Tote Bags, T’s and Other Tops

Sublimation is the chemical process of a substance going from a solid state to a gaseous state without going through the normal intermediary liquid state. Dry ice which is frozen carbon dioxide gas is a well known example of this process.
What is the connection between this chemical process and “Tote Bags, T’s and Other Tops”? Well, sublimation is a printing process that can be used on certain types of fabric and other substrates. Powdered dyes are held in suspension in a liquid base, and specially modified bubble jet printers squirt a mirror image of the final print onto a transfer medium. After it has dried, the transfer medium is attached with heat resistant tape to the final product to be printed, both are then placed in a special heat press. Temperatures and pressures vary depending upon the substrate, but typical settings for “Tote Bags, T’s and Other Tops” is one hundred and ninety degrees Celsius for about three minutes and reasonably high pressure. The result is that the heat and pressure cause the powdered dyes to sublimate into gases which become incorporated as a part of the fabric. Sublimated prints require specialised equipment and are more labour intensive than regular printing like canvas prints, in which the ink is sprayed onto the surface of the fabric, but the result is more permanent with stronger colours.

The images in this post are among the many that I have designed and uploaded to my Red Bubble artists site. I have been a member of Red Bubble for well over nine years, but most of my activity on the site has been fairly recent. If you click on the link you will be taken to my profile page where you will see examples of my art work and photography, all of which can be incorporated into products that can be purchased. Clicking on any graphic in particular, will take you to a page showing all the products available with that graphic. Many of Red Bubble’s products are printed using the sublimation printing method, and of course you are welcome to purchase any of the products listed on the site. However, I do own my own sublimation printers and heat presses, and can therefore produce many of the products listed on the Red Bubble site, in addition to many others, but for a fraction of the cost.
The originals of all the graphics on the Red Bubble site I have on my own external hard drives and am able to access reasonably quickly. Also, I enjoy dabbling in graphic art and produce new examples each week. Any photograph I have taken as well as all the art I have produced can be sublimated printed onto, “Tote Bags, T’s and Other Tops”. And, of course many other products such as mugs, tiles, aluminium sheets, cross word puzzles. Below are prices listed for some products.

Tote Bag (small) – $10.00 or $8.00
Tote Bag (large) – $12.50 or $10.00
Tote Bag (extra large) – $15.00 or $12.00
Draw String Bag – $15.00 or $12.00
T-Shirts (white) all sizes for ladies, men and kids $25.00 or $20.00
Ladies Tank Tops (white) all sizes – $25.00 or $20.00
Ladies Crop Tops (white) all sizes – $25.00 or $20.00

If you compare these prices with those on Red Bubble, you will find that they are about one third of the cost or even better in some cases. Why the two prices for each product? Well, the first price is the cost of any product for which the art work has not been done already. This includes any photograph not already published, with or without words. For these products, if five or more are ordered, then the second listed prices will apply. The second price also applies to all products for which the art work has already been completed. So, all of the graphics on the Red Bubble site will of course fall into this category.
All these products are white. If you want coloured tops you will need to purchase them from the Red Bubble site. For high definition sublimation prints, the best fabric is 100% polyester. I need to pre-purchase the blanks before I can produce any final products. So, you have the choice of white or white. Most of the graphics on the Red Bubble site I have already printed onto small and large sized Tote Bags. If you are interested in seeing any of these and we are likely to be meeting up for a photo shoot for example, remind me to put them in my vehicle before we meet.

Publication7

The September 2017 edition of Petography Magazine has just been published. You will notice that a couple of the graphics I have placed in this posting mention the magazine. The cost of promoting anything can be expensive; but I consider Tote Bags, T-Shirts, Tank Tops and Crop Tops with a mention of Petography Magazine and its web site being seen in public as walking promotions. I am therefore willing to drastically cut the price on these products to half of the first mentioned price for each product in the list above. This deal extends to all of the Petography products which have already been produced or any photograph taken for the Petography Magazine with the added wording “featured in Petography Magazine” and “www.petographymagazine.com”.

That makes Tote Bags for as little as $5.00 and all tops for only $12.50.

For all orders, 50% payment is required with the order, with the balance being paid upon delivery.

If you have not already downloaded a copy of the September issue of Petography Magazine, it is available now for immediate download for only US$2.50. Click on the link to get your copy.

I have several hard copies which are perfect bound. You can save on the shipping cost and US exchange rate by getting one directly from me at a cost of AU$20.00.

Photographers and others with original art work, if you would like any of the above listed products, I would be happy to organise them for you. The second listed price would apply, but there would need to be a minimum order of five products, (can be assorted), for each piece of art work. The art work can be either PNG or JPEG, but must have a resolution of 300dpi or better. The art work and order can be emailed to editor@flippagemags.com.

Petography magazine

It has arrived early.

The first issue of Petography magazine is the September and October 2017 edition. It has just been published and is available right now for immediate download.

Buy Now
Only US$2.50 a copy

The magazine has sixty-seven pages, and if you would prefer a printed perfect bound copy to an electronic copy, then that is available also. The emphasis in the magazine is on photographs and short stories of people and their pets. If you have already been photographed for the magazine and your photos and story are not in the first issue, they will be in a subsequent issue. Most of the content for the second issue is already available, and now the first issue has been published, I can now start on formatting and editing the second volume.

