A wall in Wangaratta

On a recent trip to the town of Wangaratta in the north of Victoria, Australia, I walked down Victoria Parade, a narrow street near the centre of town.

It was late morning on a bright, sunny day and the shadows really stood out on the blue wall. As usual I had my walking around camera, the Olympus E-M5 with the 12-40mm lens.

Wangaratta, Australia

Wall, window and shadow

Wangaratta, Australia

Three windows

Wangaratta, Australia

Door with shadow

Posted in explanation, How I shot..., Olympus, Travel

A visit to Dubrovnik

It’s been a little while since I said anything here. During September I was traveling in Europe after attending a wedding in Poland, a great experience.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The roofs of Dubrovnik from the wall

The trip included a week in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. The old town and port have been restored and rebuilt after a umber of tribulations, most recently the 1991 siege following the breakup of Yugoslavia.

The old town is surrounded by a high wall which, for a price, can be walked. I can recommend that this is done early in the morning during the season, before it gets too hot and too crowded.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

The tiled roofs of Dubrovnik

Staying in the old town is an experience, though getting to my accommodation in this car-less city included a climb of 83 steps up the hill to the apartment between the St Ignatius church and the music school.

Sunset Dubrovnik Croatia

Evening in Dubrovnik,

The evenings were warm, just perfect for sitting in an open air cafe in a small square. I can highly recommend a visit.

This trip I traveled light, only taking the Olympus E-M5, the 12-40 f2.8 lens and the kit 40 – 150 zoom. It performed flawlessly the whole trip.

 

Posted in Olympus, opinion, Travel

New Gallery

I have just added a new gallery of images to the Galleries menu. All of the images were taken at Jökulsárlón, the glacial lagoon, in the south of Iceland.

Iceland_jokulsarlon_exhibition

The lagoon sits between the head of the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier and the sea. Chunks of ice collect in the lagoon and eventually make their way out to the sea, where wind and tide can wash them back on to the black sand and ash beach.

A lot of people take lovely images  of the ice lagoon with bright sunshine and clear blue skies. I however, have only seen rain, heavy overcast and drifting ash from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. This did make for some dramatic images.

This set of images may become my next exhibition.

 

 

Posted in opinion

The making of a book cover

My clever step-daughter, Dr. Alix, has turned her doctoral thesis into a book, and it has been printed by Brill, a well-known publisher of scholarly books.

Her book, Problematic Identities in Women’s Fiction of the Sri Lankan Diaspora:
“…offers an insightful reading of nine novels by women writers of the Sri Lankan diaspora: Michelle de Kretser’s The Hamilton Case (2003); Yasmine Gooneratne’s A Change of Skies (1991), The Pleasures of Conquest (1996), and The Sweet and Simple Kind (2006); Chandani Lokugé’s If the Moon Smiled (2000) and Turtle Nest (2003); Karen Roberts’s July (2001); Roma Tearne’s Mosquito (2007); and V.V. Ganeshananthan’s Love Marriage (2008). These texts are set in Sri Lanka but also in contemporary Australia, England, Italy, Canada, and America. They depict British colonialism, the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict, neo-colonial touristic predation, and the double-consciousness of diaspora. Watkins examines the problematic identities in this fiction, revealing them as notably gendered and expressed through resonant images of mourning, melancholia, and other forms of psychic disturbance.”

I was very pleased and honoured to be asked to provide a cover shot for the book. Alix wanted the cover to suggest the themes of Sri-Lankan women and colonialism, which is how we wound up on a very windy St Kilda pier early on a Sunday morning. The pavilion at the end of the pier had the look of a colonial-style building and made a good background; early morning put the sun in the right place for me.

After dealing with wind, flowing hair, people wandering about on the pier, people fishing in inconvenient spots and the odd stray dog, we made a book cover. And as a bonus, I got to photograph the elegant and charming Chatu Gunaratne.

The cover image for my step-daughter's book.

The cover image for my step-daughter’s book.

 

Posted in art, explanation, family, How I shot...

Bright yellow

While returning home from a road trip I drove through Benalla, Victoria for a food break. As I was approaching the main shopping area, I saw an eye-searingly yellow building in full midday sun.

Now, I know that traditionally when the sun is high you aren’t supposed to be able to take ‘interesting’ photographs, but light, colour and shadow sometimes work exceptionally well in full sun.

I spent a few minutes walking around with my trusty Olympus E-M5 and 12 – 40 mm lens and got the results below.

From the painted out sign, the building appears to have been a discount chemist of some sort, but if you look it up on Google street view, it was also briefly a Toys R Us, with swing sets.

Posted in How I shot..., Olympus

Empty space

One thing I like about working in the city of Melbourne in early January is how quiet and empty it can seem. Thanks to the holidays, there is less traffic and I get to the car park earlier and there are far less cars already there. This has given me the opportunity to try out the new f2.8 lens on the Olympus (which is now firmly entrenched as my carry around camera) and also explore an empty car park.

This is what the Melbourne Museum car park looks like before 7.30am in early January.

Melbourne Museum car park, early morningMelbourne Museum car park, early morningMelbourne Museum car park, early morningMelbourne Museum car park, early morningMelbourne Museum car park, early morning

Posted in equipment, Olympus

An exhibition

There is an exhibition of a selection of my work at the Wyndham Vale art space in the Wyndham Vale Community Centre.

Visit the Wyndham Art Spaces page.

This exhibition, Locations, features images from 2010 to 2014 which showcase various aspects of my interest in a man-altered landscape and how it changes over time.

I would like to thank the staff at the City of Wyndham for this initiative of supporting local artists and providing them with spaces to show their work. At every step of the process the staff have been encouraging and supportive, it has been an excellent experience.

LocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocationsLocations

Posted in exhibition

The Challenge

On Facebook (a social media site) there is an on-going challenge. This involves being nominated to post five (one each day) black and white images and then nominate someone else.

I don’t usually involve myself in such things as I don’t like my photography being restricted by artificial constraints or by some proscribed ‘have to’ deal.

However, this time the request came from a highly respected photographer, Ragnar Steffanson. These are the images I chose. I didn’t nominate any other photographers because I didn’t know any that hadn’t already taken part.

Posted in opinion

Best Father’s Day…

When my son was 8 years old, we were looking through the For Sale ads in a car magazine. He spotted an ad for a black 1967 Mustang fastback. He said “That looks fantastic, we should buy it”.

We did.

For Father’s Day this year, my son, now 30, and I took it for a drive. I even let him drive it.

Posted in opinion

St Helens

St Helens is a small beach/boat harbour/fishing spot on the western side of Corio Bay in my home town of Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

On a recent morning visit home I noticed the heavy overcast and subdued light as I drove past, so a quick stop and a wander around with the Canon 5d3 between rain showers and I had a handful of interesting images.

St Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, AustraliaSt Helens, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Posted in Canon, discussion