Blog Archive

Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Week from The Wayside Chapel-Graham Long

Dear Inner Circle,
David Gonski has been in the news all week and must easily be one of the busiest people in the country at the moment. His resume is so long and lists so many directorships that even he agreed it was ridiculous. Somehow this week he found time to speak at a fundraiser for Wayside hosted by Conexus Financial. Mr Gonski spoke about the importance of philanthropy and said, "In 35 years of doing business transactions I never experienced the joy that I felt when I walked around Wayside." What a wonderful tribute and what a fabulous friend of Wayside!
"I wish you had never been born!" What a devastating thing for any parent to say to any child. A young man told me yesterday that these were the last words he heard from his father before he died. I warmed to this guy, who has plenty of problems but who is aware of them and is doing all he can to keep healthy and alive. One of the greatest battles this fellow wrestles with is depression and the story he related about his father certainly plays some part in the weight that appears to rest upon his shoulders. Since I was a kid I seem to have a special awareness of how people walk. It's a dumb gift I suppose but how people walk into the room has always spoken volumes to me. The way this fellow walks almost defies explanation unless you can imagine 100 kilos resting upon his shoulders. 
While I was talking to this fellow there was an Aboriginal woman sitting on the ground in our side lane. I could only just see her but hearing her was no problem. It was a dreadful sound of wailing interspersed with cursing. I couldn't go to her because the conversation that I was in was already on holy ground. I kept one eye and ear on the heartbroken woman on the corner and it pained me not to be able to sit alongside her. After a long time I saw one of the young sex workers get up and stand beside the wailing lady. She just stood beside her, rubbing the back of her neck and eventually she squatted next to her. It didn't look like much was said and after maybe 10 minutes the working girl got up and left. Surely that was a God moment. There were plenty of people around but the only one who heard this anguish and did anything about it was this sad but lovely girl.
Last night as I was leaving a man in a white business shirt and dark trousers stepped up and shook my hand. The man's face and eyes radiated heat that came from a full life. He'd called in to say "Hi" on his way home from work. Two years ago this fellow slept on the footpath in a perpetual drunken stupor. 
Indira Naidoo recently wrote a book about gardening on a balcony. Some of you will know her from her time with SBS and ABC but she has a wide set of interests and skills. Her book sold out. There was a reprint which sold out. I'm happy to announce that Indira has become an ambassador for Wayside and will take a particular interest in all the work we do with people in and around our rooftop garden. Our garden isn't fully made yet but the part which is working is doing wonders for people. Yesterday, a man interrupted a meeting I was in with a beaming face to show me the beans and tomatoes that he had just picked. It was a good call on his part because the meeting can happen at another time but drinking in the sense of achievement on this man's face was priceless.
Thank you so much for being part of this inner circle,
Rev Graham Long
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kangaroos at Tidbinbilla

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra A.C.T. is a great place to see kangaroos,wallabies and birds.Here are some Kangaroo shots.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sidetracked from Posting

I haven't posted much lately as I am involved in one or 2 projects.
One is helping my friend Rob with his Tree of Life Ministry(TOL) in making some training videos to be used in Africa by Africans and in their own language.

I am finally, now that I am "retired" starting to devote some time to the video side of my photography.
I have always shot movies.
Standard 8, Super 8mm film movies,VHS ans SVHS video(Panasonic Cameras) and Digital Video using some Canon cameras, my favourite the Canon XL1.
So over the years I have been accumulating miles of moving pictures.
Family,Wildlife,Birds,Travel,Sport,Church Services etc.
Now I am taking time out to learn how to edit properly and put together some good quality movies from all my shoots.
In addition I have also recorded heaps of Audio and have started a project that may come to pass as a Radio Documentary.
So watch this space some time this year for some moving content.
I will keep you posted.(Pun intended)
There will be more pages coming soon as a  follow up to my recent post on the Booklet "The Holy Spirit" by Frank Hunting.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pageviews this week as at 16/2/12

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Burdens are Lifted at Calvary

This is the outline of a sermon I gave recently at the Parkrose Nursing Home.


