Blog Archives

Saturday Drive in Pictures

You know that it’s going to be a good day in pictures when early on in the drive you spy a woman with a skeleton print dress and green fingernails.

Petersham skull lady

55-250mm lens at 135mm, f/5 for 1/1600 sec, ISO 2000, cropped subsequently

To be honest, I had no idea what was on her dress at the time. I was in the car and shooting from quite a distance. It was only later when I downloaded the pictures and zoomed it up that I spotted the print and green fingernails. That’s why the print is a little grainy; too much zooming.

A little further down the road, there were lots of pedestrians. The lady sitting in this picture I often see. I think she sits and paints on the footpath; I’m guessing she sells the paintings to passerbys. I really don’t know, I see her only quickly from the car.

Enmore Road Enmore

55-250mm lens at 194mm, f/5.6 for 1/2000 sec ISO 1250. Changed to Black and White post production. Enmore Road, Sydney

Meanwhile, people are gathering for the Dresden Dolls concert at Enmore Theatre. I have no idea whether people normally wear unusual fashions to Dresdon Dolls concerts or whether this person dresses like this everyday:

Enmore theatre Dresden Dolls

Towards the end of Newtown, I took this shot which Andrew describes as ‘the yellow man.’ It’s interesting how much I like this shot for the lines in the background and I very much do like the sepia tone I’ve put in post production. Andrew on the otherhand considers this one of the lesser shots of the day. Each to their own.


55-250mm lens at 250mm, f/5.6 for 1/2000 sec, ISO 1600. Sepia added post production

In Cleveland street, I saw this guy having a smoke before taking out the trash. It was shot through the windscreen of the car which often results in a ‘milky’ finish. In this case, I really like the greyed out tones, so I kept it.

Cleveland St Sydney

55-250mm lens at 250mm, f/5.6 for 1/1600 sec, ISO 2500

Still in Cleveland street I was trying to take a picture of a sandstone building while Andrew was stopped at a red light. Then I heard guys saying something about taking photos and I turned to see two guys stopped next to us. I said, ‘I’m taking photos of that building’, pointing. I had no idea what they were saying yet I felt like I was being heckled.

Andrew said:

Quick, take their picture!

I lifted the camera, they immediately cracked a smile and I knew it was ok. I snapped the shot and we drove off.

55-250mm lens at 55mm, f/10 for 1/640 sec, ISO 1600. Cropped post production

Finally just a few streets from Andrew’s place, we spotted a queue of mounted police. I never knew that the mounted police headquarters were in that street and can only presume that were going out for the Sydney Festival. The horses were huge and magnificent. It was a good end to the drive.

Sydney Mounted Police

55-250mm lens at 55mm, f/4 for 1/640 sec, ISO 250. Black & White post production

Sydney Mounted Police II

55-250mm lens at 100mm, f/5 for 1/1000 sec, ISO 125


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

A walk around the block

I took a walk around the block this afternoon. I was reading in Tom Ang’s The Complete Photographer that one should stroll down a familiar street with fresh eyes. You’d be amazed what you can see.

Indeed I was. I didn’t know that spiderman lived around the corner!

Spiderman comes to visit

discarded toys

Dulwich Hill Sydney

Neighbourhood flowers

neighbourhood tortie

a tortie who stayed long enough for me to photograph

Not the nine o’clock fireworks

We set out to take photos of the 9 o’clock Darling Harbour fireworks show. We returned with this snapshot instead.

Louis Vuitton Paparazzi King St Sydney

5 men all taking photos with their phones of louis vuitton window

What was so fascinating about Louis Vuitton’s King St Sydney window, I’ll never know. The sight of 5 men snapping photos with their phones of whatever was in the window was a little bizzare indeed. Louis Vuitton worshippers perhaps? I thought their silhouettes against the red window made for a great photo in itself.

While I’m sharing photos, I have to include this one of Gesso. I was very pleased as I took it using the manual mode my camera (Canon 550d).

Gesso sleeps

[70-300mm lens at 70mm, f/5 for 1/10 sec.]

Yes, he’s beautiful when he’s quiet.

The broken crockery we found on the floor when arriving at Andrew’s place last night was nothing to do with this little sweetheart. I think I jinxed myself by thinking it would be nice to go home to my peaceful – ADULT – girls. That’s why I heard a thump during the night and woke to find my Wii on the floor. Unlike Gesso, Licorice and Saffron are smart enough not to sit next to the evidence. Indeed – PLAY with the evidence. Andrew yelling at the [deaf] cat to stop playing in the ceramic shards was hilarious – after the fact. For a girl who hates domestic duties I’m getting pretty good at cleaning up at Andrew’s place, thanks to this little devil.

Ethics of photography

City Road, Sydney

Originally uploaded by scroobious_pip

On the weekend, I went out with my friend ‘4’. We often go for drives to take photographs – Bondi, North Head, Waverley, Sydney Harbour – all over the place. Mostly I take photos from the car, often while we are moving. At present I’m using a lens on loan from my brother (thank you!) a 70 – 300mm, so I’m often a long way from my subject.

Last Sunday, I was taking shots and 4 noticed a woman from behind with dreadlocks. Or rather one big dreadlock. We were in the middle of City Road, Sydney and on the move. I aimed in the general direction and took a photo.

The photo was too quick for me to notice any details. Only later when I reviewed my picture on the camera did I notice how thin this lady was; how ill-fitting her clothing was. I wondered whether she was homeless.

I then returned to a subject I’ve been thinking about for a while – the ethics of photographing people in public. No one thinks twice of photographing a landscape – although some councils are wanting to cash in! Often I feel people are part of the landscape. Of course if I wasn’t so far away and wanted to take portraits, I think it only right to ask permission. However, I’m with the artist John Salminen who said that people change once they become aware of the camera. He uses a telephoto lens so he can capture his subject from at least half a block away.

I looked at this photograph again and I wondered why in particular I questioned whether it was ok to take this photo. I seem at ease with taking photos of many people walking down the street. I asked myself whether I thought it was disrespectful to take a photo of someone who is clearly unwell. Then I thought… well, I would take photos of my friend who is blind without thinking that it was inappropriate because of his disability, so why should disadvantage and poverty be any different to disability? If I suppress the photo for fear of being disrespectful, have I just ignored this woman?

People who are homeless often report loneliness and social isolation as one of the worst parts of their situation. People describe feeling invisible. I felt if I erased this image this lady would be invisible to me. And that didn’t feel right. So, right or wrong, I publish this photo today.