Autumn Swim

It’s a bit chilly this morning

Sometimes you’ve just got to suck it up and dive in…

Feeling much better now!

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Sculpture by the Sea 2011

It’s that time of year again. I’ve been stuck in Sculpture log-jam before, so I hit Bondi Beach just as the sun was rising this morning, hoping to beat the crowds. And it paid off. Here’s some of my favourites.

Even at 6:00am, I had to wait until there were no people around each sculpture to photograph them.

An early morning sea mist adds to the ambiance

An early morning sea mist adds to the ambiance

This sculpture appeals to the geologist in me. Give me ocean and rock any day.

This sculpture appeals to the geologist in me. Give me ocean and rock any day.

... and the way it changes as you view it from different angles.

I stood and stared at this sculpture for ages – I love the geometry…

… and the way it changes as you view it from different angles.

Oh Deer

Oh Deer

Eyes on you

Wind-swept tree

Wind-swept tree

Life-savers on steroids?

Life-savers on steroids?

Happy Days!

Kite surfer getting plenty of air at Manly

Kite surfer getting plenty of air at Manly

What an awesome way to have fun! When the nor’easter blows like this it’s no good for surfing, but out come the kite surfers. Even without the jumping, this must be an amazing feeling — ripping along with a canopy full of wind. Years ago I used to enjoy windsurfing. I loved pulling the sail in tight, leaning back on my harness and feeling the board rise up and plane across the water. Kite surfing must be that feeling x 10. I had so much fun photographing these kite surfers, a couple of them were flying along close to the shore — I guess to make maximum use of the fairly small waves — which gave me a perfect chance to tap into my ‘inner sports-photographer’. (Now that’s what I’d like to be when I grow up)

Creatures From The Sea

Blue bottles... the curse of ocean swimmers

Blue bottles… the curse of ocean swimmers

Blue bottles, also known as stingers, are common in the warmer months. These little blow-ins come in with onshore winds and are the scourge of swimmers. The long tail is the nasty end and they can be several feet long — perfect for getting wrapped about your arms or legs. The sting burns at first, but the pain usually only lasts about an hour. An occupation hazard if you want to enjoy the water all year round.

Blue bottles, or stingers, get blown in by the wind

Blue bottles, or stingers, get blown in by the wind

Sculpture by the Sea

Sometimes I do wander it bit further from home. Every year at Bondi Beach they run a free exhibition called Sculpture by the Sea where artworks are placed on the sand and the rocks along a coastal path across several beaches. It makes a great summer’s evening walk and it’s always worth the trip over to Bondi.

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Angry Sky

A visitor from the south: a big storm front rolls in over Manly Beach

My absolute favourite subject matter for photography is clouds — so here’s a warning in advance: you’ll see lots of clouds on this blog. This particular beauty rolled in with a ‘southerly buster’. The southerly usually signals a cool change and is common in Sydney in the summer, particularly after days of stable, sunny weather. A cool front gets pushed up from the south, bringing unstable, gusty weather. Big grey clouds roll in and the temperature drops rapidly. They usually come in the late afternoon and you can almost set your watch by it. All of a sudden our back windows start rattling — ah, that’ll be the southerly buster. Some Sydney weather nerds (myself included) often tweet when the southerly hits – you could map it’s progress from south to north across the city.

Big and beautiful: Is it just me, or do storm clouds make great photos?

The Early Bird

Early morning kookaburra

Early morning kookaburra

My first post is a photo I took early one morning a few years ago: A kookaburra sitting on the balcony. I love the way the bird is silhouetted in the early morning light. The sky looks a bit moody but it feels like it’s going to be a nice, sunny day. That’s a complete fluke – I wasn’t sitting there waiting for it to come along, working out the exposure. I just saw the bird and grabbed my camera. You don’t usually see kookaburras at the beach, they prefer gum trees. But maybe they like the ocean too.