Tag Archives: photography

Instagram hashtag tips for Sydney, Australia photos

Some of the most popular Sydney, Australia related tags to use for your photos are:

#Australia
#Sydney
#nsw
#SurryHills, #Darlinghurst, #Glebe, etc
#SydneyOperaHouse, #SydneyHarbourBridge, etc
#aussiegram
#travel
#sydneysider
#seeAustralia
#beautiful
#amazing
#summer (or appropriate season)
#sun, #moon, #sunrise, #sunset #sky, #night, etc
#nature, #wildlife, #animal, #mountain, #waterfall, etc

Tags that are super popular and can still be applied to Sydney/Australia scenery photos include:

#love
#instagood
#instamood
#iphoneonly
#photooftheday, #picoftheday and #bestoftheday (if it’s a super good photo!)
#instagramhub
#instahub
#igers
#awesome
#smile

You can also follow these Sydney accounts and use their hashtags:

@CityofSydney – #CityofSydney
@SeeAustralia – #SeeAustralia
@Australiagram – #Australiagram
@BestofAustralia – #BestofAustralia
@Instralia – #Instralia
@iPhoneographyOz – #iOz

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Time travel to Rarotonga, Cook Islands

The Cook Islands, named after Captain James Cook, is a group of 15 islands in the south-western Pacific Ocean between Tonga and French Polynesia. The capital is Avarua in Rarotonga.  

The peaks of the mountains are reminiscent of the mountains in Jurassic Park. Their jagged, primitive edges seem misplaced in 2012. They appear imposing, prehistoric and untouched.

Mountain peaksRoad
Travelling from Sydney, Australia to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands is like travelling through time in more ways than just crossing over the International Date Line. Here, the birds look and sound wilder, the elongated leaves of the plants appear primal and the sultry climate behaves like an adolescent – unrestrained, heated and tempestuous. The climate in Rarotonga is how one would imagine the climate was at the beginning of time, when nature was only concerned with feeding and watering the earth instead of rebelling against the geological fluctuations introduced by humans.

BirdScenery
The concept of time in Rarotonga is not what time is in Sydney or other busy cities. The people here are not governed by a ticking hands or clocks on mobile phones. The compendium in my room explains: ‘Rarotonga is renowned for being stress-free and relaxed. Please be aware that timing and some services may be slower and more approximate than you are probably used to in the faster pace of your daily life.’ The locals walk slower, looking at the world instead of their smartphones and the speed limit on the main road that circles the island is a leisurely 50 kilometres per hour. There are two bus routes: Clockwise and Anticlockwise.

Papa Nga, the local handyman who comes over to help me operate the safe, asks me how I slept the night before. “Not bad,” I say, “but I woke up a few times.” I full well know that it’s not because of the soothing, calm air being circulated by the fan, and it’s not because of the gentle sound of the ocean outside. It’s because I’m still connected to the concrete jungle and all its concerns. “I must have a couple of things on the mind.” Papa Nga smiles and says, “Well, no time for that now, you’re on holiday and you’re on island time.”

Coco at sunset
In fact, I don’t even know what time it is.  I’m pretty certain that I’m three hours ahead, but the day before. I look outside at the sudden, torrential rain which will give way to blue skies before long, and I know that time doesn’t matter, anyway. There’s nowhere I need to be in a hurry.

Sitting on a deck chair on the veranda, three-quarters of the way through my first book I feel something soft and warm at my feet. Squeaky, the local ginger tabby starts mouthing, eyes pleading. “I have no food for cats here, sorry little one.” Squeaky insists, and makes his way through the doors, into the kitchen and stops at the fridge. “I don’t think you’ll like limes or lettuce.” I fail to mention the chicken breast that I plan to cook that night. Squeaky accepts the situation and goes back outside with me, content for now with a neck rub instead of a feast.

Reading is easy here. Back home it can be a challenge to find the opportunity to read because there’s always so much going on. At home one can often glance at a few pages in a zombie-like state and in the morning already forgotten what was read. Not here.

Sunrise
When the rain clears and the sky explodes with blueness, I pass by reception and borrow a snorkel and fins. Coco the dog meets me at the driveway and decides to come along. The beach is pristine and the water inexplicably clear. It is easy to just float, breathing through the tube and looking down at the multitudes of colours and life that thrive in this other realm.  Approaching a large cluster of coral, a sound travels through the water and the ‘chomp, chomp’ sound of fish teeth gnawing at it can be heard. I wonder if they can hear my muffled sounds of admiration and wonder.

