Sunday, September 9, 2007

500mm lens

Some shots from the 500mm f8 (for ebay)

The Kookaburra was about 12 meters away, first image has no corrections at all, 2nd image is a 100% crop, 3rd is with some levels adjustments and unsharp mask at 100 with 1px. A good lens.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Finally Shot the owl :)

It's about time but I finally got a good shot of the owl, I didn't take my camera but after spotting it I walked back down the driveway with the 300mm lens and a head torch which worked well. Alittle bit of redeye but I think it's a good shot.

And a possum that ran away when I tried to move closer.

Really illustrates the difference between a camera phone and a real camera, 2mp vs 10mp and $400 vs $2000

Saturday, August 25, 2007

An Owl in Tazi

You know when you leave the house and think "nah - I won't bother with the camera, it's dark and i'm doing something mundane..."

And then on your way home... Tawny Frogmouth

All this while my K10D and 8 lenses sit less than 50 meters away but if I move much more it would fly away, and it did after I took these, these were taken with my K750i phone and are 100% crops. Another good reason why phones aren't substitutes for cameras - Even my LX2 - which would have easily fitted in the pocket of the gigantic winter coat I was wearing would have been prefect...

I was a pretty brave owl, I drove up right next to it and put the window down to get the last shot, which is with the LED torch on the phone (talk about noise after a levels adjustment).

I'm never leaving home without a camera again (decent one because phones don't count)

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Well after about 9 weeks overseas we're comming home, mainly having to do with me being pretty much constantly sick for 5 weeks, a test at a Hospital in Kunming then not being able to hold down much food in Tibet (not holding down water was the deciding factor yesterday morning). So after what turned into about a 12 hour trip from Lhasa, we're back in smelly smoggy Chengdu and should be home soon - from where we are planning a road trip either north or south (or maybe west) of Sydney - even east to New Zealand might not be out of the question (jetstar are you reading this???? time for another sale???).

Our time in Tibet was well worth it even though we didn't leave Lhasa and I was sick the whole time. the Potala Place is quite amazing - so is the stupid ticketing system where you line up at 6am so you can buy a ticket at noon for entry the next day... so we didn't get to go inside. The debating monks at the Sera(?) monastery was definately a highlight and we only caught the last 10min or so - I'd love to post some pictures but once again... no USB.

See you soon

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


We Arrived in Tibet today after sitting on the tarmac at Chengdu Airport (At least we were breathing Plane air and not Chengdu air - that has to be the smoggiest city I've ever been to - and I've been to LA... I don't know how the Pandas survie but they are quite cute - we missed out on patting on by a whisker (they dress you up in plastic anyway).

So what else do you do in a dirty smoggy city with no internet cafes - buy a DVD player of course (and maybe a spoon to dig the tar out of your lungs) - I'll post a picture if I can be bothered taking one - it's not that exciting - just looks like a CD player - we should have bought one ages ago when it was bucketing with rain in Kunming rather than try and watch movies in chinese on TV. I took a shot of the rain in Kunming, you could only see about a block or two - it was worse in Chengdu - but it wasn't raining.

Tibet so far is much better than anywhere else in China so far, although the poverty is probably slightly worse, the traffic, air and scenery is so far much better, we haven't ventured far yet but could be here until next friday - thats the only flight to Xi'an we could find online.

The Giant Buddha in Leshan

Pandas are very cute

Temple in Chengdu

Turtles in Chengdu

Street cleaner in the rain - Kunming

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Another rainy day in Kunming

I got 8 DVD's for $8 - not bad - might even get a DVD player ($30) and watch them, it's bucketing with rain and from our hotel room on the 14th floor you can only see about 4 blocks down the street (previously the entire city)...

Another thing i've realised is that I can't read anyones comments as they are all in chinese, so if anyone has left any - thanks and sorry I can't respond to them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hotel names

When we first arrived in Kunming we were going to stay at the "Jin Tai hotel", it sounded nice but no cab drivers seem to know where it is. Last night we booked into the "Hydro Majestic" - previously known as the "Jin Tai" (still on the stationary and lift), the "Ma Jia Shi" (internet)? or "King Town" like it says on the towels in the bathroom?

No wonder nobody knows where it is...

Sunday, July 15, 2007


After a 5 hour bus ride (with a stop at some toilets that can only be described as a "cultural experience") we have arrived in Dali - actually we've been here for a few days now without really doing a whole lot - I've eaten something abit wrong somewhere along the way (probably Lisa's cafe in Yangshuo if I was to narrow it down... don't ever eat there - even the Heineken Beer was off (to the point that the top had left rust around the rim of the bottle).

