Here comes the sun

52 rolls

There is a powerful feeling sensed in our bodies as the sun rises in the morning, and a quietude felt, in the evening when it sets. The ancients believed that the first rays of light in the morning caused a ringing, the klang of dawn. Eighteen months ago I witnessed the sunrise from the top of Borobodur. With the first rays of the sun, it was as though a vibration was felt rising in my feet from within the sacred mandala.

I love the silence before the dawn, the coming of the sun, and the spectacle it can bring. It is never the same. Some days there is a riot of colour, on others muted dreams of cloud and soft light, and then come days of storm and drama. The effect on film, lens and camera is impossible to predict. Every day has its own story, with nuances and sudden…

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Contrasts – Velvia 50 Xpro

52 rolls

I live near the sea on a thin coastal strip behind which there is a sheer escarpment which rises over 1500ft. We have rainforests from mountains down to the sea, and thick bush on the escarpment, which also serves as a water catchment for Sydney. Recent bushfires tore through the escarpment, but it is springing back to life. The nearby ocean always provide opportunities for photography whether it is hot, balmy or stormy. Our environment is full of contrasts.

During the last week I developed several rolls of film, but particularly liked the colours of the cross processed Velvia 50, whether in new leaf growth in the forest, shells under water at the tidal edge, or an early morning sunrise. These photos were taken using my Olympus OM-1 with Zuiko f/1.4 50mm lens and extension tubes as required. The film was cross processed using the Tetanal C41 Two Bath Rapid…

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Thoughts from under the big fig

52 rolls

After weeks of smoke-filled, hazy or cloudy skies, it was a delight to have an early morning at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair with clear air over the harbour on a brief visit to Sydney.

Sometimes I wonder about this place. Her surveying of the road around The Domain is immortalised in stone, but not as Elizabeth Henrietta Macquarie, but simply as Mrs Macquarie. After all she was wife of the Governor. What was here before she came, did her travails signal an enthusiasm for development around Sydney, or was she coming here simply to watch the world?

Looking directly out from under the big fig at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the middle of the harbour lies Fort Denison, and on the next point Garden Island and the Fleet Base. For a long time, perhaps even before her road and chair, this was a strategic place to watch comings and going.


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Into the late afternoon light

52 rolls

Returning from Sydney, I asked my wife to stop the car so we could have a quiet moment of photographic contemplation in the late afternoon light by Lake Illawarra.

Taken using my Holga 120N (6×4.5 mask) with a Tiffen Y12 filter taped over the lens on Aerochrome and cross processed in Tetanal C41 Rapid Two Bath kit.

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Topography in Vito

52 rolls

Sometimes lately, it has been hard to know whether the boundary between the topography of my inner and outer worlds has become blurred or brought into sharp relief. Has visual imagery become an allegory of my own experience?

Nov 2013 Vito Superia400 TetanalC41 6

In the last six months I have had ultra-sounds, CT scans, PET scans, MRI scans, x-rays, blood tests and biopsies. My body has been mapped from head to toe. The moments of contemplation and stillness I have found in photography have been pierced by storms of emotion, fear and disquietude.

Nov 2013 Vito Superia400 TetanalC41 9

Not once, but twice I have learned that I have had cancer. It is unsettling. For my family and I, it has been difficult preparing for the worst, but always hoping for the best.

Nov 2013 Vito Superia400 TetanalC41 10

Since July I have had four major operations, and been in hospital five times.

Nov 2013 Vito Superia400 TetanalC41 11

In July a large lump was removed from my right leg. The pathology results…

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