Point Nepean National Park

Point Nepean National Park
How many years has it been? Last time I came here, it was with a friend and his faily visiting from overseas. We drove down the Peninsula and saw the beautiful untouched shoreline and a ruin of a fortress. This place used to be a military practice ground, and was protected from the property development.

Quick look at the information on Parks Victoria website I found out that the park is accessible all hours although vehicle access is closed at 5pm. That means we could potentially see the setting sun beyond a natural beach. Not that ugly stretch of sand you find in St Kilda or Port Melbourne.

So I threw my gear and bike in the back of the car, rang up a friend with a last-minute notice, and drove down. It was a long way…

By the time we had a coffee break in Sorrento and arrived at Portsea, it was getting dark. Clearly we miscalculated the timing. And my friend did not have a bike, so our mobility was a little limited, too.

Leaving him to walk behind, I pedalled forward to see how far it is to something that is worth the walk. Little did I know I would end up pushing my bike most of the way on the sandy path up the hill (my bike had my regular city commute tyres which kept losing direction in the soft sand, while the wide block ones that came originally attached to my bike when it was new and never since used would have been perfect here), so I pushed my bike up the hill, finding a dead-end (there is no sign for ‘no through path’. Thank you Parks Victoria.) and coming back down, pushing, as riding down the hill was as dangerous on a wrong bike. I found that the tip where the fortress and beach was was 4km from the last carpark, not the tourist info carpark outside the gate where we parked. That is total of 6km one way, or something like that. Bike definitely. Next time, got to be a bike, and a tripod.

I found a ruin of an old pier on the side, facing Queenscliff on the other side of the water (there is a Ferry between Queenscliff and Sorrento, the near-by town on this side of the ‘mouth’ of the Bay.). But knowing my friend was left alone behind, I had to just rush ahead, with only a few quick shots. No tripod, no walking beyond the hill to find a better angle.

It is, however, a beautiful place, and I’d like to go back again. Maybe bring some picnic that can fit in the backpack with the camera, take photo in the morning, eat and rest in the shade during the day, maybe lie down and read, and up and shoot again as the sun sets… Then drive back to town for a late dinner.

Anyone wants to join, please send me an email, and we’ll make it! It should be nice during the warm part of the year, although I imagine it would be beautiful in winter too, with proper clothing.

 

Point Nepean National Park

 

Point Nepean National Park

 

Point Nepean National Park

 

Point Nepean National Park

 

Point Nepean National Park

 

Met on the street – more on the story of Hung Wei

I mentioned this guy with his full size paint brush drawing pictures with water on the pavement. Visiting from Taiwan, Hung Wei is busking on the street of Melbourne these days. Street is my work place, my practice ground, my source of inspiration and new creative ideas. So I try to go out there a few nights a week or more, and we were bound to meet again where we both ‘show up’ at work.

Hung Wei the Street artist
He told me he’d seen my blog post (I gave him my card last time I saw him) and that I got his ideas right when I said the message I receive from his work was ‘nothing lasts forever’.

 

Hung Wei the Street artist

 

Hung Wei the Street artist

Lots of people stopping by to complement on his work, have a chat.

 

Hung Wei the Street artist

So why is this guy drawing with fragile matter like water on the pavement? And in the middle of city on a busy side walk?

 

Well that is what this is all about, he says. He is drawing animals that are about to be extinct. I saw him draw lions, zebras, and something that looked to me like wild horses and dragons (or large fishes – scales)? He is asking people to notice what we are doing to the world, destroying its environment and those living here. His chosen media was that fragile matter that will be gone in a few moments.

Hung Wei the Street artist

Some notice, stand still, take photos, drop a few coins. Others walk past, walk all over, and I think that represents the situation so well. I am impressed by his ideas.

 

Hung Wei the Street artist

 

Hung Wei the Street artist

 

Hung Wei tells me that he wants to work on ice sculpture if he could find an opportunity. It is about the same message of disappearing members of the globe. Would anyone be interested in working with him? Just walk down on Swanston and say hello to the friendly man with the big paint brush. He would be thrilled to hear your comments and discuss ideas for collaboration or opportunity to show his work in public.

Now… the sun has long gone and he was wrapping up for the day. We walked across to Chinatown to grab some take-away food and joined his fellow busker from Taiwan.

I’d seen Bee on the street a few times. She is a charming young lady who paints with beautiful melting water colours.

Bee the artist

As we sat down to eat, a customer showed up. She put down her noodle soup and her expression became serious, in her zone. Hung Wei and I finished our meal, watching hers turn cold on the pavement.

