Hot Baby (Take 2) = much happier baby

Back in December I did a baby photo session of then four-week old Bjørn. That sunny Sunday reached 39°C in the afternoon … and little Bjørn was a hot baby and hot babies tend to be a little cranky. I got loads of lovely pictures of Bjørn but they were largely split into two groups … peacefully asleep or grumpy :-)

Now, I do know that parents love pictures of their children looking happy and smiley so I undertook to do a second session to capture some of the said happy and smiley pictures. Fast forward through the 4-week blur that is Christmas, travel, new year et al and little Bjørn is not so little now ... well ok he's still pretty little ... just not quite so little ... anyways on with the pictures! :-)

We met up at the Botanic Gardens on a Sunday morning and I foolishly wore a white shirt and as I lay on the damp dewy grass in amongst the wallaby poo ... this became apparent ... this foolishness. My shirt looked as though it bore external witness to a coffee drinking problem ... which is quite untrue ... like really.


This Too Shall Pass

UPDATE: Our film has been shortlisted! It will be screened this Friday Night at the Senate Rose Gardens as part of the Enlighten Festival! Woo-hoo!

Last year, about this time, my artistic collaborator Marina and I attended the screening of the 12 finalists in the Lights, Canberra, Action! short film festival. We thought that next year we'll make a film and enter*. Well 'next year' is now 'this year' and the film festival is on again.

Essentially filmmakers have the better part of a week to write, direct and produce a film of no more than 7 minutes duration. All shooting and production must occur within that time. There's a theme (this year's was 'Swings & Roundabouts'). Another twist is the inclusion in the film of items or places provided, scavenger hunt style ... I've included this list below.

So, true to our intentions ... we made a little film together under our arty-collaborative umbrella 2 Tens & A Tomato. The film is titled "This Too Shall Pass" and runs for 6m44s. It's presented in black and white and is a boy meets girl story about passing through a dreamy world of isolation and longing to find intimacy and hope in a roundabout way. Music was produced and performed by the wonderful Charles Sage (Hessien and The Rothko Chapel) solo project y0t0. His moody atmospherics work so beautifully with the film.

Anyways ... here it is. Would love to hear what you think about it. We're kinda a little proud of it and reckon it turned out alright considering we had next to no idea what we were doing.

*We also thought "how hard can it be?" ... the answer as it turns out is "quite hard really" ;-)

List of Items (see if you can spot them all in our film)

  1. A swing in a park
  2. A road roundabout
  3. A set of scales (for weighing)
  4. 'On the Road Again' sculpture by Ann Ross at Lyons Shops
  5. A ferris wheel
  6. The Mandalay Bus (in Braddon)
  7. The gold tiles outside the ACT Legislative Assembly
  8. An underpass
  9. The Chess Pit (Garema Place)
  10. The High Court (exterior)

An eclectic set of items and sites as you can see.

Lights, Camera, Action! is part of the Canberra 2015 Enlighten Festival and sponsored by artsACT.


Pocket Places: Paths into inner Canberra

Ever shot a poet on a bicycle? No? Well neither had I until week before last. Canberra poet PS Cottier (whom you may remember from this shoot) got in touch with a fun request:

"I just found out that I am having a small chapbook published about
riding the bikepaths of Canberra.  It has some autobiographical
elements and is a prose piece in a series called Pocket Places. The
publisher asked if I have a suitable colour photo of myself on my
bike.  I said I have some lovely photos with a parasol (and we may
use one from that session) but none of me riding my bike."

So, after a glass of wine at local pub/cafe The Front we set off on a little soiree on the bike paths of the Inner North. Here's a selection from our wander.


The book will be called Paths into inner Canberra, to be published by Ginninderra Press of South Australia.  (GP began in Canberra 19 years ago but moved to Port Adelaide in 2008.) It will be part of their new Pocket Places series, and will be available here for the enormous price of $4.  It will be about 24 pp in length.



