moonlight on blue water

a full moon always rises at sunset

moonlight on blue water

moon rises full
across a sparkling sea
the sun cedes the sky

You want to know something that absolutely fascinates me? Of course you do! You'll need to think about this a bit so let's go ... 'a full moon always rises at sunset' ... think about that for a moment. Have you ever seen the full moon rise at any time other than sunset? You know, like in the middle of the night or in the morning? The answer will be no because it doesn't happen. OK, so far, so good. Now hold that thought and add to the fact that the lunar cycle is fixed ... well OK, let's say regular at 29 and a half days (29.53059 days to be precise). So every 29 and a half days there's another full moon. OK? Now the next bit gets confusing but stay with me and let's quickly recap;

  • full moon always at sunset
  • full moon occurs every 29.5 days

Alrighty, there's another cycle working here too, the seasons. Every day the days get longer or shorter depending on the season you're in and by 'day' I'm referring to the amount of daylight. So, here in SE Australia the days are growing longer as we march toward Spring. There's a full moon this Thursday (2nd August) and it will rise at sunset even though the day has lengthened. What balance!

There's lots more moonphase related stuff over at which is where I lifted the diagram below;

] moon phases diagram


Think about it next time you see a full moon rising ... just remember 'a full moon always rises at sunset'.

I'm the type of person who follows the moon and the seasons ... I know where the moon will be (roughly!) at any given time of the day or night depending on where the lunar cycle's up to.

Do you follow the moon? Do you use the sun to tell you which direction you're facing? Do you live above the arctic circle? You can tell me what happens there! Do tell. I'm interested.

triptych of ripple patterns in monochrome


triptych of ripple patterns in monochrome

a pebble dreams of falling

sinking slowly into sleep

ripples spread in silence above

A warm lazy afternoon ... cooler in the shade by the water. A stone thrown into a pond. You hear the 'plop' ... a quick, fluid sound. You look and see the ripples radiating. Think of the pebble then ... as it drifts down to the bottom ... turning perhaps ... a little sideways drift but a certain destination. The air brought down with it bubbles away leaving a sunlit trail of sparkle as it nestles on the bottom amongst a myriad others. While above the ripples spread.

Rusted mesh fence

Falling Out of the Habit of Writing

Rusted mesh fence

Falling out of the habit of writing

Not that I'm running out of things to talk about ... quite the contrary, my mind is often full of ideas and thoughts all competing to get out. Sometimes in conversation I am so internally focused on the discussion that the conversation has moved on by the time my bit is ready to go ... other times I hear someone talking, think 'that sounds interesting I should listen to that' only to find it is in fact me talking! Thankfully that weirdness doesn't happen too often.

Writing, I find, gives me an opportunity to focus, to concentrate, to refine in a way that conversation doesn't. The poems, the haiku, the questioning and searching ... it all makes more sense when written down rather than floating as abstracts in my head. That once I chose a subject to write about the rest just flows ... it's the choosing I find difficult. Like what image to post next(?) ... that is the hardest decision for me with regard to this blog. There are so many to choose from but which one conveys what I'm trying to say now? Once I decide I can find something to write about it. I do like those blogs where only the image is placed ... sometimes no text at all. They have a minimalism that I admire but still I sometimes wish I knew more about the thoughts behind it. It lends a level of understanding of what the photographer is trying to say ... what did they want you to see by placing this image in a place where you are going to see it? Why put an image up if you didn't want people to 'see' something in it.

Today, it's a picture of a mesh fence, the background fernland dissolved into a warm bokeh. The fence for me is that barrier to my mind ... the filter that lets thoughts in and out ... it's a little rusty like my writing skills of late ... I've fallen out of the habit of writing you see.

I can feel myself falling back in too ... thankfully.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Long exposure of coastal headland by moonlight

Malua Moonlight

Long exposure of coastal headland by moonlight

Rock pretending eternity
Moonlight heavy on the sea
Clouds bring the sky

Photograph and haiku of Malua Bay on the south coast of New South Wales. Lit here by about 8 minutes of the full moon. All is not what it seems. The moonlight softens the waves creating a smooth effect of deceptive calm ... the clouds coming in give the game away.

Old clocks


Old clocks

Clocks show their faces
moments pass us by in silence
there is no time today

Time. I've never truly gotten a handle on it ... slippery thing that it is. I can count. I count really well. I count in even beats and measures ... I turned this into percussion and music ... it seemed a natural progression. I read an interesting series of articles in New Scientist recently on the nature of time ... of causation both forward and backward (think about that for a bit ... something in the future having a causal effect on the past). Of how time doesn't inherently have direction ...that it doesn't implicitly flow one way or the other - it is how we perceive time that makes it appear that it flows. That bends my mind it - really does.

