Friday, 24 June 2016

Winter Trees

It's finally properly cold in Sydney today. Pale blue clear skies, cold breeze. Low temperatures. True get-out-your-boots and coat weather. There's snow in the inland parts of the state. Ok, it never snows in Sydney but that doesn't mean we don't feel the wind chill! I love it. I'm getting out my fake fur - or possibly the real vintage fur jacket I bought in a market in Paris that hasn't breathed air outside of London....

Here's my Sydney trees reflected in buildings on Macquarie Street. The palm trees that are reflected are on the edge of the Botanical Gardens across the street Oh and in regard to the now finished vivid Festival I couldn't resist ending with a few shots.









Yes, that's me in the shadow of the Opera House. Not the most technically perfect photo in the world (these are all iPhone shots) but it invokes good memories.

Have a good weekend,
Val.


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Reflections on a trip to Mudgee


Dear fellow photographers,

If you've read this blog at all you know that I am a city dweller. Like the vast majority of other Australians, in fact 84.7% - see government link here -I dwell on the coast. Most of our ancestors came by boat, some in chains as convicts, some as free settlers and later many as migrants fleeing war torn parts of the world. Then most never got very far inland. Australia can be a harsh land no matter where you are but those that went to the outback were especially resilient.  I feel a hankering to go further into this country and explore. The area over the ranges has its own wild beauty and the little country towns have charm, not to mention photo opportunities. The bigger inland towns have work so who knows where I will end up. I'm getting itchy feet again. For now I will satisfy the travel urge with little trips inland, just looking. Two weeks ago I was in an around Mudgee on the wet weekend when the coast was hit by torrential storms and rain. Inland there was some drizzle, and easy welcome rain.

I took these shots of railway stations and shops along a disused inland railway line. Everything is still in place to one day use it again. Who knows? I can't be the only one enchanted with the idea of getting out of Sydney and going west.

Here's a few bits of history, in the rain.













ps. I entered these in the monthly photo judging at my photo club. The professional who judged is a very experienced photographer/lecturer who had information and stories to spare. Whose opinion I respect. He really liked two of my shots, wanted the last one converted to sepia, but found one to be lacking in narrative. What do you think? Can you pick which one?  I wonder if others see it the same way. Opinions welcome.

Meanwhile, the coast is bracing for another wet, wild weekend.
Have a good one wherever you are,
Val.



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Thursday, 2 June 2016

Vivid Sydney


Are there any prettier reflections than light on water? Every winter for a few weeks the centre and now the Zoo and Botanical Gardens and other venues of Sydney are spectacularly lit up to  showcase the famous landmarks. I did not realise it has been going for eight years now, for us locals it was a case of 'Oh yeah, whatever' when it was just the Opera House lit up but now it's a huge party type festival, an excuse to enjoy the cool crisp nights of winter and of course a good reason to get out the camera and tripod.

Recently I discovered the walkway above Circular Quay station due to one of the photography groups I frequent. Take an unobtrusive looking lift from ground level on the eastern side outside Circular Quay station and go up one floor to the best views of the city from the Cahill Expressway walkway. How did I not know about this before?  These shots were taken from there.













The last one is not super crisp, I was hand holding the camera around the glass barrier at the entrance to the lift before going back down, but it shows the ever changing colours of the 'dripping paint' light show projected onto the Museum of Contemporary Art and the wharves where the ferries come and go.

There are big plans to remodel the quay and the wharfs  to make it all more modern and space age. I shudder. I know the city has to move forward but I love circular Quay and don't want it stripped of all it's character and I dearly hope some sort of walkway remains. See a link to plans for the future  here
Construction is already going on to put a light rail system down George Street to the Quay and remodel the whole precinct and much more.

But back to Vivid, it's on until June 18th and well worth a look, as droves of tourists have found. If you can't get here I hope you enjoy these photos.

Have a good weekend,
Val

Edit:  After I wrote this post we headed off across the ranges to an inland country town for the weekend. Meanwhile two weather systems merged and the entire east coast of Australia has been deluged with rain and king tides and gale force winds. A lot of the Vivid installations in Sydney have been turned off as a safety measure and harbour lights cruises cancelled.  It's all moving south and will clear up eventually. We were lucky with just clouds or showers during the day (good photo opportunities) and heavy falls at night. We're about to drive home very carefully.
So just on the off chance that anyone planned to see Vivid on my recommendation..sorry!