All photographs in the first issue were taken by me. And although I intend to continue taking photographs of people and their pets, I also welcome submissions from other photographers for future publications. Of course a short story or stories must accompany the photographs. Because the magazine is being produced as a web magazine in addition to a printed version, only high resolution photographs, watermark free will be accepted. They will need to have a resolution of 300dpi for the size being printed. Credit will of course be given to photographers and others involved in submitting material. If you would like to prepare suitable material, it can be sent to editor@flippagemags.com

Copies of the first issue can be downloaded from the Petography magazine web site. Or can be purchased right here:

Buy Now
US$2.50 a copy

Feedback on the magazine is of course always welcome. I have already planned a few additional features for the next issue.

The cost of the electronic version I am keeping at a low US$2.50. For a magazine with over sixty pages of full colour, I am sure you will agree that for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per issue, it is great value. The perfect bound printed version is selling for US$14.95. If you are purchasing the printed version online, there will also be a shipping cost involved. Alternatively, if there is an opportunity for us to meet personally, I will have copies of the perfect bound paperback edition for AU$20.00 each, (as soon as my stock arrives).

South East Queensland Living

“Beautiful one day, perfect the next” is a well known promotion for the Sunshine State of Queensland. Most of us who live here and many who visit would agree that it certainly is a great part of the world in which to live or visit.

It is a state with a large geographic area. You could for example, fit Great Britain into the area about eight times. But the population of the state is no where near the population of England’s capital London. Most of the population of Queensland is in its south east corner. In fact, the capital Brisbane, and its near neighbour Gold Coast city are Australia’s third and sixth largest cities respectively. But, neighbouring these cities are other cities and shires such as Logan, Ipswich, Redcliffe, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Scenic Rim which all merge into each other. Driving from my home in Jimboomba to Brisbane city can take me through three different cities; Logan, Ipswich and Brisbane. Someone who didn’t keep an eye on the place names as they were driving through probably would not be aware of just where they were on the journey.

There are many interesting stories that can be told about buildings, architecture and land marks, and people living and working in this part of the world. But, south east Queensland is not just about cities and people. We have National Parks with spectacular scenery, beautiful beaches and much more.

In fact, there is so much of interest that can be photographed and talked about I think it should all go into a regular magazine. And, one is about to be published. It will be called South East Queensland Living.

This is one of two projects that I am setting for myself. The other I shall mention shortly. It will be a large undertaking which will not work unless I get help from you and others. How can you help?

Well, in many ways.

All of us know interesting people. Let’s tell some stories about some of them. The stories could be concerning their work, perhaps some unusual trade, or perhaps a hobby or an interest with a difference. You can write the story and take photographs yourself if you wish, but there is no need to do so. I would be happy to take on that role. You would just need to discuss it with me and maybe assist in arranging times for an interview and photographs.

Perhaps you have some beaut photographs of whale watching off the coast, or of Natural Bridge or Queen Mary Falls in Lamington National Park. The ones published will certainly have credit given to the photographers involved.

Is there an interesting event or marketplace that you know about? Share it with us.

The magazine will be published using the latest technology and software HTML5 and Flash. It is planned that the magazine will be on-line only, at least in the early stages. A Print version could be organised at a later date if there is sufficient interest. In addition to photographs and stories, the magazine can contain videos, Utube or Vimeo, and other media. If you have any thoughts or ideas, I would be happy to discuss them with you.

I would like to get the first edition published before the end of this year, and future editions could be quarterly or bi-monthly. But, this can only happen if I get ideas, stories, photos and support from you and others.

Earlier I mentioned that there were two projects which I had in mind. The first is South East Queensland Living and the second is Models Actors Performers.

You guessed it. It is another magazine. Much of what I have said about South East Queensland Living also applies to Models Actors Performers.

It will have a focus on people in or associated with those three areas of interest in south east Queensland. But, there will probably be stories about happenings in other parts of Australia and even internationally. A detailed story with photographs on someone from each of the three areas mentioned will probably be included in each edition.

As with South East Queensland Living, I am looking for submissions of stories, photographs and other relevant material of interest. Web sites have been set up for both magazines. Each web site has an upload page where you can easily upload files straight from your computer to me without having to be a member of Dropbox, or some other file sharing web site. Take a look at the two magazine web sites and let me know what you think.

South East Queensland Living
Models Actors Performers

Mothers’ Day Classic

The Mothers’ Day Classic in on this coming Sunday, Mothers’ Day, at Southbank Parklands. In addition to me, there are currently forty-two other participants in the Passionate About Photography team.

All participants have no doubt been sent a website “Everyday Hero” link on which they can keep a record of their fund raising and also write any relevant news. Apart from my entry fee for the Mothers’ Day Classic, I don’t plan to get actively involved in fund raising for breast cancer research at this time. It is however a very worthwhile cause and I decided that I could help in other ways.

I plan on supporting all of you other good people who are going to be there to participate.

Already I have told Passionate About Photography participants that, I plan on being at the venue for most of the day. I should be there by 7.30m and will stay as long as needed, at least until mid-afternoon. My plans were to get heaps of photographs of our participants at the event. But, I want to do more, and I am going to.

The offer of photos is extended to all other groups or individual participants who would like to be involved. In addition to photos, I want stories . . . photos and stories that I can publish.

As many of you know over the last few years I have published several books and photography albums. These have been published as paperbacks and also digitally.

I plan on making an album from the photos and “stories” that I get from the event on Sunday. However, I plan on making the digital version of this album completely free to all participants, and to any others who would like to download it. If I produce a paperback version, and you want a copy of it, there will of course be a charge, because I am sure you will realise there are significant costs in producing full colour books in print. The content of all editions will be identical.

The “stories” will be the editorial content of the book, which of course I will reserve the right to edit. I may even need your help in ensuring I place the correct photos with the correct editorial. To ensure this I shall upload thumbnails of all the shots taken soon after the event, so the correct photos can go with the correct captions and/or stories.

