The Final Days of Twitter?

The general feeling of Twitter users is that Elon Musk has gone into it like a wrecking ball. Within a fortnight he turned a smoothly running machine into utter chaos. Before firing the human rights department, you’d want to find out what they do, why they do it, and what would happen if they didn’t do their jobs – before firing the whole team – only to realise later you need them. It’s simple management strategy to gather information before taking action.

Sunset on heroes. Art Project: Operation Bilby

Every tweet now feels like the last. With all the depth of knowledge gutted out of the company, any new staff will have a rough ride learning what/how to do things. With so much confidence in the platform lost, where should we go? Exclusively on Instagram? Blog here more? Swallow our pride and use FaceBook. Note, we are not fans of FB because of the privacy violations built into the platform. What are your thoughts?

The Brodie Helmet

The Brodie Helmet is the colloquial name for the Helmet, Steel, Mark I designed by John Leopold Brodie in 1915. These were to replace the soft cloth peak caps the soldiers wore in the trenches on the Western Front. The helmets did not do a good job of stopping bullets fired directly at them, but did reduce lethal head injuries from falling shrapnel and other hazards from exploding German shells. (Wikipedia).

Art Project: Operation Bilby. Woman in fantasy art wearing a Brodie helmet
Art Project: Operation Bilby. Woman in fantasy art wearing a Brodie helmet

The design of the helmet is said to have been inspired by the Kettle Hat (Wikipedia). The Kettle Hat provided good field of vision, comfort, and importantly protection from falling arrows from enemy archers.

Art Project: Operation Bilby. Fantasy art project for Australian mythology.
Art Project: Operation Bilby. Fantasy art project for Australian mythology.

The Brodie helmet allows good field of view, good hearing, and protection from falling objects. When the wearer is standing, laying, or huddling, the helmet can be moved to protect the shoulders, neck, and face by varying the angle of wear. Most other helmets do not provide such protective versatility.

Art Project: Operation Bilby

The helmet was used by Britain’s allies including Australia, Canada, the US, Republic of China, Pakistan, and many other counties. The helmet has become an icon of an era of the British Empire and it’s constituencies. Consequently, it is the perfect part of the Operation Bilby fantasy art project. Learn more here: Operation Bilby.

Art Project: Operation Bilby. Fantasy art project and new Australian mythology.
Art Project: Operation Bilby. Fantasy art project and new Australian mythology.

“Stolen” Submarine

Former HMAS Otama seen 15th May 2022

We were very lucky to get these photos when we did. The HMAS Otama was a Oberon Class submarine of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1978 to 2000. Not much is known about its time in service, except it was extremely important and that it was more of a spy submarine than an attack submarine (Wikipedia).

HMAS Otama in need of extensive restoration. 15th May 2022

It was retired from service in 2000 and became the first and only spy submarine in the world to have been privately bought. It was bought by the Victorian Maritime Centre in 2001 (Wikipedia). They planned to bring it up to a purpose built dry dock where it could be restored and put on public display. However, the VMC never got sufficient funds to build the dry dock by the time the Otama was confiscated by the RAN for scrapping in October 2022. The reason for confiscation may relate to it being a hazard or environmental risk especially during severe weather.

The stern of HMAS Otama with many open hatches and extensive corrosion

Apparently, it cost more to confiscate and carry the submarine than the money it would recover from scrapping, and costing more than building a dry dock for it.

Open hatches at the bow of HMAS Otama. All photographs are copyright and licenceable from Travel Photos PtyLtd

Travel Photos is happy to help with remote and aerial surveys of privately owned items and facilities. Please contact us to learn more.

Former Royal Australian Navy HMAS Otama in Western Port Bay, Vic, 15th May 2022

Operation Bilby

Get more eyes on your products and brand with this iconic outdoor adventure art project.

Art Project: Operation Bilby; The Sentinel

Operation Bilby is an art project intended to do a few things:

  • Promote outdoor adventure and outdoor lifestyle
  • Promote Australian companies and their products
  • Create a new Australian mythology
  • Demonstrate that despite the racial diversity of Australia, all Australians have common goals and common values
  • Demonstrate women are capable of contributing to national goals and ideals outside of archaic gendered roles

Aim: To be at least shortlisted in any state or national art, photography, or other awards and competitions.

