Is it possible to have “photographers block”? If so, I think I have a case of it right now, just can’t seem to get the results I am looking for at the moment.
Anyway, for this post I will stay in Tasmania. I have previously posted about one of these buildings before but at the time the light was pretty flat so wider views of the old building were a little bit dull with a blown out sky.
On my last visit to Tasmania I wanted to get some more shots of this dilapidated building, so I did an early morning drive to try and get the low sunlight that I thought would be a little more interesting. Glad I did, as some other outbuildings on the same property were lit very nicely by the early morning light as well. Not sure what these outbuildings were used for, maybe workers quarters,stables, etc, but I am glad I stumbled upon them while rambling down a country road just following my nose!
These will one day be gone, but for now they add some historic context to a world which is becoming more homogenised.
Just been playing around, so I thought I would post another view of Langford Sandspit
I was shooting a time-lapse sequence of a developing storm yesterday when these young boys started playing around on the swimming enclosure, amusing themselves as young boys do. Normally I hate it when random people enter the frame, but in time-lapse they often add another dimension as they scurry around like ants on red cordial!
I thought that there may be a couple of frames that would make a decent still photo in their own right. This is the one that I decided to process.
It wouldn’t win any prizes but as I was looking at it, it struck me as being symbolic of life at times. When we are young we are carefree and everything is fun. Inevitably, there will be the occasional stormy patch that comes up over the horizon. Some we will be able to sail on through, some we will need to shelter from until they pass. Often there are rainbows and clear skies on the other side!
Hopefully the storms that these boys will encounter will have rainbows!
Yesterday I went for a drive out to Cedar Ck. Falls and as I expected there was no water coming over the falls, but it is a nice little spot to potter around anyway. No people around which made it very peaceful indeed.
Moving around very slippery rocks with a walking stick and a tripod over my shoulder was a bit of a challenge at times,but that’s all part of the fun!
Downstream from the falls there is another creek which was still running and this little eddy caught my eye.
While reviewing it on the screen, I was reminded of a recent news item.
A couple of days ago a yacht made of recycled plastic and water bottles sailed into Sydney after a 4 month crossing of the Pacific. Along the way they sailed into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is an oceanic eddy, full of flotsam and jetsam such as plastic bags, bottles, nets etc, but on a much grander scale. It is estimated that this garbage patch covers the area of NSW and VIC. combined which is a lot of rubbish just slowly spinning around in a giant circle!
While plastic is undoubtedly a great modern material, unfortunately a lot of it ends up in our seas and causes lots of problems, but because it is in the sea, out of sight,out of mind!
So, next time you go fishing for example, make sure you put your plastic bait-bags in the bin or take them home with you for disposal instead of leaving them at your fishing spot as many people do because it is too messy to deal with!
This is another image from the same spot but with much more water flow.
Both were shot at 3s @ f8 100ISO.
Clouds of Sail
I have previously posted about “Solway Lass” last year but have never been aboard while she is under sail. Yesterday I went out on her for a fundraising daysail which was a great day with great people,live music and good weather.
Having been skipper of ex Racing Maxi-yachts for many years I was interested to see what a Square- rigged sailing vessel was like to be aboard under sail.
Looking around the boat, there are a myriad of lines for sail control and it looked very complicated. In the old days of the clipper ships sailors needed to know where each particular line was and be able to find them in the worst weather and darkest nights. No easy feat!
The biggest difference I found between the modern racing yacht and a traditionally rigged vessel was how quiet and calm the older heavier vessls were. Very peaceful!
This is one of the images I took to try and capture some of the romance of that bygone era.
After reading Mark Stothard’s latest post from Tasmania, I thought I would post a couple of images showing the aftermath of logging operations in the Tasmanian forests.
Once again, not a pretty sight!
The Forestry Department do collect as much seed as possible from the fallen timber and reseed the area but it is never the same and in a lot of cases they put in fast growing hybrid plantation timber which is not far removed from a pine plantation. We all know what “deserts”they are!
The big problem is that in Tasmania, Forestry employs a lot of people directly and indirectly and is one of the major industries, so government understandably are not about to throw a lot of people out of work.
Thanks to the Greens keeping the spotlight well and truly on the devastation that happens in the forests hopefully we will see a day when this portion of the earth’s lungs are safe from the chainsaws and bulldozers.
Found these ones trawling through the archives.
Is there anything quite as eerie as walking the streets of a small rural town,late at night,deserted streets, only sounds are the odd barking dogs and the fog comes stealing into town like a silent presence!
Who ya gonna call!?
Hope you all like the new theme, thought it was time for a change!
Gloucester Island again……..
Another couple of images from the same day as my last post.
