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Getting away for a night or two is a real salve for the soul. And camping under the stars, with a simple campfire and a puppy by your side makes it even better.

We headed down to Witts End - Hipcamp in Krawarree, New South Wales in the middle of August, in the bitter cold for a refreshing couple of days... that's it really, we really went just to hang out, let the dog go wild, and spend some time... something we sometimes find difficult to do in the city.

I love it when the stars align and I can get a cheeky milky way shot while dinner is cooking...

Witts End (6 Image Stitch) : Canon EOS R5 RF 24-105mm F4L : ISO1000 : 30 sec : f/4 : Focal Length 24mm

East Point Reserve

My last full day in the beautiful Northern Territory. This morning we drove out to East Point Reserve for sunrise. Darwin is such a such a flat city so the cliffs provide an interesting spot to photograph as the sun hits them in the morning. I missed a trick though, there are some really lovely, tessellated rocks that would provide some really nice landscape shots at the right time of day. I'll have to put it on my list when I go back.

Canon EOS R5 RF 24-105mm F4L : ISO 500 1/50s f/16 58mm Lee "Little Stopper" Filter
Canon EOS R5 RF 24-105mm F4L : ISO100 3Min39s f/22 40mm Lee "Big Stopper" Filter

Dudley Point

Following sunrise, we headed to Dudley Point to explore the gun emplacements and the wallabies. To be fair, I was more interested in the wallabies as it would be the last time I could use the Canon RF 100-500 f/4.5-7.1 L IS USM and RF 70-200 f2.8 L IS USM before handing them back to Canon. The image of the Agile Wallaby below is shot at a fairly high ISO but is still tack sharp. I had just been shooting some wallabies under a tree, so the settings had stayed right up there... but as with the Yellow Water Cruise, I realized that this lens can handle it. Fairly important if you're a keen nature photographer, as early mornings and narrow apertures don't really mix but having the versatility of the telephoto lens is a must.

Canon EOS R5 RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L : ISO 1250 1/1000 f/9 500mm

Probably the best thing about the RF lenses, besides the results, is they are so light, and small, compared to their EF counterparts. Not only did this make them easy to walk around with all day, but it also made them very travel friendly. I had been considering selling off some of my smaller camera bags because my gear had outgrown them, but with the new Canon "R" gear, everything fits perfectly again. So happy!

Dudley Point is home to various military buildings and the gun emplacements are pretty interesting. I wish I had more time to visit the Museum and learn more about this area and its significant place in Australian History.

Canon EOS R5 RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L : ISO 100 1/1250 f/5 118mm

Darwin Camera Club

We spent the afternoon in the super awesome Winnellie Art Space which is home to the Darwin Camera Club. Peter led a post-production workshop for a few hours which was aimed at anyone interested in learning how to get the most out of their images. Peter's photography style relies on post-production, and selective editing, so if you ever see him advertise a workshop in your area, jump on it. You're guaranteed to learn something.

As my time in the Northern Territory and Darwin drew to a close, I felt it only appropriate that I spend my last sunset at Mindil Beach, and exploring the Markets. Heart full, and wallet empty I came away so grateful for the new friendships, the opportunity to immerse myself fully in nature for a week, and ready to return home.

Mindil Beach Sunset

Thank you to the AIPP NT Chapter, and the incredibly organized Sharon Jones for putting together an exciting itinerary. Thanks to Peter Eastway, for the dad jokes, and entertainment over the last few days, oh and for the workshop events!!! And a massive thank you to Luke Paterson, of NT Bird Specialists for sharing his love of birds, and in-depth knowledge. I may just become a birder yet! Finally, I have to thank Canon, for the opportunity to try out some of the new RF lenses.

Back to sunny Sydney, and some birthday celebrations!

I first visited Melbourne in the late '90s when I worked at Fairfax. My time was split between The Age Building on Spencer St and our printer out at Noble Park. While I loved the people at Noble Park, I infinitely preferred being in the City. Sometimes I could steal an hour or two to wander through the laneways. I imagined living in a city that experienced all the seasons... For me, a coffee on Degraves St, sitting under the heaters outside, wrapped in a coat, and popping a blanket over my knees made me feel like a local and provided the perfect spot for people-watching.

I imagined experiencing cold Winters and wearing boots and Winter coats (which just doesn't happen in Sydney). I couldn't have known that all these years later I would end up living in Melbourne for 5 incredible years.

Admittedly the time flew by, and as always, I didn't do all the things I planned to do before we left in 2017. But I still love those laneways and visit them anytime I'm there. As a photographer, they provide the perfect backdrop for street photography.

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