This is a photography related rant.

There’s a lot of moaning on the internet about how these days, photographers are devalued and no-one is prepared to pay for good work any more.

I think thats utter bollocks.

The reality is that everyone and his mother has a camera capable of capturing a quality image suitable for online content.  The web and sites like flickr have made it possible for people to upload and share these photos in their countless millions – so the benchmark for average photography has been raised.

Its easy for a company to purchase or even yoink (aka steal) an image for its own uses without anyone really caring.  Indeed, the latest trick is to flatter the photographer with the magic word


Give me the image for free and millions will see it and give you exposure.

Yeah, whatever..

Thats the bit serious photographers are complaining about.  They have a point, it kinda sucks that companies can get cheap stock or free amateur pictures and no longer pay advertising type rates, but go back to the earlier point – the countless millions of users that hang out on the internet with cameras have changed the market forever.

Get used to it.

There’s still a viable market for photography, you just have to go after it and make yourself deserve the money.  Be creative, be different, be cutting edge and offer things that no-one else, especially the millions of average photographers, can.

Thats the real rub – the whingers just aren’t differentiating themselves enough to make decent money.  The photographers that are cutting edge and offering something that little bit different are doing just fine I think.  Certainly Chase Jarvis – a Seattle based photographer is doing ok – his stuff is cool.  It can’t be done by just anyone.  And Rankin in London – same deal.

Its the same with wedding photography, just because you can get it cheap doesn’t mean it’ll be any good. I’ve been horrified by simply terrible wedding photography recently – hopefully the couples concerned didn’t pay much, cos they didn’t get much.

The really good wedding photographers might charge a premium but its because they are offering things the others simply cant.  Average wedding photography is going the same way as stock photos – if that’s the product you’re selling, it’ll quickly be worth $0 – anyone can buy a DSLR and point and shoot with it.  And once everyone is doing it, its not worth anything.

Take blogging – the early adopters made a fortune out of it, but as soon as it became easy for people like me to say my tuppenth, then who would pay for that?

The premium product is the same as it always has been – photographers, writers, bloggers, musicians etc that offer something unique will succeed, no matter how much the low end of the market is charging.


Irrigation, reticulation, sprinklers, watering, call it what you will, its all the same and I flimmin’ well hate it.

So, after getting a new pump for the bore, it turned out the pump relay was also busted (probably happened as the old pump burned out) so that needed a sparky to come out and replace it – simple job actually, but not one I could (or would be allowed, regulations here being what they are) sort.

So, with working pump again, all the sprinklers were working, except the troublesome single station from before. It took a few hours of buggering about with the retic repair guy, changing cables, wires, testing with multimeters, changing solenoids, cleaning valves etc before we kinda diagnosed the problem.

Problems, actually.

The wiring is crap – each of the control wires for the other 4 stations has power when they shouldn’t
Theres no separate common for the valves, just, it seems, a shared one for the pump.
None of the wires to the troublesome 5th solenoid seem to work at all.

So, to fix it – I need to run a new cable from the control box to the 5th solenoid with a new common and new control wire. 30 metres of it, up the wall, along the garage roof, down the wall, along the bottom of the fence for 20 metres and into the valve.

Then, just need to rejig the order the valves are wired into the controller, put the last of the turf back and its done. And I’ll be $1000 poorer.

And then there’s the aircon, which I suspect isn’t working because the ducting has come away from the bottom of the evaporative housing.


I’ll take a look, but I bet I’ll have to call someone out.. *sigh*


So, the pump is shot. have to get a new one at a cost of $650


The rest of the system looks to be in good shape now – just need to sort that one solenoid (now I know how – just unscrew the center pin and it opens the valve up – job done.

Good news though, is by Tuesday, hopefully this will all be fixed so I can get on with the task of feeding and regrowing the grass 🙂


I give in, I’ve called an irrigation expert to come round this afternoon – the pump packed in today *sob*

Thats pretty much everything mechanical in the house thats been replaced or fixed so far!

more things off the list..

