my (amateur) photography adventure


February 2012

Hot head

Hot head sculpture by Patricia Piccinini.  Hiway Sharks HJ GTS (Barbados Green) by Daniel Wallwork in the background.  I love this effect!

“Hot head” is on display as part of the ‘REVHEAD: the motorsport art of Eamon O’Toole’ exhibit at Ipswich Art Gallery.

I’ll have a longer post about that exhibit later in the week but wanted to start with this pretty fantastic looking sculpture.

Hot head sculpture by Patricia Piccinini. ISO 200, 50mm, f/1.4, 1/60 if you care.

All of these shots are taken with my fixed 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Here are some previews of the REVHEAD exhibition:

Eamon O'Toole's sculpture; Michael Zavros' work in the background
Eamon O'Toole's work: amazing to think that this is made mostly of hand-moulded plastic and enamel paint

More Revhead soon!

River Heart

River Heart parklands, on a sunny Sunday.

This was completely flooded 12 months ago – nearly everything you see in these photos was underwater (almost to the bottom of the bridge which you can see in some of the pics).

They’ve done a great job cleaning it up and it’s definitely worth a wander.

Click any picture for a full size slideshow:

Pip & Pop

Pip & Pop have a huge exhibit at GoMA at the moment entitled “We miss you magic land” in the Childrens’ Gallery area.  It’s fun, definitely pitched to kids and has cool computer-based activities connected with it as well which my kids really liked.

It’s all a bit ‘trippy’ for my tastes, but certainly spectacular (see the gallery below – click the pictures for full size slideshow) – and your kids will probably love it too.

“We miss you magic land” is free at GoMA and finishes in early March, so if you are keen to see it – be quick!

I promise that this is the last blog post about GoMA for a while – I have other art galleries to haunt ;) – and here are links to my other posts from the same (photographically productive) day.

GoMA turns 5

Across Country (one of my favourites)

Look Now, See Forever – Yayoi Kusama

Cloisonné (another of my favourites)

Yes, sometimes there are people…(part 2) .


I wouldn’t usually blog about something ‘commercial’ but this shop impresses me as an artspace and low-tech design example in its own right.  It has a real texture to it and (having been to many, many markets with my wife and 2 girls in recent times) it strikes me as a strong expression of current ‘handmade’ culture.

Cultiver's philosophy, expressed in their shopfront

It’s located in an old building in a heritage area (much of which is slightly shabby itself):

Bostock Chambers (across from Cultiver) - slightly shabby but fascinating

and the decor is minimal, industrial / artisan / quirky.  You can get a good impression of their overall look at their blog, here:  I love the botanical designs on that blog by someone rather talented, by the way, very jealous!

Fourth child (next door to Cultiver)

Cultiver has some fascinating stuff and the presentation is quite lovely.  My wife and kids found many ‘objects of desire’ there (I would probably rather photograph them than buy them, but, hey, they’re not designed to appeal to me!)

Cheerful little felt mushrooms, some of which now live at our house.

These fabric robots are spectacular.  There were many, many different types and I just wanted to pull them all out of their old crate and line them up for happy snaps.  (The girls just wanted to take them all home.)

Robot cuddles

Lego jewellery is always a market favourite for my Lego-obsessed girls and it’s represented here too:

Lego jewellery and clock by Loopy Designs

Here’s a better look at that platestand from the shopfront window:

Vintage cake stand using upcycled old plates
Earrings (I think). It's the presentation which caught my eye!

There was plenty of other beautiful stuff which I didn’t photograph, as well as a screen-printing workshop going on which captured the girls’ interest.

Lace Doily Bunting

Definitely somewhere that I’d like to visit again, to take more pictures.  But, I might have to leave the girls (or at least all of our wallets) at home, or I’d come out a LOT poorer :).  Worth a wandering visit, if you like your shops to have ‘texture’.

Beautiful carved brooches from "Under the Shade of a Bonsai Tree"

(Photos taken with the permission of the shop owner.  No, I don’t just wander into shops and start taking photos.  All photos taken with my 60mm Macro, ‘cos that’s all I had with me.)

Nerima Gardens, wringing wet

There was lots more rain here yesterday, which foiled plans for a photo-shoot where I was going to take photos of “actual humans” :).

I wandered through Nerima Gardens (established 17 years ago to celebrate a ‘sister city’ relationship with Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan) instead, between showers of rain.  Nerima Gardens are full of quiet and subtle beauty.

