Live Music in Canberra in Times of COVID (Part 2)

December 2020 to February 2021, Canberra, ACT

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Continuing from the previous post….  Canberra has largely escaped COVID (so far at least).  It has never been mandatory to wear masks here and lockdown is a long tome ago.  There are few restrictions on live music now, though you have to be seated and not use a dance floor.  Other States have gone in and out of lockdown though, especially Victoria so interstate musicians were quite often unable to visit. This post is mainly of a couple of large events with many bands.  I have avoided including more than one image of each musician (over both posts) except where they appear as part of a band.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

On 20th December 2020, the Canberra Blues Society held its Christmas party, featuring Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides from Sydney.  It also included the monthly jam and there were six jamming bands.  This is Catherine Golden with Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides, who played both at the beginning and the end.

.Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Wayne Rigby (Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

This is Ross Buchanan, with Jamming Band 1.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Steve Hartnett (Jamming Band 1).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

John van Buuren (Jamming Band 2).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dave Jensen (Jamming Band 3).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Leo Joseph (Jamming Band 3).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Jeffro Martin (Jamming Band 4).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Mimo (Jamming Band 4).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Berno (Jamming Band 4).

.Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Johnny Huckle (Jamming Band 5).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Juanita Cucinotta (Jamming Band 5).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Calvin Welch (with Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides but playing here with Jamming Band 5).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides is back up again at the end.  This is Bonnie Kay.

Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Illya Szwec.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

The next big event was on 9th January, Bucky’s Birthday Bash.  This is Bucky (David Buckmaster) in an image from 2007.  The event has been held for many years and he played in last year’s event but he died of cancer last year, so the event continues in his honour.  There were six bands this year and P.J. O’Brien Band was supposed to be the climax but they were unable to attend due to a lockdown in New South Wales, so it was all local bands.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Johnny Reynolds (Johnny Reynolds Band).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dave O’Neill (Rodeo Clowns).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Chris Van Der Wielen and Dene Burton (Urban Drover).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Mitch Preston (Chris Harland Blues Band).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Chris Harland.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Cam Hall (Sunbears, but playing here with Moondog).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Dylan Harding ()Sunbears).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Sunbears.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Wiesse Wade (Sunbears).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

On 19th January there was a celebration of  Mitch Preston’s Birthday at Smith’s Alternative (now a venue; originally a bookshop).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

30th January.  Fiona Boyes, who lived in Canberra for some years, came up from Victoria.  This is Ali Penney accompanying for a track or two on the piano.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Fiona Boyes.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

4th February.  Blues Roulette visited from Melbourne.  Organised by Ben Wicks, this is an array of eminent musicians that changes with each visit.  This is Jimi Hocking.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

James Southwell (Blues Roulette).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Davo Fester (on drums; Blues Roulette).

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Jimi Hocking, James Southwell and Ben Wicks.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

5 February.  Pachamama at Gang Gang Cafe, Downer.

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Live Music in Canberra in Times of COVID (Part 1)

February to November 2020, Canberra, ACT

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I covered Thredbo Blues Festival in January 2020 and took some photographs at Goulburn Blues Festival in February. Then COVID hit and we went into lockdown.

Usually I cover Blues Festivals but not so much local bands because my processing methods are very time-intensive and three hours photographing may lead to three to five days on the computer, processing.  During the last year I had more time on my hands and no festivals for me for 2021, so I covered more local bands.  There will be two posts, this one and the next.

Altogether, since lockdown started last March, I have photographed eighteen events, 36 groups (including solo performers) and 153 people, though seven groups and 48 people are duplicated in different performances.  All performances are in Canberra but some of the musicians are from Sydney or Melbourne.