Art Project: Operation Bilby; On Comms

We want to help you get save time and get maximum benefit. You will get:

  • Extensive social media promotion
  • Featuring your brand or personal contribution
  • Exclusive access to the photo library that can be used for your own promotional uses
  • Product placement
  • Displayed in art galleries
Art Project: Operation Bilby; Serrated Edge

This art project was first conceived in November 2021 and call for sponsors and participants was made in December 2021. Since then, participants and resources (including costumes) were sourced. Then, most unfortunately, Russia invaded Ukraine. This art project was not meant to be about nationalism or to contribute to anti-Russia sentiment. We have deepest sympathies for the people of Ukraine, and we wish we could provide support for them. We never intended for this project to have any relationship to any actual wars, and we do not want to distract from the plight of the Ukrainian people.

Art Project: Operation Bilby; Stalking Prey

Who can benefit

This art project is suited for any outdoor-related and adventure companies. We have a preference for Australian companies. This project will be great for the following companies:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Boots / outdoor footwear
  • Women’s’ active wear
  • Outdoor electronics (inc. uhf radios, navigation, and other equipment)
  • Camping equipment manufacturers
  • Adventure / outdoor training organisations
  • Private sponsors (will receive merch and art prints)
  • and more

Operation Bilby on the Socials

See how it’s going on the socials

Art Project: Operation Bilby; Dinner at Dusk

Who is involved?

The following people will be involved?

  • Travel Photos head photographer
  • Our photography assistant
  • Talented models
  • Talented makeup artists
  • Talented costume designers or an active wear company
Art Project: Operation Bilby; Assassin Mode

Policies

  • No gun or hunting promotions
  • No racism or sexism
  • Pro-humanity, and nations’ rights to peaceful existence
Art Project: Operation Bilby; Enemy on the Move

Talent Database

It’s been a tough time for us. Since Andrew arrived back in Melbourne after 20 years away, he had a good six months to get reacquainted with Melbourne before the lockdowns began. We’re now in a rebuilding phase, and that means we now need to network and re-establish a team of people we trust and are happy to work with. We expect to get commercial jobs helping Melbourne and Victorian companies with their commercial product and branding photography. Many of these companies have international ambitions, so we are looking to work with enthusiastic and talented people. We are looking for a range of different people to work with, including:

  • Models (male and female)
  • Makeup artists
  • Shoot location assistants
  • Second-photographers
  • Hair stylists
  • Wardrobe
  • etc

Please add your details to our database here and we will get back to you when a suitable job comes up.

In the “Tell us about you” section, include info like what type of style you specialise in, what types of jobs are of most interest to you. We would rather work with people who are in their comfort or interest zone.

A makeup artist preparing a model for a shoot in Yokohama Japan
A makeup artist preparing a model for a shoot in Yokohama Japan

We won’t be employing people, but contracting them on a per-job basis. We believe in equity, diversity, respect, dignity, and workplace safety.

Covid Chaos in Aus

I want to explain why there’s been a sudden shocking explosion of coronavirus cases in a country that once held the line so well. Also, I’ve got to explain how I plan to survive this.

The federal government as abdicated much of its responsibilities of the 1908 Public Health Act. Filling the void each of the states have implemented their own leadership. As much as state resources allowed, they were quite successful. There were tough periods, but the state leadership did the best they could. The sudden explosion of covid cases could be explained by this perfect storm:

  • Federal government failing to get the long-promised Rapid Antigen Test kits (the states are now purchasing their own)
  • Lockdown fatigue (due to inadequate federal level measures), leading to a need to open up
  • Christmas and New Year holidays, when people began mixing and travelling. This was fine, considering the transmissibility of the Delta and other older variants.
  • The high transmissibility of the new omicron variant
  • A conflict between the states requirement to isolate until a negative test result is returned, but a federal policy of opening up. A federal government still failing to meets its obligations under the Public Health Act 1908 and Human Services (Medicare) 1973.
Sunrise over Albert Park and Melbourne CBD
Sunrise over Albert Park and Melbourne CBD

How bad is it? By 2nd Jan 2022, Melbourne had more cases of coronavirus than it did in all of 2020. Today, at time of writing, we had over 17,000 new confirmed infections in the last 24 hours alone. 30% of all test results are positive. The testing centres being so overwhelmed simply closed. For three days this week I tried fourteen times to get tested, and was turned away each time.

It is now simply impossible to get tested, so what can we do? If you have symptoms, it’s more likely to be covid than anything else. Though, I suspect my symptoms are just hayfever. I’m still playing it safe.

