Monthly Archives: September 2007

Brisneyland after Dark

“You take a picture too with my camera yes?” asks Japanese tourist #20
“Ehmm, no I can’t I gotta stop now” I say…
“I am very very sorry but I have to shoot my own pictures now!”

I am completely alone at the Kangaroo Cliffs look-out with a gorgeous view of Brisbane; ready to shoot a long exposure cityscape. Not a soul around and the light is phenomenal, even a few clouds have announced their presence making the scene even better. I have camera and tripod set up and have already shot the sunset now waiting for my dusk shot.  All of a sudden… a big bus of Japanese tourists comes to a screeching halt and about 30 people with 150 cameras jump out and run around all over the place! They all have to get group photos of course and take turns shooting the other 29 standing in front of the city – until they spot me! Now they have a photographer and I suddenly have 150 cameras! They’re all extremely nice and polite and I don’t mind helping them at all and shooting their pictures but after 10 minutes of shooting with a lot of posing in different positions by them and switching cameras and fiddling with buttons and menus by me (I hate digital compacts, impossible to use) – I have to say “stop, my light is disappearing, gotta go use my own camera, I am so very sorry!” So each and everyone of them thanks me a million times and jump on their bus and off they go again as fast as they appeared – and I have a funny story and just enough time to get the late dusk light and shoot this:

Click to see larger size My shot of ‘Brisneyland’ at dusk, from Kangaroo Cliffs look-out

Brissy, Brisvegas, Brisneyland…Brisbane seems to attract a lot of nicknames from everyone not living here. Most locals will tell you though that this is just jealousy from Aussies from the South! Brisbane is now recognised as one of the best cities to live in Australia and Brisbane is the fastest growing city down here, growing at a rate of about 1000 people moving here a week! The population of Brisbane is currently around 1,7 million although that number is an estimate; no one seems to know the actual number. Like a lot of places in mid- and southern Australia Brisbane is in the middle of the the worst drought in recorded history, quite critical really and we’re on level 5 water restrictions here and you really have to watch your use of water. There’s something like 17% of the normal water level in the water reserves and Brisbane could potentially run out of water a year from now unless some serious rain saves everyone come Summer. Scary stuff but reality for a lot of Australians!

Click to see larger size

I really like Brisbane, it’s a lot like Copenhagen – all the perks of a big city but without actually being a big city. It’s still small and compact enough that you can get around easily on foot and the Brisbane River and the parks and botanical gardens makes sure that the huge highrises are not allowed to completely dominate the landscape. The architecture could not be more different to Copenhagen; most buildings are brand new and very tall steel, concrete and glass highrises dominate the cityscape and reach for the sky (see my shot to the left) giving it a bit of a Metropolis or Blade Runner sci-fi look to Scandinavian eyes. The river is utilised extremely well with lots of boardwalks and public spaces overlooking the river and providing heaps of spots to shoot from! Add all of this up and you have one brilliant town for me to shoot some cityscapes (something I believe I am rather good at) at dusk where all the lights here come alive and mix with the light of dusk – by far best time to shoot cityscapes (and get attacked by swarms of mozzies!).

Here’s a few of the best, many more in my gallery:

Click to see larger size Click to see larger size

It was a culture shock landing here though. After spending over a month in places like Darwin, Uluru and Cairns I wasn’t prepared for hectic big-city life, noise, shops, traffic and people absolutely everywhere etc. The first day I got here it was windy and cold (only about 22-23c degrees) and I was freezing. Well the heat is back, ever since then it’s been close to 30c degrees every day and sunny! I do miss one thing though: the outback and the outback feel of much smaller cities like Darwin and Cairns. There’s nothing even remotely outback about Brissy, this is big-city life!


