Tag Archives: hobart


IMG_3532After moving to Brisbane in April last year, I spent a few days in Hobart this February. It’s the first time since I moved away that I’ve been back, and while you could definitely see the differences in little old Hobart compared to when I left. But while I enjoyed my time in Hobart, I’m now more confused than ever about where I consider home to be.

Last August, I was in the Seattle watching The International 2015. The games scheduled for the day hadn’t started yet, so I was doing the widely accepted thing of tracking down Dota 2 personalities in order to obtain their signature.

As you might imagine, players were insanely popular to the point where they had scheduled photo and signature times — I ended up starting in the line for Evil Geniuses player Universe, but by the time I got near to the front it was Aui_2000 doing signatures, which was fine. I collected Aui’s signature on my Dota 2 Steelseries mousepad, and that was it.

Anyway, the games for the day hadn’t started yet — or maybe we were between games — but the English casters were seated and warming up. TobiWan was a caster I was interesting in getting the signature, seeing as he’s one of the most famous Dota 2 casters (and Australian, too). When it was my time to get his signature, I asked how he was and inquired if I could get his signature on my Dota 2 event badge. He said yeah, of course, and then asked if my accent was Australian.

I was a little confused, as even though I’ve lived in Australia for my entire life, I don’t think I have much of an accent. Perhaps it’s one of those cant-smell-your-own-body-odour things, but I replied yeah. While Tobi was signing my badge, he asked me where I was from, and seeing as I had only moved to Brisbane a few months prior, I answered Brisbane. He told me he hailed from a similar part of South East Queensland, the Gold Coast, and in that moment, we shared a special bond. Or I’d like to think so, anyway.

Fast forward about nine months, and it’s once again Tobi in his AMA on Reddit, answering a question about living/working in Germany: “I really just work here, I don’t really live here.”

It’s kind of how I feel about living in Brisbane. I moved here to take up full time-employment, and while that’s great and all, it hasn’t really given me the chance to explore a different state in a different part of the country. I used to do this thing where I’d go and find the biggest shopping centre I could and walk around for a bit, but eventually you run out of Westfields. Plus, not driving kind of makes it hard to venture any further than the train lines can take you, although I’m do going down to Robina every now and then.

To make matters even worse, when I returned to work on the Monday after a weekend wedding in Tassie, one of my colleagues welcomed me home. “Home”. I’m not sure I know where that is anymore, not out of some misplaced sense of belonging, but because I mostly just work in Brisbane, and don’t really live here.

That could change.


Third post in one day? I must be procastinating assignments (like that doesn’t happen enough already).

I got a day off work the other week, and I decided to go back to the Salamanca Markets. I really love the Markets for street, because there’s more than enough subjects to photgraph. Tourists pointing their DSLRs at locals, locals trying to sell their wares to tourists, buskers, people just enjoying the atmosphere, and more. Last time I went was back in February, and I took my DSLR that time. This time my Yashica would be tagging along for a bit of film action.

I managed to go trough four rolls in the space of two hours, for a total of 103 exposures. Once you get into the zone, it’s all just shoot, advance, shoot, advance. It’s a good feeling.

The only bad part was, most of the photos turned out quite overexposed. I think it might have been the tricky light conditions fooling my light meter, or just the light meter not giving me an accurate read-out, but most of the photos have an opaque white cast to them, what I believe is overexposure in the film world. Digital overexposure means that the whole image is uniformly brighter, but film overexposure is different, as far as I can tell.

In any case, here are a few of the better ones. They’ve been knocked down by up to a stop — there were others, but these are the ones that turned out kind-of okay and didn’t have too much of an opaque white cast.

The good news is, I’ll have a few more days off the in future, so I’ll definitely go back.

Relay for Life 2012

Another year, another relay.

After seeing a great tilt-shift time lapse by a guy in Melbourne, I thought it would be time to try my hand at time lapses, and what better event to do it at other than the Relay for Life 2012?

The original plan was to do a tilt-shift time-lapse in the same style, but then I found out that a lot of the work would have to be done in post. The way the guy did it in the video was with his Canon S95, a great little point-and-shoot. Turns out, the S95 does it pretty much automatically… Not fair!

With only a DSLR an still wanting to do time-lapses, I decided to acquire some gear.

First on the list: a GoPro. Truth be told this could have been anything with a built-in intervalometer, but I wanted to try a GoPro. In past years we’ve had a pram going around the track for close to 24 hours straight, so I thought making a time lapse of the event that way would be kinda cool. I borrowed a GoPro from my boss, and that was that.

During testing of the GoPro a few days before the event, I discovered it only had about 3 hours of battery life. I wanted to do a continuous time lapse of 24 hours, so I needed a way to power it. Cue external USB battery pack with massive 10,600mAh capacity and 2.1A output. The GoPro has a battery capacity of about 1,100mAh, so I was covered there.

The GoPro would cover me from ground level, but I still wanted to do some kind of a tilt-shift one lapse. Or at least another time lapse from another vantage point. To that end, I borrowed a time lapse camera from a friend, a dedicated time lapse unit that was designed specifically to take time lapses of plants. The plan was to mount this unit somewhere up high, looking down on as much of the area as possible.

Finally, I borrowed a smaller point-and-shoot with a built in intervalometer from a colleague for even more time lapses, just in case things went pear-shaped with either of the other cameras.

With four cameras (three for time lapses and my own DSLR), I think I was ready for whatever was going to happen at Relay.

So, how did it all turn out?

Hobart Relay for Life 2012 Time Lapse

The GardenCam got knocked about a little. You can see in the video above, it changes angle a few times, the quality isn’t great, the focal length is too long, yada yada. The positioning could have been better, but then mounting it would have been a pain. As it turns out, the GardenCam has a very slight (completely unintentional) tilt-shift effect — but I think that’s more the camera being completely crap at focusing rather than anything else.

