Macro Mania!

July 25, 2010

Macro Mania by Sandy@SHOTS

Couldn’t resist posting the second bee 😉


Where have all the bees gone?

July 24, 2010

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For the past few years there has been widespread concern about disappearing bees…I don’t know too much about it but from what I understand the worry is that pesticides and poisons are killing them off which in turn means there will be no cross pollination of crops which in simple terms means no food! Well, there’s no need to worry. I found the bees! They are all here in Perth…buzzing into my macro shots. Trying to shoot the little buggers without a flash (actually, even with a flash) is hard going and I didn’t actually intend to take any ‘insect’ shots but when they persistently buzzed into my frame the challenge was on.

I’ve been meaning to try the Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM lens since I switched to Canon so I hired it for the weekend from Team Digital and took myself off in search of subject matter. I’m guessing my next couple of posts will be the results and hopefully I’ve restored your faith in the future of world agriculture 🙂

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Colours of Glenelg

July 21, 2010

Glenelg

A few months ago I was in Glenelg in South Australia on a very stormy evening…I got SATURATED but waited around just in time to catch that light that seems to appear out of nowhere. The sky was almost purple with the dark storm clouds breaking just long enough for some sun to peek through before it finally set. And then…I got saturated AGAIN! I think I need to buy a shamwow for my kit bag 🙂


New Canon and Nikon Lenses?

June 30, 2010

Images from www.canonmugs.com

While I’m posting ‘quirky’ I thought I’d post these fabulous Canon Lens coffee mugs. They look like great fun as long as you don’t pour your brew into your real 70-200m by mistake….that could be messy!  I reckon I’d have to go for the 70-200 ‘cos I’m a bit of a coffee fiend. Ha! I’m going to get one so that I can measure my coffee intake by lens size 😉

gsmarena 001 Nikon camera lens thermos is pure awesome

And, as always, Nikon are right there too….at the forefront of coffee technology. Come on Nikon…show us your 200-400m…now that would hold some coffee!!


Two ducks walk into a bar….

June 29, 2010

Duck

..the first duck orders two whiskeys, the second duck whispers “How are you going to pay?” “It’s all right,” says the first duck, “I’ll get him to put it on my bill.”

I’d forgotten all about this shot and stumbled upon it again by accident – I just love it!  Somewhere on our planet these two little ducks sit in their porthole watching the world go by. The shot was taken in Skagway, Alaska. According to the http://www.Skagway.com, Skagway made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for Most People Tossing Eggs: 1162….take from that what you will!!

I was there a few years ago (not to toss eggs) and these quirky little guys just caught my eye…hope they bring a smile to your face too.


The trouble with tripods.

June 21, 2010

Canberra PH

My soapbox is in position and I’m about to get on it.

OK.

I’m on it.

I was out and about recently having a play with my camera, not a paid assignment, just having some fun when I made the mistake of positioning my camera (in broad daylight on a tripod) above the train station in the city.  Within seconds security had honed in on me asking what I was doing, telling me I needed permits and permissions and that I should move on. When I questioned the security guard as to what the reasons were he cited ‘security’ as the overriding factor.  So, what if I had of been taking photos (or video footage for that matter) with my 8mp mobile phone….would that be ‘not allowed’ or would I have to put my mobile on top of my tripod before I was moved along?

Now normally I brush these things off but this incident coupled with an incident a few months ago has started to make me wonder what the hell is wrong with our laws and by-laws and why we are moved along without a real reason or justification by ill informed security guards who are ‘just doing their jobs’.

While I was in our wonderful nation’s Capital I experienced the same issue. This time I was on assignment, standing in front of Parliament House waiting for some nice evening light. I could see the security guard over by the main entrance and sure enough he came over.  He asked me if I was a hobbyist or a professional photographer (I’m not really sure what difference this makes as I will explain shortly – see, now I’m on a roll I can’t stop) and I made the mistake of telling him I was on assignment (never been any good at lying….especially when under pressure) and that was it! I was promptly told to move on. When I asked why he couldn’t give me a real answer except to tell me that he’s been told that evil photographer types are not allowed to loiter outside parliament house (or words to that effect) and I would need written permission before being allowed to take any more photos.  Again, he muttered something about security. Never mind that earlier that day I had been up on the roof of parliament house shooting to my heart’s content without a second glance (and strangely enough without my tripod). I also shot Parliament House from the top of Mt Ainslie and from the banks of Lake Burley Griffin is that a security breach too or will these shots not affect their postcard sales? I should also mention that this particular guard informed me that I should have told him I was just shooting for fun and then he would have left me alone….. DULY NOTED for next time but a complete contradiction of what he’d just said….I’m either a security risk or I’m not…whether I’m an ameteaur or professional is completely irrelavant! Grrrr

And if your issue is security explain to me how people are allowed to drive campervans straight into the underground carpark which is actually under parliament house without a security guard or security check in sight.  If my campervan was laden with explosives and I parked it in the carpark under the building would my camera on a tripod still be an issue?

Now, back to the pro/amateur debate.  When I shoot on assignment I obviously shoot in a professional capacity. Is my Editor going to write to all the possible places I may travel to just in case I decide to take a photo while I’m there….of course not! But what if I was just a hobbyist and got some great shots on a trip and decided to then submit them to a magazine in the hope they’d get published and they were….the end result is the same so why am I disallowed to take this image when earlier in the day another bloke was standing in exactly the same spot, completely ignored by security? I can just imagine it, explaining to my Editor that I’m so sorry I wasn’t allowed to take the shot you wanted, “oh that’s OK” he’ll say, “we got a cracking shot from a hobbyist who was happy to sell us his image.”

The irony of this is that the photos were part of a travel feature promoting the A.C.T. and it’s ‘tourist attractions’, one of which is Parliament House!

On a more positive note I was allowed up the Q1 tower on the Gold Coast with my tripod a few months ago. Usually health and safety is cited as a rule for disallowing tripods during the evening at ‘lookout’ venues. Good onya Queensland for not giving a stuff!! Oh, that’s right you get fined there for swearing in public …dammit! I’m moving to Alaska!


Prompted by Merv!

June 3, 2010

Merv, this post is for you! In a very lazy move I have rehashed this old slideshow which is kind of fitting as another world trip has been at the fore front of my mind for a while.

The trip I have in mind is a while away as yet but will be an EPIC photographic expedition if we can pull it off.  Mt Killi and Patagonia are calling….as is the rest of the world. There’s lots of ‘research’ going on behind the scenes to try and fund this project and as such the website is being rehashed to incorporate more ‘travel’ ideas as well as photography. 

Gotta start putting the thoughts out there to make it happen but you never know what’s around the corner in this life.  I’m also learning the joys of timelapse so hope to post some results in the near future.

Can I use the excuse “I’ve been thinking” as a reason for not updating my blog? Of course I can….it’s my blog! 😉

By the way Merv….love your B&W shot of the boulders!


EDITORIAL…Happy Birthday Pom!

April 14, 2010

A few people have recently emailed to ask about the magazine that I freelance for.  It’s called the Whingeing Pom and has just celebrated it’s 2nd birthday.  I usually do the covers and shoot & write the travel feature….spreading the joys of travelling this fabulous country to anyone who’ll listen.  See some examples HERE & HERE.

The mag is a great read for anyone and everyone, very tongue in cheek and lots of fun and is sold in newagents all across Australia.

Happy Birthday Pom….here’s hoping you get to a grand old age (cos there’s plenty of things left to see and do!)


Drifters

April 14, 2010

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Well who would have thought that Canberra would be fun?  I was there for the magazine doing a feature on the balloon festival which runs for 9 days. On the first day of the festival we could see that the weather wasn’t looking too great so we ducked off to Jindabyne for a few days and came back to Canberra later in the week.  This shot was taken on the Saturday morning when all of the balloons managed to get up (ahem..you’d think with so much ‘hot air’ in Canberra it wouldn’t be a problem!) We were following them on the road when the sunlight started to shine through the dark clouds, giving off that magical light that sometimes happens on a wet day. Dave pulled the campervan over onto the verge and I legged it over to the lake (Lake Burley Griffin for those playing along at home) and captured the balloons as they flew (VERY low) overhead. A couple of them actually touched the water and kind of hung in suspended animation. I was especially pleased to have captured the golliwog – he’s my favourite 🙂

Big thanks to the team at Balloons Aloft for their patience and professionalism and also for the brekky on the day we stood around a field for 2 hours waiting for the weather to come good.


Morte Bay Rocks…North Devon

February 20, 2010

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This is a shot that I took the last time I was in the UK at a beautiful location by the sea in the lovely seaside town of Woolacombe in North Devon. It has everything you could wish for at a British seaside town. Fish ‘n’ chips, pubs a plenty, mini golf 😉 and stunning scenery and it’s great place for the locals to catch some waves….a bit too cold for me though.

I’ve been spending some time doing a clear out and cataloging everything properly and thoroughly (it was part of my new year’s resolution doh!) which is why I’m pulling out some old favourites.

I’ll be heading to Canberra and Mt Kosciusko in a few weeks to shoot some new stuff…..if anyone knows of some great locations out that way I’d love to hear about them….bearing in mind that I won’t have any 4WD access.

Cheers

Sandy