Dali its self is a bit of a contradiction, it's still got alittle of the "old town feel" but at the same time you have to venture out of the "old town" to find it. The old town has been mostly turned into shops and restaurants, and some really crap ones at that - especially the Tang Dynasty music cafe - hopefully the music is better than the food and service it's almost like everyone wants to come here but the people who are here, or at least work here, don't want to be here (or smoke too much local herb).

Our next stop is Chengdu where we'll see the Pandas and then fly to Tibet. But tomorrow we go to the markets in a town north of here and maybe a trip around the lake - although it's 10pm and we haven't booked it yet... might do that now.

Contradictions are everywhere

These nice minority group women seem to think I'll change my mind about buying their pot and ask every 5 minutes - must have had too much product...

one of the three Pagodas thats Dali is famous for

Don't know what it says but interesting anyway

Battered street sign near our hostel

A nice cloud shot

I think it's a huge bunch of carrots?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Kunming seems to have changed a fair bit in the last two years - although it was snowing last time we were here, the weather is a nice 24 degrees or so and apart from the fact that it just started bucketing with rain it's been a nice change from the heat of Hongkong and Yangshuo, the pancakes were still the same - it's good that the important things don't change...

A puppy guards two phones

Street scene in Kunming

Off to Dali tomorrow (hopefully - it's really pouring now)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

once again

Street food in Yangshuo

Nancy on our two seat bike in Yangshuo :)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

We went on a bamboo raft down a river today - Very nice scenery

One for Dad

Friday, July 6, 2007

Some Shots from Yangshuo

Yangshuo has been ok - after a good look around there really isn't anything left of what our (10year old) lonely planet book describes. Last night we went out on the river to see the comorant fishing - it started at 7... in theory, the boat eventually left the pier just after 8pm - so it was pitch black - never good for photography (meanwhile we missed a very nice sunset). This morning we got up at about 5:30 for a river cruise, unfortunately it was quite cloudy and the sun only popped through a few times, the area is beautiful but I'm yet to see anything that I would describe as legendary - the first shot below is the best landscape I've managed to shoot here (assuming they are all in order - I'm using this site in Chinese)

One of my favorite shots so far - Nancy and the comorants on the boat cruise this morning

Old guy with a water buffalo

An old guy with two birds

Comorant fisherman at night

me with one of the fishermans comorants

A back lane in Yangshuo

YumCha on the street at night

At night in Yangshuo

Nancy in Lantau during a brief pause in the rain

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


In an attempt to escape hongkong we are now in Yangshuo - north west of HongKong - it's still VERY hot (like the hottest day I can remember in Sydney and going into a sauna - a steamy one - it's a very sticky heat). Yangshuo is meant to be one of the most beautiful places in China, it's where those mountains that feature in so much of the artwork are - as well as the comerant fishermen - as it cools down abit this afternoon (wishful thinking...?) we'll head into the touristy part of town and see what it's really like. The bus we caught here let us off early and we're actually staying just out of town... I thought our hotel seemed suspiciously quiet.

And (finally) we've found a computer with a USB port - so here are some photos, mainly from macau.

This beer cost me 90cents - for 640ml thats not bad - Blue Ice seems to be the best beer in HongKong though - the shot of the cheap beer was taken with a camera and lens combination worth 2500 times as much - thats why i'm going to send some camera stuff home - it's making me nervous and drawing attention.

The giant bronze Buddha on Lantau

the view from our hotel in Macau (it's a harbour view room)

One of the new Casinos in Macau - still under constrcution the top is probably the tallest building in the city and looks like a flower (well it will whem they finish it)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Hong Kong

They seem to have this wonderful new virus prevention method here - it's called - don't let anybody use the USB ports... it's very annoying because I want to share photos with you but can not.

It's still bucketing with rain here in Hong Kong, we managed to miss the only Blue sky in days by sleeping in - it was worth it. We had Yum Cha at 3pm - only $22 and i'm still full.

The hotel we're staying in is nice but they seem to turn the aircon up and wear warm looking suits - so wearing shorts around inside is abit chilly - it must be about 17 degrees in here and about 35 outside.

We're off to Guilin tomorrow, probably for about a week or so then maybe up to Kunming or Chendu where it's meant to be alittle cooler - mind you last time we were there the "land of eternal spring" as they call it was -10 and snowing.

stay tunned - they can't hide their USB ports for ever...

