A Norfolk Island “Lighter”

Well, the first question you might ask is…’What is a Lighter?’

A Lighter is a ‘shallow-draft boat or barge, usually flat-bottomed, used in unloading (lightening) or loading ships offshore’. Source: Brittanica.com

Norfolk Island has no harbour and the closest cargo ships can moor to it is about 1 kilometre (0.62 miles)

The cargo is lifted onto the Lighters and then the Lighters transport the goods to Kingston Pier. A further challenge is that, even at high tide, the water is only 1 metre (3.2 feet) deep so a high degree of seamanship is required.

We were fortunate even to see this careful practice take place in our second visit to Norfolk Island back in 2007.

I find the Lighters to be a fascinating subject, particularly the ones that are no longer in service. There are 3 at Kingston, placed on land to add to the character of an already stunningly beautiful area. Oh, the stories I bet they could tell!

For me, they are one of my favourite subjects on Norfolk Island and have inspired me in terms of photography, sketching, painting and poetry.

Here are few examples:

Till next time!

Written, photographed, sketched and painted by myself.

23 April 2022

Are You Aware?

I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog my love for walking and the reasons I enjoy it, namely:

  • Exercise leading to increased health
  • Idea generation
  • Relaxation
  • Listen to music, podcasts of Nature
  • Time out to think
  • Photographic opportunities

I’m located approximately 60km South West of Sydney, Australia and as I sit here today, we are entering week four of the latest lockdown, this time for the Delta strain of Covid-19.

Walking is a fairly regular activity for me and I generally see a few people out walking in normal times, however, as a friend posted recently on Facebook, ‘nothing spurs people more than a lockdown to take up exercise…’. As a result of the lockdown, there are many more people out exercising.

Whilst it is great to see more people out and about exercising, it’s a shame that it takes a lockdown to ‘spur them on’.

It probably goes without saying, but I carry my phone with me with to:

  • Measure the distance walked
  • Listening activities
  • Photography

Today, I will focus on the photographic opportunities.

As we all know the ubiquitous mobile phone has become an indispensable tool in modern life, sometimes too much so. People seem to be slaves to them. One of its most usable features for me is its camera.

I have an iPhone 8 Plus which is probably getting ‘long in the tooth’ now, technology-wise and we will probably update them in the coming twelve months. There are better camera phones out there for sure but this one is doing ok at present.

The camera I would really like to be taking on my walks is one I haven’t bought yet as I have had other priorities. More on that in a later blog.

For the time being I will make do with the phone camera.

Taking up photography in the early 1980’s increased my awareness of what is around me in terms of beauty and design. Taking up sketching, drawing and painting I believe has increased my awareness even more.

Below are a few examples of the things that attract my eye as I go walking. When I go walking, I seldom see other people taking photos on their walks. I wonder if they are aware of the the beauty and design that surrounds them?

Are you?

Till next time…

Written by David Johnson

19 July 2021

Things That Attract My Eye

As those of you would know who follow my Blog regularly, one of my interests (dating back to 1982 when I bought my first serious camera) is Photography.

Whilst I still enjoy photographing with a DSLR, many photos are taken also with my iPhone. Currently, I possess an 8Plus which is getting a bit dated now but is still handy to have when I don’t have my DSLR with me.

My aim within the next 12 months is to purchase a high-end compact from the Sony RX range for the type of photography below and I’m also looking to say goodbye to me DSLR and go Mirrorless, but that’s another story.

As we have our phones on us nearly all the time these days it is very easy and convenient to photograph interesting things we have come across on a daily basis.

In the past couple of weeks, I started a new album on my Facebook page called, ‘Things That Attract My Eye.’

Here are the first 9 images in the album.

The images were taken when visiting the local Hospital, in my backyard, on walks, waiting for a Take-away food order, visiting an Art Gallery and whilst doing a ‘driver changeover’ on a motorway. All would have been missed were it not for the trusty phone camera.

Over time, I will put up more images.

I hope you enjoy, ‘Things That Catch My Eye!’

Written and Photographed by David Johnson

28 June 2021

A Remarkable Journey

The Moment It Clicks!

There was a time when I would haunt the local bookshops where I worked and spend time sifting through all the Photographic books, building a wish list of books that I would love to have on my bookshelf one day.

I still have what I consider to be a treasured collection of Photographic books at home (about 60+), being Coffee Table, on practical and theory etc. Many of them date back to film days with a sprinkling of Digital. Most are on theory, aesthetics, ways of viewing/thought processes, movements and individual subjects.

These days, I’m most likely to not head straight to the Photography section whether I am in a shop that sells new or used books, but I head towards the Art section and Poetry first.

With the introduction of Digital it seems there were far more books being produced on the art of manipulation than there were before, most of them dealing with how to tackle Adobe Photoshop. There seemed less on Photographic aesthetic which I think was a shame. Book after book after book lined the shelves about Photoshop or similar. 

