I’ve been pretty busy lately and I totally forgot to tell you about the time I decided to climb this:
Sure it doesn't look THAT tall, but the sun was out and it was quite warm so you know...it seemed much taller than it actually was. But never fear - your faithful scribe didn't pass out mid-climb so now I'm here to tell the tale. Let's go back a bit, shall we?
Gosh, this being busy thing is becoming a habit isn’t it? A month since my last post?? It’s almost like I HAVE been able to shut up! That’s rarer than an Australian Prime Minister putting in a full term so make the most of it – it probably won’t last.
Actually, it definitely won’t last because I’m here now.
If you've been living under a rock, you might not know that Cranbourne East, a residential suburb about 50kms south east of Melbourne, is the fastest growing suburb in terms of people, in Australia. The flood of residents has given rise to an influx of bogans (normal in any housing estate), an upswing of crime (new houses are often full of shiny things) and endless cries for public transport infrastructure to cope with the area's growth (trains, anyone??).
But it also has something very different. A mere stone's throw across the South Gippy Highway is the very excellent 'Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria at Cranbourne' where one can easily spend the best part of a day exploring the different gardens, structures and waterways and generally forgetting the rest of the world exists.
I thought it was about time I stopped lurking about on Twitter and actually used my brain for a bit, so here it is. A blog post containing some pictures featuring impossibly blue skies that may or may not cheer you up if your Seasonal Pissed Off Disorder (SPOD) is in full swing, and some fantastic artworks that have brought a different aspect of life to rural Victoria. I had to do actual research about these works, so you better start appreciating. I don't do this for the good of my health you know!
Right...so....six grain silo sites in the Mallee/Wimmera region of Victoria now have massive portraits painted on them, and it’s a thing and the thing is called the Silo Art Trail and if you can, you should go look at them because they’re really super.
And now for something completely different: some old looking photos that aren't really old at all but are the product of a misguided afternoon spent messing about with software in pursuit of creativity.
I'm playing with a few things lately: my camera remote which had been acting up and which Him On The Couch fixed because he is really quite clever; some camera filters that I purchased a filter bag for, making them easy to access but not scratch); the Nik Collection software and its fancy pants Analog Efex Pro editing presets; and this website and its new ability to resize singular pictures like that one up there, and this one down here:
I was going to call this post “How to cram loads in, in one day” and then tell you to:
And also, this happened (a month ago!):
11TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS HONORS
PHOTOGRAPHER CATHERINE BAILEY FROM AUSTRALIA
LOS ANGELES 11 March 2018 - Professional photographer Catherine Bailey of Australia was presented with two Nominee titles in the 11th Annual International Color Awards in the category of Architecture, and one Nominee each in the categories of Nature and Still Life, at a prestigious Nomination & Winners Photoshow streamed Saturday, March 10, 2018.
The live online gala was attended by over 12,500 photography fans around the globe who logged on to watch the climax of the industry's most important event for color photography. 11th Annual Jury members included captains of the industry from Christie's, Paris; Grey Group, New York; The Art Channel, London; Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam; Publicis Conseil, Paris; Preus Museum, Norway; Art Beatus, Hong Kong; Netflix, Los Angeles; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Phillips, New York who honored Color Masters with 709 title awards and 730 nominees in 33 categories.
"Photography is more popular than ever. Last year around 1.2 trillion pictures were taken. In this awards show we pay tribute to the top 0.0000000001% of them" said Juror Martijn van Marle, Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather, Amsterdam. Joshua White, Presenter and Producer on The Art Channel, London added "Judging this year's submissions for the Color Awards was challenging. The winning images illustrate the continuing importance of photography as a way of seeing the world around us and understanding human experience."
"It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the 5,642 entries we received this year," said Basil O'Brien, the awards Creative Director. "Catherine’s exceptional images represent contemporary color photography at its finest, and we're pleased to present her with the title of Nominee."
INTERNATIONAL COLOR AWARDS is the leading international award honoring excellence in color photography. This celebrated event shines a spotlight on the best professional and amateur photographers worldwide and honors the finest images with the highest achievements in color photography.
Awww, isn’t that nice? That’s the blurb that the Color Awards peeps send to Nominees and Winners for promotional purposes. I’ve never used it before but I’m feeling particularly lazy with all this other writing I’ve been doing, so there it is. I entered 5 images and got 4 nominations so I'm pretty happy with that.
And now I must be gone, for there are doors to be widened as my fat head has grown even fatter.
I know it’s a bit unfashionable to say it, but I love Radelaide. It’s easily navigable, there’s really good beaches and parks, year round festivals, great buildings, it’s close to wine country, the roads are wide enough to land a plane on, and Rundle Mall’s got balls. What's not to love about all that?
We enjoyed the gig (remember, there was a reason we were here), AND sleeping in an actual house AND not being woken pre-dawn by squawking birds. The morning after the gig suggested a little lie-in and a lazy breakfast, followed by a drive out to Victor Harbor and its environs for a day of sun, exercise and culture.
No girlie road trip is complete without being a Terry Tourist, so after a quick lunch at Warrnambool, where this groovy painting was on this otherwise non-descript building, we meandered on to the Princess Margaret Rose Cave in Mumbannar near the Victoria/South Australia border.