  • Emo-kids. What a strange phenomenon (albeit not one that should bother anyone they don’t seem to bother anyone, they’re just…dark and emotional I guess). Maybe you know them, maybe you’ve seen them (they seem to spread worldwide, like an epidemic you find them everywhere). Here’s Wikipedia’s definition. I saw no Emo-kids in Darwin or Cairns I guess in the tropics it must simply be too hot to be an Emo-kid and wear all those black clothes and the weather is just too good to be depressed and emotional! Either that or they’ve all simply moved South because here in Brisbane there is like a convention of Emo-kids and there are heaps of them! Must be Emo-Kid headquarters, maybe I have found the source and this is where it all started and the Emo-Kid queen is hiding somewhere here?
  • Too everyone who wears ‘Crocs’ shoes (another worldwide epidemic, pandemic I believe it’s called) I apologise beforehand….But please take them off and burn them and apologise for ever wearing them! Yes they look awful! Yes I don’t care you think they’re comfortable. No they don’t go with any of your clothes especially since you bought the pink ones. Yes it makes it even worse you bought Crocs for your entire family! It’s a pandemic I tell ya, world wide emergency and UN must do something now!
  • Health, exercise and albatross update: The other day it hit me. I feel physically great. Really good. I used to get headaches a lot like every other day but I haven’t had a single headache since I went on this trip! It must be all the exercise I am doing hehe! Actually I am doing alright, running and exercising every day so I reckon I get as much exercise as I got back home. The albatross is presently making life dangerous for people on the Eagle Street pier boardwalk here in Brisbane. You have been warned! Btw whenever you fly in helicopters or small planes they need to weigh you so when they do that I can tell if I have eaten too many chips and need to run and fall over some more 😀

Quote of the day:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. An Albatross running on Eagle Street Pier. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate.
– Batty in Blade Runner (with a small addition done by me)

I’m on tour next week (me and my band you know) so don’t know if I’ll have much internet access before next Saturday – see ya then mates!


Humpback Whales in Moreton Bay

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My shot of a humpback whale calf doing a breach with Moreton Island in the background

I am currently in Brisbane in South Queensland and this is one of if not the best spot in Australia to go whale watching! The main reason for this is Moreton Bay; each year the southern humpback whales migrate to and from Antarctica and the whales seem to love Moreton Bay. They don’t just pass through in their migration they feed, mate and play in the crystal clear and clean sea of Moreton Bay. Another reason is actually that there are only two whale watching boats allowed in Moreton Bay and they run at different times of the day so when you find a pot of whales the boat can stay with them as long as possible, there are no other boats to consider – you got it all for yourself. This is brilliant since humpback whales are the most surface active whales and are naturally curious so often they will come close to the boat to check you out!

Brisbane Whale Watching is one of the two whale watching boats and this is the second time I’ve been on their custom built Eye-Spy catamaran and it’s a fantastic experience. I’ve written a blog post about this before, click here to read it, here’s what we saw this time.

One hour out of Redcliffe (about 30 mins. from Brisbane) we spot the first pot (a group of whales that travel together is called a pot) of whales and quickly spot pot 2 and 3 – there are whales all around us! They’re unfortunately not that interested in us and travel fast so after trying to keep pace with them we turn South to travel with the wind (making it a bit more comfortable for those passengers without sea legs) and look for other pots. It takes a while but suddenly we discover a mother and her very young baby calf playing just off the coast of Moreton Island! The calf is doing big breaches and tail slaps and it’s such a thrill to witness these large and graceful mammals; these gentle giants playing and it is a very humbling and inspiring experience (how some countries can still allow commercial whaling is beyond me – stop it now please!)

Now photographing these giants is an event all in itself. It is incredibly hard. They breach the surface with no warning and you have to be faster than Lucky Luke to draw your camera and shoot away and get a shot – with one hand! You’re holding on to the railing with your other hand ‘cos the boat is getting kicked around by short ‘n hard choppy waves that makes you feel like you’re riding a huge rodeo horse. And spend too much time looking through the viewfinder and you will definitely get motion sickness (you have to shoot with both eyes open)! It’s extremely fun and challenging (and NOT for people who get seasick!) On the top deck of the catamaran with a 360 degree view of the ocean it hits you that the ocean is rather large and the chances of a big humpback doing a big breach near the boat in the direction I am presently looking AND me reacting fast enough to shoot it AND actually getting the whale in the viewfinder AND getting the shot in focus etc – are very small to say the least! Wildlife photography is the ultimate patience tester I reckon. I managed some shots I am happy with, some a bit out of focus but even the USM focus in my L lenses had trouble keeping up! Here’s a few, more on my gallery:

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Humpback mother whale with calf doing a breach

Click to see larger size

Humpback calf doing a big breach

It is so much fun and seeing humpback whales in their environment is such a phenomenal experience (and not an easy thing to experience living in Copenhagen) I may very well end up going again while I’m here in Brisbane!