Just because: Butterflies

I was up in Far North Queensland (that's FNQ by the way!) last week with the kids visiting relatives in Cairns and Townsville and I had the opportunity to travel up to Kuranda in the Barron Gorge National Park. It was hot. Barron Gorge NP is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. It was hot.  Whilst there we visited the Butterfly Sanctuary and so here are some pictures of butterflies ... had I been a truly dedicated type I'd have annotated these with their proper species names ... but you can see that I haven't ... perhaps you didn't even notice until I'd pointed it out? Oh well, it was hot*  :-)

So, just because ... butterflies :-)

More pictures of the trip to come ... but first you know ... butterflies :-)


*Hot being a comfort index in Cairns of 42.8°C with 75% humidity.

Did I mention it was hot?

Shoot: My first Greek Orthodox Christening

Not only my first Greek Orthodox christening but my first photo shoot of a Greek Orthodox christening to boot. Not one but three babies, all cousins, were christened last weekend at St Nicholas' Church. Not being a regular attendee at church services, I took the opportunity to read up on the ceremony before the day arrived ... to get an idea of who would be standing where and what the different components would entail. I even visited the websites of photographers specialising in christenings to see what sort of pictures they got ... research I believe it's called ;-) and I'm very glad I did. I got to the church well before the ceremony to check out the light and to speak with the Fathers about where I could and could not go ... '...anywhere but the steps up to the sacred place!' ... no problem ... anywhere but the steps up to the sacred place! Got it!

It was very interesting day and also a very hot and humid one. I had a great time, took some lovely photographs which the families are very pleased with and hope to do it again.


Headshots: Raoul Craemer 2

As promised back in this post, I present the clean-shaven headshots of actor Raoul Craemer...

Raoul certainly looks different sans beard and though he wanted the shots to be simple and neat, the photo where I asked him to mess up his hair has an edgy look to it that I just love. That one is easily my favourite of the session. I like it slightly more in monochrome too.

Here's a contrast;

It's likely a little too late now, but I still think the beard works. What do you think?

Hot Baby

On the same weekend I took photos of actor Raoul Creamer, I also did a baby photo session of four-week old Bjørn. Turned out that Sunday morning was hot and sunny ... it reached 39°C in the afternoon ... and heat tends to make for a hot baby and hot babies tend to be a little cranky. So I got loads of lovely pictures of Bjørn but they were largely split into two groups ... peacefully asleep or grumpy :-)

Here's a selection of the more peaceful ones ... I particularly like the one where he looks like an old-school Soviet Premier ... you'll know the one (it's the not-so-peaceful one)  ;-)

I've arranged a further session with Bjørn, who will hopefully bring his happy smiling face along, next week. Parents and relatives do appreciate pictures of happy, smiling children :-)

Thoughts on a show

I'm sitting in the café adjoining the Front Gallery, where my show is currently on. My opening was last night and I'm feeling a little bleary. My sunglasses hide the bags beneath my eyes that must surely be a giveaway to the seediness I'm currently experiencing.  I'm here ostensibly  to imbibe coffee and eggs and bacon to assuage my mind into a connection with the absolutely stunning spring day that is in full swing outside. I'm also here to spy ... to see who's looking at my photographs and which ones they linger over and discuss. From time to time I wander in to tweak the lighting or straighten a picture. I tend to do this when there are people in the gallery and I can have a talk about the images and how they were created ... people have been very nice and said many congratulatory things. I've even sold two of the pictures, one which has been hanging in my bedroom for the past year and a bit, I will miss when it goes to its new home. I will miss them all if they go. They're little pieces of me ... each one a photographic journey now rendered manifest and framed and hung upon a wall.

I imagine their new homes and spaces, there's a part of me that would like to visit them there ... to see how they inform and play in their new surroundings. Other folks will see them every day and I wonder about this ... quite inordinately.

I realise I've spent three hours here now ... becoming slightly more human with each coffee (maybe one more?) and finding myself gazing blankly at the other patrons in this Inner North Wi-Fi hangout, bent over laptops or skipping the world, reading their Kindles ... I notice very few are actually talking ... even the couples with mismatched devices are intently studying their own ... noone is reading a book ... not a paper one anyways. There's one couple; I'm not convinced they're an item though he wants to be I think and he's constantly trying to show her amusing things on his phone and she's looking awfully bored ... increasingly so the more insistently he appears to not read the body language and blind to the look of disdain each time he offers his screen ... but then he's not looking at her ... he's looking at his phone and therein lies the problem.

A bit rambling today but there you go...