All shots here are with my 60mm Macro lens (it’s hard to change lenses while holding an umbrella).  I was looking for the teahouse – read on to see whether I found it ;).

Black Bamboo, near entrance to Nerima Gardens

I am not normally a fan of bamboo, but it was more beautiful than I had expected, in the rain.

Black bamboo, re-shooting

This fellow was nearby (along with plenty of his friends).  I haven’t been able to figure out what species he is, but since he was the size of the palm of my hand, I wasn’t getting any closer.

Spider, web, and raindrops

I wandered up the path, umbrella in one hand and camera in the other.

Flower spike on grass tree, rainy Nerima Gardens

Looking for the ‘secret’ entrance to the teahouse path:

The secret, narrow hedged path

Ducking under the leafless tree, full of raindrops:

leafless sky.

Up another path:

winding path

Cutting through the conifers:

Conifer trunk, wet

to see:

Nerima Gardens Teahouse dedication plaque. Quite beautiful in its own right!

I just love the lines of raindrops ready to fall from the bridge railing:

Nerima Gardens teahouse, wringing wet

Look Now, See Forever – Yayoi Kusama, GoMA

‘Look Now, See Forever’ is a “major solo exhibition by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama” at Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art.

Quite stunning.

photographers enjoying "Dots Obsession” by Yayoi Kusama
"Flowers that bloom at midnight” by Yayoi Kusama
"Dots Obsession” by Yayoi Kusama
"Flowers that bloom at midnight” by Yayoi Kusama
"Flowers that bloom at midnight” by Yayoi Kusama, other works in background
2009-2010 paintings by Yayoi Kusama
"Flowers that bloom at midnight”; Yayoi Kusama
"TRANSMIGRATION" by Yayoi Kusama, seen through "Flowers that bloom at midnight"
Entry to "The Obliteration Room” by Yayoi Kusama
Looking back through "The Obliteration Room” by Yayoi Kusama
Resting, "The Obliteration Room” by Yayoi Kusama
Up close, in "The Obliteration Room” by Yayoi Kusama

Previous posts from GoMA:

GoMA turns 5
Yes, sometimes there are people… (part 2)
Across Country

Across Country

“Across Country” is an exhibition showcasing five years of indigenous Australian art from the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art collection.

There are some quite stunning pieces:

Aurukun artists - camp dogs. 'Dibirdibi Country' by Sally Gabori in the background.
Collection of wire and metal 'bags'
Bagu and Jiman (Firestick figure) by Girringun artists

I thought these ‘morning star poles’ were absolutely fantastic:

Banumbirr (Morning star poles) by Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island) artists
Grey-feathered morning star pole by Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island) artist
Feather bundles, morning star pole by Galiwin’ku (Elcho Island) artist
Actually from a different collection, but pretty fabulous...

I loved these baskets, and the shadows were pretty great as well:


More pictures are below.  You can see my previous photos from GoMA at GoMA turns 5, Cloisonne, and Yes, sometimes there are people… (part 2).

Yes, sometimes there are people…. (Part 2)

Darn people keep getting in my shots . . . :)

A continuation of this series, see the previous post here —> Yes, sometimes there are people ….

Reflections (the artwork is "Reach Up to the Universe, Dotted Pumpkins" by Yayoi Kusama)
Busy busy busy (the artwork is "The Obliteration Room" by Yayoi Kusama)

I hope you get the sense of ‘chaos’ from this photo – complete with the lens flare from the low, bright lighting – that’s the mood I was trying to capture.  Which is a nice contrast to this next one:

Drawing room
Rainbow connection

I like how people are a feature in most of these pics, but not the main feature – just the style which I like.

These photos are all taken at GoMA, and you can see my other related posts GoMA turns 5 and Cloisonné by following those links.

I’ll finish with one of my favourite things – silhouettes:

in / out

Frangipani: Street trees

I love the new leaves of these frangipanis – another great street tree of South East Queensland.

We had two huge 60-year-old frangipani trees in our backyard at our last house – we were very sad to leave them, and have been in love with them ever since.

Click the gallery pictures for full size.

Click the following link to see my previous post about street trees – Jacaranda, Poinciana and Ivory Curl trees.


(I don’t think this post will offend anyone, but please note it contains ‘mature content’.)

