Tag 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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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

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