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Weekend Wanderings – Getting Dark in the City

Yesterday I was in the city doing some photos with someone.  We started in the late afternoon and took photos until just after 9pm, it was really getting dark in the city then, so I thought I would do some of those photos as my Weekend Wandering post today.


Melbourne Town Hall, it is looking rather ordinary at the moment, but in a month or two I’m sure it will be decorated for Christmas.  I like photographing the same buildings over, they are always different, whether it is the light, or what they have on them.  I would like do a great fine art architectural shot of this building.  I realised yesterday that I will need to use my wide angle, otherwise I can’t fit in the tower.


Stopping at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the Block Arcade is almost something I can’t stop doing.  I didn’t get many photos as by the time we got there they were clearing the window.  I might have to try getting a shot of that one day.  I did ask some questions about the window, so will try some more photos soon.


Can you see the bright lights in the water, something reflecting off the bridge.  It was really strange, but we had fund trying to get photos of it.

These two photos look the same, well they are really. except one has a blue sky and the other one is browner.  Maxwell International Australia has let me keep the filters a little longer so I could experiment a little more.  The sunset we got in the city was terrible, really, not much colour, so I thought it would be interesting to try the tobacco graduated filter.  It really warms the image up.  I have been playing around more and on Tuesday will show more photos and talk about the kit a little more.


We saw the gas going off outside the Casino.  We got there hoping it would happen at 8pm, but then some other people who were there looked it up and said that it wouldn’t be on until 9.  We thought, oh well, and just kept taking photos of other things, and then all of a sudden, on they came.  I hope the people who thought it came on later still saw them.  Unfortunately for us, we didn’t think it was going to happen, and so weren’t really prepared, still we got some shots, I just wish I had got a little more of the reflection.


Then it was time to do some night photos of the city.  I love photographing the city at night.  I love seeing how it looks.  So I love it when people say they want to do it. I especially love doing One on One Photography Lessons for people who want to learn night photography. I don’t know that I will ever tire of it, there are always different places along the river to go.

I am going to leave you with a gallery now, I need to start planning a driving trip today for my daughter to get in some more driving hours, but also so I can go somewhere to try out the filters again.  Have a couple of ideas, but you will have to wait and see.  I hope you have somethings planned for the weekend.  I am back into the city tomorrow for Social Snappers, we are doing architecture along Collins Street, should be great.


Up for Discussion – Backing Up

This post today is written by me and has come out of something that recently happened to me.  It was something that was scary and has reminded me of how important it is not to keep all your eggs in one basket, so to speak.  Today’s Up for Discussion is going to address how important backing up can be.

I started taking photos seriously with a DSLR, I don’t know about 5 years ago, when I was taking photos of cycling.  My daughter was cycling, so I started taking photos of her and a few other people, then it progressed to me taking photos nearly every weekend at some cycling event or another.  During the weekends it could be nothing for me to take two or three thousand photos.  I think the most I ever toscmu2-4hpm2487-7-3ok in one day was three thousand.  I was also selling them, so I had to have a back up of all my photos.  I became very concerned about it.  About 10 years ago I had a hard disk in a computer die.  My husband, Dave, had never felt my stuff was worth backing up, so he never put anything into place.  It isn’t a good feeling, I think it is a bit like being robbed, for months you remember new things you lost. He changed his tune after that.

So  for the cycling photmurraysunset-pinklades-salt-bush-wateros, he bought two external drives, one the main one, the other the back up. Then they started filling up, so he did some investigations and decided to get a NAS.  Now don’t ask me to explain what it is, but it sits near the tv, has 4 drives in it, and is connected to the network, so anyone in the house can have access to it.  I can see photos from it from either computer.  When I am done with photos, I back them up onto the NAS, the images go on one disk and then they are automatically backed up onto another one.  It has been a great system, though I have worried about something happening with the NAS, like the house burning down, or it being stolen.  I have been trying to decide what to do.

