Sunday Exploring Seaworld

We recently bought an annual pass to Seaworld on the Gold Coast and today was the first chance we had to go enjoy our passes. While we checked out a number of the exhibits, the main attraction for the day was to watch the Dolphins put on their show.

It is always enjoyable to watch the dolphins having fun.

The dolphins were not alone in having fun.

JJ thought the show was wonderful, and was laughing n squealing along with the dolphins antics.

The look on this trainers face as he was riding the dolpins around the enclosure, you just know he has found his dream job.

Unfortunately all too soon the show was over.

But seeing as our passes will last for the next 13 months, I am certain that we will catch the show again once or twice. However before leaving JJ decieded that he better try on a hat to see how it suited him.

Hope you had an enjoyable weekend, until next time.

My Camera Bag

What is in my camera bag, I am glad that you asked.

Sony A65 Camera
Sony A65 Camera

The camera bag itself is a Tecno and is sold by Jessops in the U.K. (that is a story for another time).

My camera gear includes

  • Sony SLT-A65V Body
  • Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom lens
  • Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1/2 lens
  • Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens
  • Sony STP GB1AM Leather Grip Belt Hand Strap
  • 3 Legged Thing VYV Punks Tripod & Airhed 1
  • DSC-TX9 / T Series Camera
  • iPhone 6 (yes the best camera is always the one you have on you)
  • Spare batteries
  • Numerous memory cards
  • Camera kit for the iPad (allows me to transfer photo’s from memory cards)
  • iPad air, Macbook Pro (depending on when and where I am processing my photos)
Sony A65 Camera body
Sony A65 Camera body
Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom lens
Sony DT 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 zoom lens
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1/2 lens
Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di LD Macro 1/2 lens
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens
Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens
Sony STP GB1AM Leather Grip Belt Hand Strap
Sony STP GB1AM Leather Grip Belt Hand Strap
3 Legged Thing VYV Punks Tripod & Airhed 1
3 Legged Thing VYV Punks Tripod & Airhed 1
DSC-TX9 / T Series Camera
DSC-TX9 / T Series Camera
iPhone 6
iPhone 6
Camera Bag
Camera Bag

 

Macbook Pro
Macbook Pro

Behind the lens

As you would know I am an amateur photographer, and if you didn’t that fact you do now.

1_20140913_Gold_Coast_0103-web.jpeg
JJ Exploring

My earliest memory around photography was my youngest brothers first communion (at least that is what I think it was, it was a few years ago now and some of the details are a little hazy).  This was the days before point and shoot cameras, cameras in our phones, before digital cameras even.  Dad’s camera (and for the life of me I can not remember any of the details about the camera) was a film camera, I can remember having to manual focus before and wind on the film after each and every shot.

The photo’s from that day are in the album at Mum and Dad’s place, so I must not have done to bad a job.  That day started my passion for photography, there have been periods of my life when I haven’t picked up a camera for months, there was one period when I only took a handful of photo’s over the period of a couple of years.

Stream in Roma Street Parklands

The one constant in the my life is that the urge to get out there, peering at the world throught the lens, it always returns.  The other constant is that I am always looking to develop my skills a little further.  Whether it be using the camera to its full potential, how I frame a shot or post production in photoshop, I am always looking to improve my skills bit by bit over time.I have got to the point where I am comfortable with using the shutter speed and aperture on the camera to create the desired photo, whether it be freezing motion on a busy street or giving a stream that look of running water.  How good are the results, well lets say I am a strong believer in practicing and refining.

What gives me the most pleasure these days, is that I am no longer scared (worried my be a better description) of having the camera in appeture priority (or shutter priority) and being able to capture the scene as I envisage it.  There was a time when I would leave the camera in full auto for fear of not getting the shot. That is not to say that there are times when I elect to use the camera in full auto, especially when taking photo’s of children at play where the lighting is mixed, you quickly learn that having an automatic mode can be a lifesaver.

I still struggle to find the time to indulge in my passion, it is probably why I love going on walks with my family as I discussed here. It allows me to combine two of my favourite pastimes together.

