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Melbourne’s graffiti art with the Olympus mZD 75mm lens

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

After checking out the Zombie Walk, I decided to head home the long way and shoot some graffiti in more remote back alleys and in in some of my visual interpretations.

I decided to shoot with Micro Four Thirds and just my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens and no additional lighting this time.

Melbourne

The first two are obviously not graffiti, but I am throwing them in the mix for fun.

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne

There is a bit of talent there!

Melbourne’s Peninsula Hot Springs outdoor thermal baths on one of the coldest days of the year

Friday, August 9th, 2013

I have lived in Melbourne, Australia all of my life, and until today I had never had the pleasure of making a trip down to the Peninsula Hot Springs geothermal baths on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula.

These baths have become extremely popular, perhaps too popular that many complain it is overcrowded, thus I decided to make a trip down there and book for the outdoor section on a Friday afternoon – hopefully to avoid the crowds, and particularly, families with their loud children.

The thermal baths insist that one must book ahead to avoid being turned away due to excess numbers attending, so this is what we did via their website, and decided to go for the outdoor “Bath House” section rather than the more expensive indoor and outdoor “Spa Dreaming Centre” which includes the usual Day Spa “treatments” such as massage, etc.

As we drove the 1.5hrs down there in driving rain, howling cold wind with outdoor temperatures at 9degC with a wind chill factor giving an actual skin temperature of around minus 1.5deg C (see here) – and that is assuming your skin is not wet as it would be walking from one bath to another, I must admit I was having second thoughts.

These were reinforced when we stopped near the beach to find a cafe for lunch and we hurried into the nearest cafe to get out of the rain and wind – to find a nice log fire burning – but we had came this far, so we decided to go ahead with our plans.

On arrival at the baths, the car park was full and the clients could be seen hurriedly walking with the rain coats and hoods to get inside – we must be crazy!

 The best decision was to hire a locker for our clothes and a bath robe to help us survive the walk between baths with wet skin – even though the robes would rapidly become wet in the rain as the areas supplied next to each bath to hang your robe was not sheltered from the rain coming in at an angle with the wind.

But still, the wet robes made the afternoon  pleasurable and made the break from the 36-42deg C baths into the icy wind tolerable, although the feet without sandals did get a bit cool – but this was easily addressed by quickly getting to the next bath.

A must do bath is the hilltop bath which is perched at the top of a hill with 360deg panoramic views – although not much worth seeing on such a day in the rain – and mercifully, there was just enough shelter from the wind that it was enjoyable.

Of the dozen or so baths in the outdoor “bath house” area, my favorite bath though was the “silent bath” just near the hilltop bath, as this was one bath where the many ladies attending had to stop talking and one could just relax and go into a zen mode.

There were plenty of taps for drinking water – an essential when one is spending 1-2 hours in such warm baths.

My tips for those planning on going:

  • go in cool or cold weather even in the rain or wind – you will still enjoy it and I am guessing it would be more tolerable than a hot summer day
  • go when it is not too busy – avoid weekends, school holidays and Friday evenings
  • book in advance and assume you will not be able to “upgrade” to another treatment area when you get there
  • avoid heavy meals or alcohol prior and drink lots of water while you are there
  • hire a bath robe if it is going to be windy in particular
  • if you don’t like cold feet, where thongs or sandals in cold weather
  • you do need to wear swimming bathers  in the open “public” bath house area but be aware prolonged exposure to these waters may stain or degrade them
  • it is a mobile phone free and camera free zone – please respect the privacy of others and their desire to relax without excessive noise
  • consider bring a plastic water bottle – you won’t need to bring food, and there is a kiosk if you do get hungry
  • ensure you can have a shower afterwards and apply a moisturiser as it does dry out your skin – not so good for those with atopic eczema I am guessing!

Sorry, no photos for this post, you will have to check out their website

 

 

Melbourne’s annual Open House weekend – Victoria’s State Library

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

I went into the city to photograph Melbourne’s very popular annual weekend – Open House Melbourne – where major buildings in Melbourne are open to the public and their cameras – a great time for photographers to find new material – if they can put up with the queues.

Unfortunately, this year I ran out of time to view the buildings apart from the wonderful State Library, so here are a few of the library which is well worth a visit.

These are all taken with the Micro Four Thirds kit using the wonderful Olympus E-M5 camera.

The library’s dome taken with the lovely inexpensive Samyang 7.5mm fisheye lens (click on image to view larger size):

the dome

The following were taken using the highly praised Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens hand held:

2nd edition of Machiavelli’s The Prince:
Machiavelli's The Prince

the library ceiling

Melbourne street protesters marching against PM Rudd’s new asylum seeker policy

Monday, July 29th, 2013

The recently re-instated Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd has introduced a new policy on the off-shore processing of asylum seekers coming to Australia in the run up to what appears to be a hotly contest election in the next month or two.

