Sunday Morning at Coogee Oval

CJ Presentation

Just a quick update. One of my photos, “Cricket at Coogee Oval”, won a photo competition last week. I entered it in the Randwick Petersham Cricket Club’s photo competition a little while ago and found out last week that it won first place.

There was a small presentation on Sunday morning at Coogee Oval hosted by Mike Whitney, the former NSW and Australia fast bowler and RPCC President, and my mother took the photo above as I accepted my prize, a Canon SX40 camera and a certificate signed by Mr. Whitney.

It was a really nice presentation and it was a thrill meeting Mr. Whitney, who was one of my favourite cricketers during the late 80s and early 90s. It was great meeting the other finalists as well; all the photos were of very high quality and I was very impressed. To be honest I’m amazed I won – I was just happy to make the final ten and didn’t think I had much chance of winning at all, so it was a nice surprise.

It meant a lot to me as well as the last few weeks have been a bit of a nightmare for my family. I’ll explain more in another post soon but we’ve had a very, very traumatic couple of weeks and getting this news came at just the right time to ease some of the burden.

So I am very grateful for that and thank you to everyone at the RPCC and Canon for running such an enjoyable competition and hopefully it will go from strength to strength each year.

Canon Camera

I took a quick photo of the camera once I’d unboxed it as well, so I thought I’d post that as well. It looks like a great camera so I can’t wait to try it out properly this weekend. 🙂

Summer Sunset

Summer Sunset

A summer sunset
A moment of pure beauty
In an ugly world

I took this photo this evening from our balcony, just as the sun began to set. It was a spectacular sunset, with the entire sky seeming to catch fire for many minutes, before gradually fading away.

After receiving some upsetting news today, it was nice to end the day with a sight of such beauty and grace. It’s a reminder that, even in your darkest moments, beauty is never that far away. The world really can take your breath away sometimes.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2013

Christmas Light Painting

Christmas Light Painting

Lights shine brightly
Under the moon’s
Silent gaze:
Christmas is here again

This photo is from Frederick Street, about fifteen minutes away from where we live in Randwick. The houses in Frederick Street are well known locally for their Christmas displays; almost every house in the street gets into the festive spirit at this time of year, decorating their houses and gardens with amazing Christmas displays, and it’s something I enjoy seeing every year.

I will be posting some photos from Frederick Street tomorrow but I found this photo rather interesting as it’s a bit different. It’s of a small bush decorated with colourful lights outside one of the houses. When I took it, all the lights blended together, creating a colourful mosaic that reminded me a little of a painting. I then edited it to remove more of the detail and this was the final result. I quite like it – it’s familiar but not immediately obvious what it actually is and I like that effect.

The original photo is here as well if you want to compare them.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012

Randwick War Memorial

The sounds of war
Echo across
The oceans of time:
We remember

Our local war memorial in High Cross Park, Randwick. I took this photo earlier today to mark Remembrance Day. The memorial was originally dedicated in 1925 and contains a scroll with the names of over four thousand Randwick residents who served in the First World War. Over time plaques remembering the soldiers of the Second World War, Borneo and Vietnam have also been added. Lest we forget.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2012

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

Christmas in Randwick

Randwick Town Hall, decorated for Christmas

As it’s Christmas Eve I thought I’d post some of the Christmas photos I’ve taken near where I live. Randwick comes alive at this time of year, with lots of houses and businesses putting up decorations and it’s a lot of fun walking around and seeing what’s new. These are some of my favourites from this year.

Most of the houses are from Frederick Street, which is known for its Christmas displays and has won awards in the past; there are a few photos from Bondi Junction as well which I took while shopping. There are about 20 photos so I’ve split them after the jump; you can click on any of them to see larger versions as well.

I’m just finishing my annual Christmas song now as well… will have it posted sometime tomorrow. This year’s is an Aussie version of “Deck the Halls”. Should be fun! 🙂

Continue reading

Blue Motorcycle

Blue Motorcycle

Dirty Streets
Whisper my name
Fill me with longing
To find my way home

I took this photo last week. I saw the motorcycle out of the corner of my eye and took a quick photo without really thinking about it at the time but looking at it now, I find the contrast interesting, the shiny bike propped up against the run-down garage and street.

What you can’t see in the photo is that the entire street was in a similar state; most of the houses looked slightly rundown, with paint peeling and tiles missing and overgrown gardens – but they all had expensive cars in their driveways and satellite TV. I guess having a car and staying connected is more important for many people these days than if a house needs new paint, particularly in the current economy.

I thought it seemed like an apt analogy for the world at the moment. I wonder how many other streets and houses are like this around the world… probably too many to really comprehend, sadly.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011

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

Trees at Sunset

Trees at Sunset

Winter leaves
Blowing in a gentle breeze
Falling to the earth
Too soon

I took this a couple of weeks ago in Alison Park, just as winter was beginning to give way to spring and the trees were starting to regain their colour. I was on my way home and saw the sun setting through the trees, so stopped to take a quick photo before the sun disappeared.

I’ve always loved this time of year; the changing seasons, seeing life and colour return to the world. Winter seemed to go by so quickly this year though that I felt a little sad as well, seeing the brown leaves giving way to the green. Time seems to go by so quickly these days.

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2011