Friday, October 23, 2009

Planning the medical side of travel

I've already written about the list of camera gear I'll be taking on this trip, but there's more to be organised than just the gear and the flights/accommodation. For many people there are medical issues to be tackled as well.


"Swine" Flu

I've managed to survive through the Australian winter without contracting the H1N1 flu (some of my friends have had it however). But with this trip to the European winter, I'll be in contact with hundreds of people and if swine flu does flare up over the coming six months, Europe would be my guess for a likely location.

In October 2009 Australian Government started providing the Panvax H1N1 vaccine at no cost. All I had to do was ring up my doctor and arrange an appointment (which was free!) for the jab (which was also free). I've also had the seasonal vaccine for the common "normal" flu varieties in Australia (I had last year's version before going to Antarctica). There may be some flu strains I'm not vaccinated against, but I'm about as protected as I can reasonably be.


Other vaccines

I'm not expecting to be exposed to any other nasty diseases on this particular trip, but from previous trips I've got current vaccinations for almost everything under the sun.

The main drag through town
Muang Beng, Udomxai, Laos
40D, 17-40mm (A2_003962)

Diabetes

I'm insulin-dependent. We used to call people like me "diabetics" but these days it's not PC to use labels and I'm now "a person with diabetes". This isn't something I've talked about much on my photography websites in the past, as it simply isn't important most of the time. It doesn't define who I am, it's just part of who I am. I've been living with this condition since 1982, and am used to the routine of finger-prick blood tests, four-times-daily injections, watching what I eat, etc. Backing up all this are regular consultations with a bunch of medical specialists of course!

As an insulin-dependent person I have a few extra things to deal with than many people when considering travel plans. But I've been having insulin injections since 1982, and have never really let it stop me doing outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, skiing, 4WD'ing across the Simpson Desert, climbing Mt. Kinabalu and camping in the jungle in Borneo, bicycling around northern Laos, travelling to East Africa, Thailand, Singapore, Argentina/Chile, or even Antarctica (and now the polar winter). I don't take irresponsible risks, but neither do I let it control my life. The move from syringes to insulin "pens" years ago certainly made the routine of injections simpler and much more convenient (and the gear easier to travel with) and now injections are quick, easy, and subtle (sometimes even in semi-public areas). Even doing it in the back of a truck bouncing along a highway in Borneo is a bit more awkward, but no real problem. In early 2010 I plan to move to a "pump" delivery system and keep the pens as backups for emergencies, but for now it's all pens.

Village dinner
Sabah, Malaysian Borneo
D30, 17-35mm (N1_86C)
Just as exposing an image depends on the tuple of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, with diabetes maintaining your BSL (blood sugar level) depends on the tuple of food, insulin, and exercise. Change any one and you need to balance the others. In the dynamic world of travel where schedules can be a bit vague, I do need to insist on fairly regular meals. Luckily I usually don't need to ask for special food as I manage to eat appropriate amounts of normal food (although some regional delicacies are too sweet and I end up not eating all of them, and sometimes have to ask for extra bread or rice to build up the carbohydrates in the meal to balance my exercise).

It is important for at least some of my travelling companions to be aware of my condition. They can help me keep an eye on things, and in the event of an emergency they can at least make sure that reasonable things are being done.
I think the sickest I've been while travelling was in Borneo in 2001: I got a stomach bug from some contaminated water after a hike, and was lying in bed retching into a bin for hours. With the recent extreme exercise we knew my blood sugar was going to be low, and the inability to hold any food down was a big concern. My wife ended up nursing me for the evening, feeding me jelly beans to suck on (the sugar can be absorbed in the mouth without having to swallow them). We also adjusted the insulin dose of course, and did frequent BSL tests. I did recover overnight and we were able to continue with our trip the next day but that evening while I was busy throwing up, most of our party were heading out to dinner and saying to my wife "Come with us. He'll be fine!" I can imagine Jane fixing them with a steely gaze and saying something like "He's got diabetes. He might die if I did that." At which point they sobered up (they did go out, but they checked how we were getting on as soon as they got back).
That was an extreme case of travel sickness, just complicated by the diabetes. But we managed and survived.


Travelling with medical supplies

A major hassle when travelling is that I need to carry enough medicines and equipment to last the trip (typically duplicated for safety) and I need to ensure the insulin doesn't get frozen or overheated during the entire trip (if it does I have to throw it out). For hot climates I have a Freo water-powered cooler. Most of the time (especially for short trips) it's sufficient to just keep the insulin well-insulated and in the centre of baggage.

