Posts tagged “Fatherhood Friday

Fatherhood Friday 33: Testing Olympus XA3

So I bought a new camera off TradeMe (NZ’s equivalent of Ebay) last week and it turned up on Monday. It is an Olympus XA3, which is a 35mm fixed 30mm lens and fully automatic but really small and super sharp, that was bought out around 1985.  It was described as non-working so it only cost $30NZ and the research  did before I bought it seemed to suggest that it was probably a contact problem which would be easy to fix.

It arrived in the middle of the Snow storm on Monday and I was surprised when I put new batteries in it worked fine 🙂

This is the kind of small camera that means you can really always have a camera on you and still shoot film… Sometimes the Rollei is just a bit big to always carry around when you also have a 2-year-old with you.

These are some shots, mostly of kids due to the fact we were pretty much housebound due to the Snow and copious amounts of rain we have had all week, from the first roll I put through it.

They are quite contrasty mostly since I was using 400 ISO Film pushed to 1600 and then developed at 1/9 dilution rather than the 1/19 dilution I would usually use (I was in a bit of a rush to Develop).

All in all I quite like them. I currently have a roll of 800 ISO colour negative film loaded but unless it is really cool I think I will go back to 400 pushed to 1600.


Olympus XA3 Camera, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO Film pushed to 1600 and developed with Ilford LC29 at 1/9 Dilution, CanoScan 9000F Scanner.

Fatherhood Friday: Adventures In Cooking

Ok so this isn’t a normal type of post but it was a fun experience so I thought I would share.

About a week ago Emily suggested that we make gingerbread houses (I’m pretty sure she meant real life sized ones, or at least dolls house sized ones) since every couple of weeks we make gingerbread men while Samantha has a lunch time sleep and then decorate them the next day at the same time. Sam usually wakes up once we have done most of it but there are always things left for her to do as well (usually eating the decorating things and left over dough as well as cutting the last few shapes out).

So I thought what the heck lets give it a go…

I drew out a quick sketch (thank you 5th form technical drawing) to make sure it was kind of what Em was thinking and then made up a small model to check it would work and also to be used as a cutting template.

We made the gingerbread like normal and just after we had finished making it Sam woke up so she got to help ( I secretly think that she knew we were doing something fun and woke up so she wouldn’t miss out).

We made enough parts to make 4 gingerbread houses (since this was a trial run) and the rest got turned into a conglomeration of Christmas trees, teddy bears, people etc…

Into the oven they went and 15 minutes later we had some slightly distorted but still entirely usable house pieces …

At this point the story was put on hold due to the fact that the next day when we were due to ice and decorate them Samantha had a blinding 30 minute tantrum and didn’t go to sleep and was grumpy for pretty much the whole afternoon.

Friday comes round and things go to plan, Sam goes to sleep and we mix up some icing ready to decorate (I was going to make the usual pink icing but Emily insisted that I make chocolate icing). I put together the first house but made the mistake of putting the walls on the inside of the ends which meant the roof didn’t fit so it had to be pulled apart and re-done which made it look a bit messy before we decorated them.

After they were all put together we put them in the fridge for 30 minutes so they would set and started decorating the rest of the gingerbread.

We each decorated 2 houses and I think for a first try at making them they turned out pretty well.

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens.

Fatherhood Friday 30: Twas The Night Before Christmas… Half Frame Styles

Well kinda the day before christmas and in some parts of the world when I publish this, the day before the night before christmas… Wow that was pretty confusing…

As you can probably guess the girls are all pretty excited and riled up (all 3 of them, big one included).

One last shopping foray to complete for the girls to get each other a present and then its time to kick back and relax… At least until Boxing day when I’m working again.

Canon Demi Half Frame Camera, HP5+ 400 ISO Film, Canoscan 9000F Scanner.

Fatherhood Friday 29: 8 Sleeps til Christmas

Wow! Where did the year go?

Emily is getting very excited and pretty much every night before bed saying “I hope Santa comes tonight”.

The christmas tree has been up for a number of weeks and Samantha has only nearly pulled it over once so far and has been remarkably good about not opening the presents that have started to appear under it from various well organised relatives 🙂

The bike track is still under construction but they have the small people track finished, Emily is getting super fast going around a I can hardly keep up with her on my bike… Looks like there is going to be another daredevil in the family….

