Exploring A Subject – You Never Know What You Might Find…
One of the things I’ve always enjoyed doing is to ‘exploring a subject.’
Often, I see people walk up to a subject, take a couple of photos and then walk off. Yes, take the overall subject, but move closer and explore the detail and I believe often, you will be pleasantly surprised with what you find. You will also come away with a picture-story which will help you convey much more meaning than with a couple of images.
One such example of this was when I was on Norfolk Island last year. Cascade Pier (pictured below) is the Island’s second or alternate pier. Used by fishing boats, and also schoolchildren to jump off of, after school, it is also used as an alternate pier if the main pier, at Kingston cannot be used for some reason.
It’s a great subject, and it’s even more impressive in regards to the detail when you move in closer. This pier could (as does) tell so many stories, from the rusted steel, the smell of the salty air. I found it such an inspiring place to be, photograph, write and sketch.
So, the next time you see an interesting subject, delve a bit deeper as you never know what interesting subjects you may find.
Written & Photographed by David Johnson
28 February 2023
We Stand In Awe!
Discovering New Places…
I love surprises, particularly when they are totally unexpected and have to do with discovering things that you thought you would have known about, but obviously didn’t…
Yesterday, after visiting Red Point Artist’s Association (where I am a member) at Port Kembla, we followed up on a tip from one of the other creatives. They suggested we visit an area of Port Kembla Harbour we had not previously been to.
There is a concrete breakwater that is approximately 1 km (0.6 miles) long at the harbour and I was quite looking forward to seeing and exploring it. When we arrived, the entrance was blocked off as perhaps it had sustained damage in last week’s storms. I took a couple of reference photos and we left as we wanted to take a look at the Port Kembla Heritage Park which was on the other side of the bay.
In the park we discovered Art installation (that relates to industrial action back in 1938), Tank Traps and old Battery Ports.
For me though, the best discovery of the afternoon was yet to come…
I was wandering around the edge of the park, mainly concentrating on looking across to the harbour, the breakwater and a cargo ship that was making its entrance when I turned around and saw some different shaped rocks and started to notice the different shades of colour in them plus I noticed a fair-sized rock pool nearby. It was still overcast at this point so I was looking forward to seeing them with sunlight on the scene. I didn’t have to wait long…this is what I saw.
Needles to say, I could immediately see possibilities for sketching, painting and photography and I am looking forward to going back there on different occasions, in different lighting to interpret the scene via these mediums.
I’ve included some more iPhone images below to give you an idea of just how beautiful an area it is. It is 1 hour’s drive away on a Sunday. How did I not visit there before now!? Sometimes, the best places are ‘right under our noses…’.
Till next time!
Written by David Johnson
10 July 2022
Bumboras Beach – Norfolk Island
In February this year, Susan and I visited Norfolk Island for the 3rd time, this time to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary.
The first 2 times we went there (1997 & 2007), I was deeply entrenched in Photography. Whilst I took photos again on my DSLR, I also took a lot of reference photos on with my phone camera for when I returned.
The image below is one such image.
On Saturday last, I chose this image as my reference photo for Day 1,220 of a Watercolour Sketch a Day.
In 3 visits to Norfolk Island, this was our first visit to this popular picnic spot. The island in the distance is Phillip Island.
- Moleskine 200gsm Sketchbook
- Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.05
- Winsor and Newton Artist Quality Paint
- Neef Watercolour brushes
I think I am getting better with my sketching/painting of rocks/boulders and am happier with the bottom half of the image than the top half.
I will have another attempt at this on a small scale and then would will aim to do an A4 size.
If you are ever on Norfolk Island, don’t wait until your 3rd visit to visit this beautiful spot.
Till next time!
6 June 2022