Thursdays Special: Juxtaposition

Lost in Translation photo challenge – Juxtaposition

In Sydney Australia, you can see many example of where the old meets the new. The old building, Scots Church has a new building built above it which has 148 apartments which allows the new to hover above the old.

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In another part of Sydney, the inner city suburb Newtown has a range of eclectic people and shops. Here we have an outdoor/indoor room on the awning of the building.

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One of the contentious issues in Australia is that refugees are kept in detention until their applications are processed. It is believed that children should not be held in these camps. I found this protest in the street in Ballina. a town not far from my place. It is a sad photo when you think about the meaning.

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Crab Art

Everyone who goes to the beach will have seen the small balls laid out on the sand. I find them a wonderful expression of nature. None are the same although some are more elaborate than others. When we went for a walk along Emerald Beach on the Mid-north Coast of NSW, with all the other people who take advantage of a leash free area on the beach where the dogs can run free, I noticed that the small balls on the beach didn’t have any footprints in them. Perhaps there is a bit of respect for the creators of what I like to call Crab Art.

First of all have a close look at the sand balls. They do look rather random don’t they?

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They are a seemingly bunch of sand balls scattered on the beach

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But some have a shape and form

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Can you see the little roads?

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This one has a certain cartoon effect I feel. Can you see the face?

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This is one of my favourites. Almost a butterfly?

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From another angle you can see the little hole where the crabs “home” is.

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You really should meet one of the Crab Artists. They are about the size of a finger tip. What fabulous blue eyes.

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Do you think the crabs create art on the beach?

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Curve Tuesdays of Texture

I have been a bit cheeky by incorporating two Photo Challenges into one blog. Often there is stuff with a delicious curve which has a bit of texture as well.

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The knot

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Driftwood that also has a smile

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The cylindrical Banksia flower

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Looking under the wood fungus

 

Cee’s Odd Ball Challenge

Yes, we all have the photo or two that can be called “I wonder what I was thinking” Actually I seem to have quite a number so it was a case of sorting to just put a few in this blog but I have a number that I can use for later challenges.

the beads

The necklace, a tumble of beads.

bottle in water

It was just a bottle in the water

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The mud puddle

the bubblebath

The bubble bath was quite bubbly. Concept by my artist bestie photo by me

These photo qualify to be called odd ball I reckon

 

Art at the Beach

Many days have been spent at the wonderful beaches on the North Coast of New South Wales. There have been photos of sea birds, the coast line, waves, rock formations or the fabulous sunrises that we get when the sun rises from the sea. I am sure you have seen lots of this type of photo in many of my previous blogs or other peoples publications.

I am hoping that what I have seen is something that you may have not seen before with photos of the beach or seaside. I often just see something that catches my eye that I find is quite wondrous or perhaps has shape, form or texture that I find interesting.

Want to come to the seaside with me? You won’t need sunscreen, a hat or other sun protective wear but maybe get a cool drink, settle back and let’s go….

Perhaps I should start with the obvious which you probably seen in many photos. Many of Australias beaches the sand is the shoreline but occasionally the beach is rocks. To me the endless rocks are fascinating and to see the colours, forms and textures is unusual. So let’s begin with the rocks, some rough but mostly worn smooth by the sand and water.

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The Sand Crabs like to create their own art with shapes, textures and placement of the small balls of sand they excavate from their sandy holes where they wait for a snack to stroll past.

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The water has it’s own way of creating art with the way the water flows back to the ocean leaving patterns on the sand. Can you see a fish or maybe a bird in the patterns? What do you see that perhaps I don’t?

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Sometimes these patterns include shells to create parallel lines as they look as if they are zooming across the sand.

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Shell are another source of wonder at the beach. How many shells have you picked up just to look at their colours and feel their textures?

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Even a broken shell can seemingly form its own mini sand dune.

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Part of beach life are the things that get washed onto the beach. Sometimes these can be the result of a storm where seaweed has been torn from its anchorage ending up on the beach with its branches resisting the sands intrusion.

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Bits and pieces on the sand.that show the life that is on the beach. From the terrestrial to the marine. The leaf from a mangrove, an excavation spread from a hole in the sand and other bits and pieces of marine vegetation. Each has it’s own place on the beach decorating the sand with artistic expression until the incoming tide changes the art installation.

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The orange leaf contrasts with the sand and other items that are washed in by the incoming waves.

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I love the way the colour of the sea-grass falls away leading to the blackness of the rock.

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The interaction of colours and textures between the sea-grass and jellyfish with some bubbles added for more interest.

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The entanglement of grasses and other bits of seaweed almost look like a bit of calligraphy. The imprint of some toes add a human element into the abstract art that nature has constructed.

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Sometimes the art that can be of natural construct includes the intrusion of humans or in this case, a child whose toy jet ski washed upon the sand. The impact of human detritus cannot be understated on marine life.

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Sometimes a simple stick can seem like a stick. Look at the textures and the added colour of the coastal plants makes the stick more than a stick.

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Speaking of making a stick more than a stick, it’s time we moved onto the imagination of two people who see possibilities of making life at the beach different. The things we do we leave behind and perhaps someone may smile as they come across the ideas that we enjoy to make together. When we find something on the coast as we walk about the beaches, dunes or the littoral rainforests and vegetated parts of the the hind dunes. The following is the combined effort of the imagination of two people who can see the ridiculous in nature that just needs a bit of enhancement to make the natural world a bit of fun.

We found some driftwood on the sand. The artist said “Look at the little man I found” and placed the stick on the sand. The photographer took a couple of photos and thought there needs to be more. Then the “footprints” were added.

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When you walk along the sand and find some pumice that you would like to take home to use, well don’t you make a small basket to carry it in?

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We both saw the vegetation beside the track and saw a shape. Add a few other things that were found nearby and a bit of modification, a bit of art was made. Do you see what the artist and the photographer saw?

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A grass tree that had died provided a lot of amusement. I hope someone walking the track in the hind dunes had a laugh as much as we did making our hairy friend.

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A Pandanus seed, a bit of red seaweed and gales of mirth led to this little bloke being placed in a paperbark tree beside the track.

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Did you enjoy having a stroll along the Australian coastline with me?

 

 

Darkness and Light

Black and White Sunday: Darkness and Light

Black and white images have always been part of my photographic life. When I was in my early teens my first cameras, (one was called a Snappy Camera) were always loaded with black and white film as we couldn’t afford to buy and process colour film. I wish I knew where those photos are now.

I sometimes switch my camera into monochrome when I find a subject that I feel would be great in black and white, especially photographing subjects from the past. Other times I take a colour photo and manipulate it, such as my silhouettes of birds in a previous blog.

I love the moon. It gives me a good feeling when it is full and bright.

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I also love taking photos of flowers, their colour, their shape, their form but flowers can also look stunning in black and white.

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The photo of the old letterbox is one of my favourites. I must admit that I manipulated the photograph to get the effect I wanted.

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I am enjoying the photo challenges.

#black&whitesunday

Silhouettes

A few years ago I looked at some of my photos and thought they would be good as silhouettes. I remade some of the best ones that I thought would be good to frame and sell at hand-made markets or other markets that abound here on the north coast of NSW. I only managed to get a stall at a couple of markets, no where near as many as I would have liked to attend, over the past year or two.

There has been some good sales and some where not one photo sold. Perhaps this year I may get to more markets as a stallholder and see if anyone enjoys my photos.

I don’t just convert from colour to black and white, in some cases I have taken the photo in monochrome, I actually trace around the photo to get a bit of a better definition. This takes time and sometimes I think I have spent more time than necessary but I enjoy doing the work.

