Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rain.....

Welcome,

It rained in Byron Bay today.

One should always dress appropriately for the weather.

Stay dry.

Bikini rain
Rain

Stay safe





Friday, October 3, 2014

Ray .....

Welcome,

This is Ray.

He recently turned 90 and is one of those who saw action in World War 2.

I met him recently by chance and asked if he would let me do a portrait. I have a notion of photographing all the remaining veterans of that horror who live in the Northern Rivers area.

He agreed and I spent some time yesterday with Ray and his wife Betty.  He told me his story. A story which included growing up just north of Adelaide, losing a father shortly after the first world war, and then eventually concealing his true age and signing up with the Royal Australian Navy.

He served on H.M.A.S. Barcoo mainly on convoy escort duty around New Guinea.  

Following the war, he married Betty and spent 38 years as a professional fireman in and around the greater Sydney area.

He and Betty have been married for 68 years.  The last thing Betty said when I was leaving was " I adore him".  It seemed to me that he obviously adored her too.

It occurred to me that here was two elderly people, the sort you may see down any street, in any cafe, going about their daily business. How many of us, however, would consider that they have a story to tell. 

A life lived. A history written, if not on paper, then surely on the hearts of their loved ones.

Perhaps we ought not to just pass them by.  Perhaps we ought, rather, to say hello and maybe just listen for a while.  That generation is fast dwindling.  I think that maybe it still has much to offer.




Ray
Ray



Stay safe

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Byron Bay beach art .....

Welcome,

Sometimes art can be found on the sand, ephemeral, temporary, individual, waiting to be washed away with the next high tide.


Sand art being created







Sometimes art can be a little more permanent, found on the skin of those who watch.


Skin art



Stay safe.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Life, love and loss.....

Welcome,

I walked through Byron Bay again today.
As usual the streets were alive, vibrant, noisy, colourful.
All manner of individuals were there. 




I met Liza who was walking around proudly showing her belt buckle.  She said that she has been "pulled over more than once by the cops".
I wonder why.


Liza






I met Joseph who was sitting in a corner trying in vain to sell his home made jewellery. He told a quite amusing story of trying to buy cigarette papers with an old 1968 dollar note - the kind that are no longer in circulation.  As no-one would take the money, he ended up using the dollar as the cigarette paper.  "It's made of hemp" he said. 
I don't know if it was or not, but the story made me smile.

Joseph






In the main street I passed a young couple who obviously had deep affection for each other and were not afraid to show it.  

                               ".... Love, rising from the mists, 
                                     Promise me this and only this,
                                     Holy breath touching me, like a wind song, 
                                     Sweet communion of a kiss....." (Judee Sill, The Kiss)

The Kiss






I spent a few minutes on the beach.

Byron Bay, September 10, 2014






Normally the beach is crowded, especially on a day such as today.

Not today.  The beaches were closed. 

A few souls walked them, and most of those were not smiling or laughing the way that the beachgoers here usually do. 

No-one entered the water.

No-one other than the lifesavers patrolling on their jet skis.  Searching. Searching for the great white shark that killed a man just fifteen metres from this shore yesterday.




Byron Bay, September 10, 2014



Adjacent to the area where the attack occurred someone has planted some pieces of washed up trees.  I don't know if they are a memorial to the victim, but they weren't there last time I walked this way.  Knowing the folk of this area, one can be forgiven for thinking that it is a response to what happened yesterday.

A few individuals walked here today.  Some stopped at the spot and gazed toward the sea.  Who knows what their thoughts were? Who knows how the wife of the victim will find comfort in the coming days and years?

In time the make shift memorial will be gone, the warning signs will be gone and the people here will come and go; but that other world - the sea -  it will remain, and its waves will touch this shore as they have done for millennia.  The waves shall have their stories.  We shall touch them, and surely they will touch us.



Byron Bay, September 10, 2014


                               "..... While waters wimple to the sea,
                                       While day blinks in the lift sae hie ,
                                       Till clay-cauld death sall blin' my e'e ,
                                       Ye sall be my dearie..... "  (Robert Burns)




Stay safe.







Friday, August 22, 2014

Byron Bay faces .....

Welcome,

It never ceases to amaze me that someone will allow a total stranger to make a photograph of them.

Sharing a few minutes of time with them often is all that is needed for them to allow the camera to be used.