Cedar Ck. Falls again
This is another stitched pano from the same day as the last post. The one thing I have noticed about these falls is the colour of the light reflected from the plunge pool and surrounding trees. It has a “swampy” quality to it, quite unlike any other falls I have shot.
A little bit of white balance and HSL work in Lightroom seems to have improved it.
6 image stitch. Processed in PtGui and LR2
This is probably not an image that is normally associated with the Whitsundays but there are areas in the hinterland that are as beautiful as anything found on the islands.
We have had some steady wet season rain that has transfomed a landscape that 6 months ago was brown and as dry as I can remember.
This little area on the O’Çonnell River north of Mackay was a nice little find for me after following my nose down an obscure country road.
It even has some of the wierdest acting cattle I have ever come across! Probably eating the wrong mushrooms.
5 image stitch, Processed in Lightroom 2
These are a couple of random images I shot in Fiji about 20 years ago. The first one is a great illustration of the spirit of the people of Fiji, kind of ” No money, no worry!”
That attitude makes a mockery of the western ethos of selfish capitalism especially in light of the recent ”Financial Crisis”‘. I know who are generally more happy!
I shot this one purely for the colour of the umbrellas which I have tried to accentuate through some work in Lightroom 2.
Hope you have enjoyed my little trip down memory lane, the next post will probably be some images of the Whitsundays where I live.
Where do the Children Play?
In Fiji, the world is their playground! It was refreshing to see the kids make the most of what they had. Virtually none of them had manufactured toys, so a tyre or a cardboard box was somthing to let their imaginations loose with. For the girls,young babies were the closet thing to a doll available. Never heard any child say they were bored!
Pull out a camera in front of the kids and before you knew it you had happy chaos as they all tried to out do each other for the camera, big smiles allround!
The nice thing was that you didn’t feel like a suspect if you photographed kids being kids so I hope that sort of innocence doesn’t get taken away by the fearmongers of the world.
This last image was a shot that begged to be taken, his expression is pure gold!
I sincerely hope these kids have grown up to be happy funloving adults which we should all aspire to!
These are a couple of images showing some of the incredible mats that the women weave in their spare time.
All made from natural material found in the surrounding bush they are made as floor coverings and are also a traditional gift at ceremonies such as weddings, funerals etc.
They finish these quite large mats off with colourful woolen designs and fringing and really are a work of art in some cases.
The amount of time to make one from start to finish is staggering but the end result is worth every minute!
How was your day?
Hi, I trust you all survived Xmas and New Years in good shape!
These are a couple of images that show how “lucky” we are here in Australia and indeed most Western countries.
Electricity is something we take for granted but in many poorer countries like Fiji, daily tasks are still done by hand because electricity is not available outside towns.
Daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, washing etc become a little more difficult and time consuming.
It’s not all bad though, they usually manage to turn it into a bit of a social event that keeps everybody involved laughing. And they build some of these villages on some prime real estate as well.
But, next time your washing machine goes on the blink, remember it could be a lot worse!
A simple life
These are a couple of images that were typical scenes to be found in a Fijian village 20 yrs ago and would still be found in many villages today.
Cane knives are a ubiquitous tool used by most males over the age of ten. There is not much that can’t be done with a cane knife, from splitting open coconuts to doing the gardening.
They are very skilled in the use of these knives and they keep them sharp! One thing I did notice was that many Fijian males have scars on their legs which is part and parcel of learning to use a cane knife when they were younger.
In most villages nowadays the grass hut or Bure has been replaced by corrugated iron shacks or if they can afford it a cement block shack.
While not always aesthetically pleasing to the eye they are practical and kept spotlessly clean and tidy.
I was curious as to why they no longer built from natural material which was easily and cheaply replaced. As they still cook over an open fire in most villages, grass huts were a hazard,so iron sheets were the next best material.
In cyclonic conditions though, I know which material I would rather have flying around the place!
In response to a query from Graham at Ecomuse Images and with inspiration from truenorthmark, I am going to step back in time to 1989 when I was lucky enough to spend 5 months in Fiji.
I turned up with my surfboard, my backpack and some Nikon camera gear and no idea of where,what ,how. (Get the picture?)
To cut a long story short I kind of went native after being adopted by a local family who had family scattered over the Fiji Islands.
Even though I didn’t get to surf some of the places I was trying to get to, I got to spend time with some of the most generous and warm-hearted people I have yet to meet. I also saw and learned some aspects of Fiji that most tourists never see and got a few images to boot.
These images have been scanned from 35mm Kodachrome Slides so image quality may not be perfect but for 20 yo images they are not bad!
Hope you enjoy the next few posts from the vaults!
Back to the Future?