PS. This really is not for people who get seasick. The sea was fairly rough and the catamaran gets kicked around a lot by the waves and a less fun part of working on the boat is cleaning up after people who involuntarily say hello again to their breakfast! You can just picture the job interview “So you’d love to work on our boat you say. Well, how do you feel about ehhhh…vomit?” I don’t get seasick, but eat a pill just in case – it’s extremely easy to induce motion sickness when you look through a camera viewfinder while you’re moving – try it if ya like, look through a viewfinder or a pair of binoculars and spin around a bit and look up and down at the same time – there ya’ go, instant motion sickness 😀


  • This weekend is the biggest of the year in Australian sports! Saturday it’s the AFL (Australian Football) grand final between Port Adelaide and Geelong and Sunday it’s the Rugby League grand final between The Melbourne Storm and Manly Sea Eagles. It doesn’t get any bigger than this, Australians love sports (so do I) so every pub will be packed and streets will be deserted! Both AFL and Rugby League are great action packed sports so I’m going to find the pub with the biggest screen and get some beers and join in the fun!
  • The Danish TV show “Rejseholdet” is shown on channel SBS down here, it’s called “Unit One”. I was channel surfing and landed on SBS, after a while I noticed that the actors looked familiar. Then I started listening, what is that? Then it hit me, they’re speaking Danish, that’s “Rejseholdet”. I haven’t heard or spoken one word of Danish since I left so it took a few secs to register. As some will know I happen to talk to myself on occasion or talk to my computer (don’t worry I don’t get into arguments with myself…now the computer is another story) but I always do that in English anyway!

Quote of the day (in Danish for a change):

“Lacour du tager gerningsstedet, Fischer afhører naboerne”

– in honour of “Rejseholdet” or “Unit One” as it’s known here.

Traveling Photographer – my office on the road

July 2010: This post is 3 years old and completely outdated, I will write a new one soon.

I thought it would be fun to show you how my mobile office looks setup here in a hotel room:

My office on the road, click for larger size

Pictured is

  • Asus V6V ultra slim light weight laptop, spyder2 colour calibrated screen
  • Sandisk high speed CF card reader
  • Western Digital 250 GB external harddrive for backups
  • Canon L lenses 17-40mm, 70-200mm and 1.4 extender
  • Creative Ipod external speakers (surprisingly ok, heaps better than the laptop speakers)

Missing from the picture is of course my Canon EOS 5D (using that to take the picture) with 24-105mm f/4.0 L lens, 2 Hoya polarizer filters, 20 blank DVDs for backup, Gorillapod SLR-zoom travel tripod (works really well, very surprised), 2 Ipods and an awful lot of power supplies, battery chargers and a lot of other small gadgets (like a solar powered mossie repellant and a GPS tracker which I unfortunately broke in the outback).

Workflow: I use the brilliant Breeze Systems Downloader Pro to download raw files from my memory cards and it automatically creates a backup copy of the raw files on the external WD harddrive and keeps track of all files, ensures that all files on the memory card are copied with no duplicates etc. Super piece of software. I then burn copies as well on DVDs so I have 3 copies of every RAW file. (can’t be too careful!) I then use the phenomenal Rawshooter to quickly look through today’s shoot and pick out a few shots to develop and post on my website. I use Windows Live Writer to write blog entries (since it works offline as well). I am quickly approaching 2000 shots (and I don’t shoot heaps of every scene) and everything has worked perfectly so far (with a small 5D hiccup).

Everything fits in my Lowepro Computrekker laptop&camera backpack (it gets a bit too heavy but don’t tell that to Qantas) so I can bring everything onboard my flights as hand luggage! For daily use I have a Lowepro Stealth reporter shoulder bag for the camera + 1 or 2 lenses (on flights this then has to fit inside my 1 large check-in luggage bag since you can’t have more than 1 hand luggage and 1 check-in bag). It takes good organizational skills to be a traveling photographer and quite a bit of equipment and I reckon I’m traveling very light compared to some!

Wishlist: Oh there’s always  a tonnes of stuff that would be great to have. I’m fairly satisfied though. It’s expensive to be a gadget freak AND a computer freak AND a photographer. A new faster core2duo laptop with better screen would be nice. If I sell a lot of pictures – I might also get the soon-to-be-released Canon EOS 1Ds mkIII 21 megapixel full frame camera! And if I sell a truckload of pictures some day – a 6x17cm panorama camera! Ah actually I think the money will go into funding my next trip. Not much fun to have all that gear and not being able to afford to leave my flat 😀

Cairns; how I learned to love ya

Click to see larger size Sunrise view of Cairns and the Esplanade shot from my hotel room

A city that is mostly purpose built for tourism is always going to feel just a bit contrived; a bit too constructed with a bit of a theme park feel to it. Cairns currently has a population of about 125 000 but millions of tourists stay here every year and most of them to dive on the Great Barrier Reef; making Cairns one of the most popular dive destinations in the world. There are an unbelievable amount of different tours available in Cairns and it can feel sometimes like one big tourist resort.