  • Stay home in isolation
  • Use painkillers like panadol
  • Stay hydrated
  • Monitor your blood oxygen levels if you have that feature on a smart watch or have a pulse oximeter
  • Monitor your body temperature
  • Wait until PCR testing centres reopen, or check with your local pharmacy to see if you can be put on a list of people to possibly receive a Rapid Test. At time of writing, the Victorian government has not announced how they plan to distribute their RAT kits, but announced they will be free
  • Let a friend or family member know that you’re isolating and have symptoms
  • If you’re vaccinated, like me, you probably will only suffer from just a cough
  • Take all the vitamins you have (especially vitamins B, C, and D). B because coronavirus mainly attacks the nervous system, but we feel it as a respiratory disease. C as it probably does help the body fight the coronavirus like it does a common cold. D because you’re not going outside, so your body is unable to use sunlight to make vitamin D
  • Order groceries online with like Coles home delivery

Best of luck. Follow us on the socials and let us know how you’re travelling through this new stage of the pandemic.

Collaboration Call

Lockdowns are over and many industries need to reinvigorate and recreate or create new connections. We are wanting to work with makeup artists, models, and costume designers to make a project go forward that can be used for our own self-promotion efforts. The long term plan is to get financial support for this project, and for it to be profitable for all involved (participants and financial supporters).

Theme: Women outdoors, in nature, in the sun, doing adventurous activities. More specific details will be given to serious potential collaborators and funding supporters.

Aim: To be at least shortlisted in any state or national art, photography, or other awards and competitions.

Opportunities for sponsors: Exposure with product placement and multiple @ mentions in social media, and on-going placement in social media posts, videos, and in professional creatives’ portfolios.

Climate Change and 2030

The climate has changed, and is changing worse. This century we’ve had severe droughts, severe drying and bushfires, loss of ocean fish resulting in increased dependency on bushmeat and new diseases entering the human population (think Ebola and COVID-19; 2), and more. Life can get worse and horrifying, if we don’t act now.

Since the 1960’s ecologists have recognised that human induced environmental changes have serious impacts on nature. Rachel Carson’s landmark book called Silent Spring was the first serious publication on this. It has been known since 1824 by Joseph Fourier that carbon dioxide holds heat especially from the suns rays (5). It was Svante Arrhenius in 1896 who surmised that if CO2 levels rose in the atmosphere by double, it would have a serious effect on climate temperatures (5).

We know today that most of the CO2 that is put into the atmosphere is as a result of human activity. Over 51% of emissions come from animal based agriculture (1). This is many times more than the petroleum industry. It’s many times more than switching from plastic to paper straws.

If we are to seriously aim for net zero emissions by the agreed target of 2030, and even achieve sequestration (carbon capture and store), there are some easy big impact things we can do:

  • Quickly reduce our animal product consumption (direct reduction on deforestation and emissions)
  • Support farmers by having a mainly grain, vegetable, and fruit diet
  • Replant large swathes of farmland to natural vegetation (carbon sink)
  • Reduce reliance on fossil fuels (including plastics, petroleum, and energy production emissions)

Why “reduce animal agriculture”? Simple mathematics. Cows require huge amounts of grain and water to live. The American cattle industry alone consumes 31% of drinkable water. A vegan diet requires 18 times less farm land than an animal based diet (1).

Vegan diets are not bad, but in fact better. Please who changed quickly to a vegan diet noticed it took a couple of weeks for the body to adapt. However, high performance athletes like weightlifters and professional parkour athletes notice a boost in performance (3). They can lift more and perform better. So, where can you get protein from? Protein is in everything we eat anyway(3). Cutting animal based protein will have no bad effects on your body, only good effects. Additionally, changing to a plant based diet solves a different problem, fiber deficiency.

Why are we writing about this? The two-birds logo is representative of our ethos: Dignity, respect, freedom, environment, and travel. We hope the best for all humanity by protecting the environment, with positive knock-on effects for humanity.

Want to fact check us? Please do. Some suggested references include:

  1. Cowspiracy: https://www.cowspiracy.com/
  2. Seaspiracy: https://www.seaspiracy.org/facts
  3. What the Health: https://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/
  4. An Inconvenient Truth: https://www.algore.com/library/an-inconvenient-truth
  5. Greenhouse Effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_effect

If you are vegan, or have recently switched to a mostly or exclusively vegan diet, tell us how you went below? Leave your comments and favourite new recipes below.

