Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2009

My niece Bronwen took me around the Gold Coast and showed me a lot of the sites which was fantastic! It was also the first time I had met her daughter Ava! We wondered about, chatted, had lunch and the whole day was fun! Yeah! Hope to do it all again soon…

A few pics from the day…

IMG_0408

Lovely Ava.

Ava enjoying the day!

Ava enjoying the day!

IMG_0788

Taking a rest from all the running... πŸ˜‰

IMG_0541

Bronwen and Ava.

IMG_0803

On our way back to the car...

IMG_0807

Surfers Paradise in the distance.

IMG_0898

Back near the car park. The small lighthouse that we had been to in the distance.

IMG_0907

Ava exploring the surrounding area.

IMG_0958

This photo was taken after lunch. Ava has a little flower in her left hand.

IMG_0970

How scary does this frame look! We were back at Bronwen's apartment and had just parked the car. Extreme low light with the car park entrance at the far end. Perfect for a silhouette! Taken at ISO 3200.

Read Full Post »

Well… I’ve arrived! Yeah!! Been a couple of days since I posted. Been a little busy!

On Sunday (Day 27) we went out for a quick beer and wondered aroundΒ Sanctuary Cove and then went over to see some bats. How many bats? Wow!!! These beasts are huge!

Day 28 was meeting up with my niece Gwen and watched her son give a presentation at his school. Very cool!

Some pics below…

The Hyatt Regency hotel at Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast.

The Hyatt Regency hotel at Sanctuary Cove, Gold Coast.

Us wondering around the hotel...

Us wondering around the hotel...

This bat is huge!

This bat is huge!

Bat flying through the trees. ISO 1250, 200mm, 1/50 sec, F2.8.

Bat flying through the trees. ISO 1250, 200mm, 1/50 sec, F2.8.

 

Owen and Kim wondering around in front of me...

Owen and Kim wondering around in front of me...

 

The shopping mall where we had ice cream :-)

The shopping mall where we had ice cream πŸ™‚

Broad Beach, Gold Coast. Looking south towards Coolangatta. Half of Coolangatta is in Queensland and the other half is in New South Wales.

Broad Beach, Gold Coast. Looking south towards Coolangatta. The buildings visible on the right in frame is Surfers Paradise. Half of Coolangatta is in Queensland and the other half is in New South Wales.

IMG_0164

Broad Beach looking north. You can see the storm coming in from the right.

IMG_0390

Owen's pet fish named Rambo! Flash on the left and the right. ISO 200, 1/60 sec, F4.

Read Full Post »

Today all of us wondered up to Mount Dandenong just on the outskirts of Melbourne. A really nice place with spectacular views of Melbourne. We had lunch and admired the view. I also grabbed a few portrait frames of Ryan… Images below…

On our way up the mountain...

On our way up the mountain...

Notice all the trees in the distance!

Notice all the trees in the distance!

Yes... its me! Photo by Barry Johnston.

Yes... its me! Photo by Barry Johnston.

Melbourne city centre in the distance...

Melbourne city centre in the distance...

To demonstrate the power of a 400mm lens, this image is at 24mm. If you look very closely, you can see the city centre in the centre of the frame.

To demonstrate the power of a 400mm lens, this image is at 24mm. On my camera body, this would be 24 x 1.6 = 38mm 35mm camera equivalent focal length. If you look very closely, you can see the city centre in the centre of the frame.

Taken with Barry's 400mm F2.8 lens! I can't even get all of the city centre in the frame! On my camera body, this is 400 x 1.6 = 640mm 35mm camera equivalent focal length.

Taken with Barry's 400mm F2.8 lens! I can't even get all of the city centre in the frame! On my camera body, this is 400 x 1.6 = 640mm 35mm camera equivalent focal length.

Portrait of Ryan in natural light.

Portrait of Ryan in natural light.

Portrait of Ryan with flash. ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F13.

Portrait of Ryan with flash. ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F13.

Read Full Post »

Tonight Barry, Sharon and I went out in Melbourne and had a fantastic night! And we took our cameras for some night shooting… We stopped at a couple of bars along the way and had a bite to eat. Beer always helps the food go down! πŸ˜‰ Here are a few frames…

Melbourne at night...

Melbourne at night...

A fantastic singer on his guitar... goes by the name "Mojo Jacket".

A fantastic singer on his guitar... goes by the name "Mojo Jacket".

It's nice having a beer with this view!

It's nice having a beer with this view!

On our way back to the car....

On our way back to the car....

