Milky Way

Its been a while since I shot this but after watching Stargazing Live for the last 3 nights, I am feeling inspired to go out and try again.


Black Shouldered Kite

Black Shouldered Kite
Black Shouldered Kite [Elanus axillaris]

Spotted this fellow (or girl) and his (or her) mate in a tree as I was slowly returning home after an abortive visit to Ash Island, which is where the protected area of Kooragang Wetlands are. There’s not much out there, its pretty soggy at the moment but I was surprised that the only birds I saw (until this) were Masked Lapwings and Black Headed Ibis, both of which are as common as mud around here.

I’ve never seen one of these birds before, although there are many different kinds of raptors on the coast… this is new to me, so I was really pleased to have captured the shot. I just adore those orange eyes!

More information about the bird can be found at Wikipedia:

Been doing a bit of iPhone photography lately

Sometimes, I really don’t feel inclined to take a camera with me. And sometimes, even though I take one, I still prefer to use the iPhone. Now, whereas its native camera application manages very well, I have also lately been preferring to use Hipstamatic. I was one of those who did have a square format Kodak Instamatic when I was very much younger, and I really liked it. Of course it was a single lens, single focal length camera with no way of adjusting shutter speed, aperture or ISO, all of which was done in camera. I mostly shot B&W with it, because thats what I have preferred for years but with the advent of digital photography, I went with colour (oh yes, I did have a few other film cameras in the interim!).

Hipstamatic is a brilliant little app. Where you may apply filters on your computer later, Hipstamatic will do the job for you as if you are shooting with film. In fact all the films and lenses in the app can be combined in various ways for various different effects. My favourite of all is the Jane or John lens and BlacKeys Supergrain combination. Some examples follow.

You don’t get the sharpness and execution afforded by a DSLR, or even a “serious” compact, but there is a certain something about Hipstamatic that keeps me using it.

Photographic Discontent?

I’ve been an enthusiastic photographer ever since I was a kid, holding my Dad’s Zeiss up to my eye and shooting, then marvelling at what came back from the printer’s. I’ve had a gazillion cameras, and taken as many photographs over the years, and find that the genre I seem to do best with is the sunrise/sunset variety. And yet, I am sick of it. Been there, done that. I no longer get excited when I see someone else’s great sunrise or ocean shot. The joy has simply left me. And yet, I still carry a camera wherever I go.

Perhaps its just a slump, or perhaps its the sameness of the shooting that is really getting up my nose. I have taken so many photographs of the Newcastle beaches at sunrise, and Lake Macquarie at sundown, I am simply fed up with it all. It bores me absolutely witless. So, what next? I need to shoot (yes I do) so what… macro? Nope, bored with that too. The cat? Yes, I will always find time to photograph Tom or whoever follows him into my life.

I think its going to have to be people. I am going to have to bite the bullet and do some street photography. I have done some, in the past, and in the distant past actually did quite a lot but back then, people didn’t want to punch your lights out if you dared shoot them, and there wasn’t this rampant paranoia if you happened to photograph a kid. So generally, I’ll stay away from kids (I dont much like shooting them anyway, I am not kid friendly these days)… but I think I am going to have to start walking the streets with a compact in hand (not the DSLR: how to scare people off in one easy lesson).

Here’s some stuff I have done in the last few years… I just don’t maintain the momentum… but I must.



Cheerful Lads


Going out and Shooting

And I am not talking about shooting with guns. I have, for the past year or more, been caught up more in the gear, than in getting out and actually *doing* any photography. Sure, I have been out a few times, but mostly “testing” new equipment and then showing “samples” on forums.

I’ve decided that this is an unmitigated waste of time, and I just need to go out and photograph things because I want to. To this end, has a month long challenge which is not restricted by camera, lens, topic or anything except the imperative to go out every day and take a photograph. So I’ll do that. I think I’ll probably make a flickr gallery just for the month of “stuff” and then post it here at the end.

In the meantime… Here’s Tom, “shot” with the FZ100 I have been ignoring!
Peaceful Tom