As it is a little difficult for me to get out shooting at the moment, I am playing around with the images I have on file and trying some things which sometimes work and sometimes don’t.
Digital imaging is so much easier than a darkroom!
Anyway, Mark Stothard (truenorthmark) posted an image of a sailing canoe from PNG which reminded me that I had scanned an old B&W print taken in Fiji 20 years ago.
Just shows that while technology has advanced hugely, to a large percentage of the worlds population, those advances are about as useful as a wooden barbecue plate!
On the flipside, if the power fails or there is no fuel it won’t worry these guys at all. It will be a big problem for all of us who rely on our technological advances!
Haven’t posted anything for a while as I have been moving house. Amazing how much crap you accumulate! You promise yourself that you will be ruthless and chuck out all the stuff you haven’t seen for ages but somehow it manages to stay with you. (Now, which box is that obscure doodad in? I need it right now!)
Probably won’t post anything for a little while either as I am about to undergo a hip replacement, so things won’t be much fun for a litttle while!
Anyway, one of the reasons I love going down to Tasmania is that you run across a lot of things like this old holding yard. Bush carpentry at it’s very best.
There are still a few of the old blokes who used to build things like this still around but sadly their numbers are dwindling.
While building materials and methods have “improved” over the years, it will be a sad day when places like this no longer exist don’t you think?
The Father of Cradle Mt.
These are some images of ‘Waldheim’ which was the home of Gustav Weindorfer, acknowledged as the spiritual father of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St.Clair National Park.
‘Waldheim’ was built in 1912 from local timber that was all manually split for shingles and used for furniture etc.
Considering there were no roads into this area then, it is usually cloudy and drizzly and it can snow in the middle of summer, you’ve got to hand it to the people who made the area their home. Tough buggers!
But when you look at the surroundings you can’t help but think what an awesome place to live!
It’s a far cry from modern times where the area is a tourist mecca and is very carefully managed by the Tasmanian National Parks and Wildlife Service to ensure that the thousands of people who visit each year don’t completely wreck the area.
I was here early one morning, weather was crap for getting any decent images of Cradle Mt. Luckily it was too early for the tour buses so I had the place to myself for an hour, a rare experience!
If you are heading to Cradle Mountain, chances are you will pass through an area called the Middlesex Plains.
This is one of my favourite drives, great road and the scenery has a haunting beauty to it that is unique. Skeletons of trees killed long ago by extreme weather and fire, among other causes, stretch their ghostly limbs to the sky.
The human history of this area is littered with tales of hardship,loneliness, folly and bravery although there is little evidence of it these days.
I have tried to capture what this place feels like on a few occasions but so far it has eluded me, Its a place that needs time to get to know. These are a couple of attempts that hopefully gives an idea.
Driving down a Tasmanian backroad just following my nose. Not much happening,sky is a flat dull grey. Come around a corner and find this little gem!
It was once quite a large house and just up the road was I guess it’s replacement, a large colonial type mansion which is probably Heritage listed.
In it’s heyday this would have been a large prosperous farm owned by wealthy people.
Had to stop and take some pics. Used a treatment in Lightroom called Detail Booster which suited it quite nicely I think. Hope you like it!
Capture the Spirit!
These are 3 images I have entered into a competition run by the Spirit of Tasmania who operate the Bass Strait Ferry. It is called ‘Capture the Spirit’ and is open to any resident of Oz who has some images of Tasmania.
Prizes include Canon1000D cameras and Accomodation packages etc.
Like most comps of this nature they require copyright waivers for the winning images so they can use them for promotion.
If you want more info go to www.capturethespirit.com.au
BTW you can also vote for your favourite image and be in the running for a prize as well. I could do with an extra camera! hint,hint.
A land of extremes!
It doesn’t seem so long ago that photographers such as Tony Middleton who lives in Victoria were posting images of a dry, blackened landscape after the horrific bushfires.
At the same time we here in Queensland had flooding rains and everything was green and juming out of it’s skin!
How the tables have turned. Tony is posting images of lush green meadows and we here in Qld are going through one of the driest winters for a long time!
i had spotted this windmill and water trough a while back and thought it could make an interesting shot. God only knows what the Brahman cattle on this property are drinking as there is no surface water anywhere that I can see!
Bring on the wet season!
A Bit Dusty!
No, I am not recovering from a lager frenzy! You have probably all heard about the dust storms that have enveloped the eastern states over the last week. Well they even made it into the tropics, not as severe as further south but they have hung around longer. The light and visibility have been pretty ordinary over the last week, not the beautiful blue skies we are used to at this time of the year!
I havn’t really bothered shooting much till it all goes away but I did manage to get a couple of worthwile images one afternoon.
Look familiar Fletch?