Iconic to Australia, this is my take on the the flags that have saved thousands of lives on our beaches. For those who have not taken a swim on a beach patrolled by Australian volunteer lifesavers, every morning, as part of the process of making our beaches safe, Australian lifesavers patrol their beach to assess the the best part of the beach for swimming. Once decided they place flags either side of that area of beach and patrol it to keep swimmers safe and secure.
Often striking against the blue beach and sky, this is my homage to the the safety this flag evokes in the minds of all Australian beach goers.
This weekend, I decided to explore the Malabar Coastal Battlement a bit more – this time to find the tunnels that run between the gun placements. Did I get a shock at what I found?!
It was a beautiful morning, and I was just starting to get carried away the lovely coastal bush when before I knew it, I had stumbled upon one of the two gun placements that had been built in 1943. The history of this place has fascinated me recently but what I experienced in the next few moments will live with me for a long time to come.
For years, these abandoned army installations were overtaken by local young people. Have a look at this Youtube clip on some of their explorations. In fact, even when I was at Uni, many of my mates had made a habit of exploring these tunnels, as well as many others around Sydney. At the time, I remember some of the stories they came back with.
These stories have continued and over the years – and recently a documentary was made about them. Have a look here, and here. What these film makers uncovered shocked the nation – well kind of. (Warning – this footage is deeply disturbing stuff, not for the faint of heart).
As I stood there that morning, the hair on the back of my head was on end – I could hear voices coming from underground. Looking for an explanation I searched, and I found the tunnel entrance.
Thinking back, I am so pleased I kept my cool when I found what was causing the voices. I was quick enough to set up my tripod and get this shot of a film crew making a TV advertisement for a cosmetic product.
Stay safe over the next month and may your shutters be fast but quiet.
As photographers we are repeatedly advised, in order to keep improving take as many photographs as you can. So last Saturday night I did – mostly I experimented and ended up with this beauty.
As you can see I am somewhat taken by the Malabar headland, and in particular this pillbox – on this occasion I was aware that the moon would be rising so I wanted to get a shot of the pillbox with the moon as a feature.
I arrived an hour before moonrise, so not to let any opportunity pass, I though I would do some light painting. I had two speedlights, one with a gel that I had made as per instructions here. I painted the inside using one speedlight covered with a gel and the outside lit using a speedlight with out any gels. I had been here before and lit up the entire structure with out gels and this version is much more interesting.
When I got home to have a look at the shots in PhotoShop, I was pleased with the results, I adjusted for the green in the sky from the city glow, brought the the blue out a bit and gave it a some saturation and clarity. All in all not too bad I think.
What happen to the moon idea, mm well, it was going to be too late before it moved into frame as I wanted it, it was cold and windy, so off to a warm bed for me. It was not totally wasted though, it has given me an idea for another post, so stay tuned.