Big News – Discounts on TShirts!

That’s right, with Christmas just around the corner, Redbubble are offering more and more discounts at this time of the year.

This is awesome for everyone – better deals on your Xmas presents for friends and family.

With my wide variety of kids tshirts – ranging from food to patterns to parenting quotes – both you and your kids will be very happy this year.

Check them all out on my tshirt shop.

Why mention this?

There’s a special deal coming up!
Take 20% off every purchase, across the site, with code SPOOKY20.
This deal is available only on the 17th & 18th October.

Take a look, choose what you like, then enter the code SPOOKY20 when you buy them.

Remember, don’t be a naughty animal, ask your mummy or daddy permission before buying anything online!

Looking forward to seeing photos of my friend’s kids on twitter and facebook wearing their new tshirts! ;)

Back to Minimalism 

Ten years ago I began building my digital photography gear.

With a Canon 400 Rebel, I photographed most of Kangaroo Island effortlessly. But I had to have more more more. 

Within a few years I had attached a massive battery grip, acquired ELEVEN different lenses, and then my wife wanted the same camera. 

Suddenly new lenses were needed to capture the movement of bee wings (not kidding). So three amazing lenses were acquired.

But our budget changed: Children. We now have TWO beautiful blue-eyed boys who consume nearly every dollar. Yet each have been photographed 20x more than anything else!

So it is with some laughter that I show the current camera gear I take with me almost everywhere:

Body: Canon EOS m1 

Lenses: Canon 22mm STM f2 / Canon 40mm f2.8 / Canon 70-200mm f4

Mini flexi-leg tripod. About 10cm tall!

Memory (SD-Card): 1 x 8GB , 1 x 16GB 

Lens cleaner

How life changes! 

Yet this rig is perfect because of how little space it takes, plus how quick and easy it is to change lenses. 

With a decent monopod at-the-ready, I can capture a wide variety of images throughout the day – including vlog footage.

We’ve gone from too much and heavy gear to small and sophisticated without loosing the quality of image – without impacting on family time.

Jai can now say “High five Daddy!” And I can without worrying if I drop a camera. ;)

Ten Replacements for Power Transmission Towers

As most of the world knows by now, Adelaide endured its worst wind storms in 70 years. The power went out for the whole state late afternoon on Wednesday 28th September 2016. Many families were driven to talking to each other rather than their phones as the power slowly dwindled. Thankfully the power came back on, for most, around 7.30pm that night, so were able to recharge their left hands, oops, I mean their smartphones.

The next morning it was discovered that 12-22 transmission towers were violently pushed over by the tornado-strong winds across the state.

So I have taken a bit of time this morning to find some alternatives – both above and below ground – to remedy this issue:

Before we get started, I must admit that I found a site dedicated to the design of better pylons . That has to be a good thing, right? Well, almost. In this day and age, electrical can be buried under ground with minimal impact – because the government can repo’ the section of land, or else only enable shallow tilling and minimal impact. But that would make sense, so you don’t see much of that happening. OK, that was just my opinion. Here are the options:

Solar-Powered Gates 1. German site RheinEnergie have a picture of a DNA-looking pylon. This looks a tad too fancy for South Australia. But their website looks awesome!

2. The SternMast , also from Germany, is a winner of a European award. It reminds of the massive white windmills we have, so this design could fit into the already steel-column-cluttered environment.

3. This power-transmission looks like a Dubai-sail blowing across the canola-filled fields. It is an awesome design, yet again I feel our government would not see how this would improve the appearance of our country side plus giving tourism a massive boost. If giant architectural anomolies can work in the Middle East, surely we can emulate the same ostentatious style in Australia!

Nine Solar Flowers 4. By the M5 motorway in Újhartyán, Hungary is a clown-shaped power pole installed by the Hungarian electricity company MAVIR. Because nothing is scarier than clowns carrying thousands of volts of electricity. Yet it is clowns who think power poles should be flimsy enough to be blown over in 120klmph winds!

5, 6, 7, 8. I could have put more options here, but they would detract from the point here. I could easily have mentioned Colossus in Buenos Aires, Argentina , Australian Pole Specifications , increased power outages , and god forbid I mentioned someone has down a power-line failure analysis. Oh and the Tesla Power Wall.

9. Of course we could actually get rid of power transmission towers and go with WIND FARMS! Personally it makes much better sense. They could be sized according to the suburb location (hills or plains) and demographic choices (some people think they are eye-sores), but in actual fact they are the simplest way to power an entire metropolitan area with only a few of them.