Rolleiflex 2.8 E, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO Film, Canoscan 9000F Scanner.

Fatherhood Friday 28: Bunnies

Only 22 days to Christmas….Eekkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!

We all had a day off together which for us is pretty unusual since I work weekends and some week days and Amanda works during the week, we were supposed to go camping but the weather forecast didn’t look the best (it turn out that we should have gone cause the weather was nice).

So we decided to make the most of our time and went out to Staglands, which is a reserve/petting zoo about an hour out of Wellington.

The girls loved seeing and interacting with the animals (except for an over friendly goat which tried to follow Emily around and shoved its head into Sams pushchair looking for food).

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO Film, Canoscan 9000F Scanner.

Fatherhood Friday 27: Pipes and Flying Bikes

I havent done one of these in a while, mostly due to a backlog of film that I have to develop 🙂

Things have been slowly moving towards summer with the weather getting better and more opportunities to head outside and play in the sun.

Street shooting Mondays have been reinstated with Sam in the backpack and us roaming through town looking for photo opportunities (and occasionally playgrounds).

Emily is getting very excited about christmas already and we have started to put up our christmas tree with a few decorations being put on it each night. The tree is looking slightly comical due to the fact that most decorations are on the top third of the tree away from where Sam can get them.

Sam through a pipe.

Emily, Frog and the flying Bike.

Rolleiflex 2.8 E, Fuji Neopan 400 ISO Film, Canoscan 9000F Scanner.

Fatherhood Friday 26: Kites, Bikes and Mud

All I can say is that it has been a full on couple of weeks!

Samantha finally got Chicken Pox, unfortunately on the day my parents arrived for a 4 day visit, and after the first day Emily had a 3 day bout of vomiting and diarrhea. So lets just say that the girls werent at their best for the visit.

Anyway here are a few shot from one of our trips to the ,still being built, bike track.

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO Film.

Fatherhood Friday 25: Chickenpox and Cabin Fever

Whats worse than a week of chickenpox? A week of torrential rain and not being able to go out and run round AND chickenpox.

Both girls are starting to go a bit crazy and Emily is starting to talk non stop all the time…

At least today it is finally sunny and both girls are out on the deck running round chasing  each other and screaming happily.

Apart from the spots Emily has been pretty much normal all week and has done a brilliant job of not scratching.

Fatherhood Friday 24.1 Update : Spoke too Soon

Emily now has Chicken Pox 😦


Fatherhood Friday 24: Yay For Not Being Sick

Here goes some pics from when I was setting up lights to shoot the Calvin and Hobbes Challenge (Pic Here just incase you missed it) Not perfect lighting since it was setup for someone my height and not two small people sitting on the floor 🙂

Emily and Sam had just got out of the bath and were getting ready to go to bed… Probably the best time to get shots of them without snot and food smeared around their faces.

Its been a pretty hectic week but have managed to get through (so far). Em had Monday off crèche due to vomiting during the night on Sunday which unfortunately ment I didn’t get to go on me and Samantha’s usual “street shooting with cute kid in backpack” foray.

All in all everyone seems to be recovering from their various colds and coughs and we have had to sunny days in a row so hopefully spring is here in force.

Daylight savings starts this Sunday so that should be a fun exercise although it should mean that Sam will sleep in for an extra hour which will be nice 🙂

Nikon D70s, 50mm f1.8 Lens, ISO 200. 2x Electra Compact 400 W Studio Lights. 1 with Softbox Umbrella and 1 with only Reflector.

Fatherhood Friday 23: Storms and Beaches

Fatherhood Friday took a break last week due to me forgetting it was Friday… This new routine with me working an extra couple of days a week is really eating into my photography/blog time… not that I’m complaining… more just readjusting.

In between earthquakes and storms the size of Australia the weather has finally started to hint at what spring might be like and we have had a chance to go to the beach (admittedly in jackets and hats) and play in the sand which both girls love to do.

Unfortunately this has also brought on the spring colds etc… Samantha has had a pretty rough week and had to be picked up from Creche on Tuesday and has been sick pretty much ever since, complete with late night vomit and constant grumpiness. Emily is still having trouble hearing due to fluid in her ears but has been prescribed nose blowing and blowing up balloons by the doctor (I kid you not). She was surprised to find that she can actually blow up a balloon by herself.

