I’ve believed for some time now that Labor governments are no longer the party for workers or the ‘average’ Australian. All that you have to do is look at the policies they have implemented across Australia (at state level anyway) and you can see that they are now just a party of the far Left and avid Greens’ vote gatherers (in preferences). In both state and Federal capacities, Labor has been bringing Australia to its economic knees with pointless Leftist virtue signalling policies such as the climate change catastrophe myth, which is slowly destroying our industrial capacity and creating a new generation of electricity paupers. But no where in Australia has this Leftist lunacy gone further and harder than in Victoria. From climate to trans-gender education in schools and progressive ideas on drug users, the Andrews government has pushed for the most radical and failure prone policies of any Labor government that I’ve ever known.
When deciding what events to cover in Gippsland it’s always a bit of a guessing game for me, trying to pick what might be appropriate and could be considered of some historical value and worth writing a story for posterity. But I guess it’s not for me to decide what’s of historical value as, in many cases, not having much in the way of a record for even the most mundane seeming event could be leaving out a piece of history. Who knows that in 100 years, these sorts of events may be of great interest. Even just seeing some of the people about at such events could be of interest to future historians. This blog is predominantly about recording events etc in Gippsland in order to produce some sort of record for the future, so I guess it’s worth considering all and sundry as they come along. But to be honest, events etc that I cover have to also be of some interest to me; a regular crowded market or swap meet isn’t what I would call interesting, unless there was something quite special involved at the same time.
Way back in 2017 I wrote my first part of Making Movies and what I saw lying ahead for me in this new endeavour. Looking back at that story and subsequent ones, I realised that I hadn’t fully explained why I wanted to produce video as an adjunct or, at times, replacement for stills photography and what prompted me to buy what was a cinema camera. Part of my reasoning was that I was finding my stills photography becoming a bit stale and motivation to go out with my camera was waning. I used to carry a camera with me at all times, but found that I was increasingly leaving it at home when going out. The other reason for a cinema camera was that I wanted my documentary work to show something more than what still images could display and my existing cameras weren’t ideal for video. Even though static images can be very powerful and engaging, I’d come to realise that there are some significant advantages when trying to convey a story with video. Moving pictures really do add another dimension to a story.
It’s the sixth year now of the Blessing of the Bikes and it’s hard to believe that it’s now closer to its tenth year than its first. How time has flown by and while the theme has stayed the same, the Blessing of the Bikes has certainly changed and become so much bigger, more interesting and far more professionally organised. And all of that has been for the better. When I talk to some locals in Mirboo North there is certainly a lot of regret that the event moved on to San Remo but, as that old saying goes, ‘You don’t know what you have until it’s gone’. This most certainly applies to the Blessing of the Bikes. Our sleepy hollow became just that little bit sleepier when we lost the Blessing of the Bikes. But while we have other events on the calendar, excepting the Italian Festa, the Blessing of the Bikes is the only event that drew crowds from so far and wide.
Since becoming increasingly interested in video in a more dedicated way, I’ve been watching many movies, short films, reviews and the like over the last year learning about techniques and styles, as well as all the other aspects such as audio that makes for good movies. during that time, there are several trends that have come to light (pun intended) about modern movies and even TV shows, and and one such trend is that many are now extremely dark and foreboding when it comes to the overall lighting. This was really brought home when I watched some videos comparing the modern Star Trek movie series and the new TV show named The Orville. The latter has taken a lot of ideas from the original Star Trek series and brought back the general storylines that the early series represented in its day, but has added a modern twist. I won’t go into these aspects here, try and watch some episodes if you haven’t, But what also grabbed me was how very different the actual production values and storyline are when compared to modern movies or TV series, notably Star Trek.
One of the most common complaints that a number of ‘artists’ have (or seem to always be carrying on about) is that they don’t get enough recognition nor funding for their craft. It always appears as if their only impediment to renown and financial success is lack of taxpayer money to support their artistic future. Now I’ve been a follower of art for a very long time, becoming interested perhaps by the fact that my mother was into art and was a pretty good painter in her own right. She loved oil painting but unfortunately had to give it up after becoming allergic to whatever was in the oil paints. I never became interested in painting, but certainly liked such artwork and have our walls lined with oil paintings, water colours, photographs etc. We also have a lot of other artwork about such as ceramics and similar. I think a home that has no artwork is a pretty barren place.
There’s a lot of contentious debate that sometimes arises when it comes to buying Chinese made products, whether they are from major retailers or through eBay. Many have a belief that if it’s made in China, it’s crap. The truth of the matter is that it’s virtually impossible to buy anything nowadays that hasn’t been made in China and, if you look back say 50 or so years, anything made in Japan was considered crap at the time. Some of it was and some it wasn’t, but now anything with a ‘Made in Japan’ label is considered a premium product. It took some time for Japanese manufacturing and quality control to reach what it’s now been for at least 40 years; however, in that time it very rapidly surpassed whatever was considered high quality Australian manufacturing. And so it is with Chinese products as more and more manufacturing is done in China and they also up their game when it comes to all manner of products.
It’s rare that I write specifically about some generic product, but in this instance I thought I would. Given that I type quite a lot, a keyboard that allows me type effectively and comfortably is rather important. So I thought I’d give my views on my new keyboard, as I recently had to replace my current one and found it quite difficult to find something suitable. Over many years, ever since personal computers were first introduced into the workplace and I had to learn to type all of my own documents, a keyboard has been a large part of my working life. I’ve seen many keyboards come and go over those years, both in the workplace and at home, and while the keyboard layout has remained much the same, the style of keyboards have certainly had their variations. The early keyboards were all mechanical, with a solid clickety clack sound and feel with each keystroke, to the near silent chiclet keyboards found most notably on laptops. The name chiclet comes from an American chewing gum, which the keys on such keyboards resemble.
If there’s one interesting as well as slightly mysterious feature of Mossvale Park, it’s the local crayfish that inhabit at least one part of the park. For many years I wondered what the muddy mounds with a large hole in the middle were, as they resembled something between an anthill and a underground dwelling spider hole. It wasn’t until I came across something similar in our front yard, that the penny dropped and I realised that these were the entrances to the homes of small crustaceans. The crayfish in our yard were very hard to spot as they only came out at night and the slightest vibration would send them quickly back into their holes. I only ever saw two such holes and one night was able to observe what the inhabitants looked like. They were all black, incredibly spiny and quite the small monsters; something that could be easily used as the basis for a creature in a science fiction horror movie.
Tripods are one of those things that can cause endless debate amongst photographers, and to a lesser degree videographers, when discussing what constitutes the best tripod (much like when it comes to camera bags). There is no such thing as the ‘best’ tripod, as it all depends on where, how, why and with what you’re going to use the tripod. There are number of reasons why these debates arise and the first one is affordability, the second is need and the third is knowledge. Affordability has always had a major impact on equipment purchasing, especially 40 or even 30 years ago, when a professional tripod would have cost a small fortune and even amateur brands were quite expensive. Need can be a driver where at first a photographer may not require a specific type of tripod, but they eventually outgrow the tripod or their needs change. Knowledge or experience becomes a factor after owning a succession of tripods (not necessarily poor quality ones) and the user comes to understand the where, how, why and what of tripods.