Improving Your Image Through Visual Communications

Journalist - Photographer - Writer

Monday 24 November 2008

Pride of the Murray cruise on the Murray River at Echuca

By Darren Stones

Had the pleasure of a one-hour cruise on the Pride of the Murray paddleboat at Echuca on the Murray River in Australia recently.

It was an enjoyable trip with an informative commentary provided by the skipper. He related a few stories about the history of the area, and how the paddleboat trade operated on the river in its heyday.

The onboard hosts were most welcoming and I highly recommend the journey. It’s reasonably priced at Adult: $20.00 Senior: $16.00 Child: $8.50 Family: $50.00.

Cruises operate at various times throughout the day and further information can be found on their website.

Photos: © Darren Stones 2008












Calendar with a 500% markup in aid of Aussie Helpers charity

By Darren Stones

The On The Land calendar is specifically produced to raise large amounts of funds for Aussie Helpers.

Click here for information and to view the calendar.


Back Cover

100% of all profits I receive from RedBubble from sales of this calendar will be donated by me to Aussie Helpers.

It’s not a cheap calendar, and it’s not meant to be. It has a 500% markup from the RedBubble base price.

Your generous purchase of this calendar will result in Australian drought-stricken farmers being assisted.
If you’d like a more affordable calendar to purchase, and assist Aussie Helpers, the Australian Photographers Alliance has available the 2009 Drought Relief Calendar for your consideration.

Aussie Helpers founders Brian and Nerida Egan rent a house in Queensland and live on a pension.

This video was shown at the Australia Society Tokyo Gala Ball, January 25th, 2008.

Sunday 23 November 2008

Seeking sponsors for an exchange of my service

By Darren Stones

I'm currently seeking sponsors for an exchange of my service for the following:

  • Two 4GB SanDisk Ultra II CompactFlash Memory Cards
  • Hotel/Motel accommodation
  • Mobile phone and internet service package
  • Notebook computer and protective case
  • Camera bag suited to a photojournalist
  • R.M. Williams clothing and footwear
  • Domestic car hire
  • Domestic air travel
  • Domestic train travel
  • Domestic bus travel
  • Canon DSLR camera and lenses
  • Gallery exhibition space in VIC and NSW
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Profesionally developed website & hosting

Please inquire by email or mobile phone to discuss an exchange of service.

Contact email

Mobile: +61 0419 200 469 (Australia)


Darren Stones
2008 Grenfell Henry Lawson Festival Of Arts
Photographic Competition Winner

The Great Ocean Road - one of Australia's most visited tourist regions

By Darren Stones

The Port Campbell National Park on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia has features which are visited by people from all over the world.

Last week, I had the pleasure to meet and chat with photographers from Pennsylvania, USA and Canada at the world-famous Twelve Apostles.

Twelve Apostles

They were amazed at our glorious coastline and were keen to find out some of the hidden gems in this area to photograph.

Unfortunately, one of the best places to photograph in this area is temporarily closed. Gibson’s Beach is not accessible to visitors due to the closure of Gibson’s Steps, which lead down to the beach. Large areas of ground at the clifftop are covered in hessian to stop erosion. We may never be able to access this beach again.

Gibson's Beach

It was one of the very few locations along this weather-beaten coastline which allowed access to the beach. Fortunately, Loch Ard Gorge is still accessible.

Loch Ard Gorge

The area is extremely fragile, and there’s now talk that the Twelve Apostles Boardwalk may cost visitors a fee to access in the near future.

I have a calendar for sale which contains features of this region which may interest you. Enjoy.

Click here for calendar details.

Calendar Cover

Calendar Back Cover

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Tathra Wharf tragedy

By Darren Stones

NSW Police report that a man and two boys have drowned at the Tathra Wharf on the far south coast of NSW last night.

Tathra Wharf
Photo: © Darren Stones

The two children fell into the choppy waters and the man and a local fisherman dived into the waters to assist about 8.10pm.

Emergency services pulled all four from the water unconscious. The man was unable to be resuscitated and was pronounced dead at the scene. The fisherman was revived and taken to Bega Hospital.

The two children were taken to hospital in critical condition but died shortly after.

Circumstances surrounding the incident are not being treated as suspicious.

Witnesses to the incident are being urged to contact Batemans Bay Police Station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Monday 17 November 2008

Photography with the Canon 20D and Canon 10-22mm lens

By Darren Stones

I’ve been asked a few times lately what lens I’m using on some of my latest photographs. So I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some information.

Port Campbell National Park
Focal length 10mm

My camera of choice for these photographs is the Canon 20D and it’s coupled with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens. The Canon 20D has a 1.6 crop factor which effectively means the 10-22mm lens becomes a 16-35mm lens.

Twelve Apostles
Focal length 22mm

The 10-22mm lens allows the photographer to go in close to subject matter and fill the frame, which is great for tight situations and to create a more dynamic composition. It does take a little getting used to and one must be careful to avoid having tripod legs and even the photographer’s feet included in the frame.

Gordon Stones
Focal length 10mm

Hope that helps a little folks. You’re most welcome to ask questions and I’ll endeavour to do my best to answer them.

Sunday 16 November 2008

2009 Port Campbell National Park Calendar

By Darren Stones

Recently I visited the Port Campbell National Park along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia to photograph some of the spectacular coastline.

Twelve Apostles

Many would know of the Twelve Apostles and the opportunity in which to photograph and view one of Australia's famous icons, but the angle light during the late spring is what attracted me to visit the region again.

Twelve Apostles

I've produced a calendar for 2009 which features images of the Port Campbell National Park. The calendar is printed on high quality paper and is available for purchase online via my profile at RedBubble.

Port Campbell National Park

To view the full calendar and see large preview images, click on the calendar cover or back cover below. Product information and pricing is also included. General enquiries are most welcome and I can be contacted by email, phone and mail. Contact details here.

Calendar Cover

Calendar Back Cover

Friday 7 November 2008

Parwan is parched

By Darren Stones

Statistics from Melbourne Water reveal drought-stricken Parwan has received nearly 50% less rainfall compared to the same time last year.


Empty dam

Recorded rainfall at Parwon Parwan Creek for the year to date – 6 November 2008 – was 163.20mm. This compares to 320.20mm in 2007.


Sheep skull

A farm property on the Bacchus Marsh-Geelong Road at Parwan is abandoned with its dam devoid of water, and many dams on nearby farm properties are also empty.


Loading the sheep

Any sheep that remain on properties have little to no pasture to graze on and the lack of rain and dam water is now causing farmers to move stock to other properties, or sell them to market before the summer heat arrives.