This first silhouette is the photo that I took that started the process. I came home late in the afternoon and as I drove down the driveway, I disturbed the White-faced Heron on the dam who flew onto a branch near the house. I was just getting excited in capturing birds with my new digital camera, this was an ideal opportunity. The original photo late in the afternoon was almost in black and white with the sky blue and the Heron without any detail, just a dark image. The bark of the Yellow Stringybark was a challenge!!!

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I have always like to outline of birds against the sky. An Osprey wheeling above the water looking for a fish provided a nice silhouette.

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The Cormorant sitting on a branch on the edge of the dam also looking for a fish or yabbie obliged by sitting still for quite some time.

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The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos with their almost slow-motion flying as they flew overhead to their roost for the night were a delight to watch and photograph. The wing tips were hard to get right.

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The New Holland Honeyeater sitting atop of a Banksia isn’t really a silhouette but the conversion into black and white was so striking that I decided to leave it as a monochrome. I included this one in my silhouette series as it is a popular photo at the markets.

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Some birds are so distinctive in their shape, they are just right for silhouettes. Even a brightly coloured Rainbow Bee Eater is recognisable in black and white.

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As is a Spangled Drongo.

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The Golden Whistler photo has taken me the most time to convert into a silhouette. I didn’t realise that when there are branches in the background that they are ever so slightly out of focus and need a lot of attention. I even left a small patch of the bright yellow colour on the neck as neither black or white to add a bit of definition of this wonderful small bird.

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I have posted lots of brightly coloured birds on my blogs over the years. I hope you have enjoyed something different.

Art and birds – a day at the GOMA

When was the last time you encounted an endangered bird in an art gallery or any live bird for that matter. A recent visit to the Queensland GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art) in the Cultural Precinct at Brisbane’s South Bank, we waited in line to go through the hanging lengths of steel making a curtain. Behind the steel curtain were coat hangers, finches and music playing.

From Here to Ear is a musical installation by French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot with live finches. There was a variety of finches, Zebra, black-throated and crimson finches and, the first time I have seen these finches, the endangered Gouldian Finch.

The finches flew about the room and settled on an array of coat hangers and harpsichord strings that tinkled combining the sounds of the finches and the music was activated like the finches own musical instrument.

It was certainly a treat to see the finches, to hear the music and be embraced in the art.

Sitting among the coat hangers.

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The Zebra Finches were playing with a strand of grass plucked from the floor.

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The most colourful Gouldian Finch.The Gouldian Finch a native of northern Australia used to be counted in the millions. Now there is around 2,500. See more about Gouldian Finches here

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The finches didn’t sit still for very long so getting a good photo in the limited time we had inside the room was difficult.

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If you get a chance, go to the GOMA as the art on display is incredible. Have a look at what’s on at the GOMA I am sure there would be something that would interest you.

Not your usual holiday photos

When I travel, I am always looking for something that has some sort of appeal to me. Whether it is concrete or abstract there nearly is always a photo in something that I see and perhaps, others do too. I often find I am drawn to many the same theme. Those themes have been the subject in the past and of other blogs as time goes on. This time I would like to let you into my world of the everyday stuff that I see. Often I will take a photograph, to the quizzical looks of people who wonder what the hell is he photographing!!! This is true especially on holidays where there is a lot of people wandering about the same cities or towns as me. So off we go, starting at the top.

The tiles on rooves have patterns, shapes and colours and sometimes perhaps a plants or two.

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And in this case moss or lichens. It could almost be vegetation on a terraced hillside.

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I love the ceramic chimney pots. They contrast with the new looking tiles in the background.

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These chimney pots seemed like rather severe looking totem poles.

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This was on a roof near our Paris apartment. We thought it was our own Ned Kelly or medieval warrior looking after us, spear in hand.

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Some places have the most amazing ceilings, quite often in churches but this one was in a large shopping center in Milan

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Some walls in the old churches have the most amazing construction. Imagine looking upwards to see these bricks jutting out in a higgledy-piggledy fashion.

