Vale Peter Giafis – A true Gentleman and a Mentor

It was very sad to learn late last night that Peter Giafis had passed away.  Peter was an institution in the ABC at Southbank Melbourne, always with one of his Nikon’s over his shoulder.

For my last few years at ABC Southbank Peter was someone I looked up to ( and not just because he was tall ), but for his help, guidance and amazing knowledge of photography.  Knowledge that he shared so willingly with all those that asked. I am a better photographer than I could have ever been thanks to his guidance and support.

His curiosity about cameras and photography helped shaped my photography is many ways.  His quiet nature in taking “the” shot and how he blended into the background is a skill I struggle to master. His use of light and subject have lead to many photos that recorded history in not just the ABC, but around Australia.

Lighting at SouthbankI will always have fond memories of chasing lightning photos with Peter on the roof of the Southbank building, discussing the latest in Nikon gear and which lens to use for which purpose. Sharing what I had shot with him over the weekend to see what I could improve on.

Big lensHis generosity even lent to him bring his prize 600mm F4 lens to work so we could test if the D90 really could run any lens. Which the camera passed in flying colours of course. Even with the Bigma lens, my camera still misses the beauty that was the 600mm lens.

In 2010 it was amazing to be a finalist in the  2010 Getty Images Grab competition along side Peter,  ( Finalists Flickr Link ) and whilst neither of us won, to be shortlisted along side Peter gave me a major confidence boost.

Oh look nikon-itis' shootingAfter I left Aunty I still ran into Peter at a number of events that he was photographing.  I had the pleasure of a whole day with him at the Point Cook airshow early this year. The last time I saw Peter was a discussion just before the Moomba fireworks on the best place to shoot them.

Of course he got the one shot that I missed that day at Point Cook, that killer shot of luck and the real photographers eye, but I still have the daytime lightning shot that he missed.
Mustang & Moon

Peter was a true gentleman in every meaning of the word.  The world of photography suffered a loss this week.

My deepest sympathy to those the knew him and to his partner  condolences to his partner Effie Katrakazos.

Vale Peter.


(The photos are in order: ABC photo of Peter, daytime lightning taken at ABC Southbank Vic, Peter’s photo of me with his 600mm lens, Peter at Point Cook this year, and Peters shot of a Mustang with the Moon from Point Cook )



“seal of confession is inviolate” what a load of bullshit!

It really is quiet simple when you take the time to think about it.

The “Catholic” God does nothing to stop child abuse by priests. The young and vulnerable are abused by those in a place of authority. Yet the church relies on priests being able to admit there crimes in confession. That way they have made peace with god and thus can go to heaven after saying a few Hail Mary’s. The victims, well they suffer, they committee suicide, they remain broken with some harbouring violence inside that lashes out at those around them.

But what did God do during all of this. Nothing, nothing at all.

Then today comes the statement from a former Catholic priest accused of molesting boys “God made us this way and it’s his fault”.

So when Pell addresses the media going on the attack, then explains that  “seal of confession is inviolate” can go take a running jump IMHO.

The church DOES NOT have a right to hide behind an archaic system that has no place in a secular state. The law exists for a reason, not for those to say oh but my invisible sky friend will fix everything when the perpetrator of the crime dies.

Any priest that uses the excuse that “I was told something in confession I can’t tell” is guilty of covering up what is a most horrendous crime. Why do they feel that they are above common law. Because a 2000 year old book, most of which they ignore anyway tells them to do so.

If the Royal Commission doesn’t address this serious short coming in the Church children will continue to suffer.


No SMEG you’re not a Fucking Expert.

Oh for crying out loud suddenly all the SMEG’s ( Social Media Expert Guru’s ) and the wanna be SMEG’s are now experts on the inner workers of the human mind.  Suddenly how to deal with a bully can be put into a pretty flow chart or a ranty blog post and everything will be just fine. Life isn’t black and white, (it certainly isn’t 50 shades of grey either) nor can it be condensed to 140 chars.

The arguments seem to be either a: Don’t feed the trolls, or b: Person X is bad because they did something different bad to person Y.

I mean WTF, seriously, get over yourselves. So ignoring the hate comments telling to kill yourself is the only thing to do.  Why not draw attention to what is being said?  How people deal with this is a complicated issue.  An issue that can change in the blink of an eye, 1 or 2 comments fine most people can ignore, but a barrage of them, that is going to hurt. Shades of first they came for… then they came for me in that defence.

Even the conspiracy theorists have piped up with their two cents worth stating it was all “too convenient”

Of course there is also the small matter of what does it matter, say compared to 5 Australian Diggers dying.  I hadn’t heard of the parties involved prior to yesterday. Why, because I didn’t care for that kind of TV show.  Now when I don’t care for a TV show, I don’t rant and rave about it, I just don’t watch it.  Radical concept I know, but a few of you should try it out sometime.

