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Posts tagged ‘photography’

Tuesday’s Bits and Bobs – On My Way

I have a very busy week ahead of me and, while most of you are reading this, I will either be on my way, or will have arrived at my mother’s place.


So, today I am travelling to Woomelang to visit my mother. As most of you know, my mother lives up in the mallee and I go there fairly often to visit her and to take photos.  There are so many places up there that I love taking photos of and this time I am excited at the prospect of photographing of somewhere new.  I do hope that eventually I will know the area really well.


Rolling over, hoping for a belly rub in the sun.

Nyah West

I will be in Nyah West next Saturday to run a workshop that I’ve been talking about for some time. The workshop will be on landscape photography and then some night sky photography.  I will also be exploring an area that I haven’t been in before; the area around Nyah West which is very a very dehydrated place and has lots of dried out salt lakes. Salt is a major problem up there and becoming more and more of a problem. It will be interesting to see it for myself.


HIs paw in a relaxed position, claws retracted.

Another reason for wanting to visit the area is because I spent quite a bit of my childhood up there.  My grandparents had property over the river in a place called Koraleigh.  I have to admit, I am curious about seeing the area again.  I haven’t been there for about 30 years and it will be nice to experience it again.

Social Snappers Round Up

It is still slow going, but I did go to a seminar the other night for small business and got some ideas on how I can improve my marketing for it. I just think they are a great idea, and I


Jewels of the nose.

really want them to be successful.  Last night was the last one for this term and it was a great night.  We went into the city to do some night photography.  We went to places that I had seen photos of but had never attempted to take any for myself before, so it was good all round.

I have been getting some testimonials and have been doing them as posts on the site.

Macros and Cokin Filters

As I said the other day, Maxwell International Australia has loaned me a Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro lens, and also a Cokin Z-series adaptor for my wide angle lens and some Grad ND


Tiddles gives affection by licking, and he is licking Klara’s nose here. She loves it. I don’t.

filters to try out.  I am realising that I can use the Cokin filter system, but my P-series adaptor is too small for my 24-70mm lens, which is why I get vignetting with it.  I will be trying that out a lot when I go up to the Mallee. I’ll see how I go with the ND filters on some landscapes there.

I will be using the macro for many things.  I am hoping to get back to the Pink Lakes, and, with luck, the wild flowers will be out and I will be able to get some great photos with the macro of those.  I would also like to see if I can get some macro shots of the salt.  There are so many things that I want to do with it bu there’s only a short time to do it. I do like getting to borrow these things because it helps me work out whether or not I really want them.

Today the photos in this post were all taken with the macro lens.  Many of you know our cat ,Tiddles.  I try not to show him too much, but I also know that some of you like to see him, so I hope you enjoy the up close photos with Tiddles.

Introductions – Days and Months

Monochrome Madness has been a great way for me to find new people and make new friends, and I’ve heard from many of you that the same thing has been happening to others as well.  Today’s Introduction is another one of the friends I’ve made through MM, Kaz.  Kaz has been part of it for some time, and her blog, Days and Months, is another blog that I have started following.  I’ve come to see that we both have similar tastes in what we like to photograph.


This was the shot that really made her work stand out to me – I just loved it.  I like the way the waves seem so soft. This is something I would love to do a lot more of.

My first question to Kaz was how long she has been taking photos for.

I have always loved photography and had my first SLR in my very early 20’s (and I guess if you are adding up, that IS quite a while ago and back in the dinosaur age of using film!) Soon travel called and I all but sold my soul to travel so anything I owned of value was sold including my Ricoh SLR. It took a very long time before I got back into photography, purchasing my first DSLR about seven years ago.


The way she photographs architecture by capturing unusual angles is something I am always trying to do. I love the way she is able to show this unique technique in a nontraditional way, which, again, is something that I aim to do with my own photography.

I then asked Kaz why she took photos. Her response was one I could really identify with.

Difficult question as I don’t know why I do it, I just know I have to. It is almost like I cannot see properly without the lens in front of me. It opens my eyes to our beautiful world and when I do see something that catches my eye I want to capture it to keep as a memory and to share that with others.


The coast is something I like to see, but it is also good to see that she takes photos of all sorts of things around her.  Which led to my next question.

What inspires you?

Nature foremost, it inspires me daily to try to capture what I see and put it in a photograph.

Funnily enough as I love my landscapes to be in colour, my first real photographic inspiration was and still is Ansel Adams. The first time I saw one of his fabulous black and white landscape photographs I was mesmerised. His photography is definitely poetry in motion and a very high bar which to constantly strive towards!



