Monday, March 29, 2010

Adventures with an SLR

So as you may remember, in early January I finally caved after a year of contemplating it and invested in a digital SLR. And while I now have to carry a gazillion cubic metres of camera bag with me, it was worth every penny. I'm even contemplating using forthcoming birthday money on a new lens! So anyway, in honour of my trusty Nikon, I now present some of the adventures my camera and I have had over the past couple of months.

Let's start with this guy:
You have nooooo idea how many photos of Domi I've accumulated over the past thirteen and a bit years. But I like this one. He may be mostly deaf and blind in one eye, but he's still happy to see me, even if I stick a camera in his face.

Next up, we have tree frogs at the Melbourne Zoo. They're so cute and squishy and in a row:

Here's a green basilisk, also at the Melbourne Zoo. I like taking photos in the reptile house. Things stay still in there!!

A koala. It was actually awake and moving and stuff. Go to enough zoos and you start to get a sense of just how uncommon this is!!

This is a bongo. It was staring at me through the hedge and the fence. It may be through a fence, but I really like this photo.

Aaaaaand here's the baby elephant again. This day, I was really glad I had the SLR, because it meant I could make use of continuous shutter mode!

I like giraffes. They're kinda funny looking, and they have purple tongues, which is just bizarre. But they're cool. And they're fun to take photos of cos they move in a slow, dopey kind of way.

*sigh* My favourite building... I saw a job advertised here today that I could totally do if I had a couple more years of experience. Alas................ *sighs again*
Cascade in Hobart. I like this one cos you can see that the right-hand window on the second top floor doesn't actually have any building behind it.

Here's a fern frond in the Cascade gardens. What can I say? I love macro shots. When I've got a spare thousand dollars, I'm totally going to invest in a macro lens...

Here's a couple of shots of Hobart from Mt. Wellington. In 1804, Colonial Surveyor G.P. Harris wrote to his mother about the new settlement in Hobart, and said that the Derwent Estuary was large enough and deep enough to hold the whole British navy. From up here, you can totally understand it.

This is at the Botanic Gardens in Hobart. I like the bokeh.

Here's the church at Port Arthur.

And here's the hospital.

This is Pirate Bay. I like how clear the coastline turned out in the left-hand foreground.

I took this out the window of the car on the way to Freycinet. I like how the tree turned out clear compared to the blurry foreground.

This is the beach at Coles Bay. I like the spray and the light.

This is Freycinet National Park. It was kind of hazy this day...

Here's Wineglass Bay. Even with an SLR, the photos don't do it justice.

This is Sleepy Bay in Freycinet National Park. The colour of the water was amaaaaaaazing...

Little Gravelly Beach, still in Freycinet.

The texture on the rocks was seriously cool:

Here's a bunch of photos from Cradle Mountain. Doing the walk around Dove Lake was pretty cool. You get to see Cradle Mountain from a ton of different angles!

Here's a lyrebird at Healesville Sanctuary. He found the camera intriguing.

More photos of reptiles, this time at Healesville. This little guy was so sleepy looking.
This photo may not be great, but the little Tassie devil was running circles in his enclosure. He was going so fast that this was the best photo I could get - he only stopped for a split second, and I'm pretty sure if I'd had a standard digital camera, I wouldn't have gotten the shot.

A kangaroo. This may not be a particularly exciting photo, but I like it all the same.

This photo just makes me laugh. This is at the Canberra Zoo and Aquarium. That fish stared at me for the longest time.

This guy was just cool.

These snakes were curled up in a ball. The one on the right sat up and stared at us when we got to their enclosure. It was pretty cool.

There may be snot marks on the glass, but it's not often you can get a photo of a brown bear that's only centimetres away from you! Plus, she's smiling.

More giraffe shots. The ones in Canberra come right up close to the fence because you can pay extra and feed them at certain times.

It may be leaning against a manky looking fence, but this eland had such a sweet face that I really like this photo...

More tree frogs. These ones were far less sleepy.
My all-time favourite zoo animals. I LOVE red pandas. And usually they're sitting in trees sleeping. So I was ridiculously excited when these ones were up and around.

Here's some shots from the Canberra Botanic Gardens at the weekend. As it's all native species, it's not the most exciting botanic gardens I've ever been to, but I still got some fun shots.

