Monthly Archives: February 2015

Day 3 – Gothenburg Sweden

Best mug ever.

Larry Chen from Speedhunters on the left, Antonio from Motor Mavens on the right. It’s been awesome working with these guys.

I started a thing!

Later that night; Central Station, a huge square, super picturesque.

We wined and dined at the Norda Bar & Grill, an amazing restaurant in the Clarion Hotel Post which once used to be a Post Office.

Elk carpaccio! Amaze!

You know, I know this steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. Steak was next level. So soft. I’m not sure what cut it was, but the waitress suggested it was part of the inner leg.

The best dessert I’ve eaten in recent memory. In the tin was what looked like caviar, but it wasn’t. Urgh… SO good.

See the post office counters? They’ve done such a great job of preserving parts of the old post office. On point!

The matching wines got me pretty tipsy, so, onto the bar for more!

Hey Alexi!

Brandon, who was the man behind JTUNED, a site which inspired me so much when I was starting JDMST back in the day, such a rad dude.

Larry, he’s so sexy.

Great day of work yesterday, and even better dinner last night with the guys from the US and Japan. The topics that came up in conversation on our table were just so wrong, and had us laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes! It’s just so awesome to meet like minded people that you can click with almost instantly, and just be completely yourself around.

The US guys were in for just one night, so sad to not have more time with these cats. I’ll have to visit them in LA some time soon. I leave later this afternoon and I’m already beginning to freak out about the long 23hr trip back home.

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Feng shui


I was in the hotel lift earlier today and noticed this framed certificate on the wall that proudly states that the Avalon Hotel here in Gothenburg, Sweden is Feng Shui Certified.

Despite the hotel being under covers on the outside (construction, or cleaning? I can’t be sure), I’ve been comfy ever since entering the front doors, and quite surprised that everything just seems to be in the right place.

The more I look, the more I see and understand what they’ve done. Rounding off sharp corners, the calming green curtains, the generous pile of pillows of different hardnesses. The in-house CD’s, one titled groovy, the other titled cozy.

I’ve always thought of Feng shui to be plain logic, it’s like any good design, when it’s really good you don’t even see it or question it as it just works so well. IE: When I entered my hotel room I was just comfy, straight off the bat. Now that I’ve seen the Feng Shui Certified poster on the wall I’ve gone through my hotel room in a little more detail and I swear, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

Hooks: There are places to hang things everywhere. My layers of clothes have a place to hang, as opposed to putting them on a chair or the bed (mess). There are even more places to hang things in the bathroom, towels (which are massive!) wherever you like (one hook close to the shower makes sense) and hooks to keep your clothes off the floor where they could get wet.

Bathroom: The buttons to flush the toilet are behind the lid. IE: You have to close the toilet lid to flush the toilet. It’s a smart move as keeping the toilet lid shut is good Feng shui. Why? Well you’ve heard the complaints many women make about guys leaving the lid up, or people dropping things into the loo by accident, and then there’s Mia, my cat who tends to like drinking out of the bowl. There’s a little bin next to the toilet, it’s raised off the floor, so too the toilet brush holder. This makes cleaning the floor around the toilet easy. Again, its the little things.

Whilst I can see the logic behind most of the common Feng shui tips I’ve heard of, the one that alludes me is stepping in shit, or being shat on, which the Chinese say is good luck. Come to think of it, now I’m certain that stepping in shit or being shat on has anything at all to do with Feng shui!


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Day 2 – Gothenburg Sweden

Brekkie #1. The usual stuff, but with meatballs!

Brekkie #2. Loved the pate, smoked hams were amazing too.

By the time I was leaving the restaurant was much more alive with hotel guests.

Most of the other international guests expected to join me in Sweden aren’t arriving until later today, so I thought I’d rug up and go for a longer walk. I started by following the water. Many of the trees by the river have these cute bird houses on them.

I stumbled into a district called Haga. Cobblestone roads and lots of wooden buildings. Gothenburg’s a pretty place.

Loved this bicycle store. Air pump outside works even when the shop is shut, that’s really sweet.

I then spotted these huge stairs and gravitated towards them.

Almost at the top. It’s so quiet here in Gothenburg. There’s hardly anyone around. I only ran into a couple of joggers up here. It felt a little strange but wonderful to be up there on my own.

The view from the top. I spotted some huge canons up here. It turns out it’s an old fort called Skansen Kronan which was built in the later half of the 17th century.

Going back down.

So cute, right?!

A fountain, that wasn’t working. At the end of Haga was a public square which was busier than most of the city I’ve seen so far.

Zoomer! Coolest thing I’ve spotted on the roads so far!

The Japanese have landed. Charles Kha took us to Vapiano, a Pasta Pizza Bar.

Alexi, Charles and Luke.

Vapiano’s cool. Really nice and spacious, comfy and clean. You order at the kitchen and they make it right in front of you. Our chef Isabella had visited Australia before (surprise surprise!) and she has an Aussie boyfriend!

