Friday, 25 December 2015

The Busy Barista



There was some frantic shopping going on in The Strand Arcade Sydney before Christmas. Luckily there are excellent places to have coffee there as well.

Linking to James' weekend reflections.




Have a good weekend,
Val.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Merry Christmas


The next few days will be busy for me with family and friends, getting together, cooking, being grateful for those I love and very grateful for the goodness of God.






I too this photo in the Queen Victoria building in Sydney and was lucky to catch the moment  these two little girls were looking at the shimmering lights on the tree.

Have a lovely Christmas and New Year,
Val. 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Mooching about with a 'macro' lens..



I have a 100mm lens that I bought to do macro work with a tripod and of course it's a fine lens for this   type of thing.
Two weeks ago, on one of my regular trips down the coast to my favourite beach, I decided to leave the lens attached to my camera and experiment to see what happened in other situations. It's a beautiful lens. Why not let it out of the box?

Of course it does good close ups..



I found it did a surprising landscape shot..



But the main thing I will explore more is using it for portraits..



I did not know what this boy had found in the rock pool..


Till he waved this crab at me for a shot


Then let it go on it's way.


I hope you are not tired of summer seagull beach shots yet..
In case I don't post before next Friday have a Happy Christmas and Thank you for visiting my blog during the year.

Valerie.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Glimpses



It's nearing the end of a glaring hot day. A swim to  cool off.
Then it's off to walk around my favourite quirky beachside town photographing quirky beachside things..













Have a good weekend. 

Val.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Fire and Firemen


Fire and Firemen and Police and Rescue and everyone else turned up to a spectacular shopfront fire in  the main street of my town last Saturday. The fire which was started by faulty Christmas tree lights gutted three shops. The smoke was black and quite dramatic so when I saw it from my balcony I grabbed the camera and went there to get some shots. The whole block had been cordoned off. I felt a real stab of envy when Fire Photographers were allowed to go where I couldn't..








Just on a whim I sent them to the editorial desk of my local newspaper who said they would be considered. They ended up using an official Fire Brigade shot from within the shop. Disappointment!
But they did say they were good and to submit shots of future local events. I guess that's some validation.

Linking to James' Weekend Reflections 'cause the first shot has reflections in the floor (any excuse).
Have a happy weekend,

Val.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Paris


Paris.

I've been to Paris. It is one of the world's great cities.




Yesterday's terrorist attacks could have been in London or New York or Sydney.
Why does anyone think terrorism will resolve anything?

Stay strong Paris. We're with you. xx




Friday, 13 November 2015

Sculpture by the Sea



Hello all,

Here in Sydney the annual Sculpture by the Sea has just wrapped up. This temporary exhibition of a number of sculptures extends along a famous sea side walk from Bondi Beach to Tmarama Sculpture by the Sea. It only lasts for three weeks and is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist event. I always wish it was on for longer, but I managed a day off to go see it. This was my favourite sculpture. This is a detail of faces sculpted into a charred hollow of a tree.






The news is on while I am posting this. More bombing and shooting and violence in Paris. I feel for them.. God help us all.
In an increasingly violent and unstable world art helps us to make the world make sense. It expresses who we are. Without freedom of expression what are we?
Stay safe.

Val.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Aliens Attack?



Haha No it's not high fashion aliens but an iPhone shot at the Collette Dinnigan exhibit at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. I like the muted reflections of the lighting on the mannequins reflected by the mirrored floor.



Happy reflecting,

Val.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Sydney Zombie Walk



On the afternoon of Saturday the 31st in Sydney, normal people transformed into the undead and marched down Macquarie Street to the corner of the Botanical Gardens that overlooks the bridge and the Opera House. Don't be fooled - every kind of monster was there. Mwahoohahahaha and some of them , including myself had Caaaaameras.. They said it was for charity but who knows what walked amongst us....


Zombie Portraits
























All shots above taken by me
Brain Foundation Zombie Walk Sydney


Photo of this Zombie was taken by Raymond Horsey of Sydney Street Photographers.

