Category Archives: Photography

A Brilliant Handbag For Your DSLR

While on holidays I was a little bit naughty and was frequently carrying my DSLR in my handbag while visiting places. Why??? Because I hate carrying my camera bag around, not only does it look dorky but isn’t practical, too big and bulky, so I started carrying my camera in my handbag.

This was a bit of a worry, as I was scared that if I accidentally dropped my bag I would smash my camera and/or lens and it also meant that I had to pick which lens I wanted to use as I didn’t have enough room to carry around an extra.

When I returned from my holidays I decided to hunt around and see if anybody had thought about us gals and see if there was a handbag that would be suitable.

Well I found one, not only is it a reasonable price but it is exactly what I was looking for. They are Jo Totes


Its fairly plain which means it will go with anything your wearing and comes in 4 great colours I choose black as it is probably one of the easiest colours to work with, clothes and shoes wise.

They are $79 USD plus postage (approx $110 all up) but I had some money sitting in Paypal which I got for my photo sales through Gettys so I thought what the heck and bought one with that.

I did find some other camera handbags but they were a lot pricier and the shipping costs were over the top. There is also a lady on Flickr who has started up her own camera handbag company. They look pretty classy but unfortunately she does not ship overseas and they are also a bit pricey but you would expect that as the bag is leather and beautifully crafted. And this Giraffe print handbag is cute and reasonably priced but they don’t ship overseas.

Now I just have to wait for it’s arrival to see what it is really like. I have read some reviews from people who have purchased one and they are pretty happy with their bag, so I’m sure I will be happy with mine.

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My First Day of Shuttercal


Well I have started one of my resolutions for the year.
I uploaded my first picture to Shuttercal today for my Project 365.
I managed to complete a whole year of photographs a couple of years ago through Flickr
This time I thought I would give shuttercal a go and do it differently. I am going to be getting each month printed and will be purchasing one of their nifty shoeboxes, to store the prints in. A very cool idea.

This year I have decided to make it more about me, the last time I mainly took macro photos of birds and bugs. Not that there is anything wrong with that but I just want to add a bit of variety and have some personal photos. I will be taking at least one self portrait a month which will be a huge thing for me as I hate being in front of the camera. I also plan on getting some photos of the family, if they let me (they also hate being in front of the camera)

I know it will probably be a bit challenging at times as I don’t lead a very exciting life. I have a list of ideas in case I am stuck for a photo for the day.

We are collectors of anything old, so I have decided to also include some of the lovely old things that we own. I have included an old camera in my first photo.

I am planning on blogging some of the photos as well, hopefully this should help me blog more, which will fulfill another resolution.


My New Years Resolutions for 2010


Well it’s that time of the year again, when I reflect on the year that was and also think of what my New Years Resolutions will be for the coming year.

I have a few changes that I would like to make for 2010:-
1. Do Project 365 ( a photo a day) I will be using Shuttercal this time instead of Flickr. This year the photos will be more about me and not flowers, bugs etc. It will be a bit of a challenge.
2. Have a more consistent yoga practice. I was doing Yoga daily until part way through this year and I fell off the cart. I practice at home using Podcasts. Yogamazing is the best. 20 minute sessions which is good if you are short of time. Just download them via Itunes they are free and he has something for everybody. To subscribe follow the link above then go to the “How do I Subscribe” heading and follow the instructions. No need to purchase them unless you really want to.
3. Keep up my daily meditation sessions and try set aside some time in the morning and also evening. Visit Meditation Oasis for some free guided meditations.
4. Try to be more positive!!!
5. Watch my diet and eat healthy.
6. Make sure that I pay a bit more attention to my garden and try to keep it weed free. Which is a bit hard at times as I go out with the intent to do the weeding and then get sidetracked by a bug/flower that I just have to get a photo of. 1 hour later and still no gardening done.
7. To try to post more often to my blog

Now I’m going to cross my fingers and toes and hope that I have the willpower to stick with the changes that I want to implement in 2010.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year. See ya next year 😉

Photographer James Balog and the Extreme Ice Survey

With the United Nations Climate Conference coming to an end I am wondering if any real changes will be made in regards to slowing down global warming. I can hear some people out there saying global warming, what a load of crap but since watching a talk by Photographer James Balog I’m even more convinced that we need to all pay more attention to what is happening to our world and try to make some changes to help slow down global warming.

James Balog is a nature photographer and a lot of his work has appeared in National Geographic.

His newest work is no less powerful, no less engaging and it carries an urgent message. For several years, Balog has been going up north to shoot the ice of the mammoth glaciers for his Extreme Ice Survey, a look at the shocking effects of abrupt climate change in Alaska, Greenland and Iceland. Soaring, dripping, glowing and crumbling, arctic ice under Balog’s eye is a bit of an eye opener.

If you have a spare 20 minutes its worth the watch.

Here is another link in case the embedded video doesnt work.

An Interesting Podcast from Taryn Simon

I came across a great podcast by an American photographer, Taryn Simon. She was doing a lecture for TED
“Taryn Simon exhibits her startling take on photography – to reveal worlds and people we would never see otherwise. She shares two projects: one documents otherworldly locations typically kept secret from the public, the other involves haunting portraits of men convicted for crimes they did not commit.”

She has been able to get into places that the normal person would not have access to. I am definitely considering purchasing her book just so I can see all her images.

