Saturday, 21 March 2009

Magic & Mystery...

What is it about the miniature world that fascinates me? Is it the patterns? Is it the colour? Is it the mystery of seeing something that most people don't even notice? Is it the chance that there may actually be fairies out there waiting to be discovered?

I was asked once, when discussing "professional" photography, what I liked taking photos of. My answer was (and I would still say it today) "taking photos of things that people either can't or don't see". Maybe there is a professional path in this area, maybe there isn't but I am certainly drawn to it for some reason. So for the next little while I am going to put the expensive macro gear that I have purchased along the way to use. I am going to explore the world of miniature.

These images of a pine cone are just the beginning. Can you see the fairies?

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Avalon Airshow 2009

Today was the day! In eager anticipation last night I got all of my gear ready and nervously watched the weather report. Up early this morning and car packed. Off to my friends place and then on to the airshow. The weather report wasn't looking good and as we left Altona the clouds were getting blacker and blacker as we got closer...

It started raining before we got there and continued to rain, heavily, until well after we had squelched our way from the carpark to the exhibition area. The area was packed, not just busy but packed to the eyeballs with people who were sitting in the walkways, sitting in the displays, walking around trying to maintain some semblance of calm. The message went out that the show was about to start and people gradually moved out into the rain to have a look. My feet were wet, my bag was wet, my clothes were wet and my camera stayed dry (you can read into this that I didn't get it out) and the show started. It was so muddy that I really didn't want to put my camera bag down to get the camera out. Eventually I worked it out and managed a few reasonable photos - but not a lot. This one was the sharpest I got of the military jets, I'm pretty sure it was an F16 but I will be happy to be corrected? Unfortunately in the process of panning I managed to get the tail right at the edge of the image... Oh well, let's put that down to "needs more practice"...

As the day wore on the weather did improve, it was even sunny when we left.

I've not been to an airshow with military jets before and they certainly are very, very impressive... One of the last displays I saw was the FA-18 Hornet doing a fast run at full thrust. He (why "he"? I don't know?) was going about 800
knots (that's about 900mph or 1440kmh) down the runway and then did a ninety degree turn within about 100 metres. I cannot describe it in any other way than it looked like he did a powerslide and then took off... 36000 pounds of thrust allows you to do some amazing stuff.

The B1 bomber was sheer awesomeness (I may have made that word up?) and shook up your innards every time it went past...

Sunday, 8 March 2009


Next weekend there is an airshow at Avalon near Melbourne. I'm looking forward to it as I've been to smaller airshows but haven't been to one with the modern military jets.

This morning I heard the rainbow lorikeets in the trees outside and I thought that it might be a perfect opportunity to try my hand with my 70-200 and 2X teleconverter. This gives an effective focal length on a DX sensor of 600mm which should be heaps for the airshow.

So I mucked around a little and then the birds took off, panning with them I just left my finger on the button and took a series of photos. Some were sharper than others and this was the best one. I still have work to do to get good at this but one thing I did learn and it's critical - Keep Both Eyes Open When Panning!

It's the only way to relocate the moving object if it moves out of the viewfinder.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


“If a day goes by without me doing something related to photography, it’s thought I’ve neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.”

Richard Avedon

“Be who you is, cuz if you ain’t who you is, then you is who you ain’t.”

I don't know the author of this one but it's too true...

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Don't ask me why... I'm just not sure...

I don't know why pencils fascinate me? Maybe it's the colour, maybe it's the shape, maybe it's the potential art that is stored within? Whatever the reason I could spend hours finding ways to photograph them... Maybe I will explore this further sometime?