The Boomer Legacy


Project Highlights

The following are a “best of” sample of images from this project.

They are not necessarily the most popular, but rather those which best represent what this project all is about.

Topic Images

There are currently 73 photographs in this section.

What mean these stones?

We were at the beginning of a mass extinction, and all we could talk about was money and fairytales of eternal economic growth (Thundberg, 2019)

#4005 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Iron slag at the Blast Furnace Park in Lithgow [Aug-2012 331kb]


Another early Hasselblad 120-film shot, but one which turned out to be the main instigator for this project. Had always wanted to buy a V-System 6×6 camera, but could only afford it when they started being dumped onto the second-hand market in 2010. The project at the time had been somewhat aimless for 18 months, even if some of the shots were okay. Then this image at Lithgow changed everything

From lab to stage

What was once esoteric technology confined to a research lab, was now routinely used for entertainment

#5072 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Stage technician, Campbells Cove Sydney [Jan-2019 234kb]


Had been wanting for years to capture an image which not only celebrated the amazing capabilities of modern technology, but also hinted at the alienation it could cause

Gone a million

The rich were always with us

#3042 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Abandoned Rolls-Royce automobile at Hiles Street in Alexandria [Jun-2015 289kb]


This Rolls Royce was “parked” in Alexandria for years. When Leica Australia held a launch event in Nov 2019 for their SL-2 camera, four years after this photo was taken, they used a converted warehouse in the same street. After the presentation, went outside to see if the Rolls was still there — it was

Spirited formalism

Everyone benefited from our unwavering commitment to certain kinds of inclusion and diversity

#3108 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The waterfall entrance to the NGV, Melbourne [Apr-2019 618kb]


Shots through the “water wall” at the National Gallery of Victoria entrance are, unfortunately, a photography cliché. Consequently, great care is taken to avoid these things. Not this time though, as the juxtaposition between the seated mother and exterior family was too strong to ignore

Bubble watch

Rising property prices were carefully manipulated to create more economic winners than losers

#2046 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Spectators on the steps of the former CBC Bank, Martin Place [Apr-2006 278kb]


One of the most significant impacts of the Boomer generation was the proliferation of asset bubbles. For this shot, taken during the 2006 Anzac Day march, everyone on the bank's steps looked up suddenly to watch planes fly over. What made getting the shot difficult was not just the timing, but also using a film-based Hasselblad, mounted onto a monopod and triggered by a mechanical cable release

A two-speed world

The landscape was altered to better reflect our social order

#4031 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The remains of Lawrence Hargrave Drive beside the Sea Cliff bridge, near Coalcliff [Dec-2016 779kb]


Most people drive over the Sea Cliff Bridge and don't notice the abandoned Lawrence Hargrave Drive. It was decommissioned in Aug 2003 due to numerous rockfalls from the escarpment along its western side. The road still remains open to intrepid walkers, and the kiosk-sized boulder which finally closed it is still visible

Back in the CCCP

The centralised command economy disintegrated almost immediately

#2059 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Street vendors on the day the Belavezha Accords were signed, Tverskaya St Moscow [Dec-1991 248kb]


Moscow at the end of the Soviet Union. A lot of patience was required to capture this image. Scores of people were milling around the vendors, checking out the items being offered. So you had to wait a long time (45 minutes, in the freezing cold) for the crowd to part just enough to clearly reveal the sellers. It turned out most of them had lost their jobs in the post-communist dislocation, and were trying to hawk their valuables to supplement their incomes

Lifelong entanglement

We would have followed you anywhere

#6015 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Bethesda Terrace, Central Park NYC [Oct-2017 658kb]


Noticed a family having portraits taken among the Central Park crowds. Most of the poses were overtly formal, but one set-up produced this arrangement while mother and child waited for the photographer to adjust his gear. It was only a fleeting moment, but it struck me as being something deeply emotional from everyone's childhood


Jeffrey Keith Skilling (Enron Corp); Walter Forbes (Cendant Corp); Richard Fuld (Lehman Brothers); Bernard Lawrence Madoff (Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC); Satoshi Nakamoto (Bitcoin); Ruja Ignatova (OneCoin); Markus Braun (Wirecard); Sam Bankman-Fried (FTX); Kwon Do-Hyung (Terraform Labs); Changpeng Zhao (Binance); Sergei Panteleevich Mavrodi (MMM Global); Elizabeth Anne Holmes (Theranos Inc.)

