Links of Interest for 30 November 2015

Links of Interest for 30 November 2015

A lesson re-learned

I sometimes wonder how often we have to re-learn a lesson we’ve previously learned. It can be an especially intriguing conundrum when we make a mistake that not only have we previously learned, but one for which measures have been put in place to minimise associated risks.

Recently I went out for some sunrise photography at Cullen Bay in Darwin, a picturesque bayside suburb with a marina and even a lock to allow the bay and marina to stay. It is a stunning location for sunrise photography, especially with an aspect that features the sun rising over the picturesque marina.

Cullen Bay

My preferred vantage point for such photos is on the corner of a boardwalk that extends out over the bay. The boardwalk is constructed of wooden boards that have a 3–5cm gap between them, so I tend to take care when fitting filters, lenses and other accessories to my rig.

In an effort to ensure I have what I need whenever I go for a shoot, and to ensure each piece is secured properly I have a standard way that I stow my gear, firstly in an inner bag, which then goes into a messenger bag or backpack, depending on the shoot. Stowing stuff is important to make sure I can find things quickly, and that it doesn’t fall out.

This time I took along a spare battery that I took out of the charger, and literally three into a top compartment of my backpack – not in the normal pocket I put batteries in on the insert bag. The top compartment is where I stow things like a flash unit and filter kits[1].

I carefully laid my backpack down on a table, setup my tripod and camera, and decided to add a graduated neutral density filter. With the backpack laid down I opened the top compartment, and straight away the spare battery fell out, bounced onto the boardwalk below, and then straight through a gap and into the water.

So the spare battery, not a cheap accessory, was quickly lost into Cullen Bay.

The lessons learned:

  1. Have a set way to stow gear for securing and quick retrieval.
  2. Use it consistently.

The lesson could have been more expensive. And it is a cheap lesson if I re-learn it, and apply the lessons consistently.

  1. I am actually looking for a better set up for stowing my filter kits, so will hopefully have a better approach sooner than later.  ↩

Chapel by the Sea

Chapel by the Sea by Des Paroz on

The fishing village of Georgiopoulos in Crete was an interesting short photo adventure sortie from Souda Bay, one of our stops on Northern Trident 2015.

About an hour by taxi from Souda Bay, we went to Geogiopoulos for a single reason – to get sunset and blue hour photos of this little chapel that is literally on a little island in the bay, connected by a causeway that apparently can be all but underwater at high tide.

The chapel is the most famous feature of the town, and the night we visited there were a handful of others that made the trek out to the island.

The chapel was certainly a stunning photographic subject, and it was well worth the adventure to get there.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

Phare du Petit Minou

Phare du Petit Minou by Des Paroz on

One of the landmarks clearly seen on entering the magnificent port of Brest in France is the lighthouse known as the Phare du Petit Minou.

For mariners of today and days past, lighthouses guide the way to safety around hidden dangers. A lighthouse seen from an appropriate distance can provide comfort, but a lighthouse seen from up close, too late, can bring sheer terror.

The symbolism of lighthouses cuts across many parts of life. There are few paths which have not been trodden by others before us, and in many cases those people left clues about dangers on the path, and routes of best passage. The clues are there for us, and by paying attention we can avoid dangers that others have faced.

This image was created at sunset, which was very late in the evening – around 10:30pm. The image was shot at f/16 with a shutter speed of 2 seconds on ISO 200. Obviously a tripod was the critical piece of equipment to ensure a good, sharp image.

My equipment for this image was my Panasonic Lumix GX–7 with the Olympus 12–40mm f/2.8 PRO lens and my trusty Really Right Stuff tripod.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

The Back Streets of Crete

During our visit to Crete in Greece, I had the opportunity to spend some time walking around the old city of Chania – a city which has been a part of both Greece and the Ottoman Empire over the centuries, although in the modern era it is firmly Greek.

I was really taken by the colourful meandering back streets, with the eclectic architecture, cobblestones, and the evident pride the people take in keeping the streets looking good.

I have to admit that I had few expectations for Crete, and was looking forward to visits to places like Istanbul. Chania was charming and pretty, and made for a great first stopover in our journey.

I would recommend it as a lovely, laid back place to visit, with a rich history and a beautiful cityscape and seascape.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

A Return to Australia

A return to Australia

My posting has been a little light on here over the past few months, but I have a good excuse — I’ve been deployed as part of my Navy duties for five months on a journey that has taken us to some ten nations on three continents (not including Australia).

I am a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) in the Royal Australian Navy, and since late last year I have been the embarked PAO in the helicopter frigate HMAS Anzac for NORTHERN TRIDENT 2015 (NT15).

NT15 had several key aspects – commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac, international engagement and interoperability with international navies.

It was a very busy and successful deployment, and was one which allowed us to visit some amazing places, including Greece, Turkey, Italy, Malta, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Morocco, South Africa and Mauritius. I personally really loved Malta in particular, with Mauritius, the UK, Crete and Cape Town being great visits also.

The above video, shot by our embarked Imagery Specialist, supported by colleagues ashore and compiled by Defence Multimedia, tells a short story of our return to Sydney last Saturday (8 August 2015).

Now that I am back, I look forward to getting back into posting my personal photos, and posting about photography and diving.

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.

View this image on 500px or Flickr

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.

View this image on 500px, Ello or Flickr