Three milliseconds after an atomic explosion, 1952


Black and white photograph from the middle of the Cold War.

The strangely beautiful expanding bubble formed just as an atomic bomb is exploded. Nevada Desert, 1952.

three milliseconds after an atomic explosion, 1952

Three milliseconds after an atomic explosion, 1952

Found here.

Australia, Strangled by Censors


Here in our gloriously free and oh so safe country, Australia, yet another Government is working hard to ensure our happiness, safety and contentment.

Having just been told that our internet is going to be fixed so that we are no longer menaced by internet  nasties that our guardians don’t like we now have a Governmental intent to change the laws on what is and isn’t art.

The New South Wales Government has released recommendations to scrap the defence of ‘artistic merit’ in relation to child pornography.

It is part of a report compiled by police, the DPP and Legal Aid in an attempt to make a clear legal distinction between pornography and art.

So now we will have artistic merit determined by Government Committee.

Just like Germany and Russia during the 1930′s and Eastern Europe in the 1950′s and 1960′s what is considered acceptable in architecture, music, theatre and the visual arts is soon to be decided for us by those who were once our elected representatives.

The talent of Bill Henson has once again been the excuse for this brutal slap in the face for Australia’s arts community.

Regardless of the fact that this law allegedly can only come into force once an item has been declared “Child Pornography”, once that decision is made, apparently by the Director of Public Prosecutions, then “artistic merit” goes out the window and is not even considered. Not a good start for any defense to a crime which is simply “In the eye of the beholder”. There is no objective way of defining “pornography” whether adult or child.

This new law suddenly appears just weeks after Senator Conroy announced in Federal Parliament that the “Great Firewall of Australia” will be fully operational by 2011. If that measure goes ahead in its current form then Australia will be off the internet map. All the little special interest groups will have their special interest desires met.

The “Pro-family” groups will have total censorship of pornography. Not just the “Kiddie Porn” of which those of us who oppose this measure are assumed (by Senator Conroy) to be devotees but adult porn which is currently legal under Australia’s censorship laws. They will also be able to block all sites which mention voluntary euthanasia, safe drug use or abortion.

The “anti-gambling” groups will have succeeded in banning, in Australia, all gambling sites on the internet.

The Religious Right will get their jollies because atheist websites and “alternative religion” websites will be banned, blocked or shut down.

How long will it be until a political party takes advantage of being in office to ban all sites promoting their opposition?

The “Clean Feed Filter” which is going to be used is almost exactly the same as the filter the Chinese Government, a noted liberal regime, was going to use but then decided that it was unworkable.

So, between these two arms of Government, it seems we Aussies are in for – I was going to say, “An interesting time.” In reality we will regress to the drabness of the Puritan regimes in both England and the then new Americas.

The art work comes from, in order; Mike Fitz, Bill Henson, Phil’s Phun, I Am your God.
Visit here for background on this issue.

Click on each image to biggify and run your cursor over the images.

Eclipse


Some of you may have been wondering if I was keen enough to get up at 4.30am to catch some of the Eclipse action on Sunday morning.

I was!

I failed to get anything spectacular during the darker hours so I went down to the lake just before first light.

Finally, as what had been a full moon the night before, set across the lake I was lucky enough to get this shot.

Then as the dune was showing the effects of the first rays of the morning sun, the moon sank just a little further.

Friday’s Feathers #13; Peregrine Falcon


I know I’ve posted one of these before but I love this bird.

He is so photogenic.

Odd Shot #18; Out Of My Way!


Out of the mirages and heat hazes of Outback Australia equipment for the mining industry can suddenly appear.

BIG equipment.

The sort of big where you don’t even try to share the road.

The sort of big which would appear odd to many city dwellers.

Drop on over to Katney’s Kaboodle to see more of us odd oddshotters.

Sky Watch Friday #8


Sunset. A line of smoke along the horizon giving some interesting colours. That pesky sun kept turning white on the image.

Silhouetted trees along the skyline gave a nicely textured edge to an image which was showing layers of colour.

Then I got annoyed with the sun and its intrusiveness.

So I cranked up my Tamrom 25-300mm lens to its full 300mm.

And aimed directly at the centre of our solar system. Just as it was cutting the horizon. Almost everything on the image was wiped out.

Except for the sun itself.

