Recent Travel Adventures
1000 steps and I’m at the bottom of them, along with women clad in fluorescent active wear, hikers hauling weighted training packs and dads carrying kids. The Kokoda Track Memorial Walk, popularly called the 1000 Steps, is a short but steep walk in the Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.Read More ›
The Great Ocean Walk runs along the southern coast of Victoria, Australia. Despite a couple of steep sections, the short days and well-marked trail make it a scenic and relaxed hike, suitable for hikers getting their first taste of long distance walks. You’ll pass through the green forests of the Otways to the rugged coast, […]Read More ›
I am so excited to have a number of Melbourne appearances in March and April. I’ll be speaking alongside some incredible Australian authors. Whether your interest is in crime or science fiction, there’s something for everyone.Read More ›
With the recently released And Then… anthology chock full of amazing Aussie authors, I couldn’t resist drawing on their collective writing knowledge. I asked them for their best short story tips and they delivered!Read More ›
Two and a half weeks with only cabin baggage sounds terrifying to most people. And it’s exactly what I’m doing tomorrow morning. I’m flying off to the States with only a small backpack and my camera satchel.Read More ›
Over the new year I always love to take photos of fireworks. Nothing says celebration like a giant fireworks explosion! It was my first new year in Melbourne, so I sought out a great spot to take pictures in Footscray, watching both the 9:30pm fireworks in Footscray and the midnight fireworks over the city. My […]Read More ›
I’m delighted to announce that I am the runner up in the Mayor’s Urban Ecology Photo Competition in the Streetscapes category. The photo I received the award for is a picture I took while out cycling of a cockatoo enjoying a breakfast of nuts and seeds. It was a case of right place, right time, with the birds just sitting by the cycle trail.
Making your perfect creative space is essential for anyone who works from home or spends lots of time doing creative projects. You don’t have to be an artist to have a creative space – it could simply be a place for you to stretch your mind and think differently about your work. As a freelancer, it’s essential that I have a place to work well and be creative because it’s what I’m paid to do, and while I try to be creative anywhere I go, it’s the office where I do most of my work.
One of the most common questions I faced when I quit my job to go travelling was “won’t that affect your career?” While the gap year has almost become a rite of passage in Australia, long-term travel is often relegated to the young, the slack and those who won’t grow up and “get a job”. Indeed, some people I met along the way told me they would love to travel long-term, but their career would suffer from a year or longer lapse in the resume.
I’d like to rebuff any of the myths that travelling will wreck your career.
I love mentoring new writers and encouraging people to embark on their creative journey. This post is for people who are just starting out writing stories, which applies equally to fiction and non-fiction. Throughout the years I’ve noticed several commonalities that divide first-time writers with more established writers. Apart from trying to type with a cat on your lap, here are my top 5 mistakes of beginner writers. And don’t worry that you’re the only one doing them, because I’ve been guilty of all of them at one point in my career!
In the past weeks I’ve found myself waiting in airports twice. Despite my obsessive nature to arrive at the airport early, on each occasion the flights to and from my home have been delayed.
These waits have caused me to reflect on all the time I’ve spend waiting during travel.
I have unfortunately been the victim of theft from my own home. While in the bathroom, someone came into my house and helped themselves to my two week old Macbook Pro. Since then, I’ve been extra cautious about security and insurance. Thankfully I’ve never had anything stolen while travelling. But I know the horrible, sinking feeling of loss, when your laptop or camera gear goes walkabout. Camera gear safety is one of the most important factors in travel for a photographer. Here’s how to keep your camera gear safe when travelling.
I first read Gabriel Garcia Marquez in high school; I was sixteen or seventeen, I’m not quite sure. We focussed on South American literature in the studies leading up to my final year. Between Pablo Neruda’s love poems and Isabelle Allende, was a man named Marquez. The book, One HundredYears of Solitude, with its mountainous cover and silver spine. Or maybe it had an orange spine? Memories get lost and mixed up about the cover but not the content. I wrote notes upon notes on that book, lost in the town of Macondo and the incessant cycles that doomed the generations of the Buendia family.
My friend Jon asks “How can I take a night photo without a tripod?” When you’re travelling light, a tripod is one of the first things to go out the window. No one wants to lug around a full sized tripod on their vacation – unless you’re a crazy photographer like me… But you still want to do night photography right?
