Things That Attract My Eye – 3

Welcome to my third post of ‘Things that attract my eye’.

All of the images below were taken in the last couple of months on walks, excursions and as I go out my daily life. All were taken on my iPhone 8 Plus.

A famous Photographer was once asked, ‘What is the best camera to have?’ His answer was, ‘the one you have on you at the time…’. That was Chase Jarvis.

My interpretation of this comment is that we all probably wish that we could have our DSLR, Mirrorless or high-end compact camera with us every moment of the day to capture every beautiful image. This is often not possible, nor practical e.g., if I took my DSLR out on my early morning walk before I started running my business that day, my walk would take longer…and thus impact the running of my business.

With the phone camera, I just take a quick snap and I’m on my way as I have a certain amount of time allocated in the morning for exercise. That is the best camera to take the images on, given that circumstance.

Similarly, when I go out sketching, often, I will not take my DSLR with me as it can be a distraction.

Here are the latest things ‘that have attracted my eye’.

Written by David Johnson

23 October 2022

Escape!

Last Sunday, we went on our first day trip since coming out of lockdown, which we were in for three and a half months. We live approximately 60km / 37miles South of Sydney, Australia.

First on our visit list was one of our favourite cafes, which is situated in Picton about 20 minutes drive South of where we live. They have indoor and outdoor seating and (as normal), we chose to sit outside. It was a perfect Spring day on Sunday, 24C / 75F with a slight breeze and glorious Sunshine which was particularly pleasing after about a week of rain.

Leaf & Bean Cafe, Picton

We had a delicious Chai Latte, Scones with Jam and whipped cream. Yum! Lots of calories but we have been doing more exercise lately. After enjoying that and a brief chat with the owner, we set off to our next stop, Lake Burragorang Lookout at Nattai.

Lake Burragorang is part of the Warragamba Dam Catchment which is Sydney’s main water supply and it is also part of the Blue Mountains National Park which extends way beyond Katoomba, to the West (home of the world famous ‘Three Sisters’ rock formation). Lake Burragorang Lookout is also approximately 30 minutes drive to the South West of where we live.

There is no better place to soak up the Sunshine and relax in the region. The view is simply a sight to behold! Travelling light today, I just took a small sketchbook, some pigment liners and a pencil and eraser and managed to do some rough sketches of rocks and trees which I hope will turn into (at least) one or two of my Watercolour Sketches a day.

All-in-all it was wonderful afternoon of relaxation and Sunshine!

Till next time.

Written by David Johnson

20 October 2021

A Beautiful Place

Last Sunday, after enjoying a nice afternoon tea at one of our favourite cafe’s in Picton which is about 15 minutes drive South from where we live, we decided to head out to Lake Burragorang which is part of the Sydney Warragamba Dam Catchment, Sydney’s main water source.

We are so fortunate to have such a majestic and beautiful spot that is only 32 minutes drive away.

Lake Burragorang is a man-made reservoir that was created by a Dam. Unfortunately, to create the reservoir, it was necessary to relocate residents who had lived farming towns in the Burragorang Valley since the early 19th Century. The lands actually belonged to Gundungarra Aboriginal tribe.

Construction of the Warragamba Dam commenced in 1948 and was completed in 1960 and is surrounded by a 3km exclusion zone to ensure the integrity of the water supply. It is sad that such a beautiful spot was created in this way, however, the end result is certainly a jewel to the eye.

My first visit there dated back to the 1980’s when I was just getting into Photography. I’ve been back there with social clubs and with my SLR/DSLR on a number of occasions. It has BBQ facilities, seats, amenities and is a great place for a picnic.

My previous visit was back in 2018, a year before those horrendous bushfires ripped through various parts of the state, including the Burragorang Valley. Even the though a lot of the green has returned in the past year, down in the valley, you can still see clear through to the ground where there is still little or no undergrowth. It will take time, but it will eventually recover.

The only camera I took this time was my phone as I wanted to concentrate on sketching and also writing some Poetry (if the mood captured me). My wife, Susan took her Crotchet with her, and after a brief walk we settled down to enjoy the surroundings for the next 2 1/2 hours.

The light was impressive throughout the afternoon as it danced and highlighted different sections of the landscape intermittently. I felt so relaxed.

I went away with the feeling that ‘I had indeed been away’ and not just been on a Sunday drive. The light, the ambience felt almost Spiritual.

We certainly won’t be leaving as much time between visits next time.

Written by David Johnson

16 February 2021

Sources of Historical information:

https://www.theland.com.au/story/5702018/painting-revives-rich-burragorang-history/ ; https://historyofaboriginalsydney.edu.au/south-west/location/burragorang-valley ; https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-03/how-sydneys-water-needs-drowned-burragorang-valley/9390170