012 cover

Holy moley was it a big one this week!

Firstly we kick things of snapping the lasses from Marville for The Music Magazine’s (Brisbane) – “The Guide” section cover shoot. Then we caught Adalita doing her thing again but this time with new band in tow at The Zoo, and THEN we head to the convention center for British India and Fall Out Boy, we even managed to string together some words for a review! Phew! I think I need a lie down!

Check out Marville and Adalita in this week’s issue of The Music (Brisbane) #012 and head directly to The Music website for the highlight photos and review of Bristish India and Fall out boy. Stay tuned for a full gallery, coming soon!

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read current and back issues online @ The Music magazine – Brisbane

Adalita @ The Zoo

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Getting There
The closest train station was over a kilometre away but we decided to walk from our hotel to take in some of the residential sites as well as making a short detour pass the Drum Tower, however after that there wasn’t much to see. Catching the train was a breeze – get on at Gulou Dajie, change at Xizhimen and get off at Beijing Zoo. A taxi would have been more convenient but judging from some of the traffic we saw along the way, I dare say the train would be quicker (depending on where you’re coming from of course).

Drum Tower

Once there you’ll have to purchase your tickets, don’t go into the courtyard and expect to get tickets at the gate, look for a line of ticket windows with a mass of people looking like a cross between the stock market and the lines at a music festival. This isn’t London, no
one knows what queuing is, throw in wandering tour groups and masses of school excursioning kids and you’ll understand why I recommend
pre-purchasing your tickets if you can. Like most major attractions there’s rarely a quiet time but a week day visit may see a few less locals.

When inside there’s three areas roughly divided into amphibians, reptiles and birds; big animals and aquarium; and lions, tigers and bears (oh my!). Of course the star attractions are the pandas and the area, especially at the start of the day, was packed so we decided to head away from the crowds.

Things kicked off with the reptile enclosures but the first flag appeared when we saw a group of locals coaxing otters by feeding
them sausages and other snacks while staff stood by unconcerned. I don’t know about you but I have no idea what otters eat let alone what could potentially kill them! I for one definitely wouldn’t want no otter homicide on my hands.

Normally we love zoos especially the big ones where the animals have plenty of space to roam but as we continued it became more and more obvious and rather disheartening to see a lot of the enclosures in varying states of disrepair not helped by the original poor attempts at “authenticity” re: jungle mural painted brick wall.

Sporting a similar poorly simulated scenery was the penguin enclosure, which like several displays wasn’t included in the ticket price. A separate ticket had to be purchased for this enclosure and quite frankly it wasn’t worth it, even with our overwhelming love for the little tuxedo wearers.

Like the penguins, it was an extra fee to get up close to the giraffes but this time you could actually feed them by hand (leaves and other greenery, not the stuff from your bag).

The hippo, rhino, elephants, lions and tigers were all either off in the distance or not visible at all so it was a quick breeze through those sections. Back to the pandas, the crowd had waned a little but it was still at least 3-4 people deep in parts and quite a battle to get close to the viewing glass to snap a photo, but well worth it when you do.

Photo tip: battling the crowd is the easy part, getting your camera close enough to no get any reflection from the glass or 10 camera phones in your shot while dodging some parent holding their terrified scream protesting kid in between the rail and the glass is the real challenge. Just like waiting at a bar to be next in line for drinks you need to choose your moment and make a quick move to any opening spots. Keeping an eye on the movement of other background animals could help you lock in a good shot as well. Wide to mid range zoom with macro ability will be the best lens choice for the whole day, I found a long telephotos lens wasn’t necessary.

With that bit of disappointment done and the rest of the Beijing sights seen, there was only one thing left to do… SHOP!

More Beijing Zoo photos here.

Beijing 2011 part #1 – Arrival + Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City
Beijing 2011 part #2 – The Great Wall – Mutianyu
Beijing 2011 part #4 – Shopping

Beijing photo gallery here
Beijing Zoo photo gallery here

After having to shoot the Nine Sons of Dan guys for the Time Off Live cover, the preliminary research pricked our ears up and they were quickly placed on the “gotta see them live” list. Fast forward a bit and they’re headlining a gig at the Zoo! Unfortunately we missed the support of Burning Brooklyn, Awaken I Am and We Were Giants all worthy to see in their own right but the main event was worth the wait. Great selection of song styles and tempos and a vocal not too unlike Brandon Boyd of Incubus which definitely isn’t a bad thing in our books πŸ˜‰

See below for the highlight photos of the event and grab this week’s Time Off magazine for a full review of the night.

More Nine Sons of Dan @ The Zoo photos here


Whoa! We’re everywhere like Obama in this week’s Time Off magazine!