Till we meet in the next dimension...



Sunday, 25 October 2015

Some close ups of an interesting subject


In my previous post I featured an abandoned car that I had discovered while cycling. The area is part of a railway access road, it also is a road used by locals to get to one of the sports fields where people play soccer. It is used by others including myself as a shortcut that links cycling paths between two suburbs. What I am saying is that it is not as isolated as it looks, just a bend in a creek and a railway bridge. We all know the camera can lie a little  ;)

Anyway Rune of Visual Norway suggested I go back and take some close ups, so I went back to get some in the late afternoon light. Here they are.

















Do you like extreme closeups - closer than this - where it is hard to tell what the original object is?
Any thoughts?

Val.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Abandoned


There is a car abandoned at the end of the line. Not only abandoned but reduced to a skeleton and torched. Theft? Youthful high jinks? Insurance claim? Who knows..








Have good weekend,

I am linking to James' great meme Weekend Reflections

Val.


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Sea Creatures



I love the sea. In particular I love 'my' bit of coastline that hugs the wondrous sea. Over the weekend just gone we had five unseasonably warm days of summer heat and a public holiday had myself and many others going to the beach to bathe in the sea. I took some photos on the way home.







I was lucky not to have been stung by this critter, the Bluebottle jellyfish. It has a very painful sting. By the way, it's proper name is the Indo-Pacific Portugese Man-O-War of the species Physalia utriculus.  

I also did not know that warm water is said to be a good remedy.

Any Aussie kid who grows up near the coast knows about bluebottles and to avoid them and not  even touch the supposedly dead ones. I have been stung while swimming and I can tell you it's not an experience easily forgotten. If  see them in the water I get out!

Common cures for the sting include rubbing sand on them, applying vinegar, urinating on them - never tried that one (!)  but apparently hot water as long as it is above body temperature and not unbearably hot works best according to the NSW Ambulance Association  To Pee or Not to Pee article, Daily Telegraph 
Don't say my blog never teaches you anything! I think I'd rather pour the last dregs of warm coffee on the sting :)) than use pee.





Seagulls leave dance steps on the beach in the fading light.


Time for all good critters to go home...




Happy photography,

Val.



Friday, 2 October 2015

Window to the Sky


I used to work on Broadway.

No I am not a singer/dancer haha. On Broadway in Sydney. South of the city opposite Sydney University there still stands a landmark - the beautiful 'Grace Brothers building. Some time ago Grace Brothers was sold and rebranded as Myers. The lovely facade of this once grand department store building remains, even though the inside is now a rabbit warren of stores and cosmetic clinics and fitness centres - all the usual hubbub of modern life. Nearby is a genius hairdresser, who is the main reason I still trek to this end of town, but it's no hardship to spend a bit of time in the arty streets of nearby Glebe either. I'll take photos the next time I go in!

Meanwhile, some windows of the Grace Brothers building caught my eye because they gave the impression that they were windows to the sky when they were really reflections.





Happy Weekend everyone, especially to Aussies who are having a long hot weekend.

Val.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

London Wrap Up


I love travelling. When I was deciding on a career I wanted to be an air hostess but I didn't meet the height requirement. I thought about being a travel agent but  I wanted to travel not book holidays for someone else. I moved states, came back, did other things but the urge to explore has never left me.

I am glad to read blogs from other parts of the world. It gives me a window. This is a London wrap up post from last month's travels and soon I will be posting about my corner of the world where the days are warming up and it's almost summer.



One of my favourite bits of London - Kensington Palace


The gorgeous gardens


Spot the sunbather..


We were staying not far from Trafalgar Square


See the summer crowds? 

They were having a Jamaican music festival. This was taken from the steps of the National Portrait Gallery. I went in to see a Audrey Hepburn photographic exhibition, and also 
Vincent van Goh's sunflowers.  It's wonderful. It simply glows from across the room.

Next time, Sydney and a post about what I've been doing..

Happy snapping,

Val.