I’d rather rant and rave about how my fav TV show has been cancelled, or that the final ep of BSG should have finished 30 min earlier than it did.

I am not an expert, I never claimed to be, but personal attacks are just not on.  I will criticise politicians, and I will criticise “I got daddy’s money” mining billionaires all the time.  But I don’t make it about their appearance or their personality, I’ll make it about the policy and the impact that has on people. And if I don’t care, I don’t care, I just won’t watch nor interact with them.

Of course last weekend everyone was an expert on Trademark and IP law, the week before Norwegian criminal law and next week it will be on the inner workers of a device that has not been released yet.

Perhaps a few less flow charts and a few less non qualified two bit psychologists ranting about how someone they don’t know, and a situation, they don’t and can’t have all the facts on, should have done something different really could not go astray at this time.

Now excuse me whilst I go to continue my push for TV execs to release plot outlines for shows 6 months after they are cancelled, cause that at least might achieve something.

Just stop and think how awesome this photo is #MSL

Stop and think about this shot.

What you need.

  • 1 probes around Mars
  • 1 Mars Science Lander ( MSL )
  • The MSL was launched Nov. 26, 2011
  • The chute was open for just over one minute.
  • When the chute opened the MSL was doing Mach 1.7
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter needed to be pointing in the right location
  • It took 8months for Curiosity to get to Mars
  • The journey of the MSL was 566 million kilometers
  • It takes commands or info 13.8 minutes to travel each way
  • Praying to get the shot wasn’t going to work, but Maths and Physics did
  • The shot was taken from a distance of 340 kilometers
  • 1 second out in the timing and the shot would be of just Mars ( still cool when you think about it )


And that is just for starters.  This is big science people and it is big in how awesome it is.

and see The real cost of the Curiosity by John Birmingham as well.


My invisible sky friend said it is ok to cover up child abuse.

On ABC News Breakfast, Father Kevin Bourke admitted that even if a priest came into the confessional and admitted to child sex crimes he WOULD NOT go to the police.

Using phrases such as “Church Law” (what about common law, what about common decency), he went on to talk about the priest in the hypothetical senario, but with little pause for the victim.

Of course it is the “sacred responsibilities” that mean he has to keep quiet. It is the sanctity of the church and the sacrament of the confessional.  What a giant load of crap.

The church says the confessional means the person has admitted their sin before god.  What an even bigger load of crap.

Where was your “invisible sky friend” when it came to the victim of child abuse.  And don’t start me on the “it is all part of his great plan” crap.

What plan allows children to be abused by those in such a position of trust and then allows that to be covered up.

I don’t care if the question was a hypothetical or not.  The answer goes to the heart of what is wrong with the church. Even after all that has come out in the last few years they still reach for an easy excuse to cover up a heinous crime. I don’t believe in any god, and yet my moral compass ( to their denial I am sure ) is more focused than anything the church can produce.


Queensland – Where Monkey Trials are 2012 not ’25

Yesterday during the LNP Conference a little discussed (outside of Policy Wonk and Teacher Circles ) Motion was passed.

The members of course overwhelmingly voted to ensure the removal of “environmental propaganda” about climate change from schools.

Now this should just alarm people a little, but a hell of a lot.  The 1925 “Scopes Trial, or more commonly referred to as the Scopes Monkey Trial” was about teaching evolution in schools.

The science around Climate Change is in the same situation.  Where those with a vested interest seek to pervert education and thus children’s minds.

That is unless you seriously believe that tens of thousands of scientists (and the actual Climate as well) around the world are in some massive cover up, with only a small fraction not in agreement.

What is the worst that could happenThe science is in on Climate Change, the evidence is all around.  Yet the right wing of politcs seeks to undermine the very fabric of our education system to push their own agenda.

Whether or not this motion will have an impact on actual curriculum is yet to be seen, however the current state of the Queensland parliament is such that any such motion adopted by the government would pass with no effort.

Campbell Newman is a “screaming leftie hippy” when compared to his Federal counter part Tony Abbott.  Yet under the Conservative, almost Tea Party politics Queensland has lurched into this dangerous territory.

A taste of what would come to the rest of Australia under a very religious man, who in the past has used his own person religious beliefs to deny women access to RU486.  Abbott will be watching closely the change to the education system in Queensland.

This isn’t just a little be scary, this is a very dangerous state of being.  How long before “Intelligent Design” is brought in to the science room, how long before science is just simply replaced with Bible Studies.


Thoughts on being a father to the #wolfcatcubs for one year.

#wolfcatcubs - from 10 days old to 1 Year

I have been a father for 12 months now… it feels both a short period of time and the longest year of my life.