If my medicine got lost or damaged when in a remote location I could die before I got help, so I was taught a long time ago to take spares of everything, pack them in more than one bag, etc. Maybe it's this that has taught me to have good backups for my camera/computer gear also!

With this trip I'll be away from home for almost 50 days, which with 4 injections per day (and with spares/duplicates) means I have to pack a large volume of needles, swabs, insulin vials, injection pens, lancets, blood test meter, test strips, etc as well as snacks and juices. And my camera gear, and my clothes, etc. Travelling internationally with this stuff has never been a problem for me: Customs officials typically don't bat an eyelid, but it's important to carry prescriptions and a letter from your doctor to help you when they do start asking questions!


Travel/medical insurance

Having diabetes does complicate the issue of getting medical insurance to cover my trips, with insurers asking lots of extra questions and wanting higher premiums, but as a member of Diabetes Australia I get easy access to some insurers who make the process fairly straightforward. Even the extra insurance required for trips to Antarctica (due to things like the huge costs of evacuation) isn't hard.

Cruising the Mekong
Udomxai, Laos
40D, 24-105mm (A2_004124)

Hopefully I've crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's, and the medical side of this trip goes as smoothly as in normal life!
Continue reading "Planning the medical side of travel"...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Equipment for the Norway trip

A significant trip like this (I'll be away from home for over a month and a half, and it's to exotic locations) deserves careful selection of equipment. I need to ensure that I've got the right equipment, and that it travels safely with me for the entire journey. Luckily I've been doing things like this for a while, and the work involved for this trip was just to review and refine the existing plan. In this post I'll talk about the equipment I'll be using: I'll talk about the travel issues in a later post.

David on Easter Island
Lumix LX-1 (A2_018493)
Actually when I describe Norway as an "exotic location", I'm sure it's not as exotic for Norwegians as it is for the rest of us! But in the context of this article, it's definitely exotic ("a far away place").

Now before I go on, I'll admit that this is going to be a big list! But it is a big trip. I need to make sure I've got the gear I need with me, and not sitting on a shelf on the other side of the globe (well, to be accurate the antipodal point from my home is in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, but you get the idea). All this gear (along with clothes and other essential supplies) fits into my luggage, but I'm going to skip the packing issues for this post.


DSLRs

On significant trips I usually work primarily with two SLR cameras. This gives me flexibility to mount different lenses and switch between them without having to change lenses in the field. It also provides a backup in case one of the bodies fails. In Antarctica I used the EOS 5DmkII and 40D bodies. The 40D gave me extra telephoto reach and a higher frame rate, while the 5DmkII gave me great high-ISO performance and huge images. I never really felt handicapped in my choice of camera for any shot based on the number of pixels though: the 21 Mpixels of the 5DmkII are great, but I've been able to get enough out of the 40D files (10 Mpixels) that it hasn't mattered much.

Having said that though, on this trip I'll be using the EOS 5DmkII and EOS 7D bodies. The 7D's new AF system and frame rate are great for wildlife, although I don't expect to be doing a lot of that work on the Norwegian legs of this trip (possibly some in the UK, and definitely more when I get back to Australia). With 18 Mp, the 7D has narrowed the gap to the 5DmkII's 21 Mp files, but in the Arctic twilight I expect the 5DmkII to remain king of the low-light photography work. One other advantage of the 7D is that it uses the same battery as the 5DmkII. That means fewer batteries and chargers cluttering up my luggage! The 7D's video abilities also mean that I won't have to think too much about which camera is in my hand when a video opportunity presents itself. Video is something I will be doing more of on this trip than before.

The 5DmkII has a Really Right Stuff L-bracket on it for tripod mounting. The L-bracket for the new 7D might not yet be available when I leave, so it will probably instead still have the generic Wimberley P-5 plate on its base.

Ahu Nau Nau
Anakena, Easter Island
5DmkII, 24-105mm (A2_018864)

Lenses

I'll be packing my standard zoom kit: the Canon EF 17-40mm/4 L USM, EF 24-105mm/4 L IS USM, and the EF 100-400mm/4.5-5.6 L IS USM. Usually these lenses suffice for 99% of my work, but in the long twilight (and in search of good pictures of the Aurora Borealis from a floating platform) I think I'll also benefit from some faster lenses.