I was in a second-hand bookshop recently and after visiting the Art/Painting and Poetry sections, I wandered over to the Photography section and was delighted to find, ’The Moment It Clicks – Photography Secrets From One Of The World’s Top Shooters’ by Joe McNally.

’The Moment It Clicks’, what a perfect title for me. Even before the advent of Digital Photography, for me, Photography was about the ‘moment of taking the picture’ and indeed the lead-up to it. I used to take Slides and Black & White, doing my own developing and printing in my Darkroom. Whilst the Darkroom was fun and I enjoyed it, it didn’t override the moment of taking the photo for me.

I’ve often had discussions with my fellow photographer-fiends on this subject as they don’t quite understand my view on this. I shoot Digital as well and have a couple of books on manipulation, but that is all.

With Slides, there was no ‘after-process’ if you like, unless of cause you developed them yourselves (which few people I knew did). You just sent them away for processing.

But back to the book, purchased for AUD$3.00, a real steal.

This edition was published in 2008, it covers the following:

  • Shoot What You Love
  • Keep Your Eye In The Camera
  • The Logic of Light
  • There’s Always Something To Bounce Light Off
  • Lighting Tips/Camera Bag/Lighting Gear
  • The Bar Is Open (a collection of 25 further tips covering Attitude; Choices; Aesthetics; Courage and more).

It is packed tips, recommendations and touches on thought processes and it doesn’t even mention Adobe Photoshop in the Index, indeed it only mentions the phrase, ‘photo editors’ once, on page 164. Bliss!

It’s been quite a few years since I had purchased a Photographic book and I am more than delighted with my latest purchase as it is exactly what I look for in a Photographic book.

Written by David Johnson

28 February 2021

Story To Be Told

An Artists Interpretation

An Artists interpretation

Journal To Discovery

It never occurred to me many years ago to keep a Journal, not a Diary, but a Journal of thoughts and ideas. It would have been great to be able to delve into now to see what sorts of things I was thinking of way back when.
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The idea to keep such a thing only started to enter my thinking around 2010. I started a small one for photographic ideas that I would definitely need the use of Photoshop to engineer as they were moving towards ‘Conceptual Photography.’ I would write a few brief notes and then do basic drawings or a sketch. Ironically, these days I seldom use Photoshop, but that’s for another article…

At my core I am ‘an ideas person.’ I have a lot of them and sometimes the phrase, ’shiny object syndrome’ comes to mind. Through 2003 – 2009 I was traveling 4 hours return by public transport to work in Sydney, Australia, was in two Photographic Societies, on committees and had lots of things on the go. Over the years, I have many ideas and some of them have progressed but many are still there, waiting…

In 2008 Toastmasters arrived in my life and I was being exposed to new things, ideas, people. Evernote became my ’Typed Journal.’

I began to revisit Sketches (that were not connected with Photographic ideas) which led me to keep a related Sketching journal, which led to me completing a basic Drawing course. Up sprang another type of Journal!

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Drawing led to me wondering if I could Paint? Up sprang a small Painting ‘Journal.’

In August 2013, I started writing Poetry, so yes, enter my Evernote Poetry Journal. Two years ago I realised just how much I was missing the ‘actual act of writing’ and so I bought an A5 journal that I handwrite poetry in. As I was halfway through my 4th poetry journal, a thought came to mind… Instead of having all these different Journals, why not combine them?
Research began on what type of journal to buy? This went on for a few weeks…

I ascertained it had to be able to be good enough quality paper to be:

  • Written on using a Calligraphy (or similar pen)
  • Able to withstand Watercolour and Acrylic Paints
  • Sketched or Drawn upon

As I found out, there is a whole industry devoted to Journals/Journaling. Here is one of the links that were indeed very helpful to me, as I hope it will be for you.

The next decision was, ’should I buy a ready-made’ product or make my own?’

I decided to go the ready-made route. I feel that my next one will be one I make myself. It sounds like fun!

The Journal I have chosen to combine all my Artistic, Writing & Poetical ideas is an A4 Ivory paper journal.

In this Journal, to my Heart’s content I can:

  • Write Poetry
  • Write small articles
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Sketch
  • Formulate Ideas
  • Paste photos

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As I get on in years it is going to be so much fun delving back, re-engineering ideas and seeing what thoughts and ideas I have had. When I am no longer on this Earth the Journals will be left to relatives/friends who I know will appreciate and gain enjoyment from (and who knows) may progress some of the ideas and be inspired to record their own Artistic Journey.

Do you keep a Journal of your Art, Thoughts & Ideas?

If so, what do you use? I would be interested in hearing about your Journal of Discovery!

As for me, I believe I can hear my Journal calling me… Bye for now.

Express Them I Must!

Addiction

Mental Brushstrokes

Mental Brushstrokes