The Snowy Ride

This year, I was quite excited to be able to go away on the ‘snowy ride’.

It was the first decent ride I had done on the new scooter and I had a great time.

We left Friday morning at about 9am, then had to immediately stop to get everyone fueled up and tires checked. It was decent weather but as it had been raining all week, we were prepared for some rain. Because of this, we decided to go out via Picton road rather than up Macquarie pass as we normally would. The plan was to just get out of the coastal areas as soon as possible and the weather should be better inland a bit.

Well, It started raining while we were on Picton road and got progressively heavier. The scooter is good as its somewhat protected but I was still wet. Only your pants really get wet as the jacket is water proof, and the helmet fits nicely over the the collar. I had gloves on and heated hand grips to it wasn’t too bad. By the time we got to Golburn, we stopped for fuel and something to eat (breakfast).

John didn’t arrive (I was only with Aldo) and after a few calls/messages we discovered he had gone further to eagles nest and we would meet him there.

This was also the first ride where I had setup my helmet comms (normally just blue-tooth for phone calls) to also play music from my i-pod. It was fantastic and made the whole weekend much more fun. I normally listen to audio books but while on the bike, needing to concentrate is important so music was the only sensible choice. Many people ask if its harder to hear traffic etc with music on and the answer is pretty much ‘you haven’t been on a bike much have you’. Once in the wind, you can’t hear much anyway and at slow speeds, where traffic is important, you can still hear it.

After meeting up with John and Marina, we went on to michaelago for more fuel (for John) and then on to cooma to pick up our passes and get some lunch. It was quite cool to see all the bikes everywhere.

We then made the short leg (60km or so) to Berridale and went to the pub there for a while. When gearing up for this leg, the sky looked menacing so I was thinking about putting on the wet weather pants. ‘How wet could it possibly get’ I said quite stupidly. Well, on that leg, we were riding through the heaviest rain all day and lightening was hitting all around us. I was thinking about how much worse this could get then noticed the rain started to hurt (my elbows stick out). On looking down, I noticed hail stones hitting my arms and hands and bouncing off and sitting over the instruments on the bike. They were only about 1cm long but they still hurt. My pants were very wet.

Once at the Pub, I decided to get fuel (the 20km fuel on reserve meeter said I’d done about 10k) but due to the weather, they had no power. We rode to Gabes farm to see if he had spare fuel but found out he had none. He was just loading his tank (yes a tank, you know, the army things) onto a low loader to take to the cooma auto show the next day. He also had a very nice open fire going so we could dry out some gear (like gloves, helmets, jackets, boots, and pants)

After a while, the power returned so we left and went back to Berridale to get fuel. After this, its only a short trip (another 60k or so) to Jyndabine where it was still raining (so much for the weather forecasts). We picked up our keys for the accommodation and went to move in. Its kind of nice with only what you can carry as its easy to get everything organised. I had the under seat storage, top box, 2 saddle bags and another bag where the pillian passenger would sit. With this, I had so much room I could still put all bike gear away when we stopped.

We went out for dinner and to a pub for some drinks then walked home.

In the morning we went back to town for some breakfast then started the ‘snowy ride’ component. We decided to only do a few stops and the weather was fantastic. The riding all day was great, heaps of bikes around but not too many and not having any time pressure was great. In the afternoon, we had to go to Thredbo to put in our cards (stamped at each checkpoint) to win the goldwing. I took the chair lift up to the top to get some photos (see below)



After coming back down, We had coffee in a local cafe and decided to get back out of Thredbo before all the other bikes. On leaving, we were apparently the last out before the ‘mass ride’. This ‘mass ride’ goes from the ski tube entry to Thredbo but only about 350 bikes decided to do it (with police escort). It was great to be going the other direction and see them all.

Then, it was just back to Jyndabine for dinner, live music and then back home again.