We have 4 TBs of storage in the NAS and we filled them up.  Not just with my photos, but other things as well.  That is what caused the problems, we think.  We had purchased some more space in it, but Dave had been waiting for me to get LeanneCole-citylight-1404054920_HDRthings done first, and I was slow, I admit it.  Then when he finally started looking at the NAS, he made an announcement, “the NAS was dead”.  Who said men aren’t melodramatic?  I told him it better not be because I had 5 years of work on it, and I didn’t want to lose any of it.  He was a bit flippant about it, I have to say, not really sure he takes what I do seriously.

After putting in the other disk we had purchased, and a bit of mucking around he was able to get all my photos from the back up and it looks like I didn’t lose anything.  I think sometimes being married to a programmer can be more of a burden, they can do things in more complicated ways, and really if something happened to him, well, I would just about lose everything any way, I don’t knoleannecole-thea-20131116-1477w how to do things on the NAS.

Now, sorry, it is a long post today, but the end of it is that I really need to make sure I have better back up systems in place. I had quite a few sleepless nights last week, and I don’t want that to happen again.

I have been thinking, that while I have the NAS, I need to look at other things as well, so I don’t have all my eggs in one basket.  I have now purchased a 4TB external drive, and my photos are on it as well now.  I am going to leave that with a friend at her house.  Then in about a month I will purchase a second one, and then start swapping them over.  That way if something happens here, then leannecole-klara-7353-4she will always have a fairly up to date drive with my photos on it.  So far I have filled over 2TB.  I think I also need to be pickier about what I save.  I shouldn’t save everything, some of the photos are no good and I know I will never use them.

The other thing I have been looking at is the possibility of using some form of internet storage.  I haven’t made up my mind, though if I do, I will just start it from now and possibly only put photos that are really important to me.

I thought I would ask some people here on the internet what they thought.  I asked 4 guys who I think take a lot of photos.  I also thought that sometimes men and women do think differently about this and it might help to get a different view on it.

I asked Victor Rakmil.

My back-up system is relatively straight forward. Here’s the explanation:

“I put effort into taking my photographs and processing them. I worry about the possibility of losing them. To solve the back up problem I use external mobile drives, not my computer hard drive. I import my photos into Lightroom in the DNG format, with copies in the original Nikon NEF format, to a second external drive (that way if by chance DNG is no longer a viable format I have my original Raw files). As I work on my files I copy the DNG drive to a third back-up drive and put that drive in a safe place. In the end I have three copies of all of my photos. With one set off-site.  Which reminds me, I have a drive to copy and take to the bank.  :)”

Victor also gave me a link to a page talking about this and it had a survey asking people what they do.  Photo Backup Survey

I asked Robin Kent.

On the subject of back-up, my approach is not particularly exotic, but it is one way to protect one’s image files from various disasters.   The cost of storage is relatively cheap today which helps because the size of my inventory is approaching4 Terabytes. My starting point is the computer platform which has three internal hard drives, and four external drives.  I no longer use a NAS solution, although I do have an Ethernet network with NAS capability.

laurent-melbourne-littlecollins-building-monochromeOne of the two internal drives is a 512 MB solid state drive (SSD) where Photoshop resides and processing occurs.  All image files, whether processed or not, are stored on the second internal hard drive, a 4 TB hard drive which is the Master Drive.  At this point I have 1 copy of my inventory.  From here the tactic is to create additional copies in case the prime drive fails.

The Master Copy is backed up using the standard Apple Time Machine back-up software. This is the Back-up drive (3rd internal drive) and would be used if a file restore is needed.  However, some experts feel that the Apple system is not totally reliable, so I don’t consider this drive as one of my copies.  I also have a simple back-up software application with an automatic schedule to make copies each day of my image files on two separate external 4 TB hard drives.  It adds new files since the last copy and records any changes made in existing files.  So at any given point in time, I have three connected copies on-site, two of which are no older than 24 hours.

