Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The Serenity Prayer & Westminster Abbey

It is close to 1000 years old and it has not only stood the test of time but somewhat contributed to it. Many have been buried and commemorated within it. 17 Monarchs lie beneath it and many more that are famous too. It has survived world wars and celebrated royal marriages. It is the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, or short for Westminster Abbey.
In all it's Gothic majesty, it has a cryptic panel, showing a prayer or blessing with some tragic irony.

Prayer at Westminster Abbey

May God Grant to The Living, Grace
To The Departed, Rest
To the Church & The World, Peace & Concord
And To Us Sinners, Eternal Life

Benediction Panel on the Side of Westminster Abbey
Benediction or Prayer on the side of the Westminster Abbey

20th Century Martyrs at the Westminster Abbey

The entry to the Church, where the martyrs of the 20th century perch above it's archway in gargoyle like fashion. A reminder of the cold harsh world we live in. Maximilian Kolbe, Manche MasemolaJanani LuwumThe Grand Duches ElizabethMartin Luther KingOscar RomeroLucian TapiediDietrich BonhoefferEsther JohnWang Zhiming all unveiled in 1998 to remember their sacrifices. All the stories are quite sad and their personal sacrifices are great.

The entrance to the Westminster Abbey on the Western side.
The Western Entrance of the Westminster Abbey
The 20th Century Martyrs standing guard over the archway
The Martyrs of the 20th Century stand watch over the western entrance

~ Pedro

Sunday, 30 June 2013

House Jumping Spider

Meet the Jumping Spider. This terror is a whole 0.7 cm long.
2013 is the year of the House Jumping Spider around our place since we are finding a heap crawling around. About six months ago it was Hunstmans and Grasshoppers and the year before it was the Orb Spiders. Seems like all these little creatures just take a turn owning my backyard.
Must admit, am a little more relaxed about the Jumping Spider though, at half the size of a fingernail, it's hardly a fearsome pest.

Jumping Spider Close Up

On close up they are a curious little spider. When spotted, they tend to hold down a stare and look right back at you with those tiny beady eyes and lift up their legs to show they mean business. I pulled out the Sony NEX 5N and clipped on the 30MM Macro to get some close ups and this little guy was trying to jump at the lens. Ballsy little things. Still made me flinch.

Macro Zoom with the Sony NEX 5ND & 30 MM Macro

Have been working on some Macro shots with the Sony NEX. The most difficult part is the lack of Image Stabilisation. I've found using the point focus almost unworkable, without a tripod you simply get too much shake to capture moving subjects. A neat way to get around this is by using the camera's Autofocus settings, through the multi or centre focus, which open up more of the 25 focal points across the image. This will help reduce the amount of blur from movement or shallow depth. As an example below, taking a little more space between the subject, or just enough to avoid them moving away or in this case at the camera, and then applying a zoom over the image. At 100% zoom you still get a decent quality image but you can see some degradation around the legs. But happy with the overall quality, the fact you can zoom in a clearly see this little guy's bearded fangs is great.

Close up of a House Jumping Spider Zoomed 100% and Cropped
100% Zoom and Cropped - Taken with Sony NEX 5N - 30MM Macro
Close up Image of a House Jumping Spider, 33% Zoom Applied.
33% Zoom and Cropped, Taken with Sony NEX 5N - 30MM Macro

Taken with Sony NEX 5N - 30MM Macro. F/4. 1/60Sec ISO - 100 With Flash


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Australian Reptile Park

A day out at an Australian Zoo.

Nestled amongst the Eucalyptus that follow the Sydney-Newcastle freeway and around the Brisbane Waters national park is a colourful dinosaur that could be mistaken for a Jurassic styled theme park. It is the turn indicator for the Australian Reptile Park. A small zoo that hides within it a decent number of animals and is actually great value for money when you compare what you may pay at the Sydney Wildlife world in Darling Harbour.

During a visit with the family I managed to take some shots of some of the animals. All photos taken with a Sony NEX 5N and using a 18MM Wide Angle Lens and a 18-55MM Zoom Lens.

Without a doubt the star of the day was the huge Crocodile they have in the enclosure, but closely followed by the slightly creepy zookeeper, who is actually a pretty entertaining guy, but very creepy.

~ Pedro

Photo of a large saltwater crocodile under water next to a no swimming sign
No Swimming. 
Photo of the creepy zookeeper at the park with an alligator around his neck
This zookeeper was a strange character, some of the kids seemed a little creeped out.
Small alligator scurrying across some substrate
This little alligator was deceptively active after laying about on the zookeepers neck.
A bird with wings outstretched near a lake
This guys was just drying himself out by the looks of it, not really all that fused by me taking a few close ups.
Close up photo of a Koala.
Not sure if I had ever seen a koala's eyes up close, strange and reptilian.
Zookeepers at the Australian reptile park feeding a large crocodile
No photo cropping here, just wanted to give perspective of the crocodile. Massive.
Two tortoises in a compromising position. One doesn't look happy.
I don't know what these two where up to, but the one on top didn't seem all that happy to get snapped.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

The Lucky Country - Rose Bay

The Lucky Country

"Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect."