 

Bee the artist

 

Bee the artist

 

Bee the artist

 

Bee the artist

 

Those people are genuinely talented artists. Bee’s colours are so beautiful – I just loved how she uses the navy blue, that blends towards green, to yellow. It was shiny, almost like oil, and saturated, like spray art. You just have to see it for yourself. She is often setting up her little booth along the street in CBD. Do stop by to say hello, or better still, ask her for a painting. You might like to keep that in a frame on your wall, or your mother’s wall, maybe?

As for me, I am still walking around and around the blocks of the city centre. I look for my inspiration, I work on the creative ideas, I’m on the shy side, but I love to talk to people. So if you’ve seen my photos (which you have now, seeing that you’re reading my photography blog), please let me know what you think, what you like, or if you are interested in having me photograph you and your loved ones, just give me a yell!

Met on Smith Street

After meeting all these cats, I continued on my walkabout, and came out with some snaps.

DS

Citroen DS. What a beauty. I just love the way it sat in front of the store with presence.

Chevy

And a car with very different cultural background

corner

Friends of the Earth

I actually have not tried this place – “Friends of the Earth”. The gentleman who looked to be one of the cooks (or is he the owner?) was having a break, chatting with his friend. I asked him to stay as I framed them with this beautiful graffiti wall.

untitled

She walked in and rested herself to light up as I was already pointing to this wall. I was actually waiting for somebody to walk across the frame, but seeing she did not mind the photographer I made this one shot at just the right time (I’m not on a telephoto; street photography is not spy photography – she knows I’m right there.).

Angel's place

There are some beautiful artwork everywhere in this area. There are messy spray paint, and there are art work. Case closed.

untitled

I enjoyed this sense of the shopping cart’s movement across from right to left. Is that a petrol tank on the right? Is this an engine powered cart? Beautiful fine day’s blue sky, orange light from low afternoon sun, power lines and structure. It would be interesting to go back at different time, different light, or even at night!

And last 3 shots back on Smith Street…

Smith st

Smith st

Smith st

Met on the street – 2

After photographing that talented artist on the busy Friday night city street, I was in the mood for a bit of sunshine, sweet pastry and good coffee. After picking up the vegetables and apples on bargain price at the market, I pointed the car towards the east. I couldn’t think of anywhere to go, really. A bit late to be heading towards the Dandenongs. Seaside, with more people on a sunny day like this? When I saw the traffic up ahead, I decided to turn away from the highway. Fitzroy, up the road and found a spot to put my car in, on a back street in Collingwood.

I grabbed the camera with 24mm as usual, and a couple of lenses in the bag today (especially after a struggle and desire for different angles last night) I started walking away from the car. Sun was shining, keeping me warm. Grabbing a few shots of flowers and plants, architecture… all in 24mm. My philosophy is make do with what you’ve got. Only when you couldn’t do it with what you have at hand, you know what you really need. Otherwise, there are just too many fancy new camera and equipments out there on the market. You can make most of your shots, from snap, portraiture and macro with a single piece of prime lens. You COULD do with a zoom lens, but I cannot keep so many different frames, from wide, standard to tele in my head, in order to quickly decide which frame to use. 24mm, or about 36 or 38mm or whatever equivalent in 35mm film terms, that is my ‘default’. I know that frame, and I know it perfectly well before looking through the view finder. I can’t imagine being able to have that system in me if I were using zoom lens as my ‘standard’.

Anyhow… enough of gadget talk. So I was walking. Then I met this girl.

_18.jpg

Looking kind of bored, obviously waiting for the family to come open the door and play… Then she noticed me pointing my camera at her. Stood up, stretched, walked around me a few rounds, had a few sniffs, she decided I was all right.

Then she posed.

Cat I met

Paws together, straight all the way up to the tips of ears. She probably thought I was The Sartorialist or something. She’s got a coat with that scroll pattern of American Short Hair.

Once she found out I was not shooting for a street fashion magazine or anything like that, she told me to just go away. Or, she just ignored me, which is the same thing in cats’ language. Enough of you. Allez!

Cat I met

I didn’t leave quickly enough, obviously. She bit me on the left hand. Though it was a quick one, it was a little stronger than the gentle friendly bite, and her eyers were flapped to block mode. Got the message this time.

Down the road, another one was passing the other side of the street.

Cat I met

Seems this one was looking for someone. But the other is not showing. So I said hello. My left hand reaching out to meet, a little more hesitant.