#2092 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Wedding Cake Rock, RNP [Jul-2019 211kb]


Wedding Cake Rock was a social-media hotspot at the northern end of the Royal National Park. Simple fences were erected to stop people from posing on the rock's edge, not only to prevent them from falling to their deaths (there had been a few), but also to preserve the geological structure as long as possible. The irony was that selfie-lovers were still climbing over and through the obstructions to get their snaps. So a few months later a higher, reinforced, cliff-edge to cliff-edge impenetrable barrier was finally installed

Brett's armchair

The same music in completely different hands

#3100 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Sixteenth floor, Harbourside Apartments [Jan-2019 275kb]


Lavender Bay, visible through the windows, was one of Brett Whiteley's favourite subjects. The book on the table is Whiteley on Trial (2017), about the forgery of a handful of Whiteley's works and how the Australian legal system couldn't find any grounds for malfeasance

Potemkin Prosperity

The central irony of the financial crisis was that while it was caused by too much confidence, too much borrowing & lending and too much spending — it could only be resolved with more confidence, more borrowing & lending, and more spending (Summers, 2011)

#2033 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Fields of green shoots at the Westpac plaza in Sydney [Jan-2014 520kb]


This image is actually a composite, with two shots joined via a false horizon. Although always fascinated by the glibness of the expression green shoots, it took a lot of scouting to find a corporate environment which actually had them

Golden sunlit uplands

Import alien species to remind you of home, then watch helplessly as they spread throughout the environment

#4048 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The invasive plant species Common Gorse spreads along the Taieri Gorge, NZ [Dec-2017 818kb]


This shot was taken while hanging out the door of the Taieri Gorge tourist train. Had actually wanted shots of the train taking a curve, but looked around and saw the weed-covered gully (next time it might be an idea to stay safely inside inside the carriage and just point the camera out the window). There might not be a “next time” however, as the line was closed in 2020 due to COVID related financial pressures, and the reopened line now only runs to Hindon, well short of where this photo was taken

It just works

Release now, patch later

#5021 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Jensen Avenue at Dover Heights [Nov-2016 306kb]


One of the most irritating things while working as a web-developer in the 1990s was having to release feature-bloated software when it was still nowhere near ready. Go-go management had made wildly unrealistic promises, which fell upon us coders to somehow deliver. Unsurprisingly the software always ended up half-baked and bug-ridden. This often turned out to be fair however, as many clients only wanted to brag about being dot-com entrepreneurs, despite lacking any tech skills or capacity to pay invoices on time

Look back in covfefe

Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that's more productive (Trump, 1987)

#2069 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Trump impersonator on Broadway, NYC [Oct-2017 335kb]


The 2016 election of the 45th US President unleashed a wave of anti-populist invective. Progressive activists, academics and news-workers incessantly railed against “Trumpism” for years and years, as if all the op-eds and impeachment attempts and special counsels and house select committees and pussyhats and “Stormy Daniels” imminent-indictments could reverse what happened

Think small

A charismatic and perfectionist architect; Workaday engineers hamstrung by 1960s tech; A meddling public broadcaster; Conservative politicians out for revenge… The Sydney Opera House looked magnificent from afar, but up close it was riddled with problems caused by years of indecision, controversy, compromise and bickering

#5025 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Domestic fountain at Church Street, Croydon [Sep-2016 481kb]


It required seven years to force Jørn Utzon out of the country in 1966, supposedly due to his ineptitude during the design and construction of Stages I & II (the podium and shells). It then took the Minister for Public Works and his team another seven years to complete Stage III (the performance halls and windows), resulting in a 3× cost blow-out and some of the worst acoustics and sightlines in the world. These were finally rectified by the 50th anniversary renovations, completed in 2022

Nothing's gonna change my world

Imagine no Holden Morrisey Caulfield

#3074 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Strawberry Fields, Central Park NYC [Oct-2017 445kb]


The weekend circus attracted by Lennon's memorial in Central Park. Peace had little chance when it came to the epic jostling for the best selfie positions, while in the background numerous versions of St John's simplest tunes were played by panhandlers hoping for coin donations

What this little black rock could do

We have to make sure this economy works. We have to export dollars. We have to realise we have a moral responsibility to other people in other nations to keep their lights on (Joyce, 2017)

#2041 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The Steelworks and Coal Loader at Port Kembla harbour [Sep-2014 66kb]


