ok, its official

Whilst I’m reasonably happy with the shots from the other night, there are a few notable shortcomings that are all related to my lens.  As much as I don’t want to be blaming my equipment, a landscape really does need a wider angle lens.

Also, the sharpness of the image was a little off – I think I left the image stabilisation switched on on the lens, which when its on a tripod means you get tiny lens movements that aren’t necessarily a good thing.  The sea washing away the sand under the tripod legs didn’t help much either.

So, before I invest in a lens, I’m going to try out a lot more shots at different apertures and with the stabilisation off.  I might even try getting some stitches with the 50mm rather than rely on the 18mm wide end of my lens.

Once I’ve done all this (probably in one night, LOL) I’ll start saving for a Sigma 10-20 f3.5 – they’re around AU$750 on ebay so not beyond my means if I’m careful with the pennies for a month or two.

Then, wide angle goodness will be mine, oh yes, it will…

scorcher

Was very hot in Perth yesterday – 43 degrees according to the news and I don’t doubt it.  It was already over 30 at 7am when I caught the train and when I went out to get lunch, the air was so warm it felt like it was burning the inside of my nose.  You know when you get a blast of hot air from the oven when you open it – like that.

The office started to heat up a fair bit in the afternoon, so I came home early – just as well as all the trains were on a slow timetable because of the heat.  Over 40 degree days happen every summer, so why on earth would you build a railway that can’t take it?  The A/C on the train was really struggling too, especially as it was packed full 😦

Anyway, I got home (via the bottle shop and 12 bottles of cold beer) and was melting by then – I really must retire my English smart office trousers – they’re too thick material for this country.

Was bliss to get my shoes and socks off and get into shorts!

Went out to take some photos at Point Peron as the heat was causing some clouds to appear over the ocean – good chance of a nice sunset, but the clouds really rolled in and the sunset wasn’t like it could have been.   There was another photographer on the beach – a Belgian guy called Tim – who was pretty cool – had a good chat whilst snapping away.  He was getting some great pics straight out of the camera – I really miss my filters that got broken when my camera fell into the sea.

Despite the sunset colours being nothing to write home about, I got some corking photos.  I messed about a little in Lightroom and was pretty happy with what came out.

blimey

Its hot today

Over 40 according to my thermometer thingy.

Not as hot as I’ve felt here, but close.  Hot enough to make the grass too warm to walk on.  Probably hot enough to fry eggs on the drive, not that I would, detesting eggs like I do.

Gonna go out to take some pics at Point Peron after dinner, hopefully get some nice low sun/dunes/plants etc shots.  We’ll see.

From yesterday..

kite surfing

a few minutes drive from where I live there’s a little shallow sheltered cove where the kitesurfers like to play.

I havent been there to take pictures for almost a year, so I figured it was about time this afternoon.  I left it until almost 6 so the light would be better and the breeze nice and strong.  When I pulled up in the car park though, I was surprised to see lots of people were packing up, but there were a good few people still out on the water.

Took almost 2o0 shots in the hour and a half I was there, which is a lot of pics for me, I’m getting a lot more economical these days.  Less is the new more.  Or something.

Anyway, I focussed on a few lads who seemed to be trying harder than the others to get huge air and faceplant themselves into the water – here’s a selection of the best shots..

a brief moment

yup – the kids are playing, we have guests (well, Jay’s friend Cher is here) and I have finally managed to slink off to write a quick update..

We’ve had an awesome week with my parents and kids being here.  We went out to meet my parents in Fremantle and headed over to have dinner in Wagamama on Tuesday (was that really more than a week ago? – man, time is rushing by) which was cool – they cater well for gluten free and vegan diets which was a major draw for us.

Other things we did – it all seems so jumbled up now:

  • we’ve been to the beach a few times for a paddle in the surf
  • went to Penguin Island on Christmas Eve to see Western Australia’s largest colony of Little (or fairy) penguins
  • had a walk down the street with all the Christmas lights
  • had the whole family over for Christmas lunch
  • had a quiet boxing day with a walk on the beach
  • got married (more on this later 😉 )
  • had lots of friends over

The kids have had a lovely time so far – we’re going to play in the park thats just behind where I live later which should keep the monsters at bay for a few hours.