Through a Glass Clearly

There’s a moment when you notice something. Something that catches and teases. It may be the curve of a tree or the lightness of a feather drifting on a warm spring breeze ... unseen but for its effect upon the small things. Mostly for me it’s about the light. The way light plays with the things around us and renders them beautiful or dramatic ... the darkness of shadows and that gradient between glow and gloom. Sometimes it’s about trying to capture and entire world inside something much smaller ... concentrating it ... refracting it back at myself through the transience of a water droplet or a glass sphere.

It is as much about the journey of a photograph. A sinuous chasing down of the beauty you saw that very first time, the tender play and rendering of a picture until a certain essence is revealed ... a little something of what was seen made manifest and shared.

That’s what these pictures are. They’re little fragments of time and space collected and coalesced and placed on walls ... distilled results of the myriad journeys undertaken to create them.

In these I hope to show you just a little something of the thing I saw.

The collection of images on show.

About the Title

Through a Glass, Clearly is a collection of four short stories written by Isaac Asimov and first published in 1967. One story in particular: It’s Such A Beautiful Day, is set in the year 2117 and presents District A-3, a newly built suburb of San Francisco, and the world's first community to be built entirely using Doors, a method of travel via teleportation.

When the Door that transfers him from home to school fails, Richard "Dickie" Hanshaw takes a dislike to the method and starts to wander outside in the unfamiliar open, exposed to the elements. When he catches a cold, Mrs. Hanshaw is horrified and takes him to see Dr. Sloane, a psychiatrist, afraid that her son's wanderings are signs of a mental abnormality...

Geoffrey Dunn is a multi-award winning and internationally published photographer. He is entirely self-taught. Through a Glass Clearly is his third and final solo exhibition for 2014. The title of the show is also a reference to the act of capturing light with a camera ... through a glass clearly...

The details...

  • What: Through a Glass Clearly - New photographic works by Geoffrey Dunn
  • Where: The Front Gallery - Wattle Street, Lyneham, Canberra
  • Duration: 17-29 September 2014
  • Opening: 6pm Friday 19th September 2014


Confidence and Value

I was reading a post on Nigel Featherstone's excellent blog Under The Counter Or A Flutter In The Dovecot earlier in the week. Titled The confidence of the threadbare, the post provided a short examination of how our society values the work of it's artists. In this particular story Nigel, a writer, was asked what he considered the dread question whilst perusing in a shop "What do you do for a living?" ... the question, perhaps innocuously asked by somebody wishing to make conversation stirred in our protagonist a dark reflection and mumbled reply. What it did set off was a train of thought upon how confidence and value affect not only our artistic or cultural contributions but about how we are perceived as artists.

Confidence and Value indeed. I struggle with these daily in the creation of my work. There's the dread moment when someone asks, generally well-meaningly or at least with some interest, 'what sort of pictures do you take?' ... I have answered 'bloody good ones' if I'm in a great mood and 'lots of mediocre ones with a few flukes that people seem to like...' if not so but that's demeaning to myself and my art. It's not a fluke that this creative passion nourishes me, gives me some measure of meaning and direction in this otherwise confusing world. It's not that I don't take a fair share of mediocre pictures either.
Putting on a show of your individual artistic works is another matter. Unlike a stage show with a duration of two hours, your work is on public display for weeks at a time. Will people like it? Will people like me as a result is perhaps a more self-accurate question. Do I care? If I'm asking the question then perhaps yes I do... if I were to stop to ask myself why I'm doing it I don't believe there'd be an answer - not one that would be intellectually coherent anyways. "I just have to." is the best I can come up with...

I have spent some 15 years as a semi-professional musician, dressing up on stage and taking people on musical and story-based journeys ... mostly for the love of it ... there's little in the way remuneration(!) and for that magical feeling of walking both on stage (that delicious tingly nervous buzz) and walking off stage feeling that you've been somewhere yourself ... that your exertions; physical, mental and spiritual have been nourished and refueled. I guess that takes confidence but funnily enough I've never considered myself overly so.

