I Love Shooting Up!

There is a lot to look at in this world of ours.

Way back in 1982, when I first started getting serious about photography, I noticed how I instantly developed a greater curiosity about our world. I started to explore detail in subjects that I had not even noticed prior to becoming interested in communicating via this medium.

Detail is one thing however, we also need to look up (I would say more than) occasionally as how much do we miss in our daily travels as we get busy with life? This brings me to the subject of this short article.

I love shooting up!

The next time you are out and about, take a minute away from your busy schedule and look up. There is a whole new world just waiting for you feast your eyes upon it.

Happy travels!

Written & Photographed by David Johnson

4 March 2023

Familiar Places – New Discoveries

Last weekend, we visited my Wife’s Parent’s place. They live 25km (15 miles) South East of Goulburn which is approximately 1 3/4 hours drive/166km (103 miles) away from where we live. Quialigo is located in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia.

We have had many visits there over the past 25 plus years and I always find a subject of photographic interest there. This time, even though I had my DSLR with me, I only shot with my phone camera.

I wasn’t out photographing very long and indeed, only went outside because I needed some fresh air as my eyes were starting to close, after lunch, as I did not get a good night’s sleep the previous night.

Mum and Dad have numerous trees on their 100 acre property, however, my attention was drawn to a section of tree that had toppled over.

It was only when you walked up close that the magnificent colours, patterns and detail came to light.

Here is what I saw.

The colours of the Australian Bush never cease to amaze me.

Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

9 January 2023

Books, Books, Books – Argyle Emporium

Last Sunday-week, Susan and I made a planned stop on the way to visiting her parents, who live 25 kilometres/15.5 miles outside of Goulburn. Goulburn is about one and three-quarter hours drive from our home.

The planned stop was at the Argyle Emporium, which is located opposite the railway line in Goulburn in an old Police Station. The Argyle Emporium has been a second-hand bookshop for 21 years and houses approximately 500,000 books. ‘Book Heaven’ for book-lovers!

This time we only spent just over an hour there and the good news for other book-lovers is that upon leaving there, I left 499, 496 books at the bookshop…. 🙂

The following ones I the books I purchased:

I love books on the Visual Arts that delve into how Artist expresses what they are feeling by using tools and techniques. This one features the thoughts of 20 famous artists. I love this book!

The second book I purchased is a collection that I have been wanting in my Poetry collection for some time but just hadn’t found the right one. Over 1,000 pages of Wordsworth delight!

The third book purchased that day was also Poetry. I enjoy buying collections of poetry. It is true that sometimes the collections overlap with other collections of poetry however, this hasn’t happened too much so far… This collection breaks up the poetry into subjects and includes over 90 Poets. The book was printed in 1957.

The last book purchased that day is from another ‘like’ of mine, and that is ‘tools and techniques that inspire creative writing’. I find them a fascinating read and, by the looks of this book, I won’t be disappointed.

4 more books from from the treasure-trove second-hand bookshop known as the Argyle Emporium, Goulburn, NSW. Australia. Some of the rooms are pictured below.

I can hardly wait until our next visit! 🙂

Written by David Johnson

17 August 2022

Some Old Favourites

Although I have been concentrating on Sketching and Painting in the last 3-4 years, Photography remains very dear to my Heart and I look forward this year to upgrading my current equipment etc and going in a different direction, photographically, i.e. away from DSLR’s to Mirrorless, but the first point of call will be a higher end compact. Long-gone are the days when I would carry 2 x SLR/DSLR bodies, 4 lenses and more.

I was thinking about photography today and I thought I would revisit some of my earlier, pre-Digital images. All the images below were taken on photographic Slides, Fujichrome Sensia ISO 100 rated at 125. I hope you enjoy them.

Written by David Johnson

9 January 2022

More Book Treasure!

Last Sunday, we were down in Goulburn, NSW which is approximately one and three-quarter hours drive South of where we live. We were down there for a celebration Birthday Lunch at one of the local Chinese Restaurants. Four of our Family members have a Birthday within 6 days of each other.

We had a marvellous time and afterwards, my Wife Susan and I paid a visit to one of our favourite second-hand bookshops, the Argyle Emporium in Goulburn.

I have written about this bookshop before on this blog. Just a quick recap: it is situated in a rather stately, old Police Station and the owners have operated it for some 21 years and it holds some 500,000 books.

This time we were only in there for one and a half hours. Realistically, I could spend all day there. We just love these old second-hand bookshops. They have a certain quality about them.

So, what treasure did I find this time?

Three books, one on Haiku Poetry and two on Watercolour.

“Writing and Enjoying Haiku” was just sitting horizontal on top of some other books on the Poetry section and my eyes fell upon it straight away. It was as if it was there ‘just waiting for me to come along!’

I’ve enjoyed writing the occasional (Japanese) style Haiku Poem and the book talks about that style but also other styles as well. It looks a very interesting book.

With regards to the Watercolour books, ‘Painting Weathered Textures in Watercolor” and “Watercolour Fast & Loose”, they took a bit of finding as the Art section is massive at the Argyle Emporium.

Over time I’ve noticed that I think I ‘have moved on’ from some of the early books I had on Watercolour. They seem to general in nature and I am starting to find that I want to learn more about specific topics within the medium. I also want to learn to paint and sketch in a greater, relaxed style than I am currently doing.

