30-Day Project | Day 2 | Milky Way Over Laverton

One of the great things about being in the Australian Outback is the view of the night sky. There are very few places I have been in the world where I was able to see the full Milky Way from horizon to horizon. With so little light pollution, the views of the stars are uninterrupted.

National Geographic did a big cover story on the growing problem of light pollution in the world today and how our night sky is vanishing.  Here is an excerpt from that article that I found particularly relevant this evening:

“Living in a glare of our own making, we have cut ourselves off from our evolutionary and cultural patrimony—the light of the stars and the rhythms of day and night. In a very real sense, light pollution causes us to lose sight of our true place in the universe, to forget the scale of our being, which is best measured against the dimensions of a deep night with the Milky Way—the edge of our galaxy—arching overhead.”

I took this photo up on a hill overlooking the town of Laverton.  On top of this hill is a big water tower which is sort of a landmark here in town.  I wanted to get something that said “Laverton” against the night sky.  Also, as I found out, there are a few people in town lobbying for an observatory.  They are currently applying for funding so I gave them this photo to use in their grant applications.  They want to show how spectacular it really is out here.  Hopefully this photo will help:

The Milky Way over Laverton, Australia

30 Day Project | Day 1 | Outback

I have decided that I haven’t been taking enough pictures since I arrived in Australia.  Maybe I can blame it on the stress of finding an apartment, perhaps blame it on the fact that there were too many errands to run.  But really, there isn’t an excuse for it.  So, I am going to start a 30-day project in which I set out to make at least one picture a day for the next 30 days and then post it on this blog.  They won’t necessarily be the most amazing or portfolio-worthy photos, but the idea is to just get out and take pictures no matter what.  If anything, it will get me back into the swing of things before I really dive deep into my graduate project.

So, speaking of my graduate project, I just arrived in Laverton, Western Australia for my very first week-long visit.  My goal this week is to get acquainted with the town, and meet as many people as possible.  The real picture taking aspect of the project will probably start further down the line.  This morning I just wandered around the town and then into the outskirts of Laverton.  I had my iPhone with me with a new camera app on it called “Hipstamatic” which basically just messes with the colors and borders of your photos.  So, for Day 1 of the 30-day project, here is a picture of the wide-open Outback on my walk this morning shot with the iPhone.  Luckily, I haven’t been bitten/eaten by any poisonous creatures….. yet…..

Laverton Australia

And where the hell is Laverton you might ask?  Well, I have marked it for you on this handy interactive Google Map:

View Larger Map

Aussie Land

Well, Chelsea and I finally made it to Australia this past Thursday.

After spending a few days in Sydney, we are sitting in the airport waiting for our flight to Perth, Western Australia where we will base ourselves for the next 3/5/6/12 months… haven’t quite decided how long yet…

Although it is winter here, I do not miss the Missouri heat and humidity one bit.  I will take Australian winter over Missouri summer any day.  And by Australian winter, I mean it is 68 degrees during the day and everyone wears knit hats, scarves, and winter coats.

Here is one picture I took last night while riding the ferry into Circular Quay in Sydney Harbour.  More photos to come later!


Before leaving L.A. we all went to see a concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  That night, the Buena Vista Social Club and Goldfrapp were playing.  I’m not a big fan of Goldfrapp but Buena Vista Social Club was amazing and I think any concert at the Hollywood Bowl is fun to go to.  Goldfrapp did get the group dancing though as evidenced by Beth in the picture below.

And no trip to California is complete without a stop at In-N-Out Burger– which was a good choice after the concert.

Venice Beach Is… Interesting…

My last post was color overload, so I will go ahead and make this post black and white.  The POYi crew stopped by Venice Beach on Saturday and it is definitely one of the best people watching places I have ever visited.  In addition to having interesting people, Venice Beach also has a place to play about every random sport you could think of, from handball to competitive weight lifting.  It was a good day at the beach.

Lights of Santa Monica Pier

I have been in LA for the last week for the Pictures of the Year International awards ceremony.  Our first night, we went to the Santa Monica Pier at night.  It’s pretty colorful…