Valletta by Night

Valletta in Malta has to be one of the most stunning cities I’ve ever had the luck to visit.

Sailing into Valletta seemed a lot like arriving on a Game of Thrones set. It is a spectacular city in a beautiful nation, with a people that was very inviting.

I will add more images from Malta over time, but I would certainly recommend it as a place to visit.

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Trojan Odeum

Trojan Odeum

This odium (a smaller version of an amphitheatre) is part of the ruins excavated at the ancient city of Troy (Troia or Troya), located near Canakkale in Turkey.

Troy has multiple ‘layers’ of ancient cities, dating back to 3,000 BC, with this odium being in the relativelly recent ancient Roman ruins.

Canakkale was a great surprise for me. I expected it to be a logistics stop, and a stepping off point for a battlefields visit to Gallipoli, but found it to be so much more.

Apart from Troy, the Gallipoli visit was brilliant, and sobering, and the city of Canakkale was a pleasant place to wander around and explore.

Canakkale was also interesting in that it straddles two continents, with the main township on Asia, while just across the Dardanelles lies the European side of the city.

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What is Ello

What is Ello?

Ello founder Paul Budnitz provides a beautiful description of what Ello is – why it is not Facebook. Or any other social network. It is simply Ello.

I like Ello for its simplicity and the fact that it is genuinely focused on providing a creative outlet. The lack of ‘Likes’ and ‘+1s’ means that people give actual feedback (comments) or nothing at all. And the actual comments are more likely to be balanced.

If you want creative feedbck, give Ello a go. Let me know if you need an invitation.

The Jetty

A photo in Smithsonian Science

Wrasse in the BlueChuffed that one of my photos, Wrasse in the Blue, has been published in Smithsonian Science.

All my images are published with a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial license, and I love it that one of them has been chosen in such an incredible source of science based learning.

The Jetty

It is always amazing to discover the photographic opportunities that lay waiting in your home area.

Living in the Sutherland Shire, I often drive straight down the Princes Highway when getting up early for sunrise photos, yet one beautiful opportunity is a private jetty in nearby Sylvania Waters.

The jetty is under a private lease and is private property, but the beach is public access, so I tend to wander down to the beach and shoot from the the sand immediately adjacent to the jetty.

This image has been created with a touch of blur added in MacPhun’s excellent ‘Focus Pro’ app, which I use as an add in in Aperture (still).

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Central Station

Central Station

Sydney’s Central Railway Station is the main hub for interstate and country trains.

The grand old building is the hub of the station, and makes for some interesting street photography opportunities.

I love the architecture here, and could spend hours exploring the station, the platforms and nearby pedestrian tunnels.

This image was made using my Panasonic GX–7 and the 20mm f1.7 prime lens – my favourite street photography setup.

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The Old Brewery

The Old Brewery

The Southern Highland’s town of Mittagong is the home of the Old Tooth’s Brewery, a location that is full of magical photo opportunities.

Run down and sporting a lot of graffiti, the Old Brewery is a wonderful photographic subject, but should be entered with caution due to the dilapidated state of the buildings and the presence of asbestos on the grounds.

The day we visited we were greeted by the sounds of drum solos from the building, and it turns out a drummer was being filmed and photographed in performance. Made for a bizarre setting.

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The Old Tunnel

RIP Lotte Hass

As a diver and underwater photographer I was saddened to hear of the recent passing of Lotte Hass. She was a pioneer of women in diving, and together with her late husband, Hannes, a pioneer of underwater photography and filmography.

The Old Tunnel

Helensburgh is a small town that at the northern end of the Illawarra region and just south of the Greater Sydney area.

Helensurgh was historically important as part of the original rail line down to the Illawarra coal fields, and some of the original single line tunnels and tracks dating back to the late 1800s are still in place.

The original rail line has since been replaced by a double track line. The original line, tunnels and even an old station platform serve as a historical reminder of life in the late 19th century.

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The Blast Furnace

The Ambivert’s Guide to Street Photography

I recently read a fascinating ebook called The Ambivert’s Guide to Street Photography by Scott Wyden Kivowitz.

I am quite keen on progressing my street photography skills, but I don’t always feel comfortable just taking a photo of someone, and I don’t relish the idea of approaching a stranger to ask their permission to do so.

In The Ambivert’s Guide to Street Photography, Scott provides good strategies to give it a go.

The Ambivert’s Guide to Street Photography is available from the author’s site as a PDF, and is also available from the iBook and Kindle stores.

The Blast Furnace

On Boxing Day Belinda and I got out of town for a couple of days, traveling up to Lithgow along the Bell’s Line of Road, and coming back via the Blue Mountains.

It was a beautiful couple of days exploring Lithgow, a town that I had not visited previously. It is a place that is full of history, including having been the original home of Australia’s steel industry.

The Old Blast Furnace preceded the steel works in both the Hunter and Illawarra regions.

I found it amazing that this old structure is still standing, albeit in a quite dilapidated state. I also found it amazing that you can freely wander about the site, given there are a lot of deep holes and pits.

I was pleased that I could wander around as it is a photogenic site, and I hope that photographers and others can continue to explore locations like this.

As I wandered about the Blast Furnace, I could not help but wonder about the efforts and hardwork of the people who built and operated the old Blast Furance.

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The Wreck at Homebush Bay

Photography Podcasts

I love podcasts[1], which are a great way of getting quick info on a huge variety of topics whilst on the go – driving, commuting, running, walking, etc. I am really enjoying some great photo podcasts at the moment, and would suggest the following five to anyone interested in photography.

  1. This Week in Photography by Frederick van Johnson
  2. The Digital Story with Derrick Story
  3. Your Itinerary – a travel and photography podcast from the TWIP stable, and hosted by Micro Four Thirds photographer Rob Knight
  4. Photofocus – podcast founded by Scott Bourne and hosted by Richard Harrington.
  5. The Photowalk Guys – an Australian podcasted hosted by Ben Frewtrell and Rob Potter

The Wreck at Homebush Bay

The SS Ayrfield is one of several old shipwrecks around Homebush Bay in Sydney’s west.

As an avid wreck diver and underwater photographer I have always enjoyed the challenge of trying to get images of shipwrecks. Challenging it is, as trying to get even a small wreck in an image is complex when you need to shoot through what is often gloomy water.

To have the opportunity to capture images of a wreck in its final resting place, while shooting from shore is wonderful, and you can really take your time to make a variety of images.

Built over 100 years ago, the SS Ayrfield was one of the ‘60 milers’ – the name given to the numerous colliers that worked between Sydney Harbour and the coalfields of the Illawarra and Hunter regions.

In 1972, the Ayrfield was sent to a ship breaking yard at Homebush, and is one of four wrecks that remain in place.

Homebush Bay was once a hub of Sydney’s heavy industry, and became a dumping ground for a lot of industrial waste, including the old ship hulls.

Having been cleaned up, Homebush Bay became the home of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and is now a residential, sporting and entertainment and business district.

The old wrecks remain in place, and are popular sites for photography, particularly with the setting sun.

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  1. I have hosted a podcast on karate, scuba diving and personal productivity in the past. My podcasting is on hiatus at the moment.  ↩