Click to see larger size Cairns from above shot from my helicopter tour

However; look beyond all that and stay for some time and you discover a charming tropical town that is indeed very nice to call home for. I admit I did not like Cairns much last year, I was there for two days (spent 8 days in outback Cape York) and all I saw was tourists and souvenir shops everywhere. I arrived from Brisbane high on photographing big Cityscapes and was blind to the charms of Cairns. This time I was here for two weeks and ended up really liking Cairns! So it’s touristy. So what, I’m a tourist as well. Cairns still has a really nice small tropical town atmosphere with many quirky fun people and many things that are very hard to beat:

  • Amazing best-of-the-tropics experiences just a few hours away. Not many cities can claim they have World Heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest just next door and go further north (I did that last year) and you have the very remote Cape York outback. Cairns really is gateway to some phenomenal tropical experiences.
  • Tropical climate at this time of the year is just perfect. Sunny every day, around 27-30 degrees at day and around 18-20 degrees at night. Like some Cairns resident told me “It’s just pure hell living in Paradise”.
  • Cairns is right on the ocean’s edge and the 4km long Esplanade is a great construction and a super place to relax during the day. It even features a large pool with an artificial beach (since Cairns itself has no beach, it’s one long mudbank)
  • Laid back relaxed tropical lifestyle quickly becomes addictive!

Adding to this I managed to get a super nice (and huge, size of my flat back home) hotel room the last 7 days, top floor of Mercure Harbourside with a fantastic view of the Esplanade (see first picture in this post) from my roughly 6 meter long balcony. How to blag a room like this? Well the harbour view you pay extra for, but stay for quite a few days, say “make sure the room has internet as I’m a photographer and have business to do, lot’s of stuff to photograph here” (all the rooms have internet, but it helps to say you actually need it for business) Have your huge camera and lens on your shoulder when checking in and chances are you’ll get the best available room. It worked in Darwin, worked in Cairns! Waking up early every morning at 6am and watching the sunrise from my huge balcony on the 7th floor. Yeah, life’s pretty rough here!

Click to see larger size One of my shots from the Esplanade at sunrise

Click to see larger size The pool at the Pier on the esplanade

After spending two weeks in Cairns I have to agree with the bloke from Cairns who said to me “it’s pure hell living in paradise! More at my gallery.


  • I am now in big city Brisbane (known as “Brisvegas” or “Brissy”) and what a culture shock. I know Brisbane and really like it, have been here last year for a few days – but coming from the relatively small towns of Darwin and Cairns to a big city takes a lot of acclimatizing and is certainly a new chapter in this odyssey (I do miss my ocean view mega hotel room!). Brisbane is very good for gorgeous cityscapes at sunrise and sunset though so stay tuned for up-coming post about Brissy!
  • Same day as I thought my Canon 5D broke…I hit the max limit for 30 days use on my VISA card so the ATM denied me any money and I had to use room service and charge the food to my room bill so I could eat a bit. Didn’t know there was a limit; fortunately an email to my bank removed the limit altogether so I can now spend till I’m broke (will be once I buy that helicopter)! Sunday was not a good day.

Quote of the day:

“Why can’t you people learn to speak my language? I learned to eat your food!”
– Homer Simpson in an episode where The Simpsons visit Italy

Great Barrier Reef

click to see larger size-- One of my Saturday shots of Great Barrier Reef from above

One of the seven wonders of the world; a World Heritage area – and it is also actually the earth’s largest living thing! Stretching 2000 kilometers the Great Barrier Reef is the most extensive reef system in the world and it is made entirely by living organisms some as old as 18 million years! When lit up by the sun the colors of the corals and the sea practically defy photography, it is really hard to capture these colors on a digital sensor, the fantastic palette of blues and greens are impossible to reproduce. The reef is of course not one big reef, but made up of about 2900 separate reefs and Cairns is the main gateway to a bewildering amount of reef tours. You can see the reef in just about any way imaginable and the reef contributes an incredible 4 to 5 billion Australian dollars every year to the Australian economy!

I reckon the two best ways to see the reef must be: up close and personal by diving – or from above by helicopter. I’m no diver (to say the least) so for me it’s from above and it’s gotta be by helicopter (as some of you will know I love flying in helicopters). Last year I did a short helicopter flight over Moore Reef; this year I waited a full week to get a 60 minutes reef ‘n rainforest flight to Arlington Reef. They only fly with a minimum of two so it’s either wait till someone else books the same flight or pay for two. Luckily on my last day in Cairns the waiting paid off (I actually would have paid for two if I had to!) and 3 other passengers joined me for an afternoon helicopter flight with Sunlover Helicopters! Conditions weren’t perfect for photography, bit too much wind and a very hazy day but I have to take what I can get until I can afford my own helicopter (but then how would I fly and shoot pictures at the same time).

