Wednesday, October 28, 2015

UV Filters

Many photographs use the UV filter as a lens protector and therefore leave the filter in place almost permanently. A UV filter will not protect the lens from rough handling but will help with general dust and smears.

A filter is flat and can be removed for easy cleaning on both sides. If the filter does get scratched either by dust or the act of cleaning then a UV filter is much cheaper to replace.

To learn more about UV filters and other FREE photography lessons visit

Monday, October 26, 2015

Scratch That Itch

I have an itch that needs to be scratched. Unfortunately the itch is all over my body, all of my skin. All of it. All at the same time. I have large hands, but unfortunately only two of them and therefore it is impossible for me to scratch everywhere at the same time.

Not surprisingly this creates a bit of a problem.

Initially the itch was the only symptom but very excitingly after consulting a doctor I developed a rash that also covered ALL of my body. A rash that increased the itching.

Thus began my “House” moment.

Over the course of 5 days I had 6 appointments with 8 different doctors. It was a weird out of body almost surreal moment. Laying on a hospital gurney that appears to be covered in both sandwich wrap and cling film, completely naked with my lunch box exposed to the world, the world is invited in.

It is not good for a man’s ego when naked in front of a doctor wielding a headlamp, little binoculars attached to glasses frames and a magnifying glass who is inspecting the body very closely calls for a second opinion of what it is they can see.

It is even worse when the second doctor calls for a third.

My team of medical sleuths then set about their investigations complete with a lot of scraping, swabbing, probing and testings. It turns out that there are medical laboratories that can undertake tests on the spot.

I lay there waiting for some underling to scurry back and forth between the consulting room and the lab carrying either samples of me or results of tests carried out on the bits of me.

All the while the doctors in the consulting room took their place in a subconsciously understood rotation removing samples from me, reading text books, reading articles from some medical-style google search.

Each time the surfs whose names were never uttered re-entered the room they returned negative test results. Oh the tension, everyone looking at the time, we are more than half way through my 60minute episode, how would Dr House solve this one.

To be honest by this time I was barracking for whatever microscopic parasite/fungus/bacteria was calling my skin home. Though that might be the sedatives I was given starting to take effect.

Medical hide and seek.

In the end the little critters won…the battle but not the war.

Like dropping a nuclear bomb to clear a corn field of rats, my medical sleuths-come-military-commanders hit me with everything, creams, washes, and pills. Lots of pills. Having all of these medications and their dosages explained to me whilst heavily sedated has made the subsequent days and exciting mystery of healing and side effects.

I am pleased to report that the medicinal recipe did scratch my itch. All over.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Movie Review - Everest

Everest - the movie
I have had the privileged of trekking to Everest Base Camp. I took to the movie my memories of Nepal; the chaos of Kathmandu, the friendliness, politeness and hospitality of the Sherpa people, and the beauty and foreboding of the Himalayas. 

Although nothing like ascending to the summit, my trek - reaching the peak of Kala Patthar - came with its own mental and physical challenges. Pushing through barriers of pain and will power and managing the effects of thinning oxygen.  I enjoyed seeing the some of the key landmarks of the lower Himalayas in the beginning of the film, places I have visited, photographed and survived.

To this regard Everest rang true to me. The blasts of wind and snow and sleet were physically real. I shared the characters sense of achievement as they fulfilled their goal.

A lot of the movie was filmed on studio sound stages, and normally I find myself picking where the use of green screen is obvious. I was completely drawn into the location and I was on the mountain with them.

I saw Everest at IMAX, seeing it 3D may have helped, that along with the surround sound that I could see my mother coming out of the film saying, “Oooh it was loud though”.

Criticism of the film is that it is not accurate to the facts of the true life story; I was not there so I can neither agree nor disagree with this critique. I can say visually, the movie took  all the way to the top of Mount Everest. I felt the cold, I cried at the achievement, experienced the effects of acrophobia during many of the scenes and shared the desperation and panic of all of the characters as they struggled to survive. I can struggle to keep track of characters in movies and this did become difficult in this film due to the fact that all of the male characters grew unkempt facial hair throughout the duration of the trek. It was only the colours of their weather proof clothing that distinguished them. Like the Wiggles went mountaineering.

A gripping movie. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Travel Photography - The basics

In a world obsessed with selfies the art of travel photography is getting lost in a world of outstretched arms in the foreground of a picture of a face obscuring a famous land mark or pictures of feet on a beach/by a pool. These might be great for booting your ego by eliciting likes on social media but they will rarely create a meaningful photo journal of your travels that will pass the test of time.

To learn more about taking better travel photographs visit

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Photographing Flowers

Flowers make great subject for photography for a number of reasons. Firstly they offer great contract in colour of the petals with the colour of the corolla (centre of the flower) and the leaves and branches.

They are also relatively stationary, if still alive on a plant outside then wind may add an element of difficulty. Assuming that the photography shoot is taking place on a still day or they have been cut an placed in a vase, flowers give the photographer the opportunity to control the angle of the image and light source by moving around the flower. Photographers also have the opportunity to explore different photographic techniques.

To learn more about photographing flowers visit

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Less is More

As the footy seasons are again put to bed the winners are grinners and the losers just have a long trip home.  The kilometres of knitwear in the form of team scarves and beanies can be packed away.


Regardless of the code, around the world, football attracts supporters more willing to spend up big on team and team sponsor branded clothing; scarves, hats, caps, beanies, Guernsey’s, jerseys, coats, shirts, t-shirts, tracksuits, socks, underwear, swimwear, polo shirts, jewellery, and this is just the beginning. The likelihood of supporters wearing the team clothing is proportional to the amount the team is winning.

Not only is the range of supporter clothing ridiculously over the top but so is the amount it is all worn. It is time for some simple rules:
During the home and away season
  • At training sessions, only at the training session, not prior to or after the session is complete
  • on the day of the game any time up until the end of the game, unless the team wins (a change of clothes may be required in case the team loses)
  • If the team wins their clothing can be worn until bed time the following day
During finals
  • Training sessions, including the journey to and from the ground
  • Up to 24 prior to the game
  • For winners it remains the same as the home and away season
  •  For supporters of the losing team they can wear the clothing home
For the grand final
  • It is not to be worn every day in the week leading up to the big game except for football functions and events (this includes work lunches)
  • All day on the eve of the grand final
  • All day on the day of the grand final
  • For the loosing team’s supporters, this ends the season.
  • Winning team supporters can wear their team’s clothing up until the end of the first business day following the big day.

Note: face paint should only be on game day, at the game and only if the person being painted is there with their parent. This does not rule out any age groups it just that anyone who is willing to disfigure themselves has an adult present to give consent.

It must be stated that to be eligible to wear team-wear on consecutive days a supporter must own more than one set of team clothing. Football is not excuse for poor hygiene.  This is even more pertinent if travelling on public transport.
We know you love your team and have forked out a lot of money on the membership, the ticket to the game, food and drink at the game and the hundred’s of dollars on licenced merchandise But less is more.

Everyone loves Santa, but as parents will contest, no-one wants to see him every time they go shopping and by New Year he needs to be all safely back home at the North Pole. In Australia is it s the dame with football. By the time cricket is on the beanie and scarf should be back in the pool room.