Weekly photo challenge: Rise/Set

For the last three years we’ve gotten up early on Christmas Day to head to the beach for sunrise. It has become a ritual for us, we load the car up with towels for us and the dog, fill our takeaway cups with fresh coffee and I make sure my camera is ready to go. Leading up to Christmas is always a mad rush of last minute shopping, tying up loose ends at work and preparing for visitors. The beach is relatively peaceful and quiet at sunrise, it is a beautiful and calming way to start the day.

This is my contribution to the weekly photo challenge

Cheers!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

After several extreme weather events a local wildlife reserve was in danger of being overcome by algae, weeds and dying trees, but all that has changed thanks to a group of dedicated people. I have watched and admired the changes happening as a result of an ongoing regeneration program which has seen the clearing of dead and invasive plants. Native plants have been planted all around the lake and as they grow they provide a source of food and sanctuary for wildlife as well as beautifying the area.

This literal interpretation of this week’s photo challenge: growth is my contribution to the challenge.

Grasses planted around lake

A quick look at Bologna

Neither Hubby or I had been to Bologna before this trip and knew very little about the city. We spent three nights in Bologna and still don’t know much other than it is easy to get good food, the historic centre is mainly medieval (architecture-wise) and there are plenty of students and beggars. I’ll touch more on our visit in a later post, for now please enjoy this quick look at Bologna.

How many ways to see the Eiffel Tower

A view of the Eiffel Tower can be obtained from so many parts of Paris. We have seen it from a bus, on foot, from the Arc de Triomphe, shrouded in fog and sparkling at night. No matter how many times I see it, the sight still makes me smile and want to take a photo.

Lamington National Park flora and fauna

Lamington National Park is World Heritage Listed and includes over 20,000 hectares of diverse forest ranging from sub-tropical rainforest to dry eucalypt forest. The park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, providing a wealth of photographic opportunities for everyone.

Sunset at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat is located  in Lamington National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living, you can choose to spend a day or stay for a while and take the time to explore the rainforest surrounds and soak in some of the most spectacular sunsets.

I had the pleasure of staying there a few years ago and whilst there have been changes to the retreat accommodation, the sunsets remain as beautiful as ever.

Travel with gadgets

In a few weeks we’ll be in Paris, struggling with the language and feeling the cold but still I am excited to be heading back to Europe. It has been a few years since our last holiday and I have nick named this trip ‘Scrappy Adventure II’. This trip we’ll be taking more technology, which worries me because I like travelling without a phone and a video camera however Hubby wants to shoot video and as yet I cannot convince him to make use of the video feature on the phone and the Panasonic Lumix. The smart phone will come in handy because we can make use of offline maps, guidebooks and messenger for keeping in touch with people however I’m hoping that once hubby sees all the cables and power packs then he’ll forego the video camera. My DSLR and laptop go everywhere with me, as good as the iPhone and Lumix are for photography, they don’t completely satisfy my photographic urges 🙂

When it comes to sharing photographs of our trip I will be making use of instagram, Facebook (to some extent), this blog and my Smug Mug account. Having an iPhone with us will make some of that quite easy, I am keen to see how much free wifi we can access and whether the iPhone will take the place of the Lumix even though it doesn’t have the benefit of a 30x optical zoom. My sister in-law and her husband will be on our tour of Europe soon and they’re only taking their smart phones to use as cameras, we’ll meet up with them in Paris so I’ll be curious to see how the phone photography went.

The list of gadgets so far includes:

  • Nikon D750 and 24-70mm lens
  • 11 inch Macbook Air
  • iPhone 5s
  • Panasonic Lumix TZ70
  • JVC HD video camera
  • Numerous SD cards ranging from 8GB to 32GB
  • SD card reader
  • 500GB portable external hard drive

When it comes to photography and gadgets, what do you prefer to travel with and what sort of challenges have you been faced with?

These photos are from our last trip, they were taken with an earlier model of the Panasonic Lumix and it doesn’t matter how old they are, looking at them always makes me smile.

The colours of Spring

Spring is here and there are floral festivals happening in several places around Australia, two popular festivals in Queensland are located in Toowoomba and on Mt Tamborine. I haven’t been able to enjoy either this year however I do have a lovely collection of photos from previous visits which I will share with you.

Happy Spring days!

Zooming with the Panasonic DMC-TZ70

This is not a review, purely an observation of how the zoom works on my little point and shoot camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ70. It appears to be a good addition to my camera bag for travelling, especially when I only plan on taking the 24-70mm lens with me when we go on holiday. The TZ70 is a 12 megapixel camera and it has a 30x optical zoom, roughly equivalent to a 28-840mm lens. I have not tried using the zoom in low light and assume that a tripod would be required to make the most of that amount of zoom, but I have used the zoom in full sun and I’m happy with the results.

The following images were taken yesterday afternoon, I was driving by the pond and saw several pelicans and a few magpie geese hanging around the waters edge and thought it a perfect time to test the performance of the zoom on this camera. I have not cropped the images at all and have done very minimal editing in Picasa. The highlights have blown out a little on two of the photos of pelicans, the last photo is the better one in terms of capturing the detail of the white feathers.

I had read numerous reviews of different compact cameras before deciding on the TZ70 and although my experience so far is limited, you could say I’m satisfied with my purchase 🙂

Magpie geese walking by the lake
Walk this way
Focal length in 35mm film = 57mm
Pelicans walking on the grass
Out for an afternoon stroll
Pelican in the water
Focal length in 35mm film = 639mm
Pelicans on the lake
Focal length in 35mm film = 500mm