                                                Burdens are Lifted at Calvary or
“he ain’t heavy,he’s my brother.”

On one of our recent babysitting days we had our 2 grandsons staying with us.
Lucas our almost 4 year old decided he could lift his 9 month old brother and proceeded to do so.
He struggled a bit and I had to help out.
Jaxon thought it was great but might not have been so happy if he was dropped.
It was a classic scenario I thought to try and bring in the concept which is my subject today with Lucas by telling him about the song. “He aint heavy ,he’s my brother.” (I won’t attempt to sing it for you.)
(I’ve been educating Lucas or teaching him some pop songs, mainly the Rock Island Line which he has declared that one day “grandad you and I will sing that on the stage together”.)
So today I want to talk about bearing each other’s burdens and the fact that burdens are lifted at calvary.

A friend and distant relative of ours is Graham Long who is the pastor of the wayside chapel in Kings’ Cross in Sydney.
He sends a weekly email newsletter.
I would just like to read a couple of lines from a recent newsletter.

“There is always a stream of people visiting here to check us out and they're always welcome. Just before Christmas, a man from a world-wide, well-known church agency was clearly impressed at the range of things that we do. He saw people, struggling with long-term mental health issues, working in the roof garden; he saw a small group constructing a mosaic tile artwork on the roof. He saw some people learning to cook with the herbs that they'd grown on our roof; he saw a discussion group for Aboriginal people taking place. He saw a busy cafe with people of all shapes and sizes mixing together as they ate. He saw a play group in action in our community hall. He saw young people in our youth area cooking their own breakfast. He saw street people being organised for showers and a change of clothes. As he was just about to leave, he came to me and said something like, "I love all these things that you're doing but what about God?" I was a bit taken back by the question because I guess I was wondering which part of what we do gave an impression that it wasn't about God. I've thought a lot since then about what I wished I'd said in that moment. I've come to realise that I've learned more about God in this place than I ever learned from any eminent scholar.”

I was discussing Graham’s newsletter  with a pastor friend who reminded me  that as Christians we should be about lifting people’s burdens not necessarily giving them wonderful theological sermons and teachings.
Listen to Jesus talking to the Pharisees.

Luke 11:46
Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

In a place like Parkrose, many of us, I say us because my turn may come sooner than I expect, bring many burdens of life with us.

We also have to make an enormous adjustment quite often from having our own place and being independent to being mostly dependent on others and having far less freedom than before.

For some though this place may seem like heaven compared to where they have been previously.


So here in Parkrose, how can we lift each other by helping to carry burdens.

For those who are able bodied and sharp of mind there is opportunity of course to call on and visit those who are not so mobile and may have few visitors.

The idea of pastoral visitation is  something that should not be expected to be only done by the Village chaplains.

You may want to share things of Faith that are uplifting but we should be careful not to expect a person to cope with deep theological insights if they are not capable of it .

By coming to this service and by encouraging others to come and worship together we may be doing wonderful things for someone.

We can be touched by the Lord Jesus and His presence here is guaranteed when we meet in His name.

Encouraging each other to take part in activities organised by the village can be very important not necessariy for the nature of the activity but because it is an opportunity for fellowship and a cuppa.

Remember when the Australian remedy for many things was a cup of tea, a bex, and a lie down?

The cuppa and lie down still appeals to me as I get older.

If we are not very mobile but able to speak fairly well and engage in conversation then we can lift burdens  by visiting.

We can stimulate conversation with each other by genuinely asking each ther about hobbies, family and life time experiences and achievements.

Many get so much out of someone just listening to them and taking the time to show their worth.

We can also create a happier environment with staff and residents by controlling our tongues

James Chapter 3:9

 “9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

In the early days of our marriage and being Christian, if Lesley was giving me some verbal harassment I would just say “James 3!” which always went down like a lead balloon

Folks we know nothing of the Love of Jesus if we continually find fault or gossip about people. By ceasing this,by controlling our tongues, we make a much nicer place for us all to live in.

