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Becoming Australian

Seth Lazar

Photographer from Australia

Becoming Australian

Every photo is the culmination of a journey. Some journeys are longer than others. In this post I'm highlighting my first sequence of nightscapes from my new home, Michelago—a rural community between Canberra and Cooma, Australia. We moved here in December last year. But our journey started back in 2009, in Oxford, UK.

I had just finished my D.Phil. (what Oxford calls a PhD) in political theory. Lu and I married in 2002, and had always been big travellers. After I was done in Oxford, we did the equivalent of a PhD in travel, setting off on an overland trip from Morocco to South Africa by public transport. In reply to my doctoral thesis, Lu wrote a book—An African Alphabet: From Agadir to Zagazig. Soon after that trip, I landed the dream job—a research-only position at one of the top philosophy departments in the world: the Australian National University, in Canberra Australia. And in mid-2011, we left the UK permanently, a five-month-old in our carry-on. Though it took us a while to get used to the culture—the overlaps with the UK misled us into thinking it was more similar than it really is—we fell in love with the land instantly. With our little boy with us, we knew that it would be a while before we could do the really adventurous travel again—and how could we top the African Alphabet anyway? But our home was practically wilderness—we could have an adventure on a daytrip, just going bushwalking.

 

 


 

[Mt Livingstone

15 shot mosaic and blend

Foreground 4 shots 600s at f1.4 ISO 2000

Sky 6 shots 180s f2.8 ISO 2000

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount

Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP

Nikon d750]

 

After a year in the country we took permanent residency, and bought a house with an amazing view of the Brindabella Hills. We fell in love with the South Coast of New South Wales (I'll write about that another time), and would always drive south from Canberra, through the Tinderry Range, past Michelago, Cooma, and down Brown Mountain. I think every time we made that drive, we eyed the homesteads set back from the highway, either in the lee of the wild Tinderry mountains, or over the highway and up the hills on the other side. We found routes down to the iconic Murrumbidgee River that felt like they had been made just for us. We yearned… A few years went by  my career at the ANU was going well, I'd been promoted and made chair of my department  we had another baby—a little girl, Ash. The property market had picked up. We met a very talented estate agent… We got in touch with some contacts in Michelago… A dream house… I worked my a** off getting our house in perfect condition, and we found just the right buyers. And we made the move—we got luckier than we had any right to get. At the same time, our citizenship applications were approved. We moved to Michelago, and became Australians in more ways than one.

 

 

 

 

[Michelago Railway Station

9 shot mosaic and blend

Foreground 3 shots 180s at f2.4 ISO 1600

Sky 6 shots 120s f2.4 ISO 800

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount

Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP

Nikon d750]

 

It was Lu who got me into photography. She wanted us to travel, I felt like I needed a project. She suggested photography. My first camera was a terrible aps-c film camera, which I took on a trip to Central America. No images survive. Through our days of adventure travel, I specialised in portraits, and would spend hours wandering around markets in India, Central Africa, or wherever, taking portraits. I loved the creative challenge, the warm conversations, the big big smiles. As we moved to Australia, those opportunities dried up, and my photography had to fit around our new lives—baby, job, and not a lot of disposable income. Surrounded by the wild and subtle beauty of the south-east Australian bush, landscapes were the obvious new direction. But the funny thing about 'golden hour'—the best time for landscape photos—is that it tends to be the time when little babies need to be got up or put down. Sometimes things managed to combine—I got some great shots of mist in the Blue Mountains, when our boy Moss had woken early one morning.

 

 


 

[Tinderry Rocks

10 shot mosaic and blend

Foreground 4 shots focus stacked 300s at f2.4 ISO 800

Sky 6 shots 120s f2.8 ISO 800

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount

Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP

Nikon d750]

 

But it was the discovery of nightscape photography that made all the difference for me. We get clear nights, and there's very little light pollution. So at the right phase of the moon, you've got a great chance of an awesome night sky. And it tends to be best well after the kids' bedtime. I first got into nightscapes when I saw some posts by friends on Facebook, and was blown away by what was possible even with the kit that I then had. We had a camping trip to the Red Centre, and I took some ropey shots of the Milky Way—was inordinately proud of them—and was hooked. I bought a full frame camera (Nikon D750) in September 2016, and an equatorial mount and tracker later that year. I bought my first Samyang lens—the 24 f1.4—at the same time. Soon after I won a competition, and they sent me the 20 f1.8. Next I got the XP 14mm f2.4.

