New Camera, new beginning

I had been looking for a new camera for many years and my intention was to buy Nikon again as I had a reasonable amount of lenses but finding that they had grown not just in quality and what they can do but they had also grown in price so I needed to see what else was on the market. What was everyone else using ?

Much to my surprise I discovered mirrorless cameras to be not just good, but excellent. They are light, compact and easy to use and fulfil all my requirements of what I was wanting in a camera. So after a few weeks of scouring the camera shops bargain bins (there are no bargain bins) I purchased a new Sony A7. I know its not the latest model but for just under 2 grand its right for me. Right in price and right in size and usability

And this is the first photo that I took of our little but growing rapidly Border Collie, Scout and I was immediately impressed with the results.

Now I have a renewed passion to get out and shoot

Happy shooting



One Scary Woman, An Ordinary Band and a Few Hot Cars

Photographic opportunities such as festivals and local events organised by local councils during the warmer months provide photographers of all skill levels to practice their craft by getting out there and leaning over the barricades (or in my case, jumping it) to get some great shots. Subjects can be vary from people in full costume to bands rocking out their latest hit or classic a car shows with plenty of chrome and horsepower. The Fischers Ghost Festival provides all that and more including rides and fireworks at the end of the night.

Scary Lady - Fischers Ghost

This lady was participating in the parade and drew my attention because her entire group had put effort in to their costumes and make up. I leaned all the way out over the barricade and she looked straight into the lens as I took the shot.

A young Band

The parade wound up at the park which was playing host to a long list of local bands playing but only a few people were actually paying any attention. I only had to battle to other photographers and no crowds to get several shots of this band who were not shy in plugging their latest single on iTunes.
Fat 57 Chev

I never seem to be able to photograph a complete car at car shows and I think that is through the amount of people with their heads stuck in the window or standing around in the background so I lean towards taking close in shots. Hopefully they provide you with feeling of wanting to see more.

Red Studebaker

And remember that never delete straight from camera but always archive your “Rejected” images  after you have downloaded. That way you don’t accidentally delete a good or even a great shot whilst in camera.

The Search for the Holy Grail of Camera Bags

I hadn’t bought myself something new for quite some time (the second hand car I bought is not new so that doesn’t count) so I started the search for a new camera bag as I really wanted to move away from a back pack and figuring that it could be a Christmas present that would actually see some use.

Don’t get me wrong the back pack has served me pretty well over the years. Its been completely wet from a torrential down pour but has still managed to keep my camera gear dry(ish) and has carried an array of gear including a 17″ tablet/laptop, wallet, phone, food, water bottles, business cards, jackets and then some camera gear such as my Nikon DSLR, lenses, flash gun, filters, cable release, back up batteries and memory cards. It gets pretty heavy because I know that I can jam so much into it I carry a lot, a lot of unnecessary stuff that I didn’t need at all.

So I decided that the the bag had to meet a criteria with the intent to narrow the choices down.

  1.     Have quick access to the camera (and be able to put it away with ease)
  2.     Be able to carry a DSLR plus lenses, plus some other gear like phone, wallet, tablet/laptop
  3.     Be sturdy and have comfy shoulder strap(s)
  4.     Be able to not be readily identifiable as a camera bag.
  5.     Made in Australia (not a must but a nicety)

20160112_095234So I started the search with the criteria in mind and to much amazement the amount of choices now available is incredible from bags with wheels, back packs, shoulder or satchel bags to small point and shoot bags. It was during the search I was told about a company making these cool bags called No more Ugly Camera Bags and they were fantastic. So I stopped procrastinating and ordered a bag. I felt as thought I had found the Holy Grail of Camera bags. The bag seemed to meet all the criteria that had been set.

Within a few days of placing my order the bag arrived and I tore open the packaging like a 5 year old on Christmas morning…………and I was immediately disappointed.

It looked like a handbag. Now there is nothing wrong with handbags at all, in fact my Wife has a handbag (actually a whole cupboard full of them) and well, I don’t use handbags! Recovering from the shock of ordering a handbag camera bag I decided that I should take a good look at it and see if it is functional and could be used, purely for scientific and research purposes and this is what I quickly realised:

  • Its to feminine
  • It still looks like a handbag
  • It won’t fit my DSLR (with battery grip)
  • Large is, well not large enough

20160112_095119Overall, the bag is beautiful, well crafted and extremely well priced for under $90 but its not for me. I simply can’t get past it being to feminine and looking like a handbag. So before I send it back I thought that I may offer it up to you guys. I reckon $70 (AS Dollars & plus postage) is a fair price and if I get no takers I’ll send it back on Monday. Feel free to contact me about it.

