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

Golden Sunset

Golden Sunset 21/04/18

Sky of red and gold
How your beauty reminds me
Of the one I love

Beautiful sunset from earlier this evening. I was out doing some shopping and just happened to be outside as the sun started to set and managed to get this. Sometimes timing is everything.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2018

Jing Jing

A cat is more than
An animal or a pet;
A cat is a friend

I stayed in Sydney for a few days recently and took this photo of my friend’s cat Jing Jing while I was there. Jing Jing is very mischievous and playful and I like how the image captured that. I thought I’d edit it to look more like a painting as well to give it a bit of a timeless feel. It came out well in the end.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2018

Belmont Lions Park Sunset

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As the sun sets
On another day
I let my thoughts drift
Far away

I took this yesterday evening while walking home after doing some shopping. I hadn’t been expecting to do any photography but luckily I had brought my spare camera with me anyway so I was still able to take a few shots when I reached the lake and saw this lovely sunset.

The sky was really spectacular and I tried to get down low to show a bit of a different perspective and get in as much of the sky as I could. It was interesting trying to crouch down, keep my balance and compose with a camera in one hand and four bags of shopping in the other but I think it came out pretty well in the end!

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

 

Sunset 9/9/17

Pelican on the Lake

Oh to have the wings
And grace of a pelican
How far I would fly

It was a lovely warm day in Newcastle today; while the nights are still cool, the days are very pleasant at the moment and it’s starting to feel like Spring has sprung. Which is good for me as I find staying motivated difficult during the colder months – I love Winter itself but I pretty much just want to rug up and stay indoors a lot of the time. So I’m glad it’s getting warmer now and I’m starting to feel like shooting more regularly again.

Given it was such a nice day I wandered down to the lake for an hour or two to catch the golden hour and the sunset afterwards. I got a couple of decent shots and really like this one. The pelican came into the frame just as I was about to take another shot, so I quickly readjusted and managed to catch it before it passed. Good timing!

The sky was very vibrant and I didn’t need to edit this too much beyond just some fairly basic adjustments. When you get a sunset like this nature’s beauty speaks for itself.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

Belmont Sunset

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The light on the lake
Shimmers like golden fire,
Reminds me of you

I took this photo last week while walking home after doing some shopping. I wasn’t expecting to take any photos and didn’t have my best gear with me but the light was so beautiful that I knew I had to stop and try and take a photo anyway. I’m happy I did as it turned out well in the end. It’s true what they say, the best camera really is the one you have with you.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

Dusk Silhouettes

Moments fade quickly
There is only how you live
And the way you love

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago now. I had thought I’d shared it after I took it but I just noticed that I didn’t. Oops! I guess I’m getting forgetful in my old age. In any case I really like the photo so I thought I’d share it now anyway.

I had popped down to the lake to shoot the sunset and I’d been down there for a while without getting anything interesting… it was one of those lovely days that you hope will end in a beautiful sunset but ends up being a bit of a fizzer unfortunately.

But just as dusk settled and I was about to give up, the light changed and this beautiful band of yellow light spread across the horizon – the day’s dying rays.

So I started setting up my tripod to capture the scene, fiddled with the composition, and then… just as everything was finally ready and I was about to take the shot… a mother and her son walked into the frame and started fishing!

I know there’s not much you can do when something like that happens – it’s just bad timing and it is a public area, after all – but honestly at the time I couldn’t help but feel a little pissed. I thought I’d lined up the perfect shot, only for someone to walk right into it. Plus I was there first and it was obvious what I was doing – couldn’t they have waited? I only needed a few seconds!

I grumbled a bit to myself under my breath and wondered what to do… I still had a shot lined up but usually I don’t like taking photos that have children in them without permission, particularly if it might show their faces (occasionally I will with street photography when they walk into a scene but again I try not to show faces). But the mother looked over at me and sort of smiled and nodded at me so I took that as permission and took a couple of shots.

It was actually nice watching them fish through the lens, they were laughing and having fun and I felt guilty for feeling a bit annoyed before. So I took the shots and then left them to their fishing and headed home.

When I got back I loaded the photos to have a quick look and this one immediately jumped out at me. The dying light and the colours and the water were beautiful, but it was the human element that really jumped out at me; the emotion, obvious even in simple silhouettes. And ironically, after all the fuss, I think it is that element that helps to make it a far stronger image than if they hadn’t been in it at all.

My only regret now is that I hadn’t thought to offer them a card, I thought afterward that they might like to see it. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

Dusk on the Lake


Sitting by the lake
I watch the light fade away
And day turn to night


I was planning to go for a photowalk this past weekend but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to. I always feel a little more tense when I haven’t shot anything for a while so I thought I’d try to go down to the lake this afternoon to take some photos and shake off the cobwebs.

Unfortunately though it was pretty cold and overcast for most of the day and for a while I didn’t think I’d get there; it was very apt weather for a Monday but not particularly inspiring for photography! But luckily it cleared just before sunset and so I managed to go for a quick walk and take these.

The light was quite interesting and I really liked the interplay with the clouds and the rays shining through… it felt quite dramatic and I like how that’s come out in the photos.

I got a couple of other shots too that I haven’t edited yet and may end up posting tomorrow – originally I was planning to do somethink in black and white today and I’d still like to. I think a couple of them will really pop in monochrome.

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

Blue Hour on the Lake

Blue Hour on the Lake

A hot Summer’s day
Begins to fade into night
As birds sing farewell

It’s been very hot again this last week so I haven’t been able to get out and photograph as much as I would have liked to. As you can probably tell I’m not much of a Summer person so I’m definitely looking forward to the beginning of Autumn soon!

I did manage to get down to the lake once it had cooled off a bit this evening though and I took this while I was down there. It was a little after sunset, right in the blue hour, and I thought the still water and the yachts made for an interesting contrast with the clouds and dying light.

Most photographers love shooting in the golden hour (the period just before sunset) and I do too but on the whole I actually prefer shooting during the blue hour personally (late dusk). I find it works very well for creating drama and mood and often produces very strong black and white photos.

I mention it as I know a lot of people leave straight after photographing a sunset but if you have time, try hanging around for a while afterwards – you might get something interesting and a little different in the blue hour.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017