My selection may be somewhat arbitrary and I’m not trying to cover everyone but I have avoided putting anyone in twice.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
This is the Sisters and Brothers Community Choir playing upstairs at Beyond Q on the 29th February, just before we went into lockdown. Beyond Q was a wonderful second hand bookshop and a great music venue. They had had to change addresses due to a lease issue and just got organised at the new location. Sadly, they closed down due to COVID 19. From left to right there is Juanita Cucinotta, Juliet Reeve, Chris Cavanagh, Michelle Mannion, Julie Manley (my partner), Simon Daly, Don Dennes and Mary Bryden.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

It is now 7 June. We have been in lockdown for three months. This is the first gig I saw a notification for and must have been close to the first after lockdown. We are outside a small group of shops at Belconnen markets and in the open air because lockdown is just being slowly relaxed. Some of the shops appear to have been abandoned including the one in the background. This is DJ Gosper and Jeff Prime.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
It’s now a month later, 5th July, and indoor gigs are now allowed, albeit with limitations on seating and distancing. We are at the Artists’ Shed in Fyshwick. It may look as though we are way out in the country but that is just a backdrop. Dan Fernandes is playing solo as support.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
A couple of hours later, this is Bernie Keenan playing drums for Johnnie Reynolds Band.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel

10th July and further liberalisation has allowed Shane Pacey to come down from Sydney and play solo at the Keller Bar in the Harmonie German Club. Shane usually plays with the Bondi Cigars or the Shane Pacey Trio.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel .

31st July and this is Frank Sultana (based in Kiama) playing in the Keller Bar at the Harmonie German Club. He has Grant DW Barnes (not shown) supporting him on harmonica on some tracks.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
8 August and this is Ana Key and the Underdogs playing at the Artists’ Shed in Fyshwick.  You can see the background in context here.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Ole Nielsen.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Ana Key.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

5th September and this is Milena Cifali launching her book Mallacoota Time at East Hotel, Kingston.  The event included book recitals, poetry recitals and musical performances.  While Milena and Jim were away in Queensland they were burnt out of their Mallacoota house in the huge fires of January 2020 and lost all their possessions and most of their birds.  Here, I am also in the photo, using a cable release to trigger the camera and fisheye lens.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

This is at a second book launch the next day at the Artists’ Shed in Fyshwick.  This is Peter Swain.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Jim Horvath, Milena’s husband.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

2nd October and this is 19 Twenty at the Abbey.  John Gwilliam is on double bass.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Syd Green.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Kane Dennelly.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
9th October and this is Paul Callan with Johnny Reynolds Band at the Austrian Club.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Johnny Reynolds Band.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
15th October at the Basement, Belconnen.  Chris Harland Blues Band (setting up).  Restrictions were in place including that you need to stick to your seat, not visit other tables and no dancing on the dance floor.  Most of those restrictions are still in place but now you can mingle.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Paul Leeder.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
Rick Milliband.

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Moondog was up next, playing solo.

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Owen Campbell was the final act for the night.

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It was a three-piece band, including Matt Nightingale on bass.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife
27th November, this is Llara Weaver, part of Stella’s Way, at the Basement Belconnen.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Stella’s Way.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Next up was Ana Key and the Underdogs,  This is Stephen Deakin.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Keith Joliffe.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel

Last band for the night was Carnival Road.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

Not set up, this was just at the side of the stage.

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Australia, Blues, Canberra, Live Music, Photography, Travel, Wildlife

3rd December. Julian James, Keller Bar, Harmonie German Club.

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Keeping quiet in Canberra

February 2020 to January 2021, Canberra, ACT

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My last local post in January 2020 was Australia Burning, which included images taken in Canberra on one of two days when bushfire smoke meant Canberra had the worst air quality of any city in the world.  Then COVID struck.

There was lockdown in Canberra for a month or two but there have been no local cases since last April, just a handful of incoming people in quarantine hotels.  There are currently no locally-sourced cases in Australia, just a few incoming travellers.  Though many criticisms can be made, State and Federal Governments did fairly well, supporting many people (though with glaring holes) and following medical advice.  State Governments have been prepared to engage lockdowns where necessary and from time to time closing off State borders and isolating localities.  People arriving from overseas have to stay for a fortnight in a quarantine hotel.

Unfortunately, while the Federal Government has been prepared to follow medical advice, it shows no signs of being willing to follow scientific advice on climate change.  Huge areas burned in January and a significant majority of the population want effective action on climate change. If nothing continues to be done, temperatures will continue to rise, fires will become larger and more prevalent, the ecology and wildlife of the country will be devastated and the capacity for agricultural production will greatly decline.

