Waypoints

Waypoints

Surry Hills, my suburb in Sydney, is a bit different to everywhere I've lived before.

The history of this area is much more visible, in the buildings and streets that surround me every day; and being so close to the centre of Sydney means I spend much more of my time walking from place to place, spotting little details that haven't changed in a hundred years or more.

So my mental map of this city, built up over the last five years of living here, is based on these markers, these waypoints - the old church, the loading dock, the grocer - that tell me how far it is home, where to turn, which block this is…

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  Bricked In  Derek Clark | X-Pro2, 35mm f1.4. 1/1600 sec at f1.4, ISO 200

Bricked In
Derek Clark | X-Pro2, 35mm f1.4. 1/1600 sec at f1.4, ISO 200

Cockatoo Island
Robert Catto | X-H1, 18mm f/2. 1/60 at f/8, ISO 3200.

Just us, Sis
Jonas Rask | X-Pro2, XF50mm, f/8, 1/400, ISO 200.

  Lilith  Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 56mm 1/125 at f/1.4, ISO 100.

Lilith
Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 56mm 1/125 at f/1.4, ISO 100.

  Buds  Patrick La Roque | GFX 50S,  1/1250 at f/2, ISO 100.

Buds
Patrick La Roque | GFX 50S,  1/1250 at f/2, ISO 100.

  Endurance  Kevin Mullins | X-T2 with XF16-55mm Lens at 55mm 1/550 @ ISO 200 F2.8

Endurance
Kevin Mullins | X-T2 with XF16-55mm Lens at 55mm 1/550 @ ISO 200 F2.8

  Juliette  Bert Stephani | GFX 50S, vintage Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.4 with Kipon adapter,  1/500 @ f/2, ISO 100

Juliette
Bert Stephani | GFX 50S, vintage Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.4 with Kipon adapter,  1/500 @ f/2, ISO 100

Direct Sunlight

Direct Sunlight

Sometimes, it's an accidental discovery.

We spent Easter with friends in the small town of Mudgee, New South Wales - a 4h drive from Sydney, over the Blue Mountains - but it was an artwork I'd stumbled across days before, down a laneway near home, that stuck in my mind while I was there.

DIRECT SUNLIGHT, it read - painted on the street, in an alley so narrow it would hardly ever actually get sun, except the way it did when I was there: bounced off the windows of a building.

But the rest of us do, in this country. You can hardly avoid it.

It defines the place.

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  Dogwood  Derek Clark | X-Pro2, Lensbaby Edge 80, 80mm at f/4, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

Dogwood
Derek Clark | X-Pro2, Lensbaby Edge 80, 80mm at f/4, 1/500 sec, ISO 200

Surry Hills Revisited / A Game Of Cat & Man
Robert Catto | X-H1, 16-55mm f/2.8 @ 16mm. 1/640 at f/11, ISO 200.

  Onwards  Jonas Rask | X-H1, Helios 44m-4 58mm, Lens Turbo Adapter, f/2, 1/2000, ISO 100.

Onwards
Jonas Rask | X-H1, Helios 44m-4 58mm, Lens Turbo Adapter, f/2, 1/2000, ISO 100.

  Rizü  Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 23mm 1/110 at f/2.8, ISO 2000.

Rizü
Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 23mm 1/110 at f/2.8, ISO 2000.

  One day, the young boy disappeared...   Patrick La Roque | X100F,  1/1250 at f/3.2, ISO 2000.

One day, the young boy disappeared... 
Patrick La Roque | X100F,  1/1250 at f/3.2, ISO 2000.

  The Beauty of Creation  Kevin Mullins | X100F with WCL, 1/5,000 at f2, ISO 200

The Beauty of Creation
Kevin Mullins | X100F with WCL, 1/5,000 at f2, ISO 200

  Exhausted Koala  Bert Stephani | GFX 50S, GF63mm f/2.8,  1/200 @ f/2.8, ISO 1250

Exhausted Koala
Bert Stephani | GFX 50S, GF63mm f/2.8,  1/200 @ f/2.8, ISO 1250

Oh, Harbour Bridge

Oh, Harbour Bridge

One of my favourite things about Don McGlashan's songwriting (and there are many) is this - the choice he makes about the perspective, or point of view, of the characters in a song. 

