Archive | December, 2011

Art???………..

31 Dec

My wife and I sat down to watch the news the other night together, both of which are rare happenings. Usually one of us is working or the kids are doing sport, scouts or something. The normal bad financial news, followed by rising crime statistics, and then a cute and furry animal story. In other words the norm, however interspaced amongst all this was a brief story on Graffiti, and how it was a blight on our city scape. The reporter went on to reveal the new initiatives  for prevention and clean up, which in fact sounded remarkably like a rehash of previous ground breaking plans.

What this article did however was spark a conversation between my wife and I regarding Graffiti and art. Surprisingly we agreed that in the main genuine graffiti inspired art was in fact worthy of public display and as valid as cubism, Pollock’s Blue Poles that hangs in the National Gallery or any other art style that over the years has inspired debate. Now one of the glaringly obvious differences’ is that the art (graffiti) is applied to public and private buildings etc often without permission, the other of course is the tagging etc that is included in the genre. To me this is just defacing something that doesn’t belong to the tagger for reasons that seem a little akin to a male cat spraying to mark its territory.

Some of the genuine art is so very clever, especially when you consider that these murals are completed with spray cans. Now when I use a spray can I get covered, and so does everything within a ten foot radius.

This morning I went looking for graffiti of both styles around the lovely Burleigh Heads and found to my delight that there was a great deal of Imaginative art and very little vandalistic tagging. By the way all these images were taken with the Nikon D700 with the cheap but brilliant 50mm 1.8, I just love this little lens, it makes you think and move.

Thanks to all for taking the time to read this little blog and look at the images displayed. A happy and safe New Year to all and your families and I look forward to sharing blogs next year.

Andrew

Beach and surf…

30 Dec

Yep, it’s so easy to just get up and sit by the water’s edge anywhere along the Gold Coasts many beaches and headlands and find something to photograph. At the moments most models are partying fairly hard and the thought of getting out of bed for make up and hair at about 3.00am just doesn’t excite them, so to keep in practice I am shooting everything, and using all the lenses and bodies I have. Sort of moving away from my comfort zone, even when it comes to processing techniques, …always learning something new.

The trouble with stretching yourself is that you discover short comings, both in knowledge and GEAR.

I quite like finding out that I need to learn more about something I thought I was on top off. Learning is easy when its your passion, and time just flies by reading articles on techniques, what I don’t like so much is realising that to step up to the next level further financial investment is required. I need studio lights..now, and I what I want to do with them is take at least one outdoors on location powered by a battery pack . Oh dear, not cheap but the flexibility provided by having so much light will help me produce a greater range of images. Strobist with speedlights is great, and I enjoy the simplicity of this setup, but!

Anyway the surf was lower today but the usual crowd were out in force.

How things change……

29 Dec

I have often commented on the changes that have occurred to the way we live over the last century, if fact in my last post I wrote about the changes in air travel. Well today I took my kids into the Brisbane CBD to an area known as South Bank. Now lots of cities around the world are developing central areas into entertainment precincts, crammed with cafes, restaurants, public spaces inhabited by street artists (aka buskers), usually close to business areas to reduce travel for city dwellers and to attract dollars back into the city during holidays and weekends.

Today I counted over twenty eateries in a kilometre stretch along the South Bank area, including one Bistro that provided leather and cane sun lounges for its dinners ? I don’t know about you, but I think the only appropriate food to eat on a reclining lounge is peeled grapes, hand fed to you by a nubile waitress/waiter depending on your orientation. Ice cream, milkshakes, hot chips (fries) along with Italian, Thai, and ten other exotic cuisines where offered, and with the kids in tow milk shakes were the drink de jour.

South Bank is kids heaven for more than just food of questionable nutritional value, for some long sighted town planner included a beach themed water park.

A lagoon with real sandy beach, a rainforest creek, and so many squirting, splashing play zones that the sound of laughter and squealing could be heard from the underground car park.

All this clever construction started me thinking about what we has kids regarded as wonderful. A rope from a branch over a creek was the stuff that memories were built on, flying thru the air attempting to create mini tsunamis all over your friends was the best fun.A bit of research and I found this picture of an early swimming bath on the banks of the Brisbane river not far from the current epi-centre of entertainment……How things change ( I bet the laughter was just as loud).

What we take for granted…….

