This is the first time I ever drove a car solo. I was 17 and still 5 years away from getting my licence. Greg, Jennifer & I were visiting Dad and we were at Nan’s caravan park. Dad said I could go for a drive around the park with Greg.
I’d not driven much by this point.
Greg and I, being Greg and I, decided going 5kph was boring and left the caravan park and made for the highway. We went along the old highway instead of the real highway and ramped it up to 70. Flying along we both commented how fast it seemed. It wasn’t until we stopped to take this picture that I realised the car was so old it was still in miles per hour!
We got up to a few things in our youth, my little brother and I. There was the time caught a train from Penrith to Glenbrook with our bikes, went through the National Park and the rode down the Pacific Highway almost literally shitting our daks at the speeds we were going.
And then the time he was in hospital for an operation and bored, so I put him in a wheelchair and we went missing for an hour or two, we visited several wards including maternity to look at the babies, before coming back to a berating from parents and doctors.
This past week has been a rough one for my little sister and her husband. Last Friday my nephew Joshua was stillborn. To say it would have been a hard day for Jennifer and Peter is an understatement.
Today they are having a private service for Joshua to say farewell. I can only imagine in the haze of last Friday their grief was mixed with shock. In the days that followed and in particular today there is no buffer of shock just raw emotions.
As extended family I feel their pain, I grieve for the nephew I will never know. I look at their other children, Alek and Emily, and I know that Joshua would have been an asset to the human race, we’re poorer for his passing.
I hate that I am so far away at a time when family should be together. I wish them the best for today, the christmas break can’t come fast enough so I can see these amazing people.
I stole this photo from my brother’s Facebook timeline. It’s my niece Piper who we get to see so rarely. I often lament how far away I live from my family. These little people are growing up so fast, I’m missing so much of their young lives. I’m watching them grow via Facebook and Path.
In this image Piper is jumping on the trampoline in the backyard of their house near Windsor in Sydney. You can’t go past that joy and sense of contentment in her face. It’s a moment beautifully captured while my brother was testing his new lens.
It’s photos like this that really show why photography is important. It wasn’t a “shoot” it was just a dad, testing a new lens with his daughter as the subject and what he captured was a moment in time that will never happen again.
Too soon this little girl will be a little lady, a big girl, a teenager and a fully grown woman. Thankfully these images will continue for as long as they exist to remind her, and all of those who see it, of this moment of joy in her life; a life with any luck will be filled with nothing but such joy.
We head out a little later than usual this year. David wanted to stop in the city and get a new camera bag, he has grown out of his older bag.
Another Australia Day means another trip to Geelong, it has kind of become a tradition I guess. But this time our usual third, Kathryn, couldn’t come along. She’s just started a new job and had to work. So this year we dragged Sue along for the trip.
It seemed a little low-key this year. The crowds were there, the stages and performers were there, everything seemed to be the same, but it just seemed less than the last two years. Maybe it was just that the performers weren’t as dynamic as previous years.
Sue and I rode the ferris wheel, that was pretty cool, I don’t think she’d ever been on a ferris wheel that goes so high. We took some photos while we were up there and cheered every time we passed entry point, on our way to another loop.
And of course the beach volleyball was on again, it was by far the best part of the day. So we spent a bit of time there capturing the action. I do have to admit that perhaps we were obsessed with a couple of the players. They were the best on court, it was easy to get decent shots from their action.
We called it a day around 4pm, missing the Roulettes and the fireworks display… maybe one year we’ll stick around for the fireworks show and try and capture them.
I’ve processed the photos a little differently this time around, but present them here.
It has been many, many, many years since I’ve been to Taronga Zoo. This week, while in Sydney, we spent a great day at the zoo with Mum, Greg, Jacob and Maygen. It was great because of the people we were with, not so much because of the weather, which couldn’t seem to decide how it wanted to go; rain, wind, sun, rain, wind, sun, repeat…
We must have all looked like a bunch of shutterbugs, all with cameras shooting away at the animals.
The differences between Melbourne Zoo, my home zoo, and Sydney’s Taronga are few but significant. The biggest being the massive entry fee of $44 for an adult for Taronga compared to Melbourne’s $26. I like Sydney’s layout for the Snow Leopard enclosure, though it could probably be a little bigger and its lion and tiger enclosures are just sad looking. Melbourne’s primate enclosures seem much better and having multiple zoos in close proximity is a bonus for us down there too.
I do love that at Taronga, which is on a hill, you can start at the top walk down the hill seeing all the animals and then catch the sky lift back to the top of the hill.
Another thing Taronga has over Melbourne’s zoos, we don’t have any chimpanzees in Melbourne. Sydney’s Chimps were a little aggressive on the day and one saw fit to let the humans know he wasn’t happy being looked at and high-kicked the window of one of the viewing areas. He was quickly chastised by the alpha male via a very loud call from the other side of the enclosure.