I usually throw an EF 50mm/1.8 into the bag as a light and useful low-light lens, but this time I'm also taking the EF 85mm/1.8 USM and EF 24mm/1.4L USM lenses. Of course I'm taking the hoods for all the above lenses.

We'll see which lenses get the most use, but at least I feel prepared for all eventualities! I'm also planning to take a Nikon 50mm/1.8 AFD lens (the only Nikon lens I own) to help demonstrate to workshop participants the advantages of fast glass.


Other cameras

As well as the DSLRs (or rather, sometimes instead of) I usually work with a compact camera (see my notes on the Canon G9). It won't get me the same image quality as the bigger cameras, but if it shoots RAW I know I can still get useful images from it, and as Chase Jarvis says: "The best camera is the one you've got with you."

At this point though it's unclear exactly which camera will be in my pocket when I leave: the G9 or something else. Also I'm not expecting an IR-sensitive camera to be useful on this trip, although I'm still debating that issue with myself.

Jane underground
Ana Te Pahu, Easter Island
5DmkII, 24-105mm (A2_021427)

Tripod

In January I took my big Gitzo GT3541XLS tripod, and while it got lots of use in Argentina and Easter Island, and I took it ashore every time in Antarctica, when I get back to Antarctica I expect I will just take something like my small Feisol CT-3402 carbon fibre tripod with a Giottos MH1302-622 ballhead. It's easier to pack for travel, can be dropped inside a waterproof dufflebag (commonly used to transport gear in Zodiac boats), and all-round seems a reasonable compromise.

However on this trip I think I've decided to take the big tripod again. The leg locks are much simpler to operate with gloves on, and in the polar winter I expect to use the tripod a lot more than I did in the polar summer. The tripod is topped off with a Manfrotto 438 levelling head and a Really Right Stuff BH55 LR ballhead. I will also be taking an RRS MPR-CL plate which can go between the camera and the ballhead to allow the camera to rotate around the "nodal point" for seamless one-row panorama stitching. A "double-bubble" spirit level for the cameras' hotshoe and a cable release complete the tripod gear.


Flash cards

I carry a mixture of CompactFlash and SD/SDHC cards, ranging from 1GB up to 16GB cards. I try to always have enough cards with me to cope with everything until I get back to the computer for downloads. I carry the cards in several Gepe CardSafe Extreme carriers of various colours.


Laptop and software

I will be taking my workhorse 15" MacBook Pro loaded up with my usual software:
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 will manage the thousands of RAW files from my cameras.
  • My own PteroFile software downloads files from all my devices (splitting things like video files into separate folders from the photos that Lightroom will process) and manages the backups.
  • Microsoft Expression Media will catalog and manage the video and audio files from my cameras and audio recorder (an Edirol R09HR with external microphone).
  • I don't plan to do much video or audio editing in the field, but photo editing, HDR processing, and panorama stitching will be done with a combination of Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended, Photomatix Pro, and PtGui Pro.
  • Boinx's FotoMagico software will be used at times to produce standalone slideshows. I usually prototype slideshows using Collections and the Slideshow module in Lightroom, then export a set of JPEG files for FotoMagico to process.
  • I also have PhotoRescue installed in case any memory card develops errors and/or I need to recover deleted photos. It's a rare event for me to need this, but better safe than frustrated!

Data Storage

It's hard to predict how many gigabytes of storage I will need for this trip. My basic plan is to take two lots of 500GB (in multiple drives) so that I'll always have at least two copies of every file. The backup copies are regularly synchronised using PteroFile. A partition on one of the external drives serves as the Time Machine backup volume for the MacBook Pro, with a bootable copy of the OS X install media on the same partition. All the drives have SATA interfaces (even if that's hidden inside a USB/Firewire enclosure) so they could be swapped around (including into the MacBook Pro) to cope with a disaster. One of the external drives is a Nexto ND2700 which has a card reader to act as a backup in the event that my Lexar UDMA dual-slot USB reader was to fail or get lost.

Hopefully 500GB will be enough! In January I came back from 4 weeks in Argentina, Antarctica, and Easter Island with just over 300GB. This will be a longer trip, and the 7D files are almost twice as large as the 40D's files were, but hopefully it will suffice.


GPS

I've written in the past about geotagging photos, and I'm still using that Garmin eTrex Legend HCx. I'll also have my SPOT Messenger with me. It uses an internal GPS to determine its location, and can transmit several types of message back to base via the GlobalStar satellites. Hopefully I won't need to send any "Emergency: send rescue services immediately" messages, but the "I'm OK" messages will be used to update my family and this website with my location.