On Sunday, we had decided to get up early and head over to Gabes farm for breakfast. This was quite an easy leg and the weather was still great. After a nice relaxing breakfast, we started the ride back (This time, John was staying down there so it was only Aldo and myself). We took some back roads etc and had a great ride. It was about 1600 when we got back to Kanahooka (Aldo lives at Dapto) and then had to unpack and get everything clean. It would appear that all the rain encouraged the bugs to come out and at almost every stop on Saturday and Sunday, we were cleaning helmets of bug guts.

Anyway, heres another photo of Dalgety (the bridge that seems specifically designed to annoy riders)


Obviously, with these photos, I was playing a little and shot them all in HDR.

Heres some more general photos from the trip (not done in HDR obviously).


My scooter (Yamaha T-MAX 500) in the middle amongst real bikes (Thats Aldo’s on the left)


John and Marina on the Ducatti ST3s (1000cc)


Aldo on his Suzuki (900cc)

I think I’ve decided to try to do a longer ride and this will require a new bike. Currently I’m thinking of a BMW RT1200.

Heres the current plan….
Doing the great ocean road, then on to Adelaide, then on the Gahn to Alice for a week. Then ship the bikes home and fly back.

the following year, fly to Alice (get the bikes shipped to Darwin) and get the Gahn to Darwin (I’ve always wanted to do the train trip) pick up the bikes from Darwin, Ride across to Cairns, Townsville and then on back down the coast.

Multi Person Panoramas

These are based on an idea I had about 18 months ago. I was shooting some panoramas and decided to have a friend stand in the middle of every shot (so I had enough overlap to still blend). Since then, I’m far better at getting it right and can now have the same person next to them selves or even above themselves. I wonder why no-one else has started doing these ? I started a Flickr group about this and am yet to see another example of it.

This is the Hawks shot from images taken over one quarter of a game. It has lots of blending issues (including one player sharing a foot with himself) but I have not had the chance yet to get better source materials. This could benefit from being HDR and being multi row.


This was shot for a friend of mine with her two children. This is probably my favorite shot so far and 90% of the time was spent in post production removing the graffiti in photoshop.


This was my first shot with kids. These are my children and was taken in a park full of other people. I had overlap issues and the subjects are obviously too small in the shot to be useful.


I was asked to shoot a wedding for one of the guys that works with me (at ILB Computing). This was very rushed and would have benefited from more lighting. On thw whole I’m happy with it and Samuel (and his new wife Alyssa) certainly seemed to like it.

 wedding photo pano

Next on the list of things to try are HDR versions of the above. Im shooting another wedding in november and will bracket (3 stops) each frame to that I can make a HDR version to see what its like.

I’ve also just received my Really Right Stuff dual axis panorama bracket and I’m keen to get some multi row HDR panoramas going as soon as I get some time.

Hawks basketball and photos

After repeated guarantees that the Hawks would credit my photos they still seem unable or unwilling to do so. On Friday night, I attended a home game and decided to not shoot it when, yet again, the game night flyer used my photos without credit.

Heres some facts on what’s happening in case I get silly and shoot for them for free again.

  1. On at least 4 occasions they have promised to credit my work (in writing)
  2. The actually REMOVE my name from all images (my software adds it automatically when they down-load the image)
  3. They pass my images on to others with no reference to who took them and with no requirement to credit the photographer.
  4. They ignore the “Createive Commons” license which is shown twice on every page where they can down-load the images.

I don’t know what else to do to get what I believe is rightful acknowledgment for my work.

As I actually enjoy shooting these photos sometimes, I had some ideas.

  1. Get an agreement that every photo used without acknowledgment would incur $1000 fee.
  2. Get paid a ‘reasonable’ amount to do the work.

Last year, I was keen to shoot to learn how to do it. In order to do that, I agreed to cover each game and supply all photos for free. On top of this, I had to pay full price for my seats (season tickets) including the seat that I would not be using. All I heard from the Hawks was ‘please make sure you get XXX’ or ‘make sure you get different angles’. When I tried to achieve these objectives (which I believe I did) there was no feedback at all. I still don’t know (apart from them using my images everywhere) if they like them or not and if I’m getting better at shooting sports.