It is a phenomenal sight to fly above this very surreal and colorful landscape of corals and great fun to machine gun my Canon 5D out the window of the helicopter at the same time! We also saw some huge manta rays and hammerhead sharks from the air. The following is a few of my shots from Saturday, more on my gallery. I’m not entirely satisfied with them and the RAW files are really hard to develop properly on my laptop screen. But then I have the perfect reef shot in my head and I doubt I’ll every shoot it and like I said you have to see it in real life; it’s not easy to photograph:

click to see larger size--

click to see larger size--

(Polarizer filter on my lens means you can shoot basically straight through the water and really see the corals but also means you see the cloud reflections on the ocean – in case you were wondering)

I’ll end my reef post with one of my shots from 2006 – Moore Reef and still by far the best reef shot I have done:


  • ARRRRRGHHHHHHH…..bloody heart attack…shiiiiit…just before posting this my camera suddenly refused to recognize the memory card I just inserted. Bugger me!!!!! That got the blood boiling! Fortunately a reset by removing battery did the trick but I’ve never had this happen before. And even though I would walk down and buy a new Canon 5D tomorrow if it actually was broke, I would rather not, the 5D is super expensive! Whew…false alert, thank the maker, I can call off the heart attack.
  • Next post will be about the city of Cairns itself, I have collected a few great shots of Cairns a town that I’ve grown to really like over the past few weeks.
  • Weather…it’s just perfect everyday. Sunshine and 30c degrees. Like a resident from Cairns told me “it’s pure hell living in paradise”!
  • How the hell do I adjust to normal life again in Wintery Copenhagen now that I’ve completely adjusted to this tropical life and shooting pictures full time?
  • My thanks to our Crown Prince Frederik for marrying Mary the Aussie; Danes are now treated almost royally down here, many Aussies feel Denmark is now some sort of sister-country and often want to know how Mary is going!

Quote of the day:

“Thanks for inviting me to OPEC”
– George Bush speech at the recent APEC convention in Sydney.

(He also managed to call Australians “Austrians”!
He’s got heaps of speech writers, just read the bloody text mate!)

Cooktown, Kuranda and Daintree – Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Like the title here’s a bit of a mixtape for you of a few of my recent Cairns experiences in planes, trains and automobiles. Also check out quite a few new shots in my gallery.


Kuranda is a lovely little village north of Cairns that time almost forgot; quite busy during the day because of two major tourist attractions – Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Railway. The Skyrail is great and an amazing piece of engineering but I reckon the most fun is the good old train, and here’s my postcard panorama of the train (shot out the window):

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I was entertained all the way from Kuranda to Cairns by a mid-age couple from outback South Australia sitting next to me. She smiled a lot and handed out muesli fruit snack bars to everyone and he talked a lot about water (he worked with water, never did hear exactly what he did but probably something to do with water management, South Australia is super dry.) He was extremely impressed that I’ve been to Kununurra in Western Australia (Kununurra is right next to the massive Ord River) “Always wanted to go to Kununurra my whole life and see how much water they have mate” he said to me, “so did you see the Ord River mate, did you see it? What was it like, a lot of water there?”. “Yeah” I said … “heaps of water mate, you will absolutely love it!”

Click to see larger size

Cairns and surrounding area shot from Skyrail

Cooktown – there and back and there again

Named Cooktown because it is here that Captain James Cook and his crew spent 41 days repairing his ship after hitting the reef and damaging the ship Endeavour very severely. So grave was Cooks troubles that he named the place where he hit the reef Cape Tribulation. Well I encountered a few problems on the way to Cooktown as well! I went on a day trip where you fly up the coast to Cooktown and then drive the scenic ocean road the roughly 400 kilometers back to Cairns. We take off in a small 8 seater plane at 6.45am and have a beautiful 35 minutes flight to Cooktown in the morning light – only to find Cooktown airstrip completely shrouded in fog! We could not see the runway at all. This is from the airplane and you can see Cooktown on the right but the runway is somewhere underneath the fog:

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We circled for 15 minutes but was running low on fuel – so we bloody had to return to Cairns. At 8.45 I sat in the same Skytrans terminal in Cairns with a heavy feeling of Deja Vu! At 9.30 we took off again for Cooktown, this time with an expectation of actually landing there! We did and although it cut the tour a bit short and left us with next to no time in Cooktown we did get to fly to Cooktown – twice!

