September 2018

You've got the bully beef or the mutton stew. And cans of plum and apple jam too. There's a tablet of salt and a biscuit of wood And you end up feeling fed-up good. Or you can go to Margaret River and have a different sort of MRE Experience. Here's a few bits of the local flora that I found on a recent weekend trip. I was fortunate in being able to poke around a bush track that abutted a forest. Every district has someone who is interested in it - a long-time resident or a zealous newcomer - and who is generally shyly bursting to tell you all about it. The thing is to find them and to give them a chance to do it. It may involve a little money, but the expertise you get in your exploration will make the expenditure well worthwhile. Any day you learn something is a good day. Expect to get dirty in some places, and tired in many more. You'll generally have to walk it some part of the way but if you pick the right season to...

Good Old Tony - he came though like a champion. On my recent interview with he and Denis Glennon, they painted a vivid word picture of their search for vivid aerial pictures, and he promised to send some photos of the actual venture. They arrived in the Dropbox, complete with captions, and I can do no better service to the flyers than share them directly. Tony and Denis. Instrument panel and smart phone. Steve manoeuvering the plane in. Denis heading for the plane, early morning, in not so inviting weather. Tony and Roger discuss the day's trackroute and possible locations of interest between Port Hedland and Karratha in WA. And that's a good start on the visuals of the flight - but today is the big day for the opening at Central Park building in St Geo Tce and there's nothing to stop the readers of this column from going there between 10:00 and 5:30 and seeing what it all produced. I'll show you more of the images that Tony send through tomorrow to give you an idea what it was like around cockpit around the coast. Oh, before...

In case that sounds like a takeoff on Jules Verne - it was meant to. The world that was circumnavigated by air is Australia and the voyagers were Denis Glennon and Tony Hewitt. Their sponsor was Canon Australia and their purpose was to discover their personal reaction to the colour, texture, shape and form of our coastline. The set their hearts on seeing us " Girt By Sea " as the lines from the national anthem go - and they have entitled their photographic exhibition and the book that displays it in just that way. It is especial - they had to get permission from the Prime Minister's office to use the phrase.  The journey of discovery and the results are especial too. Quick note - go to see the exhibition at the Central Park building at 152-158 St Geo Tce sometime between the opening on 25 September until the close on 13 October. Entry is free - and the times run from 10.00 to 5:30 weekdays and 10:00 to 4:00 Saturdays. You'll see more than I can describe of their work...

Well, that's what the pack reminded me of when I saw it on the Olympus shelves - the Micro 4/3 specialists have decided to make an especial offer for people buying their OM-D E-M10 MkII cameras - three matched lenses in one box. This is both wonderful and dangerous...

Who cares? Quite a lot of people, actually. A roomful of 'em showed up at the Stirling Street Store of Camera Electronic yesterday - to see Michael Phillips of Nikon Australia unbox a real working example of the new camera and one of the new lenses. He had a couple of charged batteries and members of his audience could put their SD cards into the slot, shoot sample photos, and take them home for analysis. It's a class start to what is going to be a class act - the kit was presented with the new Nikkor 24-70mm f/4S lens as well as an adapter - the FTZ - to allow lenses from the Nikon F mount to be bayoneted onto the new body. The kit has one battery but Michael was wise enough to have several spares...

Yes, the weather. The wind. The piddly showers. No-one wanted to pull barrel rolls, stalls, or 9G turns in front of me when I had the new Nikon Coolpix P1000 camera at the airport viewing platforms. The commercial pilots at Perth were using another runway and the students at Jandakot were all inside drinking cocoa. I had to make do with the ground staff and the Flying Doctor. I suspect the RFDS would probably take off and land in a typhoon, possibly sideways. They fly over our house despite the thunderstorms of winter and the dark of night. Never pass by an RFDS collection tin without putting something in. If we put enough in they are going to have an aerobatic team with folding gurneys...

Let's start the day off right - peering at people from a long distance way and then pressing buttons. When I got the message from Saul that the new Nikon Coolpix P1000 was on the storeroom shelf I beetled into Stirling Street and checked it out. I was impressed with the feel of the box when I lugged it away - figuring that it was probably packed with accessories and extras. It was the sort of weight that you associate with truck batteries or artillery shells. Imagine my surprise when I turned up one small EN-EL20A, a charging cord, a strap, and a giant lens/camera. Coolpix cameras are not generally massive, being Nikon's answer to the compact-sensor consumer camera class - but when they are attached to a lens that goes from 4.3 mm to 539mm focal length you have something very special indeed. In mathematical terms, that is 125X zoom...