Temora Airshow

The airshow was hosted by the Temora Aviation Museum on the weekend of the 6th and 7th March 2021. As it so happens, on the 21st of March is the Royal Australian Air Forces’ (RAAF) 100th anniversary. It was preceded by the Australian Air Corps of the Australian Army from 1912 to 1920, making it the second oldest air force in the world.

  • The new Pilatus PC21 trainer

Temora is a small little rural country town in the literal middle of nowhere in rural country Australia – in the middle of the rural country area. There’s nothing much around Temora, but canola fields, some sheep, maybe some random cattle. I don’t think even the kangaroos bother being in the middle of rural country nowhere. The airshow still attracted 3000 visitors, which is not a fair measure. It was covid restricted to 3000, so it would normally receive more people.

The DeHaviland Tigermoth. Originally intended as a fighter in in WWI, but became an important trainer and civilian workhorse.
Originally intended as a fighter in WWI, the De Haviland Tigermoth became an important trainer and civilian workhorse at the Temora Airshow. No photoshopping required. The Tigermoth really did pass by the moon before it set later in the day.

Temora, though, has aviation history. During World War One (1914 to 1918) it was the site of the Empire Training Scheme, where the British Commonwealth pilots were trained. It was also a major training site during World War Two. During the postwar period to the late 1990’s the Temora “airport” was a forgotten place in aviation history. However, interest in Temora as a site for vintage aircraft airshows rose in the 1990’s, I even helped out at an airshow there then. Then in the early 2000’s a businessman with an interest in Australian aviation military history started the Temora Aviation Museum (TAM).

The iconic Battle of Britain hero the Supermarine Spitfire.
The Battle of Britain hero the Supermarine Spitfire at the Temora Airshow and 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The TAM has slowly collected some iconic aircraft of military aviation history, including from small one to the big ticket items. Though modest, the collection is still enviable. My personal favourites are some of my all-time favourites the English Electric Canberra and the Curtis P40 Kittyhawk.

A Curtis P40 Kittyhawk taxiing before takeoff at the Temora Airshow.

However, in the last year, possibly due to the economic effects of the lockdowns and travel restrictions of the coronavirus period, most of the TAM collection was recently handed over to the RAAF.

The Curtis P40 Kittyhawk taxiing ahead of an air display at the Temora Airshow and 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The EE Canberra had been airworthy, but a rebuild and inspection of the engines were apparently needed. It’s currently not flying, but they did demonstrate the engines warming up early in the day. It is expected to be in the air again later in 2021.

The English Electric Canberra at the Temora Airshow and 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force.

My favourite photos of the airshow, weirdly, were taken at the very start. It was a rescue helicopter that came in before anything started. I was renting the Sigma 150-600mm behemoth lens. I’ve never used a lens like it before. So, I tested it out a bit a couple of days before the airshow. On the day itself, the incoming helicopter was a last test before the “serious shoot”. I was able to check my focusing techniques, shutter speed for the rotors, stabilisation techniques, etc. Unintended, these turned out so great. I think for a few reasons. Firstly, the helicopter appeared much closer than the airshow displays. Second, we can clearly see people. Third, the people were doing things. Fourth, it’s a bright contrasty colourful scene.

I’m not sure why the rescue helicopter was here. I suspect it’s something to do with civilians doing aerobatics, former military pilots doing aerobatics, in vintage aircraft.

The airshow featured some world “firsts”. Including the first time three Spitfires flew in formation since WWII. The first time two CAC Boomerangs flew in formation with a Lockheed Hudson. And the first time Spitfires flew in formation with the new Lockheed Martin F35 Lighting II. This also marks the first time I’ve seen the F35 in person. It was hard to photograph, as it came at the end of the day, when all the other aircraft flew at propeller-speed slow, then suddenly this fast-moving beast blasted by only a few times, I wasn’t quite ready to deal with the speed.

The new RAAF Lockheed Martin F35 Lighting II at the Temora Airshow and 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force.

These photos and more will be available for sale on our stock sales site soon at either Alamy or our archive.

