Freeways

Freeways - (C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved

If your gonna do something, do it properly – I cant help but think as i battle the road works on the M5 motorway that their whole ‘duplication’ idea is gonna fail, so you start with a 2 lane motorway and its at capacity in the space of a years, you widen a section of it (west of king georges rd) to 3 lanes and then it just bottle necks like crazy, you then duplicate the tunnels and extend it a bit further….2020 will tell how that rolls out as I flew over Melbourne i could not help but notice they have a 5 lane motorway…
If your gonna do something, do it properly

– I cant help but think as i battle the road works on the M5 motorway that their whole ‘duplication’ idea is gonna fail, so you start with a 2 lane motorway and its at capacity in the space of a years, you widen a section of it (west of king georges rd) to 3 lanes and then it just bottle necks like crazy, you then duplicate the tunnels and extend it a bit further….2020 will tell how that rolls out

as I flew over Melbourne i could not help but notice they have a 5 lane motorway…

Focus Awards – a history of results :)

For kicks and giggles i went back thru my images over the last 6 entries, it was an interesting experience – they always say, you gotta enter competitions to improve!
I kinda disagree, it might work for some and when you actively pick and process images for competitions and try to better them for the next year, but for me its all an after thought, its simply looking thru the shots from that last year and picking out some favs, usually there is always some crappy planetoid image there which i love but they rarely do well and also some vivid sydney image which i know won’t do well but i still love them :)

I think i have improved over the years, but i still look back at some images and I still go, yeah i like that one, its probably more emotional attachment than being a technically good shot or having that little extra kick, but hey, i am pleased i still like some shots. That said there are a few images in there which make me cringe ;)

One image i still love is the burning umbrella shot (1st creative 2016), i had such a vision for it and its probably the only image ever

which has come out exactly how i saw it in my head ;) I might need to get back into that headspace, and find the time ;)

Focus Awards - Results 2019 Collage

Focus Awards 2019

Focus Awards 2019

When you start to look at all the top 50 images in each category you get a idea of how tough the competition is, there is such wide range of images from people of all walks of life and also from across the globe which, for me at least, makes it pretty tough.

I was lucky enough (and i say genuinely believe that alot of it for me does come down to luck) to get 1st place in the landscape category, it was probably not one of the images I thought would do well, but thats always the case, i find the shotgun approach works best with very little thought, thats perfect for me since like most years this year was really last minute, like selecting pictures a few hours before it close (Sarah Joy will atest to this :) )
Its also quite surprising since I have done so little photography this year.

The particular image (dried up natural spring on the lake bed) was from a recent solo trip to SA, i probably took more landscape shots in this trip than I have all year :) It also was really solo too :) not kids, no family, just me a 4wd and a camera (well 2 cameras :) ) and 2 flights over Lake Eyre.

It would seem its a fairly popular spring to take pictures of since i have seen quite a few image from this – this can also be a testament to the great pilots out at Wrightsair ‘The Spirit of the Outback’ Charter and Scenic Flight Specialist who do know all the good spots to go too :)

I gotta thank Tim Wrate, without his advice and inspiration i probably would have left this trip on that wayside :) thanks a bunch!

I gotta say all my other images struggled, nothing but bronze :) that said I really like them.

Thanks to FOCUS (Australia Seascape & Landscape Photography) community and the competition, its really one of the only competition i regularly enter, the prizes are always great and always a great bunch of people.

Here are all my images

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Lake Eyre vs Maisy Mouse.

Its only taken a month and half to get thru these images. There is still a bunch to go but i am outta steam :) and its kind of hard to edit pictures when you sharing your computer with Maisy Mouse or Peppa Pig and 2 kids ;)

I have included the GPS track for the two flights to give an idea of the distances out here, you can see from William creek to the top of the lake is about 140 km. If i ever go out there again I am going to check out that south eastern corner of the lake

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Bent.

Bent.

This is what gerrys back feels like after being stuck in bed for days after being smashed down by the man flu – correction… this is worse than any man flu.. this is the kid flu…. the flu that has been hardened by the young immune systems, borne from those facilities called schools, for which i shall now refer to as virus incubation and hardening facilities once its done its rounds thru school building up its attack its then deployed into the wild to wreak havoc on unsuspecting parents…including me.

I’m getting the flu shot next year

Interesting fact about the flu, the flu cells are covered in a ‘buttery’ coating which protects the virus until it gets ingested into the body where this layer melts and allows the virus cell to infect the victim cell. Apparently the ‘buttery’ surface hardens more in winter due to the cold providing the virus cell more protection, possibly why its more prevalent in winter they reckon.. sounds legit to me and in accordance with my theory that you don’t get the flu from being cold

Sugar Pine Forest - Bent

Sugar Pine Forest – Bent
(C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved


Wet and Wild Wings over Illawarra. 2019

Just another typical aussie autumn day, ball freezing temperatures followed by sunshine followed by rain followed by spectacular sunset colours… and somewhere in between some flying pressed bits of aluminum.

Its a been a few years since I saw Wings over Illawarra Airshow, this year i was keen since the weather forecast was for some minor rain and cloud, which I found particularly appealing. Whilst most would like airshows to be under complete blue skies, they can get a bit boring from the photographic perspective, hence some cloud action can certainly help mix it up a bit.
I caught the train down to Albion park, best $2.60 ever, slept most of the way :) then got off the train and walked 100 metres to the airshow, hat pretty cool i reckon, there are no other airshows in Oz with a hopes chance of having public transport like that.
In terms of bang for your buck, Wings over Illawarra (WOI) is pretty well at the top, probably only second to Temora. They did not have any FA/18’s but to be honest they are bit ho hum nowadays :) no JSF you say?…. really.. that thing would burn the money outta everyones pockets as it flew past ;)

A few notes, and these are really to remind me in 12 months time when I go to another airshow. 1) using a lens with vibration isolation on it really really helps. When you have to shoot at shutter speeds of 1/160s to get some nice motion blur behind the aircraft and also on the props the VR really helps, the majority of my better shots were taken with the 70-200mm f2.8 with the 1.7 TC. The reach was short, but the VR made up for it. 2) The shutter speed needs to be 1/100 or 1/160 to really get some nice motion blur on the propeller and background, without it, the image looks static and frozen.

There are alot of images here:) strike rate was 2 in 5 for the panning images.

There are even a few sneaky landscape hot in here too…

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Waterproof.

Lowepro bag for the win – when someone floods the overhead locker on the flight home with water and your junk stays dry whilst everyone else is cursing, its a good day

Thanks to Cameron K. Fong for the heads up on the super cheap special.

Waterproof.
(C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved

Sunrise over the Cape.

The previous BW image is given some context by this one – you can see the tiny speck of human here and the length of the coastline gives some more scale to what they were seeing looking back at me

Sunrise over the Cape.
(C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved

 

Happy Place.

Pretty well a ritual every day, plonk oneself infront of bookcase and pull down a bunch of books. Little E will happily spend 15 minutes here just thumbing thru the books, lifting flaps and feeling textures.

Happy Place.
(C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock,

Wolli Creek, the true reflections.

15 years ago this patch of land was nothing but a bit of left over industrial land, its now a tiny suburb of apartments with about 15K people living there.
I have driven past this place for the last 15 years and watched it evolve and slowly swallow the only free standing house there (Discovery point), its great that they opened a train station right there as well, probably the only saving grace for the people there since the surrounding roads have not changed

Wolli Creek, the true reflections
(C) 2019 Gerard Blacklock, all rights reserved