Back in business!

As some of you know, recently I accidently killed my well-used and much-loved Canon 5D Mark II body and the EF 16-35mm lens on it at the time.

Imagine my joy when a package arrived a few days later from 1000 km away, containing a 5D2 body, carefully wrapped inside its original box. It felt like Christmas, and all because of the overwhelming generosity of Mel Brackstone in lending me her “old” one. Compared to how mine has looked for some time, Mel’s looks brand new! It’s a bit idiosyncratic, has a 1-point AF system, but it works just fine. (I mostly use manual focus TS-E lenses anyway.) With my 5D2’s battery grip on it, I was ready for business!

Yesterday I took Mel’s camera on its first trip to the Blue Mountains National Park, NSW, Australia. It felt good to be back in the saddle, and my head needed a break from my thesis (don’t ask!). My aim was to shoot Terrace Falls for the first time and generally explore the region around them.

I succeeded in my aim and my loan 5D2 overcame its understandable nervousness whilst in my hands and on my tripod and even wants to go back and discover a route to Leslie Falls in the next valley.

By the time I actually got to Terrace Falls, the sun had just hit the ridge line above them and the so-called cloudy conditions had dissipated to blue sky, so there was too much light on the falls to be any good for shooting. But I wasn’t disappointed because the reason I was late getting there were other falls:

Salote Pool

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon TS-E 45mm f2.8 Tilt+Shift Lens with Hoya ND x400 filter, ISO 50, f10, 45 seconds


Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon TS-E 24mm f3.5L Tilt+Shift Lens with Hoya ND 8 filter, ISO 50, f7.1, 13 seconds

Thank you Mel!


  • Toni McPherson
    Toni McPhersonover 2 years ago

    Beautiful well done

  • Thanks Toni!

    – Peter Hill

  • Karen01
    Karen01over 2 years ago

    That’s awesome… both the shots and Mel’s generosity!! :)

  • Thanks Karen!

    – Peter Hill

  • Garth Smith
    Garth Smithover 2 years ago

    Beautiful work Peter, she is a lovely lady is Mel.

  • Indeed she is, thanks Garth

    – Peter Hill

  • LindaR
    LindaRover 2 years ago

    what a gift ~ a woman with a generous heart & good to have you back in action Peter ~ kudos to both of you! xx

  • Thanks Linda!

    – Peter Hill

  • Linda Bianic
    Linda Bianicover 2 years ago

    gorgeous Peter! How thoughtful of Mel! Nice to see you back!

  • Thanks Linda. Mel’s one in a mill.

    – Peter Hill

  • GerryMac
    GerryMacover 2 years ago

    Stunning results Peter!

  • Thanks Gerry!

    – Peter Hill

  • Wendi Donaldson
    Wendi Donaldsonover 2 years ago

    …as the song says ~ ’Nobody does it better …….‘……. SO pleased you’re back doing what you do BEST!! And kudos to the generosity of Miss Mel. Can’t beat the spirit of RB! Love it.

  • Yep, I have a lot to be thankful for. I mean, it’s a 5D2 she’s lent me!

    – Peter Hill

  • jules572
    jules572over 2 years ago

    It’s nice to hear that the postman delivers more than bills Peter. Stunning results…Jules

  • Thanks Jules!

    – Peter Hill

  • Joanne  Bradley
    Joanne Bradleyover 2 years ago

    What a wonderful generous gesture on Mel’s part! Happy shooting Peter!

  • Very generous on Mel’s part, and very trusting too, given where I go!

    – Peter Hill

  • Evelina Kremsdorf
    Evelina Kremsdorfover 2 years ago

    Been meaning to write you a note and tell you about my recent experience…
    While I was in England last month we were shooting a sunrise at a beach in Yorkshire. The tide was coming in so we kept moving back and it was wet everywhere. It got really bright and I really needed a filter but couldn’t put my backpack on the ground because it was too wet. So for 1 second I turned around to grab my backpack from behind and the water sort of flooded the sand under one of the tripod legs and it fell over!!! For like a split second, not even submerged under water, just a little splash. Because it fell on the lens I thought the lens is damaged and started wiping it. Finally it was all clean and sand free, i realized the camera wouldn’t turn on. Tried to dry it but it was just dead. Luckily my friend shared her D700 with me the remaining 3 days. Upon returning home I sent the camera to Canon and figured i’d pay whatever just to have it fixed. A week later I contacted Canon and they said it was unrepairable. Too much corrosion inside due to salt water. The camera was only 3 months old. I was so upset, i knew I couldn’t go back to 40D. I went home and bought a new camera online. The next day I called my insurance company, they asked to provide some documentation and by the end of the day approved me for the entire amount I spent on the broken camera. I received the new camera and the reimbursement check almost at the same time :) Still can’t believe what I went through….
    This is how my friend described me: She was devastated, then happy. It happened faster than a bi-polar mood swing!!
    Happy you’re “back in business” as I am :) Now book that trip to NYC!

  • Oh dear, Evelina, I know exactly how you felt when you saw the tripod tip over! And still a new camera! So glad you had insurance!

    – Peter Hill