Outside the Coach and Horses

Bright lights
Busy streets

Stretching without end:

Will they lead me home to you?

Looking across at the Coach and Horses Hotel in Randwick. The Coach and Horses is about five minutes from where I live and I often pass it on my way back home from a walk. It dates back to around 1859 and is still located on its original plot of land, making it one of the oldest still-functioning pubs in Sydney. It was also one of the first local buildings to be connected by telephone at the turn of the century.

It’s a very distinctive building but I’d never actually taken a photo of it before, so I’m quite pleased with how it came out. I think shooting it at night really helps to capture the mood of the building and I like the blurred movements of the cars as well… they help to make the scene feel more alive.

A few people have asked previously why I didn’t edit out the power lines in the photo. Well, the simple answer is, I don’t like editing my photos extensively unless I have to. I have nothing against editing but I dislike changing the feel of a scene completely and in my opinion, I would have if I had removed the lines here. It also would have taken a lot of time that I don’t really have at the moment, which was a consideration as well.

Overall I see my role as a photographer, particularly with landscapes and architecture, less about capturing reality per se as trying to best convey a scene the way I saw it in my mind and there are many ways of doing that (from in-camera to post-processing and HDR) but I don’t see the point in changing something so much that the original scene becomes less recognisable – like changing the colour of a wall, for instance, or removing a feature that relates to the main subject. To me, editing the lines out here would have removed too much of the reality and story from the photo and made it less interesting. I know not everyone agrees but that’s my philosophy and I’m happy with the photo the way it is.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2012

The War Memorial at Dusk

Randwick War Memorial

A list of names,
All that survives
Of a sad past:
History repeats

I took this photo a couple of days ago while going for a quick walk, just before dusk. I often find myself wandering past the local war memorial on my afternoon walks… it’s the main feature of a small, peaceful park in the middle of Randwick and I often stop there for a few minutes to reflect and gather my thoughts.

The memorial is made of sandstone and was originally unveiled in 1925 by Lord Forster, the then Governor General of Australia, to honour the soldiers of the First World War; the cenotaph contains a scroll with the names of over four thousand local residents who served in the war. Over the years plaques have been added to remember the soldiers of the Second World War, Borneo and Vietnam as well.

With more of our soldiers wounded in Afghanistan recently and with the current events in Syria as well, I guess I was feeling rather contemplative when I took the photo… something about the dusk light seemed to reflect the way I was feeling and I think it shows in the mood of the photo, and the haiku as well.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2012