Her being a photographer who enjoys capturing what is around her reminds me of myself. It is great to see someone who constantly tries to challenge themselves to get better images.

My next question was whether there was anything special about the way she worked.

No, nothing special to see here. I just go without too much forethought, so much so that I can find on any given outing I haven’t taken an SD card which is still in the computer (or the spares), my shutter cable and a myriad of other things that, if I was an organised person, would have been checked off on a list and put into my camera bag! I am not a methodical person I just go with the flow.

I do always shoot in RAW and post process in Lightroom. Photoshop is a bit of an enigma still but I am slowly working on getting more familiar with it.


I try to find inspiration around me and show that you don’t have to travel to get lots of images, well, great images. Sometimes having the hometown advantage means you know the place better than others, and you get to learn when to take photos, and are presented with more chances to take better photos.  This is something I am trying to do with the area that I live near.

Something every photographer wants to know about other photographers: What gear do you use?

I have just bought a Canon 70D which I am very excited about having had a 1000D for a number of years. It feels like Christmas! I am still having a wonderful time exploring all its capabilities at present and being surprised regularly on what it can do.

My most used possession is a Sigma wide angle lens 10-20mm (always use it on 20mm) which, since purchasing, has changed everything! It definitely makes my photos come to life and have more depth.

I never go anywhere without my neutral density 10 stop filter as I like to take slow shutter speed water shots and of course my tripod and remote shutter cable (that is, of course, if I have managed to put them back in my camera bag).

I also asked Kaz where in the world she is situated.

I am lucky enough to live in the northern rivers area of New South Wales, Australia which is on what is described as the Scenic Rim (This is part of the Great Dividing range of Eastern Australia and in part forms a group of mountain ranges straddling the border of south east Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales).

Between the mountain ranges and the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast I have diverse landscapes to choose from which I am always exploring and constantly discovering.

I hope you will all help me in thanking Kaz for allowing me to showcase her photos and blog here today.  I would also invite you all to go and take a look at her blog, Days and Months.  There are so many great images there, I just know you will enjoy them.  Here is a gallery of some more of her work as well.



Weekend Wandering – Melbourne Indoors

About a month ago I had a Social Snappers Excursion in the city, we went around the arcades, and today I thought I would show you some of those photos. I wasn’t sure about showing them as I have shown so many photos of the arcades I was worried you might be getting bored seeing them again,  however we did go to some places that I haven’t photographed much, so I am going to show those.  It’s really only two places.


One of the first places we went to was the Cathedral Arcade in the Nicholas Building.  It is a beautiful arcade, but very, sadly, run down.  It could really do with some TLC.  I would love to have seen it in it prime.


For no other reason, than because I like it.  I took this in the Royal Arcade, it was on the stand for the Macarons.  I love how they have things like this just sitting there.  They also don’t seem to mind you take photos.


We went to Myer to take photos of the interior.  I am not sure what their policy is on people taking photos in there, but it is such a great building and I love photographing it.  There are so many angles and shapes.  There is glass everywhere so the reflections are amazing as well.  You just never know what you will be looking at.  I do know that woman standing in the middle of the image, I am pretty sure, was watching us.


If you go all the way to the top there is a big window where you can see all the buildings in the city. Well not all of them, but it does give you a good view of the city.

We had planned on doing more, well we did do more, but we were going to head outside, but just as we started it started raining, so it was back inside.  I love going through the arcades, always trying to get something different, makes it challenging that way.  I think the others enjoyed it as well.

I have a gallery for you with a few more images.  Not too many.  I hope you are having a good weekend.

Weekend Wanderings – Gardens Near the Treasury

Yesterday I went into the city on an unofficial Social Snappers trip with a friend. We wanted to see how the Fitzroy Gardens were now that it was spring.  Can I tell you, we didn’t see much, it wouldn’t stop raining.  To the weather man, scattered showers is not where it eases a little but basically keeps going.  We did get some photos around the big pond in the Treasury Gardens, before it was too hard to be outside.


As you can see it wasn’t a really good day for photos, it was a bit dark, then again, I really like the way the rain saturates all the colours.  Gives some great colours,

Once we had taken lots of photos of this we went over the road to the Conservatory, but again, it started raining, so indoors for us.


