Australian Image

Ang & Tas - Mirboo North Victoria

Ang & Tas – Mirboo North Victoria

South Gippsland and Gippsland in general has been my defacto home for more than 40 years and is now my full time home, and it’s my desire to document as much of the region as I can. To that end, this blog will hopefully record all the things that I love, enjoy and find so great about this part of Victoria, Australia.

As a bit of background, I’ve been into photography in various shapes and forms for around 40 years, professional and otherwise, gave it a break for some years just before digital started to take off and then got back into it with gusto around 2001 with a simple P&S digital camera. That first digital camera, in many ways, made me look once again at photography in a serious way and opened my eyes to all that I’d been missing in those intervening years.

To cut a long story short, I ended up getting a DSLR, started doing news and sports for a Melbourne newspaper, as well as documentary photography (amongst other things) for Defence and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation and didn’t look back. Now in semi-retirement, I have an opportunity to do things that I always wanted to do, but never seemed to find the time to do, so we’ll see what happens.

I now see myself as a mix of photojournalist, documentary photographer and historian and, given my long association with this part of Victoria, this blog will primarily be about Gippsland. But since I’m interested in a wide variety of issues, I’ll be writing about numerous things, so I hope that you enjoy the stories.

One thing that I’m quite chuffed about is that the blog is now listed in the National Library of Australia archives aka Pandora so, if nothing else, this gives me even more incentive to keep the blog going and recording as much as possible about South Gippsland and Gippsland in general.

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Clicking on the photographs will give you a larger view in most cases and, unless otherwise attributed, all photographs have been taken by the author and copyright applies.

12 thoughts on “Australian Image

  1. Bob aka BarefootPilgrim

    Ray, I hope you’ll keep the blog going. (Your “The Beginning” post makes it sound as if you may not). I’ve enjoyed seeing your work on the Oly forums and it’ll be good to see more of it with your commentary, too.

    Peace… Bob

    1. Ray Post author

      Thanks for the kind words. The blog will definitely continue for the foreseeable future. I’ve got quite a few ideas brewing, so I can’t give up just yet, or so soon.

  2. Gerry Siegel

    Just discovered your page and your person again in this world wide web, Ray… My aloha to you downunder, Ray I missed you…. You are full of ideas. Keep them coming and share with us. Best regards, Gerry Siegel of Honolulu

    1. Ray Post author

      Good to hear from you Gerry and hope all is well. I didn’t think the blog would get to where it is, but there always seems to be something to write about. Then again, I do have more time to navel gaze these days.

  3. Graeme Weber

    What a lovely photograph. I give talks about ‘Nuclear Energy – why Australia needs to adopt it. I am very interested in presenting in the Latrobe Valley. Any suggestions?

    1. Ray Post author

      Thanks. A challenging topic to tackle in this region. While there are undeniably many who are open to considering HELE coal, gas, hydro and nuclear as viable and essential options for Australia, they ostensibly remain silent for fear of being ostracised. Movies such as ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and its follow up are still revered by many as gospel. Some even consider our townsfolk as Hobbits and you would most definitely be a minion of Sauron. The only suggestion that I can make is ‘Good Luck’.

  4. Chris

    Hi there. I’ve read a fair amount of your writings and find that I generally agree with you. I’m a semi – retired electrical engineer and watch with a wry smile as the vocal majority roll their eyes as they extol the virtues of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and the ‘free’ power the produce. I’d like to comment about this misunderstanding and do so after two years of monitoring my own and other installations.

    A base load power station is rated at its capacity to produce a minimum output for approximately 98% of its time. A big one might be rated at 2.4 gigawatts (2400 megawatts). A PV installation is advertised at it’s maximum output – say 5.5 kilowatt. If one adds a time base to this over a full year of operation in our latitudes (South Gippsland) then the real output is less than 1 kilowatt. Night time and clouds are not helpful to PV arrays. Added to this is the fact that there is around a half percent per annum degradation in performance and that they are susceptible to dust covering the glass. (they benefit from a regular wash).

    Furthermore, the popularity of PV installations has reinvigorated the term, “Embedded Energy” or “Embodied Energy”. More of an accounting term than say, enthalpy, it’s meant to capture even the measured or estimated energy of even the trades person’s van used to deliver the PV’s being installed and the energy used in all aspects of manufacture and transport of the said panels AND the materials that are used to make them.

    When one applies this term to a typical home installation and the actual time – based output of the installation is scored, then the environmental paybacks are, at best, dubious. Furthermore, the effect on greenhouse emissions is interesting. But we humans like things that appear to be free or provide that feeling of getting something for nothing. We seldom evaluate too deeply and it is this prevailing ignorance that will ensure our electrical power becomes a mess as base load loses its investment potential.

    I see a little light ahead with storage batteries and the use of synchronous condensers to maintain electrical frequency but I’m loathe to believe what I read on this broad topic if there’s a politician saying it. State politics especially is at odds with a national grid where energy can be sold interstate at exorbitant rates.

    Best regards

    1. Ray Post author

      Thanks Chris. Yes, unfortunately the ‘plated’ ratings of PV cells and windmills is usually far higher than what they produce in reality. Few realise how poorly they perform over their lifetime. When renewables output does peak, there’s always much media reporting, but silence throughout the other times. I have no objections to any of these options, only that I am against the massive subsidies being paid by taxpayers. If these options are truly efficient (cost and otherwise), then I see no need for any subsidies. One day all of this will unravel, but I fear it will be at least a decade before it does and what will have happened to our standard of living etc in that time?

      As for batteries, we now have dire warnings of what can and does happen when these go awry. And when Standards Australia attempts to mitigate the risks, the renewables industry goes on the warpath as these standards may affect business. So will the renewables industry be given higher priority than the safety of people?

  5. Hanafi Esa

    Hi Ray… A very good morning from Malaysia

    I am Hanafi & actually looking for my long lost friend when we both attended the Staff College School in RAAF Fairbern Canberra Australia back in 1997.

    Hopefully l have found you but if not … Good luck to your good work & I actually enjoyed reading your article…

    All the best….

    Hanafi Esa

    1. Ray Post author

      Hello Hanafi

      You have certainly found the right person. I’ve often wondered what became of you and hoped that all would be well with you and your wife. Angela and I very much enjoyed the time that we were able to spend together and really enjoyed the get togethers (miss that spicy food). Time has certainly flown by.


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