Newcastle Customs House

Newcastle Customs House

Newcastle Customs HouseThis is one of my favourite buildings in Newcastle, the Newcastle Customs House. It’s a beautiful masonry building designed by James Barnet, who as the New South Wales Colonial Architect also designed many of NSW’s most distinctive buildings, like the General Post Office in Sydney’s CBD.

I particularly love the tower; it’s 32 metres high and the clock, lantern and time ball are still intact, one of only three such examples in Australia. It must have been quite a sight in its heyday.

The building is heritage listed and known as the Customs House Hotel now and run as a popular restaurant and bar. You can still really feel the history though and they’ve done a great job of preserving the old while welcoming the new too.

I’ve tried taking photos of the building before but I’ve never been very happy with the results. It’s quite a tricky building to photograph, particularly at night. I’m happy with this one though. It feels bold and dramatic, which I think it needed to be to do the building justice.

Newcastle Customs House in black and white

I also like it in black and white. It feels a little more timeless and I think that suits the building too, in a different way.

Photo © CJ Levinson 2018

Pelican on the Lake at Dusk

Pelican on the Lake at Dusk

Pelican on the Lake at Dusk

Sometimes I wish
I had wings
Like a pelican
And could fly away

I took this the other day at Eleebana. The dying light gave the scene a beautiful pink-orange hue and I managed to get this shot just as the pelican came into frame. It was a nice way to end the day.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018

Golden Trees

Never have I seen
A tree or lake
That could not take
My breath away

Beautiful light on the Newcastle foreshore last Sunday afternoon. I was heading to the ocean baths to shoot the sunset and stopped quickly to shoot this scene on the way. The light was amazing… I was definitely lucky to be in the right place at the right time!

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018

Float Your Boat 2018

Last weekend was the second edition of Lake Macquarie’s Float Your Boat event. It was a lot of fun and seems to be getting bigger and better each year!

For the first night I went along with my photo group to Marmong Point Marina for the start of the event and then on to the Toronto foreshore to capture the boats in action, and then on the second night I caught them near where I live in Belmont.

The photos were challenging as shooting moving objects at night is quite difficult but they came out well overall. I think I learnt a lot from shooting the event last year and it really helped me this time. I’m very happy with them.

Both nights were a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to next year’s event. I hope you enjoy the photos!

Photos © CJ Levinson 2018

The Leaning Tree

I am like a tree
The wind blows me to and fro
But still I stand tall

I spotted this tree on the Newcastle foreshore while shooting the sunset last week. I thought the way it was leaning was interesting and I really liked the way it framed the scene and the dying light.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2018

Sunset 28/5/18

Sunset 28/5/18

As the sun sets
On another day
I find myself
Thinking of you

Beautiful sunset from earlier this evening. The sky had clouded over during the afternoon and I didn’t think we were going to get much of a sunset at first but for a few minutes the sky opened up and turned this gorgeous purple and pink. Glad I stuck around to catch it.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018

Sydney Sunset

Lights, sirens,
Cars, music, skyscrapers,
Laughter:
This is Sydney to me

I’ve been in Sydney for the last couple of days. The sunsets have been really beautiful and I managed to catch this shot yesterday. Simple but I like how it came out.

After 5 years in Newcastle, a part of me still misses Sydney. My friends. The culture, social life. So much of my life has been here that it will probably always feel like home to me.

I don’t miss it as much as I used to though. I guess I’ve moved on but then Sydney has moved on as well. A lot of my favourite places, the cafes and shops and bookstores and galleries I used to go to are gone now or rebranded. Sydney is changing. Which is both good and a little sad but it makes moving on a little easier.

This view never seems to change much though. I used to walk past this spot, near Queen’s Park, on my way to school twenty five years ago and the view still looks much the same now as it did back then. I wonder if it still will in another twenty five?

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018

The 4th Awakens

CJ and the Stormtroopers

Sometimes I wish
I was a child again,
Seeing magic
With new eyes

The Stormtroopers

I was out shopping earlier and passed some of the Southern Cross Garrison outside The Empire Coffee Co at Charlestown Square.

One of the cafe’s lovely staff took the photo with me in it and the stormtroopers were kind enough to pose for a quick snap afterwards too.

It was was great fun seeing them there and fantastic seeing so many kids going up and chatting and taking photos. Definitely brought a big smile to my face.

Happy Star Wars Day!

Stormtroopers in Black and White

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018

Pinny Beach at Dusk

Pinny Beach at Dusk

Purple skies
Clear water –
Memories of another life
Long ago

I took these photos a couple of weeks ago. I had been planning to arrive for a sunset shoot but I ended up being slightly late and missed it. The dusk was still beautiful though and I think the photos turned out well anyway as the light was so interesting.

It was a bit of a strange photowalk for me as this part of Pinny Beach actually adjoins Caves Beach, the suburb in Lake Macquarie where my mother and I stayed with my grandparents after we had to leave Sydney following my father’s suicide attempt.

It was actually almost exactly five years to the day that we left Sydney when I took these photos and going back was a bit surreal. Caves Beach is a beautiful, peaceful place but it was not a happy time and I still see echoes of our experiences there when I walk around, particularly of our early days there and my grandparents’ dementia.

In retrospect I probably should have picked a different day and week to go but I’m glad these photos came out of it at least. Photography has been one thing that has really helped me to process and heal during these last five years… it’s very cathartic and I’m glad that I could capture the beauty there that day. Five years ago I probably wouldn’t have been able to recognise it and I guess that shows how far I’ve come.

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018