Port Kembla, along with Newcastle, featured some of the largest coal handling facilities in the world. Unfortunately it was difficult to shoot interesting views of generally ugly industrial locations. Sunsets helped, as did telephoto lenses and silhouettes

North to Avoska

Before mobile phones, perhaps-bags accompanied us everywhere

#2138 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Totes diptych at Hornsby and Wynyard, Sydney [Apr-2005 248kb]


Behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, people always carried shopping bags in case goods become available. Here in the west there were rarely any shortages, but people carried similar bags nevertheless

Lambos to the moon

It was an era of unending optimism. Families prospered, inflation was beaten (until 2022) and credit was easy to get at near-zero rates (until 2022). Average mums & dads were flipping investment properties, collecting NFTs and betting on cryptocurrencies. Stock markets inexorably kept rising, while house values soared to what looked like a permanently high plateau

#3069 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Living statue performer at Circular Quay [Jul-2017 253kb]


A simple, almost throw-away candid shot acquired sinister meaning when you notice the children were prodding a stuffed crocodile

We were here

Passing paths that climb halfway into the void (Yes, 1972)

#4069 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Royal Coastal Track, near Wattamolla [Aug-2020 911kb]


Roger Dean everywhere, although without the tarns or waterfalls. Instead in Australia we have lots of burnt scrub, in this case scorched by yet another deliberately-lit wildfire

Magic sponge

During weekly mass at their spiritual home in St. Bernardino, the archreferee would hold aloft the Sacred Sphere and bestow His most holy blessing: Kind friends, VVIPs, WAGs and Ultras, we are gathered here on St Totteringham's Day to drink beers and throw flares. To give 110% when sports-washing the unsaved. To rise up and throw sardines into the sea from the back of the trawler. To find the back of the net, a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God. So please take a knee and raise your Vuvuzelas for the national benediction: Our Footy, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy game. Thy Kingdom score, thy bets be more, on phones as it is in Qatar. In nomine Blatter, et FIFA, et Spiritus Alea… You may now invade the pitch

#3064 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Sports promotion at Olympic Park [Aug-2017 188kb]


St. Bernardino
Patron saint of advertising, communications & compulsive gambling wagering
Sacred Sphere
A hollow spherical object made of suitable material, with an external circumference between 680—700mm and mass of 0.41—0.45kg, and inflated to an interior pressure of 60.795—101.325 kPa at sea level
Very — very — important people
Highly accomplished Wives & Girlfriends of players
Highly accomplished association football fans noted for their black hoodies, self-restraint and civilised behaviour during pitch invasions
St Totteringham's Day
The day celebrated by Arsenal fans when Tottenham can no longer outrank them in the League table
The First Law of Thermodynamics shall not apply to sport
The role of media-workers when reporting large sporting events
Throw sardines […] trawler
King Eric's 1995 epigram
Hand of God […]
Unjustly criticised goal during the 1986 FIFA World Cup
The national wind instrument of South Africa
A Gulf petro-state that has denied any wrongdoing, ever
Highly accomplished 8th President of FIFA from 1998 to 2015
Federation Internationale de Football Association
Latin: “game of chance”

Keeping interest rates low *

No matter what happened, cheap debt could not be blamed
(* until 2022)

#2060 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Used car-yard at Parramatta Road Granville [Apr-2017 206kb]


Global interest rates were kept artificially low for decades to encourage economic growth. Finding metaphors for the corresponding deterioration in lending standards + mountain of consumer-debt turned out to be surprisingly easy

The efficiency dividend playbook

A land full of equal opportunity, where respect for property, hard work, fair-play and fiscal self-restraint guaranteed a good life

#3060 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Darling Point ferry wharf, Sydney [Jan-2017 283kb]


A pleasant walk on a summer afternoon turned into an object lesson in social stratification. It appropriately happened at the ferry wharf to one of Sydney's wealthiest suburbs

The shadow workforce

The solution to mass unemployment was as simple as redefining what was meant by “unemployed”

#2036 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Red flags at the Circular Quay promenade [Jul-1992 475kb]


Taken from the Cahill Expressway, looking down on the paving at Circular Quay. What appears to be a huge knife was actually the shadow of a banner flapping in the wind

Cut-through messaging

Make your mark, repeat, move on

#5049 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Vandalised rail-car at the Zigzag railway, subsequently destroyed by the 2019 summer bushfires, Clarence [Jul-2019 325kb]


