I tried hard to take a picture this morning. The day was glorious ... one of those Canberra winter days where the air is still, there's not a cloud in the sky and the warmth of the sun balances the chill in the air. I love days like these. I wanted to take a photo (it does happen sometimes!) and so I packed my light camera bag with a couple of lenses and headed out on into the late morning on my bicycle. I'd heard there was a car concourse over on the lawns of Old Parliament House to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Leyland P-76 ... not that I'ver ever owned one or even aspired to ... my first car was an automatic Triumph 2000 MkII and being manufactured largely by Leyland replete with apalling quality control and ridiculously dodgy wiring I always felt a kind of sympathy for these ... they were known as lemons and I recall a house in my suburb when I was growing up that had six of these cars in various states of decay on the front lawn. My Triumph or 'Tilley' as I called her was my first venture into the world of seventies British automotive engineering ... I ended up trading her for beaten up but gorgeous brass body Canon New F-1 camera and a couple of lenses (did I ever mention I have a lens habit?) ... I miss that car, it's smell and the way it lurched underpowered into corners but I think I got the better deal ... after all I still have that camera and it still works as well as the day I received it.

There are some times I'm simply not interested in taking photos and wandering around the concourse this morning was one of those times. There were many gorgeous colours ... repetition of theme ... curly cables ... eccentric characters but it was all Meh! I had a bag of excellent photographic gear and I watched other people taking snapshots and with various cameras and mine stayed in my bag and I just lugged it around for the fun of it. It was funny I thought ... I'd come here with the express notion of taking some photos ... and now I'm here I find none of it inspiring ... at all ... so I simply sniffed the engines, remember my Tilley and get back on my bike and ride toward home. On the way I pass a bit of decay ... the old Police & Citizens Youth Club ... closed for years now ... and see a little something ... it's a busted fan set into a brick wall but it appeals to me ... the first thing today. Not enough to be arsed taking my camera out mind you but enough to snap it hastily with my phone to remind me to go back and take it properly... I continued on my searching way...


So I keep on riding toward home and I come through Haig Park in Turner ... a long avenue of trees ... I used to live in a house (now long redeveloped) directly opposite the western end of the park ... and I see the light. Here's where I'm supposed to be ... there's the photo I'm looking for ... I roll my eyes ... at least I got some exercise riding across the lake first up :-)

I had my oculus with me and it captured the scene perfectly ... it's spherical fashion refracting the vista into it's tidy and tiny world.



And ... just because I like you lots I took a picture of the setup ... I found a small fallen branch and stuck it into the soil to create something to rest the oculus upon ... that's bushcraft that is  ... lol :-)


And how about you? Do you ever grab your gear and go for a walk and leave the camera in your bag ... or take absolutely nothing except exercise? 

The Lost World


The Lost World

Volcano Gunung Batur on the island of Bali refracted through a glass sphere

Gunung Batur

Volcano Gunung Batur on the island of Bali refracted through a glass sphere


Oculus time again. This is a picture of Gunung Batur (Mount Batur) on the island of Bali. It is an active volcano and this picture was was taken from the rim of the caldera which was formed around 25,00 years ago. The present cone rises some 700m above Lake Batur which has formed on the caldera floor. The last major lava flows were in 1968 and can be seen clearly as dark basaltic out purings out from the main cone but the volcano urmbles and emits steam regularly. It looks and sounds remote but there are literally hundereds of restaurants and tea houses stretched along this, the southwest part of the rim forming part of the town of Kintamani.

Nearby is a Volcano Museum which wasn't there last time we visited and contains some great models and geological samples. My eldest (7), who's totally into seismographs at the moment (even more so after watching 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' twice on the plane on the way over...) thought it fantastic. We found a little staircase in one corner of the museum labelled 'Observation Room'. We ascended the stairs to find a little bright room with several tripods with high powered binoculars pointing vaguely at the volcano. The tripod mounts are very wobbly and the scopes could not be focussed ... oh well. On the way back down we stopped at a little glass door where we found the resident seismologist who seemed completely chuffed to have some interested visitors. He welcomed us in and showed us the seismograph which had a trace on its drum from a tremor that morning. Mr 7 was in heaven!

Of course my oculus came to Bali with me and although it stayed in my camera bag most of the time ... it came out whenever I remembered it was there ... like this occasion. Shot using my favourite lens my Nikkor 50mm f/1.4.

a coastal sunrise through a glass sphere

Temple of the Sun

a coastal sunrise through a glass sphere

Another oculus picture from my coastal artist retreat from earlier this month at Ness. Here the rising sun clears the top of an exposed rock.

Looking at a scene refracted through the glass sphere makes it appear both internalised and externalised at the same time ... like I'm both within and without simultaneously ... it does something for me ... something deep.

Do you have a special object or way of of looking that touches you deeply? You know, makes you think of things differently for a moment? That takes you beyond?

Do tell :-)