Category Archives: Other States

Sunset on the Swan

Sunset, Swan River, Perth, Western Australia

Just a single photo for a change, a sunset on the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia. Taken earlier in the summer while catching up one evening with my niece and her fiance who live in one of Perth’s inner suburbs. I head over to Western Australia again in early March for another holiday so I’ll categorise this post as an exercise in re-acclimatisation!

Where was I?

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Related Posts

From an earlier trip to Western Australia…

The sun sets in the West

And some more Photo Morsel sunsets…

Sunset Posts

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Gold Coast at Dusk (or how to turn tall buildings into interesting photos)

Brrrr, it’s cold down here in southern Australia this week. So I continue to at least think warm by posting some more images from Queensland.

In the two previous posts, I’ve shared some images from a recent short holiday visiting a friend on Queensland’s Gold Coast. See Gold Coast Dawn and Headin’ for the Hills

For this post I jump back to a prior visit from July last year.

I rather like cityscape/architectural images taken at the end of the day when the evening light lifts an image out of the ordinary. Here’s a few images taken in pursuit of that style featuring Surfers Paradise’s highrise apartment towers.


Surfers Paradise at Dusk, Gold Coast
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Headin’ for the Hills (this time behind the Gold Coast)

A few weeks back I granted myself an extra long weekend, taking a few days annual leave to fly to Queensland’s Gold Coast to visit a friend. On the Sunday morning, we walked down to the beach to catch the day’s sunrise (see Gold Coast Dawn).

The following day was a work day for my friend, and he kindly lent me his car so I could head up into the hills behind the Gold Coast and spend the day exploring beautiful Springbrook National Park. The park is in the Great Dividing Range that extends along the entire east coast of Australia from tropical Cape York down to the Victorian snow country, and is classified as part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.

Springbrook Canyon

Let’s start with something of a positioning shot atop the Springbrook plateau looking down the canyon. Broadwater and the Surfers Paradise highrises are visible in the distance.

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Gold Coast Dawn

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland

Dragon on the horizon

The week before last I granted myself an extra long weekend, taking a few days annual leave to fly to Queensland’s Gold Coast to visit a friend.

My friend Karim lives right in the heart of the Gold Coast at Surfers Paradise and his home is only a few minutes walk from the shopping/bars/restaurant area and then onto the beach itself. On the Sunday morning, Karim, his boarder Sayuri and I walked down to the beach to catch the day’s sunrise. And a glorious sunrise and morning it was, as this sequence of photos taken over 30 minutes or so illustrates.
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An Evening in the Rocks

Intro Note: Well, this must be my slowest post from initial creation to actually getting it finished for publishing. I started in early April and then life sort of got in the way. It’s now mid-June as I finish it off. The opening sentence below seems a bit dated now!
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After travelling to Sydney in early February with my new to me 10-17mm fisheye zoom (see Fun with a Fisheye), I was back in Sydney a few weeks later for four days of business related meetings and conferences. One evening I loaded up the camera gear and set off for a walk past Circular Quay, under the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and then back down the other of the Harbour Bridge expressway to my target destination for the evening, Observatory Hill.

The area I walked through is known as The Rocks and is a significant heritage area with most of the properties there dating from the mid to late 19th century. After a short walk from my hotel, I arrived at Circular Quay. This is a very well known spot on the edge of Sydney Harbour where all of the Sydney ferries arrive and depart from the central business district. The Sydney Opera House is on one side and the Overseas Passenger Terminal on the other.

February/March is peak season for cruise liners to be visiting Sydney and I’m up in Sydney for the same week at the beginning of March each year. Typically one of the Cunard ‘Queens’ calls into Sydney during that week. This year it was the Queen Victoria. Previously I’ve seen the Queen Mary II and the now retired Queen Elizabeth II. As yet, I don’t think I’ve yet laid eyes on the new Queen Elizabeth. What I like about the Queens is that they more or less preserve the classic lines of the trans-Atlantic liners. They might just be ships, but the lines are graceful and sweeping. The design language is cohesive and everything is in proportion. Whereas the look of some of the modern cruise ships just leaves me cold. Ugly and sometimes kitsch are two descriptors that spring to mind. So, I’ll start this post with a few Queen Victoria shots, but I promise this is not a ship only post and I will be moving onto other subjects.

Queen Victoria, Circular Quay, Sydney

Queen Victoria under a dull and somewhat threatening grey sky.  On this evening the rain held off.  By way of contrast, two years earlier I photographed the Queen Mary II on her March visit, also in the early evening.  Just after finishing those shots, it started to rain. And rain, and rain. It stopped the next day at noon after 4½ inches had fallen.


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Fun with a fisheye

I had a mild attack of lens buying addiction a few weeks back, succumbing to a couple of temptations listed on Ebay. One of these was a Pentax DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 fisheye zoom.

I wouldn’t normally spend a lot of time introducing a lens, but I will on this occasion as the DA 10-17 is quite unique. At the 10mm end of its zoom range, the lens is quite ‘fishy’ in character with a 180º field of view across the diagonal of the frame. But at the 17mm end, it is much more rectilinear (‘normal’) in character, and what distortion there is can be substantially reduced using computer software should you wish to do so. This makes the lens quite a bit of fun as the act of zooming in or out also dials up or down the degree of fishy-ness. With fisheye lens, placement of subject matter can also impact upon the apparent fishy-ness of an image, so between zooming and subject placement quite a range of creative outcomes can be generated from a single scene.

Other nice things about the DA 10-17:

  • it’s light and compact, about the same size and weight as a 18-55 kit zoom;
  • fabulously rich colours without being overly contrasty;
  • while ultra-wide lenses tend not to be particularly sharp due to inherent optical compromises required by their design, the DA 10-17 is pretty good in the centre and by F8 not too shabby in the corners;
  • it focuses amazingly closely, like to within an inch or so of the rather large and protruding front element. It allows a surprisingly amount of selective focus from an ultra-wide lens.

On the negative side of the ledger, the DA 10-17 can be prone to purple fringing on high contrast edges, but my experience to date is that this readily cleans up in Lightroom or similar software in most cases.

The lens arrived in the post just a day before I was off to Sydney for a weekend away, so my first use of the lens is also something of a documentary of my Saturday in Sydney.

So here we go…

On most of the rare occasions I get up early to photograph sunrises, Murphy’s Law kicks in and the dawn fails to produce the goods – no cloud, too much cloud, whatever. So my general modus operandi is that I only get up early to catch planes. But occasionally I’ve been lucky, and on the Saturday morning, the act of being up early to catch the first flight to Sydney coincided with a really good dawn, just by dumb luck.

Dawn at Adelaide Airport

17mm, F5, distortion corrected in Adobe Lightroom. Some cropping and mucking about to remove a few annoying window reflections. Use of distortion correction software will stretch the outer portions of an image (as also does optical correction within a lens). You can see that demonstrated with the somewhat elongated fuselage of the second 737-800 to the right. First shot of the day and one of my favorites from recent shooting.

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And the answer to “What the heck is this?”

Late last month I posted some images of a rather unusual sea creature and invited Photo Morsels readers to submit their suggestions as to what it may have been.

I did indicate that I would post the answer about a week after the “What the heck is this?” post was published, but stuff happens, and nearly a month has gone past.

A quick reminder first as to what this creature looks like. And to provide you with an appropriate sense of scale, this fellow is 5 metres long and weights around 700 kg.

What's This 002

And another view from head-on.

What's This 001

Ok, so what is it? Continue reading