Friday, 30 March 2012

Newcastle in Black & White

My son Lachlan has just started at Newcastle University this year.  For the next 3 years he will be studying to complete a Bachelor in Visual Communications Design.  For one of his assignments, he has had to present a number of photos.  I was pretty excited when he phoned and asked if I would like to go on a Photo Safari around Newcastle with him whilst he took photos for his assignment!  

Of course, I had to take my own camera and join in on the fun!

Now, I have only lived in Newcastle for the last 2-3 years and most of it's history I have gleaned from conversations with locals.

Newcastle is the second earliest settled city in Australia.  Famous for its coal since it's earliest settlement.  In the early 1900s, because of the large coal industry, Australian Company BHP decided to build its Steel Works at Newcastle.  It, along with the coal, became the largest employer of local people.  In 1999, because of economic downturns and instability, BHP closed its steelworks which laid off a significant number of people.  

As a result of the closure, and due to de-centralisation of the shopping and commercial centre (large shopping centres at Kotara and Charlestown), the CBD precinct of Newcastle became a virtual ghost town.  Businesses closed doors because the public simply did  not come into the CBD for their shopping anymore.  

In more recent years, with the development of the Port Hunter Foreshore and high rise units along the Hunter River on the Port, Newcastle has begun a resurgence.   The coal exports are still a major employer for Newcastle along with the associated mining industry but, there is also the Hunter Valley Wineries and some of the best beaches in Australia that are attracting international tourists to the city.   The city has turned around so much that in 2011, the Lonely Planets Best in Travel guide listed Newcastle in their top 10 cities to visit!

Newcastle is so diverse in it's subjects for an avid photographer.  From it's beautiful beaches & bustling shipping port, it also offers a wide range of architecture and each suburb is unique according to the era and purpose from which they grew.  Some of its' older buildings have been beautifully restored, whilst others are still in obvious decay.

We had a great day out and about and I look forward to our next one!

Hope you're all well.


Monday, 19 March 2012

Nobbys Beach Dawn

I finished work this morning and had to sort of 'hang around' because the car was booked in for a service at 0730 and I had some time to kill.   Never one to miss an opportunity, I took my camera to work because if I had time to waste, I may as well be productive!

Went down to Nobbys Beach to the wonderful Surf House there for some sunrise photos.   Did you know that Sunrise photos that don't actually have the sun in them because of overcast conditions can  simply be called 'dawn' photos?  Hahaha!

Ahem.....anyway, that's how it was....cloudy.

I used my wide angle here and that is why some of these appear a little distorted.  I did try to fix them up but found that the fix looked worse than the original distortion !

Some have turned out great in monochrome.  I love monochrome and part of my work flow once a photo is post processed is to play with it in monochrome.  Not all are suited for it but sometimes a photo can look better in beautiful, crisp tones of gray.

My fav of these is the volley ball net still caught in the glare of the security light just as the daylight began to break; there's something about that clean light at the start of the day that brings hope, and a feeling of excitement of what the day will bring.  

There is one thing that disappoints me about the surf house building there.  This beautiful old building is surounded with large rubbish bin containers and signage about what is and isn't allowed onto the beach.   They have erected some stainless steel handrails where they should have continued with the old post and rail theme that appears everywhere else.  All this clutter really ruined the clean shot I wanted of this lovely looking building.

Anyway, I am going to upload these and go to bed.  I have had about 4-5 hours sleep in the last 48 and must front up for another nightshift tomorrow night!

Good Night All !!


This is my favourite!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Shoal Bay, NSW, Australia

Barney was in a desperate need of a day out.  All that pent up energy was bursting out and he needed to have an area to run riot in! 

We ended up at our favourite beach: Fingal Beach, in the beautiful Port Stephens area.  It is always very quiet and we usually have the beach to ourselves!   Well, once off the lead Barney just ran around letting off all of that steam.  Chasing the ball into the surf and along the sandy beaches, he could have just gone on and on all day!  The water was lovely and warm and Kim & I had a swim also.

After Fingal Beach, we went to Shoal Bay for some lunch and a stroll along its' beautiful white sandy beach.  It was an absolute pearler of a day!   On the way home, Barney just crashed on the back seat; we wore him out!

At the end of Shoal Bay Road is the Tomaree National Park.  Walking tracks and lookouts make it a must for a future visit.  Alas!  It is a National Park and we will not be able to take Barney with us.  One of the lookouts offers a view to the east of the entire bay from a decent height.  Can't wait to capture that one!

Hope you enjoy these!



Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Angeli Family

I have known Kim Angeli since she was about 19.   She lived next door to us in Canberra at the bottom of Mt Ainslie.   She used to baby sit our kids when we went out.   We always kept in touch, even though our lives at times were separated by vast distances.  We now live in close proximity to each other in the suburbs of Newcastle.   She has married and, she and Dan have 3 children.  She asked me ages ago to take some photos of her children.   Now, I am mostly a landscape and urban type photographer and, have never turned my hand at portraits and the like.   I laughed nervously and said yes!    Here are the results.   Hope you like them.   More importantly, I hope Kim and Dan and the kids like them.   Different kettle of fish to what I am normally used to but, I always welcome a challenge.

We started at Kim and Dans' home and from there went to Merewether Rock Pools for some candid shots.  It was a beautiful afternoon (which was very lucky because the weather has been atrocious here lately!) and the Rock Pools have those little distractions which are very interesting to a young child which, in turn, makes for some great candid shots.

Friday, 2 March 2012

One more from our afternoon at Belmont on the beautiful Lake Macquarie!  Lucky I have a few of these to post because I have been doing the work thing and unable to get out to get any new material.   However, now that I have a few days off, what happens?   The weather has turned and it is pouring!   Might be a good opportunity to hit the urban sprawl for some street photography!

I loved the reflection of the clouds in this one.  The different lake depth has given some great texture to the water as well.