Your help in letting relevant people know about this would be appreciated. Stories can be sent to me, or if you like bring along a typed sheet to the event on Sunday. Messenger is also another easy way to contact me. My mobile is 0403 543 827 if you need to contact me on the day. There will be crowds at the event, but I plan on spending a lot of time loitering around in front of the Nepal Pagoda, if you are trying to find me.

File copies of all edited photographs will be available at no charge.

Love Learning & Lose Lousy Literacy Levels

An apology regarding that title is probably needed. Okay, I am sorry. I could not help myself . . . , I love the English language, including alliteration and other rhetorical devices. What I do not like is our language being slaughtered. Now, I am not referring to people who have English as their second, or even third language. Those people have an excuse. If English is your second language and you can be understood, then that is good enough. And, most people I have worked with who have had English as their second language are on a sharp learning curve to get better and better at it. All of you are far more proficient at English than I am at any other languages except for English. No, when I make accusations about our language being slaughtered, I am referring to adult native born Aussies who have not made the effort to learn the language they have lived with their entire life.

Spoken language can be more casual than the written word. And, those who are only semi-literate can usually get by if all they do is speak. Isn’t it true that before you can do something you need to learn to do it first? So, if you are planning on writing, you really should learn how to write first. And, learning to write does involves having at least a basic knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and spelling. I think our problems started about twenty-five years ago. That’s about the time the World Wide Web was invented. Prior to that, most people who wrote were reasonably well educated and they knew how to write. But now, everyone writes and publishes.

Oh! I see, you did not finish high school.

Sorry, that is not an acceptable excuse. You don’t need a degree in linguistics in order to write basic English. We can all learn through the process of osmosis. Read, then read some more. No, not that ungrammatical, poorly punctuated, wrongly spelt nonsense on Facebook or Twitter. That is just reinforcing your mistakes and bad habits. Read stuff that has been written by people who know how to write. Start with some newspapers, or magazines. You may even progress to some novels.

All of us are entitled to make mistakes. Frequently I type “form” when what I want is “from”. If what we are typing is an important document for business or otherwise, then it is important we take extra care with our proof reading of it. A second set of eyes perusing the document could also be advisable. But for regular writing, the occasional mistake is okay. Making a so called “typo” though, is very different from someone who does not understand basic rules of punctuation such as the use of an apostrophe.

Are there any others out there who cringe when they read “your” when the writer really should have used “you’re”? Then there is “their”, “there” and “they’re”. There are many people out there with their limited knowledge of the English language who don’t seem to know their there, from their they’re.

One of the business cards I was given from a photographer has printed on it that he is the “Principle Photographer” with his firm. I wonder what principles he follows! Perhaps he is referring to the rule of thirds or some other photographic rules. It would seem that neither the photographer nor the firm that printed his business cards knew the difference between “principle” and “principal”.

There is a book I have in the planning stage. Its title is “Write Right”. I wanted to keep the book and the title very simple. I even have an ISBN allocated to it. That was about three years ago. Very little progress has been made on the book. In fact I have published several other books since starting that one. It was to have been a book explaining the difference in meaning and spelling between some words, and some simple punctuation and grammar rules. The target market was to have been adults who use “your” when they really mean “you are” or “you’re”. And, if the posts I have read on Facebook are any indication, if this book was purchased by those who needed it, it would be a best seller. “Need” however, is very different from “want”.

But, I don’t think I will ever finish this book. Because, if I did, I doubt that I would sell many copies at all. The problem as I see it is that people don’t know what they don’t know! Those who don’t know, seem to be happy remaining ignorant.

Most books I have published are related to photography, but other publications of mine have included; “Understanding Australian English”, “Aussie Humour and Slang”, “Powerful, Professional, Personal Presentations”, “Rhetorical Devices” and “A to Zed of Aussie Slang”. None of these have been best sellers, but sales are steady and continuing. This would not be the case I believe if I completed and published “Write Right”. The book is aimed at an entirely different market. If I was to publish something I would probably assign the ISBN I already have to a different title. I think the title for this blog, “Love Learning & Lose Lousy Literacy Levels”, has a better ring to it than “Write Right”. What do you think?

Back to that title I chose for this blog, “Love Learning & Lose Lousy Literacy Levels”. Yes, it is time for a second apology from me. I am guilty of breaking one of my own rules. For the last twenty-five or so years, most of my work has been in the tertiary education sector. Participants in my classes on communication were always told to never use the ampersand in written English. And, here I am using it in the title of this blog. Those alliterative L’s would have lost something with an “and” instead of the ampersand, so, I have taken some author’s license.

At the age of almost seventy-one, I retired from pursuits in pedagogy in December last year. My career in education has spanned approximately half a century. A major component of that work in the first half of that half century was working in the Primary, Secondary and Special education sectors. As I have mentioned already, the second half of the half century was working mainly with adults.

Ages of participants with whom I have been involved have ranged from preschoolers in early intervention classes to elderly adults. Intelligence has ranged from students who were profoundly disabled to those who were gifted and talented. Many adults in my classes in the last few years for example, have held multiple degrees, including degrees at Master and Doctorate levels. Diversity in culture, age, intelligence and other attributes has been a feature of the thousands of participants with whom I have had the pleasure of working throughout my career.

One common factor with many of those different people that I have really appreciated was a love of learning. Not all had it, but many did. When I had success in helping to engender it in some participants, it gave me a real buzz.

