31 Mar 2024

Sunday at the beach

Another beautiful day dawning in our endless summer. This morning a dense fog bank formed out at sea and drifted inland leading to this scene at Terrigal Beach as the ealy morning swimmers hit the water.The light was magical as the fog burnt off and the sun broke through. I had my iPhone with me and  I managed to capture this.

26 Mar 2024

What a contrast!

 What a contrast! An awful, vast gas guzzling, mega polluting. black (yuk) Dodge Ram towing a huge boat and occupying three parking spaces spotted mid morning in Terrigal last week.

Below Rosie taking delivery of her new MG4 Electric at Central Coast MG last Saturday. Trying to save the planet one small step at the time.

17 Mar 2024

Rainy Sunday on the beach

 The endless summer seems to be over or maybe it still has a few hot days yet to serve up but today it dawned wet, grey although still warm. 

On my early morning walk on the beach-it was low tide-it was me, a few beach fisherman and this group of seagulls. Can't complain after this summer although every day climate change seems more of a reality.

14 Mar 2024

The photographer at work

 A photographer at work on Terrigal Beach this morning. Another beautiful morning before another very hot day. The endless summer.

3 Mar 2024

The cat with big green eyes

Myles. The cat with big green eyes.  Lumix S5 photo taken with the Panasonic 15-35mm lens


14 Feb 2024

Driving the Electric Mini.

 Just had the use of an Electric Mini for a few days. Thank you Worthington BMW. I was impressed. As a local runabout/short run commuter vehicle it is great but the limited range would be a deal stopper for me today. 

The engineers have done a great job in packaging the batteries which do not intrude on the internal space. It drives well-it is almost silent and smooth- and feels fast with the taut handling of a Mini. It is slower than my ICE Cooper S and the ride is a litle harsher probably due to the weight of the batteries. A new model due later this year is apparently going to have a greater range-let's hope that the weight penalty is not too great.

The regenerative braking/energy capture where feathering the accelerator brakes the car whilst generating battery charge felt it strange and I found it difficult to avoid a jerky ride although greater familiarity would most likely resolve that concern. I switched it off so that the accelerator pedal felt normal.

Opening the bonnet to inspect the motor reveals a big grey plastic cover. There was no obvious way to remove it easily.

An interesting experience.

25 Jan 2024

End of the holidays

The end of the holidays is fast approaching. The schools will be back next week. Tomorrow, Australia Day public holiday, and the weekend will be big days for the crowds here in Terrigal.

Those of us lucky enough to live in this beautiful place are looking forward to the town being a little quieter from next week.

It's been a very hot January. Hot and even more humid than usual. It has been stormy but rain has only interrupted the beachgoers on a few days and then usually only for a few hours late aftenoon.

Today, Thursday 25th, it is again very hot and oppressively humid and there is a layer of cloud so it does not look its usual Kodachrome best. The top photo was taken this morning at Terrigal Beach. 

The summer of 23/24 has been the year of the cobana on the beaches.  People are being more sun conscious although all the pretty young things running around still seem very tanned so sadly I cannot see the skin cancer clinics running short of patients anytime soon

The second photo is one of my favourites and was taken on the 29th January 7 years ago at nearby Avoca Beach and shows teenagers, enjoying the last day of the school holiday jumping from the headland into the surf on another very hot day.

The top photo was taken with the Leica Q2. The bottom photo was taken with the Leica X Vario

18 Jan 2024

The Haven, Terrigal

 Sunrise at The Haven, Terrigal photographed yesterday morning whilst on my early morning walk with my iPhone13 Pro.

I still do not have much enthusiasm for using my phone for taking photos which I would have preferred to have used a camera for but I have to conceed that it makes a very good job of it.

I used the High Efficiency and Apple ProRaw settings on the phone. I find that my Mac struggles to process these files in Lightroom with the computer frequently freezing. I'm not sure if it is a Lightroom or Mac capacity issue.

11 Jan 2024

Camera thoughts

 No new year's resolutions for me. I never keep them. However I have decided to take some decisions about the cameras I own. The collection currently is much smaller than it was a few years ago but I have one camera system- the Panasonic Lumix S5 and lenses- which I have hardly used since I purchased it in June 2022.

Buying it was a mistake. I did not need another camera and although it is an very capable camera and system and capable of producing superb results it has one major drawback. It is too heavy. Well probably not too heavy for most potential users but too heavy for me. My days of hauling around a bag full of heavy gear are behind me and I should have recognised that obvious fact before buying it. 

I made quite an investment in the Lumix outfit. Even heavily discounted the superb, but, oh so heavy, 70-200mm f2.8 lens alone cost A$3000. It was a mistake and a costly one.

Which brings me back to the core of my collection-the Leicas. Firstly there is my heriage Leica, the 1937 Leica 3A. My first Leica. Purchased way back in 1967. This was fully renovated last year. I have run a colur film through it with good results. Two photos from it are below. Now I have to apply myself to finishing the 35mm black and white film I have in it. 


Using the film is not as as easy as it sounds. Using the 3A is very slow work. I don't know how the early Leica users took the photos they did. They certainly were committed. Just imagine what they could have done if they had used today's cameras.

Second in the stable is my Leica X1. My long term favourite. I now have two of them and I've dusted them down, charged their batteries and used one of them in the last few days. Here's one of the photos I took with it - a DNG file post processed in LR.

When I first moved to Terrigal back in 2008 I took my X1 with me on my early morning walk every day used used it to take a wide variety of subjects including friendly locals. Now the whole scene has changed. The number of people walking early morning has increased considerably. And many are not so photo friendly and of course there are smartphones. So I now use my iPhone13 Pro as my early morning camera as well as using it to pay for my coffee and to catch up on the Guardian Australian edition whilst drinking the coffee.  

It would be nice to be able to say that I can see the X1 having a new lease of life in my hands but that is not realistic. It is victim of the iPhone. So here's an early morning walk iPhone13 photo.

However the X1's more sophisticated sibling, the X Vario, is a different case. I still use mine regularly, particularly as a "cat camera" as the tiltable, accessory shoe fitting, EVF allows me to get down to cat level without lying on the ground.

 Although it is nearly 10 years old and by today's standards the specification is modest I still cherish my X Vario as the image quality is superb. 

When launched the X Vario was maligned but it was very much a victim of very poor marketing and a really nasty social medi "pile on".

For a neat reprise of the X Vario story see this on the Macfilos blog  X VARIO

 I see from Lightroom that I have taken over 3000 photos with my X Vario so making a very small representative selection is not easy but here they are

That brings me to the final two cameras in my Leica collection.-the Sofort(!) and the Q2 but they will have to wait fot the next post.