The Casual Observer or Seagulls not Allowed

No shit Sherlock

Lloyd George knew my father. Actually he didn’t. Dad wasn’t born when old Lloyd George was alive. He didn’t know my grandfather either. Lloyd George was a politician. My grandfather was a miner. Their shovels would never have crossed.

I only mention Lloyd George because there is a statue of him in the square in Caernarfon. When I was a kid I used to catch the school bus from the square and there would always be a seagull stood on his head. There is no seagull in this photograph but that might just be because Tom, the photographer, had shooed him away. Either that or he waited patiently for the moment when the bird had flown away.

Photographers have to be patient. Especially wildlife photographers who have been know to wait months before capturing that perfect shot of bird in flight with fish in claw, mating rhinoceri. You know the kind of stuff I mean.

On this occasion that level of patience does not apply. The statue is there already posing for the camera. All we need to do is wait for the bird to vanish. Vanish it has done. Gone. Gone in search of nourishment. Scraps of food discarded by careless office workers eating their sandwiches on a nearby bench. The occasional chip dropped by a schoolboy because it broke off the end of his fork. Rummaging in dustbins and causing a general nuisance.

We are not informed as to the identity of the person being honoured in the form of the statue. Clearly a military type as is more often than not the case. Just reward for leading the charge at the battle of XYZ. Probably. No horse on show so not a cavalryman.

Costs a lot more to have a horse as part of the statue. More metal and considerably more carving time on the part of the sculptor. The sculptor would probably appreciate the challenge. You don’t get asked to carve horses that much these days. Not as many of them around as there used to be. Horses that is. Probably sculptors too.

Maybe we have passed the heyday of both horse and sculptor. Definitely true for the gee gee. I digress.

The title given to this picture is The Casual Observer. I suppose it is possible for someone in such formal attire to approach situations casually. After all he has time on his hands. He is not going anywhere. The people he observes may not have the same luxury. Our office worker and schoolboy has to get back after the hour allocated for the lunch break or risk the wrath of supervisor and teacher. An hour is plenty of time to eat your packup and sit around for a bit relaxing, watching the world go by, taking in the sunshine etcetera etcetera etcetera. I’ve often thought of not going back and taking off instead for the coast. Never had the guts to do it.

I wonder what was in the sandwiches. I like ham myself…


poems prose Uncategorized

A love poem for Coffee.

Oh dark mother, once more I suckle at your caffeinated teat.

From the bean, via steam, your emanations are all at once bitter and sweet.

With milk or alone both comforts and uplifts.

Please accept my humble thanks for your abundant gifts.

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A moonless night in Brisbane, Australia.

A moonless night in Brisbane, Australia
A moonless night in Brisbane, Australia
the art gallery Uncategorized

The Ceiling at Temple Church.

I went to London recently, as a tourist, and visited Temple Church.

I loved the ceiling in the nave so I made this image.

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Daisies in the park


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A Pokemon in the wild…

Back in July 2007 I went on holidays to Japan. Highly recommended by the way.

Walking around Tokyo I spotted this chap, stood patiently waiting for someone.

What got me about him was the fact that despite being quite obviously dressed as a Pokemon, no-one was really even fazed by it.

Nevertheless, It made for an interesting photograph.


Welcome back summer!


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Vietnamese lunar new year (Tết)

Brisbane has a large and thriving Vietnamese community, and they have a really big celebration for Tết every year.

My favourite part of the festival is the food (in fact, my favourite part of life). There are also fairground rides, a part of the festival I’m not such a fan of, but they make for great photographs, which is where today’s photo is from.

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Statue of the Virgin Mary in Amiens Cathedral

The town of Amiens is in the north of France, half way between Paris and Calais on the A16 Autoroute.

I took this shot on my last visit to the cathedral there. A beautiful large gothic cathedral, not unlike the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. I take great pride in the fact that the blokes from the Australian army defended Amiens from the Germans in world war 1.


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Japanese gardens in the sun.

This one is from a trip I made to the japanese gardens in Toowoomba, QLD, Australia.

The botanical gardens there have a few themed areas, my favourite is definitely the Japanese section, I hope this image illustrates why.

Toowoomba is a more regional town in the drier parts of Queensland, they must have a very good watering system as it always looks lovely and green.


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Sancerre, my home away from my home away from home.

As I have mentioned before I visit France regularly. When I do, my destination is usually Sancerre.

My best friend, who as since passed away, moved there from Australia when we were both teenagers and became a winemaker.

I still visit his family there and always have a good time.

This is my favourite photograph of Sancerre, It makes a good wallpaper for my computer to remind me of the good times.


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Good vs. Evil

Another one from my recent holiday.

I’m not a religious man by any means, but I’ve never been one to let a visit to an old chapel, church or cathedral pass me by.

Today’s entry is from the small chapel on St. Michael’s Mount. It’s a relatively new sculpture, but still a timeless and powerful image. St. Michael himself defeating Lucifer.

It would be rude of me not to credit the sculptress, Lyn Maxwell.

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St. Michaels Mount, Cornwall

I’ve just returned early from an unfortunately rained out holiday to Cornwall.

I had won a camper rental for a week as part of a competition, always nice to win something. Not that it happens often.

Whilst the weather was good, it was glorious, I got the opportunity to visit some of the touristy sites around Penzance and take some great shots.

The one below is definitely the stand out for me, so far anyway. It’s St. Michael’s Mount,just off the coast at penzance.

When the tide is low it exposes a walkway from the beach to the  island itself. A place that would have captured my imagination as a boy. And still does to some extent as an adult.

I took five bracketed exposures using a tripod and layered them into an HDR with some minor adjustments. The clouds were just rolling in, loaded with rain. I could not have picked a better time for the shot(s).


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Queenstown, New Zealand

I travelled to Queenstown back in may 2008. It was also the same time that I started screwing around with stitching panoramic images from multiple exposures.

It wasn’t until recently that I revisited the original raw images and decided to re-stitch them, and the results are much better than they were the first time, I have definitely come a long way with photoshop.

I took the cable car up to the top of the hill and took 55 images, 45 of which make up this stitched image. The mountains in the background are the Remarkables and the town in the middle ground in Queenstown itself. At the bottom right is the camper park that I was staying at.

Queenstown is a beautiful town and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes snow and extreme sports.

The blog has a maximum uploaded file size, so I’ve put a lower-res version of the image here. If you’d like to see the larger one click here. Be warned, it’s a 21MB Jpeg image that will require you to download it.

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At home in a dome.

I took this one on a visit to the Mt. Coot-tha Botanic gardens in Brisbane, Qld.

They have a dome there that simulates a humid tropical environment all-year-round.

There are many amazing plants from tropical places around the world. There is also a massive fish pond with a window on the side below foor level so you can gawp at the occupants and they can gawp back.