My many different roles throughout my career were all enjoyable. There are tasks and some aspects of the work involved that are disliked in all jobs, but I don’t think I ever had a job that I really didn’t like. Having said that though, I have never really wanted to return to a previous role that I had. Always, I was happy to move onto something new.

My last role in the Special Education sector was Senior Teacher-in-charge of Special Education in the Southern Darling Downs district. I was based at Warwick East State School, which of course is in Warwick. Here is a bit of information you can store away in your grey matter just in case you ever get asked the trivial pursuit question, “What was the first public school to be built and operate in Queensland”? The answer is Warwick East State School.

I remember well the class of teenagers I worked with at that school. They ranged in age from thirteen to eighteen, and they all loved stories. Their favourite was, “The Bunyip in the Billycan” a children’s story written by Mavis Scott. None of the kids could read the text, but they could certainly read the colourful illustrations. Some could even open each page and tell the story. Well, not word for word for what was written in the text, but they knew the gist of the story. Whenever asked if they wanted a story, the answer was always “yes”. And when asked, “What story would you like”? The answer invariably was, “Bunyip”.

The school had its own pottery room and kiln. Over a period of almost a year, the class and I made a large ceramic mural, with permission of the book’s author and illustrator, of one of the illustrations in “The Bunyip and the Billycan”. It consisted of tiles which were first bisque fired and then glazed and bolted individually onto a large sheet of five-ply with a solid wood border around the outside. At one stage it was hung in the school library. I wonder if it is still there.

Engendering a love of reading is important for all kids of all ages, if we are to help optimise their educational development. It is a great pity that so many kids these days spend so much of their time playing games on smart phones and other electronic gadgets. Books are not as popular as they once were as there are so many other things to occupy young and not so young minds. Occasionally I catch public transport, and I never ceased to be amazed at the number of thumbs tapping away on smart phones. In years gone by many passengers would instead be reading newspapers and magazines.

So, anyone who encourages kids to read more needs to be commended.

Photography is one of my passions. On last Saturday I had the opportunity of photographing a group of young kids with children’s story books. The author of the books wanted photographs for her new web site. Before the shoot I knew that the lady involved was a children’s book author, but I had no idea at all what her books were about.

Janine Thomas is a children’s book author with a difference. She has a series of templates with well illustrated full colour graphics. When she receives an order from someone wanting a book for a particular child, Janine inserts that child’s name into the story. The child in effect becomes the hero of the story, and a book is printed and published specifically for that child.

What a fantastic way to get children to read, having them in a story which is all about them.

Janine calls her business, It’s All About Me Kids. Clicking on that link will take you to her web site. To see her Facebook page, click on It’s All About Me Kids Facebook page.

From the shoot I obtained several hundred quality photos of the kids. Some on their own, some interacting with others, and some reading their books. I decided to put all of these photographs together into a book of my own. Oops! I should have said several books. Because there are several different editions. One is a paperback edition which contains seventy-six pages measuring eight and a half inches by eleven inches, in full colour. The other editions are E-Books which are inexpensive and available for instant download. You have the choice of Amazon Kindle, EPUB or PDF for these instant downloads. Although there are different editions with different covers, the contents in each of these books is identical. I have links to them all on a new page I have included on one of my web sites. The page is called Kids Love Books.

Time, Schedules and Some Random Thoughts

Is it being pretentious to classify the contemplation of the vicissitudes of life as philosophy?

Well, none of the existing headings I had for the limited number of blogs so far on this page seemed appropriate, so philosophy it is.

One of the advantages of retirement is the additional time to reflect. And, that I was doing both yesterday and again today.

A sign at the Sherwood Arboretum, I was there yesterday for a photography shoot, claims it to be one of only four arboreta in Queensland. Who cares? You may say. And, why my interest in trees and shrubs?

For years, many years ago, I was a member of the Society for Growing Australian Plants (SGAP). I even did trips out into the bush collecting seeds to do my own propagation of plants. It was never really a business, more of a passion or hobby, but I did sell some plants in addition to giving heaps away. One of my clients for sales was Griffith University in Brisbane. That university only planted native plants on their campus which were endemic to the area. The landscape architect at the time was a mate of mine, and he gave me permission to collect seeds and other propagating material from the site to grow on in my own mini-nursery. Once the plants I had propagated were well established, I would sell them back to the university. This was in the 1970’s. My day job at the time was with the Brisbane YMCA, and if you visit the Acacia Ridge YMCA or the Jamboree Heights Y-West you can still see some of the results, forty years on, of some of my plants. No, I was not the YMCA’s gardener, I was actually their Associate Executive Director at the time, later becoming the organisation’s Executive Director.

In the past I have been guilty of boring others by giving the Latin botanical names of plants when they have given a common name. Many years after working at the Y, I had lecturing and other roles in TAFE. Although working at the time as the head of the Education Department in the TAFE, one of the TAFE lecturers in horticulture would on occasions bring along plant specimens to discuss with me, and for me to help identify. Sometimes I could help and I got it right. I reckon that if I had not chosen a career in Education, I could very easily have had a satisfying career in the Forestry Department, or in the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Knowing that others may find it annoying, I do try to refrain from giving botanical names of plants to people who could not really care at all if the plants had a name, and what it was. Yesterday however, I found myself inadvertently doing it. It was at a photography shoot I had organised at the Sherwood Aboretum. Two other photographers and my model friend Dallas and I were walking along one of the pathways in the arboretum, and, I happened to make the comment, “that pathway up ahead with the Lomandra Longifolia growing either side would be a good spot for a couple of shots”. I remember receiving a few questioning stares, but nothing was actually said. I shall post one of the shots I took below. It may help break the monotony of the written text.

