I know, I know, it’s been a long time, well, Oscar was sick for about a month from Anzac Day until his birthday, and we’ve spent the past month recovering from that really. Plus, it’s been really, really cold lately, so getting this post in the darkest, coldest period of Winter, you should consider yourselves very, very lucky. I decided to take a day off and head to this state park northeast of Melbourne, just past the Yarra Ranges National Park, I’d read about it on a bushwalking blog that I occasionally visit, and it looked good, but because this was a “spur of the moment” type deal, I didn’t really check what it was going to be like and just hoped that it was going to be clear and beautiful. Well, it wasn’t, it was misty at the top, and the view was a white-out, when I was up there anyway. It might have cleared up later, but I doubt it. The terrain reminds me a bit of the Grampians, but it’s a bit closer to where I live, but also, the good views here seem probably a bit more challenging to get to.
Driving there takes about two hours from my place, and then it’s ten kilometres (past a lot of curious kangaroos) up to Sugarloaf Saddle Carpark where you can do a number of pretty hairy trails. Considering my lack of experience and preparation, I went with the shortest, yet still quite challenging Canyon Track which is basically from the carpark to the peak of Sugarloaf Peak, 40 minutes one way, and involves some scrambling/climbing (or I just went the wrong way!). I was planning on climbing up to the peak and then walking along the Razorback track for a bit, but the view was completely obscured by cloud/mist so I decided just to head back down and look for a track that might give me some running water shots. Also, the rocks were a bit wet, and considering how dangerous climbing up and down that one little bit seemed, I thought better not risk any more in those conditions.
So I made my way back down to the car and then drove back down to Cooks Mill, where there is a Little River Track, which you would think, would meander along a river side. You can certainly hear the river, as you start the trail, but after only about 50m or so, it veers onto a track that just looks like unsealed road, there is a clearing to the left, and basically a muddy walk for about a kilometre or so before the road joins back to the track. This is a nice track with greenery everywhere and the sound of water running, as well as the occasional kookaburra sighting and constant kookaburra calls.
This track was also meant to be 40 minutes to it’s end point, Ned’s Gully, but after about 50 minutes I didn’t seem to be getting any closer, so I decided to head back, I didn’t have any food or water, it was probably only about five more minutes, as the walk back only took about 35-40 minutes with a brief stop for pictures by the river. I then stopped just past the bridge leading in and out of Cooks Mill to take a couple more pictures of the river before heading home. All in all, it was a worthwhile trip, if for nothing more than scouting, also got to drive through the Yarra Ranges National Park which is a treat in itself (no pictures though unfortunately), but I’m not sure I’ll be taking the little one there for a while, just seems a bit too challenging for him, but maybe I’m being over protective. So maybe I will head back out there in Spring time or something, at least the tracks seem easy to follow, even for me!
Here’s a bit of a bonus post, which is especially convenient because Oscar’s been sick since Saturday and we haven’t been able to get out of the house pretty much the whole time. So while reviewing my pictures from Vietnam, a couple of panoramas popped up and I had the chance to process them, they’re okay but not the best. Both are panoramas from Da Nang where we probably had the best views the whole trip. First from the hotel, room (Brilliant Hotel) then from the Chessboard Point on Monkey Mountain (Son Tra). The lighting was not perfect in either one, if it was, I guess we’d be looking at a couple of pretty spectacular photos. Let’s hope that I can replicate all of the factors in my most popular flickr photo (Morning Light) soon, cos I haven’t been able to make anything really striking for a while.
Again, long time no post, been very lazy I suppose, watching old TV shows and playing bloody Clash of Clans. Anyway, I’m posting this one which is a bit technical about a photography post-processing technique that I had a go at with a set of pictures I took at Murodo station in Japan. I was actually trying to take a bunch of multi-exposure shots in one shot (Pentax feature), but accidentally forgot to set the multi-exposure setting and ended up taking half a dozen separate stills. So here I was with a bunch of stills and no motion in the clouds as I wanted.
I decided to see if it could be done easily and for free (using open source/free software), turns out that it could, and with pretty reasonable results at that. Hat tip to patdavid.net for the tutorial on how to do this but I did it on mac osx, pretty much exactly the same commands using hugin and imagemagick. I pretty much followed his instructions and got the result that I was looking for, it would’ve been better if I had taken more pictures and used an ND filter, but I was experimenting I guess. You should be able to make out a subtle difference in the sharpness of the clouds, the multi-exposure showing a tiny smidge of motion. It’s definitely a good thing to know, but I’d prefer to do it in camera to reduce the number of files I am working with.
Just a couple of photos from Melbourne on a gloomy late Winter’s night, these were taken last week obviously (since it is Spring now), nothing too special, a couple of night shots in black and white.
It was an anniversary gift, going on a photography walking tour around Melbourne, the theme was Underworld, so the photographer guide took us around some of the areas where some infamous gangster/violent scenes occurred in the city. The weather was a bit rainy, but certainly gave an opportunity to try some different things.
It was pretty much a beginner’s course so I didn’t learn anything technicallu, but was good to get out and shoot some photos, cos I haven’t been doing that at all lately. But that’s about to change as we are heading to Europe in two days and I will be snapping up lots of shots of beautiful architecture and landscapes, and people. This time at the end of Summer rather than cold Winter, so I will hopefully have some different takes on what I previously did, in Paris at least.
