SHOOTING WHITE WATER – what I learned today

Leura Cascades, Blue Mountains...but they don't really look like this.

Leura Cascades, Blue Mountains…but they don’t really look like this.



I took a short walk in the Blue Mountains yesterday, with camera at the hip. A storm was on its way, and I’d read that gloomy weather is ideal for taking shots of waterfalls.


I wanted to practise getting that ‘soft water’ effect, popular on postcard and poster shots. It’s phoney of course, but it’s satisfying when you can make a shot look something like what the pros can manage. A bit of photoshopping was required too – another learning experience for me. Continue reading

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DANCES WITH WARRIORS

They're just fun to play with.

They’re just fun to play with.

We get a lot of Chinese visitors in Sydney these days, particularly around the Chinese New Year.

They all want to see the icons around the harbour. Continue reading

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INDONESIA’S UNDISCOVERED ISLANDS

Students from Pulau Jang school.

The coolest guys at Pulau Jang school!

I almost feel guilty about sharing this. There is a part of Indonesia that is unspoilt, with beautiful beaches, patches of dense forest, skies in which you can see the stars and friendly local people with a relaxed attitude to the very few tourists that come here.

Would we want it to become the next Bali or Phuket? Despite my raving about it, I don’t think a blog post is likely to make that happen. Continue reading

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NEW CAMERA, NEW SHOTS, SAME OLD MOUNTAINS

Rodriguez Pass, Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Rodriguez Pass, Blue Mountains, New South Wales


We’ve come to the end of summer holiday time in Australia. No more excuses for the recent slackness in my blogging. Normal service has resumed.

In my time away from desk and computer I spent a few days in the lovely Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney, armed with my new camera (a Canon 70D, for those interested in such things.)

The weather was fine, clear and warm, not ideal for taking atmospheric shots. To my mind the mountains are most appealing when mist fills the valleys and clings to the cliffs.

Nevertheless, I did happen across wildlife that obligingly stayed close enough to shoot – with the camera only of course. Continue reading

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RIDE2WORK DAY – no sweat.

The Light Rail arrives at the end of the line, in Dulwich Hill. I'm still cool and dry.

The Light Rail arrives at the end of the line, in Dulwich Hill. I’m still cool and dry.


“You can’t ride the bike. Not today!”

Mevrouw T has just ironed my best shirt. I’ve pulled on my neatest slacks. I have a meeting with strangers, in their office, mid-morning, with no time to shower and change before it.

It’s reasonably cool for a summer’s day, but I’m a sweater. Even moderate exertion turns me into a human puddle. No amount of deodorant will be able to cope.

But February 4th is a designated Ride2Work Day, a laudable initiative that encourages us to use our bikes for commuting, rather than serious training.

I want to support the organisers and show solidarity with my fellow cyclists. What’s the point of campaigning for better cycling infrastructure if people don’t saddle up and use it?

But that sweat…? Fortunately, I have a cunning plan… Continue reading

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MANY THANKS, TEAM TREEHOUSE!

The 26-Storey Treehouse cast in full flight. Matthew Lilley, James Lee, Andrew Johnston and Eliza Logan. Photo: Branco Gaia.

The 26-Storey Treehouse cast in full flight. Matthew Lilley, James Lee, Andrew Johnston and Eliza Logan. Photo: Branco Gaica.



Bear with me here…I want to use a blog post to pay tribute to my Treehouse play work colleagues, three of whom have just done their final performance after nearly a year of involvement in the project.

Touring a production for family audiences month after month places enormous demands on the actors and the stage crew. Continue reading

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WILD LIFE TOURISM ON MULL – where the bloody hell are you?

Grey seals - 'Quick get under water guys, here come the wildlife spotters!'

Grey seals – ‘Quick, get under water guys, here come the wildlife spotters!’


It looks so easy when David Attenborough does it. He whispers a few lines to the camera, parts the bushes and there’s the beast in question doing something photogenic.

We’re learning that real wildlife spotting involves good days and disappointing ones, even on Scotland’s Isle of Mull, a mecca for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Fortunately, although our trip is billed as the Around Mull: Wildlife Explorer itinerary there are plenty of other attractions to keep us happy in the Hebrides.
Continue reading

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