Like this one of the bark on a banksia tree:

And this one has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but it's of the Rooster Tree on the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney. It's awesome:

Who knows what adventures my SLR and I will have next???????
K :) xx

PS. After my rant about Photoshop a couple of weeks ago, I feel the need to point out that all of these shots are straight out of the camera. All I've done is a bit of cropping.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The most wonderful time of the year

Tonight marks the beginning of a wonderful time of year. That's right - it's the return of footy season. Aaaaaaaaaah, AFL. How I've missed you... It's been a looooooooooong time since the Grand Final way back in September. Who won that Grand Final, I hear you ask?

Oh, THAT'S right. It was my boys, the mighty Geelong Cats!!

Course, the downside of being in Canberra is that I'm trapped in a land where rugby league gets priority. It really is the most appalling game. The only thing that rivals it for boredom factor is American football. I'm fairly certain games where you barely touch the ball with your feet can be called FOOTball... But maybe that's just me... Aaaaaaaaaaaanyway, rugby getting all the prime time slots (except when Sydney's playing - we get the same TV as rural New South Wales...) means that my beloved AFL gets shafted to stupid timeslots. For instance, the Geelong v Essendon game tomorrow night is airing at 9.30pm. Which means that I'll be up until some ungodly hour. (Unless I feel the need to give up and just find out the score online...)

And I don't even have the option of going to the games live *sigh* I was hoping that I'd be able to see a game (and drag Sara to her first AFL match) when I come home for my birthday next month. But nooooooooo. The Anzac Day long weekend means that instead of the games being spread across Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they're spread across Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And there's no way I'm going to the traditional Collingwood v Essendon game on Anzac Day. So many toothless bogans *shudder* ;) So it looks like I'm going to have to make the effort to get to Manuka Oval in May for the one and only game in Canberra this year - Bulldogs v Sydney. THAT'S bound to be thrilling... (That may have been mildly sarcastic)

Anyway, if you've never seen the joy that is Australian Rules Football, check this out:

And then immediately turn your back on whatever rubbish you call football forever ;)

K xx :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Photoshop is evil...

Okay, so I'm sure Photoshop is a wonderful program that allows you to make your good photos great. But having spent the entire day searching Flickr and the internet in general for sample photos of Melbourne, Hobart, and Portland to be used in a multimedia display in the entry area of the gallery, I've reached the conclusion that Photoshop is evil.

Or maybe it's just the Photoshop USERS that are evil... I'm sure the original images were wonderful. But I came across SO many images that had been forced through post-processing to within an inch of their sad little lives. Since this morning, I've seen photos that have been comprised of three shots overlapped to form one horrible mutant shot. I've seen photos where the sky appears to have featured one solitary cloud and the photographer has somehow copied and pasted that one cloud all the way across the sky. And then decided to make the sky a hideous shade of unnatural turquoise.

And I've seen photos where the sky has been badly Photoshopped in from another photo, and it's REALLY obvious around the edges. Especially if it features street lights... Some of them were so bad that they made me feel seasick.

So, to anyone out there using Photoshop - or any other photo editing program for that matter - remember this one simple rule: less is more. Less. Is. More... Please? I don't think my eyes can take it any more... *sigh*

K :) xx

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I love lists

As some of you may know, I'm a sucker for lists. I can't pack for a holiday without making a list of things I need to pack, things I need to buy and books I can't possible go without. I make a list of everything I'm going to cook for the week, and all the ingredients that go into those things, and then make my shopping list from THAT list. And my shopping list is broken into separate lists for fruit and veg, meat and dairy, cleaning products, and everything else. Lists make me happy.

I'm also a sucker for movies. My collection goes from All About Eve to X-Men Origins: Wolverine. (And I know this because I have a list of all my DVDs...) Speaking of movies, I saw Alice in Wonderland today. In 3D. Did anyone else think that EVERY tree in Underland looked like the Tree of the Dead from Sleepy Hollow?? And was anyone else expecting Professor Snape to be standing there whenever Absalon spoke??? Aaanyway, while the movie was good, the 3D element made my head hurt - mostly because the glasses at Dendy weigh about a metric ton...

But back to my point. On Friday afternoon, I discovered this:

Empire magazine put together a list of what they think are the top 500 movies of all time, which was voted on by critics, professionals, and readers. My first thought when I found it was "Ooooooh, a list of movies????? AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!" My second thought was "Hmm, I wonder how many I've seen??" Frankly, the list is a little surprising - especially the top 50. My biggest surprise was that Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull even made the list. Ack. That movie was TERRIBLE.

How many have you seen?

K :) xx

PS. For the record, I've seen 149...
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