First up, the big news – we rocked out our very first Time Off magazine cover (and associated feature article photo) with Brisbane rock legends, Screamfeeder!. And we manage to only annoy one elderly golf cart wielding security guard lady :p They (the band, not security!) have a yarn about their 20 year career, what the future holds and some of their most memorable gigs.

From our Live locals cover shoot we have indy pop band Founds and lastly we caught Sydney-siders Boy and Bear live at the Tivoli. Review and pic in this issue as well.

In other Time Off news, the guys have tweaked the lay out with a bedazzling new look, hooray!

Check out all this and much more in this week’s issue #1553.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets. The Time Off website is under going some major bedazzling as well so it is currently offline, but the you can still read the mag @ Time Off magazine – Brisbane

Ah-ha! The tables have turned haven’t they Mr. English! YOU are now the writee and -I- am the writer! Ok so that sounded way better in my head and its really not helping my writering poise…. *cough* stick to photos? You got it.

Anyhoo, long time street press scribe and sound tweaker Lawrence English swoops in on this week’s Time Off Magazine‘s Live local band shoot.

Check them out in this week’s issue #1552.

Our mid week outing caught the Lofly label showcase with Novia Scotia @ The Zoo. Review and pic in this issue as well.

Get it FREE from all the usual street press outlets or read it online @ Time Off magazine – Brisbane

Getting to the Bronx Zoo couldn’t be any easier or cheaper. Catch the BxM11 Express bus from Madison Avenue (don’t forget your fistful of quarters!), about 30min later youll be at the stop. Make sure your driver knows you want to stop at the zoo as the stop is not at the zoo itself, you have to walk under a small bridge to get to the entrance. So try and stay awake!

Photo tip: keep your eyes open as you cross the bridge into the Bronx you will see the dilapidated “Welcome to the Bronx” sign, authentic in an unintentionally cliched way.

A measly 15 clams will get you into the Zoo. Remembering, animals are seasonal creatures so different times of the year will mean different things for different animals. In general, the colder months will see less activity, on the plus side, there is less activity from visitors as well, so its very easy to get around and also finding that perfect photoing spot. Walking through the first section its clearly noticeable that they have quite a bit of land to play with and it doesn’t feel like its in the middle of one of NYC’s toughest burroughs.

First stop was one of the biggest aviaries we’ve seen in quite some time. Many smaller enclosures along with a few large “free fly” areas, very easy to lose track of time if you spend too long trying to find each type of bird in each enclosure.

Back on track, everyone’s must see are the tigers. That day, as announced by the rangers, they were a little lethargic and not really in a playful mood so they weren’t treated like circus animals to “perform” for their food.

Heading over to the seals, fans of “Friends” will see Marcel and his mates. The seals themselves seem to love the attention and were only too happy to pose and perform with an uncanny awareness of where the cameras were and which was their good side!

Waterbirds like Puffins and Penguins surrounded the seal areas.

Head to the eatery for some lunch, outside has fastfood staples at less than average fast food quality with meals sitting under heat lamps, good if you like soggy burgers and fries. Inside you can get healthier options with prepackaged salads, sandwiches and rolls and hot beverages. Service was hit and miss at best but on par with just about any place with staff that weren’t working for tips.

Keep an eye out for friendly neighbours like squirrels and peacocks, only too happy to say hello in a scarily over domesticated way (caught a Tienanmen square stand off with a peacock and park ATV transporter). This is a good time to grab a few souvenirs as well and if you missed out on Disneyland or Santa Monica pier, the large indoor carousel is your next best thing.

Last major stop on our way out was the reptile display with all matters of frogs, lizards, snakes, ‘gators and turtles which always make for some good photos.

The park is open from 10am-4.30pm and on the right day you should be able to leisurely see the whole thing in 4-5 hours depending on how many kids you have and the time of year. If you did bus it there, just make sure you leave enough time to get back to the bus stop (outside the main entrance near the bridge, there’s only a little sign, no bench or anything) as they tend to be rather sporadic and infrequent.

The bus ventures back into Manhattan via Central Park so you may want to include an afternoon stroll in there as well.

Next up, we start to wind down our whirlwind holiday with some good ol fashioned mouth opened, eye squinting sight seeing, NYC style.

New York City 2010 part #1 – The flight in…
New York City part #2 – Shopping: Midtown
New York City part #4 – Sight seeing – Manhattan
New York City part #5 – Sight Seeing – Brooklyn Markets and Gardens
New York City part #6 – Shopping: Soho

New York City photo gallery here
Complete Bronx Zoo photo gallery here