Hey, another post inside of two weeks, unbelievable right? Well, I was really hoping to post something last week but in the end it wasn’t to be, as the Spurs went down in seven games to the stupid Heat. And then we lost our semi-final this past Sunday having gone an undefeated 14-0 during the regular season, which was disappointing enough, but I had to be doubly disappointed with my own effort, as I was pretty much a complete non-factor which is going to sting me until we get back playing again in a couple weeks, and certainly it’s going to smart until we get back to the finals with a chance to right these wrongs. Any way, back to the point of this post, these photos were taken in the past month or so, the first two taken in mid-May down at Point Nepean National Park right near the tip of the peninsula, and the last three just this past weekend down at Cape Schanck again.
I really like the Cape Schanck Lighthouse area, and I definitely think that there is more to explore, I only had a brief look around Pebble Beach, but taking that peak, I reckon that there is certainly more to see with a bit more time to wander around. So I’ll probably head back down there later in the year with my tripod at the ready to snag some interesting shots, the sea scape is great with a big blue sky and the blue sea. The orange clay (?) of the rock on the edge is very vivid and provides a great contrast to the blue everywhere else. The waves crashing on to the rocks and the lighthouse are also some great subjects to pose around, I’m hpoing to wander around the corner down there and see something really great and photogenic, let’s hope so for next time. The food down that way is also a treat, all around a great part of Victoria I say, and reasonably close too.
Some more pictures that I took over the past few months that I didn’t feel were quite up to my flickr standards, as I’m trying to get a bit more picky about what I put up there (I’m nearing 1,000 photos, so it’s taken a while). In no particular order, from a few locations around Tasmania and Victoria (southern mostly). The Toora one is quite good but I took another one quite similar and it was a panorama so I put that one on flickr. These were mostly selected for flickr initially but after looking at them and working on them I decided that they probably weren’t quite up to scratch or were similar but not exactly the same as ones I chose to put on flickr.
Speaking of which, after the recent announcement that all users would be receiving one terabyte of space and the pro accounts would be discontinued or at least grandfathered with an ads-free account becoming the new paid account type, I was trying to decide whether to keep my pro account. Having looked at the updated flickr now using my account and other non-pro accounts and trying to work out what the difference is, the only difference I can see is the lack of stats (which I don’t find that important or interesting). At first I was wondering where the ads were, then I realised that I have adblock plus on, and so that “feature” (?) is irrelevant for me, so in all likelihood (with the only feature that I lose from my pro account being stats which I don’t pay much attention to) I will give up the pro account and just go with the free account. I was only paying $25 per year, and now it will be nothing, and there’s no way I would ever use up one terabyte of data.
In terms of the pictures, hope you enjoy, I’ve already pretty much given up on panoramio, so should be posting more pictures to here than before which is a good thing I think. Except that wordpress seems to choke on iphone photos (well, the portrait orientation ones any way), it is mostly more usable and nicer. Hey, no stolen pictures this post, they’re all mine. Yeah, it’s been a while, I really should try to post more, but will leave it at that for now, and see if I have anything in the works coming up.
Not much to this post, over Easter went down to Port Melbourne for a quick wander, didn’t get to stay until after the sun set so no pier at night long exposure shots. Had a Mr. Whippy iced cream which is not as good as a Mcdonalds cone, I’m going to have to be honest there. Then last weekend we went down to the Mornington Peninsula National Park for a little walk, then down to Somers for a look around. These are the pictures that made the dtraCorp cut. Here’s a question, why don’t any sites/blogs/CMS’ provide animated gif thumbnails? The last picture I uploaded here is actually an animated gif but the thumbnail doesn’t show it. It’s not difficult, in fact, I implemented on my old site, and the classes are available on phpclasses.org, do a search cos I can’t remember what the class was called.
Yes, I know it’s now the middle of October, but these pictures were taken in September, and I’ve only just finally managed to finish processing them and now to upload them. Anyway, the first is of Flinders Street Station taken from across the road in front of the church (it might be St. Paul’s I am not sure), I had the camera sitting on top of some kind of metallic cabinet.
The last two pictures I took at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival out at Silvan on the opening weekend, it didn’t rain, but it was a bit overcast which is good for accurate and even lighting but I didn’t get that great warm light at the end of the day either.
I’m not sure if I will have an October photo post just because the past three or four weeks were been spent training for the Around the Bay ride, so I haven’t really had a chance to get out and take photos around the place, hopefully I will have some motivation to go and take some photos during the rest of Spring before I head off to Wintry Fire and Icy Land.
Here it is, the first proper post here at the davidtran.org, the layout of the wordpress site is a bit different to the old dtraCorp site, so the pictures will probably just be spread throughout the post, rather than the old layout of one main picture, and the other pictures at the end of the post. So anyway, the first picture is of Flinders Street Station taken from across the foot bridge. It was taken with the FA43mm (just about my favourite lens now) as I didn’t have the DA21 with me on the night, so couldn’t quite fit the whole thing in, I got it though, check flickr for that one.
A couple weeks before, I went to Seoul Tookbegi for dinner, haven’t had Korean for quite some time, so thought we’d give it a go, it was quite good, but I think Korean (like Japanese) is better as a banquet where you can order many different dishes and try a bit from each. It is Chicken Bulgogi, I know, I need some work on my food photography, just one of the list of things I need to work on.
Finally, Melbourne taken from Southbank, just outside the ca$ino, the flames were going off, it was around 11pm, I have another version on flickr that has larger flames and is a bit over-exposed because of that. I didn’t bother with a tripod, so this was just balanced on a concrete wall thingie. That’s it for now, next photo post will have some pictures taken at the Tesselaar Tulip Festival, which I went to on Saturday, took a bunch of pictures, hopefully some good, will start getting those up onto flickr next week I think.