Golden Minutes

getthehelloutofbed - 0548 AM

Life (read - work) it seems, has a habit of getting in the way of things. The last few weeks have typically involved leaving the house by 6 and returning home after 7, leaving precious little time to shoot or otherwise enjoy the great outdoors. It was all I could do to grab a few minutes here and there.

So I awoke last Saturday, and decided to head down before sunrise to see what would happen. And it was epic. And colorful. And after an hour of messing about I was in a great mood. And then, returning to the ramp at the south end of the beach, I realised someone had stolen my thongs. I was crestfallen.

A pair of $20 thongs may not seem like much, but a small part of me was always buoyed by the fact that everyone could leave their shoes unattended, thrown together at the back of one of the most popular beaches in the country, frequented by people from all over the globe, and always have them there when they returned. Its such a  small thing, but I did it all the time, and it always made me feel a little more positive about people and the world in general. It may not make much sense, but hey.

So to whomever stole my well-worn in, stereotypical black havianas, may they take you all over the world on great adventures, see some grand things, and then simultaneously blow out and have you fall flat on your face. 

Bonus shots at the end of a quick 10 minutes grabbed last Monday morning as the world was waking up.

pastel blur

pastel blur

one flew over the cuckoos nest - cause the place is full of nutbags

cresting

preparation is key

crouching tiger hidden board

icarus of the sea

icarus of the sea

morning rituals

dangerous currents of love amiright

bonus I

bonus II

bonus III

bonus IV

Pre-Dawn Dip

getthehelloutofbed.

I sometimes remonstrate with myself for being a bit of an old man when I fall asleep at 10 30 on a Friday night while the rest of the world is out doing its thing. Mornings like this make it all worth it. 

Waking up at 5 30 on Saturday morning you see an odd mix of people. Some sluggish bleary eyed kids heading home, some early risers going for their morning run - passing each other on the street as one night ends and a new day begins, almost like a ceremonial passing of the torch.

I got a cheap underwater housing for an old point and shoot off gumtree during the week and this was the first time I had a chance to take it out. Again, sometimes you just get lucky. A crescent moon and a few particularly bright stars still hung in the air giving way to a stereotypically beautiful golden sunrise. Bliss. The old camera focuses about as fast as an octogenarian with ankle weights, but we can work with it. 

Public Service Announcement - don't go swimming in the Pacific at 0530 in the morning in just a pair of boardshorts if you plan on staying in for half an hour. Composing shots with shaky ass hands is not easy.

Bonus shots at the end of a morning spent down at Icebergs last week. 

bondi bowl pre dawn. no groms at 0550

bondi bowl pre dawn. no groms at 0550

bowls, barrels and crescent moons*

**)*

soft and bright

sunrise over the local mountains ranges.

pre-aeration

ripples II.

globs and blobs.

surface tension.

great balls of fire.

Slowing Things Down

Necessity is the mother of all invention.

It seems lately that mother nature is out to get to me, or perhaps teach a lesson my somewhat immutable brain is a little slow to learn . The last 3 or 4 times Ive arisen at 5 30 and stumbled down to the beach half asleep, camera clutched in one hand, Ive been met with dull, grey, featureless skies that don't exactly lend themselves to interesting photos and have quickly returned home, feeling a little deflated and defeated.

Last Thursday was one such day. After a promising orange light show off on the horizon as the sun rose, a monotonous grey sky once again dominated the landscape, casting muted boring light over all and sundry.

Determined to not return home defeated once again, I decided to use the dull conditions to extend an exposure a bit to see what would happen , more out of sheer frustration than any creative impulse. I looked at the back of the camera, not expecting anything interesting and instead saw this almost oil-painting like scene staring back at me, so decided to mess around with it a bit more and got some really exciting stuff that I cant wait to build upon.

Some days its all about luck.

Bonus photo at the end of a particularly stunning sunrise seen a day or two after.

run rabbit run

run rabbit run

the first slow pan that - things improved

the first slow pan that - things improved

chasing waves

chasing waves

abstract shories

abstract shories

oily peelers

oily peelers

tumultuous

tumultuous

long stroke barrels

long stroke barrels

slop

slop

floating

floating

pikachu used surf - its super effective

pikachu used surf - its super effective

ice ice baby

ice ice baby

lol jks was a pretty good sunrise for a moment there

lol jks was a pretty good sunrise for a moment there

rise and shine

rise and shine

Cliffside Wanderings

What do you do when you wake up on warm, blissful Sunday in Sydney with no plans, itchy feet, and a full tank of petrol? Google trails in the national park and find one you haven't done yet, load up some podcasts and hit the road.

Less than an hour later ALT and I ended up on the Curra Moors track down in the Royal National Park, pounding along pavement and sweating through dense scrub for about 45 minutes when all of a sudden we found ourselves atop kilometres of dramatic sandstone escarpments against the sea, with not another soul in site (unless you count the crows which are as soulless a looking animal as I've ever seen and incidentally tried to steal our popcorn which only proves my point). A tranquil stream and rock pool atop the cliffs fed a waterfall that dropped into an ocean that was anything but.

If the seas are an indicator of Poseidon's state of mind the greek god was clearly pissed - thunderous 10 foot waves (hard to judge the size from atop a 100 m high cliff face, suffice to say they were intimidatingly large) closed out way out sea, eventually crashing against the vertical rock and sending spray 50m up in the air, the sea a mass of constantly shifting foam and currents.

