Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

ANZAC Day Dawn Parade 2010

Today was my first Dawn Parade. I have said for a while it was something that I should do. After all, if a significant number of Australian and New Zealand service people can give their lives, the very least I can do is get out of bed at 4:15am to show my respect.

I was absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people who did the same. The grassed area around Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance was simply a sea of people. Unlike many situations where so many people are gathered, the proper feeling of solemness and respect prevailed.

It was a simple service, with just an appropriate amount of ceremony that failed to impose on the opportunity to reflect. The dawn light silhouetted the participants in a very moving manner.

I went for a stroll around the Shrine afterwards – these are the pick of the photos. Lest We Forget!

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The plan was to head to the Red Hill Brewery for lunch and a taste of some fine ale. The plan was thwarted by this thing called Easter. “We can get you a table at 2:00pm tomorrow” wasn’t really what we wanted to hear, but so be it. The dining rooms at three wineries down the road were all full as well.

So we headed to a cafe in Flinders for lunch and then went for a drive over to Hastings. That was where we came across the headless pelican.

And the swooping gull.

The pelicans and gulls were being fed by two small girls, with scraps from the fish shop at the jetty. It was the first time we’d been to Hastings – I can definitely see a weekend coming up down that way in the future.

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How stupid would I have to be, thinking that no one in Melbourne could be bothered going to the zoo on Good Friday!

It’s been nine months since my last visit to the zoo. I wanted to see Mali, Melbourne Zoo’s new baby elephant. Mali was born on 16 January – you’ll find more details here.

In the period leading up to the birth and after her arrival, Melbourne has been captivated with her progress, and that of Dokkoon, her mother. It probably wasn’t surprising then that, when I arrived 45 minutes before her display was scheduled to open, there were already 200 people in the queue in front of me.

Was the wait worth it? Absolutely! Here’s the pick of the 620 photos I took. Camera is a Nikon D40X with an 18-135 Nikkor lens.

It wouldn’t seem fair not to include a photo of Dad, Bong Su.

The other thing I was keen to see was the new Wild Sea display, comprising mainly seals and penguins. As usual, it was really challenging getting good under water photos of the seals, but I managed to get some when they were basking in the sun. Interestingly, the seals have been victims of marine entanglements who have been rescued and placed at the zoo. The scars are quite obvious on some.

The apes and monkeys are always fascinating, but presented the usual photographic challenges, mainly from glass and wire.

Last step on the visit was at what I reckon is the best display at Melbourne Zoo, the Sumatran Tiger. I could seriously turn up at the start of the day with a folding chair and sit, watch and photograph this animal all day. It is absolutely magnificent.

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Damn I had a great day today, on what I think was my fourth visit to Melbourne Aquarium (http://www.melbourneaquarium.com.au/).

I love trying to take good animal photos. You’ll find other attempts in other posts in this blog. Unfortunately the aquarium always presents some significant challenges. One can’t use a flash because of the reflection off the glass of the tanks, so there is a heavy reliance on a steady hand and fish that don’t move around too quickly.

For anyone who hasn’t been recently, the new penguin display is just brilliant. They have two varieties on display – King and Gentoo. There is a large area of ice where they walk around and a tank where they swim. In both cases, the viewing areas are great and it’s possible to get right up close – just on the other side of the glass.

Poor Carol! I spent a large chunk of time there as we entered, and then did it all again after we’d seen everything else. Apparently they have nine staff members there to just look after these fascinating birds.

The rest of the aquarium was great as well, albeit very much the same as when I was last there four or five years ago. The large shark and ray tank is great, although not as good as the one I remember from the Sydney Aquarium (that comment is only there for my Sydney-based brother, Ian – he gets sick of me talking down Sydney).

On leaving, I was delighted to find out I could upgrade my entry ticket to a twelve-month membership for an extra $32.50. Given I work just across the river from the aquarium, I can see myself spending plenty more time trying to get the perfect penguin photo.

Anyway, here’s the pick of the shots. Camera is a Nikon D40X with Nikkor 18-135 lens. Some photos have been cropped, but other than that, there’s been no digital enhancements.

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I’ve never tried action footy photos before, so took my camera over to Trevor Barker Oval today, to watch the Sandringham Zebras play the Frankston Dolphins. Here’s the pick of them.

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Alright, I admit it. I’m a train nut as well. About 12 months ago, Carol and I did a Steamrail Victoria trip to Seymour, with visits to three local wineries before the return trip. This was an absolutely fantastic day – Steamrail Victoria (http://www.steamrail.com.au) does a great job and deserves your support.

Here’s some of the photos I took on the day, of the train itself, and some of the locomotives and rolling stock at the museum in Seymour.

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