Cat I met

He, I think, turned as I lifted my camera. ‘You talking to me?’ But he was not so keen on photos. He looked just like a cat my family had in Osaka years ago. The same pattern, same white of the nose, going up slightly higher into the forehead. Same colour eyes.

Before I could say another word, he took off.

Cat I met

As he disappeared, another one came down towards me.

Cat I met

She seems to be on her inspection walk. After making a few rounds of me she decided I was ok, and went on to checking the bush in her territory.

Cat I met

She was also generous to my request for a snap.

Cat I met

I thanked her and waved good-bye.

Cat I met

A block down the road, I came across this pretty busy looking house. And there she was. Could it be that everyone’s gone out and she’s left outside waiting to be let in?

_03.jpg

Cat I met

Cat I met

Is that my family coming home? No. Not them…

Cat I met

A typical Melbourne girl, a mix of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Maybe a quarter of her comes from somewhere with strong sun and red earth? She’s no snob. Couldn’t care less if I was pointing my camera. She even left plenty of her fur of mixed colours all over my charcoal coat after insisting on riding on top of my shoulder to view her street from my perspective.

Cat I met

_04.jpg

How this house is not covered in her fur is a mystery to me.

Cat I met

Hmm… not her either?

Incoming! Is that them?

Cat I met

Oh no. Not you!

Cat I met

Cat I met

Cat I met

Dog: Hello!
Cat: GO AWAY!!
Dog: Sigh 😦

Cat I met

met on the street

Street artist

 

The more time you spend walking on the street, the more interesting people you meet. I never felt this as strongly as I did this weekend. And it’s only Saturday. Let’s see which one shall I start with… Let me tell you about Friday to start with.

 

Street artist

 

One of the old philosophies – ‘nothing lasts forever’ (so appreciate it while it does).

This guy’s style is living that spirit…

 

Street artist

 

Who is drawing all these on the pavement, at Melbourne tram stops?

 

Street artist

 

Street artist

 

You could easily mistake him for some guy cleaning the street. He just looks so natural, not bothered by the crowd or people walking over what he’d just drawn. Hung Wei is visiting from Taiwan, an artist sharing his art in public while he’s here.

 

Street artist

 

Street artist

 

Pay attention to how he uses his brush in details like this. Even to the eyes of a non-painter like myself I could tell he’s got a wealth of experience with brush works. Strong strokes, delicate lines, bold spots… without hesitation he gets the exact expression where he needs it.

 

Street artist

 

Hung Wei says he’s ‘drawing every day’ so do look out for him when you’re in town. Say hello, I’m sure he’d like that.

 

Street artist

 

P.S.
Check out the sequel – here.

New template

If you find yourself in a unfamiliar looking site, sorry about the sudden change. This is something I have been thinking of addressing for quite some time, but I just took a template available and now trying out. The issue was the white background overwhelming the images, especially those subtle tonality in the dark. Now that I spent more time shooting in those hours, more towards the night than the day, rather than events and portraiture (which I still do but have been putting more of my own project recently), I feel this less conflicting background is better suited for you to engage with images.
I’ll still post my portraiture and event photos here, and they should be comfortable on grey background, too.
Please do drop your comments, if you notice any specific issues, like the font being difficult to read, or the contrast/shade of grey is not right for heading, etc. I do see some issues of this template ‘off the shelf’ but would like to consider your comments when I do get to optimising the settings.

Thanks again for coming to my blog. Please find my current/recent blog posts on the side bar menu on the right.

Magic hour

I finally finished up the photobook I was working on. It was shipped and received. There was also a profile photo shoot for a CEO, for use in website and other PR pieces. I don’t get many job of shooting people with lighting properly set up, bringing in light stand and umbrella, but I like this process. It is pretty easy to get a clean shot, so much better than making do with whatever light is on location. Also having the lighting condition under your control, with its strength, angle, quality, all that, you have far less to worry about in making a clean image. I look forward to seeing these photos in website profile page and media article where he is mentioned.

Having finished those tasks that had been pending, one evening I took a camera and walked in the evening. Starting in the city around 5:30pm, it was a couple of hours later when I got to my car near the station nearest to my flat. Nothing beats walking when it comes to the creative process.

Here are some of the photos I came home with that day.

The Other

The Other

dusk

Either the first or the last hour of the day, when the sun light is low towards the ground, is called the ‘magic hour’. Surely it is the best time of the day for photographers. It just makes you want to make images like these, with so much sense of mood taken from the lighting.