Friday, June 29, 2007


My experience of Macau Has been saved by a single dumpling joint - we had a steemed carrot dumpling with shrimp - very nice, and orange - I'd love the post a picture of it but my 4gig card seems to have lost the image... and this place charges extra if you want to use a USB port. It's been raining for the last 3 days and I'm yet to eat any pork buns. Walking around the streets here is alot like parts of Ecuador - crazy trafic and about 20cm of footpath, dirty and almost everything has a security cage around it - which always makes me uneasy about carrying 5 grand worth of camera equipment around.

Off to Lantau tomorrow (hopefully) it's the 10th anniversary of the handover to China and while that means good photo opps - it also means accomodation could be an issue...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Hong Kong

NEVER eat the seafood dish on a plane... I should have known better.

The view of the city as you fly in at night is spectacular, Hong Kong is a beautiful City from the sky (so far it's proved sticky and very busy on the ground)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Last shots from Japan

We leave Japan tomorrow - the best thing about flying out of Tokyo is that I`ll no longer be in Tokyo - this place needs some serious concentration to get around and I find about 5 hours to be the most I can handle in one hit. We went camera shopping today and I found one of the lenses I was seeking, but at $1100 it`s abit much (tell him he`s dreaming).

Japan has been great and I don`t really feel like we missed out on much, I don`t know if i`d come back - alot of the places look the same and it`s not until you get up north abit that the people get genuinly friendly (the school girls dresses also get shorter the further north you go... interesting... maybe we shoud have gone to Saporro)

Here are the last photos from Japan - the Sushi place was the best we`ve eaten at so far and the best beer on Tap is Kirin Draft - it took abit of testing but I think it`s better than Saporro and Asahi. More from Hongkong soon

Some Photos at Last

But no time to type - others are waiting for the computer - enjoy ;)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Back in Sendai

Well there were lots of deer but not as many Monkeys as we`d hoped - I think they knew we were coming and went to the other side of the Island. We saw one group of them yesterday afternoon but I wanted to get some good shots while the sun was out... so this morning we hiked all the way up the mountain, across half the island and back down, 4 hours in total, and not a single monkey, just a snake some frogs and a few deer. Kinkasan is a nice place, not much there at all, a shrine, a montain, and a few tourist shops, two places to stay, we chose the cheaper one and were the only people staying there.

After dinner we got talking to the people who run the place, they gave us a Sake cup with the name of the Island in Kanji written in it. They had a friend over who seemed to find us amusing and he soon jumped on his bike and came back with a gift - a pair of deer antlers, we managed to decline those on the basis that customs would probably take them... we also can`t carry them around. We also ended up with a fan and the cover to a 2006 calender??? I had way too much sake...

We also had sea urchin for dinner - after a while Nancy started to notice that it`s spines were still moving - whats it called when you get even more put off AFTER you`ve tried something thats really gross? The area was once a major whaling town and the guy who ran the place is also a fisherman. They still hunt whale but are limited to 60 a year.

Back To Tokyo tomorrow and hopefully to an internet cafe that lets you use USB devices... I`ve already shot about 30gig worth of photos - thats about 2500 shots.

Friday, June 22, 2007


Well sorry for the delay, I managed to break the internet in Tokyo (all i did was unplug the printer...) we still haven`t found an internet machine with a USB port - most of them are coin operated things - I@m at the train station in Sendai at the moment and we`re heading to an Island named Kinkasan - lots of Monkey s and dear

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Takayama to TOKYO!!!

After a nice quiet day in Takayama we are now in Tokyo - which has quite possibly the most complicated train system i`ve encountered - they have english where they feel like it and there are about 3 different rail companys with their own multitude of lines - the lights are good but over all it`s not quite what I`d pictured... yet... so until I get a picture that says Tokyo, no photo for now - we did have some nice sushi :)

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Our last day in Hiroshima was a nice quite one after all the walking, we went to Miyajima to see the floating shrine gate, although it was low tide and they don`t seem to build things with photographers in mind - the sun is NEVER where it would look great. The Deer on the island are hilarious, as you get off the ferry they all attack you for food, one of them took a bite out of the pamphlet about not feeding the Deer. It was the first quiet place we`ve been so far in Japan, a pleasant change.

Yesterday`s trip to the A-Bomb dome and peace memorial museum was good - terrible event and the photos are very powerfull - the strongest part of the exhibit is the watch that has stopped at 8:15, on display by it`s self in a small cabinet, very moving. We passed a large group school children singing at the memorial to the girl who tried to fold 1000 paper crane in order to beat leukemia (she died after 6 hundred and something).

I also got a new lens - SMC M 200mm F4 - cost 9000yen - about $100 and it saw alot of use today :) - off to Hemiji castle tomorrow then to Takayama.