fresh.

I have decided to be okay about blogging my social media activities because I'd like to curate some of it.


Travels in Instagram - a wonderful tool and reason to pause and frame

In my own community of Fremantle we share the excitement of what goes on.

Like when we're having a glitter themed party, we tease people with what's to come!

And I joke about the sign that the party was well and truly over.

When I travel then things seem far more visually interesting. Like my Adelaide backyard.

And Melbourne in all it's cruddy imperfect perfectness with countless vivid stories.

One of the keys to photography is showcasing a view that might be overlooked

And framing a contrast in colour, texture and meaning

But it's mostly about laughs!

A sea of grugs? or A bon jovi wig burial site?

[current mood] Cocoa, Date & Nut treats & Sufjan Stevens again



Wedding Doodles

I doodled on some wedding photographs and found it kind of fun.

Here are some examples of putting digital white ink hearts onto my images.

Now to think of other ideas besides el ubiquitous heart!

How about I turn the couple into a cake?
Mmm maybe that's a bit too silly...

I enjoy cheese though.

And now, here's painting with white light during the photograph:

More unpredictable in result but excellent entertainment for guests at the reception.


[current mood] Poolside's Remix of Harvest Moon & Candy Canes


Flower Ode 1: Gardenia

Dad's flower is the pure white gardenia.
When they bloom he always tells me
"I love their smell, I really love their smell"
And so I clip one from its branches 

I take long inhales
to gather up the fragrance
That's dad's passion that I'm breathing
I love the gardenia like him now

Today I saw a shrub on a tiny street corner
And like I do every time, I picked, just one
As I headed homeward I smelled and smelled
until I had a headache

I tried to pinpoint the smell
buttery, creamy, tropical, vanilla...
no… smell doesn't have words
It has associations


It's all my dad.

I will cry every time I smell one
when he passes on 

I can already feel the tears rising

[current mood] Sydney Harbour Views & Dancing In The Dark


Post Apocalyptic Romance

It just turned out this way... eerily so.

Clare and Nathan were having a portrait shoot with me yesterday - for pre-wedding practice/fun.
I suggested that we go to an abandoned powerstation and it seemed fitting that they just knew the way in to one.

The light turned into a cinematic delight with softness everywhere coming through blanketing cloud.

I respond in my photographic style to an environment and a couple. Hence the shots became more mysterious...

And when I got home to edit them I found that we really had a collection that could be telling a post apocalyptic romance story. Do you feel that too?

I love that it's so fitting for these two.
They are left of centre, perhaps fringe dwellers... passionate and active in their beliefs. I can imagine them being some of the last survivors... 

Clare and Nathan met at an anti-war protest and have an ethical diamond ring (man made not 'blood diamond')!

A shoot should become the people. I feel it does.

I'm inspired to do more mockumentary style shoots now. Tell a story and play!

[current mood] Freshly Picked Jasmine & Light Through Paperbarks


My Favourite For A Moment

I have a favourite shot every few days.

It's my gold from the latest shoot.

Then it's replaced by something new.


This was last week:

This was a few days later:

This is now:


I want to share with you the way I shoot.

It's like a blur of speed that almost happens to me. As to think would be to miss a split-second moment. I seem to enter some zone, as per the cliche, yet it does happen.

I shoot like my eyes are not focusing - I just feel the whole image without looking at details. I trust in the spontaneity of it, trust in the feel of it being right.

I let light blow into my lens - I want imperfection and nature to show itself.

I see aspects but rarely the finer detail. I relinquish control.

[current mood] Nettle Tea & Laughing Heartily Like A Farmer


DIY photo display

It's a funny little world to me sometimes.

I often stop and look at my life as a fully fledged wedding photographer and think 'hmm how did this happen?' and it's like it has a life of it's own that grows in such a fashion that I am the one trying to keep up with it!

One of the things that come up are 'expos'. Normally a wedding expo would have me running for the hills, but along came the 'alternative' bridal expo First Comes Love in Perth. And it is a bit of a case of 'you gotta be in it to win it' or something right?

So I grabbed my stuff, popped it on a table with some beautiful flowers from Flower Talk! Gee she is a generous soul.

But alas my little display was lacking in presence. It required people to really come and look to see the quality. An interesting concept for me, that in a expo you need to command attention and then fill in the details. Ho hum, guess I have to meet with convention and go 'big'!

So expo 2... Tamworth.
An entirely different crowd and a chance to construct something different...

First, meet Hadley. He's my good mate in Armidale NSW. He's a product designer who is creating a cool water-retaining pot for balconies. I'm helping him with branding and marketing and he's helping me with wood! ooh lovely barter.

Check out those crucifixes!
I sketched up an idea and Hadley used his skills to make it something more, well, non-falling-over as a designer would do!

And so I visited the tip shop and found some rustic wood with character, $5 later, we had our ingredients!

Y'know I'm not so bad with a pencil, ruler and saw.. so I pitched in a few seconds of hard labour.
And... i'm spent...

Back to Hadley and his eye for detail and precision.

And a spoonful of Nat's general 'it'll do!' attitude and we have.....

Something that stands up!

And so my display in Tamworth had much more presence! My images glued to foamcore, hung with twine and a few pinecone 'flowers' for added effect.
Throw in things from around the house, orange roses in a milk jug and a singing bowl full of business cards.

Not sure Tamworth appreciated the effort, but at least I could be proud of my work - giving it the best chance to be loved. I found vendors the most complimentary and I think that means more to me.

[current mood] Moomintroll & Oomoo Wine


What does your Instagram say about you?

You see something that takes your fancy. A perfect scene for a little Instagram love.
So you shoot it on your mobile phone.

Everytime you make this decision you say a little something about you.

Now sit back and look at all those moments where life excited you and what does it say as a collection?

I'll put mine together and let you know what I think...

I think I'm romantic, in love with bright colour combinations or muted pastel schemes, I am nostalgic and love circles.

What do you make of it?

[current mood] A Tim Tam I Don't Have & Mad Men