Sunset Wave

Sea and Sky blur into faux continuum

Forever parted by our exhalations

High key photograph of autumnal maple leaves against bright sky

I love light - I really do

High key photograph of autumnal maple leaves against bright sky

I love light - I really do ... especially in Autumn as the leaves turn and the light takes on a crisper feel. I love that moment each year when you step outside and realise that the light has changed ... that it's now striking at a different angle, it's quality altered ... that the season has moved on - even if you haven't. Soon that crispness in the air will become deeper bone-chilling cold and the light will become weaker yet somehow clearer. In south-eastern Australia we have four definite seasons though the local indigenous peoples recognised six. They were a little more in tune with their natural world than I think we are.

Here in Australia, we have amazing light. Light that illuminates with a clarity and intensity I've seen in very few other places ... South Africa is one. They have the endless sky too.

What about you? What is the light like where you live?


Sometimes, when I feel like I'm not going anywhere ... not being creative ... that I'm somehow fixed in a defined space, I remember the first time I lay on the ground as a child and imagined the world turning. How as it spun about its axis or hurtled through space I had to dig a little deeper with my fingers to stop from flying off ... that crazy tilting cartwheel feeling. I remember then that stillness is an illusion, that we are never motionless ... never perfectly still ... that we are all moving even if it's a slow drift on an unseen tide.



windswept leafy autumn chill
fuel that warmed machine's internals
now drained
tanks vapour filled
hollow booming - signage an empty promise
abandoned a day and already unkempt
fenced, dug up and replaced
the land given a new life
and on future warm summer evenings
when myriad people sip and gaze
from fresh balconies
a faint waft of petroleum
hangs sweetly in the air

-May 2012


Our local service station has finally closed. It marks the end of an era for this little suburb. One of the last small servos to go. The bicycle shop - it was handy having one just down the road - closed up months ago. I was on my way back from a family shoot on Sunday and saw that the place had finally closed ... so I stopped and took some photographs. The signage came down yesterday morning.  I know all things must change and the world moves on but I was sad to see it go. Soon it will be as though nothing was there. Units will be up in a year. Nothing will remain except the faint waft of petroleum hanging sweetly in the air.

What about you? Do you document the things that change before they change?


Sometimes things just assemble themselves. Like this picture... I came across a table at my in-laws place in the countryside and there was an assortment of things on it that the kids had collected and been playing with ... there was this arthropod in a glass of water (I still haven't gotten around to identifying it yet ... it seems to have a lot of segmented legs!) and there was this illustration from a newspaper by the illustrator 'Reg' ... the two objects just seemed made to go together and well, here they are :-)

The Invisible Mother


This was a practice where the mother, often disguised or hiding, often under a spread, holds her baby tightly for the photographer to insure a sharply focused image.

- The Hidden Mother

ealry portrait of a family standing around a mother obscured by a blanket

Now I understand that this practice originated when exposure times were slow meaning subjects had to sit perfectly still to render themselves sharply. I get that some families wanted only to have a portrait of their offspring with no parents. I still find the pictures a little macabre and creepy. I know that I'm looking with a modern eye and that what I'm seeing was 'standard practice' for the photographer and subjects but I can't help feeling that the pictures resonate with our society's underlying desire to make mothers invisible at the expense of their families. We don't pay mothers to do what they do ... we expect it. The need of the next generation are put, quite rightly, first but at the expense of and often with hidden cost to the mother. The Invisible Mother.

 Early portrait of child by mother obscured by a blanket


So here we have a series of pictures which had they been taken today could be hailed as a representation of the western social invisibilty of motherhood ... but that's not why they were made.

Interesting stuff to ponder ... what do you think?

Footnote: I found these fascinating photographs over at BlueMilk and liked them so much I'm referencing the original site Retronaut where you can find a stack of these images.

