Updates from The Esperance fires 2

The sun sets on another day as smoke from the surrounding fires blow over the farm. Almost 200,000ha of land has been burnt. Four lives have been lost in the district. 

Last night, a team from our farm fought fires nearby at Cape Arid with the local volunteer fire brigade. The team put in a mammoth effort into the night to fight the blaze before it was big enough to get a mention on the news. A small win that saved numerous properties and homes. 

The fire closest to me is now burning eastward, away from property into the national park. 

While I serviced our fire tanker, my co-workers were organising transport for livestock that have lost access to feed and water. Farmers have started to shoot their stock to save them from death by burns and dehydration. It’s estimated that over 15,000 animals have died in the fires. 

A cool change today has been very welcome but there’s talk of big winds in the early morning an I’m on standby along with my workmates to fight fires with the local firefighters tonight if the conditions change in the middle of the night. 

The property I’m on is safe at the moment. We’ve taken as many precautions as possible and stand in a “Watch and Act” zone. #fire #esperance #bushfire #esperancefires

Update from the Esperance Fires

Don’t be fooled by the nice photo. After a 43 degree day, we have fires blazing all around us here in Esperance, WA. You can see the smoke haze in the photo. I’m safe at the moment but the whole farm had spent the afternoon preparing for the worst. We’ve moved livestock, machinery and organised our firefighting gear. 

We’ve got one worker driving a water tanker heading to a neighbouring fire, two more on the farm fire truck heading to another fire and I’m building fire fighting rig with whatever I can find in case embers fly our way. 

Your thoughts, prayers, good karma and anything else you can send would be appreciated. #fire #esperance #haze

Coffs Harbour International Marina [Photos]

So during my time in Coffs Harbour, I’ve had the chance to try out my recently inherited Canon EOS 30D. The camera originally belonged to one of my best mates, Stewart Orme. Unfortunately, at just 23, Stewart recently passed away after a motorcycle accident. What a blessing it is to have the opportunity to capture a few photographs using his old camera.

Now, I’ve always subscribed to the fact that a great photograph isn’t defined by the equipment that a photographer uses and I’ve told countless photography friends that the camera they have with them will always be the best camera to capture whatever they’re looking at. The kicker was that every time I said this, I’d be holding a Canon 5D II.

I’ve also made a point that regardless of the camera body, the glass is more important. I’ve always said: “Buy a cheap body and a high quality lens and you’ll get more detailed photos”. It was hard trying to sell this concept while I worked at Ted’s Camera Store in Canberra as a sales assistant.

These three photos were all taken using a Canon EF 24-105 L IS lens.

I’ll add that tripods also make a huge difference in landscape photography. I own a Manfrotto 055 CXPro3 and Manfrotto 303PLUS Panoramic head. Quite an investment but I’d spend less on the body and more on my tripod any day!

Well, here’s a twist to the story, now, many of those same mates are shooting Canon 7D’s and here I am poking around with my ‘old school’ 30D.

I’d like to think that my photography is just as good on the 30D as it was with my 5D II. I’ll let you be the judge!

Ryall Street – Canowindra, NSW

I’ve been working in Canowindra doing a heap of grapevine pruning. The hardest job I’ve done yet. More on that later at Australia 360.

Today however, it was thunderstorming so we had the day off. Because the vines grow along metal wires, it isn’t safe to work on the vines.

Instead, I went for a little walk around town. Here are a few photos up Ryall Street in Canowindra.



Moree Show 2011 Photos

Yesterday, I went to the Moree Show to check out all the awesome there. The police presence for the small show was incredible. There were officers everywhere! I was recommended not to stay out after 10pm as there was potential for things to get a little violent.

I had a great time checking the show out and ended up with a Whizz Fizz show bag. I normally go for the Warheads show bag but couldn’t find one this time around.

Far out, it’s hard to blog on a phone whist in a car going down a bumpy country road. Works got me traveling 2 hours west to do some work. Woot!

Sunset on Springfield

Springfield is the property I’m on at the moment. Today, I helped deliver lucerne hay into town, fixed a few fences, installed a new water trough and did some more cow chasing.

At the end of the day, I headed out on the quad to take a few photos. Here they are!

Ephesians 4:26 – Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry

Again, these photos have been taken on my very broken 24-105mm. They look fine small but probably wont print very well.

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania

Located in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, Cradle Mountain rises to 1,545 metres above sea level. It’s seen as one of Tasmania’s principle tourist destinations and after visiting, I can see why!

Similar to many of the other mountains in the area, Cradle Mountain is a formation of dolerite columns.

If you have a chance to visit Tasmania, this is a must see location. When I visited with Richard, we camped nearby but there’s plenty of cabins at the base of the mountain to relax in.

Richard picked a walk on the list that was signposted at the car park and we headed off for a walk that we later started to realise was tough. REALLY tough.

We tweeted with @cradlemtn on twitter who gave us some encouragement as we walked on. We fast came to the realisation that the retired couple behind us were much fitter than us. Somehow a 3 hour walk took 5 hours and we never made it to where we thought we were going!

I did capture some amazing photograph though!

Here are Richard’s photos from the same trip.

National Multicultural Festival 2011 – Canberra

This year, the National Multicultural Festival was held between February 11-13 and what fun it was! I tried some Russian and Indian food along with a Norwegian beer that tasted very stouty for a golden looking beer.

Richard and I had a great time capturing a few photographs of the event.

I enjoy how Richard portrays the event primarily though the performances. Whist my photographs are more of the people that were there.

With my trip coming up, I’ve had to sell a lot of gear and one of the things I parted with was my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens which I loved for these types of events. I made do with my EF 24-105 f/4L IS and the results were great. Another piece of gear I’ve parted with is my 580EX II flash so quite a few of these photos were shot ISO 3200 upwards.

It just goes to show that no matter what gear you have, getting great photos is all about getting out there with what you have!

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