16 Mar 2019

Barry Sheene Festival of Speed 2019

I drove down to Sydney MotorSport Park-formerly Eastern Creek Raceway- this morning to go to the Barry Sheene Festival of Speed Historic motorcycle racing meeting. The forecast was for showers but on the motorway going south the rain was torrential and I considered turning round and giving it a miss. I am glad I persisted as although the rain was on and off in the morning it did clear by lunchtime. It is somewhat ironic that after weeks and weeks without rain on the weekend of a motorcycle race meeting it rains.

This meeting is always good although this year's was less ambitious than previous years with no real big name veteran overseas star riders. The entry however was as big if not bigger than ever. The pits and paddock were packed with bikes but the spectators were missing-probably due to the rain. Maybe if the rain clears they will come out on Sunday which is always the bigger day anyway.

There are a few good things about these historic motorcycle race meetings and the first is that the riders and their teams are so friendly. There are no egos on display-well not that I saw-unlike many car race meetings including sadly historic car racing. There are no giant transporters sighwritten with the drivers or team names.
Secondly you can wander the pits and pit lane freely which is great for just looking and really good for photography. Thirdly there is always a wonderful selection of bikes.

Here's the first batch of photos I took today with the header shot of two guys who competed in the sidecar events. Now motorcycle sidecar racing is for the very brave as the rider as opposed to the driver has to move from side to side on the bike at very high speed to balance it through the corners. Insane is a good word to describe it. These two really affable guys come from Bathurst- I'm sorry I did not get their names -and they have an older and well worn outfit-not a carbonfibre, high cost, European outfit like most of their competitors. However on a very wet and slippery track they came home a very safe second in their first race of the day and they were delighted with their effort and so they should be.

One of many veteran racers. Why aren't these old folk doing gardening or playing golf?

Yes it's a girl racer, Stacey, and she was not the only one

A quick head job in between races

Norton from Team Africa. Africa stands for "Another f.....g race I can't afford."

5 Mar 2019

Sleepy head

You are old. Very old.You have a thick furry coat. It's hot and very humid. What else can a girl do but sleep all day close to the fan?
Phoebe yesterday.Leica X Vario.

2 Mar 2019

Local colour

Well, it's a public toilet but it's pretty colourful and surely worth a photo. Lisbon, Portugal May 2018.

Delicate hands

Photo taken in a pottery near Nizwa,Oman in December 2018. The hands belong to a young woman painter.The photo was taken with the Leica Q.

23 Feb 2019

Memories of NZ

Yesterday evening I watched the first part of Coast-New Zealand on the southern Fjordland of NZ on SBS TV.
The scenery in the Fjordland is spectacular and the program really showed it at its best -the sun shone in every scene. The NZ Tourism authority would have been very pleased.

The program had me reaching for my colour slides shot on my wonderful 3 day traverse of the Milford Track in Fjordland in 1995. The shot above shows a much younger me-left in photo-with two friends, Chris and Judy Collins, who tramped* the track with me.
The photo was taken by one of our fellow trampers right at the end of the Track approaching the aptly named Sandfly Point where we were picked up by boat.

The photo was taken on my Leica M6 with a 28mm Elmarit lens- on Ektachrome film.
The slides of that wonderful walk are fading away. I need to hurry and scan them all in before it is too late.

* Tramping is the New Zealand term for hiking.

19 Feb 2019

A touch of summer.

Here in Australia it's still very much summer although the days are getting noticeably shorter and it really is dark when I go out for my early morning walk. In Europe and N America summer is still a long way off so here's a summery photograph of cork trees in a meadow of wild flowers taken in May 2018 in Portugal.

15 Feb 2019

Camels, camels, camels.

 Prior to visiting Oman I did not appreciate how important camels are in the Gulf States. In Oman they keep camels for milk, meat, as pets, for tourist rides and for racing. A few are still used for transport. You see camels everywhere and camel racing is a serious business.. Out in the country you see big herds of camels and herdsmen looking over them. You even see them on vacant land in the towns. Omanis love their camels.

Camel camp, Wahiba Sands,Oman

Bedouin camel minders, Wahiba Sands, Oman

Tourist ride on Salala beach at sunset.

10 Feb 2019

Long flat white

Phoebe, my beautiful old Himalayan stretched out on the wooden floor attempting to keep cool in our very hot and very humid summer.
Taken with my Leica X Vario using the Visoflex electronic viewfinder turned through 90º and with the camera resting on the floor.

Down under down under

Down under the #43 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Ashley Seward Racing on Saturday afternoon at the Bathurst 12 hours. Next car is the #4 Porsche 911 GT3 of Grove racing.

5 Feb 2019

Bathurst 12 hours 2019

The winning Porsche 911 GT3-R exiting the Cutting mid race.
I've been to a few hundred motor races in the past 60 plus years. I've been fortunate to see the "greats" in action-Moss, Clark, Senna, Hill, Rindt, Villeneuve, Senna, Prost etc, etc. I've seen races all over the world from Macau to Le Mans. I've seen many exciting races and more than a few boring races but for pure entertainment and hard racing last weekend's Bathurst 12 hour GT race really was one of the best if not the best I have ever seen. It really was a ripper. The circuit is always superb, the entry was world class and it was a little too hot but that's my only whinge.
Right from the start the lead was constantly changing amongst a large group of cars from Porsche, Bentley, Audi, AMG Mercedes, BMW, Aston Martin and Nissan. In the end the Porsche 911 GT3-R of the EarlBamberMotorsport team driven by Dennis Olsen, Dirk Werner and Aussie Matt Campbell won by a margin of 3.4 seconds from the R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Matt Campbell was the hero of the race after some amazing overtaking moves in the last three laps. A superb race by any measure.

A selection of my photos from the race below. For video see Bathurst 12 hours1 and Bathurst 12 hours2 
For a report on the race see   Race Report

31 Jan 2019


This is a personal favourite photo from my Oman trip. Perhaps even the best photo from the trip. Taken at the wonderful Jabrin Fort this charming local was sitting crosslegged on a ledge by the entrance ticket desk. As I came in he asked me if I was German and when I replied that I was Australian he was delighted, shaking my hand and laughing and smiling. He explained that they had many German and Italian visitors but few Australians. He had excellent English so I was able to ask him how he managed to sit crosslegged at such an advanced age and he responded that he had done it every day of his life since he was a baby but he thought I may have left it too late to start now.
Photo taken with my Leica Q.