Abandoned Warehouse in Alexandria

I went scouting for a new location for a shoot on the weekend and ended up in Alexandria not far from where I used to work. It was the old Dunlop Slazenger warehouse which has been abandoned for years.

Here are a couple of shots of the warehouse from the outside. It is totally open so access is easy unlike the tram shed in Rozelle.




I couldn’t get over just how many empty spray paint cans were laying around on the floor. When I got there there were a couple of graffiti artists doing a wall in the corner. They weren’t all that friendly.




I really love the hundreds of holes in the tiled roof which created hundreds of tiny shafts of light which looked amazing. The shots don’t do it any justice. We need some smoke to really bring out the shafts of light out. 

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There were another bunch of guys downstairs all dressed up, I think they were shooting a video or something and they weren’t too friendly either, except for the girl. They had soft boxes, huge gold reflectors but I didn’t see any camera or video gear.



Again we find millions of empty spray cans. They were also some amazing artwork. This place would be great for a  model shoot.




Even found a burnt out Mazda Astina which had graffiti painted all over it.





The one below is my favourite piece of graffiti artwork. Awesome colours.


Not really sure why most of the guys on Flickr and blogs have been reluctant to let people know the exact location of the abandoned warehouse.

All the shots here were taken with my iPhone 4. I am rather impressed with how well they turned out.


Dunlop Slazenger Warehouse, Alexandria



Map picture


Pandora – Access from OZ


I first came across the Pandora app on Youtube whilst watching an iPad being installed into a car. They were using Pandora as the “car radio” to streamed music via 3G.

I also discovered that Pandora, was not just another internet radio streaming app, it can actually learn and then customise/personalise the music it streams to suit you.  Basically, when each song is played you rate it with either a thumb’s up or down. So over time it will slowly learn your musical preferences and stream only the music you really want to listen to


Not Happy Jan!

I was unhappy to learn that Pandora was only available to residents of the US, apparently due to the stringent licensing laws. Pandora claims that they will eventually go worldwide but not in the foreseeable future.

I needed to resolve two issues, how to get Pandora app onto my iPhone and find a way to fool Pandora into thinking that I am in the US and not here in Australia.


                             Without VPN, Pandora won’t let you connect.

I managed to get the Pandora app onto my iPhone. All I need now is a VPN. I decided to give Hotspot shield a try, a free VPN service provided by AnchorFree.  It was disappointing to say the least. I only managed to get Pandora to play one song before it was unable to contact Pandora anymore. I kept at it for a day or so and eventually gave up.

A quick search on the internet for a good VPN service and came up with a couple good options. I finally decided on SuperVPN as their options and pricing, on their website, where easy and simple to understand. I got a headache trying to figure out, one of their competitor’s, convoluted options and pricing.

I opted for their iPhone VPN option for a month to see if it was the business before committing to a longer term of either 12 or 24 months. I thought USD $8 for a month was very reasonable and if it didn’t work out I can try someone else.


SuperVPN – iPhone Setup

The setup details and instructions from SuperVPN were excellent, clear and concise, making it easy to understand and follow. I managed to setup VPN on my iPhone and get connectivity to SuperVPN within 5 minutes.  Here’s my step by step guide on how I setup VPN on my iPhone but you can also check out their iPhone setup instructions.


                                    Go into settings and select General
                                                    Select Network


                                                     Select VPN

                                       Select Add VPN Configuration

                                              Select PPTP Tab







                                        Description: Supervpn
                                        Server: mobile.supervpn.net
                                        Account: your_login
                                        RSA SecurID: Off
                                        Password: your_password
                                        Encryption Level: None
                                        Send All Traffic: On

                                     It should look like this. Hit Save

                                             Ok, turn on the VPN

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                You should see it connect and then authenticate with SuperVPN


                                            Yay!! We have VPN!!

Pandora – The Test


Okay, VPN is configured and working, so its time to launch Pandora and see if works!

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Awesome, Pandora is working. As you can see the downside is advertisements but it doesn’t bother me. Notice the thumbs up and down symbols, you use them to tell Pandora whether you either like or dislike that particular song.

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Notice the 2 little thumbs up near the top right corner.



I had it playing for 24 hours straight when I first got it and it didn’t miss a beat. I left it on when I went to bed and it was still going strong when I woke up the next morning. I’ve also tried it over 3G on Telstra’s network and it worked a treat, no issues at all. However, I did not have it up for too long as I was running out of bandwidth with my data. I will try again when my data is back to normal.

The VPN solution provided by  Super VPN Service is awesome and I won’t hesitate recommending them to anyone. The VPN has performed flawlessly since I’ve had it. Honestly, it has exceeded all of my expectations.

I now have a 24/7 radio station that plays incredibly awesome music tailored to my exact taste either at home, via Wi-Fi, or in the car, via 3G, without any interruptions from any DJs or advertisements. This is the power of Pandora, what an awesome app. 

So if you are in Australia and want access to Pandora, and you need a reliable VPN service, you now know what to do.


Learning about 10-Stop ND Filters

Still Learning

I really need to start learning how to get the best out of my, recently, purchased Heliopan 10-stop ND filter. I have seen heaps of amazing long exposures using 10 stop filters and I wanted to see if I could emulate what others have achieved. So far, I have only done a couple of test shots nothing fantastic.

I noticed that there clouds in the sky this morning and the wind was picking up so I decided to head into the city. All I needed now was somewhere with large expanse of water. I decided that St. Marys Cathedral and Hyde Park would be perfect location for some experimentation. The aquatic centre in front of St. Mary’s Cathedral has two large pools of water and there’s also a massive fountain in Hyde Park.

St. Mary’s Cathedral

EXIF data for all three shots: ISO 100 f/22 20s 19mm

My goal today is to get some shots with dynamic cloud movements, “smooth as glass” water with awesome reflections. Hopefully, I have managed to achieve what I set out to do. Next I decided to take a few shots in portrait mode.


EXIF data for all three shots: ISO 100 f/22 20s 17mm

In the second shot, I dropped the tripod down so that it was just above the height of the pool and also moved it towards the centre of the pool. There is no colour cast with the Heliopan 10-Stop ND filter.

Banding issue

EXIF data for both shots: ISO 100 f/22 20s 17mm

Here’s a problem I discovered if you get too much direct sunlight, downside of aiming at the sun. Notice the distinct vertical band just off centre towards the right hand side of the photo. I just used a LR3 preset “cold tone” to try and minimise the impact, it is still there but not as obvious. It was rather hard to judge the timing as sometimes the sun would pop out from behind the clouds as they move by.


EXIF data for both shots: ISO 100 f/22 15s 16mm


I just love the movements of the clouds behind the cathedral, for me, it really makes the photo. There was some human traffic but thank god the long exposure took care of them.


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EXIF data for both shots: ISO 100 f/22 15s 16mm


Hyde Park

It was hard to get good position here as there were quite a few tourists milling around the fountain trying to get their holiday snaps. There was also tons of tiny school kids passing by wondering what I was doing. Besides my choice of positions was limited as I wanted St. Mary’s Cathedral in the background.


EXIF data: ISO 100 f/22 20s 16mm


I think that these two shots are my favourites from today. I really like the movement of the clouds away from me. I love the smooth glass-like look of the water in the fountain.


EXIF data: ISO 100 f/22 30s 16mm



EXIF data: ISO 200 f/22 30s 22mm

This was my last shot of the day as it looked like rain was coming so I quickly packed up, walked down to The Rocks where I met a friend for a, well earned, large cappuccino.

St. Marys Cathedral & Hyde Park

Map picture