Guilty Pleasures: Battleship (2012) a short review

Promo poster image for the 2012 movie Battleship I admit to a guilty pleasure. I do enjoy a high-tech sci-fi shoot-em-up special effect showpiece. Transformers was fun (2&3 deplorable!) and as long you didn't think too hard was an enjoyable spectacle. Battleship (2012) was too. There are plot holes you could sail the USS Missouri through and the acting was handled adequately despite the poor script. In addition it had the overall feel of a defence force recruiting puff-piece ... this time for the Navy ... all those beautiful young things and crisp white uniforms. That said, a lot of them died. The special effects and battle-tech were quite spectacular ... if you've ever wondered what a destroyer being systematically torn to bits from the inside by a shiny high-torque rotary gear shredder might look like then this is the flick for you.

Throw in a geeky scientist who discovers his backbone, a double amputee vet from Aphganistan, a tepid love interest and lots of cooperation with the captain of a Japanese destroyer and you have a reasonable idea of what's going on. The USS Missouri (a WWII battleship moored as a museum piece - armed and fueled no less) was brought into the action by a small group of former crew members now serving as ship guides ... armed and fuelled? Really? The love interest annoyed me.

Great to look at and some humour in there too, the film is apprently based on the grid-based game 'Battleship' by Hasbro though I have to say loosely based ... very loosely based.

I did get to see the trailers for the Avengers (yawn) and Prometheus the new effort from Ridley Scott. I got the feeling from the cinema audience that that was the film everyone is waiting for ... it looks bloody amazing :-)

Battleship (2012) screening at Dendy Canberra.

Long daytime exposure of the sea against rocks

Shores of a methane sea

Long daytime exposure of the sea against rocks

Imagine standing on a planet much colder than this one is now and looking out over a sea of liquid methane ...

Shores of a Methane Sea ... the crunch of crystalline accretions under your boot

... the way the liquid moves and sighs - not like water

but thinner and with crackle...


About the picture: playing around with the B+W ND110E 10 stop neutral density filter.

Dewdrops on a spiders web

Connecting you now

Dewdrops on a spiders web  I was inspired by a post by fellow blogger Star Rush in Seattle called Currents. In the post, Star spoke of the currents of energy, life and power. The post was accompanied by one of her beautiful monochrome photos featuring a jumble of power-line and cable. While I liked the post very much, it got me to thinking about not only the energy the lines carry, about how they power our homes or carry telephony (remember then?) but how they connected us. I got to reflecting that when an operator said "Connecting you now..." they really were. You were physically connected to the person you were speaking to.

Think about that for a moment ... physically connected to someone else whether in the next street or on the other side of the planet.

While I embrace the freedom that the mobile age has brought, I feel that something somewhere has been lost ... a connection to one another if you will. How we're more connected than ever but somehow dis-connected at the same time.

Connecting you now.

boy standing in front of train passing a station at speed

Feel The Wind

Feel the wind of a passing train. Those destinations unridden, the breezy suggestion of another place.

Stand anchored, feeling the pull and blur of the cars ... the light unconscious pull and tug...

Passing TRain
'Feel The Wind' (Black & White)


Shot on the platform of Tempe Station in Sydney.

1/6 sec at f/22 in case you'd like to know :-)

Stairs leading upward with sunbeams raining down from above

My image went viral on Pinterest (and I didn't know)

Stairs leading upward with sunbeams raining down from above I was going through my Google+ stream earlier tonight and came across a reshare of this image ... only it wasn't reshared from me but from someone else! Cranky! Theft! Piracy!

I contacted both my contact who had shared it to me and the original person who had it in their stream with no attribution. They got back really quickly and apologised meaning no harm and promptly removed it as I requested ... it still had my old 'Lushpup Images' watermark on the bottom left of the picture! I asked where they found it and they said #pinterest and sent me the URL (they really were quite helpful and I became less cranky). Sure enough there was my image with the watermark ... no attribution. What caught my eye was the list of 200+ reblogs listed on that page. When I did a Google Image search for the picture I was returned 15 pages of exact matches from all blogs and sites all over the world ... I stopped looking after that.

Interestingly, downloading a copy of the image from a number of sites to my machine (coming home in a way) the Author metadata still listed Lushpup Images as author and copyright holder ... not that anyone looked at it ;-)

Now, in the rare times I go searching for my own images using Image Search I come across one or two sites. I send them an email and in 99% of cases we resolve it through removal or attribution. In this case, where the image has clearly gone viral, what to do? I have heard that Pinterest throws copyright and intellectual property pretty much out the window by leaving it up to the individual account holder...

