On Newcastle Beach

Newcastle Beach 25/06/16

Coarse sand, crashing waves
The smell of salt in the air ~
The ocean is home

I went on a group photowalk yesterday afternoon. There were about eight of us and we wandered around Newcastle Beach and the ocean baths for about an hour or so around sunset, taking photos and talking photography.

It was absolutely freezing and very windy but it was a nice afternoon and I enjoyed taking photos as part of a group. It feels different to taking photos on your own and makes for a nice change.

This is one of the photos I took. I particularly like the contrast between the gritty textures and soft colours, and the way the lines lead the eye toward the ocean.

As you can see, it’s a beautiful spot and the ocean baths in particular are very historic. I’ll have to go back with my tripod at some stage for some long exposures as walking around gave me a few ideas I’d like to try.

I’ll post a few other photos from the walk once I’ve edited them. Will have a new poem to post soon too.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Belmont Lions Park

Belmont Lion's Park

I went for a walk along the Belmont lakefront yesterday afternoon and ended up near Belmont Lions Park, which is a small grassed area and playground for kids down by the wharf.

It’s a very nice, peaceful area, with a beautiful view across the lake, and so I sat there for a while, thinking and taking a couple of photos.

The sunset was lovely and there were a couple of children on bikes cycling round and a few people walking dogs or jogging. A few of them smiled at me and said hello as they passed. There was another photographer as well and we nodded at each other while eyeing our respective cameras.

It was all wonderfully ordinary and suburban and it was a great place to sit and think for a while… about writing, photography, love, and life.

I kept thinking how in many ways, with beautiful, friendly people going about their lives, it could have been a scene in pretty much any country, any place in the world – like Orlando.

How ordinary families just like these ones are grieving a terrible loss and how it could so easily be any of us, any of our friends, any of our loved ones.

The massacre has upset me a lot and I was grateful for the quiet time by the lake to think. Grateful for the peace and beauty the lake offered.

I hope you like the photos and my heart goes out to all of the victims, their families and to everyone in the US.

Playground

Playground equipment

Looking across the lake

Looking across the lake

Across the lake in Black & White

Looking across the lake in black and white

Photos © CJ Levinson 2016

New Zealand Painterly

New Zealand Painterly

Blue sky, white clouds
Green grass, rolling mountains –
Nature’s beauty
Is timeless

I took this photo in New Zealand last year. We were travelling between Rotorua and Lake Taupo and stopped along the way to take in this beautiful, rugged landscape.

It was February 2015 when I took the photo but unfortunately it has mostly just sat on my hard drive since then. While I’ve always liked the photo and knew it had potential, I’d also taken a panorama of the scene as well which I edited first and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this after that. And so I left it until I had more time to experiment.

I found time yesterday to go through some of my archives and when I came across this photo again, I thought I’d see what I could do with it. I wondered what it might look like as a painterly, with a lot of the detail stripped out.

I’m pleased with the result. The colour and detail feel a little reminiscent of an oil painting but you can also still see the photographic structure beneath… it makes an interesting hybrid and is definitely a bit different, which is what I wanted. Think it’ll look good as a print too which I’ll do in a couple of weeks.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson

Black Swans on the Lake

Black swans on the lake

Have you ever seen
A black swan on the water?
Their beauty astounds

NSW has had some torrential storms over the last week. Belmont got hit quite strongly – the winds were scary and some of the rain leaked through the roof, leaving us scampering for buckets and towels until it had passed.

Once it had all cleared I went for a short walk along the Belmont lakefront yesterday evening. I was feeling a bit stir crazy after having to stay indoors for several days and wanted to see what the weather had left behind.

There wasn’t too much damage thankfully and as I was walking along I spotted a family of black swans on the water. They were quite curious and friendly and I watched them for ten minutes or so before taking this photo.

I like how it came out. It feels quite moody and atmospheric. The dusk light was beautiful too.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2016

Sydney Photo Collage #2

This is another collage of Sydney photos that I made recently. It’s the third collage in the series and I really like how it came out.

Like the second collage, the photos were all taken around places I knew well while I lived in Sydney like Centennial Park and the QVB but I tried to choose ones which were a little more recognisable this time, like Centrepoint Tower.

The photos were taken over about five years and several of these photos are actually among some of my earliest serious works – the one of the Bali Memorial statue, in fact, is actually the very first photo I ever took with an SLR.

I think they work well together and show glimpses of the Sydney I know and love, which is what I wanted to try to represent. I look forward to hanging it on my wall.

Photo © CJ Levinson 2016