White balance tools

For quite a few years I've carried a WhiBal white balance reference, and as the lighting conditions change include it in the occasional photo to allow me to set the right white balance for all the photos taken in the same lighting. This tweaking of white balance is done in Lightroom and all I have to do while photographing is remember to shoot the WhiBal card occasionally. Several sizes of WhiBal are available, and while I started off with the credit-card-sized model on a neckstrap, today I have the tiny "Keychain" version clipped to my camera's straps so it's always with me.

Setting the precise white balance during processing works great for RAW images, but for video it's important to get it spot on before shooting (setting a custom white balance in-camera). To do this on most cameras requires a larger grey target than the white balance tool in Lightroom/ACR does, so the larger WhiBal card will probably still get some use. Something like an ExpoDisc filter could be useful here, but rather than adding lots of different (and fragile) gadgets, I need to use robust gear that I won't have accidentally left behind in my cabin...


Flash

As usual I'll be taking a Canon 580EX flash and a CP-E3 external battery pack. With a Better Beamer fresnel attachment I'll be set for wildlife fill-flash opportunities in the UK, but on the Norwegian legs of my trip I expect the flash may just get used for some off-camera lighting. As yet I'm undecided whether to throw a ST-E2 remote controller into the bag (the EOS 7D can control the remote flash by itself, but the 5DmkII needs a separate controller).
The 580EX and CP-E3 both use AA batteries (most of which are Imedion or Eneloop low-discharge NiMH types).


Camera cleaning equipment

A Giottos Rocket blower is my second line of defence against sensor dust (with the cameras' internal vibrating filters being the first). An Arctic Butterfly (such an appropriate name!) from Visible Dust is my next phase of cleaning, with a Sensor Loupe to make the cleaning/testing process faster. A couple of microfibre cloths and a LensPen will help me keep the outside of my gear clean.

Dawn shadows
Tongariki, Easter Island
5DmkII, 24-105mm (A2_018812)
Filters

Most of my lenses use 77mm filter mounts, and I'll have a circular polariser and clear ("UV"/"Protect") filters with me. At this point I'm not expecting to get much use out of the polariser in Norway, but I'll have it with me just in case. These days I try to leave the UV filters off, but if working in rain sometimes the filter is needed to complete the weather-sealing (e.g. for the 17-40mm/4) so I'll have one with me.


Rain protection

Speaking of rain, I'll have a Kata E702/704 cover with me so at least one camera can be protected from the elements while I'm shooting. I really have no idea what range of weather conditions I'll be shooting in.


iPhone 3G

My iPhone contains lots of tools that help me organise my days. iPod, calendar, sunrise/sunset calculator, Twitter client, currency converter, Fire Eagle updater, tide tables, PDF reader (with copies of camera and flash manuals), web browser, email, even Google Earth. Oh, and it's a telephone and SMS device too! I have quite a few other apps on there also, but many of them rely too much on permanent Internet connectivity to be useful for much of the trip.

At home my phone's on a plan where for a fixed price I get lots of included calls and 500 MB of data per month (which I never use all of). I've travelled overseas with a mobile phone before, so I've always had a good idea of how expensive roaming mobile calls (both incoming and outgoing) can be. But this will be my first foray outside Australia with my iPhone, and it was scary to see how much data will cost outside Australia. The phone company would like to say it's only AU$0.02 per kB, but that means that my usual monthly data use could easily cost me $2000! So I'll be careful to disable the data roaming, and only use the network at WiFi hotspots (when I can find them).

Just as when travelling in other remote locations, this also means that iPhone apps which assume they have permanent access to the Internet are of limited value. It's an interesting exercise to see which apps survive having no network.

Ancient harbour
Tahai, Easter Island
5DmkII, 17-40mm (A2_018641)
Electrical gear

Most of that gear needs power, so the stack of Li-Ion and AA batteries need several chargers. All of these are "multi-voltage", able to cope with 100-240V and 50-60Hz AC supplies. A simple 4-way power board and a Type C and a Type G adaptor (for Norway and the UK respectively) complete the picture. Note that because the power board is designed for standard Australian 240V power it will work internationally: US 110V power boards could fail in dramatic (and dangerous) ways!


