Category Archives: Photography

The art of the sneaky shot

Monet's 'Waterlilies', originally uploaded by pureandapplied.

Taking candid shots of strangers in public involves a certain amount of surreptitious maneuvering, of seeming to be doing something other than what you're actually doing. Apparently admiring the cathedral's flying buttress while composing a shot of the family of five at your elbow and waiting for them to compose themselves is the sort of patient and yet contorted thing you find yourself doing.

The Nikon D80 I use isn't noted for being spy, which means I get busted, grimaced at plenty, and shouted at occasionally.

So I envy this fellow photographer her considered, in-the-background style and black Samsung (possibly this one) which is at the "silent running" end of compacts. Neither of us broke cover in spite of taking a minute or so for several shots each.

UPDATE: This shot was taken during a visit to the l'Orangerie.

More spy shots of strangers.


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Australian Poets in Flickr

David Prater, originally uploaded by pureandapplied.

Having turned 38 I'm at an age where I can safely start life-long personal projects knowing the end is in sight how to pick projects I can enjoy devoting a lifetime to. This
particular small-scale effort is at the sustainable intersection of two
of my interests – poetry and photography, and it's one I'm dead-keen to share with others.

A few months ago I started a group in Flickr with the intention of collecting together photos of contemporary Australian poets. Check out the collection at Flickr.

This is an invitation to anyone with images of that most elusive species of
writer, the living Australian poet, to join the group and add their shots to the collection.    

There's a small pool at the moment, with images only of those I personally know such as Jane Gibian, Mark Mahemoff and David Prater (above), but I'm keen to see it grow, and am hopeful of seeing writers I've only heard of being contributed to the group.

Find out more in the group page at Flickr.


Wanna include a slideshow of the pool in yer site? You can grab the code here.

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Richard Serra’s ‘Clara Clara’

When it comes to loading photos into Flickr there are quicker flickrers than me out there. It's only now, six months later, that I'm starting to plough through the shots I took while we were on our honeymoon in October last year. And this is one of my favourites. 

Richard Serra is famous for his monumental site-specific installations made in sheet steel. 'Clara Clara', named for his wife, was first erected outside the Louvre in 1983. For six months in 2008 it has been reinstated for a retrospective exhibition of his work. 

The piece is comprised of two 36m long 3.4m high walls of curved steel, bowed together at the centre and slightly tilted toward each other to make a narrow strait in the Tuileries between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde. Serra says of his work "I use steel to organise space". This shot shows how they catch the light, the deep rust colour of the surface, and the way in which people interact with them, touching the face with dusty hands on their way through. 

More on Serra at his gallery and and on the Louvre site.

More shots from our time in Paris.

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Sold my first photo

A cheque for $100 has just arrived from interior design company Studio Red who are using this shot as a wall mural in their fit-out for the new ANZ head office in Melbourne.

It's a small, unexpected thing, but significant for me as I have wanted to be a photographer since I was a teenager – in fact it was the first thing I'm conscious of wanting to be.

I can't get too carried away with pride given the true creative work in this image is that of the wonderful sculptor Inge King, nonetheless I will for a few weeks yet enjoy an outcome I first imagined more than half my lifetime ago.

As for the $100… it buys less and less camera gear these days so my trusty Nikon D80 will have to make do with a new lens cap.

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The Rock Garden, Ryoanji Temple

It’s taken a while longer than I thought it would, but I’ve finally finished uploading images from our Kyoto trip of October last year.

This one is of the famous rock garden at Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto.

The rest of the shots are in my Japan set on flickr.

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Middle Head military site

  Middle Head military site 
  Originally uploaded by pureandapplied

We had quite a busy Sunday – we went to the Weston’s Biscuit factory exhibition at MOS, the Art in the Open event at Mosman, which was a little staid, and the Newtown Festival, which was the opposite of staid.

Along the way we also had a wander through the old gun placements at George’s Heights. It’s one of my favourite landscapes in Sydney. Siobhan’s good friend Lynda Roberts and her partner Ceri Hann had installation pieces in the Mosman festival, and we mistakenly thought they were down at George’s Heights. We quickly figured out we had it wrong, but it was wonderful to be able to wander through the deserted site at Middle Head.

Go to my flickr site for images of Lynda and Ceri’s installation.

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Tsukiji fish market

  Snap-frozen tuna, Tsukiji 
  Originally uploaded by pureandapplied

Since returning from our 10-day holiday to Japan I’ve been slowly uploading shots to flickr. It’s taken me a few days though to get through the photos from Tsukiji fish market, simply because I took a few hundred of this remarkable fresh food market.

Wikipedia says of Tsukiji:

For many tourists in Tokyo, the Central Wholesale Market, better known as the Tsukiji fish market and said to be one of the best sushi destinations in the world, is synonymous with Tsukiji. It is also the largest fish market in the world handling more than 2000 tons of 450 types of seafood daily.

The market is exciting, industrious and dizzying. Going there was an eye-popping experience that left me wondering just how perilously over-fished the oceans must be.


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