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11 Dec 2018

Sad






It is the season to be jolly but here's a sad photo. It was taken at Ngwe Saung Beach in Myanmar back in March.See my earlier story on this weird place Ngwe Saung Beach
I was walking up the pristine and almost empty beach when I was approached by this beach vendor. It was hot,there were no customers for kilometres and she was obviously hopeful that this one tourist -me-was going to make her day. I was wearing my swimming shorts. I was not carrying any money. I had nothing to give her. I took her photo. I felt really bad about it. I still do.

6 Dec 2018

A street in Hong Kong






Supercars on a street on Hong Kong island. Two years ago I saw a convoy of supercars-Ferraris, Porsches, Aston Martins, Lamborghinis and Mclarens very early in the morning heading at high speed alongside the harbour. Their weekly fang maybe.

4 Dec 2018

The art of the deal.


The art of the deal. For you sir special price.The jade market, Hong Kong. The market is a shadow of its former self. just hanging on in very rundown buildings. The traders are old and so are the customers.

29 Nov 2018

Big sea day


After the superstorm of the past 24 hours the sea was big this morning and the surfers were out in force. At Terrigal at dawn there were already surfers right out on the break by the Haven.
The photos were taken at Avoca Beach mid morning. The headland at Avoca Beach offers a great spot for surfer watching and surf photography as the waves break alongside the headland so you can photograph the action without having to get wet.
I broke with my usual practice today and did not use a Leica for these photos. I used a Fujifilm X-E2 fitted with an el cheapo Fuji 50-230mm lens. I acquired the whole kit for a very modest sum for action photography such as this. I am pleased with the results. I am not going to make the front cover of Tracks-the top surfing mag-with it but it's fine for media such as this.


28 Nov 2018

A beautiful morning.



Not this morning... Taken back in December last year on a beautiful morning. Today is a shocker. Very heavy rain and strong winds. We need the rain but not like this.

26 Nov 2018

Watching and waiting


Watching and waiting in Karlsplatz, Munich, Germany, warm afternoon in September 2018.


Watching and waiting in Marienplatz, Munich, same warm September afternoon.

18 Nov 2018

Fairy floss and haircuts


Seen at the Chromefest Hot Rod/Rock and Roll festival at The Entrance,Central Coast, NSW two weeks ago. Seeing the very colourful Fairy Floss cart with no customers I asked the girl if I could take her photo and she enthusiastically adopted this friendly pose. Thanks.


The barber and his customer were in a stall at Chromefest. Again I asked if I could take the photo and whilst the customer smiled the tattooed barber adopted a rather still pose so I decided to focus on the customer and to make the barber slightly out of focus. I don't often do black and white nowadays but I think that it suits this image.

11 Nov 2018

Cat in a box


What is it about some cats and boxes? Zoe is 18 years old yet she still cannot resist a cardboard box. She has been going into this winebox for over a week since it arrived. Usually the novelty has worn off after a few days but not this time. Her soulmate, Phoebe, also 18  is not at all interested in cardboard boxes.
Poor little Zoe has diabetes and is sickening slowly . She is too old to intervene medically so we are enjoying her company whilst we can. She has been a wonderful cat and has done so well to live to her ripe old age.

1 Nov 2018

Blue sea, blue sky morning.



Early morning on Blueys Beach, Mid Coast, NSW, Australia. Taken on my early morning walk last Wednesday morning. It was a stunning morning. It was already quite warm .There were just a couple people exercising their dogs and this solitary beach fisherman and me.
I wanted a photo which conveyed the wonderful scene with the big sky and turquiose sea breaking on the rocks. At the time I was wishing that I had a wider angle lens as I had just my Leica X1 with its 35mm( equiv) lens but now I feel that it has worked out fine.


26 Oct 2018

Last flight


It's 15 years to the day since the last Concorde flight-BA2- from New York to London. The photo was taken at the superb Boeing Field Museum of Flight in Seattle where one of the 20 Concordes built is on permanent display.
Concorde was an amazing technical achievement but it was a commercial failure. Only British Airways and Air France operated the aircraft and they both lost a lot of money flying it although there was a joint Singapore Airlines/British Airways Concorde service from London to Singapore via Bahrain from 1977 to 1980. The aircraft used on this service were owned by BA and had BA livery on one side and Singapore Airlines livery on the other. This service ended due to low loads a factor of the high ticket price and the fact that Concorde was very noisy,cramped and really unsuitable for such a long route.
 The crash of an Air France Concorde in France in 2000-hastened its demise but the final blow was the slump in air travel following the Sept 11 2001 terrorist attacks. At the end the Concorde's technology was old and it was proving very costly to maintain.
I never flew on Concorde to my eternal regret but I did see and hear them flying over southern England and the Qantas check-in at Heathrow was next to the special Concorde lounge and many times I enviously watched passengers checking in for their Concorde flight whilst I checked in for my "slow" Qantas 747 flight back to Sydney.