Here’s some pics from our trip to Penguin Island on Christmas Eve

Still to come, Christmas Day and our wedding 🙂

piccies

I worked it out – I have to use image capture to download the photos as iTunes doesnt do it – very odd!

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure – some photos from the last week or so – mostly taken with “The Best Camera” iPhone app.

trips to the beach

went down to the beach last night at sunset with the girls – the sunset looked promising (it wasn’t really that special in the end but its no biggie) and we had time before the girls needed to be in bed.

I picked up the cameras and a jumper too as it was a bit chilly in the evening air (isn’t it supposed to be summer already? I remember last year it was properly hot by now) and jumped in the car (I know, its only a 10 min walk, but we didn’t have that much time)

Was lovely down there and I took some wicked photos (for which you will have to wait as I’m in the city today and my photos are at home and I’ve not quite finished processing) – abstract and motion blur ones. Took a couple of portraits too which came out pretty well, although I wish I’d thought to being the flash gun to add a little fill light to one of the shots. Next time – I know what I want to achieve in the shot and how to get it now.

The girls went off up the beach jumping over the waves and splashing about in the twilight – they got totally soaked too – they are going to have to wear their bathers when we go again, they just can’t help themselves!

So yeah, was a nice night, relaxed, creative and fun.

Oh, and for those of you who want to know where I live – well, I’m not telling you specific details for obvious reasons, but here’s a general view of the bay from Google Maps.

The bay where I live

Nice, huh?

Fremantle

Jay and I are off to have a day out in Freo today for our anniversary and it looks as if summer is here – 34 degrees and sunshine.

A bit of shopping perhaps, a walk around the Fremantle Markets some tapas for lunch at the Mad Monk, Mao’s Last Dancer the cinema and then, depending on time and appetite, maybe a hot chocolate in the Chocolateria San Churros or perhaps a refreshing beer at Little Creatures

And I’m taking the Holga 🙂

See yer all later

big

Tell you something you knew already.

Australia is a big place.

Its pretty much the same width as the USA – 4000-ish km from east to west at the widest point and only a bit smaller in terms of total land area. However, only 21 million people live here vs 320 million or so in the US. Thats a lot of empty space then. Where I am in Western Australia about 35% of the land area of the county, we only have 2.1 million people. And about 1.8 of those live in the Perth metro area.

Thats a hell of a lot of empty space. WA (0.8 people per sq km) only a bit more populated than Alaska (0.46) which is mostly tundra and wilderness, and waaaay lower density than any other US state (next on the list is Wyoming with 2.2 and there’s not a lot there apart from mountains and prairie)

So basically its more empty than a very empty thing, and I love it. The drive to York barely leaves metropolitan Perth, but its really clear even once you hit the forest that that’s pretty much it for population for some time. Miles and miles of forest and farms. Then pretty much sod all. Until you get to the other side 3500km away. Even Alice Springs, which is kind of in the middle of Australia, only has population of 23,000. Only a small town then.

And I love it – even in suburbia where I live, its relatively quiet, well spaced out. The UK is so packed full of people, falling over each other, whereas Perth, for all its faults and somewhat basic facilities (doesnt have the population density to support more), has so much more room to move, and that has to be good for quality of life. And if thats all too much – an hour or so’s drive, there’s pretty much nobody for thousands of kilometres.

canola

One of the main reasons we went off to York (apart from to see the place) was to see the rolling fields of canola (rapeseed) in bloom.

To the east of Perth, there’s a big forest which is the main water catchment area for all the drinking water for the sprawling metropolis – its pretty big, extending 300km north to south (actually, it goes all the way to the south coast, some 700km down) and about 60 or so km east/west. After that, its the wheatbelt – a vast rolling landscape of farms and small towns, the further east, the more wheat. Then desert. Anyway, this landscape is very lovely, especially at this time of year when the spring flowers are out and the landscape is still lush and green before the summer turns it all into dusty browns.

There weren’t any good bright yellow canola fields on the way to York, but on the way back near Brookton, it was lovely.

Took a 3 shot panorama of this field – wasn’t quite the shot I was looking for, but its pretty cool anyway.

Canola Panorama

Canola Panorama

canola

canola

tree

tree

tree in yellow canola field

tree in yellow canola field

tree in canola field

tree in canola field

As we drove back, we saw lots of opportunities to take more pictures, but it was late and we were tired. Next year then