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Weekend Wanderings: Fungi Around Marysville

In the last few weeks I’ve been to Marysville three times with a friend. The first time it was raining so the only photos I took were with my phone.  The second time was lovely, but we think we might have got there too late in the day. We did find a lovely waterfall, but we also wanted to do some photographs of the mushrooms and the fungi, but it was too dark.  Then the last time we went I put the macro on the camera while we walking around and I took lots of photos.

It is incredible how many different types there are.  Then there are also other small things to take photos of. I had so much fun.  I had to delete a lot of photos as the lighting wasn’t great, but I am happy with the ones I got. It is something I would like to do more of. Rainforests are so interesting and there are things to take photos of everywhere you look, especially after all the rain we’ve had.

I am just going to put them all into a gallery for you today.  I don’t know what any of them are, I just think they look pretty. The weather is mixed here this weekend, I hope you fair better where you are and get to take some wonderful photos.

UfD: Why that Camera

From time to time I get asked what camera I use.  I also get asked to give advice on what camera people should buy and then there is always the question of what brand.  So today I thought I might discuss with you why I ended up with the camera that I have.

The First Camera

It is sort of a long story and really started about 15 years ago.  If you’ve read my about page you know my first SLR camera was a Pentax K1000. It was all manual and I really had to learn how to take photos and quickly. It was a big learning curve, but as I learned more and more I started to realize I wanted a more sophisticated camera, something with auto focus.

Looking for a New Camera

The research begun.  I was in a camera club at the time and got to see what cameras other people had, which cameras people found easy to use, and which ones were hard to work out. It was great place to look. Of course the internet wasn’t really around and I couldn’t do the research that we do now.  I also spent time looking through magazines.

Nikon_F90xThe big decision for me was whether to go Nikon or Canon.  There was a woman at the club at that time that had bought a Canon EOS camera, I don’t know which one, but what I remember the most is that she had so much trouble working it out. The aperture seemed to work in a strange way and she kept bringing it to the camera club to get help.

I looked at the Nikon cameras and to me they were all logical to use. I didn’t have any trouble working out what was what. The aperture was done on the lens, so no hassles with that. It was a no brainer in the end, it had to be a Nikon.

In the end I went for the Nikon F90X. It was in the middle of the range SLRs, but the thing I liked, at that time was that it took AA batteries.  There was a lot of talk about rechargeable batteries and their reliability wasn’t always great, so having normal batteries seemed like a good idea. I have to say it was, the batteries lasted a long time and it was never much of a problem.

I used that camera for a long time. I still have it, though because it uses film I use it more to demonstrate how a camera works.

Going Digital

Nikon_D300s_-_Front_Mk2_editWhen I decided that I needed a digital SLR, or DSLR it seemed sensible to stick with Nikon. Money was going to be an issue, so I had to work within a tighter budget than before.  I was fairly certain that the D300s would take my old lenses, though I wasn’t sure the autofocus would work, I had tried one of my old lenses on a D200, and aperture and things like that worked but not autofocus.  So being able to use my older lenses meant I could keep the costs down.  One of the things that was also appealing about the D300s was that it was fast, it did 6 or 7 frames a second, and that was appealing because I knew what I would be photographing the most at that time was sports, cycling and netball. When it arrived I was so happy to discover that when I put my old lenses on it the autofocus worked, major relief.

Funny too because what I paid for the D300s was almost the same as what I paid for the F90X.

Moving Up

A couple of years ago Nikon came out with the D800 and I think it is safe to say I wanted it. It was full frame, and I wasn’t doing sport anymore so it would be fine for the type of work that I wanted to do. My husband wasn’t convinced that I needed it, though he never thinks I need anything. In the end I got a job that was going to pay me quite a bit of money, and I was worried that the ISO with the D300s wouldn’t be good enough for the job. It was very noisy, and you didn’t have to go up the ISO 91Xo7IJcj3L._SL1500_very much to encounter that. My husband could see that it made sense to get the better camera for the job.  So the D800 was ordered.

I’ve had that for just over 18  months and it is such a beautiful camera.  I love using it. I’m trying to think if there was anything I would change about it if Nikon were to ask me, and right now I can’t think of anything.  I’m sure there are things, but can’t think of them now.  It is so versatile and there isn’t much I can’t do with it. I love it so much I wouldn’t mind a second one, well maybe the D810, but I suspect I might have a tougher battle on my hands to justify that to my husband.

In the End

After teaching people to use their cameras I am always happier when people have a Nikon camera. I find them so much easier to work out, and there are a lot of similarities between the models, so it doesn’t take much to work out how to do something on one and then work it out for another one.

So why did you buy the camera that you have? Are you really happy with it? If you could have any camera that you wanted, what would you get?

I have a selection of photos for you and I will put underneath each one what camera was used to take them. I should point out that all the images taken with the F90X were film and I’ve scanned the negatives.


Quiet Thursdays: Taking a Break

It has been a very rewarding week, especially as some things come to a close and new things start. Something that has been going on in my families life hopefully reached closure and with the new magazine starting something new to look forward to. In between all that I’ve also been getting out to take photos, which is always fantastic.

