Melbourne cityscape long exposures on film

•November 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Last week I posted some shots of Melbourne’s skyline from one of my favourite spots up high as the sun was about to set… well, after the sun set I tried my hand at some long-exposure night photography – using film.

I had never used film to take long-exposures at night before, so I wasn’t sure what film to use.  I decided to go with Portra 800, as Portra has pretty much the finest grain you will get with film.

These were shot at 100 ISO rather than 800; admittedly this was accidental, but it turned out to be a happy accident.  Aperture was set to f22, and the shutter speed of the Pentax ME is automatic according to the light reading.







I’m looking forward to doing some more long exposure night photography experiments with film soon.

x Kitten of Doom

A balmy night, city lights and pink boots

•November 18, 2015 • 2 Comments

Once again, I forgot my own blog’s birthday.  It was November 16… oops.

It’s year number six this time around, and as I once posted a silly selfie in celebration of my blog’s birthday, here’s a selfie for you.


It’s not silly, and it’s not particularly creative either; it’s just your standard rooftop/exploring-type shot.  The type that’s all too common these days.  But it was nice to chill out in this spot, and Melbourne was finally getting some nice spring weather, so that made it even better.  Look at those bare shoulders!

I was also breaking in my new Palladium Boots.  I only discovered this brand recently, and I can’t believe I didn’t know about them earlier, being the massive boot fan that I am.  They don’t seem to be well-stocked in Australian shoe stores.  I had a hard time choosing from all the styles on their website.  Doc Martens now have some competition when it comes to my boot purchases.  I also need three more jobs to pay for them all.


The boots are salmon-pink.  Yes, it’s a goth fail on my part.  Bad goth!  (No really, goths can wear pink… sometimes… right..?)  Then again, look at how I’m dressed.  I seem to be losing my goth-ness with age.  Aw.

Here is a bonus shot for you.  I actually shot these photos with Tan, so technically it wasn’t a selfie anyway, but a collaborative shot.  Tan is my favourite person to collaborate, explore and drool over awesome footwear with.


Happy sixth birthday to you, li’l blog!

x Kitten of Doom


•November 17, 2015 • 5 Comments

There are few things more peaceful and enjoyable than catching a sunset from a high vantage point, away from the masses.  I revisited a favourite spot I hadn’t been to for a few years recently, along with Bryce who is working on a video project of Melbourne CBD.

The last time I was here, it was my final night in Melbourne before heading off to Europe for an indeterminate period of time; actually it was only about eight hours before my plane was due to leave.  I didn’t bring my camera because my tripod was packed away in storage and as it was night time, I figured it would be pointless without a tripod.  Silly me, I should have just used the ledges to stabilise my camera (which is what I did on my most recent visit).  So I got no photos the first time except for one iphone photo.  (As a side note: see how there is a clear view of the Rialto in this photo?  This view is now obstructed by a huge new building.)

This time around I didn’t even have a DSLR to contemplate bringing; I took my Pentax ME, which is my favourite film camera, and used up the rest of the roll of expired Vista 200 that was in it (at least, that’s what I think the film was… I really need to start noting down what film I’m using; I always forget).  Incidentally, I bought a brand new 6D a couple of weeks after these photos were taken.

Is it just me or does Melbourne resemble a bunch of beige and brown boxes from this angle?





After the sun set and I finished the roll of Vista, I took a bunch of long-exposure nighttime shots with a roll of Portra 800.  I’ll post some of these soon.

x Kitten of Doom

Mediterranean laziness, part six: Sintra and Lisbon

•November 16, 2015 • 3 Comments

Kate, Gavin and I got into the back of a soft-top 4WD with a mother and son outside our ship when we docked in Lisbon, and were driven, along with four other 4WD’s, through Lisbon up to the Sinstra Mountains.  It was a great drive through Lisbon, even though it was an hour long – I liked that the drive was this long, even though most people would be more concerned with the destination than the drive there.  There were a lot of abandoned buildings and a lot of graffiti – two things that, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you would know I am a fan of.

When we got to the base of the mountains the ride became a lot slower but a lot of fun, as some of the inclines were quite steep.  It was fun bouncing around in the back of the 4WD, in addition to viewing the lovely mountain scenery.  When we stopped, we had to get out of the 4WD’s and put on helmets.  Turns out we’d be going for a bit of a climb, which none of us had been aware of.  Good thing I hadn’t worn thongs!  We climbed over and up and down quite a few boulders, the high ones offering us lovely views of the slightly foggy city far below.  When we reached a clearing, we all stopped for lunch.  As well as antipasto, there was also Portuguese beer, which made Gavin and I very happy.  We sat near a giant rock.  It was a cool rock.


Afterwards we all climbed back into the 4WD’s and drove a different route back to Lisbon, through the mountains.  We stopped at a lookout which gave a view from cliffs to the sea below.


Throughout the mountain drive we saw more beautiful architecture (seems you can’t get through Europe without stumbling across some beautiful architecture, dammit), and stopped for a break during which we strolled down a street lined with cute little shops (in one I bought a handmade ceramic salt-and-pepper set shaped like strawberries).



The drive back through Lisbon was fast and we were pretty tired by that point.  As the ship pulled away from the port, we got to see the Ponte 25 de Abril (25th of April Bridge), a suspension bridge that is over 2km long and bears a striking resemblance to the Golden Gate bridge.  The bridge connects Lisbon with Almada, and is so named to commemorate the Carnation Revolution).  Believe me when I say the top of the ship only just fit under the bridge!