Well burdens are lifted at Calvary ie. If we claim Jesus as Lord and Saviour by what he did on the cross he can not only set us free from all of life’s pain but as we allow Him to live His life through us in the service of others, that is also the outpouring of the Cross.

Lets resolve to continue to make love our aim, Christian Love , our aim and to share it with all.

 ps  Revisit the post "If" on this blog which is all about Calvary Love.Its in the index on the righthand side.



















Monday, February 13, 2012

Geoff Thompson-My Vision for Wedding Photography

Here is my vision for wedding photography and my involvement as such.

I have photographed Weddings since 1975.

While I am officially retired from the work force, from time to to time I still photograph weddings for those who are family or friends, or friends of friends.
I am not attempting to photograph lots of weddings as they are physically tiring and I am not getting any younger.

I am  open to training a local photographer or photographers  in wedding photograph.

I have  trained many photographers in wedding photography in the past and some are now successfully pursuing their own careers.
I am currently assisting a young photographer to establish the wedding side of her photography business.(as at march 2016)
My thoughts have been germinating for some years now about doing "not for profit" charity work with my Photography.
Many people expect to pay large sums of money for their photography and the whole wedding,  and while they have budgeted for this they may  often feel that they have spent a lot of money quite extravagantly on something that is important on the day but all you have to look back on apart from your personal memories of your big day are often just the photos and the video.

I feel sure there are couples that would like to make a difference in their community or globally but may feel a little guilty about their extravagance on their wedding day.

This approach enables them to make a contribution through their wedding a bit like how at Christmas time various charity  organisations allow you to  donate a goat or vegie garden as a present through a friend or relative who doesn't really need some extra gift at Christmas but has a heart for the under privileged.

What I have been wanting to do for sometime is offer a flexible pricing  for the cost of their wedding with much of the proceeds going to local or overseas charities in which they would have some choice.

The advantages of this approach are numerous.

The recipients of the  assistance would be very  grateful.

The happy couple will know their their wedding day has started  something good.
For instance a commitment to sponsor a child through out their marriage may be an option that is woven into the pricing of the wedding photography.

I have also recently met with and assisted a photography group where the participants all suffer from Parkinson's disease.(2015/2016)

It would be great to photograph a wedding, bring one of them along with me and donate most of the profit to Parkinsons SA.
See a link below to their website.

I would gain an enormous amount of satisfaction from starting a successful venture of this type with a view to handing the vision to others when I have reached my "use by date."
I think I am at the use by date at the present as far as physically photographing a wedding.

Local people(Adelaide and surrounding areas) wishing to contact me for wedding photography training  should do so on my mobile on 0417867476 or indeed anyone wishing to contact me about this vision please email at

Below is the link to my Photography only Blog that has recently started and has a gallery of wedding photography for perusal.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Car of The Week

The Leyland Brothers Mike and Mal captured the imagination of Australians in the 70's and 80's with their home made style documentaries about Outback and Country Australia. Their show "Ask the Leyland Brothers" and the title became iconic in that era.This was one of their famous vehicles that took them on their journeys.Below are some relevant links

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Using Flash in Wedding Photography

a good place to use fill flash, the above article I found helpful in an old photo magazine.
bounced flash off ceiling and white table cloth also bounces light back up into subjects
harsh shadows as bounce flash not used

bounced flash off ceiling and white dress and bed spread also bounces light back up into subjects,light coloured walls

bounced flash off ceiling
bounced flash off ceiling and white table cloth also bounces light back up into subjects.Ceiling was quite high here but 400iso film still gave good bounced light
It is interesting to me that the most consistent feedback I get from people who have done my wedding training courses over the years is that the simple things I taught about flash were the most helpful things that really stuck and have made a difference.
There were two things that hapenned that set me off on learning fill flash and bounce flash.
With fill flash I had submitted some wedding shots when I was just starting out to a lab I was hoping to use on a regular basis as it was near my home.
It has long since closed.
The owner of the premises when looking at my shots said "you didn't use any fill flash!" "but you got away with it!"
I didn't even know what fill flash was so I played dumb.( I was)
But then I proceeded to read about it and ask questions of photographers with a determination to master it.
The matter of bounce flash came up when I was at a Christmas Party for a studio I was working for as a wedding stringer.
It was great to meet with other photographers.
One of the photographers said "Isn't anyone bouncing flash off the ceiling?"
So I was determined to master this also.

