Website Blues

Oh I've been suffering the website blues ... for some months now (actually pretty much since I launched the new website!) the site has been been performing very poorly. By poorly I mean it took an inordinate amount of time to load and in some cases refused to display anything once it had loaded. I found this having a let's say 'detrimental' effect on my posting rate as I was constantly trying to improve the delivery of content rather than actually creating any! Thank you to all the people who took the time to let me know that they could not access the site and the blog! I mean what's the point of having a photography based website/business if no one can see your work!

I had tried optimising all my images, streamlining the code, caching plugins and even dabbled in some CDN (Content Delivery Network) action but nothing seemed to make it go faster. To cut a long story short I got in touch with the techs at my hosting provider (VentraIP) and asked if they could investigate this for me. They found some incorrect setting in my PHP version which, once corrected, made the delivery hum right along. A few more tweaks including updating the way my site caches content and delivers it has really increased my delivery speeds to a fraction of what they were before. Now that the site appears fully functional I have been inspired to update some of the image galleries and overall appearance parameters to make the site a more streamlined experience. Do please give it a go if you find yourself so inspired and let me know if it's not behaving itself! I will have strong words with it ;-P

Website blues? Not as blue as this Koi I captured at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney turned out ... but still it's a pretty picture ... so pretty I had it printed up large and it now hangs on my wall. I'm thinking of doing a series of them and getting RedBubble to make some cushions and tote baggy things for sale.


Powerful Owl

Possibly the most photographed bird in Canberra at the moment. This Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) has taken up residence in nearby Turner. Luckily for us it was visible high up in the treetops when we passed by to catch a glimpse of it. These owls typically stand about 60cm tall with a wingspan of over 1.3m though it was hard to tell the exact measurements of this one. Their diet consists of a variety of possums (brushtail, ringtail and sugar gliders) large birds (cockatoos, corellas and rosells et al) This one had caught (and was in the process of shredding) a ringtail possum and you can see its black & white tail curling over the limb of the tree.



So we made this little movie ... an arthouse piece in a world that plainly isn't. In the movie, we're wearing masks ... well, in the latter stages we're wearing masks plural seeing as we had only one mask when we began filming and had to share it. It wasn't until I came across a supply of masks in Chapel Street in Melbourne over the final weekend that we were able to appear together both wearing masks. But that's an aside.

It's a strange feeling to be wearing masks in public, on the street, in coffee shops and shopping malls. Noone seemed to think it particularly odd, we didn't get asked to leave anywhere and anywhere people did look a little alarmed we just assured them we were "making a movie" and everything was fine! One thing I did notice though was that when I was masked, people I was flashing a reassuring smile to as they walked past or lingered couldn't actually see said reassuring smile; just some nodding weirdo in a mask.

I did take the opportunity to take some stills as we were shooting but likely nowhere near as many as I perhaps should have :-)

Here's a few.

You can watch the movie here

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.


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.


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 :-)

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



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.




Back Study

Somewhat wordless - Back Study (bedroom blind with street light)

I like their somewhat grainy Gothic feel ... like the cover for a This Mortal Coil album or something designed by v23 Envelope.

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.

Postcards from a Show

For someone who hasn't exhibited work publicly for a couple of years I'm really quite in the thick of it now. I find myself in the position of having not one but two shows running concurrently and they both represent different aspects of my artistic endeavours.

The first show, Zoologica, is running at the Kaori Gallery until 2nd August and the second show, 2 Tens & A Tomato, a collaborative joint exhibition with visual artist and poet Marina, is at the Front Gallery until 28th July.

When approached by the Front Gallery in June about a sudden vacancy in their gallery calendar I was at first hesitant ... I was in the thick of organising Zoologica and didn't want two photographic exhibitions running concurrently ... but when Marina and I spoke about the potential of a joint show combining our poetry, writings, imagery and imaginations we decided to pitch our ideas to The Front ... and they said 'yes'. That was about three weeks before the show was due to to open and at that stage we had no completed ideas not to mention any completed collaborative works to put on show.

The show contains 20 works including clay sulpture, images and words, installations, mirror-books and photography. One thing we both realised as we brought the work into being for this show is that we had far too much and indeed have enough material for another two thematic shows at least! We have been busy!

The installation Carousel, featuring suspended words bent into fencing wire so that their shadows play against the wall and surrounded by photos of those very wiry words draped around the necks of the City's antique (and still operating!) carousel and blue velvet with blue lighting forming a small stage ... it turned out beautifully ... the words, by Marina, run as follows;

A broken carousel
My life
A dead Burst
of sound and colour
Staring blankly
at one another
We ask
With rusting words
why the ride
never begun

We are deeply indebted to my good friend Alex (and his son Tristan) for assisting us with the installation of Carousel along with a number of the other works through his unique solutions to our hanging requirements (and above-all by remaining calm!). I'm including a number of pictures I snapped with my phone (when I remembered to) whilst setting up the show.

In addition, Marina and I are guests at this month's Canberra Poetry Slam where we will be reading works from the exhibition. This is happening on Friday night at The Front in the bar adjacent to the gallery space.

It's all go! I'll be in to document the show later this week and will post about that separately :-)