I know I keep going on about them, but I’ve been out with my new Formatt Hitech filters again.  Yesterday for Monochrome Madness I showed you a photo taken in the city last weekend with the Firecrest 16 ND filter, well I have two more photos to show you from that day as well.

I also have a photo from Marysville.  I went there again on Monday and found more waterfalls.  I will do a post on the weekend of my trips there, but I did put a photo up on Social Media, so I thought I would show it to you today as well. It is of the Taggerty Cascade Waterfalls and was taken using the Formatt Hitech ND grad 0.9 filter, though I only used the dark area.

I am going to leave it there today.  It is windy and cloudy here today, so I might sneak out and take some photos of some dead trees.  I hope you get to have a peaceful day as well.

MM 2-12: Monochrome Madness 2-12

One week to go to the next theme which is Water.  I hope you have all been out experimenting with images of water.  I feel like I’ve been out doing nothing but water.  The new filters are partly responsible for that.  I have already started getting images for it and I have to say they are good. Some great interpretations of the theme.  I bet you can’t wait to see them, but you will have to wait, until next week that is.

If you want to take part then please send your images to me in the usual way, all details are below.

Shall we take a look at the images for this week?


My image for the week.  It is one I took last weekend in the city of the Seafarers Bridge using my new Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 filter.  I wanted to try it out along the river in the city.  It is quite amazing, where it was bright sunlight and I was doing 6 minute exposures.  It was a little bit too long really, but I don’t have a lot of experience using the filters, I am sure I will get better.

Don’t forget all the instructions on how to enter your own images are at the bottom of the post.  If you have entered an image then please remember to check your image in the gallery, scroll down and see if anyone has left you any comments.

Now, Monochrome Madness will continue next week and if you wish to participate and submit an image here is how you do it:-

  • You must email me the image you want to include and if you have a blog or website, or somewhere else, please include the link. My email address is
  • The image size should be low res, so the largest side should be 1000 pixels or less.
  • Please insert either your name or your blogs name in the file name.
  • Remember I am on Australian time, so with GMT I am +11 hours at the moment, I publish my post on Wednesday morning.
  • If you need more help with sending images, and get confused about time zones, etc, well, there is a great website called The World Clock, if you go to that and look at Melbourne time, if it’s before 6pm on Tuesday evening, then you can still send me images.  If it’s after that time, you can send me an image, but it will be set aside for the following week.
  • Remember to include a link to your blog or website.
  • Please remember to resize your images, it is fairly simply, you just need to go into any editing software and usually under Image you will find, resize, scale, or image size, something like that and you can resize your image there. Change the dimensions to pixels and make the longest side 1000 pixels or smaller, hit return, and for most types of software that should change the other side automatically as well. Just remember to save it with a different name so you know it is the smaller version.  If you have any problems, please contact me, I don’t mind helping out.

Please note you don’t have to be a WordPress blogger to be in this challenge, you can have a link to a Facebook page, a Flickr page, anywhere really, or no link.  We just want to encourage people to do monochrome images, just for the madness of it. Just to let you know also, that as soon as the challenge is published, all emails and images you have sent me are deleted from my computer.  I respect your copyright and would never keep any of the images.

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs: Things Returning

Tuesday is here again, how quickly it comes around.  Things have been happening here, though perhaps I’m still going out and taking too many photos. I know, I can’t help it, but I also have to think it is a good thing, I do need to take photos, but I also need to speed time at home.  I know I keep saying this, and I am getting better. Anyway, let’s see what else has been happening.

Tamron Sp 150-600mm Lens

I knew it was going to happen eventually, then again, I was hoping Maxwell International Australia might forget that I had the lens, but it seems they have decided they do need it back. I was gutted when I heard that. I have been very lucky and got to use it for a while and I’m fairly certain that my next lens will be this one.

banyuleflats-tawny-frogmouth-australia-birds-1025I have loved having it and using it.  It has been great for the birds, not only those around me but in other places as well. The Melbourne Zoo was a brilliant place to try it out. The images I got from there were amazing, I was so happy with them.

So in memory of the lens I thought I would show you a selection of some of the photos that I have taken with the lens.

Travelling to the USA

I haven’t spoken about my trip for a while, but I assure you, as far as I know, it is still on.  I think I will be arriving around the first of September.  Plans are underway and I have started looking at getting some sponsorship for my trip. Maxwell International Australia have said they will lend me some Tamron lenses for the trip, which is great. It will be healesville-sanctuary-australian-birds-animals-1002nice to see how they are on my trip.  I’m hoping to get the 15-30mm and the 28-300mm, which I hear is a great travel lens. I will be well covered with both of those.

I did send an email to Nikon, but haven’t heard anything back from them as yet.  I wondered if they would lend me a camera, maybe something like the D750. Then today I started thinking about a tripod, and wandered if maybe I could get a travel tripod from someone.  Would be nice to get a lend of some gear for the trip.  Time will tell what happens.

