Thursday, 23 April 2015

News Flash

Perth locals traveling to work yesterday along William Street were horrified to witness carnage on the road.  At least 4 victims had been run over in what looked to be a frenzied hit and run. 

Three of the victims appear to have been run over numerous times resulting in fatal injuries.  The fourth victim (who has requested to remain anonymous) miraculously escaped with a few scratches and was able to return to work today. 

The below image was taken on a locals smart phone prior to emergency services attending the scene.  Please be warned that the image is graphic and may be disturbing to some.

It is unclear at this stage in the investigation if there is only one perpetrator or many.  Some locals recall hearing multiple vehicles in the early hours of the morning while others believe it to be the result of one. 

CCTV does show a Truck entering the vicinity prior to the alleged time of the incident.  The truck driver was drinking the new OAK milk drink 'Chilli Choc Chilli.'  Police are keen to speak with this driver or any one who saw him in the area.  It is believed that the blow torch went off around the time he drove passed the victims.

In further news, an aerobic step block was let loose on the inside lane of the freeway.  Main roads has requested that people do not stop to remove as it may cause you serious injury if hit by another car.  If however you are successful in surviving this idiotic adventure at peak hour, please insure you consult your Dr before embarking on any physical activity.  We wouldn't want you pull a hamstring.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Photos Finally

It has taken many hours and many redo's but I have finally got my photos to a stage where I am happy enough to display them on here.  I will probably play around a little more with some of them before I print them off though.  All the editing has been done on my laptop and I think the screen colour is a little dodgy.  When I linked the laptop to the TV today to get a bigger view I realised that some of the colours were blown out a little too far and that some of the editing can clearly be seen on a larger screen.  Some of the photos could also do with a little less blue in them.

Kerin_Thorne's 2015 Oslo and Iceland album on Photobucket

This evening I took mum to see Walking with Dinosaurs. It was the first time we had been to the new Perth Arena. For some reason it didn't seem as big inside as what people made out. I suppose it is like when people really push how good a movie is, and you watch it expecting great things only to come away a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong. The Arena is pretty cool and so was the show.

The way they work the dinosaurs is great. Right at the end you think a bib T-Rex is going to come out and it's a little baby one. It ends up in a spot of trouble and in comes Mumma to the rescue. Once all is well Mumma realises there is a crowd of people. She came right to the edge on the side we were sitting, and stared out at us all before she let out a roar. It basically meant "don't mess with my kid, or you will answer to me." Of course like all children the baby T-Rex had to copy and out comes this little high pitched squawk. Bub looked so proud of itself and knew it was perfectly safe to roar like that at us because mum was there to protect it. It was the best part of the show and really it stole the show. Right at the very end when the Paleontologist is taking a bow, the baby comes out again and also takes a few bows before trying to roar at us again. If you have kids it is definitely worth taking them to see it.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Shut Your Mouth

It has been a beautiful autumn day today.  One in which you don't want to be stuck in an office.  In fact I am positive my voice box decided to pack up and go walkabout in the lovely sunshine because I certainly had difficulty talking this morning.  It wasn't long before I became the brunt of teasing from my friends.

I tried to join in on a conversation with Viv and Carolyn and I would get told off for opening my mouth.  Carolyn took it upon herself to make sure I rested my throat and told me 3 x, one after the other to "shut your mouth!" Each time getting louder than the other.  It reminded me of a comedy where someone would try to say something and another person would cut them off with a sharp noise.  A fellow colleague walked passed with a look of "what the hell," and amusement on his face.  He was promptly told I was not allowed to speak.

The conversation that had been going on continued, and both Viv and Carolyn would tell me not to comment each time they said something.  Consequently I started writing things down because apparently whispering was also not an option.

At one stage I needed to get Viv's attention.  She sits across from me and our computers are in the way so she can't see me.  I searched my desk, desperately looking for something to through at her and found a throw away plastic knife.  Suffice to say that went down well and payback was had.  :)

On another note I should be able to upload more photos on the weekend.