Fill Flash

It wasn't until I switched to a Metz Hammerhead type flash (45ct1) that I discovered I had the control to determine my fill flash output. If for instance I was shooting a scene outdoors and my camera meter reading was f5.6 at 1/125th then if I set my flash output manually to f2.8 then I was effectively giving a subtle fill flash to light up the faces of my subjects, particularly to get rid of the shadows in eyesockets.
I also learnt about flash ratios. If there was a brightly back lit shot at a beach for instance well then I tended to pump more flash in by setting the flash to maybe f8 when the background reading might be f16.
In backlit shots fill flash is just about a must but on overcast days with nice even light you can take a lot of pictures without fill flash.
Don't forget on most slr's these days you have a pop up flash. This is very useful for outdoor fill flash.

Bounce Flash

Walking into a house or venue the first thing  I would look at was the ceiling, checking it's colour and height.
I would usually set my flash manually for 1/60th second and f5.6.
When using flash of course don't ever set your shutter speed higher than your flash sync speed.
The flash sync speed will vary with the camera you are using.
Then the walls of the house to see if they were light coloured.
A dark dingy house was not always good for bounce flash and I used to carry a large rectangular piece of polystyrene foam so I could bring a portable ceiling with me.
The idea of the portable ceiling  was to simply to get my assistant or a bridesmaid or onlooker to hold the "ceiling" at a 45degree angle above my flash. The head pointed upwards.
The higher your ISO of course the more successful bounce flash will be as the flash has to travel from my camera position to the ceiling at an angle and then down to the subject.
By bouncing off the ceiling you are in effect creating a miniature sun from above, so to fill the darkness of the faces, I would have a small white business card attached to my angled hammerhead flash.
Now you can get velcro clip on flash reflectors that do the same thing.
You can get away with just wrapping a white envelope around your flash head and securing it with a rubber band.
This in effect projects some light forward to the faces of my subjects.
Some modern flashes  have an optional small flash below the main head for this very manoevure.
 In a church  ceilings are often that high and walls that dark, that bouncing light off the ceiling is out of the question.
Today with very high iso's available on digital slrs you can often get great shots without flash.
Don't overlook video lights also ,particularly the small portable types.
I have a portable light designed for super 8 movie cameras and I have used it successfully for the first photoshoot I did with my infant granddaughter.
I had it fastened to a light stand and just bounced it off the ceiling.I moved it several times and did not use flash once.
Don't forget also that you can bounce light sideways off of walls and doors.
You do need a flash that you can tilt and swivel the flash head.
Also using a hand held flash meter was always useful when using film to take precise flash measurements inside a house.

Using bounce flash and fill flash for Digital slr's also follows the same principles as using for film.

Master these two techniques and you will find you can create some great images.
There are other things you can do with your "portable ceiling"  that I will post about later.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tree of Life Ministries-Adelaide South Australia

 Tree of Life Ministries(TOL)is  based in Adelaide South Australia.
It's founder is Robert Ferguson who is also a neighbour in our street and a former Pastor of the Church we currently attend.
Rob was a Pastor in Churches for several years but some 15 years ago embarked on a calling he saw as from God to to do missionary work in struggling overseas countries.
He started off with some involvement in South East Asia(Burma and Thailand) but now is concentrating on several African Countries.
Rob has identified  African Lay Christians with a gift for teaching and evangelism and has developed  teaching materials for them to use as they visit different locations and run programmes in a variety of Churches and venues.
The Christianity Explained book is an integral tool being used to equip lay people in Africa.
He has also created his own through the Bible training seminar and we are working on a support video series to enable key people in Africa to share the Gospel.