Photography as a time capsule. Found this abandoned rail-car while walking along the decommissioned Zig Zag rail line at Clarence in the Blue Mountains. Despite being extensively vandalised it was still scheduled for restoration. A few months later another wildfire swept through the area, and this time the carriage was completely destroyed

Taming animal spirits

There is something more systematic about the way people behave irrationally, especially during periods of economic stress (Greenspan, 2013)

#2039 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Lunchtime in a George Street amusement arcade, Sydney, demolished a few years later [Sep-2003 326kb]


Having worked in high-pressure corporate environments in the 1990s, it proved difficult to find suitable metaphors outside. But then sometimes you get lucky

The apotheosis of Curators & Gallerists

A point was reached where the only way to truly appreciate contemporary art was in complete blackness

#3022 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Adrián Villar Rojas' “The End of Imagination”, AGNSW [Dec-2022 82kb]


We were given plenty of opportunity to celebrate the Reductio ad absurdum of Art Practitioners

Peak oil

Rapid obsolescence was just around the corner

#7014 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Motorcycle parking at the top of Hill Street, North Sydney [Oct-2020 343kb]


A disadvantage of panoramic cylindrical projection is that horizontal lines will always appear curved. You can partially compensate by using Mercator projection, but often you just have to live with it. If the budget allows, you could print the image and mount it onto a concave backing, and then stand inside the arc to see the horizontals straight again, a truly mind-bending experience! (Here the master image is 15340×7670 pixels, which if printed at 150 dpi would end up being 1.3×2.6 metres)

Stack trace

International trade agreements led to enormous economic benefits

#4024 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The concrete base of the demolished Port Kembla copper stack [Sep-2014 349kb]


The Copper Stack was an Illawarra landmark since its construction in 1965. After standing derelict since its closure in 2003, it was finally demolished in Feb 2014. A few months later this image was obtained by scaling a security fence, along with risking arrest by waiting around for the sun to peek out between clouds to light the stack base


One could either use General Relativity equations to derive the Schwarzschild metric in n-dimensions, or else go shopping

#2103 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Supermarket freezer aisle, Katoomba [Dec-2003 98kb]


Again a custom Leica candid rig had to be used, with the added complication of having a supermarket employee discreetly following me around to ensure I wasn't taking photographs

Meaningful social interactions

Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, TikTok, WeChat, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, LinkedIn, 4/8Chan: elaborate frameworks were created to ensure you could never be alone

#5020 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Stargazer lawn at Barangaroo Reserve, Sydney [Aug-2016 563kb]


Another scene found completely by accident. Had revisited Millers Point to re-shoot the clothesline crucifix image and then eventually ended up on the “Stargazer Lawn” to find this installation, with people walking around and through the wooden scaffolding. It required a couple of dozen shots to land another “keeper”

No map and a broken compass

Cheap goods and MTV proved to be more effective than détente and ICBMs

#2058 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Stall on Tverskaya St, Moscow [Dec-1991 244kb]


Moscow December 1991, a couple of days before the end of the Soviet Union. The command-economy had collapsed, while early attempts at market capitalism stalled because consumers didn't have enough money to buy anything more valuable than soft-drinks or bric-a-brac.

The well-stamped passport

Take another selfie and move on, criss-cross the world only to find yourself

#3035 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Tourists scrum at Sydney Cove [Aug-2014 165kb]


Like most western economies, there was an enthusiastic shift in the 1980s toward relying on tourism as a foreign exchange earning and local jobs boosting “export”. Then came the pandemic…

Precipitous descent

Decades of wandering through a hostile terrain, only to flounder in the sea

#7013 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Ocean cliffs south of Little Marley, Royal National Park NSW [Aug-2020 544kb]


This is a hand-held multi-image sequence, which had to be taken by carefully rotating the camera around the lens entrance-pupil for each shot. With a calibrated pano-mount it's relatively easy, but had to use my bare hands here as the mount was left at home to keep the hiking weight down. Nevertheless the shot came out reasonably well, although significant stitching errors in the foreground and ocean horizon had to be fixed in post

Late for the sky

The air was eaten, promise crammed

#4016 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The final blast-furnace at BlueScope Steel, in Port Kembla [Sep-2014 97kb]