Mad Hatter on Stilts

Dallas is a talented performer who lives in Mackay in north Queensland. Every few months she comes down to Brisbane for a few days to perform. When she does come down, we usually catch up at least once for a photo shoot. As you can see, on this occasion, Dallas was dressed as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. And, not just any old Mad Hatter, but one walking on stilts a few metres high.

Now is probably the time for me to refocus and get back to the topic of this blog, “Time, Schedules and Some Random Thoughts”.

Now, I have been giving you lots of random stuff, so I can’t really be accused of straying from the topic given. But, what about the first two parts, “time” and “Schedules”?

Let me discuss schedules first. Most people keep a calendar or some sort of diary or things to be done list, don’t they? Otherwise, how do they know what to do and when to do it? Appointments and other things I have scheduled for myself need to be written down. Otherwise, they will not happen. I certainly could not rely on memory alone.

Look out, I am about to go random again. Talking about not relying on memory brought it on.

I was actually taught by a psychologist not to rely on my memory and to write stuff down.

Those of you from Brisbane who were around at the time may recall that we had The World Expo here in 1988. The area directly south of the city across the Brisbane River prior to Expo had been a bit of a slum area, with grotty, sleazy old buildings and hotels. It was an area most reputable people did not go to. Most of the buildings were bulldozed and the area we now know as Southbank was the World Expo site.

I had taken leave without pay from teaching in the second semester of 1988 to complete the requirements of a Bachelor of Arts degree. In August of that year I was riding my motor cycle out to the University of Queensland to attend a special lecture in one of my subjects. It was actually on Exhibition Wednesday which is always a public holiday in Brisbane. The special lecture was to cover a few topics the lecturer wanted to cover with us as she was about to head off overseas. The roads were quiet and there was very little traffic.

I never got to that lecture, and I eventually completed the remainder of my Arts degree a few years later, the same way I had finished the first two and a half years of it, studying in a part-time capacity. Whilst my classmates from uni were at the lecture, I was lying on a bed in the Intensive Care Ward of the Mater Public Hospital, unconscious with life threatening injuries. Apparently I had been hit at speed by a panel van which had driven through a stop sign on my left hand side.

Luckily, if you can call any aspects of a serious accident lucky, the accident occurred at south Brisbane close to the Mater with an ambulance being quickly on the scene. If the same accident happened further away, I possibly would not be here telling this story now.

My injuries included a left femur with its neck totally shattered, my left hip apparently received the direct blow from the van. My left clavicle and scapula were both fractured as were my top three ribs. There were smashed teeth and closed head injuries and fractured right carpal bones. The life threatening injuries were caused by my broken ribs collapsing my lungs.

I will not go into details of my recovery time and the demoralising affect having to rely on others for everything; including washing, eating and toileting has on you. I shall leave that for another occasion.

But, I was about to talk about my need to write things down. Serious trauma can have an adverse affect on short term memory. And, after the accident my short term memory was totally shot. After discharge from hospital I had regular physiotherapy visits to learn to stand and walk again, and visits to psychologists to develop strategies to cope, especially when I returned to full time work again.

Twenty-nine years after my accident, I retain the habit of writing things down. After years of using a pen and actually writing in the pages of a diary, in recent years I have adapted to technology and now use my ipad. The only problem I now have occasionally is forgetting to check my ipad calendar some mornings.

My ipad lets me know what I have scheduled for today, or next week, or whenever. If it is scheduled, I will do it unless there is some compelling reason not to. And if, for whatever reason, I have changed my mind, I will certainly ensure that any others who may be affected by my decision will be informed of it.

What I find curious is the number of people who claim to be going to a certain event or activity, and then don’t go without giving any apology or excuse to others who may be expecting their attendance.

Here are a couple of examples.

Under the banner of “Passionate About Photography”, I organise regular photo shoots. These are held anywhere in south-east Queensland. Many of them have themes and they are available to anyone who would like to attend. However, people attending are required to indicate that they plan to attend. No money changes hands at these shoots, neither the models nor the photographers being paid. The numbers attending these shoots have varied from zero to well over thirty people. In addition to models, I used to allow any photographer who wanted to attend to come along also. I now limit the number of photographers to a maximum of two others apart from me. And, they need to apply in advance and agree to certain protocols I have set.

The most recent Passionate About Photography shoot was yesterday, Sunday 23 April. The theme for the shoot was “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” and the venue for the shoot was the Sherwood Arboretum. This was going to be a big one. I had been in correspondence with several people over several weeks regarding aspects of the shoot. The relevant Facebook page shows that one hundred and thirty people had expressed an interest in attending, and there were a definite twenty-two who were going to attend. Of those twenty-two, two had sent me messages the day before the shoot that they were not able to make it, and on the day of the shoot, one other got lost.

Colin, Christine and I, the three photographers for this shoot, were all there before the scheduled starting time of ten o’clock. One model, Dallas, was also there. We waited until a quarter past ten for the others to turn up, but no one else arrived. We still had a great shoot. Dallas is a talented performer who had gone to considerable trouble with her outfit. She even brought along her stilts for us to get some amazing Mad Hatter shots. Not only that, Dallas is a visitor to Brisbane. She lives in Mackay in north Queensland and had come to the venue in her hire car.

I still have not heard from the other eighteen people who had said they would be there. I hope at least some of them, especially the kids amongst them, will be disappointed after seeing the photos of Dallas that they were not there to be photographed with her.

I use a Facebook page for the Passionate About Photography Shoots. If someone said they were coming along and then was not able to make it, how difficult would it be to send a message or to place a posting saying so? And, if perhaps there was a last minute problem, a text message is fairly simple to send. As with most people, I generally take my mobile phone with me wherever I go, and my mobile number is on the Facebook page.

