Blog Archives

2012 Genre a Month Photography Challenge

Ok, a quick recap.

I’m picking a photographic ‘genre’ each month for the next 12 months in the hope that I will learn more about this media and different styles. I’d love people to join me and thanks to those who already have. For more on the rules of the challenge, how to participate and the topics, I’ve set up a separate page here.

So, 1 down, 11 to go.

February 2012 = Travel Photography.

Now, if you were planning on joining me but you’re not expecting to ‘travel’ anywhere this month, then I hope you’ll take on my ‘travel with a twist’. Whenever I think Travel Photography, I immediately think rich colours of countries far away; the bright colours of Indian Sari’s; the grittiness of some American cities; the historic buildings of the UK with some gloomy weather thrown in.

Travel photography for me until recently would have been impossible. I didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t until I met Andrew that I started exploring places; first on short day trips and then overnight. We are about to embark on 9 days in the car together in mid February. (If I suddenly stop blogging, then check Australian newspapers for a story about a girl killed by her partner where he’s claiming justifiable homicide as she told him one too many times what the speed limit was!)

People take holidays for all sorts of reasons. Whether it’s to relax or trek the Inca trail (I don’t think the two can co-exist) people take a camera. Why? For the memories. To say ‘I’ve been there.’

What does this have to do with those of you not taking a holiday this month? Well, there’s another definition of travel. It is simply ‘to go from one place to another.’

Now unless your planning on confining yourself to your home for the next month, I’m presuming that everyone is travelling somewhere.

If I wanted to be especially pedantic I could claim that going from the living room to the bedroom constituted travel; it is afterall going from one place to another.

Travel Photography is often about memories and capturing the essence of a place. I think that’s what’s at the heart of travel photography and why I believe you can do a lot of travel photography in your own city. Indeed, your own street! When was the last time you really tried to capture the essence of those places? Well, February may be your chance! Become a tourist in your own city.

I’ve included a couple of photos I took at Bondi Beach this week. When people come to Sydney, Bondi is usually on their list. As someone who turns bright red quicker than you can say ‘cheese’, I’m not a fan of the beach. After this week, I’ll admit that it is a fantastic place for photography, particularly at dusk. There is so much on offer; so many ways to capture that place; Bondi in that moment. I’m quite happy to stand along side all the tourists with my camera and look like a blow-in from pommy land (I doubt they’d think I was from the tropics with my lily livid skin).

Bondi Beach Feb 2012 II

75-300mm lens at 190mm, f/5 for 1/125 sec, ISO 800, monochrome setting.

It seems the Bondi locals are very used to amateur photographers. No one seems to pay any attention to what you’re photographing. Their eyes are on the kid running through the sand; keeping the dog from inappropriately sniffing other dogs on the promenade or keeping your head above water.

So who’s up for the challenge?

If you are participating in the February Travel Photography Challenge, please go to this page and add a comment with a link to your efforts. 

Bondi Beach Feb 2012 I

75-300mm lens at 130mm, f/5.6 for 1/125 sec, ISO 800, monochrome setting.


The problem with disabled parking

No bikes on Bondi BeachIn Bondi, signage has a mysterious quality. It is there. You need not pay any attention to it though.

Take for example the photograph to the left. I couldn’t resist shooting a pic of the no bicycle sign with not one, but two bikes attached to the bottom. Only in Australia!

The second example was not quite as funny. Andrew and I were trawling the carpark for a space. There were a number of standard parks available, however Andrew needs to use either the wider wheelchair park (so he can get the chair beside the car) or one on the end where no one can park him in.

Finally we located two wide parking spaces reserved for people with a disability. One was taken, the other was thankfully free. As we pulled in we both noticed the guy parked in the first disabled space. He was standing beside his SUV putting on a wetsuit.

Now that’s ok, you don’t have to have ‘faulty’ legs to qualify for a disabled car space. You can be capable of standing. You could have a lung problem limiting the distance you can walk; or something else not immediately apparent to the eye.

I said to Andrew as we pulled into the space next to it… ‘leave it, I think he has a permit.’ (Andrew had vowed long ago never to get into a stoush with anyone sporting a permit… no matter how sporting they looked).

My words were too late. The guy was putting on that wetsuit with just a little too much athleticism. Andrew piped up: ‘Hey mate, you know you’re parked in a disabled spot? Do you have a permit?’ A simple yes would have sufficed.

He didn’t go the simple route.

Instead, he started to rant ‘What’s it to you? You better watch the way you talk to people; it’s none of your business where I park… What are you complaining about? You got a park. And yeah, I’ve got a permit’

There was no denying it. Andrew was rankled. His ire had been pricked.

It was maddening to watch this guy continue to put on his wetsuit, pick up his surfboard and run a few hundred metres down the beach.

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt however in this case, I remain convinced that it certainly wasn’t his permit, which really annoys me. Actually that’s a bit tame. It quite frankly, pisses me off.

We did proceed to have a fantastic night on the promenade taking photographs; once the steam coming out of Andrew’s ears subsided that is. I thought I was over it too. Then I came home last night to see that Andrew had posted his frustration on his facebook page. A number of his friends – some disabled, some not – joined in his rant. This only ruffled my annoyance once more. Indeed so much so that I spent a good half hour reading government websites about how to make complaints about people exploiting the system. (Apparently I can order some government sponsored flyers which say something like ‘being lazy is not a disability.’ Hmm… yeah, the flyer on the windscreen is going to make a great deal of difference. Unless, it comes with a very strong adhesive so they have the message permanently planted across the window.)

If they had a permit, would I want to stick a flyer under their wiper? I’d find that tough. What if they genuinely needed the space and I’d judged them too quickly? I feel for those who have been heckled because they don’t have a wheelchair, a cane or crutches. They could have only have 20% of their lungs working. (If that were the case I doubt they’d be running down the beach with their surfboard though). But I also know – ok, suspect – that the number of people using someone else’s permit is plentiful. Perhaps I should make my own signs.

‘Your permit is for the cripple; don’t leave home without him!’

Ok, I think I’ve got that out of my system not. Anger is a short madness. Well at least according to Horace it is.

Here’s a photograph I took on the way to Bondi – before the incident – I only wish ‘love’ had stayed in the air.
Love in Bondi

Christmas 2011

Chilly Long whiskers


Bondi Late Boxing Day

Baby, Grandma & Great Grandma I


Bromeliad II

Redfern Towers

Bondi Boxing Day 2011

Lysh & Io I

Hipstamatic shots

I have to admit to having a wee bit of fun with the hipstamatic app in my iphone. At the moment I’m using the John S Lens with BlacKeys B&W film. The cats are a little difficult to photograph with it because they are already so dark. However it works a treat for shadows and where there is a strong light source. The photos below in Bondi Beach were all taken near dusk this evening.

My shadow Bondi Beach

My shadow on the Bondi Beach promenade

The university skeleton

The university bookshop's skeleton getting in to the Christmas spirit

Saffron being a sook

Saffron sookin'

Bondi Beach Hipstamatic

I love the mood in this one