Friday, 10 April 2015


Since I arrived home I have done nothing but edit photos.  (Yes the suit case finally got emptied today and put away.)  I think I am finally about half way through them, maybe more.  It is the photos that I took as JPEG files and not RAW ones that are taking the longest to manipulate into looking ok.  With JPEG there is less information to play with so it can be harder to manipulate.  The other issue was that the camera I used was old and the sensor not so big so a lot of snow pictures can turn out blue in JPEG.

I have managed to come up with three categories for my photos:
1. Wow I actually took that - These ones are mostly flukes.
2. Happy snaps - photos that show something of interest but not necessarily interesting
3. What the heck was I thinking - Trash can photos that I will blame on "oops I hit the button when I didn't mean to."

This afternoon I have my first remedial massage sessions since I got back from Iceland.  I know she is looking forward to torturing me.  She does every time.  She hits a sore spot on my legs and wonders why I nearly kick her in the face.  I need it though as these muscles are so tight and I want to get back into walking each day again.  I have even purchased one of those watches that tells your heart rate etc.  Wish I had had it in Iceland as it would have been great to see how far I had walked and how many calories I had burned off. 

I start work again next week.  Not looking forward to it.  After two weeks spent outside in nature I really don't want to be locked up in a stuffy office with all the stress it has to offer.  I wish I was a good enough photographer to make money out of my photos but that is a dream that I doubt will ever happen.

Anyway I hope to have my photos up soon.  If anyone knows of a good photo storage place on the web that I can link to my blog (slideshow kind of thing) please let me know.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Home Again

After being awake for over 24 hours I finally arrived home last night around 7pm.  Would you believe I was still wide awake.  I certainly couldn't believe it considering I am always falling asleep.  I finally went to bed around 10pm and woke up a few times thinking I was in one of the rooms I slept in over the last 2 weeks.  

The flights home were uneventful.  I enjoyed catching up on a lot of movies I hadn't seen.  Getting through customs only took 30 minutes as well, which has to be the quickest I have ever gotten through.

These two photos were taken at my hotel in Oslo.

On my way to Iceland I mentioned the amazing kids play equipment at Doha Airport.  There was no one sleeping around them this time.If you look close enough at the third photo there are two points sticking out of the smilies head.  This is two little people.  Almost like they were on a world.

This is a store any child could get lost it.  It was huge and had large animated dinosaur heads in the wall.

Monday, 6 April 2015

April 5 - Goodbye Iceland

The first thing I did this morning was have a shower.  I was washing my hair and noticed a water ripple reflection on the ceiling. I thought this seriously can not be happening again, and at a different hotel.  The shower wasn't in a bath this time so I couldn't open the door to check while the water was running.  Luckily I had pretty much finished.  Yes, you guessed it, another flood.  Not the same epic proportions as at the last hotel (that was global).  This was localised and only required the use of the towel once to clean up the mess and not 15 times.

Peter (one of the men on my tour) was still at the hotel when I went down to check out.  We were on the same bus to the airport and our flights left at the same time, so we stuck together.  Now Peter is an older guy (I am the same age as his daughter) and he is what I call a technophobe.  He has no phone, and only uses his computer for emails and downloading his photos.  It was rather ironic that he was the one that went straight to the auto check in system at the airport and I went looking for a counter.  I hate those things.  They always ask for so much information that by the time you find it all, the check in has timed out 3 times.  I soon found out that Keflavic Airport does not have such a thing as a standard check in counter, only ones for luggage, so I had to suss out the damn machine after all. I did ask for help and it was so easy.  All you had to do was scan you passport and your details came up.  Would be nice if that is all you had to do with the others.

Peter shouted me lunch which was an avocado sandwich and a banana mint smoothie.  The smoothie was fresh ingredients and it was delicious. I was hesitant at first to have the banana one as I am becoming intolerant to bananas like I am to garlic but it was the minty freshness that convinced me.  The sandwich was interesting.  It was toasted but the bread was like a really dense crusket.  It amazed me that it was so crunchy and yet stayed together when you bit into it.