Last week I caught up with Oscar nominated film, 12 Years A Slave. The intense narrative of Solomon Northup, freeman kidnapped and taken to the South, is an exceptional story accompanied by exceptional cinematography. Sean Bobbitt shot the film, and is notable for his professional relationship with Steve McQueen, having filmed the director’s previous works Shame and Hunger. Strangely enough, I haven’t seen a single one of his other works, but having seen 12 Years A Slave, I would certainly be interested in seeking them out.
As part of a new series on my blog, I’ve been asking friends and family what travel and photography questions they’d like answered. Andrea is going to Paris this year and she for a one week Paris itinerary. If you have a question you’d like answered on my blog, feel free to contact me through my contact form. Don’t be shy now!
So the last week was one of the hottest of my life. In case you were in Antarctica, Melbourne’s been suffering over 40C temperatures every day. Up to 111F for my American friends! And coincidentally it’s also been the week of the Australian Open, one of Melbourne’s premier sporting events. The Australian Open is one of the four grand slam competitions, along with the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
I’ve been to many celebrations of the New Year around the world, including Paris and my home town, Sydney. Last year I celebrated New Year in Tokyo, Japan. Considered one of the great cities (or at least one that always makes the world clocks list in vintage newspaper offices), New Year takes on a different flavour in Tokyo to other places I’ve visited. As always, it’s a time for reflection and renewal.
When someone on the street asks me for money, my first question is always, “Are you hungry?”
This genuine offer always sorts out the addicted from the truly hungry. I don’t give out money on the street, because I have no idea what it will be spent on. But I’m always happy to buy a sandwich or a drink to help someone out.
After an incredibly busy period of work, I’ve finally got back into my writing. It’s been a very creative two weeks, attending writing workshops, talks and doing some poetry of my own. This poem is for some of my friends who live in Varanasi. I only visited the city for three days, but it had a profound affect on me, and I will never forget the city. Varanasi is built on the Ganges, and in several of the ghats along the river, they burn bodies and float the remains into the holy river.
I recently attended Riverstone arts gathering in Upper Plenty, where I got in touch with my inner poet. I haven’t written poetry in a long time, and after feeling slightly stumped on a Sunday morning, I felt called to write about joy. What came back to me was the verse: “Rejoice in the Lord Always, and again I say, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
I recently had the good fortune to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark on the big screen. Not only that, in an IMAX!
As a child of the mid-80s, I never got the chance to see the original Indiana Jones in a cinema. And as a photographer and a lover of film, I know how different movies can be when you see them projected versus on the television. Although I’ve seen Raiders too many times to count, I smiled with delight watching it again. Seeing it in a cinema is like watching it for the first time. The details come out, the colours are beautiful and it is truly a radiant experience.
Just a short note to let you all know that I’ve been published in the May/June edition of Lonely Planet Asia magazine in the Postcards section. It was great to see it in the airport on my way home to Australia. The photo is of a guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, taken during my time in Korea. On a lovely double page spread too! Make sure you check it out if you’re in Asia.
On a recent trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, I met a couple of budding photographers. While walking with one such photographer he pulled out his camera and started snapping surreptitiously at a local woman. I told him immediately to stop spy camming her. “You should always ask someone’s permission for their photograph,” I said. He shrugged and walked off. It annoyed me that he didn’t care about her, and it annoyed me more that he seemed nonplussed about my advice.
The Holi festival is one of the most visibly beautiful festivals to photograph for any travel photographer. Holi, otherwise known as the festival of colour, is celebrated in March or April every year. One of my main reasons for visiting India at this time of year was to photograph the festival, with the aim of getting some very colourful portraits.
As some of you know my Grandpop died last week after a battle with lung cancer. Thankfully I was able to see him before he left this world and attend the funeral. When my mum asked if I would like to say something I found myself volunteering before actually thinking about what I would say. I want to share here the eulogy I finally wrote in remembrance of him. Grandpop was not a man you will find in history books or newspapers. But I will remember him.
What is white balance? White balance is an adjustment of all the colours in a photograph to present the correct colour white. But white is white? Right? All types of light give off different colour temperatures that are not visible to the naked eye. White balance adjusts the camera for these different types of light. Sunlight gives off a much different colour to an interior fluorescent light. By correcting white balance either in camera or on the computer, we are able to get a more accurate rendering of the correct image colours.
Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit. But for me, it’s also one of the must see destinations of the world, where peaceful park spaces intersect with one of the most technologically advanced cities. Thankfully, it’s easy to experience Tokyo without spending money except on food and transport. It’s a great city to wander and watch the individual styles of the local people.