From Photography

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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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