Eventually Peter and I parted ways and now I am in my hotel room in Oslo.  Thankfully it didn't take as long to get my luggage and the hotel I am staying at is right outside the train station as it was dark when I arrived.  This is the fanciest Hotel yet however the room is still very tiny. It is a double and it would be seriously crowded in here if there were two people.

I had better get re-packing now.  You see most airlines let you take on 27-30kg below and 7 kg of hand luggage.  Icelandic Air has to be difficult and lets you take 23kg below and 10 kgs of hand luggage.  I am glad they didn't weigh the had luggage because I am sure it weighed 15kg.  At least I can now put most of that weight in my suitcase as it was only 23kg coming over and I really haven't added much weight to that.  

The next time I post here I will be back in Australia.  I am hoping that my trip here has my mojo going again and my energy levels reset.  A year of doing nothing but work, work and more work really sucks the life out of you.  I told my cousin that I go overseas as a means of escaping reality.  Unfortunately it does mean you have to come back to it.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

April 2-4

If you have been reading my last few entries you may have seen some errors in typing.  I am not used to typing on a laptop anymore.  Compared to my two piece ergonomic keyboard at home and work, I am finding this a bit of a struggle.  The keys are too close together.  LOL

The last few days have been so full on that I have barely had a chance to enter anything.  Some bad weather did set in so we had time to edit our photos and play around in lightroom.  Stuart said I would be converted to it by the end and I must admit that I am. There are a couple of things it doesn't do so I will still use my Smart Photo Editor for that.

Sifting through all my images to find the best was quite hard, not because I have a lot of brilliant photos but because I never really like a lot of the photos I take.  We were told to be ruthless in getting rid of the duds, I had to be careful not to get rid of ones that were good.  There were ones I thought were rubbish and boring that others really liked so that in itself was a real learning curve for me.  I really struggle a lot with saying that something I have done is good.

Ok so lets really get started with the reason for this blog entry.  April 2.  From memory it snowed a lot over night.  We headed back to the ice beach, and I totally forgot that my camera ISO was still set for night time.  The photos I took turned out ok but they were very grainy.  I managed to clear some up in lightroom thank goodness.  The lighting however was brilliant.  The sun was hidden by dark snow clouds and the snow just came out beautifully.  In the afternoon the others went out again.  I can't remember where but I really wanted to get to work on some of the photos I had already taken.

I also went for a walk around the place we were staying.  It is a farm as well and I went down to see the horses.  They were very accommodating when it cam to photos.  Of course they wanted to each my camera strap and jacket.  Must be an Icelandic horse thing.  While I was there the snow started to fall heavily so I got some good shots of the horses with snow falling.  A couple of Snow Bunting birds (I think that is their name) came and sat on a post for me as well.  It was great.  When the snow got real heavy I headed back to my room and did some editing.  I found out later that I probably had a better afternoon photography wise than those that went out.

I got so engrossed in editing (even after dinner) that I ended up staying up until 1 am.  It was too cloudy Aurora watch.

April 3, The snow had gone where we were staying and everything was turning to slush.  Yes that is my finger in the frame.  It was a rushed phone shot ok!

Our first stop was another glacier but finding the small road that went up beside someones farm proved difficult.  This photo is an attempt at staying on where they think the road is.

This photo proves that I am not Stuarts bad luck charm because he found the hole without me being in there.  :)  Everyone jumped out of the van (just in case) and then jumped around in the snow looking for the road.  they were all jumping on grass so the road could not be found and it was decided that we would not risk going any further.

This is Stuart doing an impression of a famous celebrity who doesn't want their photo taken.  By the way he managed to back out without a tow rope this time.

This was the view off to the side.  Camera phone does not do it justice.