As I’ve said, the main lens used is a rented specialty telephoto lens, the Sigma 150-600 lens. It’s a rare lens, due to the telefocal length and the versatility the Zoom range offers. It’s mostly used by bird watchers, wildlife, and sports photographers. It performed well. The focus speed was as expected or better; it didn’t take long to find the target to focus on. Though this wasn’t the sports model, it just did the job well. It suffers a little in vignetting at the 600mm end, even at f9. Also, the lens is surprisingly light considering the glass elements the zoom range needs. Would I buy one?

Is the lens sharp? I think no. It’s good, but not that good. At 290mm. While post processing the images, I thought a lot of the softness was from me not using a fast enough shutter speed for the focal length and distance. However, 290mm at 1/320sec should result in perfectly sharp photos, but I haven’t found a perfectly crisp photo. It seems softness is from chromatic aberration, but without colour. Would I get the Tamron equivalent? Well, that was my preferred choice, so in the end, I don’ think it matters too much which I get… but I’d rather try the Tamron first.

International Women’s Day 2021

Our ethos is equity, respect, dignity, freedom, and travel. To honour these, we’ll offer 30% off commercial photo shoots for female small business owners. This can be for products, show of experiences and services, professional portraits, whatever.

Terms and conditions: small businesses (less than 10 employees), the company director be female, be situated in Victoria Australia. Certain expenses like travel costs cannot be discounted.

Contact us now. Valid for anytime before Easter 2021

New Coastal and Maiko Wall Art

For a limited time, we’ve added new wall art to our store. They all are our favourites. But if we had to choose one… then our favourite is Apostles Beach, Pt Lonsdale Lighthouse, and Maiko in Kyoto.

They are printed on archival-gallery quality acid-free paper with high quality printers and ink. Available as frame or unframed prints, and artist-signed prints available too. Printed in Melbourne for Australian region distribution, and US and EU authorised makers. More details in the product descriptions.

See them all here Travel Photos Store.

Free Portrait Sesh Sat 13th Feb

A FREE PORTRAIT SESSION!!!! Sounds awesome right?!

Perfect for Lunar New Year & Valentines Day!

It’s our first public event since lockdowns, so we’re a little shy and nervous, but it’s a great chance to step out and do something different. We have professional experience in travel photography, but – like you – we can’t go anywhere. So, instead of stewing at home, we wanna get out and do pseudo-travel photography (pretend travel portraiture). So…

Let’s have some fun. Wear your best fashion, wear a top hat. Put that kimono on. Dust off that frock. Polish those boots. Do whatever you need to blast the lockdown lethargy and cobwebs off.

Why free? We really, really, really, wanna do portraiture again! We really wanna do stuff with the camera. We really wanna meet people again.

What does it cost? The shoot will be free. You’ll get two photos that will be small (not printable), but socially shareable. These will be AirDropped or emailed to you on the spot.

What can be paid for? More photos, professionally post-processed, printed on high quality art paper, framed, and delivered. Usually, a photoshoot costs money because it requires time to do properly. So, if you want something different and unique, let’s arrange that shoot.

Where? On the steps of the Old Treasury Building, Melbourne CBD.

When? Please book a time with us, which will be on Saturday the 13th Feb. Will we do this again? Probably not… for a very long time.

How long will it take? It’s free, so it will be a very short photoshoot, just 20mins or so, plus a bit of on-the-spot photo selection and post-processing.

FAQ continues… What if it rains? Great!

Gliding in Australia

Gliding is an amazing sport and leisure pursuit. There is always so much to learn; especially the wide variety of things you can learn about. Ok, I like to geek out, but you don’t have to. The best memories of gliding I have as a teenager was the late afternoon smooth silky air. The views of long shadow sunsets. Performing a very difficult landing during unexpected rain in my most hated glider: the Blanik (however, a proud moment). Also, the variety of people you meet, who have a wide variety of knowledges, expertise, and personalities.

Above: Wendy in a Melbourne Gliding Club glider (the high performance Duo Discus and DG-1001).