What is time to you? What your watch or phone says. Is it a feeling or a notion? Is it an instant or a the suite of sensations that accompany an event or moment? For me it can be all of those things ... how about you? I'm interested.

About the photo:
Camera: Mamiya 645 Super with 80mm f/2.8
Film: Fuji FP-3000B B&W Polaroid
Scanned: my dusty 3-in-1 multifunction scanner
Subject: Old clock sitting on the piano at Ness

black and white image of a droplet falling and refracting a checkerboard background


black and white image of a droplet falling and refracting a checkerboard background

My colour - your colour
blending unseen against solidity
As pattern is introduced
My being warps it
Becomes visible
Clearly refracting 
seen only as a distortion of your regularity
bending the very rays
and become visible against them
perfect imperfection reveals
a passing lens

I remember falling past you
on my way to a fluidic oblivion
the relic of a splash I made when I was someone else

Water and the refraction of light are common themes in my work. I remember being in primary school and realising that things were visible only if they shone with their own light or reflected light into my eyes. I had this little mirror I used to take to school and I would play games with it like positioning it in the grass on the oval at just the right angle so that it effectively disappeared. I would then spin around or close my eyes for a time, and proceed to look for it ... could I pick out the tiny replication that signalled where the reflection was? That moment of suspense when I thought that perhaps, this time I had actually lost the mirror... upon reflection (no pun intended) I was maybe a little odd as a child. Not that much has changed, I was in love with light even then.

When did you realise you were in love with light? Was there a moment when you really noticed it ... noticed it or simply became aware of it? Do tell :-)

High key long exposure of waves upon rocks.


High key long exposure of waves upon rocks.


I had no words today
I thought to set words to this image
to say what I thought when I created it
or it created me ... I never can tell

then I realised
I remember standing there ... holding the trigger 
the roar of the ocean
the bright dawn light
I recall the click of the exposure ending 
after, I guess, the minutes I asked for
that in between I went somewhere
to where I do not know but it was peaceful

there were no words

deliberately blurred square image of a full moon rising over the ocean

Sum of the Parts

deliberately blurred square image of a full moon rising over the ocean

Sum of the Parts

Ocean swells and falls as a twilight breeze ruffles my hair
salty fresh with spray
waves thumping deeply through bedrock
Watching the moon rise
and waiting

Alone now

Then it happens ...  the scene blurs and folds
into two ... then three
Ocean Sky Moon
as balanced as they are suspended
Individually separate
As the sum of the parts
they are the world

(Inspired by Ness 2012)

I have been working on a series lately called 'Sum of the Parts' in which I deliberately blur my photograph in an attempt to break it into it's component parts. The pieces invite the viewer to to meditate on a scene without visual distraction of detail in a realm without time. That's the theory anyways! The first image in this series was blogged here as Sunset Wave and is shown below.

Tell me, do you work in or on a series? By that I mean do you think "today I'm going to take a picture for my *insert classy description here* series"? Or do you look back on your portfolio and think "Hey I've got a lot pictures of flowers/car number plates/left shoes ... I should put them together in a series"?

Do tell! :-)

Fern unfolding, it's fiddle-head unfurling.


Fern unfolding, it's fiddle-head unfurling.


Damp, earthy - a faint musk
Cool, verdant
quiet ... still
Fractal patterns stretch
Unfolding gently, chaos becomes ordinary
and repeated
and repeated - seeming endlessly
easy to dismiss, to overlook as all alike
they're copies to a point
each unique - new and ancient both

Reaching for the light
As I to you
unfurling in hope that the light will come
Do you see me here in the fernland?
beneath the trees
striving for the dappled
When I find it I thrive
Without it a piece of me dies

(June 2012)


I'm not a religious person, let me just state that up front. Sometimes when I look over what I've written, I can see how some of the writing could be viewed that way ... all this striving and longing for light stuff. What I am striving for is a completeness that I don't find in my day-to-day life. A feeling that I glimpse every now and again of a natural patterning (and I emphatically do not refer to design) at once simple and mind-bendingly complex. I see it in the sky, in the forming of clouds or the way light refracts through a freshly rained droplet. Or in this case the fiddle-head of a fernlet reaching through the dark. I see them as beautiful but I also have the rationality to know that it's me who's labeling them that way. That they, in all likelihood would exist and go on without my observations ... or would they? Sounds like a discussion over a glass of wine (or three)! Anyways, enough rambling. Enjoy!

