Country adventure

Sometimes you just need some fresh air, good conversation and a bit of perspective.

When I posted a few weeks ago about feeling a bit blue, a guy I’ve known for about 4 years but haven’t seen in nearly that long, reached out and offered some time on his property. He paid for my flights to Dubbo in central New South Wales and in return asked that I take some photos of his newly renovated accommodation that he’s going to be renting out on his property. Pretty sweet deal.

On Friday night I left work and went straight to the airport and jumped on a little plane for the 45 minute flight West, followed by an hours drive. Over the weekend I’ve seen how dry central NSW is from the 3 year drought and that has given me a lot of perspective. Farmers are doing it really tough out there.

Amongst seeing his property, taking photos and catching up, I got to meet his 8 enormous draught horses. Charlie is the leader of the pack but Bob is the biggest character. He’s the one behind me in the gif above. He’d escaped through the electric fence and was on the outside of it.

A bit later in the day I went for a walk (not nude) and came across all 8 horses near a damn, some on the other side but at some unseen signal they all cantered around towards me where I was near the big leader, Charlie. It’s a bit unnerving as someone not used to horses, to see 7 of them running towards you wondering if they are running in a “Hi great to see you” or “Who the hell do you think you are?” kind of way. They stopped short and didn’t do anything threatening but my heart was racing a bit so I wandered off and left them to it.

It was a beautiful weekend. The Australian country is a harsh mistress but a beautiful sight, even in drought. There is a vlog to come!

The Sydney Gays…

Today has been a bit of a ride if you were here in Sydney and following a bit of localised drama going on.

A new Sydney based podcast popped up in the last day or two called The Sydney Gays and it’s first episode has people cringing hard. The two guys that run it are known around Sydney and they are polarising figures. One has a lot of followers on Instagram and the other has been on TV and on the scene here in Sydney for years.

The podcast is getting a lot of hate because it’s essentially all the shallow, self-absorbed stuff you’d expect from a couple of guys that never leave the Sydney gay ghetto. It’s about clubs, the gym, how many guys they hooked up with at a new dance party etc etc. While it promises to delve into deep topics such as racism, if the first episode is anything to go by it’s not good.

Do I agree with all the vitriol on twitter and facebook today? Not entirely. The guys have put themselves out there for public criticism and they aren’t handling the flack very well but I don’t think they need to be absolutely shredded for it. Sadly they are playing into the reputation that Sydney gays have at least here in Australia. Self-obsessed, shallow, all about partying and very little substance. So I can see where the hate is coming from but there are a lot of other shit podcasts out there and no one is forced to listen to them. If we slag off at them for being cliched A-gay stereotypes doesn’t that make us just as cliched?

To me, it’s a conversation between friends that didn’t need to be recorded, let alone published and promoted. As someone said, a drunken friend has probably said “OMG you guys are so funny, you should do a podcast.” and sadly, they’ve followed through with it.

Scary or brave?

In my spare time I seem to have been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately and yesterday I found a new channel. It’s run by a woman who goes out and asks people to share their darkest secret or to share the most painful thing someone has ever said to them. It’s fascinating stuff.

The series of videos she’s posted that I have watched the most are videos of people calling someone they have a crush on and asking them out on a date. Clearly that is something I would struggle with enormously. I’m not great at putting myself out there like that but maybe that’s something to work on.

The other problem is that I don’t have any crush to call. The guy I posted about last week that I have a crush on isn’t the kind of crush you ask out, just one to enjoy for what it is. I’ve never once pictured anything happening with us.

It’s a very bold move to call someone and ask them out if they have no idea that it’s coming and then to do it on camera is even more intense. You have to admire these people. The video below is one where it’s all guys calling their crushes, both male and female.

HOTEL

When a man has a bit of time on his hands, alone in a hotel room he is going to use those hands.

When Alex contacted me saying he wanted to work together and was happy to come to town from interstate to do it we thought we’d make the most of the accommodation he booked by doing a sexy voyeuristic photo shoot.

As you can see Alex isn’t shy and nor does he have anything to be shy about. In this series he relaxes on the bed, has a shower and explores himself in the comfort of his hotel room.

If you want to buy HOTEL click here and head to my online shop.

Work it out

Over the weekend I headed south to our Nation’s capital city to visit a friend and fellow nudie. As well as a photo shoot for him that we will both be releasing to raise money for charity, we did a very quick shoot of Tom doing a workout in his home gym. He was, of course dressed in his favourite way, completely naked.