The third step is off-site storage.  Mechanical failure is not the only danger, only the most likely one.  It doesn’t matter how many copies you have in your building if something happens to the building.  If I happen to be here when that event occurs, I could quickly detach the two external drives and leave, not something I could have done with my rack-mounted NAS drive.  But chances are I won’t be here.  So I have two additional 4TB drives which are stored in a separate location (my wife’s office) office about 10 miles away.  They are refreshed once a month.

I don’t use any of the “Cloud” services as a back-up solution because they are not reliable, nor secure despite their claims, and are subject to policy changes at any time.

I ask Benjamin Rowe as well.

Backing up files can become an obsessive compulsive, although there is no perfect solution, anything can go wrong. I happen to work with two computers and part of my back up process lets me share the files across the two.

On my main computer I import my raw files to my second drive. When I have finished editing those files are archived on to an external hard drive. DNG copies of my raw files are also backed up on my cloud storage where I have access to them on my laptop. Also once I have finished editing I export full size Jpegs to a different cloud storage service and burn them onto DVDs.

LeanneCole-Alannah_AliceWhen traveling I pack two external drives; one that I can download images to while out shooting and another that I can copy the files to. I will also download them onto laptop for organising and editing. Backing up also takes place on my phone with all my pictures being backed up to the cloud and then once a month backed up to a hard drive. In case drives fail I have a recovery program that I can use to help rescue my files.

I tend to use different drives as well as different cloud storage services because if one fails there is another. I haven’t started using multiple drives backing each other up automatically, but I can see myself doing that in the future. What I need to work out is how to have access to files when there is no electricity.

Finally I asked Ray Laskowitz.

I was exchanging emails with Leanne when she mentioned that she almost lost five years worth of work when her backup system failed. Luckily, her husband is a computer analyst so he’s been able to help her recover her files.

That’s scary. Very scary. And, I completely understand. I’m a Hurricane Katrina survivor. No. I didn’t go through all the scenes you may have seen on your news stations. I left a day prior to the storm making landfall. Even back then, I backed up my work on multiple sources. At the time I used external hard drives and CDs. I packed the hard drives into small Anvil cases and packed them securely in the car. I thought that was the right thing to do. It wasn’t.

Every one of of those external hard drives broke. I didn’t lose the data. But, the software that provides the connection to the computer was damaged. The computer could not find the hard drives when I tried to mount them. I was able to retrieve the data at a rather large cost.

I vowed that would never happen again.

Here’s what I learned. External hard drives are great… if they are portable. There’s a big difference between external desktop models and a small portable hard drives. Desktop hard drives are essentially the same hard drives that are used in a desktop computer. They are meant to stay in one place. Portable hard drives are very similar to the ones the are used in laptops. They can to be moved. I learned one more thing. Bigger is not necessarily better. For instance, according to statistics kept by the folks who monitor such things, 4 TB hard drives are almost three times likely to fail than 1 TB hard drives. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it has to do with the heat they generate as well as length of time in hard service — being used every day.

I also looked into RAID and NAS systems. They actually have pretty high failure rates. That’s fine if a hard drive breaks since they are supposed to be redundant. But, if the main link breaks, you run into the problems that Leanne had.

Of course there are CDs and DVDs, but they corrupt a lot faster than anybody anticipated unless you use gold media. That’s costly and you still really should back up your files twice. Besides, hard ware changes. You should reborn discs every few years.

Of course there are clouds, which are really just offsite servers. I use them, but don’t really trust them completely. Electricity can fail. Internet service providers can fail. I use them. But, not exclusively.

milkyway-sorrento-stars-back-beach So, here’s what I do.

I mix and match. I use two portable 1 TB hard drives at the same time. Once they are filled — not to their maximum storage capacity because that can cause problems too — one goes offsite to a safe deposit box, the other stays with me. I also use two clouds only for master files, one from Apple. The other from Adobe.

Here’s why.

