Saturday, 30 May 2009

Quick Weekend Photography Project

Vivid Sydney runs from 26 May to 14 June, Sydney is host to this international music and light festival that showcases stories through light and sound with the use of innovative new ideas. The festival has transformed the city into a living canvas of light at the Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Circular Quay and Sydney's city centre. Following this event there’s the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Sydney Design 09.
There are various light installations around 'The Rocks' including one (not shown) in which you have to peddle a bicycle that drives a dynamo that supplies light to some blue LED's that are strung around a tree.

An interesting effect on this wall above, it got a lot of attention from passers by and of the (at least three) wedding parties, while I was there, taking wedding photo's around The Rocks precinct.

The girls from one of the wedding parties lining up against the wall for photo's :-)
Here's and interesting projection onto the roof of a road tunnel under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The Sydney Opera house is lit up with projected art on the sails of the building. The artwork is by Brian Eno, the program called 'Luminous' is the lighting of the Sydney Opera House sails. These change every few minutes and are quite spectacular.
I found that this light show set-up in the rotunda on Observatory Hill had failed as the computers running the show had crashed. And yes! you guessed it, the operating system being projected onto the ceiling so the techies could fix this, shown above, was Microsoft Windows. They should have had it running on an Apple Mac, at least then it would 'just work'.

The view from Observatory Hill looking North towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge and
Luna Park on the distant shore of Sydney Harbour.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

TEDx Sydney

TED is a nonprofit devoted to 'Ideas Worth Spreading'. It began in 1984 as an annual conference devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED). The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives in just 18 minutes.

TEDx furthers the spirit of Ideas Worth Spreading by bringing people together to share a TED-like experience through a program of local, self organised events. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. TEDx Sydney is one in the spirit of ideas worth spreading.

Tedx are being held all around the world and in australia in there is TEDxBrisbane - Facebook - 10/20/09 - TEDxMelbourne - Facebook - 6/13/09 - TEDxSydney - Eventbrite - 05/28/09

TEDxSydney hits Sydney on May 28, 2009 at Australian Technology Park

Monday, 25 May 2009

How David Hobby created a his 'coming into a shaft of light' look

I just purchased the book 'The Hot Shoe Diaries' by Joe McNally and after browsing it for a little time somewhere there was a mention of stobists blog, a blog about learning how to use off camera flash. McNally apparently reads it too. So I checked my links in the right hand side of the wfrblog under 'BLOGS I READ' and saw a new entry 'Variations on a Two-Light Theme, Pt.2'. Reading David Hobby's entry I was interested in trying to re-create his lighting. Especially when I looked at another example by photographer Peter Yang (here).
So here is my self portrait version . . .

If you read how David Hobby created a his 'coming into a shaft of light' look, what I did was mount my SB900 flash off camera on a manfrotto light stand about two feet, and above, my face. Held up a piece of black card with my left hand acting as a gobo (a card that blocks light) I also had my D300 on a tripod with my (eBay) Phottix Cleon Wireless Remote Control and Nikon 105mm f/2.8 lens on auto focus. I really want to master off camera strobes, they give you such great lighting possibilities.

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Buy my art

A little birdie put me onto RedBubble. Thanks Carol.
RedBubble is an Australian website where you can share your creative output and allows aspiring artists and photographers to display their work for sale. A bit like cafe press, zazzle, yessy or deviant art.

It’s free and there’s no ads, storage limits, upload limits, bandwidth limits or file size limits and you retain copyright and ownership of your work. There is a lively RedBubble Community to connect with people through discussions, blogs, short stories, groups and competitions. You can also build a customisable website to display and sell your work.

To sell your work online, you just upload your digital images or artwork, and RedBubble will turn it into a products, like framed prints, posters, canvas prints, t-shirts, greeting cards and calendars and deliver them to your customer and take care of any customer service problems.

You control the pricing of your work and decide how much you’d like to be paid. RedBubble deduct their base price for the product and postage and handling fees and you get paid the balance. RedBubble doesn’t charge a commission they only charge you a base price. You set whatever margin you like. Anyone who visits the site can buy your images made into the products you elect to be allowed and purchases them online through PayPal.