Here are a couple of interesting characters I met recently while walking around Byron Bay. 


Lester is a well known member of the local indigenous community.  He is the brother of the late Micky Kay, one of the most respected of the local indigenous elders who used to perform welcome to the country ceremonies at local events.

Lester






Dan was singing and dancing in the main street with a couple of friends. It was noticeable that a lot of passers-by would rather not interact with them.  Their loss.  We ended up having a great laugh.  I say suspend judgement, you may have fun.

Dan



If you are out walking around your home town try to make conversation with a stranger.  You never know what might happen.  If you carry your camera - all the better.

Stay safe


Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Rails .....

Welcome,

Another day in Byron Bay.

The local police were doing a sweep along the main street and around the beach.
Ten officers and one drug detector dog enjoyed a stroll in the sunshine.


Apparently it happens the week before any of the big music festivals for which the area is renowned.
Next week is the 'Splendour in the grass festival'.

Exactly a week ago the local force marched with the indigenous locals in the annual NAIDOC march.
That march started in the park adjacent to the old railway station.

This week the force was issuing 'move on orders' to those same folk, in the same park.

Strange days indeed, mama, most peculiar - (apologies to John Lennon)


For others however, it mattered little.  Sitting in the 'Railway Friendly Bar' known locally as 'The Rails', some simply enjoyed the day. 


Byron Bay locals at the Railway Friendly Bar




Stay safe




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Watching the waves .....

Welcome,

A stranger, watching the waves.

Sometimes in the ordinary can be found the awesome;
in the banal, the beauty;
in the mundane, the magnificent.

Sometimes all we need do is look and we shall see.






Stay safe.



Friday, May 23, 2014

Byron Bay black and white..... Jimmy


Welcome,

A couple of months ago I was walking around Byron Bay with a lens from 1977 attached to a camera from 1975.  Loaded with Kodak BW400CN film.

There is always music happening in this town.

Always.

As in, you can always hear it - unless you are deaf, of course.




With my wife I walked into a shop and there sat Jimmy, playing a black Stratocaster that usually hangs on the back wall of the store.

A couple of quick shots and we were gone.

His smile followed us through the door.

Great music, great vibe.

Stay safe













Friday, May 2, 2014

The Jester.....

Welcome,

Yesterday as I was walking around Byron Bay, I noticed this chap riding his unicycle in the car park near the beach. Picking the position with the least distracting background (hard to believe) I waited until he rode into position. 





Just another average day in Byron Bay.

Stay safe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

All in his hands.....

Welcome,

In a short lived era of musical brilliance, The English group ' TheYardbirds' effectively altered music and influenced many young musicians.

At various times the group had as members Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck.  All went on to bigger and better things and all remained a benchmark for others to follow.


Eric Clapton once said of Jeff Beck "With Jeff, It's all in his hands".


On Saturday night I was privileged to witness that for myself.  It was a show of subtlety, power and dynamics.  Watching closely, I came to see the truth in Clapton's comment.  With Jeff it is all in his hands. We too were in his hands.





I've now seen two out of the three Yardbirds guitarists in concert - Page and Beck.  Just one to go.



Stay safe.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Byron Bay.....three surfers

Welcome,
I have waited a long time to make this image.

Many is the day when I've stood at this spot waiting for someone with a surfboard to come walking past.  Today, in the midst of a heavy rainstorm, he did.
I don't know where he was going, what his name is or where he came from.  I'm just glad that he walked by and helped make the image I imagined some time ago.

In the brief moment he was in frame he glanced in the general direction of the sign on the wall.  That was the icing on the cake.  It only took a few seconds from noticing him until he was gone. That was enough.




Street surfer

Happy surfing.

Stay safe...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Byron Bay streets .....

Welcome,

Wandering around Byron Bay will usually provide one with a vast spectrum of things to observe.

Especially so if one deliberately sets out to actually see what is there, rather than passively looking at where one might be going at a particular time.

From hippies to cashed up bogans, trendies to down and outs, surfers to international visitors,  it is all there.

Sometimes it is the little things that one observes that brings a smile to the face.  In both the following images, the people seemed to be having fun.



These folk seemed to be enjoying their ice creams. I'm not sure if the penguins were jealous.

Going, going, gone.....







I refer to it as a tickle, but it was actually a little bit more than that.

The Tickle





More to come....

Stay safe.