As you all know I would love to have a nude gym but it’s a very rare thing around the world. As you can see, Tom looks pretty bloody good giving his punching bag a workout in his garage.

At the moment I’m house and dog sitting so I’m barely getting to the gym, let alone working out nude. It also means that I won’t really have an opportunity to edit the photos for a little while. I have a few shoots waiting to be edited ready for release as a download. I promise you’ll get access to them soon.

Confronting

Living in an apartment building, there are always new people to see in the lift and coming and going from the building. We have all sorts of people in the complex. Of late I have seen a several hot men with their young children in strollers etc. One in particular in my building is very, very attractive.

The first time I saw him as I was busy trying not to get caught drooling something occurred to me that I found a little confronting. All these hot DILFs are at least a decade younger than me. I’m older than DILFs.

I know the term Daddy doesn’t specifically mean a father but in this literal sense, it does and I’m a bit shaken. There are people out there now having kids that I could technically have fathered myself. Wow.

Given they are straight and with partners have children, they seem to be my typical unavailable type but it is very nice to see them coming and going. It’s also gorgeous to see them being great fathers to their kids too.

Two more days…

In two more days, Australia will go to the polls in the Federal Election. Since the start of 2010, Australia has had six Prime Ministers and the last three in particular have been pathetic. Both sides of politics here in Australia have been prone to firing their leader mid term so out of those 6 leaders, the Australian public have only voted for about half of them.

I’ve never been particularly aligned with one party or another and have never understood that blind faith that a party is better than the other one regardless of what happens. The typically American thing of being brought up in a Democrat or Republican family is so strange to me but on recent form I’d have a problem if I raised a Republican.

I for one am hoping for a change in government at this election. The Liberal party who are leading now have shown a ridiculous amount of incompetence, borderline corruption and some just plain nasty policies. The Labor Party who are the opposition are much more for “the people” in my opinion.

With two days out, thankfully the media blackout on political advertising has started on traditional media so. Fingers crossed this all ends well.

Slightly crushed

Not so long ago I got to spend a few hours in the company of someone I’ve had a gentle crush on for several years. Nothing has, or ever will happen between us for a number of reasons and that is perfectly ok. I’m not going to list the reasons but they are valid and I won’t enter discussions about “just try, you never know.” I know.

I was talking about it with a friend over the weekend and we were discussing how it’s ok to have a crush and leave it as just that. Just as they say sometimes it’s best not to meet your hero just in case it ruins it, sometimes it’s just a sweet delicious feeling to enjoy a crush without the complication of trying anything.

It is very pleasant to be reassured that the person you have a crush on is also a lovely human and just nice to be around. We happily chatted over the time that we were hanging out about a wide range of topics and it was just chilled and easy.

Now, there are plenty of other guys I crush on that I would like something to happen. How do we make that work?

I don’t think so.

After a photo shoot yesterday morning I shared a photo in my instagram stories on my photography page of the model that I’d just worked with. A little while later the model messages me asking if I knew who a guy was who had messaged saying they were a photographer and asking my model if he did nudes. So far ok, right?

This “photographer” is someone that leaves one word comments like “sexy” on every photo or story on Instagram. Still relatively harmless but low key creepy. Next thing you know he’s sent unsolicited nudes of himself to my model. Yes they were self portraits but no legitimate photographer sends nudes of himself to a potential model. It’s now in the high-range creepy territory.

Let me just point out that the photographer is on the other side of the world somewhere and the chances of them working together are pretty much nil. My model is actually a friend and not a guy that does shoots generally.

So after all that I decided it was time to hit the block button on the guy. His vaguely creepiness had just escalated to a point that I wasn’t happy putting up with any more.

90 days

According to my countdown, I am leaving for Europe in 90 days. To say I’m looking forward to it is a huge understatement.

One thing I really want to get done by the time I go is to get my body back into some semblance of the shape that I want it to be in. My gym motivation is slowly creeping back but I really need to get my food and my training on track once and for all.

This week I weighed myself and I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and while I know I’m not obese or terribly overweight, I just don’t feel good. If I’m going to be running around naked in Europe and hopefully making the acquaintance of several delightful European men, I’d like to fly the flag for Australian men in the best way possible.