The GoPro worked out pretty much exactly as I thought it was going to, but the end result wasn’t as spectacular as I thought it was going to be. Maybe a photo every ten seconds was too long in between shots, but the resulting time lapse has parts where things just shoot by at a rapid pace.

For a time lapse to look good, you’ve got to have a nice connection between the shots. If the camera itself is moving (as mine was), then maybe shots more often is a good thing. I have a hunch that less FPS during the final movie (the 10-15fps mark, slower playback speed) in the final movie works better for time lapses with a fixed camera. Take more photos with a moving camera, speed up the FPS in the final movie (24-30fps). But then again, a lot of this is just pure guesswork on my part — you’ll just have to experiment to see what looks good1. Next time I would probably err on the side of taking more photos and varying the speed of playback in post — you can’t go back and re-take photos on the day, but you can cut out stuff in post.

Definitely worth looking at again.

  1. I hate posts on creative subjects that say “just do what you think looks good”. “Just play with the sliders until it looks good.” “Just tweak the exposure until you get it just right.” WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? Give me direction any day: “play with the exposure until you get something that isn’t too overexposed, but at the same time brings out the colour.” If you’re going to say “just play/experiment”, give the person a little direction as to what they’re aiming for, and what they’re trying to avoid. 

OUCH: Hobart Mercury front page fiasco


The Hobart Mercury is in damage control today after a remarkably stupid front-page juxtaposition which ran a photograph of four twelve year old school-girls above a splash headline “Girl sold to pay bills”. One story was about students sitting NAPLAN tests and another a dreadful story about a Tasmanian mother acting as a pimp for her twelve year old girl.

via VEXNEWS 2010© | OUCH: Hobart Mercury front page fiasco.

So, I met Matthew Reilly yesterday…

…and I don’t feel special for it.

I think something has to be said with regards to this – Matthew Reilly, of all people.

It’s not that I don’t think he’s a literary genius – I do, he’s absolutely brilliant in all respects, it’s just that, well, it didn’t lack the “sparkle” I was expecting.

I’m not actually sure what I mean by “sparkle”, by the way. He was an excellent, captivating speaker, and he managed to keep the auditorium enthralled the whole time (much the same way he does with his books), so it’s definitely not that.

After his talk, we waited for him to sign books. This isn’t unusual – hugely popular authors like Mr Reilly have huge lines to get his autograph on a couple of books. Personally I managed to get The Six Sacred Stones and The Five Greatest Warriors signed, completing my Jack West Jr trilogy (he had previously signed my copy of Seven Ancient Wonders), but I also managed to get my Scarecrow trilogy signed as well, which was a plus.

I don’t know – maybe meeting him revealed someone who I just wasn’t expecting, the guy with the DeLorean, the life-size Han Solo in carbonite, the guy who takes pictures of his TV in order to use them as his screensaver… Actually going and meeting that guy who managed to keep me up till 3am in the Uni exam period, hooked on The Five Greatest Warriors, was something else.

It was funny – because when it was my turn to get my books signed, I had hoped I was going to say something witty. Something snappy. Instead, I managed to mumble some lame attempt at a joke that went something along the lines of “No, I wasn’t waiting for The Five Greatest Warriors because I had resolved to just forget about it, making the release date come all the more faster” or something along those lines.

There was also an awkward moment at the start where I went to shake his hand, but he had a pen it it – I partially withdrew my hand, only to have him put the pen down and shake my hand. Sigh.

In any case, I don’t think I’ll enjoy the Matthew Reilly books as much now, but not because he’s a crappy writer or anything like that. Sometimes you’re better off not knowing, you know? I don’t mean this in the sense that he’s a bad guy – it’s just that sometimes, the mystery keeps you going. Keeps you in the game. Now that I feel like I know the man that little bit better, there’s no more mystery.

I think it’s the same with Dan Brown, another fiction writer I also enjoy (although some say I shouldn’t). If I ever met him, I don’t think I’d enjoy his books as much anymore – and again, not because he’s a bad writer, but because – there’s no more mystery surrounding him. He’s no longer some person who sits at a desk, pumping out good-quality book after good-quality book – instead, he’s just some guy, with glasses, who does this, and talks like that. (Having not actually met Dan Brown I’m not sure what mannerisms he would have, so I’m doing my best here :p)

Just one of those things, you know?

I’m yet to talk about why I didn’t enjoy The Five Greatest Warriors as much as I did some of his other books – but that’ll come later, I’m sure.

This post part of Blogtober 2009, where I try and write at least one blog post every day. Most of the time they’re not hugely substantial – a quick snap there, a quick viral video there – but this time, substantial comes into it’s own.

Benny Ling likes this.

So one of the people I follow on Twitter (yes, all 619 of them) pointed out something pretty cool. Being the guy that I am, I had to go check it out.

Pedestrians like this.

Yes. That is exactly what you think it is, if what you think it is is “a Facebook like sticky-taped to the pedestrian crossing button-that-makes-the-green-man-come-on”. (If there’s actually a proper name for that thing, let me know.)

How awesome is that, seriously? Hobartians are so cool. ^_^

It’s funny, because someone went to the trouble of not only printing that in the exact font that Facebook uses, but also the little thumb up icon as well.

In case you’re wondering where you yourself can view this marvel, it’s on the corner of Murray and Collins Streets, directly opposite the green FujiFilm building. Here’s a pic so you don’t get lost:


Note that the purple pin represents the spot where the center of all awesomness is located.

The post part of Blogtober 2009. A post a day isn’t too hard, especially when people like you like them 🙂

Addendum: late? This post isn’t late. 😉