Dynamic Range

I’ve received the first article for the magazine, and it seems the putting together of it all is about to start happening. It is exciting.  I’ve been talking to lots of people and getting lots of ideas from them and they’ve been giving me lots of things to think about.  I’m a bit worried I’ve got myself in over my head, but I’m happy to go with the flow, see what happens.

Hopefully things are still on track for the end of June.

I’ve started trying to work out how people can pay for it and download it at the same time. I also need to work out how I can do subscriptions for people, though I don’t want to offer subscriptions until we know how the magazine will go.banyule-flats-egret-bird

One on One Photography Sessions

I’ve been getting more requests from people to do them which has been great. It is nice to do them. They have been happening in lots of interesting places.  I get to take photos in some great spots and the zoo is working out to be a great place for them.

Social Snappers

Well, I’ve been struggling to work out what to do with them. People sign up and don’t show up.  If I charge money no one signs up, so I’m starting to wonder if it is time to give up on them.  The other option is to charge a small amount, like $20 and just have them once a month.  I might do that, but I am only going to do them for one more term and if the results are like they are now, I am not going to continue doing them.  So I will know soon.

I’m going to leave it there for today.  I hope you enjoy the gallery of images taken the Tamron 150-600mm lens.

Influencing Me: Looking at Three of My Favourite Artists

There were good intentions to get you an Introduction post today, but unfortunately I didn’t get myself organized and I couldn’t get someone. It doesn’t happen to often, so I hope you will forgive me. Today I thought I might do something else, I though I might take a look at three of my favourite artists and what I can or have learned from them.  I have shown them all to you before, but not together.  This is for you as well as for me, sometimes we do need to just step back and reassess.

Those artists are Rick Amor, Edward Hopper and Antonio Lopez Garcia.  They are three artists that I have loved for a long time and they do influence me and it is a timely reminder that I need to look at them again, see what I can learn from their work.

Edward Hopper

The thing I love about Hopper’s work is the sense of theatre, his work tells us a story.  It is like a scene from a play or a movie.  I like drama in images, and it is something I really try to do with my images, but I think lately I might have lost sight of that.  It is something I need to get back into.  I keep talking about it, but then never seem to do it.

Rick Amor


Rick is an Australian artist and one I’ve met a few times, though he wouldn’t know me.  There is something quite amazing about his work and it shows how big the world is, or how small we are in the world. His work is fictional, in that he creates his own.  The buildings are often real, but then he exaggerates them and puts them together in scenes that are not found anywhere in reality. His work reminds that anything is possible, that new realities can be created.

For me this is quite wonderful and something I need to remind myself that I could do. I’ve been learning so much about Photoshop and my skills really should be up to a level where I could very easily do this sort of thing with my photos.  I have done a little of it in the past, but not nearly enough, and it is time I did something about it.  I keep putting it in the too hard basket.

Antonio Lopez Garcia


Antonio is extraordinary artist. His drawing skills are so amazing, as are his paintings. There is a level of detail that would require a great deal of patience and very good observation skills. The subject of his paintings are almost boring, they are what we see around us. It is the ordinary of the everyday world. We can find art every where really, in our homes, in the areas we live or away.  For me the thing that I find the most fascinating is remembering the ordinary and not disregarding it.

So do you have artists that you find teach you important things about your work or photography? What have you learned by looking at other artists? Do you think it is a good thing to do?

I am going to put the above images and some others into a gallery for you now. I hope they will help you to understand why these artists are important to me.

Weekend Wanderings: Tree Tops at Apollo Bay

In a couple of months I’m going to Apollo Bay for a few days.  I’m looking forward to it, but it also reminds me of the trip I had there last year and there was one excursion that I never showed any photos of, well except for a couple of special ones. We had gone to the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures and went to do the Treetop Walk. It was quite an amazing walk. Lovely to walk above the rainforest.


There is the path, up there in the sky.  It is not for the faint hearted, and I think if you were not good with heights it wouldn’t be good to go.  It is very solid, but you can see straight through the bottom and every time someone moves the whole platform shakes.  We were lucky and for the most part it was just the two of us on it.


This was probably one of the scariest parts.  It is on the platform and then you climb even higher.  It sways, you can feel it swaying, but you have to believe that it is solid and you won’t fall off it.  The views up there were quite amazing.


You really are up in the treetops.


The views straight down were quite surreal too. It isn’t often you get to see the trees from the top down.


Rainforests are so pretty and everywhere you look you find something new to photograph.


This image was one that as I was trying to get it I realised how much I wanted a macro lens.  They were so tiny, and my lens just wasn’t getting what I wanted.  This image has been cropped a lot.

It is a lovely place to go, but be aware, you go a long way down to get to the platform to take you around, and then you have to walk all the way back up.  It was worth it though.  You do have to pay money to do it, but you have to do that for a lot of things these days.

I have more photos for you now, which I will put into a gallery for you.  I am off for more photography with the filters again this morning. I hope you are having a lovely weekend where ever you are in the world.


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