Monthly Archives: July 2009

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Just experimenting…

My dad has been an avid photographer for a very long time now. He’s still got his film SLRs and he used to have a dark room. I used to think it was normal to have a packet of Ilford paper and rolls of films in the fridge and was always really surprised when other people didn’t. In March, he bought an adapter ring for his DSLR so he could use his sigma lenses.

Guess who got to play?

The results were… interesting (meaning bad!) but I really enjoyed manually adjusting the lens. Okay, so nine times out of the ten I ended up focusing on totally the wrong thing but it was fun anyway.

Focusing the the back of the pot instead of the little one inside.

Look how sharp the leaves are! Pity they’re at the back of the photo.

Hooray! I got it right!

My dad’s super cool light meter that we couldn’t figure out how to use. He says he has the instructions for it somewhere.

It’s my hallmark moment.

How lovely is this camera? My dad’s still in working order Olympus OM2. Apparently it was the camera of choice for photo journalists for quite a long time. It felt super-nice in my hands but there was no film for it (and I’m really not ready for that anyway). Several of the photos were taken with its lens.

A mixed bag of photographs

I used to have quite a few journal entries on my old photography folio so I figured I’d put them up here seeing I’ve quit the old place. The majority of these are street candids – a form of photography I find particularly challenging.

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Go team me!

I got back on my bike today. I didn’t go far and it was hardly any time at all but it feels like I achieved something. I was so nervous when I was putting my shoes on and I was definitely scared. But I did it. I also discovered I’ve still got a bit of healing to do. It hurt to lift my leg over the bike and my elbow still isn’t right.

It’s weird how something so simple can give me such a sense of achievement.

As my brother pointed out, I spent all that money so I really need to get back on the bike. Also, I really hate catching the train.

My bike is in the shop now for her first service. I decided to replace the handlebar tape (white is never a good choice with me) and they’re going to check the rear gearing because it definitely wasn’t right when shifting into the bottom gears. There’s some scraps along the right right of the bike and my pedal looks like it’s been attacked with a file but I’m glad that’s all that’s wrong. It could’ve been a lot worse.

If I’d known what today had in store for me, I would’ve stayed in bed.

The inevitable has occurred and I finally fell off my bike.

Me being me, I had to do it in the most spectacular fashion possible with as large an audience as I could manage. Corner of Flinders Lane and Swanston St, just up from the busiest intersection in Melbourne. Actually, I should be glad I didn’t have my tumble on the Flinders St/Swanston St intersection because it is the busiest intersection in Melbourne and I would’ve been squashed flat.

I got caught in tram track. And that’s all I know. I felt my back tyre slip into the track and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back in a world of pain. At least I had my helmet on. It did its job and protected my head from injury as I slammed my head into the ground really hard. I’m also glad I had my backpack on because it protected my spine.

It’s kinda scary. I really don’t know what happened. One minute I was upright, the next I was lying on the road surrounded by a bunch of concerned people.

I hit the ground so hard my feet came out of my pedals. Yeah, I don’t do things by halves. I managed to skin my right elbow even though I was wearing a long sleeved t-shirt and a waterproof jacket. It’s not so painful now and is covered up with a bit of gauze to stop fluff getting stuck to it.

The problem is my right hip. I have an intramuscular hematoma, which is basically a bruise inside the muscle or to be really icky – a sac of blood that’s formed inside the muscle. I have a big lump and it hurts likes a fiend. From what the doctor told me, it’s going to take a few weeks to dissipate.

Ahh… yes, the doctor. That didn’t go so well.

I waited for an hour for my appointment with a doctor I hadn’t seen before (which is my fault – I should’ve asked to see the one I normally see). He was nice enough but I didn’t like him as much as my normal one. He checked my elbow first and wasn’t too concerned with it. The fun started when he saw my hip and told me I had a hematoma forming. They can be left to sort themselves out but one thing you can do is drain the blood out of the hematoma which reduces the swelling and speeds up recovery time.

Uhh, yeah – great in theory, not so good in practice.

It started off okay. He injected quite a few dabs of local anaesthetic but when it came to using the larger needle, he couldn’t find the right spot. He managed to hit it once with a smaller needle and quite a lot of blood came out. But every time he tried with the larger needle, he couldn’t find it. The was more anaesthetic but he pushed the needle in too far one too many times and I wanted to vomit from the pain. Then I nearly passed out. It was obvious the blood sac was located too deep in the muscle for the anaesthetic to work and every time he dug in with the needle, it was excruciating. My hip is going to hurt for a few weeks but that’s something I’m prepared to live with. It’s better than being poked with needles.

So today’s lesson was if my instincts are telling me really not to ride my bike, I should listen to them. The irony of the situation is that I was only riding into the city to take my bike in for its first service. And I was only at that end of the city because I decided it would be a better idea to catch the train than ride in the pouring rain which started just after I left home. Of course, by the time the train arrived the rain had stopped but I figured I’d already validated my ticket so I might as well use it. Everything just went wrong.

The question now is what happens the next time I get on my bike? I was lucky I wasn’t seriously injured and if I was made from tougher stuff, I would’ve continued on my way. But I’m not, I was shaking like a leaf and I still feel a little teary even now. The shakes have gone away but I know the next time I get on my bike, I’m going to be afraid. A little fear can be a good thing but if I don’t get my confidence back, I know I’ll lose something I love. I’ve fallen off before but for some reason, this feel different. Probably because it hurts a hell of a lot more and I know how close I was to seriously injuring myself.

However, I think I’m a cyclist through and through. My first question when I was able to talk was where’s my bike?

Supanova, Sydney

I haven’t been to a Supanova show before. And this was the first time I’d traveled interstate for a ‘pop culture expo’. Not sure I’ll be doing it again any time soon. But really, we all know the only reason I went was because Tim was going to be there.

First of all I’ll say: Karl Urban – phoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw! I got to see him right as the show ended and I was standing outside the green room chatting with the wonderful Mark who’d been Tim’s con helper. He walked past me carrying a full sized Storm Trooper cut-out that was missing its head which had tipped backwards. I didn’t even realise who it was when I piped up with you’ve lost your head. Then he looked at me and I realised who it was. Heh. Definitely hot in real life.

I officially died on Friday night when I shook Dave “Watchmen” Gibbons’ hand. I was standing with Tim when he came over but I didn’t actually realise who he was! We shook hands and he said his name and I quietly died on the inside after realising I was meeting someone who’s work I enormously admire. (Okay, I’m not so keen on the Black Freighter stuff in Watchmen but the rest of it is marvelous.) Tim gave me a gentle ribbing about being the babbling, giggly fan-girl after meeting Mr Gibbons but being all cool when near him.

I spent most of the weekend sitting behind Tim and occasionally taking photographs of the fast passes he was doing. I really missed all my American peeps though. Going to stuff like this should be a group thing, it’s something that’s meant to be shared. I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time because I did. It was wonderful to watch Tim do his thing and I thought all of his fast passes were fantastic. It was also great to have time to talk to him and to Diana who was traveling with him. Still, I missed the experience of being part of a group.

The biggest issue I had with Supanova was the extremely poor organisation when it came to getting people through the door. I arrived at the venue on Saturday morning at 9.30 which I was thought was sufficient time to get in. But no, it took me over two hours to get inside and I was rather cranky as it was cold, occasionally drizzling and there was no signage to explain where we were supposed to line up.

I had thought pre-buying a ticket was a good idea but it really wasn’t. The line for people buying a ticket moved more quickly, which made me really angry. It turned out they had exactly two people managing the pre-paid line: one giving out stamps for the single day tickets and one giving out wrist bans for weekend passes. I’ve never seen this done before and it’s a bloody stupid idea. The simple fact was they needed more people to managed the lines and much better signage. I had no idea which line I was supposed to be in and actually ended up in the wrong one at one point.

The other thing that irks me is the presence of wrestling at these events. Armageddon does the same thing and I loath it. It’s noisy and really irritating. I understand that it bring in larger crowds but do they really have to put the ring in the middle of the venue?

But that’s enough whinging…

Highlights of the weekend were:
1. One girl who was a volunteer managing to wiggle out of her shift because she wanted to meet Tim so badly. Comic book fans can be remarkably gracious and I think everyone of them thanked Tim profusely for coming to Australia.
2. Seeing a folio of Tim’s work. So many pretties. If only I had more money!
3. Talking to Nicola Scott about Secret Six and seeing the original pages.
4. Getting to see all of the fast passes Tim did.
5. R2-D2 coming to visit the table. And then following Diana around. That was adorable.
6. Mark, who was Tim’s con helper. He was so nice to me when he could’ve told me to get out from behind the table. And not forgetting Skye who was also lovely. It was great to have people to talk to when Tim was away from the table or just busy. They made me feel welcome and part of the group.
7. Dinner with Tim and Diana on Sunday night at a tappas bar.
8. Seeing the pencils for my Daredevil piece on Sunday and then having Tim say he was waiting for the “squee!” (which I did, very quietly).
9. Getting myself to and from the venue without getting lost. I think that’s a real accomplishment for someone totally unfamiliar with Sydney’s train system.
10. Getting a sketch from Dave Gibbons when his sign specifically said no sketches.

And finally… a photo I’m pretty pleased with: