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"OZ to US" Aussie Gamer Photoblog

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Aussie Gamer / Photographer travels to USA to photograph and document the Old and New Guard of the Tabletop gaming world.

Firstly this is my first attempt at Crowd-funding.  I’ve backed some 40+ Kickstarters and helped out with a few GoFundMe, but this is my first time on this side of the coin.

I want to be honest and upfront, so that I can be as transparent as possible.

I want to get to a certain gaming convention held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, USA.
I, of course, mean Gary Con.

Next year will be the eighth time for this gathering of old guard, new guard, fans, friends, and family.  After watching the last two online via photographs, I decided I wanted to go.  Now, I’m not one for handouts.  I had saved some money and had sold a few things that weren’t needed.  Unfortunately some unforeseen expenses came along.  So I took care of them and they took care of my cash.  I then thought of a Kickstarter, to use my love of photography to pay my way to the USA.  Alas, events in the last couple of months have halted that venture as well.

So, my lovely people (and you are lovely if you are still reading this) I have turned to GoFundMe with a clear set of goals and a means of paying you all back.  I am a firm believer in “Nothing for Nothing”.

If I am able to raise enough to make it to Gary Con, anyone (and I do mean anyone) who contributes will receive a nice little folder full of high res photos of my trip over there.  I intend to capture the spirit of gaming via photography.  Anyone who wants to contribute a substantial amount can AMTDA (Ask Me To Do Anything) (within reason of course).  You could ask me to take a photo of a game at the highest point here in Adelaide!  You could ask me to send you a postcard via snail mail!  You could ask me to find someone from your State / Territory / Provence / Country here in Adelaide!  You could ask me to share some Christmas cheer with a complete stranger!  You could have me play in one of your games at Gary Con!  You could…. Well you get the idea!

Ok, so now you are probably wondering a little bit more about me.  Who I am and why I want to do this.  Well let me tell you!

My name is Heath Farnden, and I am, amongst other things, a gamer and a photographer.  I’m an Aussie and I have travelled some of the world, but have not been to the US… yet.

My foray into gaming, more so tabletop gaming, started in 1988 with a solo gaming book called Lone Wolf written by Joe Dever, who in 1982 became the first British winner of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Championship of America.  From that series of books I plunged head long into games of all genres, and in the near three decades since that first adventure, Dungeons & Dragons has always been the game of choice for my tabletop gaming.  Tabletop gaming here in Australia is alive and well, however where I grew up in the Northern Territory it wasn’t as prevalent.  This led to my wondering not just about the adventures to be had, but also of those who spent so much hard work making the adventures for us to enjoy.  As a result I became a reader of Dragon Magazine, my first being issue 187 of the UK print.  Copies were notoriously hard to get in the Outback and being the British version they were also expensive, but I persevered.

My passion for photography also appeared at that time.  I vaguely remember getting a camera for Christmas 1988 and taking photos of my 2 year old cousin riding her rocking horse (I keep threatening her with them for a birthday or wedding…) and have had a camera of one sort or another within arm’s reach ever since.  I have owned and still own my first SLR camera, as well as a veritable treasure/junk trove of plastic point and shoot cameras.  Returning to Australia, after travelling in the UK and Europe armed with a digital point and shoot camera, I decided to purchase a digital SLR and really re-ignite my passion for photography.

I have two Facebook pages which contain my gaming and photographic passions; The Antipodean d20 ( and Digital & Developed Photography (
).  Both will attest to my love of gaming and photography and will hopefully show you my passion is real and genuine.

Ok, so now you hopefully want to help me, so I’ll get to the nitty gritty of it;

I have a very reasonable goal of $5000 Australian (approximately US$3600).  This includes return flights, accommodation, food, and a few incidentals. 
That may seem like a lot, but unfortunately living on the dark side of the moon… er, planet isn’t helpful as we do not have the same airline competition as in the US and Europe.  Flights generally are about $2000-$2500 return to LA or London, that’s UD$1500-$1875.  Needless to say I’ll be watching for sales!  The Aussie dollar isn’t great at the moment, and that’s not the end of the world but it all stacks together.

Accommodation is another piece of the puzzle.  I have booked into the resort hosting Gary Con for the full 5 nights of the convention.  This will be approximately US$675 (I sure this includes any taxes).  I did this on a whim when the location for the convention was announced earlier this year.  I knew I wanted to go and it didn’t cost anything to book.  I chose to book at the resort rather than another cheaper location was functionality.  I am hoping to avoid having to look at a hire car and didn’t want to “waste time” transporting any camera and computer equipment to and from the resort.  As I plan to be in the US for 12 nights, I will have to look for accommodation for the remaining 7 nights and this has also been factored into the funding goal.

If you, the lovely people of the internet, generously go past that goal, and/or I find ways to cut the costs of some of the expenses, then I will also make sure that the surplus goes to good use.  I have yet to work these out, as I do not want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I have had a few good ideas.  Some include; the possibility of producing an eBook of the photos with commentary by me about my experience, the possibility of visiting notable people of the gaming world who were unable to attend Gary Con, and the possibility of producing a short video of the convention as my DSLR has the capacity for video capture.

I must stress that I do not want to look like I am asking for a handout, rather I am asking for a little help in exchange for great photos and fun interaction with you, the backers!

Many thanks and my heartfelt appreciation,


PS, for some silly reason GoFundMe says this campaign has been going since Nov 2nd... I signed up on Nov 2nd and clicked the button to start a campaign but that was just to look at the process.... weird...


  • Alan Murin
    • $105 
    • 8 yrs
  • Heath Farnden
    • $70 (Offline)
    • 8 yrs
  • Heath Farnden
    • $80 (Offline)
    • 8 yrs
  • Nancy Hutchins
    • $35 (Offline)
    • 8 yrs


Heath Uisge Farnden
Adelaide SA

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