Having got back into exhibiting my work again this year (after a break of several years), running two concurrent and greatly different shows in July (all I can say in my defence was that it seemed a good idea at the time) and currently shortlisting images for my third and final 2014 show in September, I feel I'm almost too busy in prep to be concerned with confidence ... almost ;-)

As for value ... that's a tricky one ... well, I find it tricky anyways. I've not yet found the best quantitative measure to assess it. In an instagram world where everyone's a photographer, it's hard to see the artists sometimes. I find pricing the work on show particularly difficult. Too high and it becomes inaccessible, too low and and it loses value quickly ... the pricing I find most interesting is to ask a prospective purchaser what they think is a fair price for the work and then we negotiate from there.

What about you? Do you battle with these notions of confidence and value? Do you price your work? How do you do it?

In other news ... shortlisting and preparations for my solo show Through A Glass Clearly progress apace ... will post separately about this soonly :-)


I do love feathers. I do love water droplets. The way the drops form tiny spherical lenses when placed upon the hydrophobic barbs on the surface of feather quills. It does something for me, this feathertalk ... it really does. Here are a couple of examples shot on my bathroom window sill ... :-)

In other news I'm busy short-listing for my final show this year. Through a Glass Clearly is a solo show I'm putting on at the Front Gallery here in Canberra opening in mid-September. It will feature retrospective photographs covering just about all of the genres I shoot in ... which, looking through my shortlist ... covers quite a few! ;-)

More new and updates as it progresses.

Shoot: The Second Movement show band

Last week I had the opportunity of taking a few pictures for the The Second Movement show band when they got together for their mid-week rehearsal. 

A little history... The Second Movement played in and around Canberra in the late 60’s and early 70’s and were resident band at the Civic Hotel Lounge. The group became resident band at the Deakin Inn when it opened in 1969. The band played at the Deakin Inn up to six nights a week for four years until they retired in 1974.

In 1967 the band signed a recording contract with EMI and recorded two singles, which were released nationally. The singles were produced by Robert Iredale (who was Johnny O’Keefe’s’ record producer at the time). The singles had moderate success and made it into a few top 40 charts.

After a thirty years’ absence the original band (there were some personnel changes in the early seventies) decided to get together for a 30th anniversary party bash at the Southern Cross Club Canberra. Some of the band members hadn’t played in a band since the band retired in 1973. Others no longer lived in Canberra so the logistics of a reunion offered many challenges. However the project went ahead and the night was a huge success. The band enjoyed themselves so much it was decided to continue the band which would make itself available for the occasional booking.

Ostensibly to create a few simple pictures to refresh their website, the session was fun and enjoyable and a lovely bunch of guys the majority of whom have been playing together for more than 40 years! The band member whose house was used as the rehearsal space restores old Jaguar cars ... he had an absolutely gorgeous red E-Type Mk2 that you can see the band posing with in a couple of the photos. 

The band did insist in standing outside in the bright noonday sun which caused a little squinty action but the sunshine and blue sky certainly set off their matching blue stage suits! I did manage to convince them to pose together in the back shed where the featured image was shot ... that one's my favourite from this little shoot.




In An Attic of Her Soul

In an attic of her soul
walls growing close with encroaching gloom
outside clouds blacken low with late twilight hue
shadowed eyes of a mother gaze outward
left behind
while life outside marched on
with passions external
cradling with a stiff arm
the child looking upon with hungry gaze
while she searches and searches and searches
forever waiting
with mannequin's gaze
for signs and signals
of where her love has gone

In An Attic of Her Soul ... a work intended for the 2 Tens & A Tomato show with Marina but didn't make the shortlist ... for this show anyways ... the next one definitely :-)

Saturday's Sunset


Sun's departing rays

day collapses into embers

hot kisses linger

While at the coast on the weekend I witnessed a brief but fiery sunset. I was reminded of a quiet fireplace, embers burning aglow and of how a sunset is like the sun drawing the light of the day back into itself as it departs the sky ... the earth still warm and glowing from it's day-long kiss. An utterly romantic view of course of otherwise straightforward planetary rotation, but I like to indulge the romantic notion of collapsing light and embered skies.It adds a certain beauty to the world and that transition from day into night which we loosely call twilight when it is neither day nor night but a betwixt and between of experience and anticipation ... a time when there's a seeming pause to the world.

And then there's 'hot kisses linger' ... well they do ... don't they? :-)


Saturday's Sunset was captured at Malua Bay on the south coast of New South Wales ... the sky was afire but only for a moment.