Extract from quote on :
Australia had 1866 wind turbines spread across 71 wind farms at the end of 2014. Three wind farms with a combined power generation capacity of 566.7 megawatts (MW) were completed in 2014.

10. Last is my absolute favorite: Off the Grid Solar Power . Because when all else fails, be prepared. This time next year, that’s what we will have!

Light on a Wall Extra: Turns out Japan is considering removing ALL overhead power-lines in preparation for the 2020 Olympic games . That is smart. Really smart. Why doesn’t Australia do the same thing for when Japanese tourists visit our country and ask “Why you still do this?”

Extra 2: A truly smart idea: Adding wind-farms to preexisting power transmission towers . Who woulda’ thunk? Not our current prime minister.

That’s enough. Point made. I hope.


Throw in the Towels, The State is Rain-Soaked!

Turn Hard Left There was a massive storm over South Australia this afternoon. The morning was blue skies, but we watched clouds travel across the sky throughout the day.

I’ve always wanted to sit and watch a storm, so I turned our round lounge around, got it facing the front windows – then invited both my young sons to sit with me to watch the lightning and rain-storm hit.

It did hit hard, and all three of us boys watched lightning and thunder, cuddling when it was a frightening, then tickling the tears away.

Finally the power went out around 4pm. Didn’t know for about 30mins that the entire state of South Australia also lost power!

Weirdest thing to ever happen. So we lit every available candle, cooked dinner on our gas stove, read books to the boys by candle light and put them to bed. Actually, there was a lot more to it than that. If you are connected to me on Facebook, you know what else happened.

Anyhow, after the power came back on at 7.30pm for us, everyone in South Australia went straight to Twitter and Facebook to determine the outcome, express their opinions, and tell the classic joke that there will be a baby boom in June 2017!

[SEGUE] I have a varied group of online friends, in many works-of-life. Some are radio personalities, others are house-keepers (I don’t say house-wives, nobody is married to their house!), and a few are poets and writers.

My good friend Martin Christmas wrote a poem about his experience this afternoon with the weather, so I felt the urge to write a poem also. This poem took about 30mins once I realised the direction I was taking it.

Anyhow, they are just words. But they are mine.

poetry in progress

Never to be outdone,
Mother nature
threw us another
bucket of tears
all over the state
of South Australia.

With a wild
she hit us hard
where it hurt:
She wiped out
our power and heat,
she blackened our eyes
with candle light,
and for many,
she repelled all
online connectivity.

Mum decided
when enough was enough:
Her knuckles barely wet,
she abated momentarily
before resuming
her barrage,
blowing trees around,
driving my wheelie bins
down the street,
filling the gutters with spent leaves.

This pummeling may not end
before morning,
the torrential tornado
may find new strength
in the night.

So sandbag your castles,
nail batons over doors,
Let not the glass door
be broken,
and find strength in the
knowledge that
this too shall pass.

Lens Review: Canon EF-M 22mm F2 STM

I recently was able to purchase a new lens to add to my armory, to be used autonomously by my Canon EOS M1 : The Canon EF-M 22mm F2 STM .

Featuring an equivalent focal length of 35mm, the Canon EF-M 22mm offers a fast constant aperture of f/2, stepping motor for smooth and quiet continuous AF while capturing video and in live view mode, short minimum focusing distance of only 15cm, circular seven-blade aperture, and a non-rotating front element.
~ Quoted from

With a tiny KENKO Air MC UV 43mm filter attached, this is a very lightweight setup – perfect for outdoor time with my kids.

I have now managed to test it for a variety of styles as shown in the images below.

The quality of the images are amazingly colorful and rich, capturing much more data than expected.

These are my main walking shoes. The 22mm was able to get within a few centimetres and still focus on the subject easily with minimal light.

nike runnings up close

With light from a kitchen window, here you can see all the dimples of a fresh strawberry in my hand.

strawberry in hand

Testing the depth-of-field achievable by such a small yet lightweight lens, here you can see it focuses easily on the closest book whilst the others disappear into the short distance.

poetry in progress

I highly recommend this lens to anyone looking for a great travel lens that produces wonderful images. It also serves well as a family-camera for events and parties.



Knee Injury Recovery via Instagram

Back in late July I somehow managed to stretch the ligaments in my right knee. After I had finished washing dishes, with our 17mo son in my left arm, I turned right – but my knee did not. The ligaments pulled the knee plate over and stretched everything around it so fast.

Because I had the kid in my left arm, and I realised I couldn’t stop my body from falling to the floor, I knew I had to protect him – so I tried to turn back to the left. The knee plate was pulled from the right side of my leg to the left side. I am not sure who screamed louder, me or my 18mo son.