Christmas Special
Sunshine Express Rail Tours – Christmas Special

I sat down this morning to write about what is in my photography bag, guess I while have to write a separate post about that.

Sunday Afternoon Ritual

Everyone has their own Sunday afternoon ritual, it could be an afternoon nap, watching the game on the tele, catching up with some friends at the pub, doing the housework, then list is endless.  For my family our Sunday afternoon ritual is to go for a walk.  I have always loved walking, it has been (and still is) my favourite form of exercise.

The family walks started before JJ was born, my wife found that it helped her relax during the pregnancy.  Particularly when we drove down to the Gold Coast so that we could stroll along the beach and breathe in the fresh sea air.  My wife loves the beach, but that is a story for another day.

After JJ was born we settled into a routine of going for a family walk on a Sunday afternoon.  One of the nice aspects of our Sunday afternoon walks is that we explore new places to walk.  Most Sundays we hop in the car after lunch and head out to somewhere nice or new for our walks. It has allowed us to explore different parts of Brisbane (with the occasional trip to the coast for the mandatory walk along the beach thrown in for good measure).

Along with the exercise and enjoying each others company the walks also allow me to indulge in my passion for photography.  Usually I will have my camera dangling from one hand (I prefer to use a hand strap when we are walking as opposed to having the camera dangling around my neck and bouncing off my chest each step).

Yesterday afternoon was our first Sunday afternoon walk in a while.  A combination of commitments over the Christmas/New Years period and the weather (it has been very hot and humid here over the past month) has kept us from our normal ritual.  Yesterday was no different, it was hot and humid, but instead of staying at home in air conditioned comfort we headed out to one of the larger shopping centres and walked there in air conditioned comfort instead.

JJ thought it was a wonderful idea and promptly went to sleep, he had the best part of a two hour nap as we strolled around the centre.  My wife though it was a wonderful idea, as she got to do some shopping while getting in the family walk. Me I was enjoying pushing JJ along and spending time with my family.

I can hear those little feet on the floor upstairs and it is time for me to go play daddy again.  Before I go, one final thought, it was good to get back into to the swing of our Sunday afternoon ritual, I hadn’t realised that I had missed it until yesterday afternoon.

What is your ritual, do you have one?

Blogging and Photography

Day 5 of the John Saddington’s 10 Days to a Better Blog. Todays task is for those who have an established blog.  As I have only been a “blogger” for a couple of weeks now, I have not quite reached the stage where I need to do some housekeeping (give me a couple of weeks and anything is possible).

Today, instead, I thought I would share some more of my other passions.  As you would be aware from my first post What have I done… I am an ametuer photographer.  Over the past year I have been developing my skills, I use a Sony 𝞪65, and I am becoming more comfortable with using the full functionality of the camera.  One of the most enjoyable resources I have found is the blog by Jeff Cable, if you love photography and don’t know Jeff’s work I highly reconmend checking him out.  Jeff also has a YouTube chanel which he has posted some very useful tutorials for those like me who are looking to improve.

I have digressed, one of my goals for this blog is to showcase some my photography.  Today I am going to start with some of my most recent work.

In September last year we spent a wonderful weekend at the Gold Coast, on one of our morning works JJ and I spent were exploring one of the local parks when I got this photo.

However JJ is never the best model and shortly later he was off exploring by himself.

My wife is from China and she had never seen the ocean, let alone a beach, before comming to Australia.  One of her (JJ and my) favourite pasttimes is to go for a stroll along the beach.

Last month we took JJ to Australia Zoo to see the animals.  However as children are want to do, when we gave him the opportunity to explore he found the grass more interesting than the animals.

I was amazed when putting this post together at just how much JJ has changed of the last three months.  He has gone from being our little baby to a handsome little man (well he is his mums little baby and I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon).

Outside of just about every photo I have taken of JJ, this photo of a giraffe at Australia Zoo would have to be my favourite shot of 2014.  For me it shows me how far I have come as a photographer from the days of just pointing a camera and shooting.  Plus Giraffes are cool like bow ties and fezzes.