The smells, sounds and chit chat with the chef.

I went for the Scampi, it was delish.

Beers with the homies! Such a great catch up with these guys. Amazingly Luke had never met Charles before!

Luke and Antonio. After dinner we caught up with the Americans.

We hit a small Irish Pub for a couple of jugs of beer and some crazy talk, the American guys brought a new dynamic to the night, it’s party time! I’m psyched to meet these guys.

When travelling overseas, I have a thing (it’s a very real thing) for buffet hotel breakfasts. I’ll often down a few cups of coffee as well as fresh juice and I’ll eat absolutely everything on offer in the one seating. I find is extremely enjoyable, therapeutic and just an awesome way to start the day.

I tried my best to stay up last night in order to get my body clock aligned with Sweden time, but after my short trip around the block I felt wasted and crashed at around 4-5PM. I woke up at midnight. Epic Fail. I watched TV, chatted to friends online into wee hours of the morning and finally got back to sleep for maybe another 2 hours before getting up at 5am.

I rolled out of bed and hit the buffet breakfast downstairs at around 6.30AM, it was still quite dark outside and there were only 2 people in the hotel’s restaurant. Excitement! A bread station with all sort of interesting breads, a hard boiled egg station, a hot food section with meatballs (whoo hoo!), a coffee and tea section, a cold foods area with all sorts of local cheeses, pickled and smoked meats and a bar for cold drinks.

Soon after breakfast I went for a long stroll. I’m here one whole day earlier than all the other international guests who are flying over for work. They all land this afternoon so I had time to kill. Gothenburg is a lovely little town. It’s picturesque and quiet. The people are friendly and say “Hey” when I say “Hi” and they all seem to speak English well. No one wears sunglasses here, strange but true, and it’s nowhere near as cold as I thought it would be. Also, I’ve not seen one single modified car here. Everything is stock and quiet. The loudest thing I’ve heard are the church bells!

Later that night I was just about ready for bed but got a call from Alexi Smith of Noriyaro to say that he and Luke Huxham of Maiham Media had landed from Japan. Charles Kha was coming to the hotel and he was going to take us out for a late dinner (which was awesome!). A little later on the Americans arrived; Larry Chen from Speedhunters, Antonio Alvendia from Motor Mavens and Brandon Leung from BOWLS LA. We hit an old Irish pub, and the party almost started (but had to end as everyone was buggered and we had an early start the next morning). Good times ahead!

PS: I’m staying at the Avalon Hotel. It’s a gorgeous little 4-star hotel right in the thick of it. It’s super comfy. I’m loving it (bed is great, fine Egyptian cotton sheets are even better!). Highly recommend it if you ever stay in Gothenburg!

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Full Set (NSFW Nudity Warning):

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Day 1 – Sydney > Singapore > London > Sweden

Saying one last goodbye to my rock pool.

Cacia and Jess getting nekkid for my lens.

First stop, Singapore. 1 hour to refuel and and I was in this queue to board again for London.

The sun rising in London. Not as grey as I expected!

Gothenburg! Ice Ice Baby.

My lovely boutique design hotel room complete with Fritz Hansen side table and a pair of Marc Newson embryo chairs out in the hallway.

Said Marc Newson chairs! Not surprisingly, they’re just as un-comfy as they look.

Everything is in the right place. My inner industrial design geek is lovin’ it!

The bathroom, where I had the best shower I’ve had this year. Fuck I felt so much better!

I smashed a small bottle of red and went for a walk soon after settling into my hotel room.

A church a few blocks down from the hotel.

Water! And yeah, it’s cold, not unbearable, but cold enough to wear gloves.

I’ve got a big mouth, and keeping secrets isn’t a strongpoint of mine, so keeping this huge trip to Sweden away from social media has been a challenge and a half to say the least. The trip is huge for a couple of reasons: 1) it was only mentioned a couple of weeks ago so I’ve had very little time to plan or get my head around it, 2) I’ve never travelled alone, let alone this kind of distance before.

Having just recently returned from a great trip to Melbourne. I was meant to be jetting off to Queensland to test tyres on the race track, shoot Amber (Max Stats) who I’ve been meaning to shoot for a couple of years now, as well as visiting my great friend Liz to celebrate her 40th.

Just a few days ago this Sweden trip ended up being pushed forward a couple of days as the flights on the intended travel dates were booked out, this meant that I would have landed back in Sydney on a Sunday night and then I’d be on my way to Sweden the very next day.

This stressed me out pretty hard as it meant I had only a couple of days to get ready for Sweden weather (it’s -5 there so I had to buy winter wear!), pack my bags for Sweden before leavening for Queensland and basically land and go.