It was an mesmerising sight, and we simply sat atop the cliffs and watched the ocean do its thing for a while before heading down to Garie to relax with a book and an excellently horrible cheese and tomato toasted sandwich from one of the most authentically old school Aussie tuck shops you are likely to come across this side of 1998. Three tiered, chocked full of so many kraft singles plastic sheets the middle was cold, with enough salt to fill the Pacific, I thought I was back in primary school in Matraville. But I digress.

Bonus photo at the end of the supermoon above Bondi as we returned home. 

deceivingly large sea spray

deceivingly large sea spray

sunday nomad

sunday nomad

ANGRY SEEASS YAARGHH

ANGRY SEEASS YAARGHH

having a cheeky peek

having a cheeky peek

old crow medicine show - cheeky buggers tried to steal our popcorn

old crow medicine show - cheeky buggers tried to steal our popcorn

alt doing an inappropriate haka

alt doing an inappropriate haka

alt doing inappropriate yoga

alt doing inappropriate yoga

spring has sprung

spring has sprung

   this perfectly spherical scrub was almost an optical illusion, and made my eyes spin just looking at it. luckily we stumbled across it well away from the sheer 100 m drop into the raging ocean

 

this perfectly spherical scrub was almost an optical illusion, and made my eyes spin just looking at it. luckily we stumbled across it well away from the sheer 100 m drop into the raging ocean

clif'lin (cliff chillin)

clif'lin (cliff chillin)

angry, polemic vitriol

angry, polemic vitriol

hi-key and hi-res 

hi-key and hi-res 

old man (super) moon sleeping in the pines where the don't ever shine

old man (super) moon sleeping in the pines where the don't ever shine

(B)ronte and (W)inter

SKATING SHADOWS

SKATING SHADOWS

Whilst cloudless blue skies make for great winter days, it also makes for horribly boring sunsets. So, on the one day of the week I managed to sneak off work early and go for a wander down to Bronte and back I tried to get a few more shots of the good, bad, and gregarious people that are attracted to this pocket of Sydney, and messed around with funkier compositions. 

How great has this winter been? I almost don't want it to end.

Bonus of photo at the end of one of the most surreal sunsets Ive seen all year whilst at a good friends bucks up in Terrigal.

These two were having an epic argument over who dropped in on who and the guys exasperated defensive hand gesture at the end of it all reminded me of this 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsqJFIJ5lLs


Octopus's Garden

LIGHTHEADED

LIGHTHEADED

So I got a new GoPro Hero 4 and a floaty handle recently and finally got a chance to take it out this weekend. The cold / rainy snap we endured the last week or two ended and we had beautiful blue, cloudless skies and crystal clear waters. Unfortunately, the surf was tiny, so there wasn't a lot going on above the surface. Fortunately, there was still a fair bit going on underneath.

Being the first time Ive used one of these it certainly took some getting used to the insanely wide angle, you really have to get right in amongst the action or it very quickly fades off into the distance. Luckily for me, no one out in the water seemed to be too perturbed by me swimming directly underneath / around them with a bright yellow gopro handle and a shit eating grin. 

I was incredibly surprised with the image quality of the GoPro, and being able to shoot 30 images per second means you rarely miss any action, but it also means if you get a bit trigger happy (as I did) you come home with over 2200 photos after about 45 minutes in the water. 

Didn't get too many keepers in comparison to the amount of shots I took (Ray Collins I ain't - check his stuff out if you haven't before and you'll never look at a wave the same way again), but this definitely has the workings of a new addiction.

Blustery Bondi Mornings

One of the things I love best about living right on the coast is the amount of options it gives you every day, surf, run, photograph, or wander on the beach with a strong coffee in one hand and a soft arm under your other. I set my alarm for well before sun-up yesterday morning, intending on going for a cruise with my camera, but awoke to freezing rain, blustery winds and grey skies - it was not looking inspiring. I decided to give it a go anyway, partly hoping I might get lucky and partly because hell I was already up, and then one long, horizontal slit in the clouds to the north-east cast some beautiful orange and gold hues across the beach for about 15 minutes whilst the sun was coming up before returning to a featureless grey.

The cold weather meant Bondi was looking particularly barren and devoid of life this morning, not something you get to see very often, which together with the eerie red-grey hazy meant things looked a little bit apocalyptic to my eyes, something I tried to capture in the photos below. 

As the light turned to rubbish, and the few guys out looked like they were having a cracking time, I quickly dashed home, put down my camera, picked up my board and went for a quick paddle (still a kook unfortunately), all before 8 30.

I can't express how lucky I feel to live here.



Winter Lineups

The weather the last few weeks is pretty representative of my absolute favorite kind of Sydney days, brisk clear mornings where the waters still warm, cool days where sitting in the sun gives you an incredible warm satisfaction, and stunning burgundy and amber sunsets.

Been working nights the last week and have completely re-fallen in love with this part of the world I call home, spending as much of the day as possible outside. These photos have been taken over the last week where Ive spent most afternoons wandering between Bondi and Bronte, sitting on the cliffs and marvelling at the ocean.

Surfs been pretty gangbusters too.