In the meantime though, I have made no overseas trips since 2019 due to COVID and have been keeping fairly quiet.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Buoys in a small canal at Kingston Foreshore.

In March I joined a Fuji event that allowed you to use various new cameras and lenses. I tried some of these but this image and the next were taken with my X-T2 and 100-400mm lens.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Reflections in the same canal.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Roots of a bonsai tree at the National Arboretum.

In June I visited the Bonsai Garden at the Arboretum and took this photo with my Fuji 80mm macro lens.  It is focus-stacked, which means I have taken many images at different points of focus and later combined them with software.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Succulent in the front garden.

In August I had purchased a Fuji 8-16mm zoom and took some test shots in the front garden, this one and the next one.  The succulents are quite small so it’s almost macro because the lens can focus quite close.  These are also focus-stacked but because I was using a very wide angle lens, that required only a few exposures.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Small flowers in the front garden.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Grevillea Macleayana.

I also visited the Australian National Botanic Gardens from time to time, this image and the next four.  The first three were taken in September and the last two in October.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Telopea Speciosissima.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Banksia Spinulosa.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Pimilea Physodes and panorama near the Visitor’s Centrte.

I took this with a circular fisheye lens and it is also focus-stacked, with just two exposures.  The depth of field is amazing, but not quite enough to go from the stamens of the flower (0.1 metres) to infinity in one exposure.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Grevillea Macleayana.

Another focus-stacked exposure with the Fuji 80mm macro lens.  This one took 70 exposures and I had to wait for it to be still and retake it several times when a breeze came up during the exposure.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Archie Webb in the Top 12 Challenge.

I have also gone back to table tennis, both socially and competition and this is an image I took in October at the Top 12 Challenge, with the top 12 Canberra players competing for prizes.  Archie is the leading competition player but he did not win this challenge.  Here he is gearing up for a forehand loop.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

ACT Table Tennis Open.

I also took photographs at the ACT Open in November.  Table Tennis is remarkable in that players of very different ages can compete equally.  The far player is Faisal Pirwani and he is returning the ball with his backhand,  He is one of Canberra’s leading players; I do not know the name of the youngster but from his shirt he probably comes from Melbourne.  Some young players can be very good.  We had a couple of players as old as 93 in the Social Seniors Group prior to COVID though they have not returned since.

(The two table tennis shots were taken with a Nikon D850 and 85mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 lenses respectively).

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Malua Bay rock pool.

In early January we went for a trip “down the coast” (which means to the south coast of New South Wales, near Canberra).  This image and the next two were taken on that trip.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Glasshouse Rocks, Narooma.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

At Glasshouse Rocks looking through to Montague Island Lighthouse.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Kangaroos at an Ainslie pond.

I live backing on to a reserve and a week or so later, we had a long walk to a couple of ponds in that reserve.

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Architecture, Australia, Canberra, Focus stacking, Kangaroos, Landscape, Macro, Nature, New South Wales, Photography, seascape, Table Tennis, Travel, Wildlife

Pond reflections.

Since I am mentioning equipment in this post, the Malua Bay rock pool was taken with the Fuji 80mm macro and the last four with the Fuji 100-400mm.

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Thredbo Blues Festival 2020

Thredbo Blues Festival 2020 took place over three days and nights on a weekend at the end of January. Here is a selection of images, and links at the bottom to more….

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(Next I will resume with the Cuba & the Caribbean trip, with still a post or two to go on Santo Domingo.)

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Psycho Zydeco.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Michelle Van Der Meer’s Midnight Ramblers.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Tony Boyd (Michelle Van Der Meer’s Midnight Ramblers).\

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Shane Pacey (Shane Pacey Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Paul Blasi (Shane Pacey Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

George Washingmachine (Blue Rinse).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Ron King (Foreday Riders).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Jeff King (Foreday Riders).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Grace Hickey (Grace and Hugh).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Greg Ohlback (Liza Ohlback Trio).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Lloyd Gyi and C J Raggatt (CJ Raggatt).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Syd Green (19 Twenty).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Kane Dennelly (19 Twenty).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

19 Twenty.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Ray Beadle (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Jack Purdon (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Mike Raper (Ray Beadle Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel
Corey Legge (Swamp Stompers).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Steve Edmonds (Steve Edmonds Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Sam Boyd (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Greg Carger and Jason Bruer (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Evelyn Duprai (and Franchesca Appolis) (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Franchesca Appolis and Kimi Tupaea (Dancing in the Shadows of Motown Review).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Paula Baxter (Aretha Franklin Tribute).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Aretha Franklin Tribute.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

8 Ball Aitken.

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Dillion James (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Nik Downing (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Dillion James and 8 Ball Aitken (8 Ball Aitken).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Darren Jack (Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Rick Melick (Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band).

