Belmont Lakefront

Belmont Lakefront

Blue sky, blue waters
A warm breeze
Caressing my face:
I feel at peace

This photo is from a couple of days ago. I’d gone for a quick walk along the Belmont lakefront to stretch my legs and I really liked this scene when I came across it… the light was so lovely and the water such a beautiful blue that I knew I had to take a quick shot.

Ironically we had very heavy rain for the next couple of days, so much so that some parts of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie were flooded. I guess it shows just how quickly Mother Nature can change.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2018

Pelican on the Lake

Pelican on the Lake

Walking by the lake
I stop to watch
A pelican
As the sun sets

I spent a couple of hours in Valentine this afternoon, walking around the wharf and lakefront with my photography group. It was fun and good exercise to boot.

I haven’t gone through all the photos yet but I liked this one of the pelican. I really love the silhouette and the beautiful golden light. I thought I’d stuffed the shot up at the time as I hadn’t checked my settings but it came out pretty well in the end.

And yes, if you’re wondering, I named the pelican Mr Percival. Of course. 😀

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2016
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The Bumblebee

Bumblebee in Hobbiton

Oh to be
Like a small bumblebee;
How different
The world must seem

I took this while we were in Hobbiton. It was a beautiful day and with all of the flowers blossoming there were lots of bumblebees buzzing around and I managed to snap this just as this bee paused and looked up.

It was mostly luck and timing but I’m happy with how it came out. I didn’t get stung either which was nice too. 😉

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2015

Spider Moon

Spider Moon

In the dark of night
A spider waits patiently
For its prey to come

This spider has taken up residence on our back veranda for the last couple of weeks. I’m usually a bit squeamish about spiders and would have tried to shoo it away by now but I’ve left it alone as it’s not hurting anyone and there have been quite a few less mosquitos and insects around since it has made itself at home.

It was a lovely big moon last night and as I was photographing it, I noticed the spider was almost in my line of sight so I quickly lined it up with the moon to take a shot. It was tricky as there was a very strong wind and the web was dancing around, so catching the spider lined up against the moon was difficult, particularly as I was using a telephoto lens. This one came out quite well though and I really like it.

It reminds me a little of that scene in Tim Burton’s Batman, where the Batwing appears against the moon. Maybe if he’d made a Spider-Man film instead we’d have seen something like this in it.

Spider Moon in Black and White

Spider Moon in black and white

Photos and haiku © CJ Levinson 2014

The Black Swan

Black Swan

Oh! To be like
A swan on the water
And let time
Just drift away

I was in Sydney for a couple of days this past weekend and took this in Centennial Park while I was there. I’ve always loved swans; they’re such graceful creatures and I enjoy photographing them. One of my very first photographs was of a black swan in fact. It’s nice to still be able to find new ways to photograph them after all these years.

Photo details: Olympus OM-D E-M1 + 17mm f/1.8
1/8 sec @ f/13, ISO 100

Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2014

Sunset 10/09/2013

Sunset 10/09/2013

An orange sun
Sets over the ocean
While fires rage
Far away

Sunset 10/09/2013

The sun setting over the ocean this evening. It was very hot today and awful fires have sprung up around western Sydney and in parts of NSW, although thankfully nowhere near us at present. Hope I’m wrong but can’t help but think we’re going to be in for a horror summer if it’s already this bad two weeks into spring.

Sunset 10/09/2013
Photos and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2013

Three Benches

Three Benches

The end of the world
Comes not with a whimper
Or a bang
Just silence

Three empty benches in Alison Park, Randwick. I took this photo a couple of weeks ago while walking home. It was a beautiful day but the scene just felt eerie to me for some reason – the park is usually buzzing with people and it just felt strange, seeing it so empty and the cars all parked in a row. Like the whole world had suddenly disappeared.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

Red Sun Rising

Sydney Harbour Bridge, blanketed by red haze

The Sydney Harbour Bridge, blanketed by a red haze (photo: Ian Sanderson)

Sydneysiders woke to a strange sight early this morning. A massive dust storm had swept across the state, blanketing Sydney in a plume of dust that stretched for over 600km. It turned the sky an eerie orange-red and I’ve never seen anything like it. It felt like we had been transported to Mars.

The colour came from the red soil and dust of the outback, which had been whipped up and carried inland by fierce gale force winds; it’s estimated the dust plume travelled over 1500 kilometres to reach Sydney. Scientists are saying it might be the worst dust storm in NSW’s history, which I can believe. The pollution in Sydney was awful all day and you couldn’t breathe easily, even after the haze had started to lift.

I was still awake when the dust storm hit. It was incredible; the wind howled and the entire sky seemed to go blood-red in minutes, so much so that I couldn’t see more than 20 metres down the street. The last time I can remember anything like it was after the Black Saturday bushfires, when the sky reflected the fire and there was an overwhelming smell of ash. But even those skies didn’t compare to this; this was like stepping onto another world.

With the UN climate conference beginning in New York, some green groups have suggested that it’s more evidence of global warming. I’m not so sure. Usually I’d be the first person to agree but nature doesn’t need a reason to be wonderful or terrible; I think sometimes these kind of freak occurrences just happen and we shouldn’t ascribe everything to global warming without evidence. I found it very beautiful, despite the chaos it caused.

Unfortunately I didn’t think to take any photos; I didn’t realise how widespread it was at the time. But there are some incredible photos on Flickr and I thought I’d post some of them to give an idea of what it was like. There’s still a dusty smell in the air and the winds are still strong even now, 18 hours later.

I doubt I’ll see anything like it again in my lifetime. Unless I go to Mars.

Under the Bridge

Another view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, from beneath, the eerie light reflecting off the harbour. The bridge just seems to fade away and you can barely see the other side. (photo: Ian Sanderson)

Opera House

Here the Sydney Opera House has all but disappeared, with the dust at its peak in the early morning. Ferry services were cancelled until the haze cleared. (photo: NSW Maritime)

Oxford Street

Sydney’s Oxford Street seems transformed, the sidewalks almost deserted. The sepia tones remind me of a scene from the early years of photography. (photo: Cowboy Dave)

Sydney Towerluna-park

Two of Sydney’s iconic landmarks, Sydney Tower and Luna Park, swallowed by the dust storm. Luna Park was closed due to the dust, winds and poor visibility. (photos: Cowboy Dave and Tolomea)

St Marys Cathedral

St Mary’s Cathedral, lit up a brilliant shade of pink-red. You can see where some of the dust has settled on the grass as well. (photo: JezKerwin)

QVB

Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, in the heart of the CBD, as the haze has started to lift. Looks like many people found masks or are using tissues to cover their mouths. (photo: Dr. Snafu)

Sydenham Station

Sydenham station is one of the major railway links in Sydney. The station was blanketed by the red dust and trains were late or cancelled for much of the morning. (photo: MOles)

Sydney CBDDarling Harbour

The Sydney CBD and Darling Harbour; the streets are almost completely deserted on the left, while on the right it’s more like Baghdad than Sydney. (photos: Malcolm Tredinnick and Original Nomad)

Bondi Beach Park

Bondi Beach Park in the early hours of the morning. You can’t see it here but some people still took an early morning swim, despite the pollution and low visibility. (photo: sebr)

Traffic-Button

A traffic button at a pedestrian crossing, showing the accumulation of dust. It covered most vehicles as well. You wonder how much work it will be, cleaning up tomorrow. (photo: Malcolm Treddinick)