This full size cloisonné figure (made of copper covered in enamel) was one of the works I thought was fantastic at GoMA on the weekend.

(If you missed the previous post about GoMA’s 5th anniversary, it’s here:  GoMA turns 5)

This figure is in a great spot in front of a window overlooking the river and even the approach to it is interesting to photograph, with reflections in front and the light behind:

Looking up
Ah Xian's work Human human - lotus, cloisonné figure 1

GoMA turns 5

Had a great trip with the family to the Queensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art (universally known as GoMA), which is celebrating its 5 year anniversary.

There were some great exhibits including a major one by Yayoi Kusama, children’s gallery by Pip & Pop, and work by Ah Xian .  I’ll blog about them in more detail another time.  The featured exhibit is of the drawings of Matisse, which I hope to see soon (no photography allowed in the Matisse exhibit – booooo!)

GoMA from Kurilpa pedestrian Bridge (if you look closely you can see the rainbow again...)
Montague Rd end of GoMA - which I think is quite stunning.


No time for this exhibit today!

Can’t believe they don’t allow non-flash photos – Neanderthals!

Peeking in to the Matisse Drawing Room
The Gallery is a great space.
We hardly stopped... taking photos
Kohei Nawa's work "PixCell - Double Deer #4"
Across Country exhibit - Glory Poles in the background

The Across Country exhibit – showcasing 5 years of the GoMA indigenous art collection – was fantastic too – I’ll do a blog post about it in more detail later.  The Glory Poles were great to photograph.

State Library of Queensland facade, next door.

Stay tuned for more blog posts about the exhibits – I took hundreds of photos so they’ll take a while to sort through – first impressions look good!

Too much transit

It’s a hard thing to leave any deeply routine life, even if you hate it

John Steinbeck

Anyone else thoroughly sick of commuting?

There are no dreary sights; there are only dreary sight seers.

G.K. Chesterton

Lotus Life

The lotus weren’t in flower – but far more interesting to me this way.

Grass seed heads
Sky, reflected in black marble

Water Dragons

Chinese New Year for 2012 ushers in the year of the Water Dragon.  Their little brothers (Eastern Water Dragons – Physignathus lesueurii lesueurii) were everywhere at Roma St Parklands at the weekend.

There's another one.
Lotus and leaf
This guy let us get very close

Perhaps all of the water there attracts them.  Here is just a bit:

Street Trees

One of the (many) great things about living in subtropical Queensland is the range of street trees which put on a display during the year.  Here are some of the spring & summer ones which I’ve enjoyed:

October - Jacaranda I
October - Jacaranda II
Jacaranda - St Mary's Cathedral - October
December - Poinciana I
December - Poinciana II
Poinciana native
Now THAT is a Christmas tree!
February - Ivory Curl I
Beloved by bees
February - Ivory Curl III

I look forward to featuring other street trees as the seasons change – frangipani, crepe myrtle, camellia and others are (hopefully) future posts.

Old Glass (Part 1)

I love old glass.  I live in a house with lots of old glass doors and windows (in fact that’s my front door (up close) above).

It’s not the easiest thing to photograph with all of the reflection & glare issues, but you can get some great effects.  Here are a few:

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Yes, sometimes there are people….

I’m not really one for taking lots of “people” shots.  My sister S and I joke that she looks for interesting people to take photos of – while I’m more inclined to think: “Why won’t that @$&*% person get out of my shot.”

These people are all pretty interesting though:

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Photographers at Work

I always enjoy catching other photographers in action – I figure that, by definition, they are fair game to be the subjects of my photos.  If I can catch them in an otherwise beautiful photo – so much the better.  The photo above with the silhouetted photographer is exactly what I like to try to capture.

Here are a few of my other favourite “photographer at work” pics:

If I could afford that camera - I wouldn't take it where he did...
pausing between shots

 This photographer was good enough to take a photo of herself.  Twice actually, if you look closely….

Double reflection

 Of course it would only be fair to post one of me “at work” – taken by my 8 year old daughter – she thought it was hilarious.


Rusty – Part 1

I love photographing rusty objects.  Don’t ask me why – I don’t know – but they appeal to me for some reason.  Here are just a few (click the thumbnails for a full size gallery):

Browns Park after rain

Browns Park was beautiful after the rain.  I was very happy to catch the Quota rose garden in flower, and with these pics.  Had fun trying out the new 50mm f/1.4 lens.

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