Read Full Post »

I met up with my buddy Paul again and this time I took my camera… yeah!!! We spent the evening having a few beers and catching up on old times. Paul’s wife, Penny, joined later in evening and we continued talking about everything. Great to see them both again…

On our way from place to place, we stopped by a small ally and took a few frames… I decided this particular ally way was good because it had a wall that was similar in colour to Paul’s stripes on his shirt (red). The stands and flashes came out and it was time to try a few different looks. I was mainly looking for an image which shows that “Paul is in charge”! So I asked him to fold his arms while I experimented with the lighting and composition. I think I finally got the image I was looking for in the last photo in this post.

Flash on the left was at 80mm and the flash on the right was at 105mm.

Flash on the left (side of the frame) was at 80mm and the flash on the right was at 105mm. This was one of the first frames of the shoot.

To get the ambience of the background I took this frame at ISO 800, 1/13 sec, F4. The flash used a Honl grid.

To get the ambience of the background I took this frame at ISO 800, 1/13 sec, F4. The flash used a Honl grid.

I cooled the colour temperature in this frame...

I cooled the colour temperature in this frame...

The white plate on the wall says, "Loading zone - 15 minutes". Hence the title of this post...

The white plate on the wall says, "Loading zone - 15 minutes". Hence the title of this post...

Read Full Post »

Day 20 – Perth

One of the biggest surprises this trip has been my visit to Perth. This wasn’t part of my original itinerary… My cousin Roger kindly organised it for me to visit his home in Perth. It was fantastic! I got to meet the rest of the family and just had a great time all round. Yeah!

I travelled from Melbourne to Sydney and then to Perth. Now… let me tell you that Australia is one hell of a big place!!! It covers 3 time zones from one end to the other and takes 4.5 hours by jet aircraft. When you actually do the trip, you realise how big the country is. I’ve since calculated how many UKs can fit into Australia (using the BBC News country profiles data – link), the UK could fit into Australia 31.8 times!! Just Western Australia on its own could fit the UK nearly 10.5 times! Yes… this is one big country!

I discovered that my cousin Roger makes his own home brew beer! At first I couldn’t believe it! It was so good… I made sure that I had a few bottles while I could πŸ˜‰ hehehehe

I took a few photos of the dogs while I was there. This was harder than I initially thought. I’ve not done much pet photography.

Perth... taken from inside the car. ISO 400, 1/3200 sec, F4.5, Aperture Priority.

Perth... taken from inside the car. ISO 400, 1/3200 sec, F4.5, Aperture Priority.

ISO 400, 1/1250 sec, F4.5, Aperture Priority, +2/3 EV.

ISO 400, 1/1250 sec, F4.5, Aperture Priority, +2/3 EV.

There's a lot of construction going on in Perth...

There's a lot of construction going on in Perth...

The photo used flash firing wide open into the ceiling about 8-10 feet away.

The photo used flash firing wide open into the ceiling about 8-10 feet away.

ISO 640, 1/60 sec, F4, Manual mode.

ISO 640, 1/60 sec, F4, Manual mode.

ISO 200, 1/100 sec, F5.6, Manual mode.

ISO 200, 1/100 sec, F5.6, Manual mode.

I'm coming for you! ;-) giggle...

I'm coming for you! πŸ˜‰ giggle...

Ooo... look at that photographer.. yum! ;-)

Ooo... look at that photographer.. yum! πŸ˜‰

ISO 200, 1/500 sec, F4.5, 80mm, Aperture Priority.

ISO 200, 1/500 sec, F4.5, 80mm, Aperture Priority.

Read Full Post »

Barry took me on the Great Ocean Road and wow! It is so beautiful! Its quite a long journey so we had had to get up early and head off… We left around 7am and eventually got back just before 7pm. We did a total of about 460Km.

Our first stop was Anglesea where we had breakfast, then on to Leone where we stopped for lunch and finally turned round at Apollo Bay. We chose to come back to Melbourne along the sea front as it was so amazing… There’s something very comforting about looking out over the sea…

Anyhow, here are some photos… choosing which ones to include in this post was agonising as its easy to just publish all of them here… Enjoy…

Our frist stop for breakfast.

Our frist stop for breakfast.

Walking to the Lighthouse at Anglesea. Photo by Barry Johnston.

Walking to the Lighthouse at Anglesea. Photo by Barry Johnston.

The lighthouse up close.

The lighthouse up close.

The lighthouse up close, even closer...

The lighthouse up close, even closer...

View of the lighthouse. Used a 3 stop Neutral Density Gradient Filter for effect.

