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Guess who's coming to Australia?

Me! And I've already got my visa, so it's too late to stop me. Big Grin

I think I mentioned this before, but with an April-May time frame. Well, the long-delayed trip is finally happening.

I'm leaving Toronto 50h from now - Saturday the 28th - and will be arriving in Sydney on Monday July 30. (It's a long flight!) I'll be in Sydney for almost a week, Melbourne for a day, and Adelaide for five days. While in Adelaide I'll be visiting my mother's home town of Port Broughton so that she can be laid to rest in the family cemetery, which will be a good conclusion to my time in Australia.

Port Broughton provides a bright spot in the journey, too -- even beyond being able to meet and visit family that I haven't seen in twenty-two years. While I was doing research for my trip, I found a website that says Broughton's "In the Mid North of South Australia". That cracks me up every time I read it, even though I know exactly what they mean.

I fly out of Adelaide, arriving in Los Angeles forty-five minutes later, with a two-hour stopover in Brisbane. Time zones are funny things, because I'll still be 17 hours older when I get to LAX.

After five days in Los Angeles, it's back on a plane for the final trip home, arriving three weeks and four hours after I leave.

I will have sporadic computer access while I'm away, so I'll be able to check in from time to time.
I know I'll be passing through some people's towns, and I'd love to meet up if the timing and placing works out. The best way to get in touch with me over the next few weeks will be at matthewpiers (at) • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

After weeks of agonizing, I've finally settled on a packing list. I thought I'd share.

Papa's got a brand new bag: my Domke F6 "little bit smaller":

[Image: P7260444.jpg]

And here's what fits in it:

[Image: P7260446.jpg]

Olympus 50-200mm Zuiko Digital f/2.8-3.5 ED Lens (I won't spell it out) Big Grin
Manfrotto table-top tripod, stored disassembled. (3007, 3007X, and 482 head -- worth every penny.)
"The Pod" bean-bag and tripod collar for the 50-200.
Olympus 11-22 wide-angle lens.
Olympus FL-50 full-size flash with optical slave attached.
Olympus 50mm f/2 Macro.
72mm polarizing filter for the 11-22 and 58mm IR filter with a 52mm step-up ring for the 50 Macro in baggie.
Olympus 1.4x teleconverter.
Lensbaby 3G.
2 spare batteries.
Gepe Cardsafe.
Aperture set and tool for Lensbaby.
Small notebook for shot list and travel journal. (Not shown: pen)
Wireless remote.
Cleaning cloth.
Hyperdrive Space 40GB portable storage.
Olympus E-510.
Lastolite Ezybalance 12" grey/white reflector.
Not shown: Olympus 770SW that took these photos.

The total weight of the bag, as filled, is 12.5 pounds.

Here's how it goes back together:

[Image: P7260445.jpg]

I won't usually carry all of the photo gear with me, but it's good to know that I can. The bag is about the same size as my Crumpler 'Six Million Dollar Home', but it holds so much more stuff. I'll never carry the Hyperdrive in the same bag as my camera and cards (the drive stays home with my chargers and luggage, cards stay with me) and I'll often carry less than the full kit so that I also have room for sunglasses, wallet, and any other necessities. Just getting rid of the telephoto and flash will save over four pounds, so these are things I'll only carry when I expect to need them. My partner will probably be carrying the point&shoot, saving a little more weight from my kit.

I'm going to be carrying over twenty gigs of compact flash cards, and another three gigs of xD cards for the SLR and P&S. As I fill the cards, they'll be backed up to the Hyperdrive and then put aside in another cardsafe in the hopes that they can be burned to DVD before being brought back into service. There's nothing I can do about needing different chargers for the two cameras, but the portable drive can charge via USB, so the adapter for the iPods work for it too. I'll just buy disposable AA's for the flash, getting rid of one more charger and travel adapter.

Sorry for the rambling message, but it's been a good way to work off stress.

I can't remember anything I've forgotten... Big Grin • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

matthew Wrote:Me! And I've already got my visa, so it's too late to stop me. Big Grin
Oh I dunno, I'm sure I can call customs to keep an eye out for you... we've already got your mugshot: Big Grin
[Image: 275.jpg]

Seriously, have a great trip - I'm sure you'll love it here. If you want me to organise anything for you in Melbourne - photo excursions, tours, anything, just let me know - I'd be happy to help out.


Hi Matt,

Great news - are you still going to do some kayaking? Of course you will have to come back to Australia again to see the best part - Perth Smile



Canon stuff.

Hope you have a great time in Australia Smile

Canon 400D plus assorted lenses

Thanks, everyone, and Jules, I'm sure the RCMP has already given them the big version of that photo.

I'm off! • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Well, I made it in, despite them filming an epsiode of "Border Security" that day. I'm now in Sydney, staying with my GF's brother and his GF, in a neat little spot in Coogee. (No, I don't know where that is, either.) I'll be making the trip into downtown Sydney later today, so hopefully I'll get my bearings soon.

Qantas is a great airline. Air Canada isn't. And I'm practicing saying "m`lbun" as the name of my next destination. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

That was a quick three weeks, and now I'm getting back into the routine.

I never did figure out where I really was in Sydney, and had family commitments from Melbourne to Adelaide that took all but one day out of the seven I was there. WS, I never did get a chance to go Kayaking, which was probably just as well -- it's cold in Australia! California made up for the weather and the bustle, though, giving me lots of time for rest, recovery, and photography.

My E-510 DSLR accounts for 2443 photos, generating almost 24GB of raw data. MY P&S was used for another 584 jpegs, for a total of 3025 photos.

I used everything that I brought, but could have left some of it at home. My monopod in particular was useless -- I almost never brought it with me, and even when I did, it got in the way far more than it helped. My filters could have also stayed home. I was carrying the IR filter for a particular part of my stay in California, and it yielded disappointing results. The polarizing filter was also a mistake; somehow I never figured out that polarizing a lens with an 89 degree angle of view wouldn't give pleasant results. I should have used one on my 50mm lens instead. Live and learn.

I occasionally missed my 35-100 f/2 (70-200mm-e) lens, and if I'm not on the move so much next time, I may bring it with me. And my ultrawide 7-14. And my tripod. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

Welcome back!! looks like you did some damage.. Big Grin I had 53 gigs when I came back from Europe, but mostly from my wife's movies.. Big Grin

Post pics!! Big Grin

Wow that was fast!
Welcome back!

fifty-three gigs is massive -- that would have nearly wiped out all of my CF cards as well as filling my HDD. As it was, I only needed to burn two DVDs from my 4GB cards to keep complete redundancy. (The fact that a 4GB card will fit a DVD conveniently is why I didn't buy any 8GB cards. Splitting them up and burning two disks is too intricate on a borrowed computer.) It did take a couple of hours just to import all of the RAW images (and convert to DNG, and back up the originals to the external drive) on my new `puter, so I'm glad I didn't go too crazy.

I love Lightroom. Here's the breakdown of the shots I took with each lens:

11-22 f2.8-3.5 (wide-normal) -- 664
50 f/2 (100mm Macro) -- 748
50-200 2.8-3.5 (100-400mm) -- 647
Lensbaby 3G -- 384

Unfortunately the metadata summary doesn't include where I used the 1.4 teleconverter that I often had under the two telephoto lenses.

ISO 100 -- 1115
ISO 200 -- 192
ISO 400 -- 322
ISO 800 -- 575
ISO1600 -- 239

Most popular apertures:
f/5.6 -- 491
f/4 -- 430
f/8 -- 322
f/2 -- 223

...and my most popular shutter speed was 1/200. • @matthewpiers | | @thewsreviews •

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