It was mentioned earlier that I would give you a couple of examples of people being unreliable and not doing what they said they were going to do. The previous Passionate About Photography shoot, prior to the shoot at Sherwood, was at Wilson’s Outlook at New Farm. A great little park with fantastic views of the Brisbane’s river and the Story bridge with the city skyscrapers behind. Ten people had indicated that they were going to this shoot, and an additional twenty-seven people had indicated that they were interested. The scheduled shoot start time was ten o’clock, and as with all of my appointments, whether they be shoots or otherwise, I made a point of being there early. At ten-fifteen after no-one had arrived, and with no apologies from those who had said they were coming along, I got back in my vehicle and headed for home. A couple of minutes later my phone rang when I was half way across the Story Bridge. Even although I own a hands free device, I don’t use it. I think it is important when driving to give driving your full attention. But, as soon as I could pull over to the side of the road safely on the south side of the river I returned the call. The call had been from one of the models who had indicated that they were going to the shoot and was wondering where everyone was. I explained that I had been there and had given fifteen minutes grace beyond the planned starting time, and was now heading back home.

My home at Jimboomba, is about an hours drive from this park at New Farm. I had arrived at the park soon after nine in the morning. Taking into account the preparation time for the shoot, I had effectively wasted four hours of my time because nine of the ten people who said that they were coming to a shoot didn’t bother to come or to apologise in advance for not coming. One other did not make the effort to be there on time. Obviously, if I knew people were not going to be there I would have found more constructive things to do with my time.

I stopped doing individual shoots for models I had not previously met several years ago, because so many of them were unreliable, and often just did not show up. Organising group shoots I thought would solve that problem. And, generally it has worked. My evidence in only anecdotal, but there does seem to be an increasing trend of people not caring about others, and only thinking about themselves.

Why are so many people so inconsiderate and unreliable?

You may well ask, why do I bother continuing with these shoots? Well, the examples I have given are exceptions. The vast majority of people I have photographed over the years have been reliable and appreciative of my efforts, and the results of the photographs I had taken of them. The majority have profiles on the Starnow, which is a web site specifically for actors, models and performers. Dallas, who I have already talked about, I had made first contact with through the Starnow site. I have just checked and there are over ninety recommendations for me as a photographer from actors and models on the site. These guys help compensate for the others.

Gees! I still have not talked about all the things I had planned to, especially regarding “time”, but this post is getting far too long, so I shall leave the rest for another occasion.

Book Order Arrived Yesterday

I may be getting on in years, but there still are some things which excite me. Yesterday, it was the beep of a horn!

Yeah! I know, “small things amuse small minds”, but this was the horn of the courier’s van. And, that courier was delivering my latest order of books. Now, these were not just any old books! They were books that were fairly special to me. They were books that I had authored, been the photographer and graphic designer for, and had also been their publisher.

Not a great deal of work was required for the authoring component of these four particular books, as three of them are basically photography albums without much text. The fourth is one with which I am really pleased. I have illustrated with colour photos and graphics a heap of my favourite quotations. I have not counted the number of quotes, but the book is over one hundred pages in length. It is American Letter size, 8.5 inches X 11 inches, and each page in full colour with one or two quotations.

Below is part of the blurb I have placed on the back cover of, “Staying Positive During 2017 and Beyond – Inspirational and Other Quotes”.

“Philosophers, politicians, actors, authors and many others throughout history have said or written things that are memorable for us. Perhaps it is the clever use of word combination, or something meaningful, expressed succinctly.

In this publication I have compiled a list of some of my favourite quotations. These quotes cover many different genres including; motivation, love, family, and of course fun.

Each of these quotations I have endeavoured to make more interesting through the addition of colour graphics and/or colour photographs. All models appearing in this publication have been photographed be me, and I have also organised the layout of each page.

To my American friends reading this, I am an Aussie, and I have used Australian English throughout.”

One of my favourites in the book from Woody Allen

Below is the cover of this book.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this paperback, it would be great. It has an ISBN and will be available through all major international book sellers. It is currently listed on each of Amazon’s sites. Or, you can use this site. Here is a link from where you can make a purchase.

As you can see it has a price tag of US$25.00. If you live in Australia however, it will cost you more than that. Apart from the conversion into Aussie dollars, you will have the shipping cost from the USA. This will cost close to the same cost of the book, which may make the transaction a bit expensive.

As the author, obviously I can get copies for a bit less than the retail listed price. In addition I save on the shipping cost of each individual book by ordering several at the same time. I do have multiple copies of this publication and the other three which came in the same order. If you would like a copy of the paperback from me, I normally carry a few with me in my vehicle and can let you have a copy for $30.00 Australian.

Perhaps you would like a less expensive e-book version of, “Staying Positive During 2017 and Beyond – Inspirational and Other Quotes”.

A Kindle version is already available.

And, as of this morning there is an EPUB version which can be read on any e-reader.

I have priced the Kindle edition as low as I possibly could. It is less than US$2.00. Success through Amazon relies a lot on positive reviews. If you purchase the Kindle e-book through Amazon, I would really appreciate a review on Amazon from you. It will take only a few minutes of your time, but would be of great value to me.

The EPUB file is a bit dearer than the Kindle version, but not everyone has a Kindle reader. (They are available for free if you want one.) The EPUB version can be read with any EPUB reader. I use the Adobe EPUB Reader. You can download your free copy by clicking on the link.

How would you like both the e-book version and the paperback version for less than the price of the paperback? Well you can!