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Australia, Blues, Blues Festivals, Live Music, Photography, Thredbo, Thredbo Blues Festival, Travel

Tyrone Vaughan with Darren Jack Band.

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A few technical notes for those who may be interested.  I was using some new equipment, a Nikon D850 (70% of shots) and a Sigma 135mm f1.8 (40% of images).  This combination allowed me to replace a 180mm f2.8 and a 105mm f2 with improved resolution and bokeh and greater capacity to crop.  I also have a Fuji system which is more portable but the Nikon system has advantages for resolution, autofocus and low light sensitivity.  I also processed all the images under stage light in Capture One for the first time, for greater control of colour and greater ease with masking and layers.

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There are many more images. On the Thredbo Blues Festival Page you will find links to images from the 2020 Festival, as well as thirteen previous festivals . Links for 2020 include top 100 images, top 30 images, selected monochromes and the 23 performers or bands. Others not mentioned above include Phil & Trudy Edgeley, Charlie Bedford Trio, Claude Hay, Harry Ashton Band, Jordan Thomas Band, Mike Elrington and Richard Perso.

Alternatively, there is also a direct overall link to all Thredbo 2020 images in JAlbum (with overview images and images by band organised by folder). There are 367 images in all (excluding monochrome conversions).

For other images of a particular band I may have taken since 2006, see the Musicians and Bands Page.

Montague Island Monochromes

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information and context). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies. (Click on any image to see it larger).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Pelican in Narooma Harbour.

Montague Island Day One..

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whale disappearing.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Humpback whales, mother and calf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seals off a headland.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

A seal launching into the sea.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

At the lighthouse cottages when the storm hits.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Crested terns courting.

Montague Island Day Two.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Silver gull chicks.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View from the lighthouse looking south, showing the stones sacred to the Aborigines (the whale, the shark and the tortoise) and also the small lighthouse cemetery.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

View of lighthouse cottages from the lighthouse.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

The old wharf.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Sea eagle.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Tiny ground flowers.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Old banksia setrrata cone.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Little penguins coming ashore.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Great cormorants on rock.

Montague Island Day Three (Morning).

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Seal interactions.

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Australia, Crested Terns, Landscape, Lighthouses, Macro, Montague Island, Nature, Photography, seascape, Travel, Whales, Wilderness, Wildlife

Shell on rock.

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Sooty oystercatchers.

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Created tern coming in to land.

Montague Island Day Three (Afternoon).

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Silver gull and nesting material.

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Crested tern with fish.

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Silver gull coming in to land.

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Crested tern and chick.

Montague Island Day Four.

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Contention.

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Competing for space.

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Welcome swallows.

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The lighthouse receding.

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Pelican confused by sign.

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I’m due to go down to Thredbo for the Thredbo Blues Festival next weekend but because of bushfires in the area I won’t know whether the festival is on until later today or tomorrow.  There may or may not be a post on that in a few weeks.  Next week though, I expect to resume the account of my travels to Cuba and the Caribbean at Santo Domingo in the Dominican republic.

Australia Burning

12 September 2019 to 5 January 2020, Canberra, ACT

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The first part of this post is images taken out the back of where I live in Canberra. The second part is images taken this morning in a very smoky Canberra.  (If you are on a computer, click any image to see it larger).

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We live backing on to a reserve and often take a half hour walk out the back in the mornings.  On our walk four months ago in early spring, this is an acacia baileyana coming out in flower,

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Kangaroo and joey.  You can see there is very little grass for them to eat.  We have had a very long drought.

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Kangaroo and joey in late afternoon light.  Both kangaroo images are in early spring.

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Crimson rosella at a nesting hole.  This and the next three images are in late spring.

