Richard Whetton with Camera in Melbourne Southbank by YarraRichard's Blog


Why a blog? April 2012

I started this website some years ago, mainly so that I could share photos with friends and family, but do it in a way a little more personal than Flickr or Facebook. It also seemed like a good opportunity to learn a little more about how the Internet worked, and to learn how to put a website together.

The first tool that I used to set up a website was a piece of software called Adobe ‘Go Live’. I also used Adobe Lightroom to generate some photo Galleries each of which worked well as an independent website. I used ‘Go Live’ to generate a clunky homepage that could link to each of these web galleries, but the look overall was very poor, and my understanding of how ‘Go Live’ worked was very limited. For a long time I have wanted to do better, and with this in mind for the last 2 Adobe Creative Suite launches I have opted for their web developer bundle, which comes equipped with Dreamweaver, but not known how to use the software. Hopefully I have now finally got to a point where I can actually use the Dreamweaver well enough to support my own website.

I decided that one of the pages on this website should be a blog page, where I can talk about some of the new photo Galleries that go up, and experiences that led to me taking those photos. In a way this will become my version of a diary, probably heavily photographically orientated, but who knows they may even be some other stuff that sneaks in here.

New Galleries and Video Page

I want my photo galleries to work on my iPad. On my last website nearly all the galleries were generated using flash, mainly the fantastic plug-in for Lightroom, called slideshow pro. I got this from a website called The Turning Gate, which is a fantastic resource for any photographer that wants to put their content on the web, however I now need something that is not flash-based. Once again I went and had a look at ‘The Turning Gate’, and sure enough there is a photo swipe gallery, based around HTML 5 technology, that looks like it's going to do the job for me. I'll keep the old galleries up for the time being, but I am going to replace them little by little with this new version, if I can get it working! 1st out of the gate is going to be our wedding photos, which still haven't made their way online 2 and a bit years later! Hopefully I can sort that out in an iPad friendly fashion. I'd be interested to hear from anybody using an older web browser how the new gallery works with older technology.

Camping in New South Wales. Easter 2012

Jac, Jen and Fab on beach at sunsetOver Easter Jackie and I went camping in a bush campsite at Caves beach, near Jervis Bay. We were joined by Jen and Fabrice, (Jac’s sister and her partner), Janie and Josh and their 2 little girls. It was wonderful to get away from civilization for a few days, and the campsite was fantastic even if there wasn't any hot water! I took the Webber barbecue, and I think we ate pretty well for camping! I've added a couple of photos to show the beautiful beaches and countryside next to the campsite.

We bought a new tent just for this trip, we got a ‘Black Wolf twin turbo 300’, and I would heartily recommend this to anyone, it stood up to the conditions beautifully (we had very heavy rain on the last night). It is a joy to put up, taking very little time indeed to get to a point where you can put your belongings safely into waterproof environment. It was great to have a bit of extra space and somewhere to keep all our stuff which was a big improvement over the last time we went camping. We also bought 2 new mats to sleep on, known as four-wheel drive mats, because they are probably too big to put in a normal car. They were also very comfortable, being the same size as the Queen bed, and self inflating around a decent sized foam core.

Ryan's SwampThe campsite was wonderful, we had to shoo wallabies away from the spot where we wanted to pitch our tent before we could put it up. The Bush in that part of the world is absolutely beautiful, near the back of the campsite is a piece of swampland called Ryan's swamp. This had a mass of dragonflies, lizards, frogs and other wildlife, and really was a beautiful spot. There are 2 beaches right next to the campsite that are both very beautiful, but with big surf. On the last day we were there we went to Murry’s beach, which being inside Jarvis Bay had no surf and was much better for the young girls go for a swim off. The water there is also crystal clear and I took the opportunity to go for a snorkel, something I have not done for quite a long time. After an incredible amount and variety of different types of fish, it was like swimming in an aquarium! I wish I had had an underwater camera I think I would have come away with some really good shots. If I go back there again make sure I've got something with me next time.

This is a link to the park.