More importantly though, I just want to feel good again. My body will never move the way it did in my twenties and I understand that but I’d like it to move more like that than an 80 year old man.

Inspiration day

My boss is good at getting us out of the office for the occasional lunch or like today, a team building day. Today’s event was working as a team with horses as the extra member of our team and learning through them, better ways to work as a team.

Another thing that came from the day on a personal level was the reminder that I have wanted to do a shoot with a guy and a horse for a long time. Sadly that is quite a tough one to organise. I’m finding that I’m having ideas for shoots that are more logistically difficult to pull off but I’m sure they will happen.

A photographic inspiration for me who has also worked with lots of male nude figures and horses is Francois Rousseau, most known for shooting a few of the Dieux Du Stade calendars over the years. His work is exquisitely lit and just so elegant. If anyone near Sydney has horses and somewhere I can photograph them with a nude man or two, give me a shout!

BATURO from STUDIO FRANÇOIS ROUSSEAU on Vimeo.

Giving homework!

There are moments when I realise that I’m lucky to have some fantastic friends around me. Whether I see them regularly or occasionally, they all bring a lot of positives to my life.

Tonight I’ve caught up with a friend that I’ve known for 20 years or so and this guy has always worked high pressure jobs and as a consultant for big corporates. For the last 8 years he’s been working up to 16 hour days, 7 days a week, flying all over the world and in the last 6 months, it all caught up with him. He had a nervous breakdown. As a result of that he’s now in the midst of implementing his exit strategy and tonight he confessed that he’s a bit nervous about what to do next. He needs an income but just isn’t sure on what the next steps are.

Even though I have no experience in corporate high flying I do have some life experience. My suggestion to him was to take the time to enjoy the extra time and explore options. I even gave him some homework.

I’ve told him that instead of absolutely everything in his life revolving around work I want him to do something just for the hell of it. He has strict instructions to watch at least one 5 minute Youtube video on something completely unrelated to work and just to watch it purely for the pleasure of it. Let’s see what he sends me.

Are you LOST?

I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut with photography at the moment. I still enjoy it but I don’t know if I’m getting the joy from it that I should. There may be a bit of a break from releasing downloads in my near future. Who knows?

This week’s download is the delightful Bevan walking around LOST in the wilderness near his home. The trees were all black from a fire but all the new growth gave the place a sense of hope and regeneration.

If you want to buy LOST the click here. We are up to number 69 download at the moment and I’m very proud of the body of work that I’ve created. I hope you are all enjoying it!

Little wins

Last week’s dark mood and the sluggishness of the last couple of months seems to be lifting a bit. Thank goodness for that.

This week at work has been stressful but also providing some wins. Since the digital designer was made redundant a bit over a month ago, my work is giving me opportunities to learn some digital work that I’ve never had the time/opportunity to learn before and today my manager seemed quite impressed with the results. Yay.

My gym focus seems to be coming back a bit as well which is nice. It still has a long way to go but it’s getting there. I have to figure out how to make cardio enjoyable so that I do it. If I work that out I’ll sell the idea and make millions.

In a few weeks someone I’ve known for a few years vaguely has paid for flights to go out to his country property in rural New South Wales (my state) to take photos of his property. He’s been getting part of the property ready for AirBnB and needs pics of it. He saw my post about struggling last week and thought it would be good for me to get out of the city for a weekend. He’s totally right and I’m happy to do the photos for him as a trade off.

He’s also a bit of a nudie as well so he understood completely when I said I’d need some nude selfies on his property for Instagram. You can never have too many after all.

Such a shame

Last week I had to turn down a free holiday in Indonesia, dammit.

A reader of this blog sent me a link to the website of a company who are about to start men-only, clothing optional sailing trips through Indonesia because he thought it might interest me. Of course it would! When I went to the website and watched their introductory video, I noticed that all the footage was from different sources and I was pretty sure they didn’t own the copyright. That was confirmed when I saw some of my own footage in there from one of my photo shoots.

I emailed the company and said that I was disappointed and pointed out that they were potentially exposed to a lot of copyright infringement suits. It was pretty clear though that they couldn’t afford to film content before they’ve started sailing and it turned out their video editor had given them the impression he’d take care of copyright.

They were very grateful that I wasn’t going to sue them and as a way of apologising they offered me a free spot on their first trip in July. Sadly all my annual leave is going towards my trip to Europe in August. Maybe they’ll give me a discount another time.