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Cunningham’s skink in their fallen-tree home.

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Callistemon phoenicius in the back yard.

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Shingleback in the back yard.  An ancient-looking lizard.

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Echidna in the back yard on New Year’s Eve.  They are one of only two monotremes, or egg-laying mammals, the other being the platypus.

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If you are living outside Australia, your have probably heard of the massive fires here at present.

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On New Year’s Day, Canberra had the worst air quality of any city in the world, worse than Delhi and Beijing, due to bushfire smoke drifting in from the south coast of New South Wales.

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This followed a peak fire day.  We had another one yesterday and the smoke was as bad today, so I got up early to take some photographs.  This is the Australian War Memorial.

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Carillon, on Aspen Island, Lake Burley Griffin, and ducks.

Yesterday, the day before I took these i9mages, we had record temperatures in Canberra at 44ºC or 111ºF.

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The fires are unprecedented.  Simple equation really.  Take unprecedented drought, add unprecedented heat, and you get unprecedented fires.

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Small island in Lake Burley Griffin near the Carillon.

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There are hundreds of fires currently in Australia, many out of control.  The number doesn’t mean much because they combine to form larger and more dangerous fires.  The fires have burned 105,000 square kilometres so far (40,000 square miles), about the size of South Korea or Iceland (updated 7 Jan) and they will continue for weeks or months, flaring up sporadically to peak intensity.  In recent days there has been an unprecedented evacuation of thousands of people from the south coast of New South Wales and north east Victoria.  This continues as different towns and hamlets come under threat.  In a week or two the fires might reach Canberra. So far dozens of people have died and thousands of buildings have been burnt, including well over one thousand homes.

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Reconciliation Place and National Library.

The toll on wildlife has also been alarming.  I recall an estimate of 500,000 animals dead and koalas are in danger of extinction.  Fires have also razed through rainforests, normally too wet to be affected and not equi8pped to recover.

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Old Parliament House.

Although there are weather patterns and variations that have always affected Australia, these fires are unprecedented and a major cause is the Climate Crisis, primarily caused by human activity..

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Old Parliament House and a flock of straw-necked ibis.  The white ibis has adapted to urban life and is colloqually known as “bin chickens” but the straw necked ibis is not as urbanised.

The situation with these bushfires is not a one-off event, however drawn out, and it is not relevant only to Australia though different places may see change in different ways.  The extent of global warming that is already with us is causing an uncomfortable new “normal” and long lags mean even the most concerted action will be slow to arrest this.

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New Parliament House.

Of course there is much we can do and the first step is to reduce our dependence as much as possible on petroleum and coal.

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In front of the Parliament House, I encountered a group of Climate Refugees from the South Coast Fires, there for an impromptu cricket match.

The worst approach to the Climate Crisis is to pretend it isn’t happening, in defiance of all the scientific evidence, and do nothing.  Unfortunately, this is exactly what the Government of Australia has been doing.

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And the cricket match is under way.

The Liberal-National coalition government is sometimes known as the COALition and it is in the grip of a climate-denying fringe.  Prime Minister Morrison notoriously brandished a lump of coal with glee in Parliament and won the last election with an astonishing lack of policies including no policy at all on energy.

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It’s a heavily grassed pitch.

Not long before the fires hit, Morrison refused to meet forty-two former Bushfire Chiefs who wanted to talk to him about the Climate Crisis and preparations for the oncoming fire season.  He had also greatly reduced bushfire budgets and requests for better water-dropping planes had sat with the Government for several years.

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Some balls are there to be hit.

In Mallacouta last weekend, four or five thousand people sat on the beach while the fires invaded the town.  The sky was black after 9am, then red, then orange.  Falling ash made breathing difficult and the temperature reached 49°C.  Just as people were about to get into the water, the wind changed and the town was saved, at least for a few more days.

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Others are very tempting.

In this fire crisis, Morrison has displayed startling insensitivity and alienated a significant part of the population, some of whom might have voted for him.  He went on holiday in Hawaii as the main crisis broke out and didn’t significantly change his return date.  The he tried to pretend it was just a normal situation in order to avoid any mention of the Climate Crisis.  He was heckled by locals when he turned up unannounced in the burnt out town of Cobargo.  While he was there he grabbed the hand of a young woman to shake it, quite uninvited.  She was pregnant, had just lost her house and asked him for help.  He turned his back on her and walked away.  He later denied doing this but it was recorded on video.  There are other stories.

