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From dusk till dawn

MoonFour weeks into the waiting period and although I wish I could say time is flying by, but I am mentally crossing each day rather like Sal from The Secret River by Kate Grenville. Even with email, phone and modern convenience the concept of London is becoming vaguer each day. I am missing people, the freedom of not needing a car to get from point A to point B, but I am ambivalent about going back to work. Trying to catch up on London time had resulted in an insane sleeping pattern that I am not all that happy with and I am feeling just a tad anxious about how long I can keep working remotely, as it can only work if people read emails correctly!

All of the above was probably the reason why I ended up saying yes to the Dusk Until Dawn shoot last weekend (the hardcore edition). With a crazy sleep pattern, staying up all night should be an absolute cinch right? Well it would have helped if I have the right footwear, but unfortunately that was one of the items I left back in London.

DSC_0667.jpgWe wandered from Cockatoo Island before venturing around Balmain, crossing the Anzac Bridge to Pyrmont before looping back. It’s a route I am familiar with when driving past, but I had never even thought of wandering around the mostly industrial area.

Down the blue lineMost of the shots I took were from Cockatoo island…

Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour. It’s one of Sydney’s great places to visit, big, surprising, entertaining. Located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, Cockatoo Island is a former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory and gaol. It is also the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards during the twentieth century. The first of its two dry docks was built by convicts and was completed in 1857. The island’s maritime industrial activity ceased in 1992.

I didn’t realise you can camp on Cockatoo Island aside from festivals and New Year is on. The tents looked rather like well maintained refugee village among the remains of a ship wharf. What remained are empty industrial buildings, rusted and scarred by time. Wandering through the empty, echoing spaces, it did not feel unlike an theatre stripped bare with a few sleepy props left forgotten.

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As for Balmain, my shots from that part of the night were rubbish, I am going to attribute it to lack of sleep, my feet hurting like hell and piking before dawn actually arrived. No I’m not hardcore and glady admit it to anyone. On the other hand, I would like to go back to Balmain and walk the same route during daytime, there were enough places that made me think with light I might be able to get some interesting shots…

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This is the first day of my life

Autumn leaves

This is the first day of my life
Swear I was born right in the doorway
I went out in the rain, suddenly everything changed
They’re spreading blankets on the beach

Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life

Thanks to all for the birthday wishes, particularly mum for forgetting about the time difference and woke me up with several missed calls at 3AM in the morning.

A birthday is a rather odd celebration.  Other than celebrating the fact  that one has managed to reach another year by avoiding being struck by lightning, run over by a bus or fallen down the stairs (woops did that already) not quite sure what to make of it really.

More importantly, I didn’t realise the D90 is not supported by Aperture as yet!

European weekender – Brussels Flower Carpet

Brussels 2008

Twenty four hours ago I was walking down the streets of Brussels with the London Flickr Meetup Group for a nocturnal shoot lasting from dusk to dawn. The weather was thankfully much warmer than the London shoot and I was able to keep my delirium until just before dawn.

It still amazes me how easy it is to hop on a Euro train and wander across the channel to a completely different country within a couple of hours.

So what can you see if you go to Brussels around this time? Well, you get to see annual Brussel flower carpet for one. Spread across the market place, it’s almost impossible to understand what the pattern looks like unless you are viewing it from a very high vantage point.

Brussels 2008

According to Wikipedia the other tourist attraction in Belgium is the Atomium (giant atom looking thing) and Manneken Pis (small bronze statue of a peeing boy). Crazily we managed to cover all three within the space of a few hours while fitting in the much needed food stops.

Brussels 2008 Brussels 2008

Brussels seemed rather aback being invaded with twenty people heavily armed with cameras, but we weren’t approached by a single policeman unlike London. I wasn’t all that thrilled with a lot of the photos I ended taking and ended experimenting on textures, on the other hand I did have a grand old time and loved every bits of it.

Brussels 2008

Brussels 2008

Kyoto Nishiki Market

I promise I’ll start posting photos of London to prove I am actually here, but with so many photos from Japan I still haven’t shared, what am I supposed to do?

While in Kyoto I wandered into Nishiki Market, Kyoto’s oldest food market. My sense of direction is terrible, but it was harder to find than I expected. The thing about Kyoto is, all the buildings are set so close together, that it’s almost impossible to try and navigate by looking up at the skyline.

Nishiki market - Kyoto

Nishiki market - Kyoto

Nishiki market - Kyoto

Kyoto postcards

Green Tea Prawns

An old one, taken from the first shoot with Restaurant Girl. Shot hand held using natural light.

Holywood lighting set up

Being running around in a circle like a headless chicken, which means I have turned yet again into a bad blogger.

Bad blogger, bad!

Unemployment felt oddly unsettling. As contrary as it might sound, I can probably enjoy this state more if I have a job lined up in the future. On the positive side I have been catching up with plenty of friends and I have enjoyed finding all the little food cranies that Sydney has to offer.

I’ve been meaning to post this, but couldn’t find the disc to save my life. I think I might have mentioned a while back that I enrolled in the ACP’s lighting course that finished a couple of weeks ago.

Though the price nearly demolished my bank account somewhat, it was an incredibly fun and instructive course to do. We were lucky enough to have the incredibly talented, kind and generous Greg Parsons teaching the course. He usually taught the more advanced Still life course, and it was an incredible piece of luck to have him take this course instead.

The photo featured here was taken at our last class, featuring one of my fellow student. Shot using medium format camera, it was a lot of fun just playing around with the pose and the lighting and watch it all come together.

One thing that frustrated me at the end of the course is that my camera is due for an upgrade. Not being able to go down to a lower ISO than 200 as well as having some severe issues when it comes to synching with flash is getting on my nerve. The camera for some odd reason can only operate with either flash/ambient light, but not both, resulting in one or both light flaring at ridicilous times. I would love to upgrade to a D3, but if all goes well at the end of this year this would be my Christmas present for myself.

Random plug, go on and check Growing up Asian in Australia, by the highly talented Stikman, Kylie Kwong and other interesting people. It’s set to launch very soon and I can’t wait to get a copy for myself.