Aloha, goedemorgen, bon soir and salvete my appreciated blog readers and followers! A new year and again the chance to write down a list of intentions which will be forgotten already two weeks later! Doesn’t matter – if only one point on your list becomes reality you can show off how successful you were! 😀

Here is what I like to do in 2013:

I. Develop my skills as photographer

II. Deepen my knowledge about Australian architecture

III. Restart to meditate

IV. Get a certificate in Thai massage

V. Visit New Zealand

VI. Learn a new language at least on a very basic level (roundabout 600 words and fundamental grammar)

VII. Keep this blog alive until my 3 GB limit is exceeded. Maybe I will continue then on a second blog, or pay some dollars for more data space or finish my existence as a regular blogger in favour of other time-consuming stuff.

As you can see I have changed my blog’s appearance. A new theme with a new layout, different colours, fonts, etc. . I changed the quote below “Sperling Goes Down Under” and confirmed a box I stumbled upon by coincidence which creates a gentle snow fall until January the 4th. Depending on your cursor’s position the snow falls straight, from the left or from the right! If you scroll up to the header image you can witness a climatic uniqueness: Snow fall on Brisbane’s skyline! 😉 Navigation hint: If you are on the “About me”, the “Contact” page or anywhere else on my blog and wonder how to get back quickly to my latest post, just click on the header picture or on “Sperling Goes Down Under”. This will bring you back immediately to the home page. If you are watching photos in one of my galleries and don’t know how to get back, click on the little cross at the upper left corner or anywhere else outside the picture (but not on the back and forth arrows).

The night of New Year’s Eve was surprising: sooo quiet! Some neighours had a party brewing but this could have happened on any weekend, too. Whilst my old home suburb Berlin-Neukölln turns into a war zone scenery on the last day of the year, Brisbane in comparison is a location of contemplation and peace at that time. It is uncommon here to buy bangs and fireworks apart from glow sticks and sparklers. Instead people picnic at South Bank in the afternoon and enjoy the big fireworks spectacle at midnight on the Brisbane River which lasted for ten minutes. I have seen the fireworks choreography of Sydney on Youtube… – wow! About 3 sizes bigger but the ten thousands of people at South Bank had fun anyway. They devotional watched the colourful explosions, cheered 30 seconds after the final bang and went home when the event was over. That is a behaviour I would expect rather from a disciplined, well organized German than from an Australian.

I loved that the whole promenade 1WlRXXxAgEGg2ZizGvIBZw2at South Bank was a fenced alcohol prohibited area, excerpt from some restaurants and bars which were fenced, too. The atmosphere was pleasant and without any aggression. People politely excused if they stepped on your feet or pushed you in the back when they tried to get through the crowd. In general I cherish Australia for how they cope with alcohol and cigarettes. In Berlin at nearly every train or bus station cigarette smoke blows in your face although officially it is banned from these places but here smoking is less popular. Why? A box of cigarettes is about $17, there are no ads/posters in public and a new law even prohibits to print a cover on the boxes. Instead you get a white box displaying pictures of terrible diseases you might end up with by inhaling that poisonous smoke.

About my New Year’s Day photos: I am delighted about the results. The moon was awesome and blended perfectly into the fireworks. Basically I was just playing around with different apertures and shutter speeds. I tried apertures between F2.8 and F8.0 and shutter speeds between 1/3 seconds and 10 seconds as you can see in the info box below the pictures in the gallery. To my surprise there is not a single setting which worked exceptionally better than others. The interesting thing about photographing fireworks is that you don’t know in advance what you will see on the photo later on unless you work with very short shutter speeds. Because pushing the trigger causes shaking which has bad influence on the picture quality I always set the timer to 2 seconds before the lens opens. It is usually enough time for the camera to stabilize again on the tripod. When I use the zoom I sometimes increase the initial timer up to 10 seconds to make sure that the camera has completely stopped shaking.

All shots in this gallery are UNEDITED! They are  untouched by Photoshop or any other photo software. It was just not necessary and saved me some hours time! 🙂 Enjoy!