View of the lighthouse. Used a 3 stop Neutral Density Gradient Filter for effect.

The view out to sea from the lighthouse.

The view out to sea from the lighthouse.

View from the lighthouse out towards the coast line.

View from the lighthouse out towards the coast line.

Portrait view of the above shot. I didn't know which one to use, so I decided to use both.

Portrait view of the above shot. I didn't know which one to use, so I decided to use both.

On the road from Anglesea to Leone.

On the road from Anglesea to Leone.

Leaving Anglesea, we came across this house!

Leaving Anglesea, we came across this house!

The official start of the Great Ocean Road. Photo by Barry Johnston.

The official start of the Great Ocean Road. Photo by Barry Johnston.

Along the route... see the road on the right, that's where we travelled along.

Along the route... see the road on the right, that's where we travelled along.

Quick frame from inside the car.

Quick frame from inside the car.

Just endless coast line...

Just endless coast line...

I love the bird in this frame!

I love the bird in this frame!

The sea washing over rocks.

The sea washing over rocks.

We stopped here for lunch in Leone.

We stopped here for lunch in Leone.

Back on the road from Leone to Apollo Bay.

Back on the road from Leone to Apollo Bay.

I wanted to try a couple of portrait shots using flash. Photo by Barry Johnston.

I wanted to try a couple of portrait shots using flash. Photo by Barry Johnston.

And a portrait of Barry.

And a portrait of Barry.

We then stopped to photograph bikers heading towards Philip Island... Photo by Barry Johnston.

We then stopped to photograph bikers heading towards Philip Island... Photo by Barry Johnston.

Biker on route...

Biker on route...

More bikers...

More bikers...

Barry was across the road and grabbed many action shots like this one. Photo by Barry Johnston.

Barry was across the road and grabbed many action shots like this one. Photo by Barry Johnston.

Where the bikers in the previous photos had just come from.

Where the bikers in the previous photos had just come from.

We stopped to get a few shots of kite surfers.

We stopped to get a few shots of kite surfers.

Unfortunately we didn't have the big 400mm lens with us.

Unfortunately we didn't have the big 400mm lens with us.

My first frame at Apollo Bay.

My first frame at Apollo Bay.

Again... I can't make a choice of which of these frames to include, so I included another photo.

Again... I can't make a choice of which of these frames to include, so I included another photo.

You can see the rain coming in from the right...

You can see the rain coming in from the right...

Even with the rain coming in... Barry's on a mission! ;-)

Even with the rain coming in... Barry's on a mission! πŸ˜‰

We drove a little out of Apollo Bay and I grabbed this stormy shot.

We drove a little out of Apollo Bay and I grabbed this stormy shot.

We decided to head back to Melbourne and I thought I'd get this shot of that house with the lighthouse in Anglesea in the distance.

We decided to head back to Melbourne and I thought I'd get this shot of that house with the lighthouse in Anglesea in the distance.

On the way out of Anglesea (towards Melbourne), we could see this amazing rainbow! We stopped and within seconds (about 15 seconds), the rainbow had gone. I managed to get this shot that shows a slight hint that it was there.

On the way out of Anglesea (towards Melbourne), we could see this amazing rainbow! We stopped and within seconds (about 15 seconds), the rainbow had gone. I managed to get this shot that shows a slight hint that it was there.

On our way out of Melbourne we had seen the John Deere tractor factory. So I grabbed this sot on the way back. I had never seen so many tractors!

On our way out of Melbourne we had seen the John Deere tractor factory. So I grabbed this shot on the way back. I had never seen so many tractors!

Okay I can't resist... one more frame from Apollo Bay.

Okay I can't resist... one more frame from Apollo Bay.

Read Full Post »

Apart from the usual activities at a coffee venue, Barry and I decided to take natural light photos. Well apart from one shot… Photos below.

Me in the cafe... Photo by Barry Johnston.

Me in the cafe... Photo by Barry Johnston.

The coffee counter. ISO 800, 1/60, F5, 38mm, Manual.

The coffee counter. ISO 800, 1/60, F5, 38mm, Manual.

Flowers.

Flowers.

Using flash at -1 FEV. ISO 800, 1/250 sec, F4.5.

Using flash at -1 FEV. ISO 800, 1/250 sec, F4.5. Photo by Barry Johnston.

Salt, Peper, sugar and flowers.

Salt, Peper, sugar and flowers. Aperture Priority, +2/3 EV, ISO 800, 1/125 sec, F4, 80mm.

