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Archive for the ‘Sydney’ Category

Spring Clean

4589 Opera house steps

5304 Trees 2

4605 Pre-show, Opera House

4629 A chance encounter 1

4674 Shoes selfie

5689 Wall of remembrance

4769 Pigeon buddy

1962 Glebe Point

4909 Frames, broadway

6018 Reclining smoker

4521 The Hub

2035 Little flowers

5190 Lake, Snowy Mountains

4599 Opera House crowd

5841 Brothers

5827 Ripped dad

4850 Industrialism

5042 Text 2

6036 Towards Bondi

5016 Bus

5887 Bronte window selfie

4690 Dancing gait

5467 Eucalypt twist

6031 Suspended

5575 Variedad Geisha

5471 Alpine landscape

By way of contrast, V & I went down to the Snowy Mountains a couple of weeks ago and returned to Sydney to visit the beach for the first time this season. The ease with which we could transition between these regions was a welcome reminder of how fortunate we are to live in such a place. For the uninitiated, the Snowy Mountains lie about five hours drive southwest of Sydney in New South Wales and contain Australia’s highest mountain – Mount Kosciuszko. With a rather unimpressive elevation of 2228 metres, it is a reminder of what a flat country Australia is across its length and breadth. The Snowy Mountains form part of the Great Dividing Range, the 4th longest mountain range in the world after The Andes, The Rocky Mountains and The Transantarctic in, surprise surprise, Antarctica. While we’re on the statistics, for those who primarily consider Australia to be a hot and dry country, The Snowy Mountains are just one of the many and varied climate zones in a state which, while being only the 5th largest in Australia, is still bigger than France at a whopping 800,642 sq kilometres.

The Snowy Mountains are splendidly bleak; muted greens and browns, clumps of shrubs and grass and gnarly snow-gums with their twisting trunks that exhibit a surprising range of colours. They might lack the dramatic peaks and soaring walls of stone and ice found in higher ranges, and the skiing is at best mediocre, yet the mountains offer a curious play on the Australian landscape and, indeed, on Alpine zones generally. One noticeable contrast in Australian snow country is that, on account of the shape and nature of the gum leaves, snow does not generally sit on the trees, leaving them standing out starkly against the white.

In Jindabyne we found a magnificent Persian restaurant called Café Darya, set up by a former Iranian downhill ski champion with his wife. The menu was fascinatingly varied, with tantalising combinations of flavours and spices and a range of meats including goat and camel, yet in no way was it gimmicky. The love shown for the place on Trip Advisor confirms that we were not deluding ourselves in our assessment.

From here spent a couple of days in Canberra, a place often ridiculed as dull, bland or sterile, yet which we greatly enjoyed on this visit. A city planned from the ground up at the start of the 20th century, Canberra has the orderliness of Washington’s monumental heart, whilst exhibiting a far more modest monumentality. As the home of Parliament, the National Gallery and the War Memorial / museum, among many other significant institutions, it serves as a clean and refreshing shrine to culture and history, both Australian and international.

Back in Sydney now, the beach beckons and its lure is, as always, irresistible.

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Blue Skies Ahoy

3005 Bronte Beach 2

3547 Viaduct

2248 Water texture

3433 Tyre, Camperdown Lunar oval

2821 Bronte pool 3

2857 Bronte morning B & W

3172 Hanging Gardens of Broadway

2435 stripes

3631 Tree climbers

3076 Man and monolith

2648 Paulie crop

3110 Chutes

3889 Reader, Bronte Beach

3890 Reader, Bronte Beach

2369 War memorial

2788 Bronte morning 2

3514 Sunlight

3865 Feet 2

2249 Happy tourists

3905 Central station

2846 Concrete wall, Bronte 2

3541 Viaduct

3477 Stormwater

3634 Picnickers

2869 Bronte beach 2

Winter is now in full swing in Sydney, which means lots of dry, sunny days and cool, crisp winds. If that sounds anomalous to your idea of winter, then it’s worth considering Sydney’s location climatically – nestled in the stretching neck of a temperate zone, just below and often influenced by the tropical zone to its north.

Australia Climate

Sydney sits northeast of the ACT, in the eastern arm of the blue crescent

The benevolent influence of the warm Pacific ocean counters the chill winds coming off the Snowy Mountains and Southern Highlands, resulting in daily temperatures which, on average, range between 8 and 16 degrees.

Temperatures etc

In the strong, bright sunlight, the cold night air often warms rapidly and daytime temperatures regularly approach 18-20 degrees. This, combined with the low winter rainfall and lack of humidity, results in many beautifully crisp days with impossibly blue skies and mild temperatures.

Sydney rainfail annual average

Rainfall in Sydney has declined in recent decades, though for now it appears to have plateaued. This decline has been mirrored in other Australian capitals in the south and west – Mebourne, Adelaide and Perth. This is due to increasing amounts of rain falling at sea, rather than on land. How this will all track in future is uncertain, though the trajectory is clearly towards a considerably hotter climate. Indeed, between April 2012 and April 2014, Australia experienced the hottest 24-month period ever recorded, on the back of a decade of increasingly above average temperatures. In May this year – mid autumn – Sydney experienced 19 consecutive days of 22 degrees or hotter – one of a whole sequence of “warm-waves” across Australia through autumn.