 

 


 

[Southern Cross Windmill

3 shot mosaic and blend

Foreground 180s at f2.8 ISO 800

Sky 2 shots 120s f2.2 ISO 800

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount

Samyang 20mm f1.8 with Hoya Didymium Filter

Nikon d750]

 

We're not the first people to move to Michelago for the sake of the night skies—I know of a couple of proper astronomers in the area. Canberra causes some light pollution, for sure—but it's to the north, which is almost always the least interesting part of the night sky anyway. To the south, there's a faint glow from Cooma, 60km away. From the top of the Tinderry mountains, you can see a few street lights in Nimmitabel almost 100km away. There's much more airglow than light pollution—that's the green or red colour you often see in images of the night sky, caused by excitation of particles in the upper atmosphere by solar radiation  when I first saw it in my images I thought there was something wrong with my camera…

I guess one other reason we moved out of Canberra was that we never really felt much sense of community there. ANU is a close-knit community of course, but my colleagues all live near to campus. Round our way, though I joined the local volunteer fire brigade, and we were actively involved with our son's pre-school, outside of that it felt like people kept to themselves. Michelago is a genuine rural community—though there are plenty of folks who have moved out from Canberra, there are lots of families that have been here for decades, even since the 19th century. They set the tone, and the newcomers seem to have come here in part for that sense of community (that's not to say that it's perfect! There are tensions here like anywhere else). As much as the locals are connected with each other, they have a still greater bond with the land we're on. Michelago is a small village in the lee of the Tinderry mountain range, a series of granite-topped peaks, averaging around 1400-1500m. Though there's a nature reserve on top of the mountains, it is virtually impenetrable. There are no active tracks through the peaks, just thick bush—much of it regrowth from a savage fire in 2009. 

 

 


 

[Michelago Station Coal Wagon

3 shot mosaic and blend

Foreground 300s at f2.4 ISO 1600 (another shorter exposure for me)

Sky 120s f2.8 ISO 800

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount

Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP

Nikon d750]

 

Folks here feel a connection with the mountains. So when I started posting a few shots I'd taken from around the area, the response was incredibly positive. I set up a Facebook page, and posted some pictures to the local Facebook noticeboard. At the same time, our boy started in the (wonderful) local school, and I joined the parents' committee, and photographed their 150th anniversary celebrations. So when the Milky Way season began, I knew who to ask when I wanted to gain access to some of the stunning locations around here—most of which are privately owned. I also knew by now that around here, private property is not to be messed with. While country NSW is very peaceful, with low crime rates, there are, unbelievably, actual cattle rustlers still in action, not to mention vandals, and most landowners have guns. So if you're tempted to hop a fence without asking, you might well end up with a bunch of shot in your backside. People have been incredibly welcoming and generous, granting me access, stopping for a chat, and sometimes pointing me in the direction of the best spots. I've already had some long nights out and about—and all within half an hour's drive of home. I'm just starting out— I'm learning all the time as a photographer, and I'm just getting to know the area. But as you can see from the pictures, it's been a good start.

 

 


 

[Lavender

4 shot mosaic and blend

Foreground 440s at f2.4 ISO 2000 (illuminated with 

Sky 3 shots 120s at f2.4 ISO 2000 (before I realised about ISO invariance)

 

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Tracking Mount

Samyang 14mm f2.4 XP

Nikon d750]

 

The six photos here include one from the lavender plantation on our new property, as well as a huge panorama from the top of the hill we live on, which stretches from the Tinderries to the East all the way around to the Clear range to the west. There are two from the old railway station—including an obligatory selfie—one of an iconic 'Southern Cross' windmill, and another from a boulder-field on top of the Tinderries. Barring the station, they're all on private property, and I'm more than grateful to the landowners for generously granting me access.

