Kids and Guinea Pigs

So the neighbour kid next to our immediate neighbour was a customer at Puppy Preschool so she knows we take photos, because we took photos of her dog. Today little Luke, one of the immediate neighbour kids came up to talk to us when we pulled into the driveway (as he often does), and his sister Natalie came over carrying one of her Guinea Pigs.

She said, “You take the photos at puppy preschool don’t you?” I replied “Yes” and she said “Maybe you could take photos of Kate my guinea pig”… so I said, “let’s do some now” and got my camera and we made some photos. The other guinea pig had to come out too, I can’t remember her name right now.

Then Luke wanted his photo taken so I sent him inside to check with his mum first and he came out yelling “Mum said ‘yes'” so I took a couple of photos of the kids as well, and their dog Roxy who had to come in for a shot.

Of course we’re used to using strobes these days for most of our work, and these are just in the fading light of the day so they’ve been pushed a little. But I’m sure the kids will be happy with them.

I guess, now, in addition to photographing puppies and people, we shoot small animals too. Might do another one soon with a proper set up for them.

Kate and ?

Kate the Guinea Pig


Luke, Natalie, and Kate


Natalie and Roxy

Propaganda Machine at work

So I was listening to the Savage Lovecast and aside from Dan’s awesome rant about the US’ grip on guns he also talked to Rachel Percelay from Media Matters and she revelled something I probably always knew but never articulated… the news and governments feed on our ignorance. Ms Percelay didn’t say it quite like that but…

She was talking about how Fox News has presented many, many (she had stats) segments about trans people and in particular about bathroom use laws and how not a single one of the 20+ segments had included a trans person in the discussion.

Seems that Fox News likes to keep the ignorance flowing by not actually talking to the affected people. They keep the stigma alive by presenting a biased view of a group of people and demonising them.

Our news and our governments are doing this all the time with anything they think we’re ignorant about and there are a couple of big things many of us are ignorant about… trans people and muslim people and well anyone who’s different from us.

The gays aren’t a big threat to society any more, we used to be… because we were demonised and we were told from a young age that there was something wrong with us so we hid ourselves from those around us. We were an unknown. Now that we’re out and loud and now that pretty much everyone knows someone who is gay you see less mass-media reports about how nasty we are.

We have moved out of ghettoised conclaves and we’re living in the suburbs and the rural areas. We’re your friends, neighbours, lawyers, doctors etc. Every day people now know us as just regular folk.

But trans people still hide for fear of retribution or fear that they’ll be treated like freaks. Muslims still tend to stick to their own communities because they are often vilified by society as a whole when they step beyond those boundaries. So we the majority don’t know them, we don’t interact with them daily and we’re therefore prone to ignorance and we’re open to propaganda about these groups of people. It’s something we need to make an effort to change.

People are complex creatures and it amazes me how easily we are misled. I am ignorant about muslim and islamic cultures. I am less ignorant about trans culture because I’ve actively looked into it, but I don’t ‘know’ any trans people, nor do I know any muslim people. But I have an open mind and come from a position where I was once one of these groups (and in some parts of the world I still am). I’m not willing to paint everyone of a sub-culture with the same brush.

Heroes Reborn

After watching “Heroes Reborn” I can say the show has promise.

That it copped criticism for be “slow” shows that people forget what a big ensemble show like this is like. There are a LOT of characters to introduce and they can’t all be action-pact right out of the gate or you’d end up with a TV show that’s very hard to maintain.

Heroes Reborn leads on from the end of the Heroes series… the world knows about those with special powers, “evos”, and of course everyone loves them… and then… well spoilers sweetie… I will say there’s still the “Save the cheerleader save the world”-type concept… but without the Cheerleader.

I’ll gladly tune in for more episodes as they role out. Only a handful of the original characters make a return. There will be some times where you go “um that doesn’t make sense because blah” if you’ve seen the original Heroes but stick with it. Tim Kring is trying to revitalise his concept and it may take a few weeks to get into the swing of things.

Vaccines do not lead to autism

Soooo… I had a big argument with a friend a couple of weeks back… it started as a conversation and quickly devolved into stern looks and accusations from both sides that the other was out and out crazy.

I was challenged to go and look into the sources that immunisations are actually bad for our kids and that people shouldn’t be forced to have their children injected with ‘unknown’ chemicals just because someone else said it should happen.

The subject of an increase in autism came up, as it does, so I went away and I looked further into it, thinking I already had a good grounding in the science of it.

I think anyone who would believe autism is caused by vaccines need to consider a few things.

  1. More kids are being diagnosed with autism because the autism spectrum has been massively broadened… we now have an “autism spectrum” you can find children on it. Those with mild autism might never have previously been officially diagnosed with it, they weren’t part of the stat they now are. Disorders like Aspergers have been folded into the autism spectrum and are no longer a separate statistic.
  2. We are exposed to between 300,000 and 500,000 more chemicals than our grandparents were. They are active and present in our bodies and a very high number of them pass through the placenta and into our babies. We do not know the effects of many of these chemicals with regard to longterm effects or their impact on foetal development.
  3. BPA has an impact on featal development and the development of young children, but is still not a banned substance in Australia or the US, while industry has been forced to largely stop its use from public outcry it is likely still present in the plastic lining of canned foods and other plastics that interact with our foods.
  4. One of those 300,000 to 500,000 chemicals is atrazine, a herbicide used widely on food products we eat every day. The body processes it as an oestrogen in both males and females and has an impact on our sex organs and the health of our off-spring. It has even been shown to have generational impact, meaning if your grandmother was exposed to it, but your mother was not, it will still affect your development as it lives on in your mother regardless of her lack of exposure.
    These are just a few of the many, many, many facts that show that we can’t know definitely what may be contributing to the development of Autism. We also have to consider that reporting is more common these days… in the past it wasn’t unheard of for a family to hide a ‘defective’ child from public life. They may have been placed in a sanatorium, effectively removing them from public view.
    We are now more exposed to differently-abled people than we have before… and that’s a good thing… it also makes it seem that a condition that was just as prevalent in the past is more-so because we are more aware of it as it is around us rather than locked away from view.