This year, they would not talk about any photos (apart from telling me they wanted to me shoot every game) before I had fully paid for my tickets again. I have taken time off work for the ‘head shots’ they use in player profiles etc and had already taken time off work for the team shot when they cancelled it (with 15 mins notice). I’m still waiting for the call to tell me its back on.

I had some ideas last year about some shots (one is below)


When this was shot (its taken over 1/4 a game) the sign in the background was rolling like it normally does. This made blending very difficult.

I took about 6 hours to blend this together (from about 800 shots using a normal panorama bracket, 50mm 1.4 lens). I printed this out at about 1150mm wide and gave a copy to the Hawks. I expected them to ask me to do a ‘proper’ one with the ads not rolling as this was just a ‘proof of concept’ shot. They said it was ‘nice’ and took it away and I never heard anything else on the subject. I thought that a team that was very short of money would want anything they could merchandise. A Signed version of this (or more seriously a proper) shot would make them some money with the fans.

  1. The 70–200 2.8 VR is a great lens for this.
    Sometimes I’ll use the 28–70 2.8 if I want to shoot from under the ring. I’m using (currently) a Nikon D2x and it has the 1.6x magnification feature that all DX sensors have. This makes the 70–200 slightly too long. If/when I get the Nikon D3, I’ll hopefully get better results shooting this type of sport.
  2. Using the D2x, there’s many focusing points. When a player jumps, you naturally move the camera up to follow but It’s generally not enough. I’ve learnt to use (in portrait mode) the bottom middle focusing point and try to keep it on their body. This way when they shoot, the frame works out quite well.
  3. A D70 (where I started) doesn’t have the focusing speed, frame speed or processing speed to do a decent job
  4. Anything slower than a 2.8 in the Wollongong Entertainment Centre is too slow and has too much depth of field to be useful.
  5. Manual (roughly 1/800 sec, F2.8, 800ASA) and tungsten WB is the only way to shoot. Otherwise when moving the camera to follow players shooting, you will get some back light or reflections off advertisements and the camera will set incorrectly. Using spot metering and auto is not good enough (well at least for me).
  6. Just shooting shots are easy to get but not that interesting. As always, you have to constantly think about the context of where the images will be displayed and try for something interesting. Any player with the ball in a running/dribbling shot is normally interesting.
  7. If the ball is not in shot, its generally crap. see point 2.
  8. Frame rate is important. In a normal game I shoot about 400–800 images. 95% of the shots I get will be properly focussed, 50% will be framed properly but only about 3% will have everything in place to make a ‘good’ shot.
  9. FOX camera people are assholes that have no respect for anyone else on the court.
    They will stand in front of you, stand on top of you, bash cameras out of their way etc.

Anyway, thats what I know about basketball so far and I’m looking for comments/opinions on what I should do about the acknowledgment issue. Has anyone had any similar issues?


Occasionally I go to shoot the basketball. Apart from the Hawks continually failing to attribute photos to me, its nice to see my work being used in posters, buses and game night flyers.

Anyway, last night it occurred to me that despite the technological advantages we have made over the years, cold ankles are still something that need to be dealt with the old fashioned way.


Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm and 24-70 mm F2.8G ED: Digital Photography Review

Its not even my birthday and nikon goes and does this for me… Now if I only had the money.

The Nikon D3 looks very sexy, Im not entirely sure I like the full frame sensor but it shoes nice sensitivity.

Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm and 24-70 mm F2.8G ED: Digital Photography Review
Nikon D300, previewed: Digital Photography Review

Nikon D3, Full-Frame, previewed: Digital Photography Review

Three new super telephoto Nikon AF-S VR lenses: Digital Photography Review