Cambridge, where the magic really happens…

It felt like the sun had barely risen, but I’d had breakfast, hopped on the Tube, got my rail tickets, bought a latte, visited a deserted Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station, and was soon on the 7:15am express to Cambridge, where the magic really does happen…

Cambridge is not just a university, or another English city nestled in green countryside, but a place of history, romance, learning and legend. Every step, every place, every sight,  has a story or name that inspires one’s imagination: whether it is link to the War of the Roses, or espying the initials of Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn together in King’s College Chapel that had escaped erasure; the clock that eats minutes, and worm holes leading to alternate realities in space time; gravestones in church yards of poets, fellows and members of secret societies; hints of spy rings and the presence of bohemian idealism; advancements in science and medicine leading to Nobel prizes; and, the quiet of study and contemplation.

Unexpectedly visiting London, after Barcelona, I touched base with internet photography friends in England suggesting that we meet up for a day of shooting, perhaps at Brick Lane. My friend Judith, was quite keen (adamant even) that I should visit Cambridge, and also soon had Juliette from Stansted and Alison from Leeds on their way as well.

Arriving at Cambridge, and after exchanging greetings, we headed off for a walking tour around the town and some of the colleges, with Judith as guide. Highlights included visiting King’s College Chapel, and St John’s College.

After lunch we visited the Ascension Parish Burial Ground where many well known former Cambridge fellows are buried. Judith had promised to show me the gravestone of one of my favourite modern philosophers and Cambridge Apostle, Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Leaving the churchyard we headed out to Grantchester, with its meadows and Orchard popularised by the Neo-Pagan group of Rupert Brooke, Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, Bertrand Russell, E.M. Forster and Wittgenstein. As it was a fine Saturday afternoon, with exams finishing, many students were enjoying picnics, swimming or punting on the River Cam, or the Granta as it is also known.

Of course nothing says being in England more than an ale at a pub, followed by dinner, which is perhaps how all meet ups should conclude, or be celebrated. A little of the magic was captured with my Olympus OM-2 and Zuiko 50mm f1.4 lens, on some expired Kodak 200 film.

June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 24
Across fields of time
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 3
Distant towers
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 6
Clare Bridge
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 4
Clare College
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 5
Punts
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 9
Gate of Humility – Gonville and Caius College
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 10
Chimneys along Trinity Street
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 11
The Great Gate – St John’s College
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 13
Door
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 17
Within
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 18
Where the magic happens
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 20
Cloisters
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 27
New Court – St John’s College
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 21
Traffic at the Bridge of Sighs
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 26
Vote Labour
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 28
Tombstone of the Apostle Ludwig Wittgenstein
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 23
Swan and cygnets
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 29
Grantchester meadows
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 30
Ducks
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 32
Punting
June 2017 Cambridge OM2 Kodak200 33
At rest

 

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Celebrating Revela-T

Arriving in Barcelona for Revela-T 2017, I had little idea of what to expect. It is an incredibly long 28 hours by plane from Australia. The day after landing we headed out to Vilassar de Dalt early in the morning to hang the photos I was exhibiting at the Cal Garbat. Of course we got lost a little, had questions about paying bus fares, wandered the streets, and were found again. The exhibition space, an old abandoned factory we fell in love with. After meditating on the wall, and making a plan on how to hang my photos, we felt it was time for morning coffee, being still a little on Sydney time. With Melody, my partner’s help, we rapidly installed the exhibit in time for the mid afternoon lunch break: now we were on Barcelona time.

Lunch of course was a celebration in itself, as are most things perhaps in Catalonia. Although in the previous year, I had a photo included in Revela-T as part of the Next Best Thing Pinhole Project and many pinholers attended, it seemed just too far at that time. I had been recovering from heart failure, and always want to make the most of travel with a rigorous pace. Little did I realise that even this time, on returning to Australia blood tests showed that I was a little hypothyroid during these travels again and needed adjustments to my medications. Notwithstanding, no one ever wants to rust away by becoming moribund, so perhaps it is better to burn out a little, seize the day and enjoy the celebration of life, people, places, food, wine and photography.

And Revela-T is not just a photographic exhibition but all of those things, a festival bringing together a community passionately celebrating image making based in chemical processes from film to wet plate, daguerreotypes to instant film, cyanotypes to caffeine development, with lenses and without, from small to large formats and beyond. It is place to share stories, experiences, learn, to discover new friends, catch up with old friends and meet those known from across the internet, to listen to artists talk about their work, to enjoy the town of Vilassar de Dalt with its unique heritage, and perhaps more importantly to enjoy the photographic life that this analog fiesta celebrates.

I feel incredibly grateful to have had some of my photographs chosen to be exhibited at Revela-T, to have been unhidden, discover Catalonia and Spain, and be able to share the passion of those participating me in these images taken with my Olympus-OM2 on colour infrared film.