All-in-all, it was another fruitful visit to the Argyle Emporium. We are in Goulburn fairly often as my Wife’s parents live about 25km (15.5 miles) SE of Goulburn but we don’t call into bookshop every visit (although I must admit it is tempting)!

If you are down that way, and are a book lover, make sure you visit the Argyle Emporium, you won’t be disappointed.

Written by David Johnson

30 March 2021

Uncovering Treasure

As mentioned previously, last week, I visited the Argyle Emporium in Goulburn, NSW, Australia. It is home to over 500,000 books plus records and other curios.

As those of you would know who follow my blog, I am an avid reader, book-lover and in particular, I love Art and Communication. I also love visiting second-hand bookstores, though unfortunately, there are not so many around these days.

I spent just under an hour at the Argyle Emporium and really only looked at 3 different sections, ‘Classics’, Poetry and Art.

Recently, I read my first John Steinbeck novel, ‘The Pearl’ and was quite taken with his writing so I was keen to find some of his books. I know we can easily get re-prints/re-issues from bookstores, however, there is something extra-special about reading an older copy of these books. I can’t really explain it but it just feels great.

I was thrilled to pick up 3 John Steinbeck novels (in two books) and managed to add another 4 books to my Poetry collection and also picked up the best book I have seen to-date, on Watercolour.

The ‘treasure’ I uncovered last week is listed below:

  1. Cup of Gold – John Steinbeck
  2. Of Mice and Men & Cannery Row – John Steinbeck
  3. A Farewell To Arms – Ernest Hemingway
  4. The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  5. The Poet’s World – An Anthology of English Poetry – 350 pages
  6. Collected Poems of Henry Thoreau – 380 pages
  7. Poems and Poets – 420 pages
  8. Introduction To Poetry: British, American, Canadian – 690 pages
  9. The Essence of Watercolor – Hazel Soan

All bought for a combined total of $40.00.

I’ve started reading, ‘Cup of Gold’ and am enjoying it immensely. Also, at various times this past week I have enjoyed dipping into the Poetry books, savouring the words, thoroughly enjoying the experience and have already begun being inspired by, ’The Essence of Watercolor.’

I’m sure that (within the pages) there is even more treasure to be uncovered. Till next time!

Written by David Johnson

September 2020

Maze Of Knowledge

Last Sunday,, I had the pleasure of visiting (for only the second time, surprisingly) the Argyle Emporium in Goulburn, NSW. The Argyle Emporium sells used books, records and an assortment of eclectic things.

As the bookshop is located in Goulburn, only 15 mins away from where my Wife’s parents live (where we have obviously visited numerous times over the years), its a wonder that we haven’t been there more often.

On one hand, though, maybe I can understand that after being there for a bit less than an hour yesterday and buying 9 books. It is truly an amazing place!

Set in a old Police Station, and being a building of largish construction (for Goulburn), it has a number of rooms, so many in fact that is like a maze. All the rooms are positively brimming with books on just about every subject you can imagine. A recent review highlights the fact it houses 500,000 books. A Bibliophile’s dream!

It is not only for a lover of collecting books though, it is an extremely deep well of knowledge and resource, a place I will be visiting more often now.

The owner, Tony advised me that his Father, Stephen had started the bookshop 21 years ago.

It is open 10am – 4pm 7 days a week and is located opposite the Railway Station in Sloane Street, Goulburn.

The Argyle Emporium is such a delightful place to spend time browsing for treasure. So, what of the treasure I uncovered yesterday? That will be the subject of another post…

Written by David Johnson 8 September 2020

Photographer’s Paradise

My Wife’s parents live on 100 acres 25km SE of Goulburn, NSW.

Every time I go down there I take photos and with each visit, I always challenge myself to try to come back with something different. Like any place on Earth, its seasons present different challenges.

“Dog Noise” – © David Johnson

Goulburn can be bitterly cold with a hard-driving wind in Winter; very hot in Summer with a wind that is equally annoying. Autumn and Spring are gentler and invariably prettier.

They have a few dams on the property, some sheep and of course, Kelpies (a type of Working Dog for those that are unfamiliar with the breed).

Snakes are a problem (they tell me) in the warmer months, but in the 20 years I have been photographing down there I have not seen any, though Mum & Dad have had quite a few confrontations with Tiger and Brown Snakes. Perhaps they avoid me, which is a good thing. 🙂

I still take precautions though and must look a sight in Summer, when I am walking around in Gumboots, thick Jeans taking photos.

“Sunday Afternoon” – © David Johnson

The dams hold a particular fascination. I love the way the light hits the grasses and the contrasts between the reflections and the grasses always attract my attention.

“Wistful” – © David Johnson

I am fortunate that Mum loves Nature the way that she does as 20 years ago they planted all different types of trees, evergreen and especially deciduous. What self-respecting photographer can resist a backlit Autumn leaf?

“Veins” – © David Johnson

Perhaps the best way to finish this post is to talk about my absolute favourite time of day at the property, Sunset. I have experienced this enjoyment many, many times.

Even though the property is less than 2 hours drive from where we live, the quality of light is so different there, softer. A photographer’s paradise indeed.

“Western-bound” – © David Johnson

Written by David Johnson
8 April 2018