Now I’ve heard my Wife say this in the past and now I would have to agree with her but I am now pretty much resigned to the fact that you can’t simply have one camera bag but you need a camera bag for each purpose.

So now the search continues for the Holy Grail of Camera Bags.

An Audience, Do I have one ?

This blogging course is killing me already. I’ve spent so many hours today sitting on my backside reading blogs and doing stuff behind the scenes all the while my Wife unloads the car from our holiday/road trip. My Wife does keep saying that its FINE, you just sit there while I struggle with this bag and don’t get up!

I’m not sure what she means by that but its sounds like approval to me, anyway onto the next assignment as I’m pretty sure my dear Wife can handle washing the car. I just hope she remembers to vacuum it as well.  So the assignment today (or rather Thursday’s as I’m still playing catch up) is to write a post to identify my audience. Not easy and as usual I asked myself a couple of questions that need to be answered.

  1. Do I really have one? an Audience that is.
  2. And who is that Audience?

QANTAS Credit Union Arena

I might start by answering the second question first. The audience is people (You) who have an interest in photography either professionally, just starting out or some where in between. Some people might be asking themselves How did he get that shot?, I could take a better photo than that or where is that?

Now to the first question. I suppose this blog does have an audience. There are 160 plus people who have subscribed so that must mean something, right. I suppose it means that I have an audience. Now that was easy.

So you might be wondering where this photo is and how I got it. Well it was taken at the QANTAS Credit Union Arena (us locals called it The Entertainment Centre) which unfortunately has now closed down to make way for an Apartment complex (I’m still gobsmacked by that decision). Fortunately for me I knew the former head of security for the arena and I asked if I could have one last walk around to get some shots. He did more than that, he gave me a guided tour of the place and I saw areas that I would have never have seen and this is the spot where the celebrities/ sports people stand in front of the waiting media. It was surreal to be standing there.

But that wasn’t the assignment at all, I failed the assignment by not achieving the task. (Failure is a very good way to learn especially if it is painful, don’t be afraid of failing) The task, so you are aware was to publish a post you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it.

Part of the assignment has been achieved by including the new to you element in it because I provided some context to the photo but I didn’t write a post for my ideal audience member, and that is because at I don’t have a post for my ideal audience member because I’m not 100% sure on how to write that post but there is one thing I’m 100% of, and that is that I will learn as I work my way through this course.

Anyway here’s a hot tip, Always ask if you can go that little further because the worst thing is you could be told is ‘No‘.

Now I need to go and check on the wife, just to make sure she has vacuumed the car out.

What do you want me to be ?

This guy was certainly an interesting character. I approached him and asked him for a photo ? His immediate response what do you want me to be ? I must have had a strange look on my face because he said, I can be homeless, a biker or a mean dude. He did tell me that he is asked on a regular basis for photos and many people have asked him to be something like a biker or a homeless guy.

I asked him to just be himself.

What do you want me to be

Not the real Crocodile Dundee !

Noticing this gent who was well out of place in the city was not hard. So I waited for him on the other side of the intersection for him to cross and come to me.  When he crossed I asked him if he wouldn’t if I took a photo, he didn’t mind and his female friend kept asking me if I knew who it was. It was pretty tempting to come up with some smart remark about him being someone else like Paul Hogan.

As I snapped a few shots off he kept telling me to hurry up all the while he rolled his cigarette. Either way he’s not the real Crocodile Dundee !



Barber Shop

I walked past this Barber shop in Coogee Bay, New South Wales, Australia and there was something that really made me stop and look, I am not sure what but I looked at the extremely large shop window and it was like looking into another world completely. My mind really started to wander as I set up the tripod and camera for this shot. I started to ask myself questions like what sort of people work there, are they old style Italian guys cutting mens hair or are they young and hip. I also wondered what sort of conversations had taken place in those Barber’s chairs, were the conversations about the weather as old men seem to talk about all the time or was it about the surf that is less than 100 meters away.

While I stood there just looking at the Barber shop, my imagination started to run and I could see people sitting in the waiting chairs reading newspapers and magazines, a father standing in the doorway with his young son getting introduced to Dad’s trusty barber and a couple of men getting their hair cut by two old guys that have been Barbers since they immigrated to Australia from Italy 50 years ago.

I just didn’t know as I haven’t been there in the daylight but I could only imagine.

