#7 Australia The Lucky Country

As the Queen Mary 2 moved closer to Australia. I started to get a little homesick. No matter how much I traveled this beautiful planet I would always want to return to what I personally considered the best place in the world to live, I have been lucky to live in many places throughout this wonderful land. At twenty-four I traveled around on a motorbike from South Australia stopping everyplace I could until I ended up in Perth (Western Australia) where I spent the next fourteen years of my life, having lived in and visited almost all of the major city’s Australia has to offer. I have also visited many of our smaller yet more beautiful place this wide country has to offer some of my all time favorites were Byron Bay, The Gold Coast, Whitsunday Islands, Hervey Bay, Cairns, Townsville, Port Lincoln, Port Neil, Tumby Bay, Kalbarrie, Collie, Margret River and numerous others to many to mention here.

                On this trip with the Queen Mary 2 we docked in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney.

PERTH

Having already lived in Perth, I decided to stay onboard on in port manning and gave my option to visit this city away to another crew member, I did manage to go out just before we sailed to stock up on all the things I have missed from the local supermarket. So nothing exciting enough to write about this time as well as no time to take photographs.

I will tell you a little about this beautiful city. Reflecting onto the Swan River, which curls around the downtown city area as well as Kings Park magnificent parkland adjacent to the city. The Swan River winds its way through numerous parks and residential properties creating stunning backdrops from either bank of the river, none more spectacular than the city view from south bank. Perth is a place of white sandy beaches 19 in all and a lively and trendy lifestyle.

While living in Perth I worked as a motorcycle instructor, high-rise window cleaner, roof carpenter, This is also where I learned how to become a croupier honing my skills until the day I started on the cruise ships. Overall I fell in love with the place, the people, and the general vibe that Perth exudes.

Adelaide

While I have also lived for short periods in Adelaide and having grown up in South Australia, I always yearned to travel to other places, Adelaide is called the city of churches I always thought that was because there are more sinners here. (Ha, Ha not really)

Adelaide is also a very pretty place to live and a lot of my family still live there and thoroughly enjoy everything that it has to offer.

Well back to the Queen Mary 2. I stayed onboard here as well as I was able to get my Sister and brother-in-law Sue & Charlie as well as my niece Samantha and her partner Pedro and his parents onboard to see the inside of the QM2 we spent the entire day just walking throughout the grandeur that the QM2 exudes. It was a spectacular day seeing family I had not seen for such a long time.

PS it was raining cats and dogs outside so I didn’t miss sight-seeing around the city this time.

Sydney

I have been lucky to visit Sydney on many occasions; I have made the journey in cars, planes and ships. Staying for short or long periods, walking or driving.

As you know the cruise ships tend to be here one day and gone the next, this time we got to stay in Sydney overnight. I stayed onboard for the first day and night again doing in port manning for another crew member, giving them the chance to see everything I get to see whenever I get home to Australia, I spent the second day, moving through the city taking photographs and visiting some of my favorite cafe and restaurants before boarding a ferry across to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

As I wandered around the zoo, I started taking pictures getting some keepers( Zoo Humor)  The best were the kangaroos as well as the bird sanctuary, which were both walk in enclosures. All the other animals seemed to be on a time schedule if you wanted to see them you had to go at a certain time.

                      I did find the enclosures and cages there quite depressing.

Previously I had been to one of my favorite zoos in Singapore. All of the animals were easily seen, as the only fences are to keep the people away from the animals, which are kept in by moats of water that allows the visitor to be closer and see more while traveling around the vast interior of the zoo. After about an hour in Taronga zoo I had seen enough and went back to the ferry platform.

On our trip back to the city I was lucky enough to see the Queen Elizabeth (our sister ship) pulling out from her dock at Circular quay in downtown Sydney, I got some great shots of her turning around ready to start her new journey as well as some nice shots of the Sydney Opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I got back to the city and after walking throughout the city again getting a few cups of coffee as well as a great meal I headed back to the ship and met up with my friends before we cast off from the dock and headed out through the crowded waterways off to our next adventure New Zealand……….To Be Continued.

Travel photographer Bah Humbug!!!!

Queen Mary 2 in St Thomas.

Its been suggested in all the literature I read, to list myself as one thing, so that I am able to fill a niche. So I chose travel Photographer “as I do travel working on cruise ships”

I still don’t believe the title “Travel Photographer” is a very truthful one. If you’re shooting images that are not what others would class as travel, then what does that make you?

I’m just a person who creates images from the stunning things I get to see while traveling with ships.

When it comes to myself I love the thrill and the adrenalin rush that shooting wildlife brings (even the small things).

Wild Bear Alaska

Ladybug on a Sunflower

And Flowers “I have some spectacular shots: (I have to admit there is a little superstition I have, that whenever I include a flower in my shots they tend to come out better) “nonsense I know but that’s me.”

Sometimes I shoot whatever gets in front of my lens and I am quite happy to do that and just be glad I got the shot, sometimes I set up the shot spending hours working on test image after image trying to make sure everything is perfect before I start to shoot.

Falkland Island Penguins

I like others have made the mistake of not checking the settings on my camera and lenses and then found out I just shot the subject at too high an ISO allowing lots of noise that I didn’t need in the glaring sunlight available for the shot or some other simple mistake that stops me from getting that just right shot. I once photographed a small brown bear while standing on a platform, he was almost right under me, I was shooting with my favorite lens my canon 70mm to 200mm stabilized and I had the settings set to 2.5m instead of 1.4m and all my perfect shots were blurry.

Bald Eagle Alaska

I guess what I am trying to say is. In this quest for the perfect shot, some times we screw up, That’s the nature of most of us, yes there are a few perfect people who don’t make mistakes, I am not one of them. So to combat that here’s my plan, I’m going to write myself a self-help card that I read before starting to shoot that will make me check everything. Getting the settings I require before I set up for the first shot. Something to remind me that I am just human and as such I do screw

up.  As soon as I work out a ” So I Don’t Screw Up Card” I will place it on the blog for others to use and make sure they too don’t screw up to much.

My thoughts for today: Even though I use the term Travel Photographer. I don’t want to be shoveled into a nicely packaged niche all tied up in a pretty bow. I would rather never hear someone shouting at me  “Yes there he is the travel photographer”

Bah humbug!!

There are too many things out there that take my fancy and I want to be able to shoot it all. I have my goals like everybody. Some large some small.

Camel at Giza Egypt

I would like to try some outdoor action shots, with some of my own Ideas. They could even be allowed to flow from their own creativity.

I would also love to learn how to make that fancy lighting shot and capture the perfect moment in the strobe of the flash. To be able to understand Fill Flash, and to have the knowledge, of how, why and when to use it.

Some of these I have a small understanding of yet would still love to learn more.

The Treasury - Petra - Jordan

I know I’m afraid, as everyone is of that first step. Going through the “What if they don’t like my work, even if all my friends and family think my photo’s are great. I spend almost every one of my waking moments looking at those same pictures thinking, as I always do, is there a way to get a better shot. Then if I ever find myself there again “what would I do to make it better” though sometimes I feel that I got it just right anyway.

I have been able to capture some pretty amazing photographs. “If I do say so myself” and even though I think I am pretty good at editing “there are better image editors out there than myself and I easily give that to them”.

For myself I just believe that nothing compares to seeing an image taken from the initial photo to being edited to the final product. Though it can be very time-consuming and outsourcing some of your load may be the best way of making some time for all the other things in life.

Koala - Australia

butterfly's Abound

“One of my  Strongest goals is the   desire to experience       the exhilaration  of seeing  my work published  in print”