June 2017 RevelaT OM1 AerochromeFPP 28June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 4June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 9June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 28June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 6June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 12June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 8June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 7June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 1June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 2June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 3June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 25June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 30June 2017 RevelaT OM1 AerochromeFPP 23June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 26June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 24June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 23June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 16June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 13June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 14June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 21June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 17June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 19June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 22June 2017 RevelaT AerochromeFPP2 27

 

 

Windang wheels

52 rolls

Windang Island sits just beyond the mouth of Lake Illawarra. At low tide it is possible to walk out to the island over a narrow sand bar or isthmus which becomes submerged at high tide in a big swell and storms. In a Dreaming story, Windang Island is an abandoned canoe used by the Thurawal people to reach Australia.

Carriage wheels on the rock shelf were from a rail line built here in the 1890s to carry rock quarried on the island for breakwaters at the mouth of the lake to keep it open. It silts over from the pressure of tides and waves, only breaking open after heavy rains on the escarpment behind which flood the lake. The project was abandoned soon after it begun, and the wheels were left on the rocks and beach. In the last 10 years the lake was opened permanently with the completion and…

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Pink rocks and blue pools

52 rolls

“The fool who is aware of his foolishness is therefore like a wise man.
But a fool who thinks he is wise is called a fool indeed.
A fool who, as long as he lives, attends to a wise man,

he doesn’t know the doctrine, as the spoon doesn’t know the soup’s flavour.
If a discerning person attends to a wise man even for a second,
he swiftly knows the doctrine, like the tongue knows the soup’s flavour”
                                                                             – ‘Bala vaga’ of the Dhammapada

After 14 kilometres hiking all I feel is my breath and the soles of my feet. I stop, rest, sip water, readjust my heavy pack and start off again. At the base of my back all I feel is agony. I concentrate, take step after weary step, hoping that I can transcend the pain. It is after all only reality, and there are only 4…

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On mountains and falls

52 rolls

“Flowers laugh without uttering a sound. Roosters cry without shedding a tear. Examining the ages reveals that good deeds are as rare as flowers among rocky peaks while evil acts are as plentiful as the grass on fertile hills” – Kyokai

“High peaks and lofty crags are where the wise dwell. Green pines and deep valleys are where practitioners sojourn. When hungry, they eat tree fruits to satisfy their famished belly. When thirsty, they drink the flowing streams to quench their feeling of thirst” – Wonhyo

“The suddenly everything was like jazz: it happened in one insane second or so: I looked up and saw Japhy running down the mountain in huge twenty foot leaps, running, leaping, landing with a great drive of his booted heels, bouncing five feet or so, running, and then taking another long crazy yelling yodelaying sail down the side of the world and in that…

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Signs

52 rolls

Time drops by with remembrances of moments skimming the surface of consciousness from deep within the mind leaving signs of a world beyond. The passage of time touches the world leaving marks such as deep erosion in cliffs, stratification of geological layers, and the presence of fossils from distant ages. A branch broken and dying may start to decay and become immersed in the foliage around it. Everywhere there are the signs of impermanence, and the markers of time.

january-2017-mermaidinlet-045f1-fp4-xtol1-3ro91-160-11 Immersion

This morning as usual, when I left for my morning walk, I placed buds in my ears and chose music that I felt like listening to: today it would be Santana’s Caravanserai. After several kilometers the sun rose across the horizon as I rounded a corner, and in my ears I heard the words, “…just in time to see the sun.” I marveled at the synchronicity and reflected upon…

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Sapphire coast

52 rolls

A few hundred kilometers south along the coast the ocean gets a little icier with deep cold currents from Antarctica, and along with golden rocks and beaches, the colour of the sea changes to a beautiful sapphire green.

january-2017-bermagui-olympus-35-s-ektar100-unicolourc41-1 The Mimosa Rocks

Sitting between Bermagui and Tathra, lies the Mimosa Rocks National Park named after a vessel that was wrecked on this jagged coastline. It’s inlets and lagoons are secluded, and beaches often empty even in the height of summer. The Mimosa Rocks are near Aragunnu with its ancient shell middens, and camp sites once inhabited by the indigenous traditional owners of the land.

january-2017-bermagui-olympus-35-s-ektar100-unicolourc41-5 A golden grain

january-2017-bermagui-olympus-35-s-ektar100-unicolourc41-4-1 Sapphire waters

january-2017-bermagui-olympus-35-s-ektar100-unicolourc41-10 Crocodile

Bermagui, or “Bermi” as it is known locally is a fishing port, with a farmers market outside the back of the co-op, a fantastic bakery nearby selling cardamon seed scrolls that are to die for, and some decent coffee shops. We…

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