 

Simulator Shop
now

三洋で提案する最適の標準画角について調べましょう。

人間との関係、そして美しい空間演出のために小道具を飾る際にも適切な間隙や距離は、必ず要ります。ならば、絵及び写真の作品を正しく鑑賞するために我々は、どれだけの距離をおいて見るのがベスト?

正解は、「作品フレームの対角線の長さ」程度の距離です。

표준화각 자료 이미지
표준화각 자료 이미지

作品の全体を十分視野に入れて鑑賞するためには、作品の対角線の長さほど距離をおいて鑑賞した方がいいです。あまり近い距離で作品を見れば人間の目が集中できる視野角である50度より広がって絵をそのまま鑑賞できなくなってしまいます。 最適の鑑賞、最適の視線のために必要な理想的距離は、写真術にも適用します。 停止画像を撮る写真術では撮像面の対角線の長さと同じく焦点距離のレンズを標準レンズと定義します。

最適の鑑賞、最適の視線のために必要な理想的距離は、写真術にも適用します。 停止画像を撮る写真術では撮像面の対角線の長さと同じく焦点距離のレンズを標準レンズと定義します。デジタルカメラのフルフレームセンサーの大きさは、36x24mmであり、その対角線の長さは、約43.26mmであるため、標準レンズは、何mmにしたらいいのかについての最善の答は、「43.26mmに類似した値」といい、現在まで標準レンズの代名詞と見なされる「50mm」とは、いいきれません。

過去には、フィルムの対角線の長さに似た45mm画角のレンズがありふれましたが、SLR カメラの大成功によってミラーが入る空間を確保するために50mmレンズが標準とされていましたが、最近 ミラーレス一カメラのすそが大きく拡大しながらフランジバックの短いミラーレス一カメラの特性を考慮してより正確に標準レンズの画角を45mm
と再判断すべきではないのかの問題意識からAF 45mm F1.8 FEに対する開発は、始まりました。 サムヤンのAF 45mm F1.8 FEは、35mm画角レンズより最も最小した歪み、55mm画角よりは、一層広いイメージが撮影できて人物、景色、建築物、ペットなど多様なテーマの撮影で結果に満足していただけます。

DSLR / Full Frame
1D X Mark Ⅱ
1D X
1Ds Mark Ⅲ
1Ds
5DsR
5Ds
5D Mark Ⅳ
5D Mark Ⅲ
6D Mark Ⅱ
6D
DSLR / APS-H
1D Mark Ⅲ
1D
Mirrorless / APS-C
M6
M5
M10
M3
M2
DSLR / APS-S
7D Mark Ⅱ
7D
80D
70D
60D
30D
D60
D30
77D (9000D)
760D (8000D / Rebel T6s)
1300D (Kiss X80 / Rebel T6)
1200D (Kiss X70 / Rebel T5)
200D (Kiss X9 / Rebel SL2)
800D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
700D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
100D (Kiss X7 / Rebel SL1)
650D (Kiss X6i / Rebel T4i)
600D (Kiss X5 / Rebel T3i)
550D (Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i)
500D (Kiss X3 / Rebel T1i)
1000D (Kiss F / Rebel XS)
450D (Kiss X2 / Rebel X냐)
DSLR / Full Frame
D850
D5
D810A
D4S
D810
D750
Df
D610
D4
D800
D800E
D600
D3s
D3x
D700
D3
DSLR / APS-C
D7500
D3400
D500
D5600
D7200
D5500
D3300
D7100
D5300
D5200
D7000
D300s
D300
DSLR / Full Frame
Z6
Z7
D810A
D4S
D750
D810A
DSLR / APS-C
D7200
D500
D3300
D5500
D5600
D3400
D7500

* Cameras released within 5 years from 2019 are tested.

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