Monday 5 December 2011

Another almost accidental lightning shot

We had dinner at the wharf last night and I didn't have any camera gear with me - so naturally a nice storm appeared across the harbour!   So I grabbed my sisters camera again and just rested it on a table for stability as I didn't have a tripod or anthing.  Its funny how I sometimes drive 100's of kms to chase storms around with expensive equipment yet these two almost accidental shots are probably amongst my best!  Ah well...

Friday 25 November 2011

Lightning Arch

Lightning Arch over Darwin Waterfront
Been a bit slack lately folks and even this one was an unplanned shot.  My wife and I went to our son Daniel's year 12 graduation at the Convention Centre and saw this on the way when we were leaving for the car.  I didn't have my camera with me but had borrowed my sister's camera (as I only have wide angle lenses not suitable for taking pics at a party).  Lucky I had the tripod in the car and I got a dozen or so shots of some nice lightning.  This was a 30 second exposure at around F8 I think - at ISO100.

Saturday 22 October 2011

More buildup storms

Went for a drive this afternoon - saw a promising beauty building up around Acacia but it faded.  I ended up at Channel Island where a nice storm came up just on sunset and lit up beautifully.  I did get a few shots of bolts coming out of it but no real good ones...  so these are the ones I liked but with no lightning...  I still haven't got a good sunset lightning shot!

Sunday 16 October 2011

My first lightning captures of the season

These taken today around Noonamah as I met up with a few "stormchasers".  We were to meet at Noonamah and decide where to go from there when the action got pretty good right there!

Monday 10 October 2011

Your own email system - free and easy for anyone

Having your own email address isn't too hard for those with a bit of IT savvy - you can do anything from buiding and maintaining your own mail server to using a hosted server that still might just need a bit of configuration.
But I've recently discovered that there an even easier way with Google Apps (free). Anyone can set this up - even my mum (well maybe). The beauty of Google Apps is that the email part is just based on gmail - which is an industry leading robust online mail system.
So what do I mean by "your own email system" and why would you want it? Well basically it means you can have a custom email address like This is far better than something like Its more than just a custom address of course - here's a list of a few advantages;

  • A web based email system doesn't just exist on your PC - you can access your email anywhere you have an Internet connection
  • Being in the "cloud" - you don't lose all your emails, contacts etc when your computer dies or is lost/stolen etc
  • The gmail system also allows you to use it "offline" (ie without an internet connection)
  • Your email doesn't change when you change internet providers (eg from Telstra to Internode) - also gmail is normally much better to use than most ISP's webmail type services.
  • With google apps free - you get up to 10 users. So you can have like a family email address domain (eg, etc) - or for a small business (eg
  • You get other associated services with google apps to share between your users and others - like calendars, documents and contacts.
  • It also provides aliases.  For example your daughter might have her email address in your system as but would also like to have - this can be done and it would all go to the one address for shirley to see.
  • Google apps works great on mobile devices like android, iphones, ipads etc.  It'll sync with your calendars and contacts also.

  • There is a couple of "gotchas" however;
    • The domain name (eg you want might be taken - and probably will be for any dictionary word (eg and many names and phrases ( would be taken for instance).  So you have to be a bit creative when thinking of a name as there are still many that aren't (ok I ended up with and that might be a bit lame).
    • Did I say it was free?  Well google apps is free.. for the free edition.. which is all you need.  There is however a $10 per year fee for the domain name you register...  google look after the registration etc for you but the money actually goes to a domain name registrar.
    • The paid version of google apps give you things like no advertisements around emails (the ads in gmail are very inconspicuous anyways), 25GB email (with free you get heaps anyway - 7-8GB I think)
    Ok you're interested how do you go about getting google apps?  Simple..   just go to and use the "I want to buy a domain name" option.  It might take you sometime to find a domain name that isn't already in use - but thats half the fun!  You can try domain names before you have to pay the $10.

    You might get lucky!  Check out this one that was available still! 

    If you have any problems let me know and I'll try and help.

    Friday 7 October 2011

    My First Storm image of the season

    Ok folks this one is a bit different... basically I wasn't happy with the photo so I tried something different with it to hopefully still produce a nice image... I say image as you couldn't declare it as a photo anymore - even if it did originate from one.

    I've given it a painted effect so it hopefully looks like its been painted by hand...  let me know if you still think it works as a nice image. 

    The photo was taken from the Marrakai track near the Stuart Highway looking south this evening.

    Wednesday 5 October 2011

    3 Amigos revisited

    Went again to the same place tonight - same three trees but thought it would be interesting to show the same scene on a different day with a different lens.

    It would be good to find a closer place to park to this but I guess I needed the exercise.  Tried to park closer to walk to the spot through the bush instead of the long way along the beach - but it wasn't a lot shorter and a bit more rugged walking - especially when its dark going back to the car! :)

    Tuesday 4 October 2011

    Sandfly Creek Sunset

    Trudged down to my little secret spot this evening (its not really very secret - you probably know where it is!) hoping to get a good sunset.  The sky looked very clear but then a few clouds came in and there was a nice glow whilst the sun was still above the horizon but it unfortunately got fairly dull at my favourite sunset time 10 minutes or so after the sun disappears.

    This is a 3 shot HDR - basically 3 exposures of the same scene merged together to capture all the varying brightness of the scene.  Without this the mangroves would be completely silhouetted (black).  This is essentially what our eyes do when surveying a scene anyway - for instance they will adjust when looking at a dark part or bright part of a scene.

    Sunday 2 October 2011

    Miniature Videos

    I'm wanting to get into videography a bit again now I've got the Canon 5dm2 and with the T/S lenses I have I thought I'd give these miniature stopmotion effect videos a crack.  I think some of the scenes in this work (the scenes should look like a toy model setup) but I have some work to do.   The lenses I have (24 & 17mm) aren't the best for this effect are they are a bit wide but I find I can get the effect on some subjects as long as I am above them and they are fairly close.

    Let me know what you think!