i recently travelled down to melbourne to catch up with schoolmates. rather than do our usual circuit of lattes in carlton and cocktails in city laneways, we opted to spend a day out in the yarra valley and sample some chardonnays and pinots.
upon our friend's friend's recommendation, we made tracks for the Yeringberg winery, and found upon our arrival that we'd stumbled upon their once-a-year cellar door opening and their 150th birthday! as the photos below will attest to, their tasting room was in a beautiful rustic barn, as old as the winery itself and still housing all of the old barrels and equipment. Read More
f you made me choose between living in the city or the country, i'd probably choose the city every time (although ask me again when i have the luxury of being retired and am 'fed up with the youth of today' and i might answer differently). that said, there's plenty to love about the country, and for photographers - that includes the awesome scenery that you just don't see in the city (okay... canberra).
murrumbateman has always been a fascinating area to me, and it was great to get out there without wine on the agenda - not that a riesling wouldn't have gone down nicely! as hard as we tried, and within the capabilities of my mazda 3, we couldn't get any closer to the canola field, but i'm told there's plenty more around... Read More
so we went and checked out the Royal Thai Embassy's 11th Annual Thai Food and Cultural Festival today (along with most of canberra, it seemed!). as always, it was a busy affair of massaman beef, pad thai, mussel omelettes, satay sticks, and mango sticky rice, not to mention the free flowing chang and singha beers - had i known they were selling for $4 i would've made more of a day of it!
the main stage area also kept everyone entertained in between courses, with constant rotations of cultural performances that ranged from traditional dancing (who knew you could see ladyboys in yarralumla...) to muay thai and stick fighting. if you haven't been to this great event - don't miss out next year! Read More
a short selection of the rest of my photos. truly an amazing country - friendly people, beautiful countryside, great food, and a wicked history. can't wait to go back and see how's it all changed in 10 years... Read More
as we reached siem reap, not only did my craving for more grilled rat increase, it also felt like the 'main event' of our time in cambodia was approaching - the Angkor temples. history and cultural significance aside, there's not a lot i can say about the Angkor area other than it is simply spectacular - words can't even describe the sheer size and magnificence of these structures.
we were lucky enough to have two full days here, which included a warm sunset on top of the Pre Rup temple, and a sunrise the next morning in front of Angkor Wat itself. it took me about half an hour to jostle my way to a spot at the front, but it was worth it in the end... Read More
as we headed west out of phnom penh towards the small town of battambang (about 100km from the thai border), the dusty, pothole-ridden back streets of the city turned into a super-green expanse of countryside. it didn't matter that our bus was playing video clips of cambodian pop music ( google 'khmer rap boyz') or that the driver didn't lay off the horn for the entire 5 hour trip - nothing could draw your attention from the view out the window. Read More
'3 years, 8 months, 20 days'.
speak to any Cambodian about the Khmer Rouge and at some point you will hear these words spoken with both anger and sadness. it's a period they would rather forget - a period of mass genocide, repression, and disregard for human life - but it seems like it will forever be a part of the Cambodian identity.
and so it was during our first day on a recent trip to Cambodia that we saw the mass graves of The Killing Fields, stood in the torture rooms of the S-21 school-turned-prison (blood stains still visible and the smell of ammonia filling the rooms), and heard the harrowing stories of the regime. not a usual start to a holiday, but certainly gave us a solid reference point for the next two weeks we would be spending in the country.... Read More
2012 was the first year i got to see the Vivid festival, and man, was it cool. an animated town projected onto customs house, a chandelier hologram in front of the harbour bridge, illuminated games of noughts and crosses near the MCA. and somehow, the organisers of Vivid put on an even better show in 2013.
for one, the Opera House projection this year (done by The Spinifex Group) was a huge improvement - lively and engaging. the addition of Darling Harbour and Walsh Bay as event 'precincts' also provided a chance to explore something a bit different, and escape from the army of prams, strollers, double prams, and 'baby joggers' down in Circular Quay/The Rocks (i know... an army of (D)SLRs and tripods isn't much fun to contend with either). and the ferry service between the precincts, while we didn't use it, seemed to be a great idea and was evidently wildly popular with young families. Read More
i've recently purchased a sigma 30mm 1.4 and have been keen on taking it out for a test drive - unfortunately saturday's rain kept me confined photographing whatever was around the house... which meant a photoshoot with my watch.
however, on sunday the skies cleared and so we took the chance to head out to the sporadically developed suburb of bonner (somewhere around here: http://goo.gl/maps/b0Zer) and look back towards canberra. it was super windy, the ground was muddy, and there were beer cans everywhere, but it was still worth a look. Read More
for most, a visit to pialligo usually means looking at plants, terracotta pots, and ornamental gargoyles. but not for me. i remembered driving, a while ago, past an old barn selling apples, and was keen to see if it was still there.
so after a quick trip to costco and a moderate salt overdose from their $3 pizza slice, my other half and i wandered down beltana road and found the old barn - sadly it was barren and bore a 'closed for 2013' sign out the front, but was still surrounded by plenty of autumn-ness. Read More