Anyway everyone seems to be feeling better now so hopefully (touch wood) we are over the worst and things can go back to normal… as normal as they can get anyway 🙂

Emily with the digger that is rebuilding the bike track in the park across from us.

Sam at the beach on one of those sunny days.

Rolleiflex 2.8 E

Fatherhood Friday 22: Sandcastles

Yay it’s finally spring! (this side of the globe anyway)

When Amanda and Samantha went down south to see Amanda’s Nanna a couple of weeks ago Krispin came to visit so we decided to go to the beach for a treat for Emily.

Samantha is fully running around now and getting into everything she is not supposed to… So basically being a one year old.

Rolleiflex 2.8 E, Ilford FP4 125 ISO Film.

Fatherhood Friday 21: Amanda Makes me Smile

No pics of kids this week back to that next week 🙂

While I was cleaning up the kitchen this morning I spotted a note between the cleaning products…

On closer inspection this is what it said…

Not sure if it was for me or for those hiding in plain sight that I possibly can’t see… Either way it made me smile so I took these images and then put it back 🙂

Nikon D70s, 50mm f1.8, ISO 200

Fatherhood Friday 20: Amanda and Sam Go South

This week Amanda and Sam spent most of the week in Dunedin visiting Amanda’s Nanna who was in hospital.

All I can say is WOW! how easy is it to look after one kid not two 🙂 Me and Emily ended up going to the beach and having a picnic on Wednesday and then going swimming at the pool after Playcentre on thursday.

It might have also helped that Krispin (a friend currently living in Aus) came to visit (Amanda flew out in the morning on Tuesday and Kris flew in in the afternoon) and Emily really enjoyed playing with him.

All in all it has been a pretty cruisy week 🙂

Sam has now advanced from walking to running and apparently had a great time with her cousins in Dunedin

Emily had a pretty good week at home probably feeling like an only child again with all the attention she got 🙂

Rollieflex 2.8E  with 35mm Rolliekin Adaptor, Ilford HP5+ 400 ISO Film.

FatherHood Friday 19: More Conversations With Em

Yet another week draws to an end. We have had a pretty good week with everybody being well for a change (although Amanda seems to be coming down with a cold again)

Samantha is up and walking around now and seeming to be a lot less frustrated as she chases Emily and the cat Luc (next door neighbours cat who comes to hang out most days) around the house. Teething has also taken a bit of a break this week 🙂

Took the extra wheel of Emily’s running bike and took her to the bike track across the road (still not finished). After a few near crashes she got the hang of it pretty quickly and was racing round.

Conversation with Emily:

“Dad…we had a good day today riding my bike at the bike track and then at the beach didn’t we?”

“We sure did Em”

“Mum didn’t have as much fun as we did, did she?”

“Probably not”

“All she had was “Crap! Crap! Crap!” Cause she forgot her cellphone charger didn’t she”


Emily Monkey.

Sam on a Slide

Amanda helping me out with a lighting setup…

Fatherhood Friday 18: The Return of Wild Hair

Another week down. This week has seen the return of colds mostly all round and continued teething from Sam.

Conversation of the week with Emily:

“Dad, dad”

“Yes Emily”

“Dad…Do you remember when Sam was sick?”

“Yes I remember”

“And the Doctor was closed and we had to got to the other doctor and Sam was crying lots and lots?”

“Yes I remember”

“And we had takeaways for lunch… I liked that, can we have takeaways for lunch today?

“No Emily” 🙂

Teamwork. Emily taking Sam down the slide… It doesnt seem very long ago when kids were doing this with Em 🙂

Emily at Playcentre with some wild hair.

Kinda hard to see but Sam fell asleep the last time we went out street shooting. In hindsight I should have gone into a shop and asked to use their mirror to get this shot because its kind of hard to see here.

Fatherhood Friday 17: Ummm Make That Saturday

Been busy for the last couple of weeks so have got a couple of oldies from my camera phone… Both are a few years old now

Wow looking at these I can’t believe how much she has grown up 🙂

No pics of Sam this week but she has started walking a little bit and decided to do it when Amanda was working late for the first time since Sam has been born 😦

More recent pictures next week I promise.