Our next stop was this old farm house.  OMG I could have stayed there all day.  there is so much to photograph around this building. There are no windows so you can see inside.  The colourful paint is peeling, the pipes are all rusty and there is still an old stove in one of the rooms.

The road to the house was quite long and this is the view all the way along it.  We stopped here for lunch.  Again I could have stayed forever here.

 I am not really sure where we were headed next but we saw some reindeer along the way and stopped to photograph them.  They were very skittish so a long lense was required whereas the phone was useless.

It is time now to talk about Paul (our other pro guide).  He was driving the nice comfortable 4WD which I now sat in.  He seemed to have a habit of parking where it was difficult for someone in the front passenger seat to actually get out.  I have stepped onto ice, into water puddles, and knee deep in snow but stopping for the reindeer was his best achievement so far.  The side of the road was steep, very steep, but there was a small side road he could have used but he chose not to (probably because it was private).  Well I step out carefully and end up with my waist level to bottom of the 4WD.  The next step was just as bad and even though I was being careful I bent my knee backwards.  It is ok as long as I don't go down slippery slopes putting pressure on it.

The next stop was a hot drink break.  I loved this sign above the toilet.  One of our mob was not feeling well here so it was decided that the 4WD would go back to the hotel.  I volunteered to go as well.  We were doing our photo show that night and I still hadn't chosen which photos.  Also I had had a small accident with my waterproof pants and they had torn from just below the elastic around the waist down to the crutch almost. I needed them to last at least one more day.

Back at the hotel I played a bit more in lightroom and that night we all shared 3 of our photos that we liked the most.  We also shared another three from the old farm house we went to a couple of days before.  Paul set us a challenge to do 3 photos: a wide shot, a medium, and a close up of the farm showing its age etc.  I did the old church on the property.  These photos will be going up on the Wild Photography Holidays Facebook Page.

Finally to April 4. Got up really early for a sunrise on the ice beach.  It was great.  I even met some other pro photographers from Perth.  After breakfast it was rain, rain and more rain.  We were driving back to Reykjavik and it stopped and let the sun out for us to get photographs of gorgeous spongy moss on a really old lava flow.  This is where my wet weather pants gave up the fight and tore down one leg.  

On the roads here they tell you what the temp is as well as the wind speed.  We went through an area where the wind speed was 30 meters per second.  Yes it was howling. 

We had our final meal together and said our goodbyes.  I am the last to leave which also means I need to go now as my check out is in 20 minutes.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

March 31 & April 1

Very busy day yesterday.  I just hope I can remember it all including todays.  It was a lovely clear day again and we packed up and left our hotel.  It was a long day of driving and stopping to take photos. This is the last view of the some of the mountains near out hotel before we left.

Our first stop was on the side of the road to get some of the Icelandic horses.  They seem to be like goats and will try to eat anything.  I ended up getting a nibble on the cheek.  I think Sam, one of the women in my group, got a photo of it too.  I will need to get a copy of that one.

Another stop was at the side of the road for a waterfall.  It was an ok water fall but I was more interested in taking photos of the grasses on the other side of the road.  They look like wheat with the white wind blown snow behind them.

We found another stop where there were a lot more horses and we could get among them.  I was nibbled on the leg, the elbow and one went for my camera at one stage.  There was a time when I was patting one, that another back into me and I became a the filling between two rumps.  They are gorgeous animals.  Very friendly.  I was covered in horse hair by the end.

Our next stop was perfect timing.  It was a huge waterfall and the sun was in the right spot for a rainbow.  I took so many photos here.  After about 20 minutes the sun moved on and the rainbow went.  I jokingly said I could see the end of the rainbow so we should go look for gold.  I did not know that apparently someone buried a chest of gold at the bottom of the waterfall knowing that it would be safe due to the water pressure.  Apparently it is still there as no one has been able to get it.  Two guys tried as they could see the ringed handle of the chest but all they got was the ringed handle which is now a door handle on a church.

