Fresh salt tang scents the delicious white noise of surf on rock -Β 
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?

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