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And some just get away from you.

The scale of the fires and their ongoing nature is forcing Morrison to act but he is most unlikely to address underlying problems.  For that we can only hope for a different and better government and for that we are likely to have to wait another two years.

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This is back at the Old Parliament House.  The Aboriginal Tent Embassy has been there since 1973 and it is off to the left.  This is a display they have set up to proclaim Aboriginal sovereignty over land.

One common refrain is that there should be more preventative burning in the appropriate season, as the Aborigines used to do.  While there is some truth in this, it is not as easy as it sounds.  For one thing, the cool damp winter window for this is much reduced on what it was and last year the fire season started in winter.  For another, the ecology is not what it was.  In many places, Aborigines farmed the land and lived in houses and even towns.  This was recorded by the first settlers but quickly wiped out and then hidden lest it be a basis for claims on land.  Sheep and cattle grazed the perennial native grasslands to the roots, then trampled and compacted the thin soil.  Fire managed grasslands became scrub so it’s all very different now.

We also have other problems in our modern world of supposedly perpetual growth and prosperity, even apart from the Climate Crisis.  Sustainable development is a wider problem.  You may have heard of the “insect armeggedon” whereby 80% of insects have died in the last forty years, thereby threatening the viability of flowering plants and other species.  This may be partly due to Climate Change but likely more due to unnecessary agricultural poisons.  There is also the perplexing problems of micro-plastics, invading the food chain and our lungs with unknown effects.  And then there is the problem that there are simply too many humans and they are increasing too rapidly.

There are solutions for all these problems but they will require wisdom, coordination and determination.  Things are certain to get worse before they can get better.

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I can suggest a couple of books you may be interested in reading.

One is “Dark Emu” by Bruce Pascoe which outlines the extent of Aboriginal civilisation (yes!) prior to European arrival.

The other is “The Uninhabitable Earth” by David Wallace-Wells which outlines the problems we face in the Climate Crisis and what we might do to ameliorate them.

Montague Island Day Four

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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This was the last morning and the boat was due to leave around midday.  The previous afternoon I had photographed crested terns flying in to the colony.  I decided to spend some of my remaining time photographing their interactions on the ground.

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There were many eggs but only a few hatched chicks.  Parents kept them close to protect them not merely from silver gulls but also from other terns.

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On the edge of the colony there is danger from silver terns so this mother tried to move with her chick into the colony.

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The terns pack in much closer than silver gulls but they still defend territory so contention arises.

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Making a point…

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This is where she wants to be but there is a certain amount of opposition.

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… including some pinching of the tail….

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At least the chick is not being attacked which can happen.

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And the mother, though under siege, does her best to protect the chick.

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Nearby there was a silver gull hidden under a bush on an egg in the middle of the tern colony.  It must have been there before the terns arrived.  I didn’t photograph it because the shadow was too deep to show it in context.  What was going to happen when it tried to leave was an interesting question.

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After a while, she pulled out of the area of contention back more to the edge of the colony.

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Her mate is with her here.

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She is now protecting the chick from silver gulls as well as other terns.

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Nearby, a pair of welcome swallows had made their nest in walls of one of the cottage’s toilets, entering the wall through the ventilation holes.

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Just outside the colony, a bit of mating display was going on.

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Two’s company….

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A last view of the terns.

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Now we’re on the boat and the lighthouse and cottages are receding away.

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The wharf is down below the lighthouse.

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Back in Narooma harbour, this pelican seemed confused by the direction instructions of the sign.

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Montague Island Day Three (Afternoon)

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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Having returned and after lunch, I settled down at a tern colony near the lighthouse to photograph them in flight.

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I was mounting my long lens on a gimbal (the mechanical type, not the electronic variety for video) which attaches to your tripod and allows your lens to sit at a point of balance, for easier and quicker responses.

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This is the wing of a silver gull.  This shot wasn’t intended and it isn’t entirely in focus but I still like it.

