26/01/2017: Australia Day… or is it?

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Hello again!

Well thus ends today’s public holiday. And while it is most widely known as Australia Day, I have heard some other interesting names for it; namely Citizens Day and Invasion Day. To make it easier – and I really hope no one takes offence to this – I’m calling it Australia Day in this post, since that is still the official name.

Ahhh Australia Day. Mixed feelings are stirred at the idea. A good friend has her birthday today, so that’s one easy reason to celebrate. Yet while a lot of people celebrate the day off and throw some lamb on a barbecue, I myself am a little more hesitant (except about the lamb. Lamb is good.) Because while Australia is a very nice country, and we have little major reasons to complain (First world country and all that), it is far from a perfect country.

Let’s start with the biggest issue that I struggle with; marriage equality. Yes, it’s an issue that everyone knows about, and hears about regularly. I still find it completely dumbfounding that we haven’t legalised it yet. Marriage is a human right and aren’t we all entitled to those? The most frustrating thing about it is that people oppose it because they don’t like the idea of men marrying men, or women marrying women. But it’s not as if we’re changing it so that you can ONLY marry someone of the same gender? If you don’t like the idea of it, then don’t do it yourself. Wow. Really not hard. As someone who identify’s as pansexual, I find it difficult to enthusiastically celebrate a country that won’t let me get married if I happen to fall in love with a woman.

There are so many other things that I could go into with the politics – our treatment of refugees, cuts on medicare, racism… But I would be typing here all night. And really, you all know this stuff. If you don’t, Google is only a few clicks away. The lack of marriage equality is currently my biggest issue with Australia Day and I needed to rant about it for a bit.

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From a photographer’s point of view, Australia Day is great because it means I get to experiment with night photography and fireworks. Yes, fireworks happen on New Years Eve. But everyone get’s so caught up in the countdown, or partying, or kissing someone at midnight, so New Years can be a stressful time to take photos. Australia Day is nice, because you don’t worry about these things and can take your time.

The biggest lesson I learned is that next time I need to take a tripod. Hell, I might even take my timer so I don’t need to keep pushing the button and can enjoy the fireworks without peering through a viewfinder. I have very shaky hands, which does not bode well when the shutter is open for 3 seconds so that plenty of light is let in. Tripod at least, is a must for firework photography. As it was, I took over 300 photos and had to get rid of over 250 of them.

Leaving that shutter open longer does make a nice effect though, as it captures the light streaks of the fireworks as they explode. I think I’ll devote a blog post to light photography one day. I find the subject fascinating.

Image Specifics:

Focal Length: 38

F Stop: 4.8

Exposure: 1/15

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And yes, Matt and I went to Myponga Beach today. Aside from the smell caused by heavy rainfall last year, and the slippery rocks, and the skinny mini unsealed roads that I feel like I’ll drive off of by accident, we had a good time and got some good photos. Rocks are quite nice to take photos of when you are experimenting with shallow depths of field (which I do often, you may have noticed.) Though there are plenty of rock beaches closer to home, so I might leave that experience alone unless we go down for a holiday (and I’m not the one driving!)

Image Specifics:

Focal Length: 55

F Stop: 9

Exposure: 1/320

So whatever you call it, I hope your day was good, and that you found this post insightful to some degree.

Renee xx

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