Phew! I think that's mostly it. I may refine the details of this list closer to departure, but the basics are there. All of this is essentially the same configuration as I took on my last major trip. As you can see there are backups for most components: it could be described as a belt-and-suspenders approach. That's fine with me: better safe than sorry! None of it needs new or unusual procedures for me, so I have a lot of confidence in the system.

I'll be back soon to talk about how I intend to carry all this gear. Both for travel between locations and when on location.
Continue reading "Equipment for the Norway trip"...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Planning flights

Unfortunately, travelling with camera gear on an international trip is not a simple exercise. You need to pack the gear suitably for getting on and off planes, transiting airports, etc. But before sorting that out, you need to organise your flights!

When booking flights there are many issues to consider, including:
A reassuring sight from the window seat!
  • Which airlines? After you've travelled a few times you may end up with preferences based on your experiences, but don't automatically discount airlines you haven't used before.
  • What are the airlines' baggage policies? Steven Frischling's Flying With Fish blog has a useful summary of the carry-on limits of airlines around the world. If you're going to be transferring between airlines you need to make sure your bags are not going to cause an issue mid-trip. You would hate to be told to check your carry-on bag full of cameras/computer/etc at the gate half-way around the world. At that point it's a bit hard to say "Fine, I won't fly with you then"!
  • If you have all your flights booked on a single ticket (not that we really have paper "tickets" these days) and/or with a single airline/network, this can give you "international" check-in limits when travelling on domestic flights. I've been bitten by this in the past: having to pay excess baggage fees on a flight within Argentina because I hadn't flown in on one of that airline's international partners. In fact I had queried my travel agent about this prior to travelling and was told it wouldn't be a problem...
  • Which airports will you have to transit through? Some airports are notorious for delays, some don't have anywhere obvious to sit comfortably for hours waiting for your next flight, some impose carry-on luggage restrictions that are tighter than the airline's own requirements (usually on the grounds of something like "combating terrorism"), etc. Do your research on the web beforehand.
  • What model/size planes will you be travelling on? Some planes don't have as much convenient luggage space in the cabin as others. SeatGuru is a useful site to check out the configuration of each model plane in each airline's fleet. It can also be useful information when checking in to each flight and getting seat allocations. Staff at the check-in counters have some freedom to change seat allocations, and sometimes asking for exit-row seats (I have long legs) is not enough: some of those seats don't recline at all, and on a long flight this can be a killer. But don't hold up the queue at the check-in: if you're going to do this, you may want to have some printouts of seating plans with you rather than try to access the SeatGuru website on your iPhone!
  • Will it get you there on time? Sometimes you need to build in safety buffers between flights to cope with delays. Having to wait a couple of hours between flights is usually a better option than missing a connection and having to wait a whole day (with flow-on effects to the rest of your schedule). Some airlines are notorious for delays/cancellations. When flying somewhere to board a ship you may need to arrive at least 1 day early (and build in the cost of an extra night's accommodation). For example if you (or your luggage) missed your ship's departure to Antarctica that would be a disaster. Other times those extra buffer days are needed to overcome jet lag (it's hard to be productive when you're asleep on your feet).
  • How much will it cost? Every choice we make involves a compromise.
That's a big list of issues to consider, and you can sometimes get by without worrying about all the details. But checking through all those issues before you fly can save you a lot of heartache mid-trip. By now the travel agents I use are used to me querying them about specific flight options rather than just accepting the initial options they present me.

Once you've selected your flights and booked them, check before you leave whether anything has changed! For our South America/Antarctica trip in January 2009 we knew 15 months in advance that we were going, and we booked the flights fairly early. Mind you, in what now seems normal for some South American airlines, over the intervening months many of the flights changed times and one was even cancelled. So revisiting the itinerary with the agent as our departure date approached was important.

On this trip I'll be taking a combination of Thai and SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) flights from Melbourne through to Norway (via the UK) in mid November, then back home again after Christmas. The flights aren't too complicated but there are still 7 hops to coordinate, and stretches of over 25 hours travelling between destinations. Checking through the above list has hopefully made for as smooth and simple a trip as possible!
Continue reading "Planning flights"...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blogging while travelling

During most of my travels I've had either none or very intermittent Internet access, and usually keeping my friends updated on my travels while "on the road" has been too hard to bother with. That's not always a bad thing: often the Internet is just a distraction from experiencing the outside world.

