Autumn again

It’s Autumn.  That means Winter is on its way.  That also means calm mornings and sunrise on my ride to work.

Autumn also means that it is much more worthwhile carrying a camera while on my bike on the way to work!  That means the anticipation of spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

Swanston Street

Friday 8 April 2011, in the vicinity of Flinders Street Station.

We needed to make it to Hosier lane by 6pm, and I had a bit of time to shoot a few frames on the way.
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Facebook + WordPress = Doing my nut

Facebook integration for a blog tends no longer to be an option – it is a necessity now. One of the aspects of this is getting the correct thumbnail image to display when sharing a post to Facebook.  Getting it working properly has frustrated me no end.  I am in good company, as can be seen by doing a Google search such as “facebook wordpress image_src“.  There is a relatively simple solution, however.

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Heading to the weekend

It’s Friday, and on the way home I had ten minutes to spare before my train departed.

The entrance to Flinders street station never disappoints with interesting people and sights.  Fortunately I had slipped a camera into my bag this morning before I left home.

I have found street photography a challenge.  It is an art of capturing a moment, usually without any interaction with your subject.  In order to succeed, as a general rule, you do not want to draw attention to yourself.  You need to get the shot before your subject has the opportunity to focus on you.

There is also no chance to “direct your models”.  You need to capture the moments as they happen.  There is no second chance.

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

I am a keen follower of David Hobby’s strobist blog.  One of the shots that he described, which probably impressed me the most was his levitating compact fluorescent light bulb.  So much so, that I could not resist remaking the shot.

Before going into some of the detail, I will do exactly like David, and point out that this shot comes with a health warning!  Setting this shot up involves working with live, uninsulated electrical contacts.  Mains voltage can kill you.  Do not attempt this at home unless you are comfortable with all the precautions you need to take when working with electricity.  If not, for your own sake, please do not try this.

My second point, which do I prefer, David’s shot, or mine?  David’s is much “grittier” and dramatic.  Mine is more clinical.  I did the shot not having looked at David’s for a couple of months, so I couldn’t remember exactly what his looked like.  In the end, I think I like David’s better, because it is more dramatic.

Now, here goes for the detail on the setup of the shot.  It is basically the same as David’s, but the equipment I used was slightly different.  (I have skimped a bit on the detail.  For a more detailed description of the setup, read David’s original post.)

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My rant about bicycle helmets…

For the record: I never get on my bike without my helmet.

This picture would be all wrong though if these two were wearing helmets.  While I might benefit from a skid lid if I were to hit the tarmac at 40km/h, these two would hardly benefit from brain buckets while tootling along at 15 to 20 km/h.

I’m all for safety, don’t get me wrong, but I do think whether or not you wear a helmet should be your own choice, not something that is dictated by laws, drawn up by politicians who probably seldom ever get on a bike!

My favourite Infrared photos

Infrared photography is a relatively new pursuit that I have been dabbling with.  In fact, it is about six months ago that I had my old Canon Powershot G5 modified to shoot near infrared photos.

I have found shooting infrared to be a totally different experience.  It has been a very rewarding one.

Now I have selected a gallery of some of my favourite shots, which can be found at

Black and white infrared photography lends itself either to reproduction of very strong contrasts, or to very dreamy landscapes.  I tend to find myself favouring the former.  Since most haze is in the blue section of the light spectrum, shooting in infrared also tends to cut out a lot of undesirable haze.

Now all I need is to modify a SLR for infrared use.  That will probably have to wait.


SouthbankProbably the most rewarding time to take photos while commuting by bike is on the way home in the evenings in winter.  The light of dusk especially creates some of the most magical scenes.  When summer arrives and it is light until late, I sometimes miss the early dusk and the magical light of winter.  The 3rd set of images from my collection of photos from my bicycle commuting route is now available at

Your friend is my foe

I hate the wind.  More precisely, I loathe and detest the wind!  When you are on a bike, there is no such thing as a good wind.  The wind that pushes you from behind for a minute will obstruct you for an hour when you turn a bend.  That is not true if you are kite-surfing!  Whenever the wind comes up at Altona beach, the sails litter the sky in their vibrant hues.


The second part of my collection of images from my cycle route to work covers photos taken in bright sunlight.  This can be challenging light.  I have been rewarded by some memorable images though.  Part two can be found at