Autumn warms

Politicians and industry might be in denial about global warming’s very real effects in Australia, but the climate doesn’t care a rat’s flap for their opinions. It might seem deceptively calm and beautiful just now, and we might enjoy the warmer weather in Autumn, but Australia’s climate is in rapid transition, becoming more dangerous and less predictable every year. The feedbacks driving this mechanism are now firmly in place, and turning things around will take decades – like changing course on a supertanker. While Australia can stop directly harming its environment, in truth our fate depends on the rest of the world curbing its emissions. We could certainly set a better example than our present, shameful recalcitrance.

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Slow Burn

It’s been a while since I posted a collection of Sydney shots – as has happened in the past, I got tired of the subject matter. Having said that, subject matter is a pretty fluid thing, so perhaps the problem lay rather with context. Then again, context is transformed by so many factors that its appeal as a theatre of operations ought to be a fluid thing; different seasons, different fashions, different people – it’s a shifting scene sure enough. Before I deconstruct my own excuses further… these shots have come together over a number of months, though most are quite recent as I’ve dedicated more time to pursuing shots – hence the title – Slow Burn.

And it has been slow. The Golden ratio – my own reckoning, detailing the occurrence of “Gold” quality shots – has been disappointingly low; a lot of shots taken without result. In truth, however, I attribute it to a lack of patience. Random stuff is all very well, but often the best results come from sitting on a scene or pushing on relentlessly to find another. More such time has strengthened the focus of late, though having said that, most of these came from things stumbled upon. Enough! Here’s a few shots…

0275 Kale surprise

0967 Love on an escalator 2

1299 Drama at Town Hall station

1143 Lightbulbs

0907 Pink snail

2150 Man with fridge

2157 Man with fridge

2161 Man with fridge 3

1032 Balloon chimp

0713 Dinosaurs!

1447 King's Cross flats

8534 Tennis court

1103 Bricks

1979 Enmore selfie

8389 Broadway scene

1300 Tourists on George

2108 Cool Korean

1236 George street faces

0953 Exit stage right

1221 Micro bureao de change 2

1932 Glebe Point

0675 Swing girl

2030 Lichen & Fern 2

2232 Distorting mirror

2235 Horse IV

 

 

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Sprang, Sprung

The following are some recent efforts, and the odd one not so recent. Warm winter, hot spring, though I do love the variability. A lot of sunshine of late, and as ever, the beach beckons…

8004 ANZ Building 2

8146 Flags

8327 Sculpture by the sea

8197 Tamarama

7705 Newtown peeps

1335 Lips

9332 Railway Square

8188 Tamarama 2

1982 City angles

8297 Sculpture by the sea

2001 Newtown Hotel

1861 Glebe Point

4123 Pitt street mall selfie

1510 Luna Park, Sydney Harbour

9224 Sunset from the wharf

9779 Big surf off coogee

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Black & Blue stuff

With the exception of the shots from the Skunkhour gig, these are all taken over the past few weeks. All of them are from the city or the inner west of Sydney. Slowly I’ve been warming up for an impending trip to England, Greece and Italy – leaving first thing Thursday morning. We’re flying into Londres : ) then, after four or five days in Cambridge, flying out to Rhodes. From there we are island hopping via Santorini and the ruins of Delos to Athens over ten days, before flying to spend a week in Rome. This trip is not about new discoveries but catching up and refreshing old favourites, and I’m especially excited about revisiting two places I’ve lived in previously – namely Cambridge and Rome. The last time I was in Rome was February 2008 – five years after I lived there. It seems about right, therefore, that I should head back there in 2013.

Thusly, I’ll be away for roughly 25 days and hence may not contribute a great deal to Tragicocomedia. I’m not ruling out contributing a hell of a lot either, but judging on previous form, there’ll be too much amazing stuff to look at and photograph and I’ll be adequately distracted. Either way, life goes on.

4067 QVB Smoker 2

1028 Local rugby union

5562 Drug of choice

6002 Man on the street 2

1058 Purple dude

5792 Gig

5544 QVB Christo

5571 Back lane, Surry Hills

1030 Bunch of blokes 2

1602 Slender trunks

5031 Kirribilli markets

1969 Camperdown

1022 Parramatta rd selfie

6011 Door

1623 Glebe Point 2

5656 Skunkhour

5083 Peace, bro

6015 Marble reflections 2

1682 talking

5643 Deano 2

1090 Triangle

1703 Big stuff

1848 Benevolent

5611 Buddha

1516 Afternoon snooze

1582 Trap!

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Stuff wot I saw

This is a collection of recent shots from around Sydney, mostly taken along George Street, a regular haunt of mine for better or for worse. Been trying to work angles a lot more recently, something evident in this bunch of shots. As the title says, in a nutshell, this is just some stuff wot I saw : )

Agony and ecstasy

Camperdown

Reading the can

George street

Window display, State Library

 

George street reflected light

Surveyor 2

George street

Number 84

Chinatown

Stairwell

Carriageworks

Lifeboat 2

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Since returning from India, now almost six months ago, I still haven’t really fallen back into the habit of shooting a lot. It’s not so much a case of the cup runneth dry so much as the well runneth over, for I’ve got a daunting backlog of photographs to get through. Much of that work has been earmarked for travel writing and is being held in reserve. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I get it out there. In the meantime, here are some of the photos I have taken recently.

Courthouse Hotel, Newtown

Oxford street

Skippy girls, Wilson street, Newtown

Floating rope

Graffito, Surry Hills

Strange palm insect

Curves 3

Central station clocktower

Carriageworks

Dead marines

Redfern station

Surry Hills

Newtown station selfie 2

Annandale

Alphaville

Train, Newtown

Pug rules

Floating rope

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