Luckily, or unluckily, whichever way you choose to look at it, my Queensland trip ended up being cancelled due to a cyclone (testing tyres on the track has now been re-schedule for Calder Park in Victoria when I land back in Sydney and I later found out that Liz also postponed her Birthday Party due to bad weather). This news acted like a release valve for my high stress and anxiety levels. It meant that I could have made it to Halfway Hangs, an epic car meet between NSW and QLD, but I decided against going, and instead played host to NYC based Model and Artist Cacia Zoo instead.

As I type this I’m on a plane to Gothenburg in Sweden. It’s a short 1.5hr flight. I’ve had the first coffee since the last one I had in my own kitchen in back in Sydney. My back is a little sore, my ass is numb. I feel greasy, empty and beyond tired.

Rewind back to Sydney; the house got up early. Cacia, Jess and I walked over to the beach house to shoot. Cacia stripped down (she’s been so comfortable with being nude she’ll happily take her pants of without going to a change room), Jess followed suit. Cacia; damn, this girl moves, fast (which really suits me as I shoot fast). She dances, she goes through a spectrum of emotions, my lens loves her.

After the shoot we had brunch, then I was on my way to the airport. My thinking was that I could edit the shots during my long trip from Sydney to Gothenburg, but there really wasn’t any one time where I could work with my back to the wall. I wasn’t sure how the people sitting next to me would have felt if I was editing nudes, so I didn’t go there.

I’m renowned for teleporting in any case, and teleport I did. From Sydney to Singapore I watched the latest X-Men flick (loved the Sentinels! Took me back to the X-Men comics I used to read in high school), then I slept and pretty much woke up in Singapore. Teleporting on the flight from Singapore to London was a little harder, but I still managed to sleep most of the way. I tried to watch Godzilla, but fell asleep. I watched ‘LUCY’, which was great (I’m a Scarlett fan), and ‘Nightcrawler’, which wasn’t as dark or stylish as I was hoping it to be. The best movie I watched was ‘Whiplash’, which I truly got into (I felt it reunited my love for Jazz and I urge anyone who loves music to watch it).

I’ve flown British Airways the entire trip. I usually really look forward to airplane food, not sure why, always have. Maybe it’s because it makes me feel like I’m an astronaut eating space food, something like that, but I tell you what, this had to be the worst airplane food I’ve ever had.

Anyways, the plane is descending into Gothenburg. The sun is up. It’s been a dark trip. I didn’t even get to see the sky in Singapore and landing in London at 5am was pitch black and cold out on the runway as the sun was rising. I’m looking forward to being outside! More news as it comes!

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Cacia’s main reason for flying to Sydney was for her best friend’s wedding, which was last night. As expected, she partied up, hard! So hard that she’s been ill all day (exorcist style, poor thing!). So, here’s a shot of the girls, KO’d!

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Spotted in Rose Bay today, an Aventador with Italian stripes, a McLaren 12C, but these are the 2 cars I took my camera out for. A gorgeous Porsche 356 and a 2 door MK1 GTI (!).

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Cacia Zoo Yoga




Cacia was sleeping like a log, so I let her sleep a few more hours to get over her jet lag. She finally rolled into the lounge room with a yoga mat in hand and I took the opportunity to snap a few shots of her out in my backyard.

No make-up, no fake lashes, no hair extensions, no spray tan, armpit stubble, deep breaths and huge yawns! I love her.

PS: I shot with the Sony a7S in full silent mode. No focusing beep or shutter sound as to not disturb her morning yoga routine. I have to admit, shooting in total silence is a really handy feature of this camera!

View the full set of photos on my folio site:

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Reuben Hills

Brunch with Cacia and Jess at Reuben Hills in Surry Hills today. Nanami took me quite a while ago (and it was great), second time around was just as great! Delish as expected!

I felt like eggs, so ordered scrambled eggs on rye w onion, coriander, lime and cumin salt with jamon (so good) and avo on the side.

Cacia went for the Baho Beef Nicaraguan brisket with plantains, yuca, gallo pinto & papaya slaw. Pick of all 3 dishes for me. Earthy goodness.

Jess went for the NOT reuben (which she can’t go past every time apparently!), wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, manchego and horseradish mayo on rye.

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New MacBook Pro

Baby and the brick.

I’m retiring my old MacBook Pro (on the right), which has been my everyday machine since starting Zen Garage in 2011. She’s been alright but I was never impressed with her lack of speed (she’s always been slower than my iMac desktop which I still use to edit my photos), and she’s always been slow to start up, but this new replacement (thanks to Thanks to Aus Infront!) starts up in seconds thanks to it’s SSD drive. The new MacBook Pro’s a lot thinner too and about half a kilo lighter as well (great as I do lug my laptop around with me wherever I go and I have a couple of overseas and interstate trips lined up this year as well).

The only thing I’m freaking out about is Retina technology. I thought about giving it a miss, but have decided to take the risk and go with the Retina model. I’m sure there will be issues, but I’m also sure I won’t be the only one with issues, so hopefully resolutions will be well documented by now.

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