Duck Photos #4

We now return you to your regularly scheduled duck programming.

Choosing which photo to use for my last Duck-post was pretty tricky! I wanted to pick something with a bit of a story behind it.

This one fits the bill (hehe) but unfortunately it’s not a great photo.

This was taken on the morning of the AVCon @ OzAsia event we held last year. I had to run off-site to find a power adapter for our composite to HDMI converter. Driving out from War Memorial Drive I almost ran over this wood duck. He was visibly distressed and warking (wood ducks don’t quack, they wark) in the middle of the road and wouldn’t budge. If I had a little more time I would have probably stopped and tried to help him but perhaps it was better for both of us that I didn’t bother, I’d likely only add to his distress.

Balsa Wood Man

Balsa Wood Man, Balsa Wood Man, doing the things that balsa wood can…

A little figure made from balsa wood. We were asked to make a small human model demonstrating our understanding of how a figure would appear based on eight-head high proportions. (Most people are actually less than eight heads tall but this was for convenience.)

To understand what I mean when I say “eight-heads tall”, observe how the height of the figure divides into eight equal portions, each the size of the figure’s head. Along those portions are particular landmarks, eg. the start of the torso.

Some of my classmates used modelling clays and one even made hers out of a bread and PVA mix.

Mine has rotating limbs!

Beef Stroganoff

This one’s an improvised Strog recipe we cooked up on Tuesday night.


  • 1kg Beef, cut into strips
  • 3 very heaped tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon(?) paprika
  • 200 grams mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 medium onions, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped into fine pieces
  • 300 ml sour cream
  • 1 can (400ml? I forget how big these are) tomato purée
  • 1 litre beef stock (mostly used because I needed to use it up, I normally cook with stock cubes)
  • Wine
  • Wide egg noodles (tagliatelle)
  • Oil and butter for frying


  1. In a bowl, mix the flour and paprika, then use this to coat the beef strips.
  2. In a generous amount of olive oil and/or butter, cook the mushrooms and onions until soft and golden. Add the garlic.
  3. Add the beef strips and cook until sealed.
  4. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring. The litre I used proved to be a bit excessive and I spent some time reducing it.
  5. Add the tomato purée. Allow to simmer. We added just a little cinnamon at this point but I don’t think it really had any impact on the overall flavour.
  6. Add the sour cream and stir in thoroughly. If necessary, use corn flour to thicken the gravy.
  7. Serve with tagliatelle noodles!

Serves 8-ish


It seemed at first that the amount of mushroom and onion I used was going to be too much, but based on all of the other quantities used I think the dish turned out quite well. It might have been able to support up to another half kilo of meat. Finding sour cream in less than a 300ml tub was difficult and it seemed the tomato/sour cream ratio worked out quite nicely here too so I wouldn’t really think that reducing the mushroom and onion amounts would be necessary.

I’d normally use red wine in a strog but we were out of it, so I substituted white instead. Seemed to have worked ok.

Using less stock or using stock from cubes instead of from a carton would probably work better too. It’s a nice rich flavour though 😀


This piece was the major homework assignment from my life-drawing classes last year.


Breathing space

A homework piece from life-drawing. We were asked to consider composition and the impact this has on the way an image is interpreted.