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…
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.
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...
BY VINCENT BALDENSPERGER
A change of year -
A change of medium -
A change of priorities -
This was my New Years eve. Family et al.
I'm so grateful for all the amazing things in my life. I want to change the things that aren't so.
Happy new year.
BY BERT STEPHANI
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.
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.