20 Oct 2018

Silvertails


Had a morning run up the backroad to Enzos cafe at Polkolbin last Monday in company with Colin and Craig in their early 911Es. The weather was mixed. Heavy showers, light rain and then short bursts of sunshine.The roads were greasy and on the way up the Yarramalong Valley on the way to Kulnura Craig and I were stopped by the police for 20 mins whilst they were clearing away the aftermath of a very nasty single vehicle accident which was sobering. Nonetheless we pushed on up the newly resurfaced and now billiard table smooth Bumble Hill - what a superb hillclimb it would make -at a brisk pace. On the round trip I managed to avoid running over two turtles which were crossing the road at two different places. Obviously it's great weather for turtles.
I just love these small group long drives particularly on such empty roads. My 2.2 -middle car above- ran beautifully . Pure driving pleasure.

19 Oct 2018

Foggy morning


Over the past 12 months since I came out of hospital I have not been taking a camera with me on my regular early morning walk. Two reasons for this. Firstly I have been seriously working on improving my fitness by walking further and faster and secondly I had decided that after 10 years of early morning shots I had run out of subjects in Terrigal anyway.
Yesterday afternoon we had a big storm and when I say big I mean it. Torrential rain. Lightning and heavy hail-many of the hailstones big enough to break windows although fortunately none of ours. This morning I woke to a foggy and very humid scene. There was a big bank of fog out to sea. I took the photo above at Terrigal Haven just after the sun had risen and the fog bank was lifting.
Leica X1 photo.


12 Oct 2018

Stormy weather



After months of warm, sunny weather without rain the last two weeks have seen heavy rainfalls along the east coast of NSW and fortunately some of this rain has extended inland into the drought affected farming areas.
On the Central Coast of NSW we now over the rain but it is not giving up yet and we have had heavy showers all day today. This morning I had had enough. Cabin fever was setting in so I went for a walk along the beautiful Coastal Track in Bouddi National Park. I started out from Putty Beach -about 20 mins drive from home - and walked to Maitland Bay and back.
The top photo shows the boardwalk up from Putty Bay walking towards Bouddi Beach-just visible. The mauve clouds are storm clouds. They, or near,relatives unloaded on me on the way back.
The bottom of the two photo shows the tip of Lion Island in Brisbane Water taken from the track in a sunny break .
Both photos were taken with my Leica X1 which was having its first use since returning from having the broken battery clip repaired and a clean and adjustment. It seems to be working better than ever.
For a graphic demonstration of how good this 8 year old simple camera is take a look at the top photo at the end point of the boardwalk in the distance. Two figures are just visible.
Below is a very big enlargement of that section. The figures are clearly visible and you can actually see the backpack on the rear figure. A superb lens.




8 Oct 2018

More Romania

More photos from the Romanian road trip.
Romania is still a very rural and poor country and although many young people have migrated to Bucharest and other cities-or are working in the UK- rural depopulation is not as obvious as it is say France and Portugal. Everywhere we drove there were people cutting hay -it was harvest time-or tending their animals. With the horse and carts in many ways it was like travelling back in time.










1 Oct 2018

On the road in Romania

Just enjoyed two weeks on the road in Romania. Covered 1335kms in a very economical petrol Peugeot 208 rental car and saw a lot of rural Romania and three days in Bucharest. I survived the appalling and dangerous driving conditions. I loved the hospitality, the prices and the helpful, friendly people-I exclude the aggressive, impatient Bucharest drivers from this comment. Above all else I liked the old towns,the mellow rural landscapes and the quiet pace of life-outside Bucharest.
There were great photo opportunities everywhere. Here are the first of the photos with more to follow.










26 Sep 2018

At the Staedtische Museum-Munich


Munich has more than its fair share of great museums,art galleries and palaces not to mention wonderful shops, restaurants, beer halls and breweries. One of my favourite museums is the Staedtische Gallery in the Lensbachhaus. The main attraction of the museum is the collection of impressionist paintings by the German Blue Rider Group and in particular the works of Wassily Kandinsky. There are also works by Andy Warhol including those damn soup cans and of particular interest to me photographs by Stephen Shore and Walker Evans.

The last time I visited the gallery it was in the rather cramped and dingy Lensbachaus just 20 mins walk from the Marienplatz -the centre of Munich. On my latest visit last week I found it still in the same location in at first glance the same building with its almost Tuscan facade and wonderful garden but the old house has been totally transformed by British architects Foster and Partners by the addition of a beautiful gallery building added to the old house. Now it is airy and thoroughly modern although some of the old rooms have been retained and preserved. It is an amazing change.

I could only spare 90 mins in the gallery but whilst there I spotted this extremely colourful patron looking at the impressionist works in the Blue Rider Group room.
The photo was taken with my Leica Q. The image is so sharp that I can almost but not quite read the name of the artist on the label below the painting on the original file.



