Boxing Day 2011

Have never seen a butterfly this colour before. The sight of it brought me out of the house with my camera.

Boxing Day is the day after Christmas Day.  I guess we just took this on as part of the colonial legacy in Papua New Guinea. There are no post-Christmas sales like everywhere else in the Western world. For most, in PNG, it is an extended holiday and especially so if Christmas was celebrated on Sunday or Monday.

A single bright pink bloom

It was a lovely sunny day in Port Moresby but I opted to stay home and just chill out despite the power black out which made any breeze-less day inside my house unbearable.

I looked out the front yard and was so happy at the sight of the lovely zinnias. The front yard was a flush with a myriad of colours, mostly lilac, hot pink and orange. It was a good time to experiment with different settings on my Nikon D90 and I must say I was pleased with the results. I am happy to share them on this post.

A beautiful lilac coloured zinnias. Looks like a windmill.

These flowers attracted the butterfly and a small bee-like insect. There could have been other insects too buzzing around with the odd mosquito which I did not notice as I was too busy trying to take shots of a couple of the zinnias which did not look too wind-swept.

Bee-like insect on the bloom. Took a couple of shots before I caught it on this one to take this close-up shot.

As I walked around my small front yard I could see that although Port Moresby has  33 degree temperatures all year through still anything can grow with very little watering but regularly.

A bright orange zinnias. Beautiful.

Another shot of the butterfly (below). I had to chase it around the garden to be able to take this shot. The tint of blue on its head and part of the wingspan is unbelievable which is not obvious on the first shot I took (the first photo on this post).

Another shot at the butterfly feeding on pollen.

The long power black out on Boxing Day drove me out of the house and onto the front yard and the searing heat however I was compensated with the sight of these beautiful flowers. A power blackout on Boxing Day was unacceptable because we couldn’t heat up food or have the fans on. I hope it doesn’t happen again next Boxing Day. I can only hope.

Lovely blooms but a little battered about with recent heavy rains in the area
The butterfly was almost a different colour every time I tried to take a shot. Here it looks kind of golden.

Next time there is a power black out and I’m home during the day, I ‘ll remember to take my camera and explore other flower gardens in the neighbourhood. Sounds like a pretty good one to include as a New Year’s resolution.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

Trigger-Happy: Learning To Shoot With My Nikon D80 – Part 2

Another amazing result! after lunch at Cafe Nero (one of 100s in London)
Another amazing result! after lunch at Cafe Nero (one of 100s in London)

The next lot of photos are images from lessons on white balance and the ‘A’ setting. Real eye openers. So let’s see how these shots turned out. I always had difficulty with indoor shots. Usually it’s either the lighting – too low or too bright, or the angle or something. This shot took my breath away. No flash used! can you believe that. Outside City Hall along the Thames are these mini water fountains. They are timed so you see gushing water every few seconds. Fun for the kids and fun for us as we clicked away. Some of my shots.


Happy picture...just had to call it that
Happy picture…just had to call it that
Some more of these fabulous mini water fountains…fun for the family and for the class – that’s us.
City Hall in the distance
City Hall and part of the London Bridge in the distance
I thought this was like an orchestra without a conductor. The water obeys the invisible conductor’s commands. Interesting water symphony…
Water ballet or a conductor-less orchestra?
Water ballet or a conductor-less orchestra?

 The next lesson was on the ‘A’ setting. I was in awe of my Nikon D80. It came to life and many thanks to my photo workshop. Worth every quid!

Love this shot - candy man!
Love this shot - candy man!
This next shot again took me absolutely by surprise. Not in a million years I thought. What is my Nikon D80 up to now? Whoever had the idea for a camera will be really shocked maybe not that technology has made this invention so intricate and so compact in so many ways. I am blessed with this piece of metal in my hand that has a mind of its own.
Wow! this shot turned out better than I thought
Wow! this shot turned out better than I thought
We did our revisions, asked some more questions on the lessons we covered and all too soon it was time to wrap up and go on our separate ways and to other plans. I asked the class to gather for a quick group photo. I am so glad I took this class which introduced me to the world of colour, light, speed, etc beside just the ‘Auto’ setting. The photo workshop was conducted byLondon Photo Tours and Workshops: Expert in Delivering Creative Photography Education. For more information on these tours and workshops visit their website:
So at the end of the workshop, I was so happy when my ‘classmates’ and the instructor agreed to take this photo with me.
Taken on a self-time and it worked
Taken with a self-timer and it worked!
It is sometimes difficult to describe what we learn when there are still so many gaps and grey areas still in our knowledge banks and still to acquire. What I learnt from this class. A quick evaluation.
  • My Nikon D80 is a first class camera – great features, easy to programme, lots of pleasant and awesome surprises.
  • Handle it with care and  it’ll make you feel like Ali Baba
  • Take a few more classes on specific aspects of photography to build confidence in the use of the Nikon D80 
  • Make sure it is a wokabaut workshop as it is the most pratical and you learn skills and acquire knowledge in real life
  • If at all possible take a photography course then re-read your Nikon D80 manual. It makes a lot of sense especially if you are learning to use a semi-professional camera but still want to keep it as an enjoyable hobby
  • Always ask questions when in doubt
  • Always write down the ISO setting, the shutter speed etc so you know what result you got from what setting
  • To be grateful for the subjects that you capture on camera
  •  To be grateful for the exercise from this wokabaut photo tour and workshop.