“Scheduled Trackwork” meant having to catch replacement buses between Wollongong and Port Kembla. The problem was that they were infrequent and unpredictable. So had to instead catch a wildly indirect timetabled suburban bus, which went up and down every side-street before eventually arriving at the final destination. Meanwhile, during the slow-motion journey, the weather clouded over and completely trashed the light. But what the hell, after such a l-o-n-g trip you may as well walk out to the steelworks anyway. And then, as if on cue, the clouds parted and steam started billowing from the blast furnace chimney…

A semblance of community

Democracy turned out to best serve those who were most invested

#3104 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

NSW election voting centre at Town Hall [Mar-2019 543kb]


One of the great themes of the last forty years has been the gradual unravelling of western democracy. One could say it started with Watergate in June 1972, but you could also argue it began much earlier in November 1963 with the assassination of JFK

In the days of the citizen journalist

Broadcast-quality equipment was no longer required to craft good stories

#5030 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Media-workers at the Sydney Opera House [Jul-2014 210kb]


Legacy-media had to adapt to a new environment for which they were mostly unprepared. How were reporters going to survive in an increasingly interconnected world, where you had to not only be proficient in delivering content, but also in using the increasingly complex tech which made it possible?

Cargo Culte

We lounged about in ill-fitting uniforms, languidly pressing buttons on small screens… waiting for the day He would return, bearing great gifts

#2016 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Palm tree outside the abandoned St Mary & St Mina's Coptic Orthodox Church at Sydenham, near Sydney airport [Sep-2012 355kb]


A lot of patience was required here due to the timing and positioning of the aeroplane(s), who would often approach from slightly different angles and thus spoil the composition. Or you would get a small turboprop when what you really wanted was a thundering 747. Either way, when shooting digital it wasn't an issue, but Hasselblad A12 film backs could only give you 12 shots to get it right…

The customer was king

Everything you could ever possibly desire, at your fingertips

#2105 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Supermarket checkout, Nepean Village Penrith [Apr-2003 119kb]


Taking candid photographs in supermarkets was not easy. You were constantly monitored by staff and management, who were worried you were going to steal commercial information about their pricing and product displays. Consequently, a special candid rig had to be developed which, although it had my rangefinder camera clearly visible, looked like it was merely transporting the camera instead of being used for photographs

Tourism added value

Tourism contributes towards complete growth and development of a country: one, by bringing numerous economic value & benefits; and, second, helping in build country's brand value, image & identity (Market Width Blog, 2018)

#2141 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Christmas Day tourists at the Sydney Opera House [Dec-2001 296kb]


An unexpected afternoon at the Sydney Opera House. The “2001 Black Christmas Fires” had flared again in the Blue Mountains, so the western sky turned dark red. Most people were staring at or photographing the smoke-obscured sun, but this particular couple were much more interested in each other

Crucify your mind

I really thought that love would save us all (Lennon, 1980)

#3017 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The exterior of the Greek Orthodox church of Saint Peter & Paul (since repainted), at Petersham [Sep-2012 463kb]


As mentioned elsewhere, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this project was finding unusual scenes in random places. You would walk for hours and there it would be, almost as if had been waiting for you

The tallest tombstones in the world

Arithmétique Macabre: 9 / 11 = 2977 + 60 000

#3028 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Church spire beneath a flight path, at Rockdale in Sydney [Dec-2013 149kb]


The impact of the September 2001 Islamist attacks cannot be overstated. It has seeped into our culture in numerous ways, not least the vague apprehension that another random event was coming to smash things up again

Outwardness within

The world was only as small as you wanted it to be

#4077 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Sightseeing at The Balconies, Royal National Park NSW [Aug-2019 638kb]


The northern part of the Royal National Park tends to be overrun by day-trippers on weekends. Most of them stand around posing for selfies, but occasionally you can also find people reflecting on what they see

Consumer karoshi

A culture had to be created in which our customers were sacrificed

#2047 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Market Street escalators at Centrepoint, Sydney [Jan-2016 260kb]


A side-benefit of being treated for amblyopia as a child was that you learned to really use your eyes. Here the escalators bore an ironic resemblance to a Japanese Samurai Kabuto