This photo is for my friends who wanted to see what I looked like all rugged up.  I have 5 layers on and there is a fur hat underneath the hood.

After the waterfall we went to a beach where there were really huge waves.  They can come in so fast as well that people have lost tripods with cameras on them.  Our guides showed us a photo of two guys, not connected to the group, trying to run away.  One had fallen oven in the water and another was madly trying to get out of it.  The tripods were about to head out to sea.  They lost everything.  The waves were spectacular.  I could have sat there all day.  Totally amazing.

From there it was on to our hotel where I happened to miss dinner because I was in the shower.  I am having problems with my phone keeping time (long story).  Anyway I think people thought I wasn't well even though I had told Stuart through the door what had happened when he came looking for me. They kept asking if I was ok. I wasn't really hungry anyway so that was fine.

We went out for Aurora watch and my camera started doing silly buggers on me.  Neither Stuart or I could get it to work on the correct settings.  I sat back freezing to death watching others get a hint of an Aurora that lasted for only 5 minutes and was rather pitiful.  

We only stayed at the hotel that night.  I set my alarm for 6am and it didn't go off, so yes I missed breakfast and only had half an hour to pack everything ready to leave by the time I woke at 8:30.  

This morning was another long drive with little stops along the way.  Again it was a perfectly clear day and very little wind which is the chill factor.  We stopped by the side of the road for another water fall that was had a lot of frozen icicles.  At one stage along the ridge of the cliff we saw a lot of icicles fall away.  Unfortunately I did not get that on camera.

Some of the areas we drove through were very flat and did have a lot of wind.  One section (like a band of wind) seemed to be blowing black dust through the air.  The snow was brown and if you didn't know better you would think it was solid ground to walk on.

We stopped again at a smaller waterfall that had some great ice formations in it.  I went crazy zooming in on the ice.  If I had known we were staying there for the amount of time that we did, I would have got some filters out of the van to get that slow motion water movement.

Further down the road we stopped at an old farm house that had some of the old turf buildings and a church.  There was lots of rusty stuff around too which I loved.  This is private property but the tour group has permission to enter.  I think I got some really good photos.

We crossed Icelands largest bridge.  Most bridges here appear to be one way and if they are long then there are various larger sections were you can wait to allow other cars to pass.  At the end of it there is the "sculpture." This is part of an old bridge that has been gratified on and now passes as modern art.  It is also the view of the highest point in Iceland apparently.

After lunch we went to a Glacier.  Don't ask me to tell you the name because I can not remember and I am sure I can not spell it.  The ground was soft and muddy and my shoes ended up so caked in mud that they lost all tread.  It was a glorious place.  Though I was told by Tim (part of our tour) that it was Bonza.  I had to say bonza because I am an Aussie so I told him it was 'bloody bonza mate.'

This is a small section of the glacier.  Trust me it really isn't small.  Photography wise I laid on the ground under beached chunks of ice to get the icicles.  I did some macro shots as well as wide angle.  I am very happy with how most of them turned out.

This photo was taken heading out of the carpark from the glacier.  I just love the relfections.

Heading to our next stop, the wind picked up.  I was in the 4wd today so this is a picture of our van in front of us with the wind blowing the snow across the road.

Our final destination before the hotel was the ice lagoon and beach.  The beach is all black volcanic sand with big waves coming in.  The lagoon comes out through a small channel and empties the ice on the sand.  While we were there a huge amount of ice pushed through.  It was amazing to watch.

This photo is where the channel meets the ocean.  The current is strong here but the waves were further round to my right.

We got to the hotel and had a few minutes to get ready and go to dinner.  After dinner we had 15 minutes to pile back in the car, to go back to the lagoon for Aurora watch.  My camera worked perfectly this time by the clouds came in and we saw nothing.

Well it is almost 1am and I have to be up at 6am (fingers crossed that the alarm will work).  We are heading back to the ice beach for different lighting and it will also be a lot different from this evening.