- Ralph Waldon Emerson

We are the lucky country, and it would be fair to say most that enjoyed the boom are living around the Eastern Suburbs bay areas. There can be no doubt that we have some of the best spaces available for us to enjoy and the lucky have it at their doorstep. The following photos are taken around Lyne Park looking out to Rose Bay, under a clear autumn sky. All shot with a Sony NEX 5N and 30MM macro.

  ~ Pedro

Photo of a child in Lyne Park, Rose Bay looking over the water.
Liv in deep thought and reflection.

Photo of a small boat moored on a jetty in Rose Bay
Nice little run about to get out amongst the sunshine.

Photo of Rose Bay with boats in the distance
Rose Bay looking out to Port Jackson.

Panoramic photo of Rose Bay
Doesn't get any better than this, blue skies, sunshine. Perfect Autumn day.

Photo of two kids sitting on a jetty in Rose Bay fishing
Couple of kids fishing off Rose Bay Pier.

Photo of a ships sail near the Woollahra Sailing Club
Someone getting ready to hit the water near the Woollahra sailing club.
Photo of a small boat coming ashore near Woohllarah Sailing Club
Bunch of kids and their parents having a good day out.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Flower Within The Flower

"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."
- Henri Matisse 

Flower within the flower

There are flowers within flowers! And it has taken me too long to find this out. Over the last few weeks I've been looking through an e-mount Sony NEX 5N camera equipped with a 30MM Macro lens and can only say that everything has a new perspective. From hair on insects legs to dandelion spores, I have a completely new perspective on the world.

Take the next three images for example, the Portulaca a very unassuming plant that is a weed in some parts of the world, decides to pop it's head out in a thumb sized flower each year around spring through to autumn. You could walk past this plant and think nothing of it, but that it is has a bright flower. But now, apply a Macro lens over the image, a little digital zoom and there is a whole other level of detail to be found in the images. I am a huge fan of macro photography purely from a selfish perspective, I have never seen this before.

macro image of a portulaca flower taken with a sony nex 5nd and 30mm macro
The detail here is amazing, the centre looks stunning and almost like some kind of explosion.

macro image of a portulaca flower taken with a sony nex 5nd and 30mm macro
Within the Portulaca flower, there looks like there is another flower. A flower within a flower.

Image of a portulaca flower, shot with a sony nex 5n and 30mm macro
And as you step back , the detail is somewhat lost. Still in sharp focus here, but just another flower.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

First Macro Shots on the NEX 5N with 30MM Macro

First Macro Shots On the NEX 5N with 30 MM Macro

Picked up a new lens over Christmas this year, the Sony NEX 30MM F3.5 Macro  lens.

Still getting the hang of it. The lens doesn't feature OSS (image stabilisation) so it can be tricky to get a blur free shot at very close range and need to work on a steady hand. Am also finding the F stop can have a huge impact on the focal point of the image and on a longer stop the blur is almost unmanageable just holding the camera and a very narrow focal point and loads of blur across the foreground and background.

Working with a Macro lens though, is a lot of fun, you can get some incredible detail in your photos if you can find the right subjects. Thanks to the high heat across the Sydney all the little creepy crawlies seem to be hanging around. Great test shots on the new Sony NEX 30MM Macro Lens.

First Macro Shots - Little Creatures, Cowboy Beetle

Close up macro image of a Cowboy Beetle crawling over a green leaf
Found this guy crawling around, impressive, the size of a thumb and strong as an ox.

close up macro image of a cowboy beetle crawling through the leaf litter
The Cowboy Beetle is found through out Australia, but this is the first time i've seen one in the city.

First Macro Shots - Little Creatures, Green Grasshopper

close up macro image of a grasshopper on a brown leaf.
This image had been post processed, it had a little too much blur, but still a good close up.

close up macro image of a green grasshopper on black mat.

First Macro Shots - Little Creatures, Hunstman

close up macro image of a huntsman
Sooo, these guys really freak me out. The Australian Hunstman.

Close up macro image of a huntsman.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

London Something Old and Something New

"How incessant and great are the ills with which a prolonged old age is replete."
- C. S. Lewis 

London, Something Old and Something New

Very few places in the world have such a mix of old world charm and modern design. It has to be respected. We have replaced sandstone for glass, steel for iron and plastic for wood. It's only through this contrast that we can see how much we have become.

Image of the Jack the Ripper Tours sign from Tower Hill station in london
Jack the Ripper tours right outside of the Tower Hill tube station.

Image of an eerie building and tree's on the banks of the thames in london
The banks of the thames is littered with old majestic buildings.

image of the roman wall at tower hill london
The old roman wall running from tower hill, hemmed in around modern developments build circa ~AD400

roman wall, window with modern building window in tower hill london
Roman wall, window looking through to the new building behind it.

image of the tower of london at night
The tower of london built in the 1000's.

tower of london with skyscraper behind it
You only need to walk the circumference of the tower to see some of the big highrises coming up over the city which are at complete odd with the old designs.

crane towers illuminated over tower of london
A new crane tower sits above the curtain wall of the tower of london.

picture of the tower bridge in london
The tower bridge, built in the 1800's. 

tower bridge in london
There isn't a moment where this bridge isn't filled with people and cars. With some time delay images you can remove the noise of the new influences a little.

The tower bridge house, sitting just metres away from the bridge. Removes any similary or  linkage to the bridge and tower.