Malpractice with impunity

The very first document, among more than a hundred in this folder, is a written admission by our client that he mixed up his patients and accidentally performed a full hysterectomy on the 36-year-old plaintiff. Correction — our client is [redacted], not the surgeon, who is merely a policy holder of our client. Okay, the surgeon admits, in writing, that he sterilised the plaintiff by doing an unauthorised procedure. No one disputes this — so why is this thing dragging on for years with requests for interrogatories, updated medical reports and dozens of discovery hearings? Well, it is our firm's policy to fully test all claims to discourage frivolous ones. But the surgeon has freely admitted negligence. So it cannot be “frivolous” and, frankly, our stalling borders upon unconscionable. I'll say it again: it is our firm's policy to fully test all claims to discourage frivolous ones…

#3055 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The ghosts of lawyering among the tombstones at Camperdown cemetery, Newtown [Jun-2015 407kb]


It took a long time to find a scene which reflected our two-tier third-world health system. The accompanying blurb is a paraphrased version of an April 1992 law-firm conversation between the author and a medical-litigation partner (in italics)

The carnival is over

The market faithfully rewarded those who took a long-term view

#2090 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Luna Park Hair Raiser ride, in the rain [Jan-2019 126kb]


Night photography is difficult, especially in the rain. Here it was persistent enough to penetrate my 35mm LUX (11144) lens, necessitating a round-the-world trip to have it disassembled, cleaned and recalibrated

Situation normal

Everything was fine, until it wasn't

#4028 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Lawsons Auctions car-park, Moore Street Annandale [Sep-2015 302kb]


Walk the suburbs for hours and sometimes you will be rewarded with the most surreal experience

In the thrall of Schedule 8

A large number of people spent their lives up the Cross

#3132 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Fitzroy Gardens in Kings Cross [May-2003 418kb]


Taken when using a Leica rangefinder was the only relatively unobtrusive way to do candid photography. Have subsequently used cameras triple the size, sometimes even mounted on a tripod. So it's really just a question of confidence, timing and discretion, and not the brand of camera or whether the logo has been properly taped over

Through an augmented sky

All the atmospheric particulates ensured a golden hour for everyone

#4079 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Sunrise over Bourke Street, Melbourne [Apr-2019 57kb]


The 135mm TEM (11861) in action again. While on holidays in Melbroune, looked out the balcony just after dawn and noticed hot-air balloons being launched. A few 40mm shots looked okay, but the 135mm pointed into the sun did the trick

Eloi wonderland

We gathered by the harbourside, sipping infused agave nectar and nibbling on sweet fuyu persimmons, and were amazed by the vast contraptions built by our distant ancestors

#5046 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Sydney Harbour sunrise kayaks [Jan-2019 197kb]


The 135mm TEM (11861) can be an amazing lens under the right conditions. Particularly when shooting into a low sun, it makes everything go an intense orange while still retaining sharpness and resisting flare. Unfortunately it is also 100g heavier than the current 135mm APO (11889), but it does have a greater focus-turn to make fine-tuning easier, and of course is much more affordable

Community standards

Our suburbs were strewn with eye-popping enticements by agile entrepreneurs

#3053 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Dulwich Hill skate park [Sep-2015 98kb]


The “sneakers thrown over power-lines” meme was comprehensively addressed by TikTok™ contributors: Some people do it just to be annoying. Some people do it as a memorial to a dead friend. Some people do it to advertise a drug dealer territory. Some people do it because they've seen it done and just think it's funny (Daily Mail UK, 2020)

Ghosts of the CBD

Governments had to resort to upbeat slogans, pleading and bribes to entice voters to return to the city

#2126 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Commuters at the new Central station concourse [Jun-2022 281kb]


Candid people photography is a much riskier business today than it was twenty years ago. Luckily people are so accustomed to mobile phones being used today that when they see someone walking around with an actual camera, they assume it's only being used for mundane things like flowers or grandchildren

A fit country for heroes to live in

With a place for everyone and everyone in their place

#3051 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Unhoused on Pitt Street Mall, Sydney [May-2016 450kb]


The Sydney CBD was overrun with panhandlers who would position themselves strategically throughout major thoroughfares and doorways to maximise their earning potential. Noticed this particular juxtaposition in a busy outdoor mall and then came back a couple of days later to photograph it. Was amazed that neither council rangers nor police had asked them to move on

Race Day chic

Ladies in the public enclosure would enjoy themselves in the Cup aftermath

#3117 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Rosehill Racecourse, Melbourne Cup hairdresser's picnic [Nov-2005 270kb]