28 Dec

I fly quite a bit these days, its part of the job and to be honest although commercial jet flights reduce time travelling dramatically and are in the main comfortable and reliable, its is boring. These days jumping on an aeroplane has all the excitement value of catching a commuter train or bus. But it hasn’t always been that way..at least for me. I love planes, I wanted to be a pilot but wearing glasses kind of makes me not quite the first pick for the airforce or an airline to train. My dad flew in the airforce for years and has a library of memories that would fill albums of boys own adventures. I flew gliders for  a while and found it satisfying and restricting at the same time. Great freedom with no motor in your ear, but the logistics of launching and recovery etc took away the ability to have any sort of self adventure.

Recently at another visit to Brisbane airport, this time to pick up a colleague, I was early and decided to have a look at the monument to one of Australia’s’ greatest pioneering aviators, Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith. A hero to millions of people, he was an interesting character that, after some research, is best remembered for his heroic flights rather than his moral standards.

The Fokker tri-motor aeroplane that he flew on some of his greatest journeys is, in my eyes, a flying backyard shed, corrugated metal and slipstream design that would make washing machine look sleek. Can you image the noise, three radial engines vibrating thru the metal clad fuselage. No insulation of any note, no air conditioning or heating, no inflight movies, thermos coffee and a shot of brandy to fight the cold. I wouldn’t want to swap but these pioneers managed to wring every last drop of adventure out of their often short lives.

Next time you board Boeing or Airbus’ latest flying coach, spare a thought for the men that did it tough, albeit I suspect with a huge smile on their face.

 

 

Playing in the pool……….

26 Dec

My daughter has one of the incredible water proof(3 metres), shock proof, idiot proof point and shoot compacts, so on Boxing day the sun returned to the Gold Coast and into the pool we went. My wife and son held me down under the water(uummh…what was the life insurance value) while my daughter played Ethel Mermen for the camera. Just a bit of fun, I tried triggering a speedlight via the slave  with the on camera flash of the compact, but the water diffused the little flashes’ output too much.

The speedlight was double bagged in zip lock bags and it worked well.

So that was Christmas…….

25 Dec

Here we are again in that post-Christmas glow, a belly full of rich, wonderful food, happy kids exhausted by a combination of excitement and activity and a collection of new presents to help us remember this great family day.

We started early with the kids handing out the gifts from under the tree at an amazing rate constantly with one eye on their ever-growing pile of presents. They ripped open the collection with gusto, and as happened in houses all over the world discarded the carefully applied wrapping without a care. Greeting cards were scanned faster than a Cray super computer could unless of course they contained money and then they where secreted away quickly.

 

Batteries were found, assembling completed and toys tested. For us a Nerf gun war was followed by a swim to test the new Boogie boards’ stability. Lunch soon came and went, and a trip to the beach to see the storm induced waves saw us out getting some needed fresh air. People all over the Gold Coast had the same idea and picnics and BBQs were the order of the day.

 

We went home and prepared for the Traditional Christmas dinner. Chicken replaced Turkey, but other than that it was the normal favourites. We all ate too much and then piled pudding into our mouths as is custom. Wonderful !!

I hope you got to celebrate with family or friends and enjoyed making some new memories and traditions.

On a sad note, rest in peace Johno, tragically taken from your family.

Early Christmas present……

24 Dec

Well, here we are, Christmas eve and I have already received a wonderful present. The day started taking another in the series of seascapes from the normally, but currently stormy Gold Coast, during which I found myself knee-deep in swirling, surging storm generated white water, Nikon D5000 on tripod in front of me.

Later in the day the family all hit the pool for a refreshing swim and then, to my delight the whole family grabbed all the cameras’ and went on a photo walk. We decided there would be a prize for the most original or unusual shot, decided by us all voting for the image that appealed to us the most. To non photographers, this may seem just a bit of fun, but to those of us that are family orientated and  transfixed with the digital art form, the  combination of having the family out and about enjoying my passion is just one of those moments that stay in the forefront of your memories for years. My daughter showed her humourous side with a sensational self-portrait.

My ever creative and imaginative son caused the voting process some dilemmas because of the range of unusual interpretations he captured.

My wife caught us all off guard with a simply magic high-speed pic of a very shy seagull (she continues to surprise and delight me after twenty-five years together).

As for my efforts, oh dear, not great but I don’t care because for me the time spent with these special three people makes everything else pale. Thanks for reading my humble writings, I get great pleasure when I get a comment or a “like” and enjoy sharing a small slice of my daily goings on with others.

Merry Christmas everyone, stay safe, hug your loved ones…lots and I will enjoy sharing more with you all around the world soon…….