8 Feet

Recently at a theme park, mine and our long time friends climbed aboard a ride that shot straight up into the air, instead of photographing their expecting faces of the anticipated terror and fear I decided to shoot it differently from another angle. I figure that the good old family outing photos don’t have to be boring or even self explanatory but they can be different.

Blogging for 2 Years…. What The ?

After the last blog post went live I received a nice little icon in the notifications bar that said ‘Happy Anniversary’ from wordpress which told me in a rather nice way that I have been blogging for 2 years and it was really a WTF moment ! has it been that long and what I have been blogging about for the last two years, has it been a waste of time, have I learnt anything from blogging. Well I would say that I have learnt a couple of things and one that stands out is the one rule that you shouldn’t be using the words ‘I’ or ‘me’ in your blog posts because no one wants to read about what ‘I’ have done but rather use the words  ‘You’, ‘We’ and ‘Us’.  So every time a blog posts gets hammered out, sometimes in a day and others over a week or more I now try not to use the words ‘I’ or ‘Me’. This simple rule is not that easy to follow but does make you look back at what you have written and how you have written it. You seem to spend quite a considerable amount of time reworking what you have written. That is not as easy at is sounds. notification

I must admit that I was surprised at 2 years of blogging (there I go again with the use of  ‘I’) so deciding to do some research into the last 2 years only to realise that there have been 124 blog posts published. Wow, never thinking that so many posts would have been publish over that time or even if this blog would survive that long. That works out at about 5 blog posts published every month. So into the stats the researcher went (me) only to discover that the stats that accompany all those blog posts are incredibly distressing (reaching for the tissues). Surely the stats must be wrong, surely someone must read this blog, surely it can’t be all that bad, can it ?

Some bloggers do a synopsis of their most popular or controversial blogs posts for the year which is normally released around this time of year and I must admit that they are usually a pretty good read. I considered doing something similar but there is no possibility of celebrating what I have achieved blogging this year. So an idea was born to highlight the failures of this blog, highlight the posts that were not popular or didn’t even register on anyone’s radar. Looking back at what went wrong and why it went wrong is an effective way to improve. Improve in many areas such as writing, photography skills, topics and when is the best time to post (still trying to work that one out) etc.

So here are the top 5 worst blog posts that were destined to be never read, liked or even commented on.

1.  A Letter to my Wife from your Photographer Husband

Deciding to try some humor and then fatefully deciding to write an open letter to my wife about about what I wanted last Christmas, did I get it ? Noooooooo I didn’t !!!!! but there was plenty use of the word ‘I’ and ‘Me’. Did it register on anyone’s radar, sort of, not the people that I hoped to read it but rather some of my wife’s friends and they all commented that they liked it and only to be told that I had no hope of getting what I was asking for.

2.  Do I look Stupid Doing This ?

This is all about a self portrait project that was undertaken early in the new year in the hope of learning what it was like to be in front of the camera and Yes, I did look stupid doing it but I did enjoy myself and I learnt a lot.

3.  Watermarking Your Images

I actually managed to attract a number of comments and one blogger even liked it, unfortunately nearly all of the comments were spam………There is also a poll which attracted two votes (Whoohoo) and I still have the same argument with myself before I upload images to the web.

4.  Alphabet Spaghetti Photography

Designed to be a fun project photographing some slippery food which is slightly out of the ordinary and if it all fails, well at least you can heat the Alphabet Spaghetti and eat it.

5.  Dubai: A city of Many Souls

If there was a list for the most popular, this would have to be on the list, actually I don’t think that it could be categorised as a list with just one item on it. Its my first crack at travel photography/ blogging and I do think its not a bad effort if I don’t say so myself.

Ok, I know that I said 5 of the worst but please don’t make me go back into the archives again and those stats……it’s soooo depressing. Alright, there was all of the POTD (Photo of the Day) posts that were posted nearly every week for quite some time. There is no logical reason why they were posted, absolutely none. That makes 5 of the worst. There were other lessons learned as well like blogging is not a waste of time. Blogging is actually enjoyable and I learn something every time. It is worth the effort of sitting down, writing or posting photos even if its just for myself, for a few or several thousand loyal followers (I wish).

For those of you who do read this blog, get it in their inbox, RSS feeds etc, Thank You for taking the time to read and like it.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my worst 5 for the last 2 years and if you know of any more that have been posted, please let me know.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

POTD: The Road to Nowhere !


Nowhere is a place that is hard to define but I think I have found the road that leads to it !