Purchase the Kindle, write a positive review, let me know, and a copy of the paperback is yours for $25.00 Aussie.

I did mention that multiple copies of four books arrived yesterday. Below are the covers of the other three.

Kids, Pets, Photos and Publishing

There is a rule which some photographers have, “don’t work with animals or children”. I have personally met several of them, “photographers with no interest in working with kids and pets”, I mean.

For several years now I have organised regular photo shoots. My attitude has always been to make them available to all who wanted to come along to them, regardless of age, gender or any other attribute including whether or not they were coming along to the shoot as models or as photographers.

Regardless of your area of endeavour, it is always easier to work with people with experience in whatever you are doing, than it is to work with beginners. In the past at some of my photo shoots which I had made “open”, there would be some photographers who would quickly assess who they wanted to work with, latch on to them and monopolise them for the remainder of the photography session. There were occasions in which, even though I had organised the shoot, I felt that I was left with the models that other photographers didn’t want to work with.

My “open” shoots are now open to models, but not to photographers. Other photographers who wish to be involved in one of these shoots can still apply to do so, but I limit the numbers to a maximum of two other photographers apart from me. And, those photographers have to agree to a protocol I have established for the open shoots. One of the clauses of that protocol is that all models in attendance who want to be photographed must be photographed by all of the photographers in attendance. There can be no monopolising of a particular model.

Now, I can certainly understand the attraction of working with experienced models. A year or so ago I had a shoot with a former Miss Australia and her family in a well known Brisbane park. The shoot ran incredibly smoothly and we obtained some great shots. Striking appropriate poses and expressions were of course a natural for the former Miss Australia, but she also organised her partner and their two children as well. My job was not much more than framing and clicking. I have never seen anyone else change into three different outfits in the middle of a public park without anyone else apart from us knowing what she was doing.

The above scenario compared with a young three or five year old who had never been professionally photographed before and perhaps didn’t want to be photographed is maybe like comparing chalk and cheese. I really enjoy working with experienced, professional models. They make the photographer’s job incredibly easy and great fun. Working with beginners, regardless of age, can be a challenge for the photographer, but that challenge can also be very rewarding.

“Kids, Pets, Photos and Publishing” is the title I gave to this article. Up until now, no mention has been made of pets. I reckon kids and pets have a few things in common. Most times we love them all dearly. The kids, and many animals, will generally usually try to please us. They can also have short attention spans and on occasion be unpredictable. Each one, whether a child or a pet, is also a unique individual.

The majority of my working career was in the education sector. In addition to working in the tertiary sector for the last twenty-five years of my career, the first twenty-five years involved working in Primary, Secondary and Special education, both at the coal face as a teacher and in administration. I hold a Post-Graduate Diploma of Special Education and my Master of Education degree was obtained in the area of special needs. So, from both a practical and theoretical viewpoint I have had a fair bit of experience with kids. Besides, I had two of my own. They are no longer kids but two mature aged beautiful ladies. And, the adjective “beautiful” is used in every aspect of the term.

What about animals? Currently I enjoy other people’s animals. But, until recent years I have always had and enjoyed pets, even although some of the animals I kept, others may not describe as pets. I remember as a young kid our half-Persian cat Tinkerbell. She was pure white with one green eye and a blue eye, and she was a cat that didn’t like milk, but a couple of years latter when we had a pup that did, suddenly Tinkerbell started enjoying it also. A few years later as a ten year old I spent a year in Pakistan with my family and we had two rabbits we called Peter and Paul. One day Peter had some baby rabbits, so we had to start spelling the name Peta. My Golden Cocker Spaniel dog Buddy, who truly was my best buddy. Later there was my Blue Healer dog, Bluey, he was always disappointed when I started up my motor cycle and he was not allowed to come with me. Bluey used to love going for rides sitting on the petrol tank between my legs.

Other dogs and cats, birds, chooks, cows, goats and even ostriches were among my many and varied pets. My last two dogs were Italia and Dante. They were Maremma Sheep Dogs. The pick of one of Italia’s litters was a gift to my daughter Melissa. His name was Baci and he was much loved and lived to the old age of fourteen.

Since my retirement from education, I have spent considerably more time than I used to on photography. The main genre of interest is people and portraiture. And, since I have been keeping records of what I have shot, I recently passed the 46,000 published photos mark. Kids have of course been included in that list, but not many pets. In the future I would like to photograph more of both kids and pets. Even having them together.

I think that some of the skills needed for getting good shots of kids will also apply to getting good shots of pets. One of these is patience, I probably have less than I used to when I worked in Special Education, but I probably still have more than most people. Another that is related and applies to both kids and animals is to take your time for them to get to know you. I have often found with some kids that once you get into the shoot they are far more at ease and easier to work with. It usually helps if there are others involved and the kids can see that everything is OK.

Those who know me will know that I have published several books since 2012. Most of the recent ones are photography albums. I want to continue publishing books. One that I have in mind for down the track a bit is one about people and their pets. It will primarily be an album with heaps of colour photographs, but also with short stories. What I envisage is a few pages of each person and their pet(s), with a short story about the person and their pet. Now, the person can be a kid, or a grand-parent and all ages between. The pet can be a traditional pet such as a dog or a cat, but birds, guinea pigs, horses or even farm animals can be included.

I reckon it will probably take me a couple of years to get the material together, but I would like to make a start.

Here is how you can help. If you have a pet or pets, I would like to spend some time with you, and/or members of your family and your pet(s). Hopefully we can get some great photos together. There will not be any money changing hands between you and me, but you will get file copies of all edited photos from the session. If at some time in the future you would like enlargements of some of the shots taken, then these will be supplied for a reasonable cost.