Fatherhood Friday 15: Teething…You Want Sleep With That?

Samantha is currently working on a couple of molars as well as a coupler of eye teeth. She has pretty much stopped eating solids and is relying mostly on breast milk. This means that she is waking every couple of hours at night because she is hungry and mostly grumpy during the day because Amanda is at work and only feeds her once at lunch time.

Emily is excited about going to see her cousin Alex this weekend after missing her birthday last weekend due to a vomiting bug.

At least no-one is sick…Touch Wood!

Luc the cat comes to visit on rainy days… Not sure why.

Fatherhood Friday 14: Back From The Snowy Mountain.

Emily and I got back from the “Snowy Mountain” on Tuesday after having many adventures and narrowly missing being snowed in for a couple of days by only 6 hours.


She got to play with her two cousins Ben and Harry and go sledging, have snowball fights and generally romp round being a kid in snow.

Grandma and granddad were both impressed with her fearlessness in the snow considering she has never seen it before and she only got a bit scared when she got snow down her coat and didn’t like the cold.

She was very sad to leave and spent most of the two plane rides saying that she missed Grandma and granddad. To make things even more exciting our flight from Queenstown was late and they had to delay our flight from Christchurch in order for us to catch it.


Oh and I got to go skiing for a day! First time back on skis in something like 13 years… It was awesome… 10 years of race training hadn’t gone to waste although much fitness had…I was hard pressed to keep up with my Dad who skis 70 days a year, although I think I gave him a run for his money on our last run… Was a pity I didn’t get to ski with my brother, although things might have got a bit competitive (and he would have lost) 🙂

Snow Angels on hard packed snow don’t work very well… Especially if they are in the middle of a ski run.

Emily Skiing with Uncle Jeff


Had a good weekend with just Amanda having some 1 on 1 time and even slept in til 8am one morning while we were away (this is pretty much unheard of).

On Thursday she came down with something and after a couple of hours of not wanting to be put down we took her to the doctor where she immediately perked up and started playing with the toys in the waiting room. By the time we got to see the doctor she way pretty much fine and he couldn’t find anything wrong with her. So of course as soon as we got home (like 30 seconds after we got in the door) she threw up all over Amanda.

Today she seems back to herself but has passed it on to her sister (and possibly me).

I’m on a Log

Fatherhood Friday 13: A Week of Random Occurances.

At last! The colds seem to be going away! Yay!

On the down side it seems to be getting quite a lot colder… yay winter… not.

Me and Emily are heading down south this weekend to go and see the grandparents who are currently living on Coronet Peak ski area. This will be Emily’s first real experience of snow and should prove to be a weekend of highs and hanging out with the whanau.

Amanda and Samantha get to stay at home and have some alone time.

Anyway on to the random occurences:

Being yelled at by a road work stop/go person (you know the ones who have the signs to make traffic stop or go) for not going even though their sign was on stop.

Being asked how old my “son” was even though she was dressed entirely in pink (and I mean pretty much all over pink).

A random log of wood rolling down a hill just as I was driving past and slamming into the side of the car (luckily it just hit the wheel so no damage done).

Customers at work trying to return Passport photos because they didn’t realise how easy it was to do themselves (because they were both “photographers”).

Sorry that kinda almost turned into a rant and kinda didn’t really have much to do with kids (except the pink one) but im done now… Honest.


Emily has been steadily getting better after antibiotics and is so excited about going on a plane and going skiing that she is having trouble focusing on anything for very long. At her crèche they played the kids a cartoon version of “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” which has led to a few nights of very unsettled sleep (admittedly they did send an email home saying that they were going to) and is it just me or does that seem a little too scary for 4 year olds?

Emily in the not yet completed “Bike Track” mud puddle.


Has worked out that I have been using a decoy book in order to stop her taking out my bookmark and has resumed hunting it down and me spending 5-10 minutes a day trying to find out where I am up to.

She is continuing to pick up words on almost a daily basis although her favourite still seems to be “hot hot hot”.

She is also showing a tenacity unparalleled in human existence which means that she will continually go back to something (TV, wall plugs, food on the floor, anything that is Emily’s) over and over and over again, even if you put her into a different room and tell her “No”.