While not intending to make a lot of money it will be nice if people can get a card or print from some of my images easily and at very reasonable prices :-)

Get creative on

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Manfrotto 486RC2 ball head

Manfrotto are very well known for their tripods, I had been using a Manfrotto tripod and a 804RC2 head. The 804RC2 is a traditional 3 way pan tilt head has the three handles and adjustments. Recently while trying to get my camera to point directly up for some star shots at night, I discovered why these types of heads are only for video cameras. I did not understand what the big deal was until I tried a ball head myself and then decided to upgrade. If you have never tried a ball head for photography, you should know that most serious photographers use a ball head.
Here's why, using a ball head on a tripod lets you frame your shots quickly and easily and provides great support for your camera. It has a single locking knob and can do a 360° pan and +90° -90° tilt movement. The the double 90° grooves on each side of the head means switching from landscape to portrait is convenient however you're set up. I checked the manfrotto's product configurator on their web site for ratings for maximum weight and what lenses you use to get a head properly matched to my tripod (A 190XPROB). The 486RC2 is rated to hold up to 6kg. The ball movement is pretty smooth, and the locking mechanism seems strong. The Manfrotto quick release plate is easy to work with, it's easy to screw on to the camera and is simple and quick to release and snap back in place onto the head. It was only $125 form Discount Digital Photographics in North Sydney.

An adage that comes to mind: A mans greatest fear is that when they die, their wife will sell all their stuff for less than what they told her they paid for it :-)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Philosopher Alain de Botton

I was watching TV tonight and caught a segment on ABC2 from the ABC's Fora program covering a recent visit to Australia by Alain de Botton, a Swiss writer and television presenter who's books and television programmes discuss various subjects in a philosophical style. Sometime ago I saw his series on TV 'The Architecture of Happiness' where he discusses the nature of beauty in architecture and how it is related to the well being and general contentment of the individual and society. In it he describes how architecture affects people although people rarely pay particular attention to architecture. But the show explored how human personality traits are reflected in architecture. The best modern architecture, he argues, doesn't hold a mirror up to nature, though it may borrow a pleasing shape or expressive line from it.
In Australia in April he was promoting and discussing his latest book, 'The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work', in it he surveys ten different jobs, including accountancy, rocket science and biscuit manufacture, which includes two hundred original images and aims to unlock the beauty, interest and occasional horror of the modern world of work. (I have not read it) He is also the founder of School of Life, a new educational institution that claims to offer intelligent solutions to lead a meaningful life. Interesting I thought . . .

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Evernote, does it do it for you?

This little gadget is popular and maybe it's useful. I'm undecided at the moment but I will use it for a while and see. I have seen mixed reports.
Evernote allows you to capture information and makes it accessible and searchable on the web from your desktop on your phone (iPhone ;-} ). Stuff you put into Evernote are your memories and are available to access wherever you are.
Never forget things, just capture everything now so you will be able to find it all later. Things you can capture are tasks and to-dos, notes and research, web pages, business cards (pictures of them OCR's), scribbles. photo's etc.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

-27.90465 S, +153.204625 E

The main reason we went up to the sunshine state was to celebrate with our grandson on his 9th birthday.
Also its an opportunity to do some maintenance on the house and clear the lantana from the vacant block next door taking over our fence. Lantana is listed in Queensland as a 'Weed of National Significance'. A picture of a lantana flower below.Below is the view from the corner of our street to the Gold Coast. Just down the hill some 17Km and you run straight into the Worlds Sea World, Dreamworld Wet'n'Wild Water World, Movie World, Australian Outback Spectacular etc . .
A flower we found in the Botanic Gardens a few hundred metres from our house. although its over some steep terrain :-)

The traditional owners are the Wangerriburras, the area has a history of logging and Advocado , kiwi fruit and ruhbarb farming but is now largely rural residentail surrounded on all sides by by the Tamborine National Park made up of 12 separate reserves. The platue has lookouts, gorges, cliffs, waterfalls, rainforest areas and wet eucalypt forest.

Another interesting feature is the Fig Tree roundabout at the top of the Gallery Walk a Km or so from the house. This tree was planted by a local in about 1926 to provide shade for the many bushwalkers that came by this way and stands here in the roundabout today.

The must see here is the new Brewery and cheese factory.


In the panel 'WAYNES RELATED LINKS' I have added 'Diigo' (DEE-go), its a social bookmarking site which allows you, when you have signed up, to bookmark and tag web pages. You can also highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to specific highlights or to a whole page. 'Diigo' is an abbreviation for "Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff". Diigo beta was listed as one of the top 10 research tools by CNET in 2006. A Video Tutorial of Diigo features can be found Here. Diigo is associated with Furl and Looksmart. Maybe a useful research tool?

Monday, 4 May 2009

Beautiful one day perfect the next

Well it gets a bit cool at night but that just accentuates the seasons a little for a climate that has not much difference between winter and summer temprature wise. Mount Tamborine is very busy this weekend as it is a Monday public holiday weekend for the labour day weekend. Which, by the way, the origins of Labour Daystem from the early 1860s when the general campaign for an eight-hour working day resulted from efforts of the labour union movement. A world first as I recollect, so next time someone is bagging the unions, reflect on that. Around Australia the different states celebrate the day across a number of significant public holiday dates.
Beautiful images are only as far as the garden here in Queensland. We also went to the local botanical gardens for a photo mission today.

An interesting long exposure shot on my back deck looking North West into the moon.