Recently, I got in contact with the Gliding Federation of Australia to see if I could do a shoot or two or more with them. I love flying. I love aeroplanes. I even used to be a member of the air force cadets.

Above: Some photos from when I was a teenager in the 1990’s. Me in the glider I spent the most time in, an IS-28, fling in the Interservice Competition at Leeton in a K7. My favourite glider the K-13. My old learner’s motorbike with the dream glider: the Club Libelle. Photos were taken on film, and photographed from an old album.

As a part of the presentation of photos that I’m building up is the story aspect. I was so lucky to work with the very patient and helpful Iain and Belen of the Melbourne Gliding Club. Special thanks to Sarah of the Gliding Federation of Australia for helping to make these possible. Featured below is Wendy, a great Melbourne-based model.

Above: Preparing for the day. For more information about gliding, please go to these websites:

Above: Take off

Above: In flight

Above: Pack away. Below: Thanks to Iain, Belen, Paul, Alan, Wendy, and Sarah; some are seen below. You’re a fantastic team.

We want to do more gliding and aviation photography. Please support us by either getting us in touch with people who can help, fly, or fund us.

Please like and subsrcibe to Travel Photos on YouTube.

Lensbaby

Lensbaby is a special lens. I’ve had mine for… since… I don’t know! Since forever it seems; at least 10 years. I’m sure you’ll recognise some of these photos showcased below and now you may realise how I created a particular effect. Yes, Lensbaby is my secret weapon.

What is a Lensbaby? It’s a manual focus / manual aperture lens that has unique characteristics that enhance through selective focus on a topic or subject in a photo. I use the original Lensbaby Composer Pro 50mm. This lens allows me to literally bend the lens in half to shape the focus point. I first got it for my Minolta cameras. Minolta later dumped their camera division onto Sony, so my Lensbaby is for the “Minolta/Sony A” mount. I’ve since dumped Sony in favour for Canon, so instead of abandoning one of my favourite lenses, I’ve got an adapter so I can continue to use it.

I’ll admit, I’ve been using my Lensbaby less since I made the change to Canon. I hope that this blog post will remind me to come back to to this. One of my favourite projects was(is) the City of Ghosts project. The origin of it is from this one image. Here I was initially using a standard lens, but struggling with balancing the lighting, and working with a model who had limited experience. All the standard approaches was giving me very standard pedestrian results, which I was not satisfied with. So, I switched to my Lensbaby, and got this image.

Outdoor night portraits of a young Japanese lady in Osaka, taken with a selective focus lens.

What I’d really like to do is come back to my City of Ghosts project. As you can see is that the original shoot was done in Tokyo. It was fun to do. We were in the iconic Shibuya crossing. The one that features on blockbuster movies. The one that has anywhere between 1,000 to 2,000 people crossing at each light change. As we were shooting, the model was cold (it was early November); I was cold; my assistant was cold. There were lots of Japanese interested in what we were doing. Foreign tourists photographing my model, me, us working. But, we all wanted to get the best variety of photos possible.

The shoot started with my standard general purpose 28-75mm f2.8 lens. As you can see, the photos were nice. You can see the crossing. You can see the context. However, something was missing. It had context, but I wasn’t yet satisfied with the visual outcomes, so I switched to my Lensbaby.

What’s next? More. I’m now in Melbourne, with new people, with new scenes, and with more skills and knowledge. I hope to work with a model and develop a story. Not just show a pretty model in a scene, but to make a story for people to experience.

  • Learn more about other great lenses like this at: https://lensbaby.com/
  • If you’re a Melbourne-based model, and interested in collaborating in the City of Ghosts project, please contact us
  • If you are interested in funding and/or displaying the City of Ghosts collection, please contact us.

The Resurrecting Dreams Project

For the first time since the foundation of Melbourne, and since the last pandemic, will we see the building and rebuilding of the small business sector in Melbourne city. I want to photograph – visually document – this process. This project is the opposite to David H Wells documentary project, Foreclosed Dreams: Foreclosures Across America (2008 to present). In contrast, Resurrecting Dreams will be the visual story of how small business begin, build, and succeed; a positivistic view.