Harbour Bridge is a perfect example - it's a song about parting, about breaking up with someone you love; but the person singing it manages to pin all their problems on the various failings of...the bridge they're driving across.

If only bridge weren't so grey / long / high / convenient, he'd have been able to think of, and say, everything he wanted to tell her; and, maybe, she'd have stayed...

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  Dressing Room Piano  Derek Clark | X100F - 23mm - ISO2000 - f/2 - 1/125 sec

Dressing Room Piano
Derek Clark | X100F - 23mm - ISO2000 - f/2 - 1/125 sec

Hilltop Silhouettes, Sydney
Robert Catto | X-T2, 35mm f/1.4. 1/250 at f/11, ISO 200.

  Statuesque  Jonas Rask | X-H1, Laowa 9mm f/22, 1/1000, ISO 800.

Statuesque
Jonas Rask | X-H1, Laowa 9mm f/22, 1/1000, ISO 800.

  Auxane  Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 56mm 1/125 at f/1.8, ISO 100.

Auxane
Vincent Baldensperger | X-Pro2. | 56mm 1/125 at f/1.8, ISO 100.

  While Reading  Patrick La Roque | GFX 50S, Pentax 50mm f/1.7, 1/125 at f/1.7, ISO 100.

While Reading
Patrick La Roque | GFX 50S, Pentax 50mm f/1.7, 1/125 at f/1.7, ISO 100.

  A Snow Day  Kevin Mullins | GFX 50S, Minolta MD 1.7/85mm Rokkor Lens 1/2,000 ISO 200

A Snow Day
Kevin Mullins | GFX 50S, Minolta MD 1.7/85mm Rokkor Lens 1/2,000 ISO 200

Reclaimed

BY BERT STEPHANI

STEPHANI-desert-02.jpg

I'm supposed to have a slow morning before I'm flying back home but instead I was up at 4 am and now I'm on my way to the desert, outside of Dubai. It's a last minute opportunity that I just can't pass on. The night before I was invited to join a team from Gulf Photo Plus for a trip to an abandoned town in the desert. They are doing some filming to promote their upcoming Photo Week event (check it out, our buddy Kevin Mullins will be one of the teachers there). 

The camera is with me, but basically I'm going simply because I like being in the desert. The first remains of the small abandoned village don't bring the sadness that I usually get in deserted places. It doesn't disturb me and it doesn't seem to disturb nature either. It's just there, peacefully and calm.

On the edge of the settlement a small mosque glows in the morning sun. I sit down on the wall that surrounds it and can't help thinking that it is more spiritual place than any active religious place that I've ever visited. 

STEPHANI-desert-07.jpg

I sit there for almost an hour and I look back at an amazing trip and an amazing year. I look forward to become a better photographer, a better boyfriend, a better dad, a better man. And I look inside to see what will drive transition. 

Inside ... loneliness, sadness, frustration and insecurity orbit around me but can't quite get traction. My gaze turns outside and just like these buildings I accept the flow.

It's time to head home, face demons and embrace angels. 

Happy New Year everyone, I'm looking forward to see what 2018 will bring for KAGE. In case you were wondering: most of the pictures in this story were shot with the GFX50S with the GF63mm lens. I used the panoramic crop mode for these pictures and for a couple of pictures I used the X100F in 16:9 mode and cropped them a bit tighter in post to match the GFX shots. 

Life on Mars


 Mars, Antarctica or Mount Everest Base Camp might be warmer alternatives for some Canadians on Thursday, as the country faces an epic cold snap that has plunged the mercury to record-setting lows in many regions.
— ctvnews.ca

Last year it was polar vortex. This year it’s bombogenesis. Out here in the northern lands, away from sensationalist headlines, we just call it bloody damn cold.

Of course, some clueless fool will surely jump at the opportunity: “See! Global warming=total hoax! Fake news!”. It’ll probably be on Twitter and Twitter won’t care, probably followed by the word sad and a few spelling mistakes. And weather patterns will keep shifting, and hurricanes will keep blowing...blow, blow, blow the house down.

But hey...we’ll get a few fun words out of it.

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Addendum: a week later and the rain hasn’t stopped for two days. It’s 10ºC. In Quebec. In January.