It’s about workflow. There is no one correct workflow. What you organize depends on what photograph and how you work in the field. I download my RAW files to both portables. I put a third set of files on my desktop. Those are the ones I curate and edit. Those files become my masters. They also are uploaded to both portables and the clouds. Once that’s done, they are the files I experiment with… the ones that you might see on my blog, Storyteller. They go onto both hard drives as well.

When I’ve finished with everything, I have two sets of RAW files. Three sets of masters and two sets of experimental files. The funny thing is that I come from the film era. In those days, we had one set of “files.” Negatives and slides. Collections were big and bulky. They were very hard to move in the event of some disaster. Today, we have multiple back up methods. Use as many as you need.

Thank you to those guys, they have similar things, and some things are different.

I know this has been a long post, but it is an important post, and it is something that all of us photographers should be thinking about.  Do you want to risk losing everything? Do you have a backup system in place?  Is it good enough? I will try and answer questions, but I am hoping that Victor, Ben, Robin and Ray might pop in from time to time and answer questions.  I might even be able to get Dave to give some advice, you never know.

The photos I have put in this post are some of the ones I would have lost if I had not been able to recover my images.  They are some of my favourites, and some you have seen a few times.


Quiet Thursday’s – New Beginnings

As always I don’t want to talk too much today being a Quiet Thursday’s post, but I think I am about to embark on a new beginning and I really want to shout it out, but will do it quietly.


I got the grant.

For those that aren’t aware, a month or so back I put in an application to my local council for an Environmentally Sustainability Grant, the grant proposal was to produce a book on Banyule Flats.  The book will be about the history of the Flats, and where it is going in the future, with the hope that it will help prevent a freeway from being built in this area, and especially not where Banyule Flats is.  I want to show what an important area it is.

I thought an image I did earlier this year would be work, a sunrise I took.  It is, so far, the only one I have gotten from there.  Not sure about anymore for the next few months, I’m a bit worried about snakes.  Anyway, a beautiful sunrise image to show the start of new adventure for me.

Part of the grant application was to get a macro lens, so I am also excited about that.  I will be able to get macro images of the flora that is growing in the area.  I will also being given Banyule City Council royalty free use of my images that I take under the premise of the grant, is that the right way of putting it?

I am so excited about doing a book.  It will be my first and already there seems to be a lot of interest in it, so that is even better.  I will keep you all informed of how it is going.  I have twelve months to do the project, but with a file full of photos already, it should take me that long to do it.

Just on another note, I heard from Parks Victoria, and it seems the special permit I have means I can do books with images from the parks here, which is a relief.  I really want to do one on the Mallee as well.

I hope I wasn’t too loud.

MM33- Monochrome Madness 33

Slow it down please, I can’t believe it is time for Monochrome Madness again and we are up to Week 33. It is an interesting thing this whole thing with black and white photography and how popular it is.  I am still loving it, and enjoying doing the images each week.  It always surprises me what people send in, but also never really knowing what I will have either. Some people got emails and some didn’t, sorry, but I have been flooded with entries, and it has been hard keeping up with them all, hopefully I have got them all there.  I think this week is the biggest week we’ve had so far, or close to it.


This image has been all over Facebook, Google+ and Flickr this week.  It is an image I got the other night when I was trying to photograph the blood moon, the night where we had lots of cloud cover. Of course it is almost impossible to get an image like this in one go, so it is actually two images.  The clouds are from one image and the moon is from another. I have got the original images I used over on my other blog if you are interested.


Here is Laura Macky’s entry this week.  You can find out more information about this image on her blog, Laura Macky, Prelude to Halloween – Monochrome Madness.

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, 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

This week has been flying, as I try and make the most of the time I have left with the Macro lens, and trying to plan another trip up to the Mallee.  I am planning more workshops, and trying to plan some things down here as well.  Trying to get a business off the ground is never easy.

Macro Lens and Cokin Z-series Filters

When I was sent the macro lens from Maxwell International Australia I was also sent the Cokin Z-series filter bracket, adaptor and some graduated neutral density filters.  I did try them out, but unfortunately the photos I took didn’t work out.  Not at all because of the filter system, but more because of something stupid I did.  I was trying to stack them with the ND filter I had, and I forgot to close the eye piece on my camera, so too much light got in from the back. I should make myself a little checklist for doing things like this, so I don’t forget little steps like that.

