I am like
This empty bench:
I sit and watch the world turn
This is a photo from my archives. I’ve not been feeling very well for the last few weeks and so have not been able to get much further with my writing or to take many photos recently, so I thought I’d take the chance to post this photo in the meantime as it’s one of my favourites and I don’t think many people have seen it before.
It’s of an empty bench near a small lake in Sydney’s Centennial Park and I took it almost two years ago now, just after I’d bought my first SLR and was going on a photo walk to try it out. The original photo (available here if you want to see it) was just a simple landscape shot and I edited it fairly simply to maintain the original feel of the photo and I was quite happy with how it turned out, but on a whim I decided to come back to the photo again about a year later, after I’d learnt more about editing, and looking at it I thought about how I could process and re-imagine it differently, and the kind of stark, minimalistic feel of the photo inspired me to re-edit it more like a painting and this was the result.
I really like it and think it is much more striking and it’s definitely one of my all time favourite images. What I find really interesting though is how it shows that the process of editing never stops; you might think you’re done but every now and then it’s worth going back and looking at old images with fresh eyes because you never know, something new might emerge that you just couldn’t imagine before. I find the same is often true with my stories as well; I’ll often rework ideas from past abandoned stories into new ones, for example, in ways I just never thought of before. I guess it’s all part of honing your skills, whether you’re a writer, photographer, artist, or anyone really.
If you’re wondering where the haiqua came from as well, I’ve just had a lot on my mind these last few weeks and have been feeling rather down, so I guess the haiqua is a bit of a reflection on all of that. I’ve always found that writing helps a little and while it is sad it’s not meant to be particularly depressing; the world turns and the sun sets and rises each day, and life goes on. That’s what I take from the haiqua; we just have to find our way forward as best we can and remember that when darkness does come, the sun will always rise again.
Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2011-13
Posted by cjlevinson on February 3, 2013
In my dreams
I am a bird
Flying high above the world,
A rainbow lorikeet perched on our balcony, looking around to see if anyone’s home. Several lorikeets have been visiting us every day recently and they’ve been very friendly. This one posed for a photo in return for an apple slice.
If you haven’t seen them before, rainbow lorikeets are a species of Australasian parrot most commonly found in the eastern states. They’re beautiful and very colourful but can be very loud at times and quite aggressive, particularly when defending their territory.
I edited the photo to look more like a painting as I wanted to give it a bit of a different effect. The original photo is here if you want to compare them.
Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2012
Posted by cjlevinson on November 4, 2012
Thinking of a time when
This land was free
Went for a walk with the wonderful @AlexandraRobin3 on Sunday and took this shot looking across Bronte Beach around midday, just before the beach started to fill up for the day. It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun taking photos, although we got badly sunburnt unfortunately – think it’s worth it though when you get shots like this.
Bronte’s one of my favourite beaches in Sydney; I like Coogee and Bondi too but Bronte has a different, more relaxed feel and it’s a great place to spend the day. If you ever visit Sydney, I highly recommend doing the Bondi to Bronte beach walk. It takes in most of Sydney’s most famous beaches and has beautiful views.
The finished photo is actually a panorama consisting of four separate photos which I combined in Photoshop Elements to give the elongated effect. I took it with my Canon 7D but most cameras (even phones) can do it if you like the effect – you just need to remember to keep your photos level and let them overlap enough so that you can join them together in something like AutoStitch (free) later.
The haiku was inspired by a feeling I had later in the day, when I was sitting with Alex and looking out at the ocean, thinking about what it must have looked like 250 years ago to the original Aboriginal landowners, before the intervention of Europeans. There’s a lot I’m proud of about modern Australia but I often feel sad about the amount we have lost as well and particularly how we have treated the first Australians… I couldn’t help but think of that while I sat there, watching the waves crashing against the sand, and so I guess that found its way into the haiku as well.
You can click on the photo to make it larger as well if you’d like to see it in more detail.
Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2012
Posted by cjlevinson on March 13, 2012
A single rose
Its fragile beauty,
All things must end
I took this photo a couple of nights ago while looking at some of the Christmas lights around Randwick. This was taken outside one of the more brightly decorated houses in Frederick Street; the rose really stood out against all of the lights and decorations and I thought the way the colours reflected off it was interesting.
The lights were excellent this year; I’ll post some photos once I’ve finished editing them. I enjoy seeing the light displays going up each year… they’re much more widespread now than they used to be and the displays seem to get better and better each year. I am glad I don’t live next to any of them though… I think it’d all drive me nuts after a while!
Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011
Posted by cjlevinson on December 15, 2011
Sitting by the sea,
Watching a distant sun set
On another day
I took this photo on Wednesday afternoon near Bondi Beach. I’d just been to see the Sculptures by the Sea exhibit; it had been raining heavily all day and I was well and truly soaked but just as I reached the promenade overlooking the beach, it stopped and the sun came out. The light lit the water beautifully and I took a quick shot with my 60D. I really like how it came out, particularly the colours.
It started raining again a few minutes later and the light disappeared. I hurried to get under shelter but I guess I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time; a minute or two later and I’d have missed the shot completely.
I took a number of shots at the Sculptures exhibit as well but this ended up being my favourite of the day, mostly because it was so unexpected. It just shows how much natural beauty there is all around us… we just need to know how to see it.
Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011
Posted by cjlevinson on November 19, 2011