We were blown away by the conservatory.  We were there about two or three months ago and the only thing that was the same was the four walls and ceiling.  It looked completely different and it was a sea of flowers.  It was like a bubble of beautiful spring in a rainy wet world.  It was really nice.


They had these bird cage things hanging up over the flowers. They looked really good over the top of the flowers.  I think one of the things I love about this conservatory is that it is free, a rare thing these days, somewhere where you can just walk in and look.  We walked in and stayed for quite a while.  My friend loves photographing flowers, so we stayed there for quite a while while she took lots of photos.


I was standing at the door watching the ducks swim and waiting for the rain to stop.

I took photos of the flowers, but it was hard without a macro lens, though I have to say, I know have one, well, for a couple of weeks.  Maxwell International Australia have lent me a Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro lens to try out.  It arrived while I was here, shame it didn’t get there earlier in the day.  I am looking forward to trying it out and letting you all know what I think of it.  So far, I’m happy.


It really starting raining so we abandoned our visit to the gardens, and decided to head into the city, then my friend pointed out the reflection on the footpath.  It was really interesting seeing how the water on the footpath turned mirror like with all the reflections.

One of the things that both of us did was to take photos with our DSLRs, but also compact cameras, though my compact cameras battery died so I used my phone to take some.  I did a blog post on the Social Snappers site with the photos I took with my phone if you are interested, Fitzroy Gardens with the Samsung Galaxy S3, and I have done a post for the art blog on my website on the photos I got with the compact camera.  It was fun using the different cameras and seeing what worked and what didn’t. I might have to do it more often.

I have a gallery for you now, and despite the weather there were some lovely spring colours.  I hope you enjoy the saturation of the wet environment and have a good weekend.  Happy snapping.



Up for Discussion – Instagram

When I put the call out for guest bloggers David from Blinded by Light put up his hand and suggested doing one on Instagram.  I thought it was a great idea.  It is a form of social media and one that many of us use.  I love playing with, but after looking at his post, I can see I don’t use it well, or nearly enough.  So take a look and see if you do.

To Instagram or Not To Instagram?

Let me just start this off with a short story, so lend me an ear (or two).  A couple of months ago, I showed the photos on my blog to one of my friends, who replied with, “Dude, I bet you’d have a really sick Instagram”.  Questionable language aside, I instinctively mentally scoffed and recoiled.  All I said was “oh, I don’t use Instagram”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I was actually thinking in my head was “Instagram?? Of course I don’t use Instagram, as if it was some sort of bizarre insult.  I realise that I’m quite stubborn with my views on some things, but I am quite aware of it and I like to think that usually I have a reason for them.  In this case, I guess that for a long time, I’d neatly pigeonholed Instagram into the category of ‘casual photography’.  I thought that it was a place only for photos of cats and dogs and food, all taken with smartphones.

In a way, I think at some point I considered that Instagram and its filters somehow cheapened the art of photography.  This is absolute pretentious rubbish, obviously, but I do have my “back on my day” moments, despite not being that old.  I have been called a 1000-year old man before… Besides, I thought that anyone who’s a serious photographer (and has serious equipment) uses Flickr, right?  Well, and 500px if you’re really good, I guess.  I’d already been using Flickr for my old film/toycam photos on-and-off for years, so Instagram didn’t factor into the general scheme of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthings.

As I said, I’m a stubborn, stubborn man, so I held that view for a very, very, very long time.  Not until my partner Tiff started using it did I even think about using it again and even then it took a lot of convincing.  She picked up Instagram as an adjunct to her knitting/sewing/craft/life blog, so it didn’t seem super relevant to me initially, since I neither knit, sew nor craft.  I guess I do partake in a bit of living on a day-to-day basis, though.

The point is, one day Tiff was telling me that Instagram is super fun and that I should post my photos on there too.  I raised the above points to her, thinking I was making very valid points, but then she proceeded to show me a series of amazing photos on Instagram.  That sure showed me!  I was genuinely surprised to see photos taken using everything ranging up to 5D Mark III.  I started to use it, slowly, but I wasn’t really sure how to use it properly, alongside my blog.  Since then, I’ve OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeen Instagramming my old photos, along with ones I don’t think are quite good enough for blogging purposes.  Turns out Tiff was right – Instagram is a hoot.

Instagram didn’t invent the hashtag system (as far as I know, anyway), but it really does make it easier for you to find specific themes, as well as making it easier for others to find your photos.  I haven’t been using Instagram for that long, but I’ve already had the local museum and university alumni contact me and repost my photos on their own Instagram and Facebook pages.  I’m not making any money from them (I’m not looking to), but it’s great validation that people actually like my photos.

