Day four of my outback tour and I woke in a tent on the banks of the Darling river, on a campsite near Wilcannia. As the sun rose, a procession of pelicans cruised past and gathered at a bend in the river a little way upstream. Or possibly downstream.
After breakfast and a rousing chorus of Waltzing Matilda, since we were camped by a billabong, we set off. Today's destination was Broken Hill. We stopped briefly at the truck stop at Little Topar before arriving at Broken Hill late in the afternoon.
We decided to head up to the memorial above the town, which sits on what looks like, and may be, a huge hill of mining spoil. Mining has been the reason for Broken Hill's existence and, being a dangerous game, many have died over the years. The memorial commemorates them, personalised plaques accompanied by silk roses on a board many metres long. A steady stream of visitors comes and goes, perhaps there out of curiosity or perhaps looking for the name of a lost relative.
I woke on the morning of day 3 of my outback photo trip in a freezing tent at a campsite on the banks of the Bogan river near the own of Nyngan.
I ventured forth, not needing to add clothing against the chill since I'd slept in several layers and a beany. It was a fine morning.
Although the purpose of this trip was to practice street photography in the towns of the outback I had packed the digital gear for just such an occasion. I made my way to the river and shot the sunset.
Later that day we arrived in the town of Wilcannia. It's one of those outback towns that has a ring about it and I wanted to visit. As we rolled up we came across a kangaroo and several emus roaming the streets. This is not normal; the drought across NSW had brought them into town in search of food and water.
Wilcannia is a sadly run-down place. I was learning that the prosperity of a town can be measured by the number of pubs. Wilcannia has one and that looks shut until you find the side door and the one customer; an Irishman by the name of Jim
As darkness fell, we found a spot at a campsite, once more on the banks of a river; this time the Darling. My companion, Steve, rustled up dinner and, as the moon rose over the river, I decided to shoot it behind the gum trees around the tent.
Two years ago today, I was touring the Australian outback on a street photography expedition.
On this date, two years ago, after a Sunday morning photo walk around the town of Dubbo we moved on to and photographed Narromine, home town of the Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath, Trangie, where the bowls club invited us in for a beer, and the intriguingly-named Nevertire.
I was unable to uncover any interesting facts about Nevertire and the origins of its name. This is unfortunate. I felt sure there would be a story.
We ended the day, after dark, at Nyngan, where we checked into a camp site and erected our tent in dark, freezing conditions.
Two years ago - today - I set off on a street photography expedition around the Australian outback with three film cameras, two digital cameras, a box of HP5 and Tri-X film, my old mate Steve (who lives in Sydney) and his outback-equipped Land Cruiser. Oh, and camping gear.
We were to return to Sydney three weeks and some 5,000 miles later. In between we visited a series of outback towns and truck stops, shot about 27 rolls of film and crossed a desert.
Our first stop was the town of Dubbo. As best I could determine, this is where the outback starts. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon. After dining in the town we returned to the hotel where we were staying (no camping out tonight) to find a very lively atmosphere with music and dancing.
These are the guys providing the music and very good they were. It was highly unusual to see a bass played this way. The light was not the best but I managed to get this pleasing shot of the band in action using my old ME Super, a camera I've had from new in 1981.
I'll document my trip here day to day.
A friend, Helen, who is a Pilates teacher, asked if I'd shoot some videos for her in studioQu4ttro of her demonstrating some posture exercises for those who are confined to home courtesy of COVID and spending a lot of time sat in front of a screen.
I don't normally do video - though my camera is very capable - but she was very keen that I do it and so we did. So I now officially do video.
After the video work was all done - with my son lined up to do the editing - we did a stills shoot of Helen demonstrating some Pilates exercises.
The last remaining job in the studio was to put up the interior lights. Finally, that's been finished and I'm very pleased. studioQu4ttro is one of my favourite places to be. Soon enough - we hope - the social distancing will be over and I can have some guests in to photograph.
And the name is studioQu4ttro.
I had to have a four in it as that's our house number and the studio is in the back garden. And I love Italy and Italian. studioQu4ttro it was then.
Here's the logo I designed:
It's just a shame I can't actually have anyone round to photograph with the current coronavirus situation. Ah well, all in good time. I have a queue of friends waiting their turn.
Monday this week I popped along to the Windsor Photographic Society (WPS) to deliver Streetwise, a talk in two parts about my adventures and experience in street photography, including my...er...challenging, 5,000 mile trip around Australia shooting the streets of largely empty outback towns on a selection of ageing film cameras.
Normally, these evenings are tea and biscuits events, but the WPS has carefully selected a venue - the Old Court House, pictured, even though it looks more like a fire station, which, indeed, it once was - that has a bar in the same building.
I'd like to thank Denis, Nick and their colleagues and society membership for a warm welcome (which included beer, in moderation, of course) and a fun evening.
The usual set up is a large room with rows of chairs, but the WPS meets in an auditorium, with rows of banked theatre seats, which is a first for me.
I had some always-welcome questions from the audience and one or two even said they really enjoyed the talk. Which is nice.
Impromptu street portrait of Durham, a man of the outback.
Boulia, Queensland, Australia.
From my talk, entitled 'out back'.
A few years ago we remodelled the house. Not satisfied with the level of chaos that induced I decided to build a photo studio in the back garden. To cut a long story short it took three years, generated an unannounced visit from the council's building enforcement officer and required a total landscaping of the back garden.
But, finally, the studio is operational.
I'm searching for a name. Since the house no is 4 then it could be Studio 4; except that name is already taken, so I'm exploring Studio IV or some other derivative, or something completely different. Stand by.
Meantime, here are photos of my lovely wife Sally and my friend Sav, among the first images to be made in Studio 4....or whatever it ends up being called.