2022 Calendars

This year we’re really excited to announce we’ve expanded our range of our calendars. Previously our main series was “Inside Japan”. For 2022 we’ll have Inside Japan, Inside Aviation, Inside Travel, and a new project theme “Edge of Day”.

Calendars are printed, prepared, and and shipped from the United States, and distributed world wide. Allow 5 to 21 days for delivery, depending on your location.

To order yours for friends, family, for Christmas, and birthdays, go to: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ablyth

Inside Japan 2022 calendarInside Japan 2022 calendar
Inside Japan 2022 calendar
Inside Japan 2022 calendar
  • Cover: Yudanaka-Onsen
  • Jan: Temple at Yudanaka
  • Feb: Kinkakuji, Kyoto
  • Mar: Temple in Gion, Kyoto
  • Apr: Temple in Nakamura Ward, Nagoya
  • May: Ise main street
  • Jun: Senso-ji Temple, Tokyo
  • Jul: Shop front, Ise
  • Aug: Gion, Kyoto
  • Sep: Gifu Park, Gifu
  • Oct: Gion, Kyoto
  • Nov: Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto
  • Dec: A temple in Kyoto
  • Back cover: Senso-ji, Tokyo

To order yours for friends, family, for Christmas, and birthdays, go to: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ablyth

Edge of Day 2022 CalendarEdge of Day 2022 Calendar
Edge of Day 2022 Calendar
  • Cover: Irago Island
  • Jan: Himakajima Island, Japan
  • Feb: Hastings, Australia
  • Mar: Brighton, Melbourne, Australia
  • Apr: Kilcunda, Australia
  • May: Kilcunda, Australia
  • Jun: Point Lonsdale, Australia
  • Jul: Irago Island, Japan
  • Aug: Twelve Apostles, Australia
  • Sep: Irago Lighthouse, Australia
  • Oct: Flinders, Australia
  • Nov: Himakajima Island, Japan
  • Dec: Hastings, Australia
  • Back cover: Utsumi, Japan

To order yours for friends, family, for Christmas, and birthdays, go to: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ablyth

Inside Aviation 2022 CalendarInside Aviation 2022 Calendar
Inside Aviation 2022 Calendar
  • Cover: North American T-28 Trojan
  • Jan: Lockheed Hudson
  • Feb: Piper Cub
  • Mar: English Electric Canberra
  • Apr: Grob G103 Twin Astir
  • May: Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
  • Jun: Supermarine Spitfire
  • Jul: DG Flugzeugbau DG-1001
  • Aug: CAC Winjeel
  • Sep: Schempp-Hirth Duo Discuss
  • Oct: CAC Boomerang
  • Nov: AgustaWestland AW139
  • Dec: Schempp-Hirth Duo Discuss
  • Back cover: Piper Pawnee, viewed from DG Flugzeugbau DG-1001

To order yours for friends, family, for Christmas, and birthdays, go to: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ablyth

Inside Travel 2022 CalendarInside Travel 2022 Calendar
  • Cover: Sunrise and fog, Kilcunda Australia
  • Jan: Sweet shop and factory, Nara Japan
  • Feb: Fertility festival, Nagoya Japan
  • Mar: Souvenir shop, Ise Japan
  • Apr: Local temple in Sako, Nagoya Japan
  • May: Ceramics seller, Saigon Vietnam
  • Jun: Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei Taiwan
  • Jul: Maiko, Kyoto Japan
  • Aug: Longshan Temple, Taipei Taiwan
  • Sep: Girl in café, Saigon Vietnam
  • Oct: Restaurant in Gion, Kyoto Japan
  • Nov: Princes Bridge and CBD, Melbourne Australia
  • Dec: Sunrise pier, Flinders Australia
  • Back cover: Andrew at Centrair, Nagoya Airport Japan

Posters and billboard ads

As an experiment I wanted to see how a photo would look on the streets of Elsternwick Melbourne. I chose a photo from a photo shoot I did with a great local model Wendy earlier this year. Mocked up a poster. Got some photos of my neighbourhood, and photoshopped in the mock poster. Here are the results. Can you imagine a local small businesses using promoting their own wares too? We’re eager to work with local hairdressers, makeup artists, real estate agencies, you name it.

Which is your favourite scene?