He immediately got up and walked away, so I implored him to go get mummy. Sarah was in the shed bottling honey.

One hour later an ambulance arrived to assess my situation and take me to hospital. Once at the Flinders Medical Centre, my ambulance was ‘ramped’ behind four ambulances for about 2 hours. Finally I got in, and took another 2 hours for a doctor to become available. Thankfully both the nurses and the prescription-drugs they gave me were wonderful.

Here is my Instagram coverage of my knee-recovery. Between each is a brief explanation of the moment.

This is what it felt like at the moment of knee-collapse.

My knee.

A photo posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

Hot dang, check out how swollen that leg is!!

Turns out this is a vomit bag. A nurse filled it with ice for my leg. It certainly helped.

Knee has swollen up immensely now. Bag of f-f-freezing ice provided. #Kneeselfie #collapsedknee

A photo posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

One wall of the X-Ray room at the FLinders Medical Centre

Wall of Xray Room, FMC

A photo posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

I spent a bit of time trying to work out what caused this to happen to me. Intially I was telling people that I had got my knees caught between the door handles of the kitchen sink cupboards – because it was the only option that made sense. But once I got home and tested this theory, it turned out to be physically impossible. So we still don’t know how it happend.

Thankfully I was provided with an amazing velcro leg brace. When I was a boy, this was unheard of!

Here is my leg with a compression bandage just a few days after the accident. I couldn’t walk anywhere, so spent many days lounge-bound. Thankfully my fingers still worked – so spent many days either on my phone organising honey sales or making and uploading tshirts .

Thanks to a new friend, Tim McGrath, CEO of VitalXan, I was able to test a Muscle and Joint Balm that has Mangosteen as its key ingredient. Initially I was skeptical, but it appeared to be working! So I am now an advocate for his product range. Check them all our here .

This knee brace became my best friend for a while. To stop my knee from twisting left and right, this amazing contraption enabled me to walk. Eventually I chose to remove it because I knew I wouldn’t recover quickly if I relied too much on it. Amazingly my physiotherapist didn’t notice nor object when she next saw me. Essentially I was prescribing my own physio exercise and limits!

I am wearing a metal angled knee brace for at least the next 3 weeks. #DiscloatedKnee

A photo posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

The swelling was starting to calm down, yet not completely.

I was house-trapped a lot. It took some effort each morning to get out of bed, yet I knew I would have to. I spend many hours with books and my phone on the lounge. Amusingly, I was still able to create tshirts, upload and sell them. Handicapped I was not!

My knee is no longer dislocated, but my muscles are tight. Lots,and lots of physiotherapy to do! For now, repetitive leg movement to relearn walking around. In a few months I will need to resume my #getfitcampaign #gymworkout .

I tested walking with only one crutch. Didn’t fare too well, but I learned I had to do LOTs of exercise to regain full mobility.

This is probably the first time I stopped wearing pygamas or ‘home pants’ all day long. Being able to dress properly without having to cover a leg brace was a great moment in the journey.

My three legs.

A photo posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

Ha, a rare moment where I let my 4.5yo son have fun with my feet. He handed me two shoes and said “One is for your good foot. One is for your sore foot.” He is so smart. No, I didn’t leave the house looking like this!

Some nights have been absolutely freezing here in Adelaide. To combat this, both legs have been wrapped in lounge blankets. This also made walking painful.

Two of my three legs are positively freezing. #AdelaideWeather

A photo posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

This was the last time I used my crutches at home. I started using anything at hand. In this case, a broom.

Today's three legs: two have uggfies, the third is a broom.

A photo posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

21st September 2016: I can finally walk. I went for a hydrotherapy session yesterday afternoon where I thoroughly enjoyed being able to walk without the weight of my body atop either leg. Whilst chatting with people twice my age, I walked back and forth across the pool, all the time wondering if I could do it without the crutches. So this morning, when I had to hurry down the hall to look after one of our children – I was crutchless. And I haven’t used one since. Well, other than for those few moments when my knee bent backwards a little too far.

Yay, finally walking again - with a slight limp!! #ThresholdCrossed #Painfree #NoLongerDislocatedKnee

A video posted by Stephen Mitchell (@eztephen) on

So now I am on the mend. Which means I can return to vlogging . I was quite despondent during the recovery, so didn’t feel like doing anything’ despite the suggestions that I could have video-logged the whole 3 months. Ah well. I ain’t doing this again if I can avoid it, not even to vlog it for your benefit!