Kinglake-national-park-macro-lens-104The real thing I wanted to know was whether I would get any vignetting in my images from the bracket, which is what I get with the P-series on my wide angle.  I am happy to say the Z-series is bigger and it wasn’t a problem at all.  There always seems to be a solution.  The other thing they sent me were some graduated neutral density filters.  I liked those, as the part with the filter or the colour was big enough that you could choose to use it as a ND filter over the whole lens, or if you just wanted to use it as part of an image, then you could do that as well.  It had a lot more options than the ones I have seen for the P-series.

Kinglake-national-park-macro-lens-109I do have to admit that part of the reason I haven’t used them much is because I am unsure of when and where to use them.  I think it is something I should consider getting, and just have it with me at all times, and experimenting a lot more.  I think because these didn’t belong to me, I didn’t want to take out the individual pieces I needed and just throw them into my camera bag, and the case they came in was rather large, so it was hard to carry around and then I would forget to take it.  I also think I may have got too carried away with the macro.

Speaking of the macro, the Tamron 90mm macro, the images in this post were taken with it.  However, for most of the images I also attached an extension tube to the lens as well.  I wanted to see if I could get closer, which I could.  Hand holding was a lot harder, and I got a lot more out of Kinglake-national-park-macro-lens-110focus images, but I got enough in focus to make it okay.  It was good to try it.  The images were taken on another trip the Kinglake National Park.  The weather had improved, but it seems much of the fungi that was there previously was gone, which is what we were looking for.  We just had to look for other things.

Workshops in the Mallee

I have another trip planned for the Mallee.  I am going up in early November and will be doing two workshops, I hope.  The first will be in Swan Hill, it will be on Saturday the 8th of November at 1 pm. I am going to run one in Hopetoun on the Sunday, the 9th of November.  These workshops are going to be a lot more basic and will be more about getting your camera off auto.  I have done similar classes down here and my One on One Photography Lessons are more like that as well. I realised that when I did the workshop up there last time that people don’t seem to know some of the things they need to know about taking photos.  It is quite an intensive class, but it does go through a lot of Kinglake-national-park-macro-lens-105information.  Hopefully at the end of it people will have a better understanding of how to use their cameras.

The workshops will go for about 5 to 6 hours and after the intensive part, we head out to take photos, so I am there to help clarify things. Also, if you have any problems, I can help.

Mentoring Businesses

There is a company down here, Digital Enterprise Program that has been set up by our state and federal government to help small businesses get started.  If you go to one of their sessions then you can be eligible for a 4 hour mentoring session.  I went to a session, something about your business online, and last Friday I had my first half of the mentoring session. I am undecided about it, I have to say.  The girl who was helping me or “mentoring” me seemed distracted, and couldn’t wait for it to be over.  While she showed me some things to help with my website, some plugins and getting the best SEO I could for it, she seemed reluctant to help me work out a marketing strategy, which is really why I went there.

Kinglake-national-park-macro-lens-111The session was meant to be for 2 hours, but I was back in the car after an hour and twenty minutes.  She seemed to decide that I was getting enough people to my website, that what I had written was fine, so why aren’t I getting customers or clients.  She decided that they should audit my website.  I am supposed to have another session soon, but I don’t know, will it be worth it?  She is being paid by the state to do this, so why didn’t I get my two hours, that is what she is being paid to do.  I could understand it if she was working for a company that was giving up their time to help, but she isn’t.  Then she gave me a feedback sheet to fill in in front of her.  I didn’t realise until after I had left that I she really didn’t help me work out what I need to do.  Except for the SEO stuff, it really was a waste of time.

I have decided to go to the next session, but I will take the feedback form home with me, and I will make sure that I contact the company if I am still unhappy.  I know it is for free, but we are paying for it through our taxes, so we are paying for it in other ways.