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A tern coming in to land.

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Some distance away, over the sea.

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They are small and fast5, making it a challenging exercise.

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Head on.

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Silver gull with nesting material.

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Silver gull coming in to land at a silver gull colony.

 

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Silver gulls were patrolling around the edge of the tern colony.  Just below me, a mother tern stood up and left her egg exposed.  A silver gull hopped in and took the egg.  The mother is protesting and the egg is in the middle here but you may have to click on the image to make it larger to see the egg.

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Chicks can also be in danger, so here parents are protecting a chick.

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Back to the terns coming in to the colony.

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This was the most successful flying tern image.  Coming in with fish and completely sharp.  Well exposed to retain detail in the black head and eyes white while not losing detail in essential white areas caught by the sun.  There is an element of luck in this as there is no room for error and the image on the histogram on the back of the camera shows less than the RAW file captures.

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Montague Island Day Three (Morning)

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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In the morning I went down to the south end of the island again.  In the last post, the time exposure of the old jetty included a white rock in the distance with great cormorants sitting on it.  This is that rock, through a long telephoto.

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They are all facing in the same direction, probably scanning for signs of fish.

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I was at the old jetty and this is maybe a post they tied up to.

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A bit further south, a fur seal climbs up out of the water.

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He is eyeing a place by one of the females but the master of the harem notices him.

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… So he backs out and soon slips away into the sea, discretion being the better part of valour.

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There is a silver gull on the rocks.

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Also a pair of sooty oystercatchers.

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I had mainly come to this end of the island to make some more focus bracketing studies.  This involves taking many exposures at different points of focus and combining them later to get a greater depth of focus that would be possible in a single exposure.  First a landscape exposure from macro to infinity.  You may prefer to click on some of these to see the greater detail of a larger version.

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Now a few macro images at the same location.

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This image is macro in the foreground and the background is the cliffs at the other side of the small bay.

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Montague Island Day Two

Montague Island, New South Wales, Australia, 8 to 11 November 2019

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The lighthouse in the early morning with the sun behind it.

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Crested terns.

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Crested terns courting.

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Silver gull.

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Silver gull chicks.

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View from the lighthouse, looking over the cottages (where we stayed).

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View from the lighthouse looking south, showing the stones sacred to the Aborigines and also the small lighthouse cemetery.

There are two children and a keeper buried there.  The children got sick but there was no access to the lighthouse, apart from trying to hail a passing ship.  The children died before medical assistance could be occurred.  More on the keeper later.

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Looking west to an islet of great cormorants.

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Looking north.  There are two parts to the island, joined by a narrow neck.  The northern part is out of bounds due to breeding birds.  An artist from our group is sitting at a table at the bottom and there is a colony of terns to his left.

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Looking down more closely on the colony of terns.

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A view of the lighthouse from the back gate of the cottage we stayed in.

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The same tree from the stormy images of the previous post, this time n the calm of daylight.

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The cottage we stayed in, behind the tree.

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The old wharf, a long exposure of 15 seconds.

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Tiny flowers on the ground near the south end of the island.

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Banksia cone, banksia serrata or old man banksia.

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Banksia serrata cone.

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Sea eagle.  I only had my macro lens with me; I could have got closer wit my long telephoto.

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View of  lighthouse and cottages from the south.

There was a time when supplies were unloaded at the old wharf and taken up to the lighthouse using a horse and cart.  Part of the route was up the rock below the cottages.  The horse didn’t like this and used to run away and hide when the time came.

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One day it all went wrong.  The horse slipped on the rock incline and the cart came careering down the slope on top of the keeper.  His spleen was ruptured and he died some days later, ending up in the lighthouse cemetery..

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The path back went through a silver gull rookery.  This is at the edge of it.

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A silver gull incubating an egg on a rudimentary nest on the ground.

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Later, we went down to the new wharf to see the little penguins coming in at night.  These are silver gull chicks in the fading light.

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Terns against the sunset.

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The little penguins are coming ashore.

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They climb up surprisingly high to nest.

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Then red lights were turned on around the platform where we were standing, to provide light without disturbing the penguins.

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There was a stiff wind above us and silver gulls were hanging motionless in the air.

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