Click to see larger sizeThe Lions Den – outback pub south of Cooktown

DAintree rainforest

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A tropical rainforest is fantastic and it does not get much better than the Daintree Rainforest north of Cairns – the oldest rainforest on earth with trees that are more than a 1000 years old. It is just a phenomenal experience to walk around and study the plants, trees and wildlife. This is another of those ‘on another planet’ experiences. A polarizer filter is again a must for photographing in a rain forest and so are cloudy conditions which we were lucky to have (rain would have been nice too, but can’t have it all) as it brings out the green it shots like the one on the left.

On this 12 people trip there were 4 retired Americans from Tennessee; they were so incredibly nice and the most friendly and polite people you can imagine and they all had this fantastic slow southern accent (a drawl I believe it’s called) making them sound like a cross between Elvis, Forrest Gump & Clinton (although he’s from the neighbour state Arkansas). One of them (I’m terrible with names but he was The One With Best Accent) was videoing everything and did a running narrative as well into his video camera – hilarious stuff! “Nowwww this here is Dainnnntree Rainnnnnforest in Arrrwwwstraulia and that there is a strannnngler tree” spoken very slowly with some serious rolling on every “r”. I found it hard not to laugh every time he did it, loved it. “Now it’s been a rrrreallll pleasure meetin’ you; now you come see us soon in the United States” The One With Best Accent said to me as I left the truck. Would love to mate, especially if you can teach me that accent!

Click to see larger size


  • I hate it when tour guides say something along the lines of “the original settlement was a penal colony”. I beg to differ, the original settlement of Australia was the aboriginals! They were here for some 50 000 years before the white people, so yeah, it was sorta their country mate!
  • This week I have a rather spectacular and huge room on the top floor (7th) of my hotel in Cairns with a great view of the ocean and the esplanade. The room is so large I can run around and exercise indoors! Means I don’t have to do my albatross impression down the esplanade in Cairns endangering all the other morning joggers who can actually run (they would be in serious danger of dying from either laughing or me crashing into them…or both)!
  • Where’s the Great Barrier Reef shots you ask? They’re coming…still waiting for my helicopter flight to outer Arlington Reef. Stay tuned.
  • ‘Bourne Ultimatum’ is outstanding, the 3 Bourne movies the best secret agent movies ever. I would be Jason Bourne except I can’t run. I could be Jason Bourne on a bicycle!

Quote of the day:

Only the paranoid survive

Dunk Island, now includes albatross

click for larger sizeNoticed the tropical paradise picture on the left? That’s what I did the past 4 days – lived in a beach house on a small tropical island called Dunk Island. Dunk Island is named after some bloke named Dunk! The original aboriginal name Coonanglebah apparently means Island of Peace and Plenty – sounds made up but you never know and it certainly was great relaxation!

Here’s basically what I did for 4 days:
Get up early to shoot purple tropical sunriseclick for larger size12 hours later, shoot tropical sunsets like this:click for larger sizeand this:click for larger sizeIn between sunrise and sunset – relax at the beach, relax on my balcony and go for walks in the rainforest. Here’s the view from my balcony:
click for larger sizeand the beach at sunset (houses just behind palm trees):
click for larger size
…and more at my gallery:

Dunk Island is my first of this sort of luxury-resort-on-tropical-island experience and I didn’t quite know what to expect but I gotta admit that I loved most of it. The resort bit is not really me, but weather was fantastic, ocean very clear and gorgeous, sunsets spectacular. And living in a luxury house so bloody nice I almost felt out of place (I’m just a simple country boy) and right on the beach? Loved it I must admit! Sitting on my balcony, sunbaking and listening to the sounds of the ocean. Not bad! Yeah I could definitely get used to having a house by the beach! What the hell has become of me though? 10 years ago I lived in cheap dodgy backpackers (I hated every moment but I did it) and now my beach house comes with complimentary sparkling wine and is the size of my flat back home! This simple boy from outback the still prefers a bush camp in the hot dusty outback – but doing this for a few days wasn’t half bad 😀


A few random comments about random things; includes lots of exclamation points!

