PhotoGRAPHy 101: Week 4


The Botanic Gardens in Sydney are lovely with lots of native flora – but these delightful Gazanias are from Southern Africa. They are also known as the Treasure flower so I figured they were appropriate for the challenge.


glassThis week I have had a delightful trip south to meet up with Meg from the blogosphere who very kindly took me all around the Eurobodalla region. This interesting mirror was in a perfectly preserved heritage village called Tilba in the south of New South Wales.


Interesting edges in this art installation at the National Gallery in Canberra. The installation is called “Skyspace” and is by  American artist James Turrell.



Two Wallabies at Potato Point, south NSW. I would have liked to have got one with a baby in its pouch, but sadly not.


My triumph was actually making it to Potato Point this week to meet up with a fellow blogger who I became friends with over the year.  A walk on the beach revealed these beautiful shells.

Finished up in Canberra where my eldest Granddaughter lives and it has been wonderful to spend time with her (and her boyfriend). Lovely to see her in her own environment.

It has been an exciting week and so lovely to be shown places that I don’t know about by a botanical expert and a friend. Once virtual now for real. Thanks Meg for a great week and for putting up with me 🙂

PhotoGRAPHy 101: Week 3

Pop of Colour

As you travel around the suburbs of Sydney at this time of year your eye is drawn to the pop of colour amongst the greenery. The beautiful Jacaranda tree is full of fragrant purple flowers during the spring-time.  I fell in love with this tree on first sight in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg  40 years ago.

jacaranda tree


Those who follow my blog will know that I am very keen on architecture. Old, new, entire buildings, small details – I love architectural images. So what to select from my week in Sydney? Something old? Something new? The challenge asks you consider shots that will translate well in black and white.  I think these two shots do because a) the clock has such a striking pattern and b) the modern building is practically monotone anyway. See what you think.

 Clock on the Customs House
Clock on the Customs House

old architecture (b&w)



A couple of unexpected moments occurred this week whilst out walking. Although asked to experiment with blur and movement I had no time to do that with the wren as it just literally flew in front of me – I am surprised that there isn’t more blur! As for the kookaburra he was so still that I thought at first he wasn’t real, until he turned his head to look at me.  Anyway, these were such special moments I wanted to share them with you.

A Superb Fairy-wren at Bondi Beach
A Laughing Kookaburra at Barrenjoey Beach



Today’s challenge is to look at things in a great number.  As a rule I tend to avoid places where there are a lot of people, but the streets of Sydney’s CBD are pretty busy – pedestrians AND traffic! So far I haven’t been bothered by swarms of flies. The corks are working a treat 😉 So how about a swarm of little life-savers on the beach at Dee Why? Cute eh?


A year or two ago I would not have classed myself as a landscape photographer. My main focus then was  close-up shots of flowers with the odd bit of architecture thrown in.  But I have been seeing the beauty of landscapes from other photographers whom I admire, so now and again I’ll have ‘a go’ especially when visiting the US National Parks which is where I first started to consider landscape photography.


This is Palm Beach – the location for the Aussie soap ‘Home and Away’ and the furthest most northern beach suburb of Sydney (it takes about 2 hours to reach here by bus). To get this view I had to climb up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse, 350 feet above sea level, on a rather warm day! I hope you all appreciate the efforts I go to to get a photograph! On your left is the Pacific Ocean and Palm Beach, on the right is Pittwater and Barrenjoey beach. The ocean side was very windy, the right was like bathing in bath water – well the first few feet were anyway. I wouldn’t mind living here 🙂

Well, that’s it for another week. A very warm week here I have to say, and some of my explorations have been cut short because of the extreme heat. This poor English rose has wilted badly!

PhotoGRAPHy 101: Week 2

Round-up of week 2 of this challenge and more of my temporary abode. Wi-fi has been in short supply this week mostly due to the corrupt practice that large corporate hotel-chains have of charging exorbitant rates for a connection. Even though we paid for 24 hours in the room, that was restricted to one, yes you read that correctly, one device.  I was able to have an hour free in the lobby with a weak connection. My best connection was in the Customs House library, a lovely place close to the Circular Quays, which was not only free, but also not time restricted.  And, if you are wondering, you also get 45 mins or 300 Mb on the ferries. All of which leads into the first theme of the week:


It seemed appropriate to post an image of Sydney Harbour Bridge aka ‘The Coathanger’ because of its arch-based design, as this iconic bridge connects the north shore and the CBD.


More connections are made at the aforementioned Customs House Library and a rather lovely connection has been made  with a fellow blogger, the irascible ( 😉 )Margaret Rose Stringer who very kindly provided me with a lovely lunch and a good old chin-wag on one of the hottest days in Sydney so far. Arriving hot, sweaty and red in the face she must have thought I was going to expire on her doorstep – blame it on the Pyrmont Bridge I say, which provides no shade whatsoever!


Photographed from various angles I hope you like my perspectives of this instantly recognizable landmark in Sydney.

The Natural World

A trip up to the Blue Mountains has provided the material for this theme, though I could have used any number of photos from this trip so far. As those of you who kindly read this blog will know, I love to play with angles, perspectives and composition as well as seeking out shapes, textures and strong horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines. I have some super city shots that will find themselves in a post at some stage. Meanwhile here is the natural world.

More images of the flora in Australia can be found on my Earth Laughs in Flowers blog where I am challenging my Aussie pals to identify the wonderful varieties they have there.


Today we are asked to consider how photographers ‘draw with light’.  Leaving Shelly Beach in Manly the early evening light cast a warm glow on these sea kayakers.

warmthAnd I can’t resist a photo of another Eastern Water Dragon basking in the warmth of the sun on a rock in the Chinese Friendship Garden.

warmth 2


And finally I leave you with a mysterious art installation in the centre of the CBD.


Hopefully next week I will have a more constant connection and be able to post and comment a bit more, in between finding new subjects to photograph, naturally 🙂


PhotoGRAPHy 101: Week 1

As I have been travelling for two days during this week I haven’t had the time to register for this challenge  so I am putting together a post to meet the five themes introduced this week and at the same time introduce you to my new neighbourhood (albeit temporary).


HomeSydney, NSW, Australia is home to 4.576 million people and is the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. It is also home to my eldest son and family.


Corso in Manly

The Corso in Manly is one of Sydney’s more famous streets and runs from the harbour side at Manly Wharf to the ocean side at Manly Beach. In my image the focus is on the Victorian building on the left of the street with the palm trees and the people forming the background.


Sydneysiders are lucky to have many beautiful beaches on their doorstep. This is the surf at Dee Why, one of the northern beaches. Finding this odd iron piling along the beach I couldn’t decide whether a vertical or horizontal composition suits it best. Which version do you prefer?


Lorenzo in his ‘sunnys’

This theme asks you to consider what the word bliss means.   To me, today, bliss means that first cuddle with a new grandchild. Bliss to him was wearing his shades to block out the glare of that Australian sunshine.



The Manly Scenic Walkway at Shelly Beach. Today we are asked to consider placement of the subject in a photograph. My focus was on the bench, but I waited until a solitary figure appeared on the bend of the track and lined up the horizon with the metal railings to frame the sea from the sky. I was also rather pleased that the bench colour matched the sea and the lines were at a nice angle to the lines of the railings. Often a photo can look to be accidental, but I moved around quite a bit to get this deliberate shot.