2012 Royal Canberra Show - Clean Sweep

The Royal Canberra Show is held every year to celebrate and showcase the very best that the region has to offer. I have been entering photographs into the Canberra Show Art Prize for the past three years. There are four classes in which to enter photographs;

  • Open
  • Landscape/Places
  • People & Portraits; and
  • Black & White

I always try to enter a photo into each class and I have picked up several 1st places over the years in various classes. This year though something quite remarkable happened: I won every class! I still have not quite gotten my head around quite what this means but really it's an excellent result! The photos and their classes are presented below;

id="attachment_471" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="'Sparklers' (Open)"


Spring Storm (Landscape)
id="attachment_472" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Spring Storm (Landscape)"


id="attachment_473" align="alignleft" width="214" caption="'Accordian' (People/Places)"


Passing TRain
id="attachment_366" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="'Feel The Wind' (Black & White)"

Tidbinbilla Trip

Took a trip out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, near Canberra on the weekend with some friends ... always love going out there. This was a quick trip to get out of Canberra for a while and one of our favourite destinations is The Sanctuary - a large wetlands ecosystem surrounded by bushland and protected by a predator-proof fence providing sanctuary for a range of native animals in a natural setting.


A pair of Red Belly Black snakes basking on a log in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra. Aren't they beautiful!
A pair of Red Belly Black snakes basking on a log in the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve near Canberra. Aren't they beautiful!

A pair of Red Belly Black Snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus) basking.

On one of our first visits to the Sanctuary, a volunteer guide showed where a colony of Red Bellied Black Snakes - Pseudechis porphyriacus or 'red bellies' for short. On that day there were perhaps 6 snakes in two groups nestled amongst the tussock grass by the side of the pond. On Saturday there were maybe 9 snakes in 3 groups including this pair basking in the sun. I think they must have shed recently because their skins and colouration were beautiful. I took this with my 18-200mm and was about 5m away from them. Black snakes are generally placid if left undisturbed ... I likely wouldn't try a shot like this with a brown or tiger snake. Just quietly walk away ... quietly walk away :-)

Read more

Taking the Street - Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York Movie Poster I went and saw Bill Cunningham New York last night at Dendy in town. What an insightful and inspiring movie! For those of you not familiar with the Bill Cunningham, he is a street photographer who has been photographing the clothes of the streets of Manhattan for the past 40years. He's over 80 and still gets about on his bicycle. This documentary was made in 2010 and released in March 2011. For me, the film provided a much-needed (for me anyway) alternate perspective on the whole notion of 'Street' photography; something I struggle to balance ethically. Cunningham is only interested in the clothes ... and interesting clothes at that. That people are wearing these clothes speaks out to be admired or seen as different and Cunningham responds to that by taking their picture. I guess where I begin to have issues with 'Street' photography is when it becomes inherently intrusive in a voyeuristic sense ... the desire to share in the grief or suffering that is not your own. It seems to me to be largely a product of a middle-class seeking to appropriate something missing, something more real or valid than what they themselves feel is present in their own lives. That said, I have seen some fantastically powerful images of the ordinary people engaged in their lives unaware of how in touch with the real they are. At the same time I have seen whole albums of ridiculously gratuitous (and highly lauded) 'Street' photography that borders on the disturbingly voyeuristic. What struck me about the film last night was that here is a man who has dedicated his life to photographing the happenings on the street, producing an unparalleled historical archive. Perhaps he is equally aspirationally voyeuristic? Maybe Cunningham conducts himself in a more kindly way ... there certainly seems nothing creepy or ulterior about his approach. I found the film intensely interesting and there were some great people interviewed. Go see it if you can.