25 Jun 2018


View from Cromarty Hill, Forresters Beach, Central Coast NSW late this afternoon Monday 25th June. Paragliders enjoying some lift over a beautiful seascape only spoilt by the brown haze on the horizon which is pollution from Sydney 80kms to the south.
In the sea there were a number of pods of whales with quite a few breaching every few minutes. It does not get much better than this. A million kilometres from Brexit,Trump,Putin and Syria.

24 Jun 2018

Winter sunrise

View north from Terrigal this morning 6.30am

A very cold-by our standards -10ºC morning today but the sunrise was spectacular-and I had my camera with me. After yesterday's 10km 5 Lands Walk I was still feeling rather stiff but decided that a walk in such beautiful conditions was not to be missed. There were not many people around compared with usual - presumably many of them also did the walk or maybe it was the cold.
At the Surf Club Cafe there were only a few huddled around the gas heater but as the sun comes up they will be packing it out for breakfast.

Surf Club Cafe, Terrigal Eesplanade, 6.20am today.
Leica X1 photos.

23 Jun 2018

Old age

Two more photos from my Myanmar trip back in March. They came to mind today as I did the 10km 5 Lands community walk along the coast here this morning and after those big hills and the beach walking my limbs are sore and stiff. There is no way I could now ever squat like these ladies. I guess that after squatting all your life you retain your flexibilty.

19 Jun 2018


Winter has made its presence felt this week with heavy snowfalls in the Victorian Alps and the Snowy Mountains down south and snow right upto the Blue Mountains inland from Sydney. Today it was 9ºC at 6.00 am here in Terrigal . That's as cold as it gets here on the coast
Not only is it cold but it is raining cats and dogs and has been raining all night. I will have to let some water out of the swimming pool again. First world problem I know. Sorry I mentioned it.
I was suffering from cabin fever by mid afternoon yesterday having spent all morning trying to declutter my office so I went for a walk with a camera around the headland. There was a break in the rain but the sky out at sea was very dark and there were flashes of lightning then a single ray of sunshine broke through for a few minutes and I managed this photo. Not a great shot but the best I could do on a very miserable day.

17 Jun 2018

A Portugese castle-Mertola

The first time I visited Portugal in 2016 and I came across a town with a castle I thought -wow, how wonderful. It did not take me long to realise that nearly every town and city in Portugal has a castle and many of them are absolute gems. In fact on a three week driving tour through Portugal you develop castle fatigue.
This one, above, is the town of Mertola in Alentojo. Up close the castle is very impressive but as it was a Monday when all museums and national monuments are closed in Portugal I could no go in. No worries. Plenty more castles to see.
The photo was taken with the Leica Q at f1.7 -to get the out of focus foreground. In the bright sun at this aperture it needed1/10000th second exposure. No camera shake here. In the original file - before blogger compresses it - the level of detail is amazing. You can actually identify the brand/type of the cars on the street in the town.

13 Jun 2018

Watching the world go by.

Go to the town square in any town in Portugal mid-morning and you are almost certain to find a group of old men standing around idly chatting or just watching the world go by.
This photo was taken at the town square in the small town of Arraiolos in Alentejo, just north of Evora.
Arraiolos is famed for its artisan carpetmaking and there is a very interesting museum on the history of carpetmaking in the town.
Unusually for me,  as I usually am wedded to colour, I converted this photo to black and white because to my eyes it looks so much better in black and white.
Below photos of carpetmaking and one of the many shops selling the artisan carpets.

9 Jun 2018

Lifeguard on duty

It's mid-afternoon and over 38ºC in Dubai.  Beside the rooftop pool on a hotel a bored lifeguard sits holding a flotation device. There is only one swimmer around. We are sitting in the aircon in the enclosed bar area looking out at the pool. I see a photo op. Our room is on the next floor so I rush back and grab my camera. Right on cue the swimmer dives under in front of the lifeguard. By a complete stroke of luck I get the picture.
It's a pity that it was overcast and very hazy as the impressive skyline would be much more visible on a clear sunny day.

5 Jun 2018

By the road

Seen in Estoi, Algarve, Portugal last month. An abandoned olive tree grove in the setting sun. It's a sight you often see in Mediterranean countries-an abandoned farm or a large old dilapidated/abandoned house with a beautiful olive tree grove. I peeped through the rusting iron gate with its hefty padlock and chain into this one with its carpet of wild flowers.

This scene is very Portugese-cork trees growing in a meadow of wildflowers. Cork trees are disappearing as corks gets displaced by screw caps in wine bottles. Portugese producers are putting up a strong rearguard action and producing all sorts of cork products -the most succesful of which is cork flooring-but it is a losing battle. The cork trees are being pulled up in many areas and replaced by olive trees and vineyards. South of Evora in the Alentejo region there are enormous areas of newly planted olive trees and vineyards. Nowhere nearly as picturesque as cork trees.

3 Jun 2018

Stormy weather and a forgotten friend

Summer seemed to have gone on for ever this year. Whilst I was away in Portugal through May it was sunnier and warmer in Eastern Australia in what should be winter than it was in Portugal when it was supposed to be the start of summer.
Mid-last week the summer broke and in one jump we went from summer to winter. Nowadays that seems to be the pattern. There is no autumn/fall or spring just summer and winter with a fairly abrupt transition between the seasons.
Suddenly it was wet, cold -well,cold by our standards - and very windy. One of many good things about living on the coast is that when it is windy it quickly whips up the sea and the surfers come out and then there are spectcular scenes as big waves break on the headlands. Also we get fast moving clouds so dark storm clouds are interspersed with patches of blue sky and sunshine.
The photo above taken on one of the stormy days, last Friday, on one of my absolute favourite local spots the headland at North Avoca-within walking distance of home although it is a steep climb up and over the hill to get there.
Late in the afternoon in winter when the light is fading and there is a big sea it is almost magical. There are usually just a few people walking their dogs on the beach in the distance but otherwise it is solitary. The big beach houses are shut up - they are almost all weekenders for Sydney bankers-and apart from the wind and the crashing waves and the seagulls and the odd kookaburra it is quiet. Not a black Audi, BMW, Range Rover or Mercedes SUV in sight.
I took the photo with my Leica XVario. A camera which I have neglected to use for many months as I became besotted with the Leica Q which I bought 18 months ago. Firing up the XVario prompted me go out and walk to North Avoca and the result has made me resolve to start using the XVario again. When I got back home from the storm shoot my favourite subject, Phoebe, woke up to see what was going on and I took this shot of her. The colour rendition is superb. It is a beautiful camera. I will start using it again for sure.