my (amateur) photography adventure


60mm macro

Hair & Makeup

Something rather different for me:  I helped my niece, who is a makeup artist developing her business, (and her friend who’s a hairdresser) with a hair and makeup shoot today.

This was the first time I’ve shot this sort of thing, so I was relieved and happy when it turned out well.

Shot with my Canon EF-S 60mm Macro lens, which doubles as a fine portrait lens too :).


Nerima Gardens

More photos from yesterday’s wet weather trip to Nerima Gardens.

See yesterday’s pictures here: Teeny Tiny Wet Worlds

Teeny Tiny Wet Worlds

When you get up close to these fungi, they seem to exist in tiny little worlds of their own.

[click any picture for full size]

It has been a very wet summer in Queensland and it is not showing any signs of abating yet.  We are averaging 250mm per month at present – almost 1/4 of normal annual rainfall.  These fungi, at Nerima Gardens, seem to be enjoying the weather.

For previous posts on these Japanese Gardens, look here —> Nerima Gardens

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock (Mt Diogenes) is a weird volcanic rock formation in country Victoria – near the town of Woodend.

We visited quickly on a rainy afternoon in winter – enjoy the pictures:

[click any picture for full size]

Wilsons Colour Chart

A sample of some of the colours of Wilsons Promontory National Park, in winter:

Most of these are taken around Tidal River, Norman Beach, Squeaky Beach and Pillar Point.

Garden of St Erth

The Garden of St Erth is a historic garden at Blackwood, Victoria maintained by The Diggers Club.

We visited on a wet winter day as part of our holiday through country Victoria.  Not much was in flower, due to the time of year, but there were plenty of subjects for my macro lens to target.

Garden of St Erth 6 x 8

Bees on a mission

I love the street trees of south east Queensland and have posted about lillypillies, frangipani, jacaranda, poinciana and ivory curl trees previously here:

The mock orange (Murraya paniculata) in my street is in full blossom at the moment, after the recent heavy rains, and the bees love it!

Here are some quick macro shots from my front yard:

Murraya paniculata

not a bee
not a beeMurraya paniculata

This the first time that I’ve used my new flash + diffuser for macro shots – pretty happy with how it turned out!

Kyneton Daffodils

While travelling in Victoria we stayed at a lovely farmstay, Laurimar Glen, in Kyneton.  The girls had a fantastic time even though it was coooold and wet.  The hosts were very welcoming, especially Farmer Eric who was very patient giving a farm tour and letting the girls ‘help’ to feed the llama, deer, pigs and donkeys.

Farmer Eric also grows beautiful daffodils and jonquils and supplies wheelbarrows full of daffodils for the annual Kyneton Daffodil Festival.  I had a chance to take some photos in his beautiful garden.

Macedon Ranges

Photos from the beautiful Macedon Ranges area, taken on our Victorian trip.

[click any photo for full size]

Macro (NZ South)

Te Anau up close

Begonia and orchid, The Buderim Studio

Apologies for my lack of posts – 30 June is the end-of-financial-year in Australia and work has been obscenely busy.

Here are some simple pics from the “Buderim Studio” – first time I have had a chance to shoot for a while.

[click any picture for fullsize]

More from the “Buderim Studio” (i.e. my parents’ subtropical garden) here:

Lake Wilkie walk (NZ South – The Catlins – Part 3)

Another beautiful day in the Catlins: these photos are all taken with my 60mm macro lens on the Lake Wilkie walk.

[click any photo for fullsize slideshow]

My other posts about the Catlins are here:

Other posts from our fantastic NZ South holiday are here:

Drops on a leaf (2)

All the way back to the same leaf:

Drops on a leaf

2 metres from my back door :)

Family Photo History, Part 2

above:  Kodak 127 contact print from Uncle John’s first camera – Aunty Dais,  Dad’s mum, Mrs Hatherall and Mrs McKeown, 1954

Following on from my previous post Family Photo History (part 1) – here are some more moments of family history:

Dad's maternal grandfather, Harry Carstens
Uncle Alf and Sandy
Dad, approximately 1953
Ecce Homo Arch Postcard


I finally bought a tripod.  I’ve been ‘making do’ with a Joby Gorillapod for almost a year – it’s pretty great but you can only do so much with a 30cm tall tripod.

So, my “industrial strength” Induro AT413 tripod arrived in the mail today.  It’s a heavy beast but I wanted something really simple, tough and stable.  It weighs nearly 4kg but I have small kids so I’m used to carrying stuff around everywhere :).

Naturally I had to give it a go:

I turned off all the lights and set up a couple of candles for lighting.  You can get some fascinating effects with flickering light and long exposure.  Here’s the result:

Gerberas - ISO100, 60mm, f/5.6, 30s with color temp SOOC.

That’s interesting but the red / orange glow wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Fortunately I use Lightroom 4 for developing my pics and when shooting in RAW, this is an easy color temperature adjustment.

Here is exactly the same picture – the only change here is a slide of the color temperature down by 1200 Kelvin (i.e. shifting color from red towards blue):

Gerberas - ISO100, 60mm, f/5.6, 30s with color temp fix.

That pink is pretty close to the original gerbera colour.  Lightroom is cheap to buy, simple to use, powerful and pretty amazing.

Oh, the tripod was (naturally) solid as a rock :).  I look forward to using it in much more challenging circumstances, soon!

The Buderim Studio, part 2

Grevillea ‘Lyrebird’ above

More photos from my parents’ tropical garden at Buderim.

Ginger flower
Clivea flowers in the afternoon sun

For more pics from the “Buderim studio” look here:  Buderim pictures

NZ South – Dunedin Chinese Garden

an unexpected pleasure in the middle of Dunedin.

tortured pine
looking across the Dunedin Chinese Garden, back to the First Church of Otago on the skyline
Dunedin Chinese Garden details

More NZ South photos here: NZ South

The Buderim Studio

Above: The freakish looking “bat plant”

My parents have an extensive tropical garden on a steeply sloping block, at their house at Buderim.  It is their recreation (seems like a lot of hard work to me!) and their pride and joy.  It really is of show /”open garden” quality, though they don’t open it for show (except for a few flower entries in the local garden club show).

When I first bought my DSLR I spent a weekend learning to use it in their garden and I have shot there regularly since.  Here are a few pictures from the Easter weekend:


Gum tree leaves in silhouette, at dusk

Family Photo History

“See the Dahlias: Jane Cowl (Apricot Yellow)” – my paternal grandmother Beryl, early 1950’s (dec’d 1954), Stephen St Toowoomba.

Spent some time this evening going through old family photos with my aunt and uncle.  Apparently photography runs in the family :).

Cheese sent from Pittsworth to British Empire Exhibition

Some were labelled, most weren’t.  Each one still tells a story though, so I’ll let them speak for themselves.

possibly Dad in 1945, in the back yard at Stephen St Toowoomba

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