Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
|Brunswick Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, is a trendy place filled with cafes, boutique stores, masses of street art and a wide variety of interesting people.
|And you're never short of a good subject in Brunswick Street as the young hipsters and fashionistas go about their boutique shopping and cafe crawling, sharing the footpaths with interesting immigrants.
I prefer my people photography to go unnoticed. I like immediacy and the mood of people photographed in everyday situations - shots that (hopefully) capture something of the mood of the place.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
When I arrived at the Port Douglas Sunday Markets in Queensland a week or so ago, I couldn't help thinking of the Christchurch Arts Centre Market - no longer at the earthquake-damaged Arts Centre of course and probably still reeling from a significant shift out to the Ferrymead Historic Village. As I wandered between a far greater number of stalls, all selling rather exotic tropical wares, I couldn't help my sigh of relief. It was, after all, a balmy 27-degrees, the coconut palms were swaying in a gentle breeze and the ground was solid - completely stable and unmoving. I noted then, that after just three weeks in Australia, I was not missing my home city and its constant after shocks one little bit.
And at Port Douglas Sunday Market, there is much to catch the eye. You can pick up a taxidermied crocodile - or part thereof - should the urge take you; and you can choose a coconut, have it husked and split open so you can drink the juice and eat the flesh....which I guess is pretty much what the crocodiles do on a good feeding day.
Local characters man a wide assortment of stalls - a crazy number of them selling the usual crystals, tie-dyed garments and tropical shirts that purveyors seem to think all tourists should invest in. Personally, I've never quite seen the link between tourism/tourists/travelling and the need for crystals; but I've seen it time and again in New Zealand tourist spots too. Visit Akaroa, the Bay of Islands - almost anywhere - and you're bound to find a shop filled with suspended crystals, Buddha figurines and incense.
Understandably, 'things from the sea' feature strongly in Port Douglas too. I could have come home with a suitcase full of beautiful shells. As it was, I never bought a single one. I photographed them instead - along with the hundreds of strings of freshwater pearls.
And I need not mention my love of tropical fruit!
The market is a dream place to pig-out on pineapples, bananas, mangoes, dragon fruit (top image) and much more. One tropical fruit stall owner offered a taste of an icecream bean - he raved about it. Obviously unashamed salesmanship, as I thought them tasteless - a bit like having a mouthful of wet cottonwool I suspect. But good for a laugh.
I'm always ready for a good laugh and the Aussies certainly know how to provide it.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Australians have, in my view, mastered the art of the corner pub.
In virtually every town across the country, you'll find corners punctuated with a grand architectural statement.
Some towns are blessed with multiple pubs and almost to the last, they're grand and ornate.
The Provincial Hotel above, is a beauty I photographed in the old old gold mining town of Ballarat - a city blessed with superb architecture - much of it built during the wealthy gold mining era.
In Kyneton, a small town about 90 minutes north of Melbourne just off the Calder Highway, I spotted these two beauties from a later period. Top is the Newmarket Hotel and the bottom image is the Shamrock Hotel, both in the main street of town, a few steps apart.
Back in Ballarat, I stepped inside The Grand Hotel, lured in my its etched glass windows that reflect back the other side of the historic street.
And also in Ballarat, The George Hotel, a stately beauty with elaborate verandahs.
Bendigo, another city with a wealth of hefty and ornate architecture from the gold mining era, delivered this corner beauty near the Arts Quarter.
And this old treasure clings to a backstreet corner in Kyneton.
Little Trentham - half way between Woodend and Daylesford, about an hour north of Melbourne, is home to the old Cosmopolitan (above), which still operates a popular restaurant and beer garden; and the sturdy bulk of an old main street hotel (upper image), which has long-since ceased operation as a pub and is now an antique shop filled with terrific furniture and a quirky selection of taxidermy animals and an old ride-on Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.
I've written about Australian pubs on this blog before. Just click on The Australian Crawl and Aussie Pubs in the label line below if you'd like to see more.