Sunday, July 19, 2015

Matariki Star making with paper, promoting creativity in Rotorua schools

I made this lesson for a column for the Rotorua Daily Post. 
This is because  I have been celebrating Matariki now for five years and I  have asked people if  I can be paid to be involved.
 So far I haven't had any firm offers but I am a visualiser so I assume it will happen by next year. 
My idea is to run creativity and art lessons for Maori students in schools and to have exhibitions. 
The first idea is to have them all make stars with paper that they have designed in Maori patterns.
 Then they have to write me a four or five lined poem about what it means to them to be a star. 
The each person has to go up to the front of the class and recite their poem. 
Then it ends with a shared meal and some music and a display. 
Then others in the school both Maori, Pakeha etc  can be invited to also make stars, so that it is an interactive and inclusive activity that  embraces diversity. 
This lesson was thought up by me because I  am an exceptionally creative teacher and my ideas are endless and brilliant. 
The challenge now is for schools in Rotorua to recognise this an employ me to run a programme of creativity.
 I am looking for regular work because I  want to travel to Italy to see the mosaics. 
My phone Number is 346-34365
My email is

So I am waiting for people to contact me so I  can fit them into my shedule. 
 I am also wanting to go overseas teaching creativity classes so I am open to offers. 
I also want one of my lessons or some to be featured in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.  

Step One 

Step 2. 
 Step 3
Step 4. 
 Step 5. 

Creative Quote of the Day. 
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cherry Blossoms and Janet

Rotorua has a beautiful Cherry Blossom park filled with Tui in Spring

Going up there and blending in with the blossoms makes you feel renewed

It's nice to remember these times in the middle of winter when it's cold rainy and barren. 

 Inner city Rotorua Photography safari's with Janet Keen for Women
$45.00 per hour per person. 
Group discounts by arrangement
Phone 07 3463435
Or email

Creative Quote of the day
I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Balloons over Waikato Festival 2015

 This is the third year in a row that I have travelled over to photograph the balloons in Hamilton.
I got up at 4am to get ready to meet members of the Rotorua Camera Club at 5.15am 
I did not get a wink of sleep all night so I wasn't  exactly chirpy or perky 


But as soon as I set sight on the balloons my spirits lifted and I had the best tine.
We arrived at  half past six to see the very first ones inflating.
I dare anyone to stay on a bad mood when surrounded by balloons of this creative magnitude

This is a close up of one balloon that I thought looked really colourful  

This guy had a ball which he left inside for people to play with.
 The concept of  scale came into play which felt dramatic.

I enjoyed taking shots of people interacting with each other and taking photos posing inside this balloon

This is one of my favourite photos.
 Young kids with i-pads taking
The  plastic surround of these i-pads that makes it really child friendly 
What a great interactive way for kids to record those special moments
Memories like this stick in kids minds for years. 
I remember my first Santa Parade at two years of age. 
Balloon Festivals show you the  power of wonder and splendour.
I played around with Nik software with some of these photos to see what effects I could get
Some of the HDR effects make the images grungy and hyper real
 Less natural but different
Black and whites with graphic backgrounds like this can draw attention to the subject without the confusion of colour 
But I still think they look a bit low key
The balloon Fest is such a colour Fest, it's a shame to wash it out.
When everyone dispersed  and only the ball was left, it felt a bit lonely
Outside balloons had been inflating like crazy
This was a parrot pirate balloon and my overall favourite.
 The detail like the ring in the ear.
 Imagine how difficult this would be to design
There were balloons a upon balloons in this one. 
So intricate.  
I have never seen anything so amazingly creative in balloons before.
This is the third time in a row I have been to this festival
Wouldn't I have loved to be up in that balloon ?
Going far away to an exotic tropical island
It would be hard to find anything more beautiful than that

Look how small the men in the baskets are.

I am really in awe of anyone who makes, owns and flies a balloon
There is a lot involved like ground crew to inflate it and air crew to fly it.
This lion  and Noah's Ark were also favourites
They looked like they had stepped out of a kids story book
And I think that's part of the wonder of balloons as they have a strong connection for us to our childhoods. 
Accessing the inner child me and you are transported to a world of unknown adventures 

 A festival of this size and calibre in New Zealand is  pretty special when  you think about it

They  float away and you feel like you want to be in every single one of them and it's a tiny bit sad to see them go.

But then there's another one going up and it's all on again

There are so many everywhere it's a wonder they didn't have a collision

A lovely view when one goes right over the top of you

The dramatic launching of this Resene one showed the flames going in. 
Just imagine if you misdirected.
 A whole balloon going up in smoke and bursting.
It showed me close up how much expertise and brute strength you have to have. 
Men have to hold onto these giant ropes until it's inflated.

I like taking shots of other photographers .

Another favourite of mine came from Taiwan.
 It had pictures that kids had designed. 
I  think this is an excellent idea for a balloon

Kids drawings are gorgeous and how respectful to put them on a balloon

This balloon was owned by an Australian  woman. 
The balloon is called Dot.
I would love to interview this woman and I should have gone over to see her. 
But I was so busy taking shots. 
Maybe I  could track her down on Facebook. 
The design was simple yet powerful

They had a woman compere this year and she was very good.
 I hope they have another one next year because she was easy on the ear and gave a different perspective. 

 I would love for Rotorua to have its own Balloon Festival and I  think someone could design a Maori themed balloon in the shape of a Waka with a sail on it. 
Complete with Maori warriors. 
Like out of the famous scene of Lindauers  with the men making it to NZ in the first canoe amid a storm. 
Or failing that some Maori  Kowhaiwhai designs.
 Red black and white would be good. 
Stairway to heaven patterns like on the Kowhaiwhai panels
What about the Birdwoman and Hatuputu?  

Creative Quote of the week

If you have the strength to believe, your dreams will come true.