So here are a few observations I have had. Whilst most of these are YMMV (Your milage may vary), the variance is predominately in the it could be worse sorry to say.

These are in no particular order…

  • You can survive on 3-4 hours broken sleep for the first 3 months of a baby’s life.  Your ability to function or even have low level reasoning however is completely gone.
  • Leaving the house at a set time will never happen.  In fact, leaving for an appointment 2 hours late rapidly becomes, wow we are nearly on time.
  • Dinner time is the time that babies will wake, cry, notice something, make a smell and generally do anything to stop you sitting down and eating warm food.
  • Takeway food is your best friend, more so if it can be eaten cold.
  • Twins are not twice as hard as a single baby.  They are four times as hard.  Imaging a screaming baby needing something 24×7, double that… then add extra fatigue, grumpyness and the need to go to the toilet in a hurry ( and I am not talking about the babies here!)
  • Twins cost 4x as much.  Well maybe 3 times as much.  That favourite sleeping rug, you will need 4 of them, 2 on the go, then 2 as spares, repeat for nearly everything they own.
  • Mr Creosote has NOTHING on a child that is vomiting.  The smell of ½ digested formula is also the smell of the Gates of Hades.
  • You never get used to nappies, people that say you do are lying.
  • If a single baby is said to ruin your sex life, don’t have twins.  My wife and I have spent more nights apart in the same house since we meet.
  • A comfy couch that you can sleep on is a bloody good investment before you have children.  Put the child in a rocker put rocker next to couch, rock baby till either you or baby falls asleep.
  • Having a work place with other parents is beyond helpful.  Running a bit late, brain addled due to lack of sleep they will understand.
  • People that say, you don’t know what it is like till you have children are CORRECT.  This also applies for parents of twins.
  • If you have twins people will ask you “Are the Twins”.  The correct answer is not “No they are a medical experiment that went wrong”
  • That idea that during the first year you will take lots of photos of your children and keep your blog up to date… just forget it.
  • Family in the same city as you that can come and give you a few hours break… fantastic. ( Note: we do not have this, so it is more of a projection )
  • They say a baby cries for a reason, but bugger me if I know what the reason is most of the time.
  • Having children may well strengthen your relationship, but only if you survive the first 12 months. There is a bloody good reason the divorce rate for Twin parents is so much higher.
  • Never complain you are tired in front of your wife.  Sure you got 3 hours sleep, but the 8 hours at work away from the crying is invaluable.
  • Babies have an amazing ability to sense when you are trying to do something and will wake the second you start ( writing this blog post was interrupted 3 times for example )
  • That crying baby in front of you in the plane, train, bus, cafe that you are complaining about, guess what 99% of parents are trying to stop it crying.  You think it is bad for that short amount of time, do it 24X7.

And finally, I still wouldn’t swap them… well maybe for a good nights sleep.


Here are Two People that support the Carbon Tax

The Carbon tax isn’t about you and me…

it is about our children….

Here are mine…. I for one welcome it for them.

No Dad, it is not bedtime, didn't you know that #wolfcatcubs

The LOLstralian – Paywalls and Public content ( How News Ltd plans it survival in the digital age.)

How News Ltd plans it survival in the digital age.

Step 1:

Create Content using publicly available information.

Step 2:
Place content behind a rock solid paywall. (By rock solid, I mean picture a sponge that has been shot at with a shotgun, the dropped from a great hight and shot again )

Step 3:
Embed public facing third party platform on your page behind said paywall.

Yes, News Ltd the world is laughing… but at you, not with you when it comes to what is happening to Fairfax.



Hey Main Stream Media… not everything on the internet is real you know. #melbquake.

Many of you may have seen the #melbquake video showing a cat strumming a guitar while the earthquake happened.

Of course if you stopped and thought about it, it was a fake. The camera person didn’t react, the cat’s reaction wasn’t right, the sound wasn’t right and the quake didn’t come in 3 waves…. but hey it was a cute video.

The “Cat earthquake Video”

The “Original Version” ( Very hard to find, you know you had to read the comments in the video )

And for the bonus extra laughs The Channel 7 news version.

Once again, traditional media seems to think that Youtube is like some wire service when it comes to attribution, really is it that hard to put the persons name in the super ( See my previous run in with Channel 9 lifting my content here ).

That aside, did either 7 or 10 even bother to check the video or in the rush to put something out (22 hours later) did you think no one would notice. It is a pity more people don’t question the content you show on your “news”.

Funny how footage coming out of Syria or Egypt often has a voice over saying “unverified”, but this content must be legit because it was on youtube.

I won’t even go into the News Ltd articles that were behind a paywall which featured nothing more than user generated content from twitter, that is a whole other rant.

Beyond pathetic, beyond lazy and if you were wondering why MSM is in trouble, wonder no more.


In a unrelated note: there is my “I survived” t-shirt.