I think I’ll forever been conflicted about having Chimpanzees and Gorillas in Zoos. The expressions and the seemingly looks of understanding they have are just a little too human to be comfortable with the idea of them being locked away for their lives. There was one female chimpanzee who was holding a baby, brushing her fingers through his hair before bending her head forward kissing him gently on the forehead. It was a beautiful moment.
I’m over the moon to announce that my little sister has given birth to her second child. Emily was born at 2.44pm July 8th. She was 3.2kg and 49cm long.
She’s super cute and I can’t wait to meet her. She looks amazing and I’m forever in awe that humans can produce other humans.
I’m usually all for living in Melbourne, we’ve been here for almost 9 years, but I have to say, at times like this… when a little one comes into the world, I really miss out and hate being so far away.
Thankfully I have a family that still includes me (mostly), they kept me up to date about Emily’s entry into the world and have kept a steady stream of photos coming so I can ogle and goo and gaa if only from nearly 1,000 km away. We’re heading up there next week and I can’t wait.
Big thanks to Alek, Emily’s older brother, who snapped the last three photos for me, paparazzi style. While the middle one may be blurry I kept it here because it shows just how awesomely he has done with the other two. The room where Emily is currently sleeping is a low-light room and Alek, at only 13, hand-held these shots. He’s shooting with my old Canon 400D at 33mm f4.5 and just 1/15th shutter speed. Hand holding awesomeness at its finest.
Yet another Sunday and another unusual social outing. This time organised by SueZ. We’ve not had a good run with our Sunday outings, it’s always something interesting and new.
Last night was, in my opinion, a great night. We were drawn to this night due to SueZ’s neighbour, Bernie, being part of the group. I stress it is my opinion because David and Denise didn’t love it. In fact David wanted to leave pretty much right away. But I loved it.
What’s not to love when an eclectic bunch of people gather together on a stage to have fun. All brought together through their love of, for most an unusual instrument, the ukelele.
The Melbourne Ukelele Kollective, or MUK for short, wrapped up their September residence at The Cornish Arms Hotel in Brunswick last night in a splendid manner. They began as a small group of players in 2004 and these days count as many as 20-30 people on stage during an event.
As the photos and videos that follow may attest, these guys and gals have a great time on the stage, entertaining the pub crowd and themselves. I just love watching people enjoy themselves, doing something they love and sharing ti with others. The sort of passion they display is infections and you have no choice but to leave the venue with a spring in your step.
Do yourself a favour and get along and see them when you can. Ignore the fact that David didn’t like them and go with an open mind and open ears, you’ll love it.
Check out the Melbourne Ukelele Kollective website for gig dates.
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Watch in Full-HD
They even had an audience participation section when they played “Nutbush City Limits” folks got up and joined in doing the Madison.
Young at heart and full of vigour, Kathryn Potempski celebrates her birthday today.
I met Kathryn a few years back at a gallery exhibition opening I attended with my friend Sue. Kathryn was the crazy lady asking strangers if she could take their photos. She has an enigmatic way about her, able to blend with people from all walks of life. I remember seeing Kathryn’s photos on display that night and thinking how amazing they were. Only to find out a short time later that she had only picked up a camera and discovered her passion for photography in recent years.
When I mention that Kathryn was asking strangers to take their photo she really does it with ease. I remember having coffee with her after the opening and we were talking about the bone structure of a girl sitting at another table. When the young lady notices our glances Kathryn promptly calls out “Don’t worry, we’re not weird, we just think you have an amazing face for photography.” And that’s how she is.
Everything is approached at light speed and with gusto. Kathryn is a self-starter and in the short time I have known her we have become fast friends and I’m glad to say a little bit of her nature has rubbed off on me.
While I’m still not quite up to asking complete strangers to take their photos I am more confident in directing a shoot. I’ve always been pretty clued up on the technical aspects but actually talking to a model, or a subject of a photo, not so much. I treated everything like a snap shot. I was, and still am at times, the type of photographer who captures a moment. While Kathryn also does this she also knows that a good picture isn’t just taken, it’s made. She’ll get up early to get the perfect sunrise and wait patiently for the moment she’s chasing to come her way.
This post is to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Kathryn. She’s leaving me un-returnable messages about me missing her birthday. But it’s today and I’ve tried to call. Left messages on facebook. She’s tough to track down at times.
I’m thankful that Kathryn is in my life. There are times it seems like she always has been, that’s how comfortable our friendship is. So Kathryn, if you read this, thanks for being a great friend. Happy birthday and here’s to the many, many, many, many more years that are ahead of you.
Below are some photos of Kathryn on set with a model we shot last year. The model is Kabel and coincedently he shares his birthday with Ms Kathryn. They clicked like a hen and chick.