Holiday Heaven

My husband recently decided he needed a holiday while he was home.  As he spends weeks away at sea I would have thought that just being home again was enough of a holiday but I went with it and looked at a few spots that might suit us – or rather a few spots that might suit my photography, as I was keen to add a few more sunrise and sunset beach shots to my already extensive experimentation.  You can never have enough beach shots, right?

My husband grumbled but as he was close to everything he needed, food, bed, bathroom and an occasional beer he was happy to comply – until I handed him a list of shots that I wanted to get on his ‘relaxing’ holiday.  I’m reasonably adventurous but I’m not stupid and hanging around somewhere to prepare for shots that for the most part are shot in near darkness is asking for trouble in certain situations so he was to be my ‘wing man’ and protector for however long it took me to get that ‘perfect’ scene.

As I’m more of a night owl than a morning sparrow it was his mission to wake me up before dawn and drive me to my predetermined destination for my sunrise shoot.  I was pretty disappointed that there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky as opposed to the previous day’s complete torrential washout but I worked with what I had and managed to get some half-decent orange hues and some silhouettes – besides, I was pushing my luck getting him to participate in yet another sunrise-stalking protection operation anytime in the near future.

For my sunset shot he just sat in the car and watched me from a distance as I snapped happily away.  I was surrounded by a bevy of shutterbugs, surfers and grommets.  As far as he was concerned, my safety in numbers and his comfy car seat trumped getting sand blasted in freezing mid-winter conditions on a bunch of cold, hard rocks.

On our last day I had booked a helicopter flight to get some great aerial shots of the coastline.  He’d been in helicopters plenty of times for his job so I wasn’t overly concerned during the drive to the helipad but at his shudder and reference to unreliable ‘kerosene canaries’ when he spotted it, I was on full alert for an ocean ditching, life jacket inflation and holding a very expensive camera out of the water at all costs.

Needless to say we made it back safely with some great shots – which is another story worthy of its own post.  I’m pretty sure my husband was extremely relieved to also make it back to his leather recliner and his flat-screen television for some much needed shuteye for the remainder of his stay at home.


Droning On

I recently became the proud owner of a new drone.  One of the more upmarket drones to complement my photography and take some half-decent shots of the coastlines in this country from a different perspective.

My husband shook his head at the price and mentioned something about me having the navigational skills of a wood duck in regards to actually becoming an accomplished drone pilot but I dug my heels in and learned as much as I could on You Tube about my particular model drone, the do’s and don’ts and the finer points of drone flying once you get over first-flight phobia and are on your way to becoming a semi-seasoned pro.

For my first flight I took it down to the local recreational reserve.  There are an abundance of coastal areas in my neighbourhood so it was just a matter of looking at the map, determining whether I was actually allowed to fly there with my app and getting to the ‘launch site’ at a favourable light hour.  I took a friend along with me who knew a thing or two about drone flying for moral support so I was feeling particularly brave.

I had it started up and hovering 120 metres over Moreton Bay before my friend informed me that I must be feeling pretty confident because neither he nor his friends took their drones out over the water their first times and just flew them around various parks low and slow to get used to moving them around.  I decided my next time out would, in fact, be at the local park down the road.  My illustrious shots of gorgeous coastlines from 120 metres up could wait until my brain caught up with what my fingers were actually doing with the remote control.  No doubt the back-to-home button has saved me on a few occasions in the meantime.

I’ve encountered a few people who are keen to let me know that they don’t like drones much and I’m infringing on their privacy and I’ve become equally as keen to quote them the rules, app allowances and tell them to go back 30 metres to where they came from originally to a safe distance before they infringed on my privacy.  It seems to work for the most part and I get left alone.  The remainder of the time I get a lot of questions about drones from other droners or would-be droners which makes me feel a little important even if I don’t know what I’m doing half the time.

Right now I’m slowly working it out and getting some half-decent drone shots of some coastline but I’m keen to explore more possibilities and angles of drone photography.  My husband is not holding his breath on me making a living out of drone photography and he is hiding all the cards just in case I find something else to add to my collection of cameras, studio equipment and drone paraphernalia in the near future.


Beginning Again

It’s been a while since I posted but lately I have found that I have more time on my hands and more motivation to put my ‘creative writing’ skills to use once again.

I am having somewhat of a sabbatical from work at present – or rather a prolonged ‘holiday’ suggested by my husband after my work-from-home job as a medical transcriptionist became less than desirable and started to create moderate-to-high stress levels in our household.  Five years as a medical transcriptionist was enough for me, particularly as our company transferred to foreign ownership and I found that after a long-term projection I would wind up doing the same amount of work for less money – but with the same amount, if not more, stress from line count quotas, English second-language dictators and other transcriptionists with a propensity to cherry pick the best dictators given half a chance.  My recent difficulties in a Singapore hospital and the resulting anxiety and insomnia from my health issues sealed the deal and I sailed off into a semi-retirement sunset and slept soundly for the first few weeks afterwards.

Over the last two and a half years while I have been working I have also been dabbling in photography and what started out as a sideline interest has now blown out into a full-blown obsession with all things pertaining to Canon cameras, lenses, shutter speeds, apertures and ISO.  I am devouring camera magazines, doing online study courses and joining photography groups locally and online.  I am offering my services to all and sundry in an effort to gain more experience working with light and attempting to direct my models like a true professional.

Of course now that I am no longer chained to the computer for prolonged periods of time I am taking obsessive to even greater levels with softboxes, speedlights, strobes, a gathering of an assortment of toys, blankets and fluffy objects for future anticipated shoots of babies, puppies and anything in between.

My husband, as usual, keeps his distance most of the time from my hobby and rarely bats an eyelid over my purchases or my must-have items.  His motto in life of having a happy wife is to have a happy life might be short lived if he ever got wind of my pro Canon 5D Mark III I bought for a ‘good price’ last year, however.

In the meantime, I am slowly becoming what is known as the uncle Arthur in my husband’s family.  I get invited to all the best parties and functions and my popularity is soaring in my small social set.

I am slowly finding myself again.  My grandfather, the only other member of my family to ever pick up a camera and do something worthwhile, would be very pleased.