My Sunday Photo for this week is titled A Hot Summer’s Day
It is the middle of Summer in Sydney now and we are really feeling the heat. Sydney’s beaches are the best place to find some cool relief on a hot summer’s day. They are also some of the most spectacular places for views.
This photo was taken at a secluded little beach, not far from one of Sydney’s busiest surf beaches. It is a great spot for a calm, cooling paddle.
In the distance is a reminder of just how dangerous summer in Sydney can be. An out of control bush fire in the Royal National Park has created the mountain-like black cloud. It was stunning to watch from my vantage point and it made for a great photo, but I also thought about what it must be like to be a firefighter on the ground, how futile it must feel to try and battle something so huge.
Earlier in the day I had watched one of the mighty water-bombing helicopters become a tiny speck, then disappear altogether as it raced off to fight the fire.
It’s the middle of summer here in Sydney and we have had some hot days. Last Sunday, Sydney was the hottest place on earth. The suburb of Penrith recorded 47.3 degrees Celsius! Luckily, we have some pretty great ways to stay cool – air-conditioning, beaches, local pools, and the good old wading pool in the backyard. We have been taking full advantage of each one of those options, but these particular photos come from some water fun in a wading pool.
Hannah loves water play. Right now it is her favourite thing in the whole wide world. She loves it so much that if we drive past a body of water without stopping, she complains, loudly.
To my fellow Australians, I hope you are finding plenty of great ways to enjoy the summer! To all my Northern Hemisphere friends… sorry.
My Sunday Photo for this week is titled Rust Bucket
After a short break over the Christmas and New Year period, I’m back for My Sunday Photo in 2018. If you don’t know what I’m on about, head over to Darren’s website, Photalife, and check it out. It’s my favourite link up each week, I love looking at all the amazing photos from around the world!
A couple of days ago we went for a great walk long the Botany Bay foreshore. It was a beautiful day to be out and about, and we had a lot of fun, especially when we stumbled upon a brilliant and mostly deserted playground. The only downside to our walk was an unfortunate scooter accident, but even that wasn’t too bad (…other than the rivers of blood).
I got a little slack in 2017 and began to rely too much on our excellent Sony RX100 point-and-shoot. In 2018 I plan to make the effort to take the Nikon D5100 with me a lot more, there’s nothing more satisfying than using a DSLR – even my entry-level gear fills me with joy!
I took a stack of great photos at the playground, but I also noticed an interesting sight out in the bay.
The Rust Bucket
I always find these kinds of things fascinating. Surely that was once a boat that cost someone a lot of money. How did it come to be in the state it is in, and why is it moored where it is moored? Is it sitting there just waiting to die, or does someone have grand plans of bringing it back to life?
Whatever its story, I really enjoyed photographing it. It’s times like this where having a decent zoom lens comes into play. I could tell from the shore that it was in pretty bad shape, but I couldn’t make out any of the details. It was interesting to see the graffiti and the rubbish pile on the back. As for the seagull, I only noticed that when I zoomed in to 100%. Click on the above image to see it full size.
After years of neglect, we had finally decided to fix up our tiny back yard. With Hannah now an energetic toddler, it was necessary to create an inviting outdoor space for her to be able to play in over summer. Key to that was the laying of new grass. With new grass comes dirt…
Unfortunately, our yard is completely enclosed. The only way to access it is through the house. Normally that doesn’t bother me at all, but this weekend it became a little bit of a problem – how do you keep the inside clean when you have to transport a cubic metre of soil and many rolls of turf through it?
The answer is simple. You don’t.
I tried to protect the floor as best I could with some plastic drop sheets. They did a decent job of catching the worst of it. But ultimately the idea of protecting the floor from all of the dirt that was carried through the house was futile and from early on in the operation I resigned myself to a substantial clean up at the end.
The turf-laying operation was a great success. The yard looks like a million dollars! Once the new grass has had time to establish, it is going to be a toddler oasis for Hannah to enjoy and a great place for Emma and me to relax.
The clean up was not so bad. A couple of hours on my hands and knees with a cloth and bucket. I mopped it twice just to be sure all the dirt was gone. I’ve never been so happy to have tiled floors!
My Sunday Photo for this week is titled Knife Details
This series of photos is actually a set that I rejected from my recent post – You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know. I was thinking about using them to illustrate the difference between different types of knives (the post is about the brilliant WÜSTHOF 4680/16 cleaver). Ultimately, I ended up not using any detailed shots in that post, because I liked how clean it looked with just the title photo. I felt that the extra pictures got in the way of telling a good story.
I do. however, find these pictures interesting. They really show two things – the huge differences between different types of knives, and the beautiful details that exist on the edge of finely crafted knives, when seen through a macro lens.
I shot these photos with a very narrow depth of field as I was attempting to really zone in on particular points along the knife edge.
My Sunday Photo for this week is titled Dotonbori At Night
Dotonbori is the tourist destination in Osaka. It is unlike any place I have ever seen, even more surreal than the neon jungle of Shinjuku. At night it unleashes an all-out assault on the senses. The sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Dotonbori are unique.
If there was one goal that I had during my time in Osaka it was to get to Dotonbori at night, to take some photographs. One night, after Hannah had gone to bed, I worked up the energy to head on out and take some shots. It wasn't late - probably about 8pm on a Sunday night, but I got the impression the place was just warming up. Every restaurant and eatery had a steadily building line of people. That's not surprising, Dotonbori is a legendary food destination!
I took hundreds of photos of the quirky features of the famous area, but those require a detailed post with explanations of what on earth you are looking at. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, enjoy this long-exposure shot of the main canal area. It's a 3.2 second exposure (hand-held, rested on a bridge for support). I feel it really captured the vibrancy and bustle of the area at night. I really love the mixture of movement and people standing or sitting extremely still.
About The Photo
The line of people on the bottom right are waiting for a seat in an extremely popular ramen restaurant. Every time we walked past (even at 10am) there was a queue to get in. The bright glow with a mad scramble of people out the front is a duty-free store. I went inside and immediately felt so claustrophobic that I had to get out. I couldn't for the life of me see what all the fuss was about.
The docked barge-type boat was one of the many party boats cruising up and down the canal. Each was packed full of tourists. Towards the top of the picture you can just make out the scrum of people on the next bridge. They were all scrambling to take a photo of some of Dotonbori's most iconic neon signs.
I think this photo best sums up Dotonbori at night.
If you like this photo, there are plenty more from our Japan travels over on Instagram. Come on over and check them out!