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In contrast, this wall was in the cafe at the Venice Biennale showcasing modern art. Yes it is a flat wall.

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Whereas this sloping wall was in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Korea.

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Again, the modern art world showed geometry on the walls of the Confluence Museum of Art in Lyon.

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The Koreans really embraced the world of modern art with this window between the bedroom and bathroom in our room in the Grand Hyatt.

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This sign on the wall in Venice seemed poignant as everywhere we went in Italy people smoked cigarettes regardless of where they were.

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There were many different floors with patterns or geometrical designs. This was hard to walk on while looking down as it made walking in a straight line difficult.

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I don’t know how many cobblestone roads we walked down. This one in Stirling, Scotland, wet and late in the afternoon drew me into its seemingly wavy pattern.

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Lights have always been a source of inspiration whether they are candles in a church.

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Or modern sculpture like this one of cascading balls from the third floor to the ground in Korea.

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Or beautiful old Murano glass light in the entrance of the hotel in Genoa.

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I guess I have a certain fascination for water. The Autumn leaves floating in the water feature in Dijon summed up the first cool wet day.

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Reflections in water always look so abstract. A bit of blue sky and the sides of a boat rippling on the water in the canal caught my eye in Burano.

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Further down the canal the colours changed to green and “gold” to make me feel at home.

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To get water often you need a tap. I don’t think much water has flowed from this tap in quite a while. The tap was in a rather large old building in Arsenale, Venice which had an art installation. I saw a few people wander over to the tap after I walked away, probably wondering what I was photographing.

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Just walking down the road, exploring the neighbourhood when we got to Bologna, the blue bottle on the graffitied concrete column of the building just seemed like an art installation.

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If you have water, you quite often need a teapot, even if it is part of an art installation from China.

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Teapot always needs some tea cups.

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There were lots of chairs in the church. This is just a part of all of the chairs. There was so many.

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Sometimes looking into a sculpture changes the perception of how the work makes you feel.

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This was the Canadian Exhibit in the Venice Biennale. It was a shop with so much “for sale” as well as a lot of used items to ponder.

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The posters on the walls of so many places had me perplexed but I appreciated the work especially combined with the everyday life.

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Road signs sometimes get altered. I have no words.

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Did you enjoy my holiday snaps? Leave me a comment to let me know what you likes most. Stay tuned for the next installment of my holiday photos – better than a slide night.

A bit of France

I am so glad that you enjoyed my little bit of Italy. Here is some bits and pieces I found in France – Marseilles and Avignon. Paris may come later.

I loved this carousel in Marseilles. It was in a square with people just milling around. The sound of the carousel certainly attracted us down that street.

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In the square where we had lunch was this sign on the wall. I like this type of art, almost pop art?

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Another blog I should write is one on the doors of Europe. I had this obsession to photograph doors of all sizes, materials and colours. Of course many of these doors have a door knocker. This lion looks a bit fierce.

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In Avignon there seemed to be stones on the streets especially in the back streets of the old town. I wonder what building these came from?

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In the Palaise de Papas, in Avignon, these tiles were in a section where the tiles were just on tables and some other rooms the tiles were still on the floor. I wonder why I photographed these tiles…..

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In many of the churches were frescos. It amazed me to think that these were painted centuries ago. I loved the colours of this castle fresco.

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I had to include another stained glass. This time a close up of the intricate fire stained glass with such a stunning blue background.

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The Palaise de Papas had many many gargoyles but not many had a pigeon. I think it had  a nest behind there.

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We found this fabulous cafe in Avignon,a libraire cafe L’Ami Voyage en Compagnie which had the most wonderful food with fantastic features.The tables were quite readable, the chairs wrapped in paper and string.

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The table light is great don’t you think?

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Guarding the stairs was this little bloke. Upstairs was a little library. The best cafe in Avignon.

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