Dead skink on tissue paper in a small box

“It’s dead” said Petra


Dead skink on tissue paper in a small box

She held out her hand
Upon her palm a tiny lizard, a skink
A shining dark olive back – thin yellow strip along the sides
Iridescent blue-aqua beneath its chin
“It’s dead” said Petra as she held it aloft by the tail – and it was
I looked into its eye and saw right through to the verdant bush beyond
The tangled twigs and rocks – a land of nooks and tasty creatures
“Most likely where this lizard is now” I thought as I peered through the eyeless window
I remembered to breathe – brought myself back
The sounds of this world filling my ears as I returned
from reverie and soft melancholia
Into the light - the present

She made a small home for the lizard
A little box lined with tissue and care
The tiny claws catching still – a feeble anchor
it looked like it would dart away in a flash
but it already had
Discarding this garment long ago
a once animate husk
Beating and alive 
(GD @ Ness May 2012)

Two stones stacked atop one another

Found Stones

Two stones stacked atop one another


Round and thin ground - not polished – sheens from within

colour the light grey of clouds that promise but bring no rain

Pale orange flecks spittle across its face

But these come after

My first thought?

That it would go far

skipped across the smooth surface of a dam or creek

maybe to the other side

maybe to be held again



The Other

A rough kite shape, smaller

Quartz intrusion speaking of a violent past

struck by the cross formed

I don’t believe in the crucifix

But I believe in space and time intersecting

A singularity we call the present



Seen amongst millions

Pondered, chosen

Carried up from the sea and

Placed atop a wooden table,

Talked about - discussed and played with

Then one forms a circle around the other

Yes, that works

They’re together again

Found stones


(Ness, May 2011)

Overhead tall trees disappearing upward into mist


Familiar hills
the horizon half-remembered
my folk grew
and grew old
died here
Yet I've never stood here before I know
the curves of the land drawn in me
How do I know this place?

My mind some structured facsimile for geography?
A genetic memory for place?
For time?
I cannot explain but I know
that my soul has been here before

Overhead tall trees disappearing upward into mist

I am fascinated by the notion of genetic memory ... that a landscape or place experienced over generations may leave some kind of imprint in the descendants of those generations. A line of hills, a mountain, a river ... these things change over time I know but their basic forms can remain constant on a scale far larger than the people living on them. I don't believe anyone has found any evidence such a phenomena may exist but that's not about to stop me pondering on it.

What about you? have you ever been to a place or landscape that seemed so familiar to you only to find out later that you ancestors had been there? Thought that they would practically be looking at what you're seeing now.

Water falling as drops onto a fountain plate before falling as drops off the other side


Water falling as drops onto a fountain plate before falling as drops off the other side

falling as water through air
shaped and warped by passage
divide and coalesce then
merged - our instant experienced
then gone, essence perfuming the next
lingering as the half remembered dream
an aroma of reality at the edge of an instant
before falling and dripping away

Space and Spirit Both

Faint breeze and sunshine
cricket chirp and flycatcher calls overlay the oceans rhythmic white roar
occasional slap
unexpected silences - an absence
I stare until the scene turns white - sound painting abstracted spikes and swirls
I think of you then, distant
in space and spirit both
yet in that instant - that void
I am connected by more than I know

(Written at Ness 6 May 2012)

Rockt coast at dawn seen refracted through a glass sphere

Turning the World Upside Down

Fresh salt tang scents the delicious white noise of surf on rock - 
irregular boom and thump
unexpected quiet - pauses
Never turn your back on the Sea
She is inexorable and quick
faster than you think
Slams, knocks and pulls
A short bubbled tumble before you're pressed into the polished rocks
fade into icy blackness 

I wake from this, standing - face tinted orange with the day's new light

Dawn feels like days ago and I'm wearing potential's golden glow
The world looks different from here
huge and at once tiny
My effect on it? The same.

(Written at Ness, May 2012)

I carry a beautiful thing around in my camera bag. An oculus. It's a clear glass sphere and it changes the way I look at the world. It doesn't look amazing on it's own ... in fact it can appear quite dull but sometimes I hold it up in front my face and it takes my breath away. Through the properties of refraction, it renders any scene into a tiny world ... a tiny, totally in-focus world. An upside-down, totally in focus world. In the image above taken just after dawn on the far south coast of New South Wales, I rested the sphere atop a rock looking out toward the waves. The fine bedding of the Ordovician mudstones of this part of the coast have been buckled and twisted and rent vertically in places. I brought the sphere (and it's refractive contents) into focus and rendered the background blurred. It looks great right way up but I like to rotate my oculus images through 180 degrees to aid the viewer's appreciation of the scene. The little sun flare off the edge of the sphere is one of my favourite parts of the image.

In the image below, I'm holding the sphere with my left hand and shooting with my right. It was taken in coastal forest. This image reminds me that the world is a fragile place and one that we literally hold in our hands as a place to nourish and feed ourselves.

Trees overhead refracted through a hand-held glass sphere

I'm fascinated with different ways of looking at ordinary things. Refraction and refraction images are just two.

What about you? Do you carry anything special in your bag? Something that turns your world upside-down or causes you to look at the world in a different way?