BeachUnderwater
In the evening, instead of switching on a television, I cook to the sound of music. There are no TVs in the rooms. The compendium says, ‘There is a TV in the Breakfast Café for guest use. There is only one TV channel in the Cook Islands. New Zealand’s TV One News screens every night at approximately 8.30pm. Cook Islands local news screens at 7pm Monday to Friday.’ I love this. I love that instead of having their consciousness interrupted by ridiculous plotlines and shouty ads encouraging them to buy things they don’t need, guests can daydream, make up their own stories and remind themselves of what matters most.

Sunset
Sunsets are not merely a reminder of the world’s beauty. They tell us much more than that. Sunsets show us that a day has passed and that the world is huge. When our sun disappears for us, it rises for many others. A Rarotongan sunset is an unhurried, spectacular blaze of colour and when the orange sphere finally falls past the horizon, one knows that it is now time to rest and prepare for another beautiful day.

When all is quiet, the pool beckons at night. It is like an ancient, welcoming family, where The Cool Water introduces its wife, Clear Night Sky and their children, Warm Air and Sound of Stillness. They all embrace me at once, my mind clears and I melt into a blanket of tranquillity.

See you again soon, Rarotonga.

Swimmers at sunrise

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My Ultimate Best Websites List

This is a collection of pretty much all my favourite websites. The ones I get my news from. The ones I retweet from. The ones I get stories/recipes/advice/knowledge that I share with friends. I hope you enjoy the selection!

Internet Tech, Business and Entrepreneurship
Fast Company – http://www.fastcompany.com/
Inc. – http://www.inc.com/
The Next Web – http://thenextweb.com/
Mashable – http://mashable.com/
Cnet – http://news.cnet.com/
Smartbrief – http://www.smartbrief.com/index.jsp
ReadWriteWeb – http://www.readwriteweb.com/
TechCrunch – http://techcrunch.com/
Digital Trends – http://www.digitaltrends.com/
Gizmodo – http://www.gizmodo.com.au/
Harvard Business Review – http://hbr.org/
Forbes – http://www.forbes.com/
Entrepreneur – http://www.entrepreneur.com/
Wired – http://www.wired.com/
Strategy+Business (Booz & Company) – http://www.strategy-business.com/

Teach Yourself Tech & Design
Codeacademy – http://www.codecademy.com/
Lynda.com – http://www.lynda.com/

News & Business
The Economist – http://www.economist.com/
The Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/
BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/
AlJazeera – http://www.aljazeera.com/
The New Yorker – http://www.newyorker.com/
Time – http://www.time.com/time/magazine/
The Wall Street Journal – http://asia.wsj.com/home-page
Bloomberg Businessweek – http://www.businessweek.com/
BRW – http://www.brw.com.au/
Forrester – http://blogs.forrester.com/
New York Times – http://www.nytimes.com/

Marketing & Advertising
B&T – http://www.bandt.com.au/home
Mumbrella – http://mumbrella.com.au/
Marketing Profs – http://www.mpdailyfix.com/
Business Insider – http://www.businessinsider.com/advertising
Campaign Brief – http://www.campaignbrief.com/
Experian – http://www.experian.com.au/blogs/marketing-forward/
Marketo – http://blog.marketo.com/
Salesforce – http://blogs.salesforce.com/
Radian6 – http://www.radian6.com/blog/
IAB. Australia – http://www.iabaustralia.com.au/

Home, Lifestyle & Culture
More Intelligent Life – http://moreintelligentlife.com/
The Gloss – http://thegloss.com/
Daily Life – http://www.dailylife.com.au/
Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
Apartment Therapy – http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

Ideas & Creativity / Business Inspiration
Springwise – http://www.springwise.com/
Trendwatching.com – http://trendwatching.com/
Idealog – http://www.idealog.co.nz/
TED – http://blog.ted.com/

Fun
The Oatmeal – http://theoatmeal.com/
The Onion – http://www.theonion.com/

Information Learning & Sharing
Slideshare – http://www.slideshare.net/
Quora – http://quora.com/