My image went viral on Pinterest (and I didn't know) ... What would you do?

Sniff the white (champagne tinted) rat

Vale 'Sniff' - Died 4th April 2012

Sniff the white (champagne tinted) rat Born in 2011, Sniff was always a beautiful creature. Pink-eyed and white (well, champagne tinted), he was a gentle rat. He had a kinder and gentler temprament than his mate and surviving companion Waggle. Sniff was recovering from a bout of repsiratory illness and was responding well to antibiotic treatment ... he was found dead this morning in his enclosure with no obvious cause.

Now, I've never kept rats before. We have a cattle dog, chooks (well, maybe one fewer chook soonly) and up until this morning two rats. We got the rats (two boys) after about six months of consistent interest and prodding by the children. They got desexed and live in a large penthousey enclosure, eat healthy food and are handled regularly and lovingly ... sometimes a bit too lovingly by the youngest yet they do not bite or have ever gotten aggressive.

They are bright and intelligent little animals, curious and with distinct personailties. They seemed to like exploring and checking things out. Their whiskers are something behold! I find it quite amazing to realise that people by and large do not believe that creatures (other than ourselves) can think and feel ... that they are driven only by instinct and some kind of genetic program. A distinct lack of empathy on their part I say.

Sniffy you will be missed by all of us.

Vale 'Sniff' - Died 4th April 2012


water droplets consdensed onto a shiny blue surface


water droplets consdensed onto a shiny blue surface


The cool skin, attractive

pulling my eyes

pulling the very vapours from the air 


loving dappled and blue


Add EXIF data to your scanned images

OK ... so you've been out taking pictures with film. You've got the film developed and most likely had the negatives scanned so you can add the images to your digital library.

Perhaps you like to use keywords to index or sort your library. Maybe you like to see only those photos taken with a particular model camera ... like your film camera? Digital cameras record information about the image captured in the form of a series of EXIF tags (Camera, Lens, Aperture, Exposure etc). It's these tags that applications like Picasa, Lightroom and Aperture read when importing your images. Scanners apply EXIF data to the images resulting from scans. Film cameras do not (with some rare exceptions) record EXIF data so you'll need to create it. So here you are, seeking to add EXIF data to your scanned images.

Since Adobe’s Lightroom and most of the other tools that I use are geared towards DSLRs, I have felt the need to add as much EXIF data to my scanned images as possible. The more photos I add to Lightroom, the more important Smart Collections are getting to me and the less I want to rely on keywords. Things become even more complicated when I started using more than one film camera and wanted to use the standard ways to sort my photos by camera. Besides, I have this blog and display my photos online, my visitors want to inspect the EXIF data to get a feel for how I arrived at a particular exposure.

If you have googled how to update EXIF data in an image and you have landed here ... you have probably also come across the ExifTool by Phil Harvey. This tool can do everything and more, but in the end it is a Perl script with a command line interface. What was needed was a graphical user interface to the ExifTool and Bogdan Hrastnik has stepped up and developed the ExifToolGUI Windows tool for which you can find all information here. Strongly recommended!

After a little bit of time spent in the 'Newbie' stream of the ExifToolGUI forums I worked out how to alter the EXIF data of my scanned film images to reflect the Camera and Lens used to capture the image. Voila! Best of all I can modify the files as a batch. Since my images were already in Lightroom, I selected the images in the Library view, right-clicked them and selected 'Metadata > Read metadata from files' to refresh the image tags reported within the library.

From here they arced across the sky - Mamiya 645 Super

I recently 'inherited' a Mamiya 645 Super medium format camera. I just got my first negs (and medium resolution scans) back from the lab. I took a roll of expired Ilford SFX 200 to see if the beast still worked. It did but the battery died about two shots before I took this. I remembered that the camera will shoot even if insufficient power is contained in the battery but that the shutter speed is fixed at 1/60sec. So this one's fully manual and literally a straight scan from the neg ... ooh I'd forgotten how negatives are just the most beautiful things.

From here they arced across the sky