These days I am available most days whether it be during the week or on weekends. I look forward to you being involved. If you are interested, you could message here or text me on 0403 543 827.

Professional Photography and Free Photo Shoots

A question I am often asked is, “how long have you been a photographer for”? An answer often given is, “around fifty years”. But, that is not really accurate. I was given my first camera by my parents before a trip to India and Pakistan back in the mid 1950’s. I still remember its brand name, it was a “Bunny”. It took rolls of 120 film, and after taking twelve shots, the film had to be rewound onto its original spool to be processed. Many different cameras I have owned and used since then. And as well as the quality of the equipment having improved markedly, I like to think that my photographic skills have also.

Photography has never been my job, but it has been a passion of mine for a very long time. As a teenager and young adult I still recall spending many evenings in my makeshift darkroom with an enlarger and trays of chemicals.

Back in those days, many people did not have cameras. Times have changed, now nearly everyone has at least one camera, and for snapshots, your smart phone is great. But, professional photographers don’t spend thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses and associated gear if smart phones can do the same job. They can not!

What is a professional? To me a professional photographer is one who has quality equipment and the expertise to use it well, and produce quality results. Others may tell you that a professional is someone who charges. But, there are photographers out there who call themselves “professional” who have very little experience and some with only entry level equipment. Some even have the audacity to try charging like wounded buffaloes for their inferior product.

Well, according to my definition, I am a professional. But, with only a few exceptions that you could count on the finger of one hand, I have not and will not charge for any of my photography sessions. I made that conscious decision years ago. Never have I wanted photography to be my job. I enjoy photography, and as I have already said, it is a passion of mine. In the past, I have sold some framed prints that were hanging on the walls of a café where I used to display some of my work. Currently, I submit some of my photography in response to briefs that have been given to an agency called Image Brief that I am associated with.

These activities have given me some return, but that is a small fraction of what I have spent, and continue to spend on equipment. I do like to have quality.

My favourite genre is portraiture. But this goes beyond photographing people posing. My preference is for photographing people involved in activities. I do ask all models I work with to complete and sign Model Release forms. These are required by Image Brief clients. If for example they want a photograph of a young child holding a puppy for a book cover for a book publisher, they need to be assured that consent had been given for the photograph. This was a brief I recently submitted to, unfortunately although I obtained some great photographs, the submission was not successful.

If you live in south-east Queensland and you would like to be involved in my photography sessions, you would be made very welcome. The only cost to you will be your time and the cost of getting to the venue involved. Information on my shoots is available on my Passionate About Photography Facebook page and my Passionate About Photography web site.

In the past I have done some pet photography, but I would like to do much more now that I have additional time available. If you have a special pet and you would like some photographs of it, or better still you with it, let me know. I include horses and other farm animals in the category of pets also. Recently I set up a web site specifically for Pet photography and also a Facebook page for pet photography. You are welcome to take a look.

The agency I submit briefs to I have already mentioned. It is Image Brief. Click on the link if you would like to see my portfolio there.

Book Marketing and Reviews

Retail book stores these days are almost as scarce as hen’s teeth! Almost all books are currently purchased through online book sellers. This change of marketing does have its pros and cons. You can now do your searching online and have the books delivered to your door. I don’t know about you, but I miss being able to go into the large book stores like firms such as Booktopia and Queensland Book Depot used to have and actually browse through the books on the shelves, pick them up, hold them in my hands and look inside. It seems that most bookstores that do still exist are just there to flog off discounted cheap remainders.

Most of the books I have purchased in recent years, whether they had been paperbacks or e-books, I purchased through Amazon. Unless the title was of a book which I had known well, I would generally read the reviews associated with that book. And, I think most people do this and use the reviews as a guide for their purchases. Some publications purchased lived up to the reviews they were given, others were complete rubbish. I assume the positive reviews had were written by close friends.

Waiting to read reviews before making a purchase poses a bit of a “chicken and egg” problem. If a review has to come first, who is going to make a purchase? With the exception of my paperbacks which are workbooks or journals, and a few of my early photography albums, all have also been published as Kindle e-books.

Recently, I went into my Amazon Kindle account and made all of my Kindle e-books as cheap as I possible could. They had low prices before. The most expensive was US$5.00. But now they are all priced under US$3.00 with some as cheap as US$1.00. The higher priced e-books are the photography albums which have quite large file sizes, and Amazon has higher minimum prices for these.

Why the extra low prices?

Well, my hope was and still is that people will make purchases, realise that they have great value for the money spent, and give the book a positive review. The e-books are electronic versions of the paperbacks and are almost identical. So, a review of an inexpensive e-book also applies to the paperback version.

I am hopeful that some of my friends will go to my Amazon author’s page, make a purchase of one or more of my e-books and leave an honest review. Amazon does indicate whether or not the review was made by a verified purchaser.

If you have been to any of my photo shoots over the last year or so as a model, some of your photographs will be in some of the albums. If you don’t already have a Kindle Reader, the program can be downloaded at no cost, whether your device is an Apple or an Android.

You probably won’t ask, but if you do ask yourself the question, “what’s in it for me?” Here is what I am offering.

The paperbacks I can provide to you at a lower price than you can buy them online. I purchase multiple copies at the one time and save on shipping. If you would like a paperback version of one of the books you have purchased the e-book version of, I shall knock off an additional $5.00 off my already discounted prices. Alternatively, if you purchase two copies at my discounted price, you will get a third copy at no cost. (This can be for the same album, or a different one at the same or lower price).

Let’s be mutually helpful to each other!