Another Hasselblad film image, using my usual 3kg set-up of 501CM, Distagon 50 FLE, PME45 viewfinder, Metz flash, cable release and monopod. Taking candid photos with such a rig could at times be challenging

Braving the abyss

Despite challenging market conditions, and a negative return for your superannuation this year, we continue to deliver strong long-term returns. […] Significant market falls can be worrying, but staying invested remains vitally important. […] When we invest your super, our approach is focussed on the long term, to help maximise your retirement savings. But it also manages short-term risks in times like these. I want to reassure you, our members, that we remain committed to investing to help you achieve your best retirement outcomes. Bulk email from the CEO of Aware Super, 2022-07-08

#2144 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Waterrun cliff-side, RNP [Aug-2020 668kb]


Waterrun is a dramatic rock-shelf in the Royal National Park. Due to unstable geology, the narrow river valley is surrounded by 50m cliffs, the tops of which allow an overhead view. So far so easy, but you have to climb out to the very edge of these things to get the best shots. Have done it twice, there won't be a third time…

Temporary respite

Spend all morning crawling over truck-sized boulders, before having a break and doing it all over again on the way back

#7024 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Glenbrook Gorge, Lapstone [Aug-2021 608kb]


At Darks Common lookout a few days earlier, noticed a family with small children wandering around in Glenbrook Gorge far below. Figured that if they could take their children in there, then it shouldn't be too difficult to walk in. Yeah right. Humping it over boulders for almost an hour and then slipping into the river with $Ks camera gear was not anyone's idea of easy. N.B. the “beach” in the image no longer exists, washed away by extensive flooding in 2022

Forget your past

Architectural awards counted for little when it came to prime development sites

#2130 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Darling Harbour Conference Centre demolition, Sydney [Apr-2014 238kb]


This image is a classic example of the importance of always having a camera with you. Being a bit of an architecture nerd, it was ironic to discover that a collection of Darling Harbour buildings which were lauded in the 1980s for their innovative design, should thirty years later become yet more fodder for redevelopment

A crown of ashes

Every Christmas we would gaze up at the pyrocumulus sky, exchange Bushfire Survival Plans and kiss beneath the epicormic shoots

#7010 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Woodford bushfire aftermath, Blue Mountains [Dec-2019 736kb]


Panoramic sequences have become commonplace after phones and cameras started to include built-in “panorama mode” options. Nevertheless, shooting high-resolution panos still require lens entrance-pupil aligned mounts and supports. Used to do this stuff professionally 1996—2006, and occasionally it's fun to get the gear out to shoot some scenes, for instance the aftermath of yet another Blue Mountains wildfire

Driven by unceasing mobility

Remember the physical-distancing rule and only travel when essential

#2116 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Waiting for the Cronulla Ferry at Bundeena Wharf [Aug-2020 305kb]


During the lockdowns we were subjected to continual messaging about social isolation and avoiding “unnecessary” travel. This image was taken at the end of a 28km Royal Coast Track walk, and the commuters' weariness mirrored the photographer's fatigue

Delivery apps were so convenient

HungryPanda, Foodora, Uber Eats, DoorDash, EASI, Menulog, Deliveroo, Hey You, GrubHub, goPuff, EatNow, Yelp… We imported an underclass of temporary-visa holding independent contractors to zip around on bikes to deliver burrito bowls, bubble-tea and authentic pad thai

#2110 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Online food delivery rider at Haymarket, near Chinatown [Apr-2020 135kb]


In 2020 home delivery riders were suddenly everywhere. Most were third-world “students” on temporary visas, who would tear through plazas and along inner-city footpaths at breakneck speeds. During the lockdowns their numbers multiplied to the point where, at certain locations, there were more of them zipping around than there were pedestrians trying not to get hit (ABC News, 2020)

Unknown knowns

The systematic destruction of the environment was an event so terrible that even mentioning it became a taboo

#4025 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Hornby Lighthouse gun emplacement, South Head Sydney [Dec-2014 203kb]


South Head turned out to symbolise the end of the line in more ways than expected

One-way journey

On a sailing ship to nowhere, leaving any place (Yes, 1971)

#3089 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Ovation of the Seas cruise-liner at the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal [Dec-2017 108kb]


Two years after this photo was taken, 22 passengers from this ship died during a shore excursion because of the White Island volcanic eruption in New Zealand