This policy is seen as inhumane and unjust by many, particularly, Rudd’s Labor Party core voters – those with a socialist philosophy, including unionists and the Greens – so it was interesting to see their strong feelings on this very complex matter as they staged a protest march through the streets of Melbourne this weekend, although I was in the city to photograph Melbourne’s very popular annual weekend – Open House Melbourne – where major buildings in Melbourne are open to the public and their cameras – a great time for photographers to find new material – if they can put up with the queues.

Unfortunately, this year I ran out of time to view the buildings apart from the wonderful State Library, so here are a few of the protest march which started outside the library, these are all taken with the Micro Four Thirds kit – the wonderful Olympus E-M5 camera and Olympus mZD 75mm f/1.8 lens:

 

protest marchers

protest marchers

protest marchers

protest marchers

Handheld night street photography with Olympus E-M5 and Panasonic 20mm pancake lens – Melbourne’s “White Night” event

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

On a warm balmy summer night, Melbourne hosted its 2nd “White Night” event of all night long cultural activities which attracted unprecedented crowds surpassing even New Year’s Eve crowds.

In such crowds a tripod is just asking for trouble, and a kit zoom lens is not going to suffice.

Many of the attractions were projected images on Melbourne’s buildings and what better way to capture these in dense crowds than to use the Olympus E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera hand held with a tiny Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 pancake lens which of course is effectively image stabilised thanks to the E-M5 making it an awesome compact night street photography combination.

These were all taken at ISO 800, mostly at shutter speeds 1/10th-1/50th sec and at f/1.7 (except the last one which was f/2.8).

The night begins:

the night begins

Birrarung Marr art installation:
Birrarung Marr art installation

The band plays under Flinders St railway station clocks:

the band plays under Flinders St railway station clocks

Projected buildings:
projected buildings

projected buildings

projected buildings

Projected love messages on the Yarra River:
projected love messages on the Yarra River

A very quick night street shot as I walked across the road and an ambulance started bearing down on me

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Just to show how responsive and fantastic this Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera is with the Olympus m.ZD 12mm f/2.0 lens on, here is a shot as I was crossing a busy Melbourne intersection with camera in hand.

I had a split second to compose, AF, get the shot and get out of the way as the ambulance with lights and sirens on started to head my way.

The ONLY processing this image has had is in Lightroom 4.1 on the RAW file which was rotated a touch, cropped and then exported as web size with compression and default Lightroom sharpneing for the web.

It was taken at ISO 320, 1/60th second at f/2.0 with autoWB, noise level at low, Picture Style = Natural with default settings.

Obviously no tripod, but I was walking and had an umbrella in my left hand so I was not holding it carefully – indeed not carefully enough that I had to rotate the image!

But still it is very sharp indeed given the situation!

Click on it for larger view.
Melbourne at night on the move

Sunbury BackRoad music festival this weekend

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

If you are in Melbourne, Australia this weekend, then head on up to the annual Sunbury BackRoad music festival this Saturday, 26th march 2011.

It promises to be a very pleasant afternoon indeed with Australian 70′s rock bands playing from about midday to sunset in a farm setting with Mt Macedon as a backdrop.

I attended last year and used it as a photographic opportunity – my photos taken with a Panasonic GH-1 can be seen here:

http://www.ayton.id.au/gary/JAlbumAll/photojournalism/2010_SunburyMusicFest/index.htm

Bring your picnic chairs and indulge in local wines, and food, and just sit back and relax.

Forecast is for a lovely dry afternoon with a very pleasant max. of 20deg C – you may need a jumper to keep you warm as the day progresses unless you plan on getting up and dancing.

Details are on their website – see you there.

2010

Panasonic GH-1 with Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L lens.

Post-script:

See some of my photos taken at this year’s 2011 music festival here.

Tourism Victoria is offering a chance to win a free photographic holiday to the Grampians – entries close 1st March 2011

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

If you are interested in putting your name down in a free lottery draw, you and your partner may win a holiday to Victoria’s magnificent Grampians region including a full day landscape/nature photography lessons and tour with Nikon ambassador, Mark Watson, which includes free loan of Nikon equipment.

The 5 day holiday prize organised by Tourism Victoria includes flights, accommodation, meal and other benefits up to a value of $A9,997.

Details and entry form can be found here.

Today, after 123 consecutive days, the temperature in Melbourne failed to reach 20deg C – a new record

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

The previous longest running consecutive days of maximum temperatures above 20deg C in Melbourne was 78 days – easily beaten by this 123 day run of warm days!

If you like Rock n Roll, don’t forget the Sunbury BackRoad Music Festival Sat April 10th 2010

Monday, April 5th, 2010

see here for more information – should be a great day – 12 hrs of live bands and hopefully beautiful Autumn weather.

I will be heading up there to enjoy the day and get a few pics in, hope to see you there.