Since Melbourne’s foundation in 1835 to February 2020, businesses have built the city into a vibrant, confident, and wonderful place. Melbourne was home to many amazing cafes, vibrant nightlife, unique fashion stores, fantastic bars, and brilliant sport life and allied health businesses. The coronavirus (COVID-19 or SARS CoV2) was persistent and dangerous, which necessitated citywide lockdowns, social isolation, and physical distancing to protect the vulnerable and reduce virus transmission. Consequently, a lot of the small business sector in the CBD was decimated in the eight months of these lockdowns in Melbourne. In November 2020, we achieved zero community transmissions, but at great expense economically, societally, personally, psychologically. As of January 2021, there are a myriad of vacant and available street level business spaces – and opportunities.

I have photographed small businesses in Japan doing their thing. Since I’ve moved back to Australia in 2019, I myself have to rebuild my own photographic business, and I’m learning how to do that for this city. I’m curious about how new small business owners plan, create, build, trade, struggle, and succeed. I want to show the resurrection of the dreams of small business owners and help celebrate their wins. Their wins are the real “trickle down” in the city economy. Their success means employment of many of the city’s people.

How you can help; contact me if…

  • You’re opening your own business. Let me photograph that process (even if you’re still in the looking-at-real estate options stage)
  • You know someone starting their own business
  • You’re a real estate agent for landlord: let me in to photograph the empty space
  • You want to help fund this project
  • You what to help exhibit this project (funding or other support needed)
  • You want to see it published in your outlet (funding needed)
  • You want to use the photos to tell the story for your brand (funding needed)

Model call: Outdoor clothing Melbourne Vic #ModelCall

Outdoor clothing modelling

I have an expression of interest from a client, and so I need to research options.

Who am I?  Andrew is a commercial photographer who has been based in Japan for nearly 15 years. For family reasons he’s returned and is re-establishing his business his business in Australia. You can see his old website at JapanesePhotos.Asia, his Model Mayhem account, Instagram, and Twitter for more background on him.

Who: We need both male and female models who have an interest and history of outdoor activities. Yes, you can suggest a friend to work with; we will consider their portfolio. Ultimately, the client makes the final approval of who we can work with.

What: The job is to model outdoor clothing and some equipment. If you have not done fashion modelling before, please research some suitable poses.

Pay: We need to know what your fees are on a per hour and on a per day basis. We are not looking for the cheapest models, but the most suitable, I just need to present options and cost approximations to the client. I usually pay from about $25/hr or $100 a day, but this usually depends on the job and the clients’ budget.

Portfolio: To present the best case to the client, we need a few things:

  • Your online portfolio (usually your Instagram or Model Mayhem account is fine). We assume that portfolios that include outdoor activities may be viewed more favourably.
  • Your per hour / per day payment expectations.
  • If you’re ok with sharing behind the scenes images of the shoot on your social media account, and if you’re ok to share many of the final images on your social media account too.
  • Your clothing sizes (for shirts, jackets, trousers, shoes – Aust size & cm); height, waist, bust, chest, hat/head sizes.
  • Availability (we prefer weekdays, but weekends might be possible)
  • (emailing a pdf with a sample of photos and the above responses will make it a lot easier for us)

Where: The shoot will be done in a National Park or similar place near Melbourne or the Yarra Ranges. Transport may be provided from either Epping or a convenient nearby train station. If we shoot in a National Park, we may be limited on the number of vehicles we are allowed in, so it is ok to have a friend drop you off and pick you up again.

When: mid July (probably on weekdays), TBA. The shoot may be timed for when you (the models) are available.

Makeup: Please do your own, a makeup artist probably won’t be approved by the client. Please don’t do high fashion or glamour, but suitable for outdoor & camping type of activities.

Accommodation: If this is a multi-day shoot, none is provided this time, so you will need to return to your home each day, which will probably be after sunset. We suggest to have a friend pick you up as you may be too tired to drive safely near the end of the day.

