Thursday, 30 June 2011

Crested Tern

It's been a busy couple of weeks but some matters have been resolved so I should be able to focus on taking more productive photos and re-igniting my passion for photography.  Of course that also means I will be devoting more attention on this blog.

Our Wednesday Group Did our usual again yesterday with a return trip to the Royal National Park.  On our previous visit (See the Post here) we had a lovely walk at Audley and also met a professional photography crew at Wattamolla who were on a shoot for an advertisement assignment and it was interesting to chat with them as they waited for the light to change.

This time the weather forecast was a bit 'iffy' but we persisted and headed down to take a look at Garie Beach.  The weather on the day was overcast with infrequent patches of blue sky and regular heavy showers but we found that hadn't stopped a couple of fishermen from wetting their lines.

Watamolla Fishermen and Friends
Canon 7D, 24-105 Lens @84mm, 1/400 Sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, Hand held.
What appealed to me here (apart from the fishermen ignoring the freezing wind and rain) was the flock of Crested Terns keeping them company.  The few seagulls present seemed content to wait on the sand while the Terns spent time in the air watching for an opportunity.

Crested Tern Sterna bergii
Canon 40D, Sigma 80-400mm Lens @ 400mm, 1/640 sec @ f/9.0, No Flash, Hand held
The Crested Tern is a common seabird around the coast of Australia and the brown tinge to the feathers of this bird indicates it is a juvenile. 

After we had lunch further down the coast at Stanwell Park we called in to Watamolla on the way home.  It is an interesting site with many things to photograph.

Red Flowers
Canon 7D, 24-105mm Lens @ 85mm, 1/60 Sec @ f/4.0, IAO 400, Flash
I had a couple of tries at this colourful flower growing on the edge of a rock cliff before the flash froze the movement caused by the constant wind.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Coffee Break

The Wednesday Group had a return trip to Cockatoo Island today.  We have been there twice before and as usual we had a pleasant day in spite of the weather.  Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour and is an interesting environment with a colourful past. Formerly an imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory and gaol it best known today as the site of one of Australia's biggest shipyards before it's closure in 1992.  Many of the island's buildings and facilities have been demolished although there are still strong reminders of the former activities.

Today Cockatoo Island is utilised as a holiday site with various grades of accommodation including tents on the lawn to units in the historic buildings and is a popular site from which to enjoy the fireworks over the harbour on New Years Eve.  As well as the accommodation, Cockatoo Island hosts many artistic exhibitions which is a reason our group keeps returning.  It gives us an opportunity to gain inspiration from the exhibitions and then use our cameras not only for the harbour views but also ouside and inside the historic buildings and  the cranes etc as well.

Of course no Wednesday photo shoot would be complete without a lovely cup of hot coffee and Cockatoo Island is no exception.

A Fat Cap and a Flat White
Canon 7D, EF24-105mm f/4L Lens @ 32mm, 1/400Sec & f/4.0, ISO200

Given the horrendous weather we have been experiencing this past few days it was good to get out and hear the sound of the camera shutter instead of rain on the roof.

Find out more about Cockatoo Island at the government website :

Friday, 10 June 2011

A Visit to Callan Park

Went out today to see a photographic exhibition at Leichhardt.  It is the AIPP Group Show, Celebrating Women in Photography.  All the photographers are women with a large selection on show and a large variety of styles.  Most of the images were inspirational however there were a couple of images some may regard as graphic art rather than photography.  Certainly enjoyable to view but unfortunately the line between photographic art and graphic art is becoming increasingly blurred.

Following the Gallery was a visit to Callan Park which is a historic old site, originally Callan Park Hospital for the Insane which became known as Rozelle Hospital in 1994 before closing in 2008 .  Walking around looking at all the old stone buildings and gardens was very interesting, evoking thoughts of what life might have been like for those who needed the services provided and whether those who might otherwise be here as inmates are better off since it's closure.
Kirkbride complex building
Canon 7D, 24-105mm Lens @ 24mm, 1/100sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, Hand held

It was an overcast day and the lighting was not very favourable but this added to my feelings as I walked around the grounds.  This shot was framed to include the leafless tree on the left to signify the end (death) of the original purpose for the building's existence and the potential for it to fall into disrepair and ruin, contrasted with the green tree on the right to signify a new life as the facility is put to use in the modern world which is currently as the Sydney College of the Arts, the fine arts campus of Sydney University.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Back From a Break

I've been slack by not posting any notices here for over a week which was not my original intent.  Although we have been busy organising our camera club activities including our Annual Photography Exhibition and Awards Night that is no excuse.  I have been slack and must get motivated again.

Yesterday was our Wednesday Group day out so we took a ferry ride to Circular Quay to photograph the Vivid Sydney 2011 festival of light, music and ideas. We had a lovely dinner before the lights came on for the spectacualr display.  Vivid is an annual event where patterns and images are projected onto a number of iconic Sydney landmark buildings around Circular Quay and The Rocks, the most prominent of which is the Sydney Opera House.

Lights on the Sydney Opera House
Canon 7D, Canon 24-105mm Lens,1/5sce @ f/4.0, ISO 3200, No flash, Tripod
I had framed my shot when a tourist positioned herself in front of me while her partner took her photo.

I must admit to being anxious about taking tripods with us given that there has been much debate and even protests about 'Photographer's Rights' when tripods are set up to take photos in the Opera House precinct but that was certainly not the case last night.  There were tripods everywhere, including on external upper levels and no intervention from the security personel present.  It made for a wonderful experience.

About Me

This Blog is about my journey as I try to rediscover photography and all it's pleasures. I took up photography with a passion following my retirement from work and have had ups and downs as I aspired to learn and become the best photographer I could be. I have no interest in becoming a professional in the field, merely that others may enjoy the results of my achievements.