Taking Videos This Christmas? Check out Vimeo’s Video School 101

If you’re new to video or would just like some tips to improve your videos this Christmas holidays then Vimeo has you covered with there Video School 101 lessons.

101 consists of 4 simple steps; Choosing a Camera, Shooting Basics, Editing Basics and Editing Details. Each of the steps contains a very easy (and slightly funny/annoying) to follow and understand video, highlighting basic tips to follow or consider when filming (some also apply to photography).

Gumnuts Farm Resort

Gumnuts Farm

Gumnuts Farm Resort is a horse riding resort, among many other things, situated on 140-acres in Canungra, QLD which is found in the Gold Coast hinterlands, approximately 70km south-west of Brisbane. Owned by the Webster family since 1985 the farm started as riding school for children during the school holidays and has since come to be a full-fledged farm stay, offering outback experiences for Australian and Japanese couples, families, tour groups, school camps, and holidays camps.

Although the farm has quite a few activities, including cow milking, boomerang throwing, whip cracking, shooting, Cattle & Dog Shows, and 4WD tours, the main focus of the farm is the horse riding tours. The horse riding tours range from half day tours to full day rides and includes all gear required (and a horse of course). According to the Gumnuts MySpace pages the farm has approximately 25 horses at their disposal; however unfortunately when we visited we were not given appropriate horses.

During our visit we were fortunate to have been the only people staying at the farm for the weekend, another couple was supposed to be arriving but did not show. Greeted by a very friendly group of Japanese farm hands we were quick to get started with the horse riding. Having only ever ridden a horse once prior to the farm stay it was fair to say that my horse riding skills were lacking, and as such, I would have expected to have been given a fairly relaxed, calm, and slow horse which I could feel comfortable upon… this was not the case.

The horse that I had been given was named King. He is a standardbred Gelding, with a stubborn nature and scares easily. The ride started off well, with four of us trotting along the main road, but then King decided he had had enough and decided to turn around to go back home. After some persuasion, he turned back around on the track and continued on our journey… that is until a car passed us, giving King a fright, sending him into a gallop. Luckily I was able to quickly bring him to a quick stop (before being thrown off). This was the first, but not last time this occurred. In the end, we decided that it would be best just to turn around and go back to the farm.

After arriving back at the farm we proceeded with the rest of the activities on our schedule; milking the cow, boomerang throwing, whip cracking, and shooting. The friendly staff were kind enough to let us take our time and enjoy each of the activities at our own leisure. Included in the farm stay were 3 meals (lunch, dinner, and breakfast) which were nothing fancy, but edible meals cooked by the farm hands. During the evening, after having completed all of the activities we had free roam of the farm, taking in the beautiful areas and getting some nice photos during sunset.

A great bonus of the farm is that it is extremely close to O’Reilly’s in Lamington National Park, for a significantly cheaper price than staying at the O’Reilly resort. All in all Gumnuts Farm Resort is a cheap and fun way to get back in touch with nature but is more suited for larger tourist groups then a couples/family getaway.

See Additional Photos From Gumnuts Farm Resort.

Lightroom 2.3

Adobe has release version 2.3 of Lightroom which includes a number of bug fixes. Some of the big fixes include a memory leak while processing files with local adjustments, failure to burn to disc on windows machines and undo (ctrl+z) on windows could a series of previous actions to be undone. The upgrade is free for all Lightroom 2.x users, with 1.x users required to purchase an upgrade disc (which if you haven’t already done, is definitely worth it with all the changes since version 1.x).

Update for Windows or Update for Mac.

Fort Lytton

Fort Lytton, Brisbane, Australia
Fort Lytton, Brisbane, Australia

Fort Lytton is a pentagonal fortress, built near the mouth of the Brisbane River, erected in 1881 to aid the controlled river mines in defending the Port of Brisbane until the end of the Second World War. It was Brisbane’s front line of defence and is regarded as the birthplace of Queensland military history. The fort is surrounded by a water-filled moat and connected by underground passages (although these underground passages do not appear to be visible anymore). After the Second World War, the fort was no longer deemed ‘useful’ and as such fell into a state of disrepair until Ampol took over the site in 1963 and later became a national park in 1988.

By the turn of the century, the Fort consisted of six gun pits and two machine gun posts. The arsenal included (Most of which can be seen at the Fort either in their original placing or in the historical museum – some of the larger fixed emplacements are replicas now):

  • 2x 6 inch BL 5 tonne Armstrong guns
  • 2x 6 pounder QF Hotchkiss guns
  • 1x 4 barrel 1-inch Nordenfelt machine gun
  • 1x 10 barrel 0.45inch Nordenfelt machine gun
  • 2x 64 pounder RML guns

The Fort is open every Sunday and on public holidays from 10am until 4pm. Entry fee is $4.50 for adults (includes a tour or self-exploration if you wish) but is a small price to pay for a good afternoon of historical exploration. Additionally (unconfirmed if this is every Sunday or only during certain times throughout the year) they fire one of the cannons three times during the day. When I visit the site the times posted were 11am, 1pm and 3pm. If you’re a budding photographer I would suggest arriving just prior to 11 am to catch the first cannon firing and then after spending the next two hours wandering around and having a bite to eat (great spot for a picnic lunch – portable bbq’s are welcome) it will be time for the second firing. You might be surprised how quick the firing happens, I certainly was!

See additional photos from Fort Lytton.

Update: I’ve been told that they fire the cannons the first Sunday of every month.

Historical information from: http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/find_a_park_or_forest/fort_lytton_national_park Continue reading “Fort Lytton”

Must Do: Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park

Lamington National Park is approximately two hours drive South / South-West of Brisbane, next to Springbrook. Like Springbrook Lamington National Park is covered in luscious green fields and mountains, long, windy roads, and plenty of natural beauty to experience up close and personal. Although the national park occupies a large area and boasts over 160 km of walking trails, one of the more popular areas to visit is O’Reilly’s .

Situated 930 metres above sea level, in the heart of Lamington National Park, O’Reilly’s is a great starting point for discovering the surrounding area. Accessible only via a two way, single lane, road up a windy mountain it would be wise to take your time and enjoy the scenery – ensuring you watch out for the Kangaroos around dusk, as they pop out from the foliage. One thing you will notice while ascending the mountain is the rapid change from bushland to rainforest; suddenly less light is able to penetrate to the road and there is a distinct drop in temperature. Although it can still get fairly hot, I would suggest packing an extra set of warm clothes, just in case, as it does typically tend to be cooler in the rainforest areas.

Although O’Reilly’s has been able to – with marvellous engineering – provide a canopy walk of the rainforest, it is not very long or overly fascinating. Throw in some time feeding the birds at the resort and you may have been able to occupy yourself for an hour or two, but the real rewards await on some of the trail walks. With walks ranging from between 1 km to over 20km, you’re sure to find one to suit you.

One particularly enjoyable track is the Moran’s Falls’ track, which takes you on a leisurely 4.6km (return) through a sub-tropical rainforest to the top of Moran’s Falls’. Although the Moran’s Falls’ track takes you across the waterfall, to a picnic area with spectacular views (see image above), those more daring (ensuring all safety precautions are taken) can follow the stream a bit to the edge of the waterfall. Please do be warned though – this is a very high cliff face and any slip could lead to serious or fatal injuries or death.

Note: Prior to visiting Lamington National Park, as with all National Parks, it is important to check the EPA website for any warnings or closures.

See additional photos from Lamington National Park.