A Bit of Perth


Perth was Occupied today.

Along with much of the Western world, Perth followed the lead of protesters in Wall Street. Only a small crowd but it was friendly and concerned about our future.

These people are a Bit of Perth.

Yes, I was involved and I created a small record of the day.

Neglected Christmas Gnome


It is the middle of July.

It is raining.

I am cold.

And wet.

And I hate snails!

Sky Watch Friday


 

Perth is having its 19th consecutive day of +30C. Thirteenth night of a minimum in excess of 20C. Heading for records in both categories.

On the beach there are thousands of people trying to cool in the ocean.

Also in the ocean is danger to those people.

There are “rips” and undertows which can drag swimmers out to sea. Then there are other dangers. Dangers with teeth and very large jaws.

Volunteer members of Australian Surf Lifesaving Clubs have, for more than a century watched over Australians on the beaches. Towers have been built so that an eye can be kept on sea conditions. Sometimes a shark was spotted.

These days with swimmers moving further out to sea there is more chance of interaction with sharks.

So helicopters are now used to extend the eyes of the watchers. While the pilots are professional, the ground-based volunteers are still the same, selfless, skilled young people who spend some of their time protecting their fellow beach-goers.

So today’s Sky Watch is not so much the sky, but the watchers in the sky. At Scarborough Beach on the Perth coast.

 


Looked Out My Window Today


No, I didn’t go overboard. Not that I couldn’t have. After all, some people do go a little bit overboard when they see a double rainbow.

Zvaanenrivier


Willem de Vlamingh (b1640) was a Dutch sea-captain with the VOC (Dutch East India Company)who explored the south west coast of Australia (then “New Holland”) in the late 17th century.

On 10 January 1697, he ventured up the Swan River. He and his crew are believed to have been the first Europeans to do so. He named the Swan River (Zwaanenrivier in Dutch) after the large numbers of black swans that he observed there.

There is now a large sundial which commemorates the approximate position of where he reached. It is just below the Wheel of Perth and I was able to get a shot of it.

Sky Watch Friday


This is one of those shots where all the action has not yet happened.

The theatre; The Swan River in Perth, Western Australia.

The setting; Taken on Tuesday from the Eye of Perth as some early winter storms were approaching, they hit on Tuesday night and continued through Wednesday. By Thursday morning there were just occasional squalls.

The actors; the Red Bull Air race pilots. You can see some of the bits and pieces for the race on the Swan River in this photo. You can also see the threatening clouds in the sky.

Note!  This is the part of this post which is the Sky Watch entry.

On Thursday morning Brazilian pilot Adilson Kindlemann, 36, was attempting a knife-edge turn around a pylon when his plane’s wing clipped the water and crashed. I think this is the first crash in a Red Bull Air Race since it began.

I didn’t take this image – it was released by Red Bull.

The pilot was taken to Royal Perth Hospital with minor injuries including whiplash. So there is a happy ending to the story.

Gosnells’ Pioneer Park


Gosnells is one of the southern suburbs within the Perth Metropolitan Area.

Its Pioneer Park is peaceful, spacious and water-filled. It sits at the confluence of the Canning and Southern Rivers and the sounds of the nearby highway are muted.

Fokuangshan Buddhist Temple


Just down the road from me is a little touch of Oriental beauty.

The Fokuangshan Buddhist Temple.

Rather than the sharp square lines of most buildings the temple has wonderfully curved lines.

With marvellous decorations on the few straight lines.

Gift-Wrapped


Is someone due for a surprise present on the Swan River?

Or is it just to keep the birds away?

The Maj


His Majesty’s Theatre, the Maj, is over a hundred years old and is still in constant use as the prestige venue, in Perth, for professional stage shows, ballet and opera.

My sole appearance on stage was as a part of a school choir’s competition way back in the mid-1950′s. I had been told I was a “crow” and I was to move my mouth but to sing silently.

I once worked its back stage as a stage hand, on a panto. Cinderella. There were eight wonderfully white and groomed Samoyed dogs pulling the  sleigh/carriage. Good grief, that would have been in the late 60′s!

Front row seats for Roy Dotrice’s solo performance as Mister Lincoln in the early 80′s.

So many memories.

Built before the days of air conditioning, it had an opening roof and all those doors which lead out onto the balcony were opened on a hot summer’s night to allow a breeze through. That roof has recently been restored to working order.

The building, while a place for the performing arts, is an art work in itself.

One of the tragedies of modern city life is the impossibility of standing back to enjoy a streetscape. The only way to capture most of the facade in a single image is to use a very wide angled lens.

Foggy Night


Perth does not suffer from a lot of fogs.

So, when yesterday’s rain turned into a night-time fog, I was drawn to attempting to capture the ghostly atmosphere.

I found that sodium vapour street lights are far too intensely yellow and even with attempts at photoshopping the colour balance the quiet mistiness was lost.

Even with major colour and saturation correction too much was lost. Perhaps the reality of modern city streets will stop them from becoming eerie. Or maybe a sodium filter would help.

Looking through a tree with only distant white mercury vapour lights showing seems to catch some of the atmosphere.

Oh well, I hope I can remember these lessons the next time Perth is foggy and quiet.

Odd Shot #15


Ok, i’ll help out here. This is a part of the IBM building in Perth. Yes, that is a parking sign in the right lower corner.

But someone has been playing  crosses and crosses.

Without an opponent!

And the oddest part is – he STILL hasn’t won!

Storm Damage


Saturday was a day of wild and violent storms in Perth.

Thunder, lightning, rain, hail and wind. Gale force winds.

Midway through the gale I heard metal clanging but I could not work our where the noise was originating.

About an hour later I spotted the SES volunteers covering the roof of the lift well on the block of units which blocks my views of the city. Those orange uniforms and orange tarpaulins are a welcome site wherever there is storm damage.

They did a great job, considering the wind was still blowing, the rain still falling and lightning still striking in the area. Because the damaged roof was fairly inaccessible and there were no safety rails around the working area, it took a couple of hours to do this job.

Well done guys. Thank you all.

Camera Critters #4; Dolphins


After an afternoon on the Swan River, cruising upstream from the Port of Fremantle to the Old Perth Port (aka The Barrack St Jetties) I was pleasantly weary. The free wine-tasting was  partly to blame.  So was the  darkening sky.

I perform at my best under bright sunny skies. The sky on Friday had spent all day gathering clouds. Now, close to sunset, the evening had come in earlier than expected. Everything had become dull and grey. Even the water was reflecting grey back at the sky.

As we moored, there was a sudden increase in energy from the lethargic passengers. Something had disturbed the flat surface of the Swan River.

Dolphins! Hunting. About a dozen of them.

I had difficulties with focus and sharpness. Shooting totally on the fly, using a slightly slower shutter speed because of the lack of light; those dolphins are FAST! I had to accept four reasonable images from around fifty snaps. Not a good return.

The bonus was simply being in their presence.

Visit Camera Critters to see some more critters.

Playtime


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