Mungo Trip – A Wash Out

Unfortunately I have had to cut my photographic trip to Mungo, Mildura and the Walls of China a couple of days shorter than I had originally intended. Pretty much non stop rain for the last 48 hours meant that the road into Mungo and the Walls of China was a total quagmire and closed; combined with unforeseen circumstances at the office in Melbourne and it was time to throw in the towel on this trip and head home.

I did manage to squeeze in some photography between the rain storms at the Perry Sandhills near Wentworth in New South Wales as well as an old abandoned house near Charlton in Victoria that I stumbled across on the way home; so the trip was not a complete write off. The road into Perry Sandhills was in a similar state to the road into Mungo. Soft sand, combined with days of rain turned the whole thing into something akin to quicksand and I nearly got bogged several times just getting into the car park. I am pretty tired after more than fourteen hours of driving in the last two days but will post some more photographs from the trip soon. I am not looking forward to washing the BM!

Iceland Volcano – Katla Situation Update

RSEO is reporting 28/05/2010: Katla is the second largest volcano in the country of Iceland, and Iceland’s president is issuing a warning saying that the eruption of Katla is close. Icelandic president Ólafur Grímsson has warned other governments around Europe “that a significant eruption at the volcano is close.” “We [Iceland] have prepared … it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption,” he said. Europe is still experiencing clouds of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajokull that erupted in April. Airlines all over the world have lost significant flight time and money due to flights being cancelled as a result of the ash clouds. An eruption of Katla, the second largest volcano is Iceland, could spell even more trouble. There has been speculation about Katla since the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull. Katla is the larger of the two volcanos. The planet appears to be in a perpetual state of unrest. From today’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Vanuatu to the pending eruption of Katla in Iceland; it seems like Mother Nature is kicking up her well worn heels.

My Take on the Situation -“a significant eruption at the volcano is close” What does this really mean? In and of itself, not much as how does one define ‘close’?. Was Ólafur Grímsson speaking in geological terms? Or, was he indeed referring to the possibility of an eruption any moment?  We know historically that Katla is usually triggered by an eruption at Eyjafjallajokull. Its just a matter of when not if Katla erupts. It could happen tomorrow or it might not happen for years. Increased seismic activity at Katla points to sooner rather than later; but ‘sooner’ could still be some way off. As the clock ticks down to my own trip to Iceland trip I am growing ever more concerned about when ‘sooner’ might be.

Mungo Trip – The Walls of China

I am leaving tomorrow morning for a few days landscape and wilderness photography in the far north of Victoria at Mungo, the Walls of China and Perry Sandhills with a probable stop off in Mildura. I have not been to any of these locations before for photography. The Walls of China at Mungo are supposed to be quite scenic and I have seen some pretty good photography come out of this area so have my fingers crossed for some good weather and light. The timing is otherwise excellent with a full moon and relatively clear Autumn skies.

Its a good six hour plus drive from my house to Mungo and then around 70 kilometres of dirt road to get into the main camp area. I am told the road is usually closed during or just after heavy rain so I am hoping the weather is on my side. I am taking my full Canon and lenses kit (except the 85mm F1.2L) as well as all the necessary camp equipment for a few days stay. Mobile phone and internet reception is supposed to be non existent at Mungo (I am not sure about Perry Sanhills) so probably wont be able to post any updates from the field.

The Making of a Canon Super Telephoto L Series Lens

The first time a new photographer encounters the price tag on some of Canon’s super telephoto lenses they quite often suffer from sticker shock at the price of entry. Just why does it cost more than $6000 Australian dollars for a 300mm F2.8L lens, more than $8000 for a 500mm F4 and more than a whopping $15,000 for an 800mm F5.6 lens?

These three videos show just what goes into the construction of the Canon EF 500mm F4L IS USM lens and gives a greater appreciation of the complex construction process, attention to quality and cost of ownership.

Canon Lens Production – Part One

Canon Lens Production – Part Two

Canon Lens Production – Part Three