The only camera I took with me to the Bush was actually my Fuji X-100. Unfortunately although the campsite is quite remote, the car park (which is 300 m from where the tents are) has a bad reputation for theft out of cars. As I wasn't able to secure a camera either in the tent or in the car I decided only to take something small that I could keep with me, and wouldn't be as costly to lose as one of my Nikons. When it gets it right the little Fuji is a wonderful camera, however the metering is nowhere near as reliable as I have got used to with the Nikon's, and the autofocus doesn't even begin to compare. My main problem however is that I keep forgetting to take the lens cap off, not a problem with a through the lens viewfinder. I think in the future all cameras will probably end up with a similar format with an electronic viewfinder, hopefully somebody will come up with a foolproof method of stopping idiots like me trying to take a photo whilst the lens cap is still firmly in place.

Last wave of the day


Chickenpox! April 13th 2012

Believe it or not I have got chickenpox. I was under the impression that this was something you only got once in your life, it seems particularly cruel as I also got shingles 4 years ago. Apparently it is however quite common, and I won't be as ill as I would have been as an adult catching chickenpox if I had never had it before. However my 2nd visit to the doctor, he did seem a little surprised at the amount of spots I have, from what my mum tells me I have far more this time than I did as a child. You'll be glad to know I'm not going to be posting any photos of my diseased body!

It's also my birthday today, that'll teach me to have a birthday on Friday the 13th!


A blast from the past – 19th April 2012

Beautiful Jackie at Opera houseLooking through some old Photographs today I came across this old image, a pencil sketch courtesy of Photoshop! It shows my beautiful wife a few years ago. I remember the day well, I had just finished reading ‘The Hot Shoe Diaries’ by Joe McNally, and inspired I took the flash unit down to the harbor to try some off camera flash work. I was trying to use Auto FP mode and really pump the power on the flash to really darken the background in full sunlight. I couldn’t get the flash to synch at sufficient speed so for what I was trying the session was a complete bust, but when I got back messing about with the photos I produced this.

Didn’t think much of it at the time, but a few years later looking back I kind of like it! Click on the image for a larger version.


Jackie completes Half marathon 'Run Melbourne'Jac with medal for run Melbourne 2012

Jac did another half marathon today having booked up for it only a week ago. I was worried how she might go having not been running much lately, however with all the training she has been doing at Acumotum and the training to become a PT she had no trouble and thinks she may have got a personal best, however will have to wait till Tuesday to find out when the results come in as her watch failed part way through.

The functional training we are doing at the moment really works, Jac is fitter than she has ever been in her life and is looking terrific. It's a lot more fun to do than pounding a treadmill and I think quite a bit more effective. I think she has really found her niche and hopefully can turn it into a meaningful business

I did a course at Acumotum myself yesterday on 'Myofascial Release' which I was in dire need of having spent far too much time sitting down and not moving enough in the last couple of weeks. It's a fascinating subject, such a different way of viewing the body from all that I learnt in the Gym in the eighties and early nineties.

It's amazing however how much of what I learnt in Judo has been vindicated by this training now, we may not have had the modern theory behind what we were doing but the training derived in Japan so many years ago was superb for staying healthy and mobile. The East has always had a more holistic view of the body and mind than recent Western ideas and we are now learning how sensible and meaningful this view is; it's all one system not a collection of isolated parts. If only I hadn't stopped training!

Jac Releasing her Calfs after 'Run Melbourne' 2012This image shows Jac using a foam roller to release her calf muscles after the run. I need to work on my hip area, this is probably the root cause of most of the lower back pain I have experienced in my life, my glutes are too tight. It’s also apparently the reason I walk with my feet pointing outwards rather than straight forward, which can lead to knee issues as they are not working in the direction they are meant to. Most knee replacements can apparently be traced back to this problem.

A little self maintenance - maybe only ten minutes a day - and combined with exercise can avoid all these issues and keep you healthy, mobile and able to enjoy life properly well into old age. It was described in the course I did as being like brushing your teeth, something you need to do everyday for a few minutes and the rewards are significant. The theory behind it is in the book Anatomy Trains.