I’d ask that the “vaccine === autism” folk take time to seriously consider their thinking. I’d hate to live in a world where children are dying from preventable diseases but I do. Partly because there are some we still don’t have effective vaccines for but mostly because people are making silly decisions without considering the facts and the extended danger at which they are putting their own children and other children.

Also if you’re on this bandwagon consider all the other chemicals to which you’re exposing yourself, your children and your yet to be born children. Many of our everyday products from cleaners, herbicides, makeup, hairsprays etc all contain chemicals that can enter our systems in multiple ways and many of them remain to be passed on to our offspring.

Minifig Studio

To beat the summer heat, we’ve moved our computer desks to our lounge room, which is spacious enough for this set up, and that means we have a whole room to function as a makeshift studio. I’ve set up a little diorama-type stage that I can swap out backdrops on to shoot my minifigs. Maybe the plan is to one day shoot real people in there, but it’s not THAT big of a room. We might need a studio to do this.

So anyway, here are a few of the latest minifigs to join the massive pool of the ones I’ve shot so far.

Freddy the Wiener Guy
Freddy the Weiner Guy

Freddy the Weiner Guy

Zelac the Alien Trooper
Zelac the Alien Trooper


Kimiko Nakamura – Kimono Girl
Kimiko Nakamura - Kimono Girl

Yash and his snake Rushil
Yash and his snake Rushil

Lemurs on the loose

Well not really, but at Melbourne Zoo you can go into the Lemur enclosure and come very up close and personal with them as they roam around among the humans.

It’s always hit and miss, sometimes you get there and the little guys (and they are all male) are sleeping, but you can come back 40 minutes later and they’re jumping from the trees and running about your feet.

Today it seems we got there just as they were waking, some were on the move, others basking in the sun, others still sleeping, yet to stir.

I love it when people are concentrating on a lemur and they are oblivious to the fact that there’s one right at their feet, or crossing the bridge right behind them.

One disappointing moment happened when a person wanted to have their photo taken with a lemur perching at the edge of the bridge, they clearly felt it wasn’t facing an optimal way and used their foot (not in a subtle way) to try and get the lemur to move. I yelled, two zoo keepers yelled and yet the person was non-plussed, clearly didn’t think what they did was wrong. As there was a language barrier it was hard to convey, but others in their group who clearly spoke english didn’t do anything to chastise their compatriot. It was a sad moment for humanity when there should be a clear and basic understanding that we’re in an environment where these animals develop a trust for the humans around them, only to have it defiled with a flick of a foot.

Of course, in the end the person didn’t get their photo, the lemur didn’t appreciate having a foot connect with its backside and it runaway.

These little guys are beautiful creatures, I appreciate the time we get to share with them.


Kelly and Micheal’s Wedding

David’s cousin Micheal* was married yesterday. We went along as guests but of course we couldn’t help but take our cameras along.

Originally I was a little weirded out by the New Year’s Day wedding giving it meant we couldn’t have a big one on new years night, but then I guess we probably wouldn’t have anyway, but turns out that New Year’s Day is the anniversary of their meeting, 10 years ago yesterday.

The ceremony was held in their backyard, Owen was their gorgeous ring bearer and he did an admirable job. I was grateful that while their celebrant HAS to read the definition of marriage under Australian law as being between one man and one woman, the couple opted to include an additional statement about their support for marriage equality.

We ended up getting home about 1:40am, it was in Sale after all, so 3 hours there, 3 back.

Here are a few of the many photos I took on the day, you can see them all on my Flickr account.

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding
Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

Kelly and Micheal's Wedding

*Not a misspelling, that’s how you spell Micheal’s name

Welcome to the future

2015 his begun, no ifs or buts about it. We have a wedding to attend today in Sale, the south east of Victoria, because of this we went to bed nice an early on New Year’s Eve. But sure enough, at midnight a nutty neighbour decided to do the illegal and set off some fireworks in their front yard. Result is a couple of dogs barking like the world was ending and waking up the whole house. We let them come into our room and they eventually settled and we got some sleep done.

Not doing resolutions this year. I never really do them, though you will find some ‘resolution’ posts here going back aways, some of them setting goals that weren’t really achieved. So no firm resolutions, but once my birthday rolls around at the end of the month I’ll be looking at making some changes. Just little ones. This birth year, I’ll eat less meat, try to be a better citizen of the world, see more of the world and take a lot more photographs.

Sure health and fitness is a big one, I’ll be 41 at the end of the month, in the primetime for major health problems going forward so I’ll be looking to minimise those concerns.

Other than that, we’ll take 2015 as we’ve taken every year that has come before it… as she comes. Bring it on father time and let’s see what the future holds.