PETM reloaded

Nine-month summers, super El Niños, category-five hurricanes, wildfires, methane fumaroles, acidified oceans, cubic-kilometres of eutrophication and rivers awash with millions of dead fish. Years of drought followed by months of flooding rain. 1000-year events every five years. Every decade and season among the hottest on record. The sixth mass extinction. Aim low for +1.5°C and overshoot by at least 100%

#4023 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Truck exhaust pipes at Woolloomooloo, in Sydney's east [Oct-2012 115kb]


We lived in a world where roads were filled with 2-3 tonne petrol-guzzling vehicles, racing each other to their own demise

Defenestrate your livelihood

We mortgaged the future and bet it all on there not being one

#2063 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Waverton Coal Loader wharf [Feb-2022 672kb]


Although epic ruin porn is a photography cliché, sometimes you cannot ignore it. Here a barbed wire fence had to be scaled to obtain the overhead shot. The 19mm ELMARIT (11329) lens appears to suffer from pincushion distortion, but the foreground planks show that everything is as straight as it should be

We were the memories we created

How and why will people remember us?

#4010 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Tree growing in the old Fosters brewery wall (since demolished), at Broadway in Sydney [Apr-2014 552kb]


Had photographed the tree growing in the brewery wall a few times earlier, but got lucky this time when a couple of pigeons inserted themselves into the shot. A few months later the wall (and tree) was demolished when the Central Park development neared completion

Forging a new deal

The transition from manufacturing to a service-based economy was completely seamless

#2080 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Derelict Ford truck at The Grounds of Alexandria [Apr-2018 649kb]


How do you depict the systematic dismantling of industries, with their associated well-paid employment for working-class people, without being blatantly didactic?

The one sure bet

One of the interesting things about the years 1982—2023 was that markets always boomed, no matter what. By the early 2020's many commentators and economists agreed that equities were irrationally overpriced, yet the bourses still kept on rising…

#2085 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Financial reporter at the Sydney ASX [Oct-2018 152kb]


The original intention was to get photos of the predicted market collapse for that day — presumably the same reason the financial reporter was there. Unsurprisingly, the crash didn't happen and the market rallied, again

Accidental monuments

Civil Engineering 101: slap it together as cheap as you can and then completely rebuild it later to solve issues you should have addressed the first time

#5060 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Zigzag Railway upper viaduct, Clarence [Jul-2019 596kb]


Landscapes are hard. You not only have to be in the right place, at the right time with the right gear, but you also have to work with the prevailing light AND come up with an something more substantial than just “eye-candy”

Epistemic insouciance

Full speed ahead for the fly-in fly-out money-launderers high-rollers in the sky (ABC News, 2020)

#2106 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Crown casino construction, Barangaroo [Jan-2020 212kb]


Taken during the erection of Packer's Pecker. It's difficult to exaggerate the thrall in which gambling wagering was held by politicians, most of the general public and the advertising-revenue-hungry media


The greater our impact on nature, the more we wanted to see it

#4070 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

The Waterrun, Royal National Park NSW [Aug-2019 411kb]


Many people liked to travel for hours just to take photographs of themselves. In the background you can see one of the cliffs mentioned earlier

Keep us from harm

Every potential hazard was fastidiously identified and ameliorated

#6018 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Drink bubbler at Erskineville Public School, Sydney [Aug-2019 293kb]


Having taught at a high school since 2009, it was always strange to witness the lengths that some risk-averse adults would go to. This drinking fountain at an inner-city primary school illustrates it beautifully. Here the irony is that (1) most small children cannot now reach the water and (2) the hazard-area has been vastly increased, negating the purpose of having safety rails in the first place

Memories of what's to come

The last thing we wanted was to extirpate all the large vertebrates (WWF, 2018)

#4051 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Deceased sulfur-crested cockatoo, Warrimoo [Dec-2017 149kb]


The cockatoo — which had died overnight — was lying in a neighbour's front yard. What was fascinating was watching the ants explore the corpse. Used the 100mm APO (11352) to get in close to bring out the details. And yes the Dali references [1] [2] were deliberate

Life under the occupation

The Fragmented was turned into the Harmonised by encouraging our staff to compile their own dossiers

#3045 IMG thumb

Click to enlarge…   Ξ  

Revolving doors at the ANZ bank building, in Castlereagh Street [Aug-2014 143kb]


It was assumed when capturing this image that it would probably end up a discard. When back home, however, an hour spent in image editing programs changed things considerably