Computational
Wolfram Alpha – http://www.wolframalpha.com/

Productivity, Lifestyle, Career & Personal Development
Lifehack – http://www.lifehack.org/
The Daily Muse – http://www.thedailymuse.com/
Chris Guillebeau’s Blog –  http://chrisguillebeau.com/
Marc and Angel Hack Life http://www.marcandangel.com/
Leaving Work Behind – http://www.leavingworkbehind.com/
Seth Godin’s Blog – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Music
Hype Machine – http://hypem.com/
Tastekid – http://www.tastekid.com/
Grooveshark – http://grooveshark.com/
Soundcloud – http://soundcloud.com/
22Tracks – http://22tracks.com/#ams/doritos/15425
Musicovery – http://musicovery.com/
Noisetrade – http://noisetrade.com/

Food
Punchfork – http://punchfork.com/
The Patterned Plate – http://thepatternedplate.wordpress.com/
Rasberri Cupcakes – http://www.raspberricupcakes.com/
In Pursuit of More – http://inpursuitofmore.com/
Turntable Kitchen – http://www.turntablekitchen.com/
Stonesoup – http://thestonesoup.com/blog/
Nigella – http://www.nigella.com/
Maggie Beer – http://www.maggiebeer.com.au/recipes

Sydney
Broadsheet – http://www.broadsheet.com.au/sydney/
Daily Addict – http://www.dailyaddict.com.au/?location=sydney
Sydney TimeOut – http://www.au.timeout.com/sydney/

Photography & Editing
Pixlr – http://pixlr.com/ and http://pixlr.com/express/
Photo – http://photojojo.com/
Stuck in Customs – http://www.stuckincustoms.com/

I’ll add more as they come up.

What are your best go-to sites?

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Best sunrise photos from Cancun

I didn’t take my big SLR camera to Cancun the other week because I knew I’d be working most of the time. However, I didn’t factor in jetlag time which meant that I was awake from 5am every day, and had two hours to take in the beautiful sunrise each morning. Luckily the iPhone camera isn’t all that bad, especially when paired with the HDR Pro app. Then again, scenery like this would be hard to get wrong…..

First
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Five
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Eight

Copyright
All images appearing on this blog (solange.posterous.com) may not be reproduced, copied or manipulated without the written permission of Solange Francois© 2011

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Five of my favourite photography apps

The iPhone is a blessing for photography enthusiasts. I have several photography-related apps on mine and I want to share five of the ones I use the most. The first one is just for laughs, the second is basic but worthwhile but I’m addicted to the final three. Check them out:

5. Camwow (Free)

Wow

Camwow is basically Photo Booth on your iPhone and good for a bit of fun. The filters include x-ray, bulge, squeeze, stretch and mirror.

4. Morelomo (Free)

Morelomoo

Morelomo is a very basic app but perfect for candid, casual shots of scenery or people. It works well in bright and low light and the result is over-saturation with some distortion. 

3. Hipstamatic (Paid)

Hips

Hipstamatic was my first favourite app – it’s simply awesome. With Hipstamatic you can have the romance of the analog camera again. You can swap lens, film and flash settings to create really unique images. I have so much fun playing around with this one.

2. HDR Pro (Paid)

Hdr

HDR Pro is my latest photography addition and it’s incredible and blows the iPhone’s HDR setting out of the water. HDR Pro captures one image exposed for the highlights and another exposed for the shadows, and combines the two for a perfect image. This image, in case you’re wondering, is of pistachio profiteroles 🙂

1. Instagram (Paid)

Img_0410

Although I love Hipstamatic, HDR Pro and Instagram pretty equally, Instagram has an edge on the other two due to its sharing capabilities. It’s like a mini photo blogging tool with over a dozen filters to turn each photo into a work of art. You give each image a title and tag the location. People can comment on each others’ photos and you can browse through most popular images to find photography styles that you want to follow. An excellent app. 

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How to do macro photography when you don’t have a macro lens

This week I’m doing the Canon EOS Photo5 competition. All entrants received an entry box which contains the props for the several projects. There’s an eye-dropper, a piece of gum, an incense stick and confetti for four of the entries, and the fifth is an open brief “inspired by sound”. 

I’ve been wanting a macro lens for a while but still don’t have one, however I still managed to shoot macro for the eye-dropper brief. How? By taking my lens off, turning it the other way around and taping it onto the body. You have to set it to manual focus and play around for a while but with a bit of patience the results can be quite interesting!

1

2

5

Copyright

All images appearing on this blog (solange.posterous.com) may not be reproduced, copied or manipulated without the written permission of Solange Francois© 2010

 

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