Don’t forget about Flickr

I do still very much like to use Flickr, but it was never really the same after Yahoo bought them out way all those years ago.  It might be just me, but I find the site irritatingly difficult to navigate.  It’s not that it’s actually challenging, but it just feels like it’s harder than it should be to find whatOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA E-P5you want to look at.  For example, I still haven’t figured out how to browse a list of the groups without typing in a search term.  In saying that, I’m nowhere near a professional level and I’m taking photos purely for fun.  I know that the pros are able to leverage Flickr to find work, so I know that the Flickr community is alive and thriving.  It’s become a place where I occasionally bulk upload my photos, not all of which end up making it onto my blog.

Other social media networks:

I’ve focussed on Flickr and Instagram so far for obvious reasons, but we shouldn’t forget about the other heavyweight social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

In my mind, Facebook was the first of the big-hitting social media sites.  While I don’t use it for photography, it’s easy to see how it could be a staple for anyone serious about their photography.  It’s an easy way to interact with your fans, secret admirers, clients, what-have-you.  Plus, most OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApeople use Facebook in some form already anyway.

Twitter is one service I’ve never quite figured out, so I can’t really help you here.  I guess tweeting links to your posts could work as an easy way to reach out to more people

Google+ is an interesting one.  I was one of the first to jump on the Google+ bandwagon, though I wasn’t hopeful that it would ever get anywhere.  Since then, it seems Google has bet big on it, rolling it into a lot of their services.  Some might say they’ve integrated it a bit too much, but that’s a discussion for a different article.  It seems to have carved a niche for itself though, lying somewhere between Twitter and Facebook.  It seems like its become a nice way to follow sites/brands/people you like, while still maintaining a way to interact with them.  Additionally, by setting up your own Google Plus page might also have the possible additional benefit of search engine optimisation.  No-one knows the search algorithms employed by the servers at Google, but it can’t hurt to have more hits to your name.

At the end of the day, social media sites should be viewed as additional avenues for us to reach out to more people.  My initial reaction to Instagram was just my stubbornness and arrogance showing through, more than anything else.  What I love about photography is that it doesn’t discriminate and it breaks down barriers.  A powerful image can convey a range of themes and feelings, without a single word, and that’s something that can be achieved with any equipment and through any outlet.


Blog: Blinded By Light
Flickr: Blinded By Light
Instagram: @blinded_by_light

David has given us all his links above, I will have to make sure I am following him.  My Instagram is in the side panel, but I may have to see if I can start using it for other photos besides what I take with my phone.  

I hope you will all thank David for me, I think this a great post.  I think he is answering the comments, so any questions, David will answer them.  Thanks David.  I also have a gallery with some more images.  



Quiet Thursday’s – Laurent Building

Every time I walk past this building I think of Harry Potter.  I can’t explain it, whether it is the curve on the corner, or the fact that it is at the entrance of a lane. I took this photo during a Social Snappers excursion, and we stayed here for a while as we took lots of photos from different places.


I know a lot of you have already seen this image.  I’ve had it on Facebook, Google+ and Flickr, so I thought it might be time to show it here.

I like how the image has come out, and it was one of the first that I did in this sort of style.  I quite like it, but wished I’d used a tripod, which I didn’t have with me.  I feel like I’m always saying I will have to go back and do it again, and I am sure that for many of them I will, at some point.  I don’t know about this one, if it would be worth it or not. Listen to me, I’m rambling, sorry.

I will just leave it there today, take care and I hope you have a quiet day too.

MM29 – Monochrome Madness 29

Another week of madness in monochrome is here.  Lots of great entries again, and I want to start the post this week with an apology.  I haven’t responded to the emails as they have come in this week, I hope you don’t mind, but with our internet being so slow, though back now, it has been crazy on the internet.  Though I think I might stop emailing people back, if you are uncertain of something, then please ask, but for majority of submissions, I will just put them in the MM folder.  Anyway, on with MM29.


I know it isn’t a great image, but sometimes, well, you just have to laugh, and the nose of the Pygmy Hippo definitely makes me laugh.  It was taken at the zoo when I was there for a Social Snappers excursion, and you have to photograph this guy from behind glass.  So you get the distortions of the glass too.  How would you like to smooch with this guy?


Laura Macky has joined us again this week with this fantastic image, remember if you would like to know more about her image, then go to her blog, Laura Macky.

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.


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