  • Exercise. In the Northern Territory with all the rock climbing and walking I did I felt I didn’t need much extra exercise (far too hot to run anyway). But now I have finally begun jogging (+some sit-ups and push-ups). Me running. Not a pretty sight! Think Phoebe in that FRIENDS episode where Phoebe and Rachel take up jogging. Arms and legs everywhere very much like an albatross trying to take off! I miss my bicycle!
  • Looking familiar. Someone tell me who it is I look like? If I had a dollar for everytime someone here tells me “you look so familiar”. I wonder who could possibly resemble me down here? Weird! If someone meets my clone let me know! I would like him to work for me, not run around out of control!
  • Ipods are the best thing since sliced bread. I somehow own 3 of them and use my Ipod Nano all the time!
  • That SAS airplane accident in Aalborg has been on the news here repeatedly. Looks bloody scary!

And I’ll end with a new feature: Quote of the Day:

It’s good to have an open mind but no so open that your brain falls out!

See ya soon 😀

Amazing days at Uluru and Kata Tjutu

Sunrise at Uluru:

Click to see larger size
Conversations overheard at the Uluru sunrise viewing area:
A pair of Aussie tourists:
“So what’s it made of?”
“It’s…rock…it’s made of rock”

An English couple:
“You would think there would be aboriginal people everywhere telling us about their culture. I mean they don’t have jobs so should be out here”
“Yes, we saw a few at the Cultural Centre didn’t we but not a word from them!”

As the good old Danish saying goes “you have to hear a lot before your ears fall off”. I reckon though if you hung around the sunrise viewing area for a while your ears might come a bit loose actually! Well yes Uluru is actually made of rock! And yes, it would only be fair to expect a mob from the Anangu people to show up for free everyday at 6.30am with a complimentary hot cuppa and tell us about their culture – just like if you visit London there are of course unemployed Londoners on the streets to tell you all about the British culture! Bugger me, my ears are falling off!


It’s so remote and the environment is dry, warm, hostile and alien – and at the same time it’s so touristy! Uluru is actually one of the 3 major tourist spots in Australia (the other 2 being Cairns with the great barrier reef and Sydney) Such a bloody weird feeling to be so far from everything and then going to a cafe and eating Spaghetti Carbonara for lunch. To stay at Uluru means staying at the Voyages resort about 18 kilometers away, the resort is like a small town and it’s a circus 1 hour before sunrise and sunsets when all the tours depart. Despite all of this I had an amazing time. The resort was actually a fine experience and fairly low key and the sunrises and sunsets weren’t crowded at all to my surprise, it was easy to find me a peaceful spot. The walks around Uluru and Kata Tjuta were not crowded either – I had no problem walking away from everyone and getting landscape shots without people in them (many years of being an introvert has honed my now extraordinary how-to-avoid-people skills!)

Me and my dusty shoes looking at UluruAs earlier stated I love the red desert and I can sit and stare at Uluru for hours (which is what I am doing in the pic to the left, this is from one of the lookouts on top a sand dune at the resort) Walking around it is a great and interesting walk but you’re so close it’s hard to appreciate the size. I reckon Uluru is best appreciated from the distance or from the air. Have a look at this picture; I shot it from a helicopter and it really shows you how massive it is and how impressive it looks in this flat red desert:

Click to see larger size
A few facts about “The Rock formerly known as Ayers” although that joke is getting old! It’s made of rock yep, It’s actually made of sandstone rock and it gets its red colour simply because the iron in the sandstone rusts due to weathering! At it’s heighest point Uluru stands 348 metres above the plain. It’s circumference is a mighty 9.4 kilometers and walking around is a great experience and takes a couple of hours. Contrary to popular belief Uluru is not one huge boulder just sitting there like someone dropped it from above. Uluru is actually the top of a mountain extending below the earth for several kilometers (there are different theories on this).

For the Anangu people Uluru is a very important sacred site and the ancestral being Kuniya still lives in Uluru. Uluru has many sacred sites for the Anangu people and the climb is of great spiritual importance to them and they do NOT want you to climb it – so please don’t! I am ashamed to say the first time I was here in 98 I didn’t know much and our guide just told us to climb if we wanted to and not much else – so I climbed it. I didn’t this time of course, it is the equivalent of someone climbing around on Christian churches for example. I reckon they should close the climb completely but I guess people would do it anyway and I guess it may hurt tourism here as well. For me the sunset is the best way to experience Uluru. The changing colour of light and complete tranquility (I walk away from the crowds) as I watch the sun set on Uluru is my favourite experience at Uluru (did it 4 days in a row, one night from a helicopter, I really want my own helicopter!).