Wear: Most clothing will be provided. Please bring your own warm clothes for comfort in between shoots. We strongly suggest thermal underclothes (especially v-neck). It is possible that thermal underclothing may be provided, tbc. Please ask and confirm this closer to the time of the shoot.

Food & bring: Main meals (probably only lunch) will be provided, but please bring your own drinks and snacks. Portable battery charger for your phone with cables. Your own makeup supplies. A book or your music to help recharge and reset in rest periods.

Liability: Travel Photos PtyLtd and the client will consider you as a sub-contractor. Which means you need to be responsible for your own public liability insurance, your own health insurance, and so forth.

Final note:  Andrew and Travel Photos PtyLtd prefer to work with people we know. If we can do this shoot, there is a higher probability we will work together again.

Updates: This page was last updated on 10th July.

25th July 2019:  The client has put back the the shoot due to other projects being prioritised. Further updates will come when the shoot can be scheduled.

Mt Hakone volcanic activity

In March 2018 I visited Mt Hakone when family came to Japan to visit. One of the places we went to was the Mt Fuji area. We went to Lake Ashi on one of those touristy pirate ship cruises. We then went on a cable car up to the Mt Hakone caldera visitor centre. While there, we saw lots of warning signs, including ones that said that if sirens went off, we should evacuate the mountain immediately. However, the lines for the cable cars were really long, and that was just a normal, and not even considering people were finishing the day and were all coming down off the mountain yet.

Looking into the crater of the Mt Hakone volcano. More images available for sale at the stock library.
The Mt Hakone volcano at level 1 alert, which means access to the crater is possible because of no current tremor activity

Mt Fuji and Mt Hakone both are considered active volcanoes, just no recent activity that would prevent people from building a visitor’s centre and tourist industry. It was reported that on Saturday the 18th May there were no tremors on Mt Hakone. However, by Sunday 9am there were 21 (Japan Times), and a further 24 through the day. The Japan Meteorological Bureau announced that they closed access to the visitor centre and raised the alert level from 1 to 2, on a scale of 5. Level 1 means “Potential for increased activity”, and they put warning signs everywhere and evacuation sirens. Level 2 is “Do not approach the crater”, Level 3 is “Do not approach the volcano, Level 4 is “Prepare to evacuate the area”, and Level 5 is of course “Run like you’re Samuel L Jackson in a disaster movie” (JMA). At time of writing, not all parts of the JMA English website had been properly updated, but here is the detailed page: https://www.jma.go.jp/en/volcano/forecast_03_20190518171517.html

The last time Mt Hakone is thought to have erupted was some time in the 12th or 13th centuries. The alert level was last raised to 3 in 2015. These images and more are available for sale at https://ablyth.photoshelter.com/

Looking into the crater at Mt Hakone volcano. More images available for sale at the stock library.
The Mt Hakone volcano at level 1 alert, which means access to the crater is possible because of no current tremor activity

Sponsor a Maiko shoot

I don’t quite know how, but I was suddenly and accidentally offered the opportunity to do a photo shoot with maiko. Maiko are not geishas, but are like geisha apprentices. I’ve been on the look out for just this opportunity ever since I arrived in Kyoto in March this year… in fact, for the last few years I’d been looking for the opportunity. Now I have it.

A geisha and attendants preparing ahead of guests arrival
A geisha and attendants preparing ahead of guests arrival

As you know, geishas and maiko are very expensive. I am looking for a sponsor to help. The shoot is scheduled for the 2nd June (a Sunday), and I’ll have a few hours with them. The photos I get will be used by me for my own company use and promotional activities. However, any sponsors will have exclusive commercial use of them. If I get more than one sponsor, each will get a proportionate share of unique photos. This is of course important for maintaining a unique visual and aesthetic for your use.

Importantly, the Rugby World Cup is hosted in Japan very soon, and Tokyo 2020 Olympics are coming up, so now is the time to get your visuals ready ahead of that. Contact me for more information.