During this Norway trip I will have some Internet access for much of the time, but it might be non-existent for days on end, and it probably won't be very fast or very cheap. I hope to be updating this blog regularly with text and images during the trip, although it will probably not be daily. But we're experimenting with some solutions that tie together the SPOT Messenger, Fire Eagle, and Google Maps to give you a map of my polar travels that's as close to current as possible, even while I'm not connected to the net.

In the meantime I'll be posting here as the days count down to lift-off, describing the many steps involved in coordinating a big travel exercise like this. Please stick around and follow along!
Continue reading "Blogging while travelling"...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two polar regions in the same year!

After spending some of January 2009 south of the Antarctic Circle (along the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula) I now get to spend some of November and December north of the Arctic Circle!

I have the honour of being the Artist in Residence aboard the MS Trollfjord (a Hurtigruten ship) on voyages travelling along the Norwegian coast as far up as Kirkenes (at the Russian border). This includes their Hunting the Light trips. As well as making art, my job will involve conducting photography workshops for passengers.

If you're on a voyage on the Trollfjord between the 24th of November and the 28th of December 2009, please let me know!

It will be mid-winter and while parts of the voyages will be north of the Arctic Circle and well into 24 hours of darkness, it won't be dark all the time. We should get decently-long twilight each day, as well as good chances of seeing the Northern Lights. I'll be taking my EOS 5DmkII and some fast lenses to make the most of the low-light conditions! Further south along the coast we will definitely see the sun (although the days will be short).

I'm very excited about this trip. Not only will I finally be visiting my seventh continent (Europe), as well as visiting both polar regions in the same calendar year, but I should be able to bring back "a few" nice images of the Aurora Borealis!

Keep your eye on this blog for a series of articles about the trip preparations as well as during my residency, and you can share some of the experience with me! More on this soon.


Unfortunately we've had to reschedule the December Cradle Mountain workshop as a result of this engagement. Thank you to those who had already registered for that workshop (we've already been in touch) you've been very accommodating! We plan to announce a new 2010 date for Cradle Mountain (probably for Spring/Summer 2010) early next year as part of our next season of workshops.

Note that the January wildlife workshops are unaffected by this! In fact we still have just a couple of places free on each of those workshops: if you're interested, now is the time to act.
Continue reading "Two polar regions in the same year!"...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Check your clocks

With the start of Daylight Savings Time here in Victoria this morning, we lost an hour of good sleeping time. Although the phones and computers in our house have all automatically adjusted to the new timezone, there were still a bunch of devices around the house that needed their clocks adjusted. The oven, the microwave, the bed-side alarm clock, the answering machine, the clock in the car, the GPS.... and our cameras.

Have you fixed the time in your camera? It's easy to forget (I almost did) but it can cause you a world of confusion later when Lightroom doesn't show the right time on your photos. Especially if you use more than one camera and the shots end up out of order! If you need them, Lightroom has functions to correct the Capture Time later, but it's much easier if you get the time right when you take the photo.

So don't forget!
Continue reading "Check your clocks"...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

ANZANG 2009 results

The ANZANG Nature and Landscape Photographer of the Year awards were announced at tonight's exhibition opening at the South Australian Museum. Head on over to the ANZANG site and check out the winners and runners-up!

Ice reflections
Laubeuf Fjord, Antarctica
The above image was a Finalist and is featured in the print exhibition and the book. The image below is also in the book.

Troll Castle
Marguerite Bay, Antarctica
You might recall that last year one of my Elephant Seal images (taken in the "exotic" location of Geelong, not far from my home) won the Animal Portraits section of ANZANG. I figured out a long time ago that variety (and yet consistency) helps: the odds were against another seal image winning this time, even though I literally have thousands of them.

I was unable to attend the exhibition opening this year due to work commitments, so I haven't yet seen the images other than the amazing winners and runners up shown on the ANZANG site (although details of other images are in a continually-updating banner at the top of that page): I'm looking forward to getting my copy of this year's book to see the rest of the images!
Continue reading "ANZANG 2009 results"...

Red Beard photo exhibition

Thanks to my friends at RedBeard Bakery in Trentham, a selection of my photos will be on display at the bakery from October 6 until the end of November 2009.

The framed photos are a selection of bird and plant images from Australia (don't expect African or Antarctic imagery, but do go along for wonderful baked goods and some "indigenous" images!). The bakery does have a very pleasant café, and it can be a great lunch destination for a day-trip from Melbourne to the Woodend/Trentham/Daylesford area.
Continue reading "Red Beard photo exhibition"...