Been a busy boy this week – managed to get a few things done from the list

Fixed the leaking hot water relief valve. Well, thats a slight untruth – one of my friends who had some spare PTFE tape and a spanner put the new valve on for me. I could have done it, but I’d just spend a fortune on tools and didnt want to buy a wrench just for that one job.

Uncovered another solenoid valve in the garden – the mystery of the reticulation continues – one of the wires was broken but fixing it didnt wake it work. However, removing the inspection screw and allowing water to escape from the top of the solenoid valve made the non-functioning sprinklers work. Go figure.

Have no idea what that means or how to fix it. I might just cut the bloody thing out of the loop and be done with it – I’m not sure I need another working station in the back, it can all run off the one circuit and I’ll throttle the individual sprinklers as needed to adjust the flow.

The good news is I can put most of the garden back now, fill in all the holes and settle and fix all the remaining sprinklers. Its just a matter of chopping the valve out and gluing in a new T section. Easy job.

Weed and feeded (fed?) the front lawn last night. Its quite a big area and used an entire 11kg bag of the stuff. However it was a bit windy and I managed to snort 1/2 the bag up my nose like Amy Winehouse on a coke bender. I hope Ammonium Sulphate isnt toxic, cos all I can smell now is eggs and cleaning products. **sniff**

Oh, and I have a cold too. Which is nice. Not.


Just put the spade through one of the reticulation pipes whilst trying to trace them across the garden so I can fix a few non-functioning sprinklers.

And gaffer tape didn’t fix it.


jobs around the house

I sat down to think about this last night and its a bit of a long list

1. re-do family bathroom. remove the wall between the loo and the bathroom, block up old loo door, put in new windows (glass blocks I think, rather than window panes)


2. re-carpet, or more likely, wood floors down throughout the house. The slate floor is reasonably new but I don’t like it and the other carpets are old and need doing asap

3. re-lay the lawns. The grass is old and crap. need to fix the reticulation first – work in progress, only a few more poppers and pipes to dig up, then I’ll get to the bottom of the non-functioning ones.

4. painting. the rest of the house, particularly the glosswork needs to be repainted. meh.

5. flowerbeds and tidying up. probably do this in fits and starts – have cleared the front in preparation for this, just need to edge the new flowerbeds and plant some new flowers.

6. Front door. I’d like a new one.

7. outdoor shower. I’d like to build a small glass block enclosure to replace the crappy wicker one I tore down.

8. put pictures up. This needs doing yesterday. I have so many laying about the house and I still havent gotten around to putting them up. Mostly cos I need picture wire and I have no idea where to get it.

9. Redo the ensuite. really just needs a new suite and a retile, no layout or functional changes. Not a big job, but one that needs to be done to freshen the place up

10. lastly, the patio. Its old, uneven and a bit crap – I’d like to re-do it, perhaps with a nice deck and some tasty LED recessed lights and stuff.

So, thats the main list of jobs – all of which require time and most importantly, money, which I don’t really have *sigh* bathroom and lawns first.


I think I wrote about this before.. The bore packed up working at the very end of last summer – suddenly the pump was only pumping air and the grass had a few weeks of cooking (from which is hasnt really recovered over the winter)

A few attempts at restarting the flow of water earlier in the year had no effect, but I finally got it working today.

You have to run water into the inspection valve in the pump body with a hose to refill the pump and, depending on the specific arrangement of valves and pipes, the bore shaft itself.

Then (advice from fellow photographer – Tristan – thanks!) run the pump in short bursts, refilling the pump and bore to allow the head of water to be drawn back up the bore and expelling the air. Eventually, after a good few bursts or water and pump runs, the water started gushing out of the pump inspection valve and the irrigation came on. yey!

Spent the next few hours digging up the pipework to try to work out where the pipes run in order to fix a couple of non working pop-ups. Not easy as this was all laid 15 years ago and is no buried 2 feet under tree roots and stuff. Have hard hands now – callouses and everything!

Was a good day though 🙂 back to work tomorrow – poo!