It’s a rare thing for me to be able to see my family – my Mom’s side is in China, my Dad’s side is in Australia, my grandparents are all in China… the only ones here in the U.S. are my parents and I. I last saw my Australian family in 2006 – we went all around Sydney and the Gold Coast and I got my fill of white sandy beaches, kangaroos, and koalas. This time around we flew up and down the eastern seaboard visiting Melbourne and Australia’s famous southeastern ocean coast – driving 250km along the Great Ocean Road, saw little penguins at Phillips Island, and then flew up to Cairns where we visited the Daintree Rainforest and snorkeled around the Great Barrier Reef.
This vacation was the first big break for me since April. I’ve been quite exhausted and didn’t feel like photographing, but I ended up being the family photographer anyway. Most photos of myself were taken by my parents. I took only my D700 and one lens, the 50mm f/1.8. I also brought along my Canon SD800 point and shoot for wider shots, it’s a pretty obsolete point and shoot by today’s standards, but I’m posting some great photos from it that I’ve post-processed a little. I took more time just to enjoy the scenery around me, sometimes there is just no replacement for merely being at a place and seeing it for yourself. Enjoy!
With my cousins Ye (on the left) and Elva (on the right). The opera house can be seen in the background
Panorama of Sydney shot from the harbor bridge (click to enlarge!)
Walking on the bridge (we didn’t do the BridgeClimb… which is like $100 a person and it was too cloudy that day to get good photos anyway)
A fly-by shot of cows while driving along the Great Ocean Road
Me at one of many scenic lookouts along the Great Ocean Road
Shot of a lighthouse – using the SD800, shot from the ground
The main attraction of the Great Ocean Road – the Twelve Apostles – giant limestone rock formations created by the ocean (click to enlarge!)
Another panorama – my favorite because the sun was hitting the limestone, making it golden (click to enlarge!)
Australia has such botanical diversity. Some “macro” shots (achieved by opening the aperture of the lens to 1.8 and then getting as close to the subject as possible for this lens)
We spent some time in Melbourne and then headed out to Phillips Island – where you can look at a lot of sea gulls, seals, and then watch little penguins march out from the sea at sunset to feed their young! Unfortunately I have no photos of the penguins because photography was forbidden. It was truly an AMAZING experience
This great shot of seagulls was snapped by my Dad using the Canon SD800
We then flew north to northeastern Australia to Cairns. We stayed at this most beautiful bungalow that connected straight to a small beach called Holloways Beach – 15 min drive north of Cairns
My Mom walking on the beach at sunset
With my cousins again
We woke up literally at the crack of dawn the next day to watch the sunrise. A casual portrait of my parents
This great silhouette was taken by my Dad with the SD800
We dug for clams which we made into a broth for dinner
We visited the Daintree Rainforest – at one particular discovery center you can walk on an elevated platform to observe the multiple layers. SB800 shot
We took a boat to Green Island – a sand cay on the Great Barrier Reef. We first snorkeled. Taken with SD800
We also got on a glass-bottom boat and got to see lots of fish and coral at the bottom of the shallow ocean
I love Australia!
I’m a little sad to be coming back, but I do have a pile of print orders, photo edits, client inquiries, and meetings, and most importantly, photoshoots to get back to!