We left early Saturday morning for the two hour drive to the regional city of Bendigo in Victoria, Australia.
The Bendigo Art Gallery was hosting a photographic exhibition called American Dreams, a selection of 20th century photography from George Eastman House in the U.S.A.
On arrival in Bendigo my friends and I stopped for brunch at the Cafe El Beso located opposite the art gallery.
After due consideration of the menu we all coincidentally chose the “big breakfast” to kick start our day. The big breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, fresh spinach and tomatoes all served on thick crusty toast. It was indeed big, satisfying and delicious, ….and highly recommended. The cafe for some strange reason doesn’t serve coffee in mugs, only cups. I don’t know what that’s all about!
With bellies full we waddled across the road and began our exploration of the gallery. We firstly enjoyed viewing the gallery’s impressive collection of large paintings before entering the area hosting the photography exhibition.
To be honest I was initially struck by how small and unimpressive many of the photographic prints were. Gradually as I explored the exhibition further I grew to appreciate the collection as I discovered some of the more moving and impressive images. In summary I would say the exhibition is worthwhile for those interested in the photographic process and journalistic photography.
The American Dreams exhibition ends at the Bendigo Art Gallery on the 10th July 2011.
A link to the exhibition webpage is here.
After leaving the gallery we went to explore the Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Hospitals and churches both rank very highly on my list of least favorite places to visit however this cathedral is really quite a photographic gem.
I shot these images on my LX3 using it’s “dynamic black and white mode” and hope to return there soon with my DSLR and a longer lens to catch some more details.
Tooradin is right at the top of my list when it comes to escaping for a little bit of quiet time. Located just a few minutes down the road from my home, Tooradin’s features include a serene creek that runs through the town and winds it’s way down to a great foreshore area where it joins with Westernport Bay.
The foreshore area usually has lots of parking spaces available and serves as a fine place to devour whatever delicacy you’ve chosen from the local bakery, fish and chip, or pizza shop.
Alternatively you can bring along your own boring food and make use of the BBQs.
During low tide, large expanses of mud are exposed along both sides of the channel.
You can stroll along the elevated edge of the channel and watch as thousands of tiny crabs, disturbed by your presence, dive for cover into their tiny holes in the mud.
Back to the serious topic of food for a moment, I highly recommend the Tooradin bakery with it’s fine selection of meat pies. They also have more sweet cake/bun/doughnut thingies than you could poke a stick at, …..and the coffee isn’t too bad there either.
The bakery is also conveniently located next to the fine Ice Cream shop, offering heaps of different flavours for those craving even more sugar. 😉
Fish n’chips must be big business in Tooradin because this tiny town has no less than two fish n chip shops.
On one side of the main road is the Tooradin Original Fish & Chip Shop and across the road is the Boardwalk Chippery. The Boardwalk shop boasts the use of “healthy rice bran oil”. The rice bran oil must be an acquired taste, …I’ve tried it but I haven’t yet acquired that particular taste,….but each to their own.
For the curious photographers who might be reading this post, the camera I used was a Panasonic Lumix LX3 in “dynamic B&W” mode with some minor corrections later in Photoshop.
If you’re interested in using any of these images or would like to purchase a high quality print then please contact me at – firstname.lastname@example.org
Following are some images from the shores of Westernport Bay.
Pictured below – The Journey Home, seagulls at the Tooradin foreshore take off en masse as the day gives way to night.
Below – Corinella Sunset, a series of “God beams” appear from behind a cloud as the sun sets at Corinella pier. These “God beams” are also known as crepuscular rays and are explained at Wikipedia here.
Below – The Living Jetty.
At Corinella a jetty platform disappears below the surface during a king tide.
The local sea birds take advantage of the exposed posts by using them as a safe roost.
My initial plan was to stop at Grantville, visit the bakery for a mandatory steak pie and cappuccino, then take a long stroll along the beach.
The consumption of the pie and cappuccino went nicely to plan. On arrival at the beach all that had changed.
Where’s the beach gone? ………….
I had apparently arrived at the peak of a king tide. There was no sand to be seen anywhere, much less walk along.
Pictured below – looking out towards the jetty the fishermen appeared to be almost walking on water. It was unusual to see the water lapping across the platform on the lower section of the jetty.
Pictured below – A few images from along the beach, north of the jetty, taken with a Lumix LX3 camera.
It’s amazing how salt tolerant these trees can be.
Where’s my sandy beach gone?
Due to the king tide, navigating the coast required walking through low lying vegetation, and it didn’t feel right. 😦
I should check my tide charts more often.
If you’re interested in buying any of these images as prints then please contact me at – email@example.com
One doesn’t usually associate the word “spider” with art. In my case I seem to be blessed by the presence of a very artsy Orb-weaver spider.
Each evening during summer the spider constructs an elaborate web between the house and a large tree in the backyard.
In an effort to capture the frantic web building activity I took my LX3 out into the backyard to see what I could catch.