There’s something very magical about the dawn before a scorching hot day. It’s the time of the day when you can move without dehydrating in 2.3 nano seconds, the colours in the sky are pretty special, and there’s no-one about. Well, apart from the axe wielding homicidal maniacs that usually just live in my mind but might actually be lurking on the dark streets, probably near bins. No wait...that’s polar bears.
I was a bit stir crazy from spending most of my time indoors and my general apathy towards anything other than sitting on the couch eating popcorn was threatening to take over. So I defied orders: ditched the moon boot, scarpered out at 4am and ran away to the sea!
This year I entered 3 images, and I'm quite chuffed that 2 of them won nominations. 8,121 entries were received from 74 countries and these were whittled down to include 1,034 nominations. So what's that, percentage wise? I think it's around the top 10-12% mark so it's quite the ego boost. I'll have to get all the doors in the house widened for my fat head to fit through.
Point Nepean is a coastal park containing buildings remaining from Fort Nepean’s use as a defence fort during World Wars 1 and 2, before people realised that Australia was so far away from anywhere, jet lag would stop invaders from bothering to attack.
My companion on this walk was generally fit and healthy, but had the tail end of the dreaded lurgy that had swept like the plague through Melbourne. That she could breathe and talk at the same time was a welcomed return to form. I’m distance challenged (ie: I have no idea how far 2kms really is) and I was getting over a dodgy foot ligament, so we thought it best to tackle a couple of little walks before deciding if the long walk to Fort Nepean was on the cards or not.
Now when I say ‘long’, I mean “this will take longer than half an hour but probably less than 4 hours”. Anything under half an hour is a short walk. Anything over 4 is not worth naming because I’m never going to do one.
I had another great day/evening assisting Nic Granleese at the yearly Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Architecture Awards night. This year it was held in the Melbourne Room at the Convention Centre and we had our set rigged up in the foyer. Our job is to photograph the award winners, and any other unsuspecting victims we can coerce into hamming it up for the camera.
To see more, go to Nic's website: http://www.nicgranleese.com/projects/19-victorian-architecture-awards-dinner-2017
Did someone say "chocolate"?
Oh well...best get in the car and drive over an hour to the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery then. This building is situated long and low on the top of a hill with a view of orchards and vines and other hills and it's all just rather marvy. Their devonshire teas are really good (fantastic scones) and the chocolate is amazing. I'd show you pictures, but I didn't take any because I was too busy feeding my face.
This year I plucked up the courage to enter 5 pictures in to the Color Awards, and I won 2 nomination places: one for Architecture and one for Still Life.
Maybe last year's nomination wasn't just a fluke!
St Philip and St James Anglican Church sits on a hill in the township of Old Noarlunga, about 30kms south of Adelaide, and supposedly takes its name from two men who were instrumental in building it in 1850.
The following morning I headed out to Point Danger for the sunrise. It was cloudy and chilly and a light mist was hanging about, so I wasn’t expecting there to be much to photograph. And there wasn’t, although it did clear up enough to get a couple of pictures once the sun had cleared the horizon. Shortly after, the clouds gathered again and it started to rain properly so I went off in search of breakfast.
Just so you know, I don't just swan around the countryside taking pictures of water falling over cliffs. Oh no, sometimes I actually have to do some work. Like this stuff I did for a company who wanted 30 images of their beautiful new showroom. When they saw the drafts, they decided they wanted all of them. Urgently. And there were nearly 100. So I had to glue myself to a chair to get them all done. Which took me all night, after spending the day assisting another photographer on a job. See? Actual work!
I recently did a job photographing a tile showroom and was amazed at the variety of tiles available since I last had to do any tile shopping! But that was back in the 1900s...
I should enter more photography competitions.
I think 20% of the reason I don’t is the expense (most good comps aren’t free to enter) but the other 80% is a distinct lack of self confidence. My approach to competitions is a bit like this:
Me: I should enter that competition
Other me: You don’t have anything good enough to enter with
Me: These photos are good
Other me: The kid next door could take a better photo than this
And so it goes…until I finally narrow down a short list a few days before the comp closes. This year I entered the International Color Awards with 2 pictures, because that’s all I could decide on.
I found out yesterday that one of those pictures won a nomination place, which essentially means that of the 5,678 entries from 78 countries received, it was placed in the top 10% of entries.
So naturally, I ummed and ahhhed about telling anyone that.
Me and Nic Granleese (www.nicgranleese.com) went on another walk around Melbourne one morning on a reccy for an upcoming job for a utility company. It didn't rain.
Me and Nic Granleese (www.nicgranleese.com) went on walk around Melbourne one morning on a reccy for an upcoming job for a utility company. It rained.
Over the weekend I attended an architectural photography workshop with Nic Granleese (www.nicgranleese.com), photographing the RMIT Design Hub in Melbourne.
In the wilds of Coburg lives a sustainably designed and built house, complete with a garden up top. It's a welcome change to a sea of roofs and solar panels. Created by Emilio at Nest Architects, it was built in the backyard of another property after it was subdivided. It's small, but very beautiful.
More details and Nic Granleese's photos: www.nestarchitects.com.au/projects/florence-street
The good thing about hiring a driver in India is that they're very happy to essentially be at your beck and call for a pre-determined time. So if you want to spend half an hour inside a cathedral or 10 minutes looking at that interesting thing over there - they just happily wait. Of course, you pay for this privilege but to an Aussie, it's a nominal fee. We spent half a day in different locations around Old Goa before returning to our digs, in what was about a 60km trip, and I think it worked out to be about A$20.