A postcard from Singapore VI

November 4, 2007

Travelling light and shooting for fun in Australia

In mid-October after finishing my last nightshift on the Singapore desk by moving a picture of the first snow falling in Red Square in Moscow, we decided to escape the heat and humidity in search of cooler weather in Australia. With 20 degree temperatures expectable in Perth I packed “warm” clothes. Despite only having arrived in Singapore in July my body already feels uncomfortable when the temperature drops below 25 degrees.

 plane

When travelling I always face the question what photo equipment to take? I always carry my laptop but do I go as a photographer with lots of equipment – or go as tourist with a small a happy snap camera and risk maybe missing “the picture”. For this trip I wanted to take able to file pictures to Singapore if needs be.Flowers 2

But I decided to travel “light”.

An EOS MarkII camera with my new 50mm lens was the key equipment. The 50mm is sharp, small, very light (290g), and fast with an f1.4 aperture. Last but not least it delivers  great image quality. I love the strong halation at f/1.4 – which gives pictures a soft, dreamy look. My all-rounder is the 1670g heavy f3.5-5.6-28-300mm which certainly is capable of producing high quality images, not as great as those from the f2.8-flowers 370-200mm but perfect for travelling. To be equipped for all situations I added the f2.8-16-35mm wide angle lens – just in case.

To complete the equipment my wife Andrea took her digital compact camera – which we use especially for close up pictures. Chargers and batteries and that’s it. All lenses and bodies packed in a wash-leather (protects the equipment and keeps it dry) in a low-key sling bag for hand luggage in the plane and when walking around.

 combo

Arriving in Australia we picked up our car to drive south. Had fun, visited touristy places, restaurants, bars, museums, art galleries …. enjoyed the nice, friendly people and our free time, sitting in the sun at 20 degrees.

combo 2

But I have to admit we often enough walked in the rain at freezing 10 degrees although it was nothing a hot coffee didn’t fix. We ate typical local food served with white or red wines in the evening - perfect.

 sign

The good thing about travelling in Western Australia is that there are signs telling kangarooyou where the best views are and the best places to take pictures from  (see photo position sign, taken with the 28-300 at 300mm and Andrea at the beach) these signs guide tourists to landmarks, with helpful hints for pictures or just to a nice place to rest.

Most of you know the famous road signs with the animals on it – here the emu and kangaroo sign as example. We saw more sheep and cows than anything else. I liked the picture of the three lambs (taken with the 28-300 zoom at around 220mm). Driving across the state we saw lots of interesting letter boxes beside the road. Some are just plastic boxes while others spend emutime and efforts to attract people’s attention. Have a look and decide yourself – my favourite is the walking “letter man”.

Whenever we stopped there were examples of the 3000 West Australian wildflowers to take pictures of. Even if we didn’t know their names they were nice to look at. All of these pictures were taken with the IXUS on the macro setting. Fast easy and good. This small camera produces nice images. Since I like food I very often take close ups of fish and chipsmy plate. Fish and chips might not be an extraordinary dish, but it seems typical for the region and goes very nice with a West Australian white wine. At least I learned why people say wine goes well with fish … useful when you have a macro setting to show what was printed on the label of our bottle: “MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF FISH AND MILK”.

 wine

I was happy that we did not find any fish bones in the bottle or worse …. better off not thinking about that. Maybe that is the reason why travelling Germans like their beer brewed according to the German “Law of Purity”.

rosesJust like being back in good old Europe – there was a man selling roses in the restaurant – this time equipped with a very special, unique light system. (50mm, f1.4 1/8 sec)

Like many tourists we shot pictures from the plane of the beautiful islands and interesting constellations of clouds.

Back in Singapore we edited everything. The high quality of even the compact camera means we can easily print our images to 30 x 40 cm – maybe not the one with the fish and chips but maybe some of the flowers.

 andrea

Talking of food reminds me that I am hungry, so I’m off to the food court for something delicious – maybe tandori chicken tonight … or sushi – what a decision. But more of that later.

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The brilliant colors in those pink flower photographs are so striking, you feel almost mesmerized.