Category Archives: australia

happy chrissie!


kanga and joey
northcliffe, western australia

Yes, aussies really say happy chrissie. This roo with her joey was hanging out near a campground in western australia. They’re everywhere! Saw over ten of them on our evening xmas walk in the bush near Andrea’s brother’s place in Canberra. And kookaburras. And some bunnies. Merry Christmas!

the lost art of impressing a woman

tentAndrea was pleased to hear about my new rashy (yes, aussies have to add -y/-ie to everything. It’s a sea shirt, short for rashguard). No skin cancer for his northern girl. Indeed he spent his early-morning birthday call on Monday making me laugh about our impending camping trip across southern Australia. He was telling the women at work about the camping, and perhaps the new tent, and one woman laughed and said, “you really know how to impress a woman, don’t you?” and another, “So you’re trying to get rid of this girl, right?” Haha. And I thought they were sporty in Perth. He’s worried that he’s invested in a fancy new tent and I’ll decide on the second day that I’ve had enough and will insist on B&Bs the rest of the way (on the Nullabor? Right). He really doubts that a woman who dragged upper-middle-aged aussie tourists across the central asian Kyzyl Kum desert and survived countless night buses in India and Pakistan can handle a road trip across Oz? Oh, we’ll see ’bout that, mate! That is, if I survive the flights there—a bit over 39hrs door to door.

I spent my last NYC Saturday subbing yoga classes and sitting at my desk for 7hrs going through the scancafe images, as they wouldn’t just complete my order as is, as no extra charge because of the many issues with the order. Their site was slower than usual, which made it all the more tedious. (I’ve about 1000 more to get through today, which I’m doing now, writing this as the folders load. In the end, I will delete about 50%). It’s weird to be going through so many images from my past when I have a beautiful new camera begging for my attention. I ended selling my first as it was quite old (5 years = ancient in digital years, though still in great shape) for a new one, as I know that current cameras can handle light much, much better than sensors of 2004. Trying to do as little as possible today, to avoid pre-trip stress, but I do need to finish these, catch up on some email, and clean.

Absolutely dazzled by the trip, but a little sad to be out of NY for the thanksgiving to new year period. It’s a great time here, and I love the rituals, even if I only observe them from afar. Will be my second New Year in Oz. Ooooh, summertime! Cannot wait.

patience. and how to learn photog. or just learn.

scancafe2Oh yes, she’s still droning on about scancafe. As if she didn’t have plenty of other things to do in preparation for the trip (clean, organize, photocopy docs, buy stuff like a swim shirt/rashguard so that she dosen’t become one with the many Aussies who develop skin cancer, but does acquire a cute surfer-girl look. Okay, Andrea is making her get one. She like the pink). Okay, sorry, no more third person. I’m reviewing the scancafe images again, now that ‘quality control’ has rescanned and reloaded them. I’m deleting more, whilst trying my very best to be patient. (Shouldn’t this have been done weeks ago?) Instead of sharing the current frustrations, I’ll step back explain how I’m trying to approach this waste use of my time.

Looking at almost every image I took from 1998-2003, and deleting the ones I don’t want, I’m trying to note why some work and others don’t. Missed expressions, bad exposures, off compositions obviously kill an image. I’m noticing what I did right and what I didn’t. There is a huge improvement over the years, and I’m hoping this time editing will help me while shooting. I’m also trying to notice what focal lengths I tend toward, and light techniques in difficult lighting.

I find that I learn best by a combination of repetition and osmosis. Instead of writing down notes, I’m just letting my brain take in info passively as I sift through all the images, and let it absorb what makes an image work. It’s a longer process than studying more actively, and there are times I do that as well, but I feel that this method is deeper and longer lasting, because it integrates naturally with what I already know.

I would like a year off (who wouldn’t) to work on photos, thoughts, and yoga. Integrate and develop what little I know. Hmmm.

the next trip: down under

rani elephant sri lanka

Now that I’m almost done with editing and posting the Sri Lanka pics (above, Rani. More in the next post), my free time has been hijacked by planning for the next trip. I bought tickets this week for an eight week trip to Australia, a 40-hr journey to Perth (perhaps more door-to-door), where I’ll meet Andrea. We’ll hang out there awhile and then head south to Margaret River, Esperance, and continue on across to Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney. Yes, this is a huge trip to be taken in Andrea’s green station wagon, purchased more or less for this sort of trip. I’m excited because I can use some time camping and resting on the beach after so much city life. Will be an adventure if the car breaks down, but that’s all part of the deal. Anyone who tells me this is mad can read about my friend Sherry’s lone bike trip across Australia. I think we can manage it in a car (though that train does look nice).

So I’m a bit behind on finishing up on the Sri Lanka stories. I’d hoped to be finished by now. And scancafe is meant to have my 5,000 some images ready to peruse—in ten days. To divide the free time between finishing and planning is difficult, as plans have a deadline. (Though it might not seem so from my travels, I do work.) I’m hoping to write and edit a bit as I go on this trip, but we’ll see. It is nice to set the laptop down (if not the camera).

Any thoughts (advice, experiences, etc) are very welcome.