Her favourite place at the moment seems to be under the table, mostly because its hard for me to get under. She sits there and laughs at me as I try to coax her out without me having to go under myself. It usually ends by her banging her head on a chair, crying and coming out in order to be cuddled.

Sam in her All-in-One ski suit…Oh and Amanda’s in there too.

Nikon F5, 50mm f1.8mm Lens, Ilford HP5 400 ISO film.

Fatherhood Friday 12:

Still inundated with colds… Emily is now on antibiotics and it sounds like we are a house full of smokers… a coughing symphony if you will.

Emily and I are going skiing in a couple of weeks (yes I have already worked out what camera equipment I am going to take) and Grandma and Grandad sent Emily up some mittens and goggles hence the photo. Thank you Grandma and Grandad! We are both looking forward to coming down to see you.

Samantha:  Seems to be the most healthy one here and is getting into as many things as possible while the rest of us are being a bit slow to react.

Both pictures from this morning

Nikon D70s, 50mm f1.8 Lens, ISO 200. f1.8 at 1/200th of a second.

Fatherhood Friday 11: We like books… Sometimes to Eat.

Colds,colds,colds, colds with a slight outlook for COLDS! Will they ever go away? Even the weather has taken a steep dive towards winter.

At breakfast this morning we sound like a household of chain smokers with pretty much everyone having a cough of some sort.

Emily: With all the bad weather we havent been able to get out and have a run round much this week so even with a cold Emily still has energy to burn.

Emily said something Hilarious earlier this week, but I forgot to write it down, and when I asked Amanda what it was she looked kinda annoyed and wouldn’t tell me so I’m assuming it was partly to do with her. Hopefully my brain will kick into gear and spit it out later on.

Samantha: Favorite place to be this week has been sitting in front of the book shelf looking at books, pulling washing of the clothes dryer and staring out the window at birds.

Has reverted back to waking up every other hour at night so we are waiting for her to get a bit better before having to “break” her sleeping habits again.

New word for the week: “ook”

“Must get more ooks!”

“Im sure there are more “ooks” in here somewhere…Wait?… is that a lion?”

Nikon D70s, 18-70mm Lens, ISO 200, Nikon Sb80DX Speedlite.  f4.5 at 1/30th second with Speedlite at full power bounced off the ceiling.

Fatherhood Friday 10: Sam Likes Steak

Once again colds featured a lot this week (welcome to winter) and there has been a fair bit of tired and grumpy behaviour all round.

Samantha: Still learning words at a rapid rate of fire. The current cold has made her lose her voice so when she tries to scream pretty much nothing comes out and she gets a very confused look on her face (which is amusing but also kinda a bit sad) so the house has been a bit quieter this week.

She is also attempting to stand on her own by putting herself up on things and then letting go to stand unassisted.

New phrase of the week: “uh oh”

Sam Likes Steak

Emily: Aside from having a cold, Emily has been pretty well-behaved this week. One of the highlights has been watching Emily and Samantha chasing each other round the house while laughing and squealing with delight. unfortunately the cold and rainy weather has ment we have had to stay inside and she is getting to the point where she needs a bit of a run around to burn off some energy but I don’t want to take her out because she still has a cold and something resembling a smokers cough.

Scary Emily

Fatherhood Friday 9: Emily Counts to Hungry

Survived Emily’s birthday party last weekend with only minor injuries (mostly mental ones to me) and managed to get things back to normal in only a couple of days. Possibly scared some of the kids into believing there actually were pirates in our back garden but they felt better when they found the “pirates” gold coins that were made of chocolate, I’m sure their parents probably hate me now after sending their kids back overhyped on sugar.

Colds were the order of the week with Emily bringing one home and sharing it round everyone here (not really her fault but was amusing that one day only Emily had a cold and the next day we all had one).

Emily Quote of the week:  “96…97…98…99…. I’m Hungry”

Emily riding her running bike round the, still being constructed, bike track.

Samantha: Copious amounts of Snot. Has been literally getting into everything and I mean EVERYTHING! She has worked out how to open cupboards and drawers and is showing much interest in CDs and the things under the television. You can say “no” move her away and watch as she goes straight back to what she was doing.

Word of the week: “Hot” used continuously for almost half an hour after making a grab for a cup of tea that Amanda was drinking.

Samantha at Lollypops Playland on Emily’s birthday.