Parks Victoria

Well I still haven’t heard back from them, I can’t believe they can ignore people like this.  I will have to keep trying.  Maybe I should just do what I want and then maybe I will get a response.

I have spoken enough, here is a gallery with more images from Kinglake.


Introductions Robin Kent

Today I would like to introduce to you Robin Kent and his blog, photographybykent. I’ve known Robin for a while and is always helpful with advice, and I remember back in the discussion I had here about PC or Mac, he was probably the one person whose comment I remember the most, it solidified my decision to stay with a PC. His photography is also quite amazing and I find I get a lot of inspiration from it.


His photography is stunning and I know he travels a bit.  I find myself drawn to his work also because I think it is similar to the type of shots I’d like to do.

My first question was about where in the world he was?

First, I want to thank you for the opportunity to talk a little about my photography.  I only recently started  my blog, and was lucky enough to find yours early on.  I have been following you ever since.  But, to answer your question, I am based in the United States, just outside the city of Washington, DC in northern Virginia. Washington is a fascinating place for photography.  We have great architecture, the Potomac River, all of it tied into the country’s history.   But I also travel a good bit, so my subjects can be pretty varied.

Robin Kent Oregon Sunset

There are scenes and things that I see in images like this and I want to be able to take these images myself, but we don’t have any beaches like this here, not that I have been able to find.  I suppose it means I will just have to make the most of what is around me, which is what I’ve been trying to do more.

I asked Robin he takes photos?

When I am outdoors with my camera there are occasional times when the basic elements—light, air, water, and the earth—combine to create a special moment.  I look at it this way: we are standing on this platform, a globe that is spinning at 1,000 mph; a silver orb—the moon—rotates around us at 2,300 mph; the earth, the moon, and planets, everything around us, is illuminated by a ball of fire that we are circling at 65,000 mph.  That’s pretty magical stuff.  But with the enormous scale and speeds of all these moving parts, one is likely to only get a glimpse.  And that’s what I’m trying to do within the limits of my location, equipment, and abilities, to capture a glimpse of the magic.

Then I asked him how long  he had been taking photos?

I guess I’ve had a camera in my hands as long as I can remember.  But I didn’t get really serious about it until about 15 years ago when I stopped working for a living and decided to concentrate on photography.



His work also reminds me that I need to get back into architecture and taking photos of it.  The plan for me this summer.  So I have enjoyed looking at his architectural shots and what he has gotten, though I know that where he lives means there are some great examples of architecture there.  I know I shouldn’t complain, Melbourne has a lot too.

I asked him about his inspiration, and he was the second person in a couple of weeks to have mentioned this person.

I would say Galen Rowell, who introduced me to the concept of “magic hour” at one of his workshops I attended back in 2001.  Until his tragic death in 2002, he was known for his concept of the dynamic landscape, capturing images that feature unexpected convergence of light and form, moments that are seemingly unrepeatable.   I’ll never approach his deep understanding of outdoor optical phenomena nor his athletic ability, but the week I spent at his workshop continues to have a great influence on me.

Robin Kent Approaching Storm

Sometimes you just want to follow a photographer because you just really enjoy their photos, I find that with Robin. I can’t always explain what it is about their work, you know you just love it.  I am always looking for things like this to take, and I think he also reminds that maybe I should stop being lazy.

I asked Robin if there was anything special about the way he worked.

I usually go out at dawn or dusk; that is the time when the sun is near the edge of the horizon, when the cool colors of the night merge with the warm tones of the day.  But a fair amount of planning is usually involved.  It usually begins with the solar and lunar cycles.  It’s not well known, but the layout of Washington, DC takes the annual solar cycle into consideration.  The perfect east-west axis of the National Mall with the US Capitol Building as the eastern anchor and the Lincoln Memorial at the western end is one example.  So if you are looking for a certain convergence of the solar cycle with an architectural element you have to know what day and time it will happen.  It’s a lot easier today than five years ago before smartphones with apps were available.  But you still have to know where to look.