It is amazing what one person can do with vision and God's enabling.

To finance the enterprise Rob continues to work as a Bus Driver and  people are welcome to make donations.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Deanna Dunbar-Wedding and Portrait Photographer

It was great to hear from one of my former students today who is doing well in her photography.
Check out Deanna's work at her website as per the link below.

keep up the good work Deanna. Your website looks great.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Glenelg South Australia

All  elevated views from Revolving Restaurant.

Glenelg Jetty

Glenelg Jetty
Glenelg in South Australia is within 10 mins of where we live.It is a historic place in South Australia as the Bay as it is known is regarded as the birthplace of the state of South Australia.
It is a tourist drawcard and has a Marina and Restaurants and Hotels and a children's entertainment complex.
It has a fine swimming beach and  jetty or pier.
It is connected directly with the Adelaide City centre by an Electric Tram service.

You can see the restaurant windows at the top of this picture

city of Adelaide can be seen towards the top of the image

Looking up Anzac highway. Mt Lofty is highest peak in the distance in the Adelaide Hills

This weekend we celebrated our friends' wedding anniversary at the land mark Atlantic Tower revolving restaurant which has 360 degreee views from the 12th floor.It takes an hour to turn through 360 degrees.T.he idea is to go there to see the sun set then see the sparkling lights of Adelaide. A good place to take overseas visitors to get a panoramic view of Adelaide.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

From the Wayside Chapel by Graham Long

Dear Inner Circle,
As I walked in the building yesterday a big, boofy bloke stepped into my path
and asked me how I was. I felt a bit put out because I was in a hurry, my mind
laden with many things. This guy was a former street dweller and now living in 
a dodgy boarding house. As it happens, I wasn't feeling well but I was in no mood 
for an organ recital because it would take time to explain that I wasn't well and
it might constitute an invitation for him to tell me about his aches and pains.
I just wanted to get past and into my office. To my surprise the man could see 
that I was unwell and he put his arms around me and whispered in my ear, 
"I'll be praying for you". As he took a step back and looked at me, 
I was captured by the kindness in his face. I'd not seen the amazing warmth
and care in his face before. I left that conversation a different man. 
This big, boofy man is my brother and there's more of me today because of him.
In the cafe the other day, I noticed a young woman who I've not seen before. 
She was easy to notice because her hair was up in an almost Marge Simpson style.
Her make up was applied so heavily that her face seemed more prepared for the 
circus than a visit to Wayside. She had an intense conversation happening with 
the chair beside her. I thought I would try and make contact and so I sat on the
chair on the other side of her. She looked at the chair and then at me and said, 
"You're not half as hot as him". I looked at the empty chair and said, 
"Well, he doesn't look like much". 
"Maybe" she said, "but he's twice as hot as you." 
Our staff meetings happen usually in small teams but 4 times a year 
we get together as a full team. On Tuesday just gone, we met altogether 
and I'd like to tell  you that I am so proud to be leading this team.
This group of people possess marvellous qualifications and experience
but mostly they have a quality of goodness that makes Wayside an 
extraordinary place. We had some serious stuff to discuss but after 40 minutes
we organised a table tennis match in which all 30 people participated. 
The idea was that you had to hit the ball, drop the bat on the table and 
move away so the next person could play. The prize for the last person 
standing was dinner for two at the Wayside cafe (value $10). I believe Laura, 
who won the prize, is looking for a date. If I was 30 years younger, I would 
think that dinner with Laura on a land fill site would be romantic so I'm sure
that lots of young men might like to be Laura's date at our cafe. Knowing Laura 
however, she's likely to find a way to turn this into a fundraiser for Wayside.
I'd like to make a quick suggestion before I sign off. A lot goes on at 
Wayside in any given week, a lot more than what I can fit in here.
If you'd like to stay connected to Wayside and keep up to date with what's 
happening on our little patch of earth in the heart of the Cross, go to our  
Facebook page and 'Like' us. 
Onwards and upwards, thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Rev Graham Long
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
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