Macro Flora

We head off to the State Rose Garden today at Werribee to take some photos around the grounds and to check out the Werribee Mansion (a must visit if you’ve never been there before). Mum probably went here last time she was down, almost 8 years ago, but she has her camera now so we thought it might be nice to visit.

Of course we’d already dragged her around all over the city this morning, so she wasn’t up for too much of a walk and the grounds are quite large. To be honest, after the last couple of days I think we’ve walked more than I would usually walk in a month, so I’m not surprised she and we were tired.

Here are some photos I took with my macro lens, not unhappy with them given it was kind of windy, as it always seems to be when one wishes to take macro photos in the wild.

The sign at the State Rose Garden
Dying Rose at the State Rose Garden
Macro Yellow Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee
Macro Pink Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee
Macro Pink Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee
Bee on a Pink Rose at the State Rose Garden Werribee

Driving Solo

This is the first time I ever drove a car solo. I was 17 and still 5 years away from getting my licence. Greg, Jennifer & I were visiting Dad and we were at Nan’s caravan park. Dad said I could go for a drive around the park with Greg.

I’d not driven much by this point.

Greg and I, being Greg and I, decided going 5kph was boring and left the caravan park and made for the highway. We went along the old highway instead of the real highway and ramped it up to 70. Flying along we both commented how fast it seemed. It wasn’t until we stopped to take this picture that I realised the car was so old it was still in miles per hour!

We got up to a few things in our youth, my little brother and I. There was the time caught a train from Penrith to Glenbrook with our bikes, went through the National Park and the rode down the Pacific Highway almost literally shitting our daks at the speeds we were going.

And then the time he was in hospital for an operation and bored, so I put him in a wheelchair and we went missing for an hour or two, we visited several wards including maternity to look at the babies, before coming back to a berating from parents and doctors.

Hard Days Ahead

This past week has been a rough one for my little sister and her husband. Last Friday my nephew Joshua was stillborn. To say it would have been a hard day for Jennifer and Peter is an understatement.

Today they are having a private service for Joshua to say farewell. I can only imagine in the haze of last Friday their grief was mixed with shock. In the days that followed and in particular today there is no buffer of shock just raw emotions.

As extended family I feel their pain, I grieve for the nephew I will never know. I look at their other children, Alek and Emily, and I know that Joshua would have been an asset to the human race, we’re poorer for his passing.

I hate that I am so far away at a time when family should be together. I wish them the best for today, the christmas break can’t come fast enough so I can see these amazing people.

Piper

tumblr_msj4qg5TmT1swmpv9o1_1280

I stole this photo from my brother’s Facebook timeline. It’s my niece Piper who we get to see so rarely. I often lament how far away I live from my family. These little people are growing up so fast, I’m missing so much of their young lives. I’m watching them grow via Facebook and Path.

In this image Piper is jumping on the trampoline in the backyard of their house near Windsor in Sydney. You can’t go past that joy and sense of contentment in her face. It’s a moment beautifully captured while my brother was testing his new lens.

It’s photos like this that really show why photography is important. It wasn’t a “shoot” it was just a dad, testing a new lens with his daughter as the subject and what he captured was a moment in time that will never happen again.

Too soon this little girl will be a little lady, a big girl, a teenager and a fully grown woman. Thankfully these images will continue for as long as they exist to remind her, and all of those who see it, of this moment of joy in her life; a life with any luck will be filled with nothing but such joy.

Australia Day 2013

We head out a little later than usual this year. David wanted to stop in the city and get a new camera bag, he has grown out of his older bag.

Another Australia Day means another trip to Geelong, it has kind of become a tradition I guess. But this time our usual third, Kathryn, couldn’t come along. She’s just started a new job and had to work. So this year we dragged Sue along for the trip.

It seemed a little low-key this year. The crowds were there, the stages and performers were there, everything seemed to be the same, but it just seemed less than the last two years. Maybe it was just that the performers weren’t as dynamic as previous years.

Sue and I rode the ferris wheel, that was pretty cool, I don’t think she’d ever been on a ferris wheel that goes so high. We took some photos while we were up there and cheered every time we passed entry point, on our way to another loop.

And of course the beach volleyball was on again, it was by far the best part of the day. So we spent a bit of time there capturing the action. I do have to admit that perhaps we were obsessed with a couple of the players. They were the best on court, it was easy to get decent shots from their action.

We called it a day around 4pm, missing the Roulettes and the fireworks display… maybe one year we’ll stick around for the fireworks show and try and capture them.

I’ve processed the photos a little differently this time around, but present them here.

Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong
Australia Day 2013 Geelong

Taronga Zoo

It has been many, many, many years since I’ve been to Taronga Zoo. This week, while in Sydney, we spent a great day at the zoo with Mum, Greg, Jacob and Maygen. It was great because of the people we were with, not so much because of the weather, which couldn’t seem to decide how it wanted to go; rain, wind, sun, rain, wind, sun, repeat…

We must have all looked like a bunch of shutterbugs, all with cameras shooting away at the animals.

The differences between Melbourne Zoo, my home zoo, and Sydney’s Taronga are few but significant. The biggest being the massive entry fee of $44 for an adult for Taronga compared to Melbourne’s $26. I like Sydney’s layout for the Snow Leopard enclosure, though it could probably be a little bigger and its lion and tiger enclosures are just sad looking. Melbourne’s primate enclosures seem much better and having multiple zoos in close proximity is a bonus for us down there too.

I do love that at Taronga, which is on a hill, you can start at the top walk down the hill seeing all the animals and then catch the sky lift back to the top of the hill.

Another thing Taronga has over Melbourne’s zoos, we don’t have any chimpanzees in Melbourne. Sydney’s Chimps were a little aggressive on the day and one saw fit to let the humans know he wasn’t happy being looked at and high-kicked the window of one of the viewing areas. He was quickly chastised by the alpha male via a very loud call from the other side of the enclosure.

I think I’ll forever been conflicted about having Chimpanzees and Gorillas in Zoos. The expressions and the seemingly looks of understanding they have are just a little too human to be comfortable with the idea of them being locked away for their lives. There was one female chimpanzee who was holding a baby, brushing her fingers through his hair before bending her head forward kissing him gently on the forehead. It was a beautiful moment.

Taronga Zoo Map

Maygen & Jacob at the Zoo
Koala

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Jacob & His Family

Gorilla

Lowland Gorilla

Bird Show

Jacob and his wingspan

Maygen shows her wingspan

Bird Show

Bird Show

Giraffe

Barbary Sheep

Himalayan Tahr and the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Tortoise

Elephant

Penguin

Seal Show

Seal Show

Seal Show

Jake & his Fennec Fox Ears

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard

Lioness at Taronga Zoo in Sydney

Meet Emily

I’m over the moon to announce that my little sister has given birth to her second child. Emily was born at 2.44pm July 8th. She was 3.2kg and 49cm long.

She’s super cute and I can’t wait to meet her. She looks amazing and I’m forever in awe that humans can produce other humans.

Emily
Emily
Emily
Emily

I’m usually all for living in Melbourne, we’ve been here for almost 9 years, but I have to say, at times like this… when a little one comes into the world, I really miss out and hate being so far away.

Thankfully I have a family that still includes me (mostly), they kept me up to date about Emily’s entry into the world and have kept a steady stream of photos coming so I can ogle and goo and gaa if only from nearly 1,000 km away. We’re heading up there next week and I can’t wait.

Big thanks to Alek, Emily’s older brother, who snapped the last three photos for me, paparazzi style. While the middle one may be blurry I kept it here because it shows just how awesomely he has done with the other two. The room where Emily is currently sleeping is a low-light room and Alek, at only 13, hand-held these shots. He’s shooting with my old Canon 400D at 33mm f4.5 and just 1/15th shutter speed. Hand holding awesomeness at its finest.

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Yet another Sunday and another unusual social outing. This time organised by SueZ. We’ve not had a good run with our Sunday outings, it’s always something interesting and new.

Last night was, in my opinion, a great night. We were drawn to this night due to SueZ’s neighbour, Bernie, being part of the group. I stress it is my opinion because David and Denise didn’t love it. In fact David wanted to leave pretty much right away. But I loved it.

What’s not to love when an eclectic bunch of people gather together on a stage to have fun. All brought together through their love of, for most an unusual instrument, the ukelele.

The Melbourne Ukelele Kollective, or MUK for short, wrapped up their September residence at The Cornish Arms Hotel in Brunswick last night in a splendid manner. They began as a small group of players in 2004 and these days count as many as 20-30 people on stage during an event.

As the photos and videos that follow may attest, these guys and gals have a great time on the stage, entertaining the pub crowd and themselves. I just love watching people enjoy themselves, doing something they love and sharing ti with others. The sort of passion they display is infections and you have no choice but to leave the venue with a spring in your step.

Do yourself a favour and get along and see them when you can. Ignore the fact that David didn’t like them and go with an open mind and open ears, you’ll love it.

Check out the Melbourne Ukelele Kollective website for gig dates.

Videos


Watch in Full-HD


Watch in Full-HD

Photos

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

They even had an audience participation section when they played “Nutbush City Limits” folks got up and joined in doing the Madison.

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective

Melbourne Ukelele Kollective