Most of you know that I have been trying to do star trails, though I won’t be trying again until next winter now, but Robin has given me some advice on how to go about doing them on my other blog.  I just love his, and would really like to do some and get similar results.  When daylight savings finishes and I don’t have to stay up all night to do them, then I think I will try this again, and try it a lot.

I asked Robin about his hear, which sounds very similar to my own.

I shoot with a Nikon D800E.  The powerful sensor enables me to get highly detailed images that make it possible to produce very large prints.  Some of my work finds its way into corporate spaces and typically they want something big.  I have three lenses and about 70% of my shooting is done with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom.  A Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 telephoto accounts for about 20% and the 14-24mm f/2.8 wide angle picks up the rest.  A sturdy tripod is a must, and my analog compass has been replaced by an iPad with “The Photographer’s Ephemeris” app on it.  As for filters, I use a circular polarizer and a variable neutral density filter.  An intervalometer and flashlight are also key items in my backpack.  I always shoot RAW and my post-capture workflow starts with Adobe Camera RAW and goes from there into Photoshop.  I don’t use any plugins. I do most of my own printing with a 24” wide Epson7980.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Robin for letting me feature his work here on my blog.  It has been fantastic going through his blog and see what work he has done.  He also sent me some images that haven’t been on his blog, so we get to see them.  Thank you Robin.

Robin has his blog, photographybykent, but he also has a website where you can view his work, Photography by Kent. I hope you will go and take a look at both and see for yourself his work.  I have more photos for you now that I will put into a gallery for you.



Weekend Wanderings – Royal Botanical Gardens Through a Macro Lens

On Thursday was another Social Snappers Photography Excursion, this time to the Royal Botanical Gardens here in Melbourne.  We had a gorgeous day for it, again, spring has certainly come to Melbourne.  I took the Macro lens with me again and had already decided before I go there that I would probably shoot with it the whole time I was there.  I did.


I was there just over twelve months ago and while I think there weren’t many flowers out at that time, on Thursday it was an absolute delight and we were greeted by new flowers in every direction we went.  I took so many photos, and it was so wonderful to have the macro lens to take photos with.  Again, I used auto focus with all of these and I was hand holding the camera. The weather being great meant I could get fast shutter speeds.


The bees were also out in force.  I was surprised to get two bees on the one flower and I stayed there for a while to get them.  The Tamron 90mm macro lens has been fantastic.  I have really enjoyed using it, I have to say if I was looking for an alternative to Nikon or Canon, I would definitely consider it.  It has been great having it, but with only having it for a short time, it also means that I don’t really get time to explore with it or experiment more.  Though, I have used it far more than I thought I would.  I have been finding ways of using it constantly, I think I will miss it a lot when it goes back.


One thing I think we forget when we use macro lenses is that you can use them as normal lenses as well.  I tried to take shots that weren’t just close ups as well.  I thought it would be good to take some photos of the overall things we saw, and the details.


There were so many wonderful flowers there, which is hardly surprising when you consider it is the main garden for Melbourne.  It has lots of exotic and indigenous plants.  I probably should have taken photos of the names as well, but I really didn’t think of it.  So you will all just have to enjoy the flowers.


There were even eels in the water, and they were easy to take photos of.  I hope they were eels.

It was a great first outing for the Thursday Social Snappers Photography Excursion, and we had a great time there.  If you love photographing flowers then the Royal Botanical Gardens are fantastic right now.  You won’t get bored.

Over all, the macro lens has been fantastic, it is fairly light and easy to use. I think it is a great alternative, as I said, to other more expensive macros.  If you really can’t afford a Nikon or Canon macro, then I think the Tamron would do really well. I still don’t have any money for any right now, so I will have to wait.

My weekend is half over, and we are still getting the wonderful weather.  I have a gallery for you, it was very hard to pick which photos to use, so you might see some more in another post. Enjoy your day.


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