The Orb-weaver was lit from some distance away by one of the house security lights.
I set the LX3 to an aperture of f/2.0 @ISO800 due to the dim conditions and caught the following beautiful movements as the spider hurriedly moved around.
For those who might be curious and want to try this I shot these images in aperture priority mode. The camera selected a corresponding shutter speed of 1.3 seconds to suit my particular lighting conditions. The camera was also in “Dynamic B&W” mode.
This excursion to Seaford pier was a second visit. My goal was to capture an image that I’d had in my mind for some time but wasn’t able to quite capture on the first visit.
The subject of the image was a wonderful old wooden bench seat located at the end of the Seaford pier.
Pictured above – “The Silent Partner” is available as a print here.
I chose to use a long exposure here to smooth out the waves on the water and soften the clouds in the sky. This has the desirable effect of making the image less busy and draws the viewers attention to the wonderful grain and smooth worn texture of the wood.
Conveniently the lines of the bench also draw the viewers eyes into the image and towards a swirling cloud in the background providing a second point of interest.
Pictured below – “Observer” is available as a print here.
This is the image I took on the first visit. I like this image but it wasn’t the vision I initially had in mind. A local resident paid me the ultimate compliment by purchasing a framed print of this one.
This morning I dropped my car off for a service.
With the knowledge that I’d have a couple of hours to kill I took along the Panasonic LX3 to see what I could find. After a leisurely breakfast at the local cafe I strolled down to the beach at Seaford and gave the LX3 a bit of a run in “Dynamic B&W” mode.
This little camera never fails to amaze me. Of course the image quality is not as good as a DSLR but to me the quality is certainly quite acceptable. I just love the LX3 for portability when I don’t want to lug around the DSLR and lenses.
These images were taken on a recent excursion to Fingal beach, near Cape Schanck, Victoria, Australia.
The long track from the carpark to the beach is lined with twisted and gnarled trees creating an interesting viewing experience.
Visitors to the beach also experience the joy of navigating the hundreds of “awkwardly spaced” steps along the path. It’s not so bad going down to the beach but the return uphill journey is certainly a good test of your general fitness. Of course the ideal solution is to take along a strong, sturdy friend who can carry you back up the hill.
The images below were all taken using the Lumix LX3 camera.
After traversing the Fingal forest I managed to take this image.
This image was taken at Beaumaris beach, Victoria, Australia.
Walking along the beach at sunset was a hazardous proposition as sand was littered with the stranded bodies of hundreds of jellyfish. Poor things!
This shot taken with the Lumix LX3.
This image was taken at Warneet coastal reserve using the Panasonic Lumix LX3 compact camera.
This has been my favorite compact camera so far, ….it’s a real “photographers camera” allowing full manual control of all the bells and whistles that one could want.
I’ve just updated my LX3 to a new firmware version (V2.1) and all seems to be well at this stage.
Apparently version 2.0 had a bug or two and was removed from the Panasonic site and has resurfaced as version 2.1.
A warm tropical pond in Port Douglas, Queensland.
This image taken with the Lumix LX3 camera. So far I’m very impressed with the LX3’s picture quality.
This image is available to purchase as a high quality print here.
A nighttime river scape image taken at Port Douglas, Australia, using the Lumix LX3.
This image is available to purchase as a print here.
The Australiana Tree is at SkyHigh on top of Mt Dandenong in Victoria.
The tree was apparently killed by a lightning strike several years ago then later sculpted by artist Leigh Conkie.
The two close up images of the carved tree were shot at night using the Lumix LX3 hand held at 1/30 and 1/20th of a second both at f2.8, ISO400. The tree was side lit by a large yellow spotlight.
I took the following shots using the LX3 in order to decide for myself how high I would be prepared to crank up the ISO during normal shooting. The following images are 100 percent crops from jpegs.
Image below – lx3 ISO80
Image below – lx3 ISO100
Image below – lx3 ISO200
Image below – lx3 ISO400
Image below – lx3 ISO800
Image below – lx3 ISO1600
Image below – lx3 ISO3200
There are some occasions when it’s just not practical or desirable to carry around an SLR camera and it’s associated lenses and gadgets. I’ve been looking around for a compact camera which would give me the advantage of portability, while still offering the versatility of full manual control and decent image quality.
With these requirements in mind I’ve purchased the Panasonic Lumix LX3 and I must say at this early stage that this camera certainly deserves the fine reviews it’s receiving. The key feature for me is the wide (24 to 60mm) fast f2.0 lens. The fast lens combined with the camera’s image stabilization allows the capture of indoors (low light) images without resorting to the flash. At the wide 24mm end this lens is also useful for taking my landscape/seascape shots.
This retro looking camera has a very solid feel to it and allows full manual control of it’s many bells and whistles. Panasonic should be congratulated for keeping the LX3’s sensor resolution down to a manageable size instead of following the horrible trend towards higher magapixels and higher noise.