Which kept its colour although its shape was warped by the Earth’s atmosphere.

Either it was the atmosphere changing its shape or the sun is about to explode. Perhaps we need to call The Doctor – - -

(The first image was an exposure of 1/2000 sec at 90mm, while the second one was 1/4000 sec at 300mm)

Visit Tom for a list of Sky Watchers

Camera Critters #7; Magpie


The words were written a decade ago

The image was taken yesterday.

The deafness continues.

For which man can ever truly understand the thoughts of a woman?

Click on the image for a larger version

Gift-Wrapped


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

Or is it just to keep the birds away?

Pining for Travel


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!

Odd Shot #13


I found this sign on one of our country roads around 12 months ago.

Near a town surrounded by dairy farms.

Drop in at the home of the Odd Shot to see more.

Friday’s Feathers #4; Darter


Found mainly in still or slow moving water, the darter spends a lot of its time drying out. It looks totally ragged just after it has settled on a rock or low tree branch.

However, after a while all the feathers settle back into place. Its shape is rather matronly with a long graceful neck attached to a rather dumpy body.

That large body is only seen when the darter is out of the water. When spotted in the water, it has a snake-like appearance with its body fully submerged. Its head slips below the water with scarcely a ripple and it often reappears just as suddenly and just as unexpectedly.

Of course, every now and then that reappearance is a little more noticeable.

Rainy Day, Slippery Road


Yesterday I planned to spend a day photographing my beloved Swan River.

Instead the rain came down and there were rumours of thunder in the air.

So I spent my day at home, playing with my potted plants and reading.

Just after lunch I heard a sliding sound outside which suddenly stopped with a light “Thud”.

I looked over my balcony and there it was. In the middle of the road. As a car had stopped to turn right (yes, we drive on the correct dside of the road here in Oz.) and a following car had not left sufficient space to stop on the wet and slippery road.

So I watched in wonder as people walked all over the road, between the stopped cars, all in oblivious ignorance that someone else may also not stop in time!

What did amaze me was the number of people who impatiently tooted their horns in annoyance at the hold-up to their highly important and urgent travel plans.

Pornography, Censorship and Art. Same old, Same old!


I am severely lacking in writing inspiration today.

Not that I don’t have a lot to write about. I have a very important subject to write about. It is just that the words wont come out in a satisfying way.

Australians will know what I want to write about when I mention the name “Bill Henson“.

Considered by many to be Australia’s foremost photographer, he is fascinated by twilight, the space between day and night, by adolescence, that space between child and adult. The moment of hesitancy. He has been exhibited around the world and his work is hung in some of the most prestigious galleries.

Online, some of his work is visible and much more can be seen on the net – just google the name and then click on “Images”.

Now to the the subject, the controversy. The best way to follow the developments is through a series of news items.

It began five days ago when police raided a Sydney art gallery. Within hours, the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd weighed into the debate and the police began questioning the photographer. Betty Churcher, head of Australia’s National Art Gallery gave her opinion while some of the subjects themselves spoke out. The controversy widened to another gallery while more than 40 of Australia’s leading writers and artists supported Henson. Today the police have rejected the art world’s outcry, while two prominent politicians have supported the photographer.

In another report today, Louise Adler, the head of Melbourne University Publishing, one of 44 prominent figures who have signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to rethink his condemnation of the photos as “absolutely revolting”, calls the controversy a ‘beat-up’.

“I don’t believe that paedophiles and pornographers are going to rush to Roslyn Oxley’s gallery to find Bill Henson’s work for stimulation,” she said. “The question is, is it a private matter, one of taste or is it that the community has to come down and make a judgement?

Do we need to be chaperoned by the state on these questions?” she asked.

I don’t believe we do. Although I know a lot of people will disagree with me.

Everyone’s comments are welcome, although I do reserve the right to adjust the wording, but not the intent of some comments, where those comments may be viewed as offensive by some readers of the archive.

So that truly informed debate can take place, the image which originally sparked this controversy is over the jump.

Continue reading

Camera Critters #3; An Inconvenient Wasp


A lot of times when photographers try to capture an image, someone will wander across the field of view.

I have the same problem when I photograph flowers.

There always seems to be an insect who wishes to become a film star!

Not sure if this is a bee or a wasp. She didn’t leave her card.

For more Camera Critters -

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