24 Sep 2018

Surfing -in Munich


Surfing in the centre of Munich? Sounds improbable as the nearest surf beach is on the French Atlantic coast some 1500kms distant but it's for real. I saw it for myself last week. They surf the Eisbach, a very fast flowing tributary of the River Isar, at a point just beyond a road bridge at an entrance to the Englischer Garten, the main park in Munich.
It's not a wave as in the ocean - it's a water "bank" produced by an underwater step in the channel. Apparently surfers have been surfing the "break" since the 1970s although it was not legal until 2010. Now they surf it all the year round and also at night.
Last wednesday morning they were lining up to surf it and being good Germans they were  forming orderly lines on both banks and as it is strictly one surfer at a time.
The surfers have to jump straight onto the wave and when they fall off or jump off they have to swim strongly for the bank downstream as the current is both strong and very fast flowing.


6 Sep 2018

On the road


The Rolling Road is on the road in an exciting and unusual location so the blog will take a break for a few weeks. Stay tuned and I'll see you soon.

2 Sep 2018

Granny Phoebe


Well Phoebe's not really a granny but she's certainly more than old enough to be one and sitting on her favourite rocking chair taking a cat nap she certainly looks like one.
I like the late afternoon light on this photo taken recently with the wonderful Leica X Vario.

30 Aug 2018

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse.


There are many very elegant lighthouses along the coast of Australia. One of my personal favourites is Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse guarding Seal Rocks south of Forster in NSW. The setting is stunning.
Let Wikipedia take up the narrative-
"The first recorded recommendation for building a lighthouse to guard Seal Rocks was made by a committee of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly in 1863. Original intentions were to place the lighthouse on the Rocks, but because of access difficulties the location finally chosen in 1873 was Sugarloaf Point. The lighthouse was designed by James Barnet, the NSW Colonial Architect of the time. Tenders were called in 1874. Construction required building a 460 m long jetty, which was used to land the 1,800 tonnes of supplies and materials required for the construction. Construction was completed in 1875 and the light was first lit on 1 December 1875".
Today the lighthouse is fully automated and the former lighthouse keepers cottages are tourist accommodation leased out by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.


26 Aug 2018

Nonno's kart



Seen at the recent Shannons Classic at SydneyMotorSportPark -this odd device-Nonno's kart.
An information board gave the background story. What a weird device and why spend so much restoring it?


18 Aug 2018

Road Trip 2





For over a year until the last few weeks I have not done much driving in either of my two Porsches apart from short local runs to coffee at Hardys Bay and down to the very occasional monthly meet at the Pie In the Sky at Cowan. Firstly I was in hospital, then I could not drive when I was recovering and then the summer was way too hot and finally the last few months we have been travelling.
But recently there has been a burst of Porsche driving activity aided by the weather.
Three weeks ago it was the long road trip in the 2.2 (silver car) described in the blog last month. Then last weekend it was down to the Shannons Classic at SydneyMotorSportPark in the 2.7 and then this week Craig and I did a rerun of the first part of our earlier road trip north of Beresfield and into the country around Dungog and down to Buladelah and then into the Myall Lakes National Park.
Again we were so lucky with the traffic-there was barely any. The weather was again unseasonally warm and clear although the lack of rain is really distressing the countryside. The scenery had not changed in three weeks and it was another great drive. This time I took my 1977 2.7 911-yellow car above. It is not quite as sharp in its handling as the go-kart like 1991 2.2 and the motor does not rev as freely as the shorter stroke light flywheel 2.2. Also the 2.7's CSI fuel injection is not as responsive as the gas guzzling Weber carburettors on the 2.2. I can really steer the 2.2 on the throttle and it is super responsive-the 2.7 not quite so but it is a matter of degree.
Out on this hilly country route the roads are very winding-great Porsche driving roads-and the posted speed limits are really about as high as you want to travel. I struggled to keep up with Craig on this trip-and a few times I found myself wishing that I had bought the 2.2 so that I could keep right on his tail through the really tight sections.
Both our cars ran faultlessly for the trip although mine seems to have a few electrical gremlins with the auxiliary driving lights not working and the electric radio aerial-which I have not used for probably 5 years-suddenly switching itself on and then not retracting. I'll have to see whether it can be sorted easily.
I manged to see the sun setting over Wallis Lake in the Myall Lakes National Park where I took the sunset shot and the glowing 911 shot above with the X1.


12 Aug 2018

Shannons Classic 2018

Moto Retro Honda 6 cylinder crotch rocket


Crotch rocket controls.

Holdens on parade.Yes I know the Alfa Montreal far right is more interesting.

Speedway midget tech briefing

Buick hood ornament. No pedestrian impact rules then

More fins than Cape Canaveral

More front than Myers (Australian slang)

Ian-the very model of an MG man

Porsche oldies
More Porsche oldies

Light and shade
Photos taken at today's CMC Shannons Classic at SydneyMotorSportPark. With 1900 cars on display it was big event. Average age of attendees probably 65-possibly higher. Some wonderful cars but also many which have me scratching my head and asking -why? But each to his own.
The bikes are usually a highlight for me but there were hardly any this year.
As I drove down in my 2.7 911 (yellow nose just visible in Porsche line up) early in the morning I saw at least half a dozen cars obviously on the way to the event failing to proceed by the side of the road with their bonnets (hoods) up and not one was a British car. Honest.