If you have a spare 17 minutes I recommend that you watch it. very interesting.
IF THE EMBEDDED VIDEO DOESN”T WORK CLICK HERE. as TED seems to be having some glitches

Urban Treasures



Tram Warehouse, originally uploaded by mickyg9.

I was surfing through the internet today and stumbled upon a place that really took my interest, the abandoned Rozelle Tram station. I didn’t even know that this place existed and I have lived in Sydney all my life

It was built in 1904 and is located south of Harold Park Raceway, next to Jubilee Oval, Glebe Point.It has stood empty since the 1960’s. It is currently owned by the Harold Park Raceway, who would like to develop it into flats. As the site is heritage listed and sits in the middle of parkland, a stalemate has ensued.
There are also about half a dozen old trams in it that were until recently in near perfect condition (having been sourced for a proposed heritage tram route in the Rocks that was later abandoned). They have now been heavily vandalised and are covered with graffiti.

What an awesome place for a photoshoot.Unfortunately the place is locked up like Fort Knox, although some keen photographers have managed to wiggle their way though a small window and get in there long enough to get some great photos, before being shooed off by the security guards.



…Apocalypto…., originally uploaded by SpaceCadet37.

Another great place that I would love to visit is the Old White Bay Power House.

Located on Victoria Rd White Bay (Rozelle). White Bay Power Station is a heritage-listed former coal-fired power station sitting on 3.8 hectares of land.
This power station was originally built by the Department of Railways to supply more power for Sydney’s growing Electric Tramway System in 1912 (and was later expanded for the City and Suburban Railway Electrification in the mid 1920s).The station was mothballed in 1970, but was retained for emergencies; its last operational use was during the power crisis of 1984. Though modernised and upgraded over the years since first constructed, its interior retains most of the equipment in place when it was finally closed (only 15 years ago). This retained equipment makes it a fairly unique and interesting survivor.
A popular venue for urban exploration groups (such as Cave Clan), photographers and, recently, film and television productions. Productions at the power station include The Matrix Reloaded, Red Planet and numerous Australian television series and advertisements.
They still do the occassional tours through the place. Although a lot of people sneak in there and grab some snaps, see the video below

Those Amazing Blue Banded Bees

When we moved into our house 8 years ago, we had no gardens only a few established trees. This was wonderful as it meant that we could have the gardens exactly how we wanted them. I also made an effort not to use any pesticides and to keep the garden and surrounds as organic as possible.

The yard evolved over the years and with more and more plants and sheltered areas, the bugs, birds and animals multiplied.

I started to notice that we had more than just your regular honeybee visiting the garden. I noticed that there was also half a dozen different species of native bees that visited. So I spent ages watching and photographing them and then surfing the internet to find out more about them. Unfortunately there is not a lot of  information about them.

My favourite bee is the Blue Banded Bee (Amegilla Cingulata) They are the prettiest of the Australian native bees. They have a gold/brown furry head and thorax and they have a shiny black abdomen that has pale blue bands on it (the males have five bands the females only have four)

Because they are buzz pollinators you can always hear when they are around, they make a loud buzzing noise when they land on flower. The vibration from the buzz makes the flowers drop their pollen. They tend to favor purple and blue flowers so I have mass planted Salvia Mystic Spires, Bog Sage, some other Salvias, Native Daisies and a Duranta which are their favorites.

They are a solitary bee and do not live in hives like the honeybee. Instead they burrow into soft rock or mortar. The females make the burrows, in the end of the burrow is an egg with a pollen/nectar mixture for the emerging larva. The larva stay there during the cooler months and start to emerge when the weather warms up.

The males are not so comfortable. They are left to roost on twigs at night, hanging on with their mandibles. I first noticed them in groups of three and fours but nowdays there can be as many as eight roosting together on a twig. I have one group that roost on my Passionfruit vine each night another group roosts on some dead twigs in a tree in my backyard. See the picture below.

As they are open to the elements they only live through the warmer months. I usually notice their appearance around the end of October and then their numbers start to dwindle around the end of March. The group that slept on the Passionfruit vine have disappeared but I am still noticing one or two bees buzzing around in the garden. They will probably all be gone by the end of this month as they cannot survive the cold nights.

I have stumbled across a Native Bee website and they give instructions on how to make nest blocks for them. I plan on having them ready for October, hopefully this means that I will be able to watch them closer and have more photo opportunities. Here is the website if you are interested in learning more. Scroll down to Article 8.

http://www.aussiebee.com.au/abol-current.html#abol008

Unfortunately it seems that a large amount of the Australian population are not aware of these bees. The only reason that I really noticed them is because I spend so much time hunting around in my garden to find things to take photos of. My passion is macro photography and these little bees are great subjects.

I will be blogging about other Aussie bees. Some even more amazing than the Blue banded bees.

Thanks to the following sites as they helped me with some of the information:-

http://www.aussiebee.com.au/index.html

http://www.faunanet.gov.au/wos/factfile.cfm?Fact_ID=243


Hello World

30 Days of Gratitude- Day 1, originally uploaded by aussiegall.

Several months ago I decided that I would have a go at blogging, life got a bit hectic so I kept on putting it off until now.

Tonight I decided to bite the bullet and make a start, so here I am.
I am a blog virgin, so be gentle with me.

What will my blog be about ? Lots of things, photography, gardening, insects, yoga, meditation and whatever else that I find interesting in my journey through life.

Thanks for dropping by. Now I’m off to get some inspiration from other peoples blogs.