July 07, 2008

Landscape in Motion

Photographer Chip Forelli is a very talented landscape photographer. If you can't learn something from looking at his work then you shouldn't bother owning a camera. He has a lovely little book on blurb, but it's worth visiting his website just to see a little inspiration for how landscape imagery can be more than just trees and lakes.

He uses movement in his landscapes too, employing super slow shutter speeds to great effect. OK, I know I tell people not to bring their tripods when they travel, but that's because 99.99% of travel photography is pointless with a tripod. Chip shows us what to do to when you are free of such constraints...



Travel insurance is great so long as you don't have much valuable to insure. Professional camera equipment is bad enough, but even a modestly capable laptop can quickly exceed the fine print.

I did a little asking around and found that most professionals simply don't have it. Too expensive. When they can get cover it's priced at a rate that makes it more practical to carry the loss of equipment personally rather than to share the risk with an underwriter.

One insurance company however had another take. They offered to provide their basic travel insurance, without coverage for the expensive bits, in exchange for blogging. That's right, a professional journo can expect to provide his or her work for a year in exchange for a product that you can buy online for about $350. Even by Fairfax standards this sets a new low.

I can just imagine the Mastercard commercial now... Camera Bag by LowePro - $340. Professional camera and lens equipment - $12,000. Years of professional writing experience and months of travel away from home - worthless.

July 04, 2008

Norwegian Good

When asked "What is this?" I had to pause to think. The answer came out "Norwegian pop band echoing 90's indie tunes with a hint of Lush and Sonic Youth." I could have added Darling Buds and The Primitives blending Medicine and Go Betweens, but then no one would know what I was talking about.

Je Suis Animal are young, funky and freshly released into the Australian market. Lost & Lonesome are making the debut album available to audiences downunder.

This band will never be seen on Eurovision song contests, I'll warn you now. They're too good for that. People actually will want to buy the album. There's dead wood on the track listing, but at least it's European wood so it's somehow more appealing. The star tracks are Hotel Electronique and Secret Place, and you can hear them here...


Je Suis Animal are for the most part tame beasts, more scared of the forest than running wild through it. In their own words, "This is where we recorded our debut album: a community hall in the middle of the woods. Incarcerated, due to the risk of being eaten alive by hungry wolves and grouchy bears, we recorded 13 songs."