Wilderness Society & Erchana’s Amazing Effort

Erchana is a marathon runner who ran the equivalent to a marathon each day, going from the very tip of Australia to Melbourne (Tip to Toe). The idea was to raise about $10 for every one of the 6,300 kilometres she ran for the Wilderness Society (blog post); she ended up raising over $100,000. Erchana ran the equivalent of 150 marathons, breaking the Guinness World Records. Extinction is forever, and we need to support the environment that sustains humanity.

Erchana, a marathon runner, ran from the tip of Australia to Melbourne to raise funds for the Wilderness Society, breaking Guinness World Records and going beyond funding expectations.

The average human requires about 2000 calories a day. Erchana has needed to consume around 6,000 calories a day and said that she sampled every flavour of ice cream available along the way. She was chased by a wild bull and attacked by mosquitoes. She ran on dirt roads, beaches, across mountains, before finishing it all at Melbourne’s The Tan walking/running track at the Pillars of Wisdom. She was met by Australia’s leading media outlets and very grateful members of the Wilderness Society. See the ABC story here.

Erchana, a marathon runner, ran from the tip of Australia to Melbourne to raise funds for the Wilderness Society, breaking Guinness World Records and going beyond funding expectations.

The Wilderness Society is about protecting nature, preventing extinction, and a lot more. Please learn more and donate at https://www.wilderness.org.au/

Erchana celebrating the end of the 5 month odyssey.

Congratulations to Erchana for her fantastic effort, and thanks so much for your support to the Wilderness Society. What better way can the Wilderness Society start the year? Please learn more and donate at https://www.wilderness.org.au/

Some of the local members of the Wilderness Society in Melbourne.

5 Reasons not to Photograph it Yourself

There are many more reasons to get a professional photog’ to do the job for you. Here are some. We hope you enjoy the last one.

It’s a Service; not just “a Photo”

Occasionally we get clients who are shocked that “a photo” costs more than $20, and say they can do it themselves for less. Ok, that’s fine. Remember, you’re hiring a service, not buying an artistic mass-produced framed photo from Kmart.

Sample of the editing and post-processing done at Travel Photos
Sample of the editing and post-processing done at Travel Photos

We have invested tens of thousands of dollars in equipment, software, training, practising, and more. Yes, you can use your iPhone or ask your colleague to do it for you. However, compare an amateur photo with a professional. Which is going to bring you value?

That is why our company Director Andrew prefers to take his car to a mechanic rather than do it himself – even though he has his own hammer. We save you time, effort, energy, and investment costs.

A photo of Travel Photos poster with other street ads in a Melbourne laneway
A photo of Travel Photos poster with other street ads in a Melbourne laneway

There are legal risks

Travel Photos PtyLtd has public liability insurance. We are also educated in photo licencing, model employment, and other legalities required when using photos of people and things. There are many stories of how a photo in an ad has either gone sideways or backfired.

In 2007, an Asian American young lady sued Virgin Mobile Australia for their racist and insulting bus stop ad used in Adelaide. The ad makers did not have permission from the photographer, and did not have permission from the young lady to commercially use her likeness. What did the ad say? “Dump your pen friend” (CBS News). Needless to say, it probably cost Virgin Mobile more than what they gained.

Travel Photos PtyLtd ensures all the legal basics are covered before supplying our clients with images.

We have Skills and Talents you Don’t Have

Sorry to be so bold in saying it, but it’s true. The owners of the Lotus, Mercedes, Ferrari and other such Formula One race teams don’t drive the cars themselves – they hire highly skilled professionals to do it for them. In the image below we bet only the most talented of photographers (and this model) will know how we achieved this remarkable photo (btw, no torches were used).

Art Project: Operation Bilby, Supper Time. Female soldier eating at sunset.
Art Project: Operation Bilby, Supper Time.

Full Service

For busy people, understaffed offices, and those who don’t know all the ins and outs, we take care of all the details for you. We can do the following:

  • Image research
  • Production planning
  • Model/talent auditions and hiring
  • Location scouting
  • Travel to the required locations
  • Organise specialised equipment
  • Provide specialised services (like makeup artists, local fixers, security, etc)
  • Do the photo shoot
  • Manage staff
  • Image management and long term storage
  • Editing and post-processing
  • Image delivery
  • Legal document management
  • and more

    In short, tell us what you need, and we’ll make it happen.

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

    No Copy Cats Allowed

    As a standard, Travel Photos PtyLtd retains the ownership of the photographs. Additionally, the licence we issue to our clients includes an “exclusive use” clause. That means, your photos won’t be used by your competitors. Additionally, we are proactive in protecting the copyrights of our photos.

    True story. At the start of the Stock Photo era at around 2005, two advertising agencies bought the same $2 stock photo for their print material. People in the north east of the US wondered if two competing banks were now merging because the look and style of the print materials appeared the same. Avoid confusing your customers, avoid diluting your message, or worse – be unintentionally promoting your competitor. Unique exclusive photos is what we specialise in.

    Confusion occurs when you use the same cheap stock photos as your competitors
    Confusion occurs when you use cheap stock images

    Don’t let your business get lost in the crowd. Stay unique. Stay fresh.

    Happy New Year

    New Year sunrise photo

    The Travel Photos company traces its roots to when the owner Andrew was based in Japan. At that time it was known as Japanese Photos.

    Japanese like to share New Year related images and themes with friends and family. These images are often shared as postcards to be delivered from New Years day. That is, any cards the post office receives, they sought separately and hold off on delivery until New Years Day. A lot of the images include Lunar Zodiac animals; mandarins and rice cakes which are typically enjoyed on New Years day; and the first sunrise of the year (or a sunrise/sunset, or an image taken around the NY to represent “the first sunrise”… people are lazy and weather can be unpredictable).

    Sunset on Pulpit Rock, Cape Schanck Victoria
    Sunset on Pulpit Rock, Cape Schanck Victoria

    Since our time in Japan, we have a tradition of sharing New Year images. Included here is a sunset behind Pulpit Rock at Cape Schanck Victoria. It is a unique view, and we are a bit reluctant to describe the tricks we used to get this un-photoshopped true digital capture. We hope that experienced landscape photographers would also be reluctant to share their tricks too.

    Sunrise on Nagashima Spa Land, Japan

    Above and below are examples of New Year images that have been shared by us in the past. These have been used as New Years postcard images in subsequent years – of course without mentioning the date the images were actually photographed.

    Fishing boats with Shinto good luck charms and well wishes for the new fishing year in Japan
    Fishing boats with Shinto good luck charms and well wishes for the new fishing year in Japan

    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

    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.

    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.

    Drone photography

    You may have noticed on the socials that we’ve been experimenting with a new angle – from up high. This gives us literally – a new dimension – to our offerings. We can get a camera to hard to get places to do more and new work. We can do things like asset inspection, real estate, remote photography, and more.

    A drone used by Travel Photos Pty Ltd

    As you can guess, in the coming months we will be learning more and experimenting more with aerial photography. Our knowledge and skills in photography will be transferred across, and upskilling in quad-copter flying.

    Are there laws and restrictions on flying drones? Absolutely. We’re getting out Remote Pilot’s Licence, Aviation Radio Operator’s Certificate, Cert III Aviation, and Remote Operator’s Certificate. All required for commercial operations under the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s rules in Australia.

    Follow us on Instagram to keep up with the new stuff.

    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.