ISO 800, 1/50 sec, F5, Aperture Priority.

ISO 800, 1/50 sec, F5, Aperture Priority.

Cookies anyone? ISO 800, 1/80 sec, F4.

Cookies anyone? ISO 800, 1/80 sec, F4.

Photo by Barry Johnston. This image would work well on the wall in a kitchen.

Photo by Barry Johnston. This image would work well on the wall in a kitchen.

Photo by Barry Johnston. Begging for a young couple to be sitting in these chairs!

Photo by Barry Johnston. Begging for a young couple to be sitting in these chairs!

Photo by Barry Johnston. A great photo!!

Photo by Barry Johnston. We were shooting after the venue had closed... they didn't mind πŸ˜‰

Read Full Post »

Last night I had a fantastic time! I met up with an old friend of mine, Paul. It was so cool… The last time I had seen Paul was in 2002. I can’t believe that so much time has passed so quickly. We met in the Transport Bar in Federation Square and continued to more cozy, smaller bars doted around the city centre. Ones I would had never have found on my own. Its all about local knowledge eh! These places were exactly the type of bar I like. Nothing too smart and refined, but are smaller and have loads of atmosphere. We had dinner in a small Chinese restaurant and I had Singapore Noodles.

I travelled into down town Melbourne on the train and was quite impressed. The train was clean and on time. Jumped on around 3:30pm. On the way, a whole load of school teenagers boarded the train and I was very impressed! There was no aggro, no intimidation and just good friendly banter. I overheard them talking to each other and they even said, “pardon”. Well behaved and good English… reminded me of my growing up years in Africa. At times in the UK, I have from time to time, become accustomed to the “what you looking at?”, “init brov… wicked man… you know what I’m saying brov…” sort of aggressive talk among certain group of teenagers. I’m sure there are teenagers like that everywhere in the world. Maybe I’m too close to it all in the UK, but my impression is that its becoming the norm more and more… or maybe its that I’m getting too old! πŸ˜‰

Read Full Post »

So far I’ve been in Australia for a little over 10 days and I thought I’d write about a few observations so far… in no particular order…

  • The homes in the suburbs are on wide streets with houses on each side. There’s plenty of space on the properties and looks like a suburb scene in a hollywood movie.
  • Melbourne is quite hilly which is something I didn’t expect. Very nice and varied. Good for walking! πŸ˜‰
  • A lot of vehicles are automatics.
  • A significant number of vehicles run on LPG gas. To give you an idea of cost. A litre of petrol is $1.20 and LPG is $0.53 per litre.
  • Twice a year, homes can leave things they want to throw away on the verge of their driveway and the council will pick it up and dispose of it. This is really cool. People layout the goods neatly so that passers-by can see what’s there and pick up the things that can make use of. Everything from toys, sofas, washing machines, timber, cupboards, etc…
  • The FoxTel television appears to be based on the same system as Sky back in the UK. The remote control is the same and the menus are almost identical. One of the channels is UKTV which has content from the UK TV broadcasters.
  • The weather in Melbourne can get quite chilly from time to time.
  • Feel quite safe in the centre of downtown Melbourne.
  • The shopping centres are awesome!!! Probably the best I’ve seen. You can quite simply spend all day in them and not get bored.
  • Nice coffee shops all over the place.
  • From the outskirts of Melbourne to the city centre (Federation Square) takes about 30 minutes by car. Within 30 minutes drive outwards, your deep in the country side.
  • The country side is amazing! Lots of smaller communities…
  • The sky is really blue!! I’ve never seen skies this blue… Comparison below.
  • There’s only one mobile phone in use in Melbourne. Its an iPhone! Seriously, I’ve never seen so many people with the same phone. Apple must be very pleased!
  • Some days are very bright. I think its because I’m not used to it! I’ll probably need sunglasses.
  • Everybody in Melbourne is very friendly.
  • The restaurants I’ve been to so far have very nice food and loads of it!!! No skimping on quantity!
Very tall trees!! Probably 60 meters...

This is the photo I posted for Day 11. I desaturated the blue because I felt it was distracting attention from the trees.

Here is the original frame from the camera. Notice how blue the sky is!! The skies here are really blue!

Here is the original frame from the camera. Notice how blue the sky is!! The skies here are really blue!

Where Barry and I have had coffee a couple of times. Photo by Barry Johnston taken on an iPhone with the Photogene application.

Where Barry and I have had coffee a couple of times. Photo by Barry Johnston taken on an iPhone with the Photogene application.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »