Recent Images

  • Naked souls hell bound.

  • In 1974 I passed through Germany on the way to Scandinavia. I made two stops: Göttingen and Munich.

  • Uluru rock shelter paintings near the Mutitjulu Waterhole.

  • Me beside the Mark sculpture on the Bondi Beach shore path.

  • Me at Uluru awaiting sunset.

  • Bondi Beach swimming pool beside the sea.

  • Our cruise ship docked at Circular Quay in Sydney. It took a few hours to get all 2000 passengers on board. In our case, it took even longer because we didn’t have proof of a negative COVID test administered in the last twenty-four hours. Fortunately, Mali had a few test kits, so we tested ourselves at the dock. We were both negative, and we were allowed onboard. I’m not sure what would have happened if one of us had tested positive. Of course, it was all bullshit. COVID tests spew false positives, and the testing regime was a semi-honor system. What are the chances 2000 people are all going to behave honorably? Essentially zero is the correct answer. As it turned out, several people came down with COVID during our trip, and we reverted to chin-diapering.

  • Sydney Darling Harbour.

  • Aboriginal color poles in the Canberra gallery.

  • Walpa Gorge morning.

  • Aboriginal wall painting.

  • Australia is famous for its dangerous snakes. Of the thirteen most venomous snakes in the world, eight are found in Australia. Hence, you see little reminders like this all over the country. Don’t screw with the snakes; they will kill your dumb ass!

  • The Göttingen monument to Gauss and Weber. Gauss easily makes the top ten all-time greatest mathematicians list. Even in today’s silly woke world where entire nonsense industries are devoted to tearing down the achievements of dead European white guys he simply cannot be canceled. Some people are so demonstrably great that even the embittered ankle-biters give way.

  • The Brisbane River has cut some nice cliffs. Street elevators take the toil out of climbing such cliffs.

  • The Mutitjulu Waterhole. This pool is not a “waterhole”; it’s a catch basin like the “tanks” in Capitol Reef and other desert regions. Water is collected over a large part of the surface of Uluru and channeled to this depression at the base. The pool is one of the few areas around Uluru where standing water can be found year-round. Hence the pool was considered sacred by aboriginal people. In their tradition, you did not directly drink from the pool. You dug a nearby hole and waited for the water to seep in. This contrasts with white Aussie behavior. Not many decades ago, they would throw inner tubes in the pool and float while guzzling beer. It was yahoo chilling at its best. Nowadays the pool is protected and would-be floaters will face stiff fines and social media slagging.

  • Entering Walpa Gorge in the morning. The trail into the gorge is mostly stone conglomerates.

  • Colored pipe dream.

  • Yet another Victoria monument. All Victoria monuments depict her as if she’s just had a broom handle shoved up her ass. “We are not amused!”

  • It’s Black Friday and I am in a black mood. The last iPhone system upgrade (iOS 16) broke my simple method of copying pictures off my phone. I used to simply plug the phone into a Mac or PC with a USB cable. After “allowing” the connection the phone's pictures would appear as a PC directory or an import source to the Mac's Pictures App. Now it does neither! I can still upload phone picture files to my OneDrive or iCloud drives, so I can work around this annoyance, but I am so tired of workarounds. I suspect Apple fucked this up because copying iPhone images to a PC was more convenient than copying to a Mac, and we cannot have that. I discovered this latest piss-off while experimenting with ProCamera (click here) exposure bracketing. Finally, after years of screwing around with in-App HDR, the geniuses at ProCamera admitted defeat and "permitted" users to fetch the individual exposures that they crammed, by default, into a single HDR image. This image was created by loading four bracketed RAW exposures into Affinity Photo 2’s HDR stack and applying tone mapping. This simple technique affords far greater control over how the images are blended. Remember, software that fails to deify the user is crap!

  • Harry Potter was playing at Melbourne’s ornate Princess Theatre. I knew all the tram lines in the foreground would mess up this shot; I thought I would remove them later. I ran this image through a recent version of Luminar Neo: a program that claims to "automagically" remove power lines. Like many AI-driven processes, it almost works, but when I blew things up to 200 percent, the removal artifacts were unmistakable. Not feeling like a tedious inpainting job, I left the lines intact. We’ve seen enough of the photoshopped world. How about we look at the real one?

  • Australia Parliament from the front lawn.

  • The spring rains allowed flowers to bloom all around the base of Uluru.

  • I rather like Aboriginal color choices.

  • On the day we drove out of Brisbane, I didn’t want a hotel booked because I wasn’t entirely sure how I would adapt to driving on the opposite side of the road. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to adjust. I figured we would find a motel along the way. Unfortunately, all the places we stopped at were full. Aussies love to get away for the weekend. Mali scrambled and booked us into an Airbnb-like place. When we arrived, we couldn’t get the key and had to track down the owner. It was a little misadventure. The next morning, we checked out where we had landed: Charlesworth Bay Beach Resort near Coffs Harbour, and for the remainder of the trip, we booked well in advance.

  • Dark Atomium.

  • I like visiting towers when touring new cities. There’s nothing quite like a good overview to get a sense of a place. On this trip our tower experiences were mixed. Here in Canberra, the Telstra Tower, shown here was closed. We had better luck in Auckland. It was in the Auckland tower that I read a poster describing Auckland as “Sydney for Beginners.” As for Sydney, the Sydney Tower was our one sour note in that city. I’d strongly recommend not visiting the Sydney Tower unless you plan on jumping off it!

  • We have only a handful of Uluru “scale pictures.” Framing shots with calibration objects like people, cars, and animals is a way to convey the size of landscape features. In this shot, Mali caught me walking beside Uluru. Uluru is massive but oddly approachable. It’s impressed people for millennia, and I suspect it will for millennia to come.

  • Kata Tjuta morning.

  • Receding.

  • Auckland from the upper deck of the cruise ship.

  • Me beside Sydney’s Maritime Museum’s diver statue.

  • Some Aussies that gave us a lift described Melbourne as “just big.” A true statement, but the city has undeniable charms, like the free downtown trams; something all big cities should offer. All the Australian cities we visited were lovely in their own way, and it would be hard to pick one over the others; they all embarrass American wastelands like Detroit.

  • Bingo Dingo!

  • Uluru base vegetation.

  • Admiring the gardens.

  • When composing this shot, I heard a rustle in the bush behind me. Turning around, I saw a huge monitor lizard; it was more than a meter long. It ran off into the weeds. I don’t know who was more alarmed, the lizard or me.

  • The Manneken Pis in Brussels. This is another underwhelming world-famous statue. The hotel I was staying in was quite close to the statue so I walked by it many times. During my visit, it was vandalized. Somebody threw pink paint all over it. I was nearby when a city maintenance worker first saw the vandalized statue. He started swearing and angrily gesticulating. I got the impression that it wasn’t the first time he had to clean up the statue.

  • I see you smirking there!

  • A collage of aboriginal paintings.

  • When reading up on the geology of Uluru and nearby Kata Tjuta a number of references pointed out that the stone at the two sites differ. Uluru is compacted and relatively smooth while Tjuta has many conglomerates. This Tjuta boulder is typical of the conglomerates in Walpa Gorge.

  • Bin chickens and saints going around in circles.

  • Bondi Beach mirror ball.

  • Bondi Beach.

  • Canberra is very green in the spring. This scan over the arboretum towards the city gives a pretty good sense of the land. My shadow is in the lower center of the image. It’s not an accident. I had to move up and down the hill to cast just the right shadow.

  • I was constantly delighted by Australian phrasing. In Brisbane, they have "limbless" soldiers. In the US and Canada, we have "amputees."

  • Is it Ok to selfie on sacred Uluru grounds?

  • "Hey, how about we erect carved rocks beside a national museum and call it square?" I understand the sentiments behind projects like Reconciliation Place but do you really think a few nice rocks will address Aboriginal issues? Just a few blocks from where I took this picture, a group of Aboriginal protestors huddled in a makeshift encampment beside the old government house. They want their own parliament. I expect there will be some arrangement to ensure seats in the extant parliament, but the government of Australia is not going to treat Aboriginals like full sovereign nations. The same applies to First Nations people in Canada and the US. The reason is simple: full sovereigns can open Chinese embassies and maintain standing armed forces. This degree of autonomy is not on the table and never will be as long as indigenous people are minorities.

  • This is why people cruise. The scenery comes to you.

  • In 1974 I quit my Alberta oil field summer job early and went to Europe for three weeks. I flew into Switzerland, stayed with my aunt and uncle for two days, and then took off on the train. I passed through Austria, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It was a great trip, with the highlight being my virginity loss to a young woman I met in a youth hostel in Oslo, Norway. Here I am on an overlook near the Salzburg castle. I’m not sure why I stopped in Salzburg, but I was underwhelmed by the city and its sights. In 1974 people were still taking Sound of Music tours. Why the hell anyone would travel to another country to visit a derelict movie set is beyond me, but people still do this. One of the big attractions in Tauranga, New Zealand, these days (2022) is Hobbiton: another derelict movie set. I skipped the Sound of Music, but I did tour the castle. I even took the time to shoot this been-there-done-that picture. Mark my attire. I’m wearing my first and last pair of mountain-climbing boots. They were uncomfortable from the start, and I never broke them in. You can also see my big fake ruby ring. It was a gift from my mother. I loved that ring and didn’t care how gay it made me look. And to be honest, I look awfully gay here. I miss that ring.

  • No Australia trip is complete without a Joey in the pouch shot.

  • Nothing epitomizes the cruising mindset better than displacing ship pool water while ignoring the beautiful New Zealand coastline that you traveled halfway around the world to see.

  • At some ports of call the ship’s passengers were greeted as they went ashore. Here an antique car club gathered at the dock to show off their cars. I’m not sure if they were offering rides.

  • War memorials in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are similar for a good reason. Prior to Canada’s Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King refusing to allow Canadian troops to fight unless they were under the command of Canadian officers the British used colonials as shock troops. Gallipoli was the canonical British command clusterfuck but it’s hardly unique. They repeated it with Dieppe in WWII. Eventually, the Aussies, New Zealanders, South Africans, and Indians wised up but it took an ungodly pile of bodies.

  • Mali shortly after boarding the cruise ship for the first time.

  • An interesting fountain in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

  • My shiny object affliction almost triggered a seizure when I spotted this shimmering piece in a Canberra art museum.

  • While prowling the streets of Wellington, we came across several interesting murals by the Dream Girls Collective (click here). I merged three Dream Girls murals and hacked pixels to produce this conformed composite nightmare.

  • Uluru through nearby trees.

  • Carved stones beside the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

  • Cruising past the opera house to the Sydney dock.




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