We then sailed on to Vigo.  I didn’t take any photos here, and we only wandered around a little before returning to the ship, so I won’t do a post about Vigo.  I also realised I didn’t mention our stop in Marseille – our only French stop.  Kate, Gavin and I didn’t love the port, and I don’t have any photos from either, though Mum went off on her own and quite enjoyed it.  I would have liked to have checked out some of the cathedrals, and this just goes to show what some forward planning could have achieved!

Well that’s about it for my Mediterranean holiday and film photos.

x Kitten of Doom

Mediterranean laziness, part five: Cádiz

•November 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Like La Spezia, Cádiz too was a favourite stopover of mine. Amazing architecture again, a laid-back vibe (even in the more touristy spots) and nice weather made me want to spend a few days here, rather than the few hours we had.



After wandering the narrow, winding cobblestoned streets looking in shop windows and admiring the architecture, we found our way back at the water, in front of a wall barrier with rocks below.  Not far along the coast was a sandy beach.  I really wanted to go, but the others decided to head back to the boat early.  I continued wandering on my own – of course I went to the beach.



It was a beautiful walk, and I only wished I’d worn a bikini, but at most ports we’d stopped at there hadn’t been anywhere nearby where we could swim (that we could see, anyway).  Cádiz is beautiful, and swimming in the Mediterranean would have made for a good break from swimming in the ship’s chlorinated pools.  I did take my thongs off and wade in a little at least.



After my beach visit I bought some handmade bronze earrings from a street vendor and a handmade leather satchel bag from a leather store, and some gelato, before wandering back to the ship – slowly, so as to soak up as much sunshine and relaxed Mediterranean vibes as possible.

The next and final instalment is Sintra, Portugal.

x Kitten of Doom

Mediterranean laziness, part four: La Spezia and Monte Carlo

•November 14, 2015 • 2 Comments

La Spezia was definitely one of my favourite stops on our Mediterranean cruise, and my sister’s partner Gavin agreed with me.  My sister and mother decided to stay on the boat until our wine tour in Monte Carlo in the afternoon, so Gavin and I explored the port area of La Spezia on our own.


La Spezia has a very laid-back vibe and isn’t very crowded, making it a really lovely walk around in the sunshine.  The architecture is beautiful.


Every port we went ashore in, I would look at the little boats and wish I could go for a boat ride on one of them.  Small boats are so much better than large ships!  Especially when the water’s a bit rough.. or is it just me who thinks that?


After lunch a busload of us drove to a winery in Monte Carlo.  It was a drive of over an hour, and along the way we saw what looked like snow caps on the mountains. White mountain-tops.  Being Italy, as well as the middle of European summer, we realised it couldn’t possibly be snow.  Our guide confirmed that it wasn’t snow – it was marble!  So this is where the marble for all that ostentatious marble furniture comes from.  Marble has been mined from these mountains for over 2,000 years, and the end is nowhere in sight.  They are some very valuable mountains then.


When we got to the Fattoria Il Poggio winery we were given a short talk about the history of their family-run business, and found out they also produce olive oil.  The property is small and tranquil, and is was nice to spend an afternoon in such a quiet relaxing place rather than a city centre.


They fed us delicious antipasto, including their own olive oil for the bread, and a variety of their wines.  Everything, was delicioso.  I couldn’t resist purchasing a bottle of their olive oil to bring back home, as well as some hand cream (made from olive oil) and a recipe book.

Back on the boat, I tried my hand at shooting the sunset with film, as it was a truly stunning sunset.  Sunsets never quite translate well enough from reality to photographs, but you get the idea.


Next port of call: Cádiz.

x Kitten of Doom

Mediterranean laziness, part three: Cartagena and Rome

•November 13, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Uni has finished so I can now resume posting.

Cartagena is on the south-east coast of Spain and was founded in 227 BC.  We walked through the old town and came across the ruins of a Roman colosseum, and next to it, a cliff face that was hollowed out and used as a bomb shelter during the Spanish Civil War.  The shelter had been turned into a war museum, and to access it you had to travel up via a panoramic lift (bottom right of photo), which scared the hell out of my mother (she is easily scared though).  The views from the top were great though!



Next door was the Parque Torres and the Castillo de la Concepción, affording more great views of the city.


I wanted to get tapas but the others wanted to eat back on the ship.. boo!

Our next stop was Rome.  Obviously Rome isn’t on the coast – our port was Civitavecchia, and from there we drove in to Rome.  Rome is as crowded as you’ve heard it is, and crowded places in the summer heat aren’t always pleasant.  The line to get into the colosseum was huge (a couple of hours’ worth of waiting time, I believe) so we just admired from the outside.  My film photo of this turned out too dark, so here is a photo of nearby ruins:


I enjoyed walking alongside the river, and in some parts it didn’t feel as though there were as many people in the city.


We didn’t go inside the Vatican due to time constraints (you really do not get much time ashore when you are on a cruise.  I got to eat gelato and see cool angel statues though.  I also enjoyed looking at all the architecture as well as the graffiti on the bus ride to and from the city centre.


Next up is La Spezia and Monte Carlo.

x Kitten of Doom


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