Kata Tjuta

At sunset from the air:

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The Anangu people named it Kata Tjuta which means “many heads”. Where as Uluru is one big monolith Kata Tjuta is many domes and is about 50 kilometers from Uluru. The tallest domes of Kata Tjuta stand more than 500 meters tall! Kata Tjuta is very impressive both from a distance but certainly also up close! The Valley of The Winds walk is 7.4 kilometers up and down rocks and is a phenomenal experience. This must be Mars (with trees) and I shot some fantastic panoramas here that I haven’t had time to stitch yet (takes a while on a laptop!). Here’s a fave shot of mine that shows you Kata Tjuta from Valley of The Winds walk:

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The sum of my “Mars” visit

I had 4 spectacular days in the red centre, did almost every possible tour with Uluru Express (big recommendation from me if you wanna explore on your own and just need transportation) and got all the photos I hoped for. I couldn’t have wished for a better Uluru Kata Tjuta experience, everything just worked out perfectly and I am now even more in love with the red central desert.

Weather update – and my current location

What can I say, sorry to depress my Danish mates but it’s sunny and warm every day everywhere I go! Uluru has desert climate with hot days and cold nights. Everyday was the same, 30 degrees and a burning sun from a clear sky during the day, 8-9 degrees at sunrise and late at night. I’ve been here in January (summer) as well and it was unbelievable – at least 40 during the day with winds that were superhot and walks like Valley of the Winds gets closed cos it’s way too hot and too dangerous. You can die from dehydration in 1-2 hours in Summer! So this time of the year is recommended, the sunrises are freezing cold but when the sun warms everything up it’s just perfect.

I’m now in Cairns, tropical North Queensland and back to tropical climate – although nowhere near as hot as Darwin. Only about 27 today and 17 at night, sunny with a few clouds. I actually walked around in jeans today, 27 felt cold to me 😀 I’ll be back soon with stories of tropical reef, rainforest, islands and beaches (actually looking forward to relaxing a bit, I seem to be doing so much I almost run out of time to relax).

Uluru, Kata Tjuta – and Mars

The Man Who Fell To Earth

G’day everyone, I am on Mars. I am in the red centre; the red desert and I absolutely love it. I am sure that says something about me that I love a big dry warm red desert with no people (I would be perfect for the first Mars mission, I think I would love it there!). I am shooting so many pictures here on Mars, here’s a few of my takes on Mars:

click to see larger on my siteUluru lit up by the last bit of sunshine

click to see larger on my siteUluru at dusk, 10 minutes after sunset

click to see larger on my siteKata Tjuta sunrise panorama

click to see larger on my siteUluru and the rising sun, almost graphical image

…see more at my gallery incl. me and my shadow at Uluru…

Mars and the resort

Well, no people is not entirely the truth. I am in the middle of the desert and 500 kilometers from the nearest city – but at a big bloody expensive tourist resort at the same time. It is mind boggling. You go to Uluru or Kata Tjuta and walk around in a very hostile, dry, arid and red landscape that makes you think “this is Mars”. You then get on the bus, go 18 kilometers back to the Yulara resort and have lunch at a café next to a group of middle aged American women in full make-up chatting loudly about how the flies are very annoying, the sparkling wine is oh so very lovely and the air condition in the too-small-room should be easier to use. It’s Mars with a resort or a Resort with a Mars. It’s the twilight zone is what it is!

Anyway, more about this later, have to be a quickee again – I have to sit in the lobby of one of the expensive (well they’re all very expensive, but this is more expensive) hotel to get a bit of wireless internet access (not for free, for bloody 25 aussie dollars!) and post this. See ya later mate, I’m off to see the sunset from a helicopter!

Hawk Dreaming continued

Just a quickee…I’ve spent the last few days doing a scenic flight over Kakadu (with turbulence you would not believe), studying wildlife at the Territory Wildlife Park, visiting an actual croc farm (with about 52 000 crocs on the farm! bloody true, 52 000 crocs!) and going on a Jumping Croc cruise (pics to come when I find the time). Also spent the time sweating a bit, seems the build-up and wet season is coming early because suddenly the temperature has gone up to at about 35-36c degrees here and the humidity went up another 10-15 percent. Except for the humidity I love finally getting some sunshine (bloody Danish summer!) and some Summer!

Still Hawk Dreaming haunts me and is what fills my head; here’s a few more shots (click them to see them on my gallery):
click to see larger sizeBillabong at sunset and there’s thousands of magpie geese and at fullsize you can see the cattle too!

click to see larger sizeAboriginal art site Mushroom rock at sunset

G’bye to Top End, G’day to Red Centre

After an amazing 2 weeks I am leaving Darwin and the Top End behind and heading off to Uluru – the rock formerly known as Ayers – tomorrow (Thursday). I don’t know how much internet access I can get there but will be back online next week in Cairns with stories of the red centre of Australia – see ya!