Photographing cats with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens

I haven't used my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens for yonks, and I dug it out recently to see how it would work shooting portraits of my cute kitten, Venti.

What a fabulous lens for this kind of work - far lighter and easy to manouvre quickly, and I love how at f/1.8, it practically wipes away the background.

It was also a great lens to use indoors at the RSPCA last weekend, where I photographed some more adorable kitties looking for their furever homes.

Jimmy, the second cat below seems to have been adopted out already, but Mimi, the spunky boy in the third photo is still looking for a permanent home. You can find more details about him at the RSPCA's AdoptaPet site

Meanwhile, I'm working out what to shoot next with the "nifty fifty".


Playing with the FilterMania 2 App

I'm loving Instagram at the moment! For me, it's like the Twitter form of Flickr, but for photos. In following some really creative Instagrammers, I discovered the FilterMania 2 App for iPhone.

According to its description on the App Store; "FilterMania 2 Market is literally a dynamic playground of constantly updated photo filters." And that's certainly true after my experience of playing with it for the last week.

You start with a base photo, which you can select from your library or take with your camera through the app, and then start to overlay filters. There's a bunch of themed filters such as darkness, storms, tropical, sci-fi etc, and you can mix and match as endlessly as your imagination (or time) allows!

The app also lets you play with the opacity and luminosity of each filter, so you can blend effects.

I've had fun playing with the minifigs in FilterMania 2, and they're finding a whole new whacky world out there. I also like the spooky effects blended with some of my photos from last year's Cambodia trip!

For $4.49 (USD), FilterMania 2 is definitely worth it for the fun factor.

Anzac Day, once again makes me proud to be Australian

I can't believe another Anzac Day has rolled round ! This year, we decided to do something a bit different from the annual ritual of going to the Brisbane dawn service. We headed instead to the service at Bulimba Memorial Park.

The day started with a small parade down Oxford Street, past dignatories including local member, Kevin Rudd, and then a crowded gathering on the street outside Woolies and the park.

This service had much more of a community feel to it and was lovely under sunny blue skies and the rows of huge trees, planted in memory of local diggers who did not come home.

As always, I choked up when they played the Last Post - it gets me every single time I hear that piece of music.

We then hot-footed it into the city to catch the start of the Brisbane Anzac Day March. This is my fourth year of photographing the parade, and I can definitely pick repeat marchers out of the thousands of men and women who do it each year. It's always nice to see them marching proudly down Adelaide Street. There seemed to be bigger crowds than last year, which was also great to see!

I wish I could learn the stories of some of the people I photograph each year in the march. The look on their faces is one of steely determination and pride, and I would just love to hear about their journey.

Australian flags were waving madly today, and as always on Anzac Day, I'm reminded of how proud and lucky I am to live in this country.

There's a bunch more of my photos on my Flickr Photostream.

Hope you had a wonderful Anzac Day 2013, and lest we forget xx.