Gail Page

Gail Page Band, Sydney Autumn mini-Festival, May 2014

Adam Pringle, Gail Page, Gail Page Band

Adam Pringle, Gail Page, Gail Page Band

On my way back from Sydney last weekend, I stopped off at a mini Sydney Blues Festival at Windsor to see Gail Page, the last act.

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Adam Pringle, Gail Page, Gail Page Band

Adam Pringle, Gail Page, Gail Page Band

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Gail Page, Gail Page Band

Gail Page, Gail Page Band

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Gail Page Band

Gail Page Band

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Gail Page Band

Gail Page Band

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Adam Pringle, Gail Page Band

Adam Pringle, Gail Page Band

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Adam Pringle, Gail Page, Gail Page Band

Adam Pringle, Gail Page, Gail Page Band

For more images from this gig, see this JAlbum slideshow.

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Macquarie Lighthouse (Sydney)

I took these images of Macquarie lighthouse in Sydney from 5th to 7th November 1987, months later than images in preceding posts.

Macquarie-lighthouse-and-cliffs-by-day

Macquarie lighthouse and cliffs by day
6 November 1987
Arca-Swiss monorail 5×4″
90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon
Low-res scan from book

The original Macquarie lighthouse, built in 1818, was Australia’s first lighthouse,  although an iron basket had been erected nearby on a tripod in 1794, initially burning wood and then coal from 1797.   The lighthouse was commissioned by Governor Macquarie and designed by convict architect Francis Greenaway, who warned at a very early stage that the sandstone used would soon crumble.  Several large stones fell from arches in 1823 and starting from that year, a succession of iron bands were wrapped around the lighthouse for support.

Macquarie-Loghthouse-and-cottage-by-day

Macquarie lighthouse and cottage by day
6 November 1987
Arca-Swiss monorail 5×4″
Low-res scan from book

When it became necessary to instal a larger optic, they replaced the lighthouse, building a new one beside the old.  This is what you see today, dating from 1881.  The design closely follows the original lighthouse, apart from a larger lantern room at the top.  My guess is that the lighthouse cottage behind it also dates from 1881.

Macquarie-Light-at-Night-2

Macquarie lighthouse at night

The lighthouse at night, as lit by various lights.  The original slide was technically compromised, fogged and with banding in the sky.  Rescuing it produced some strange colours so that a high-contrast black and white was the only feasible option.

The first lighthouse keeper was Robert Watson, who had been a bosun on one of the ships of the First Fleet.

Macquarie-Lighthouse-in-Fog

Macquarie Lighthouse in Fog
5.35am 6 November 1987
Arca Swiss Monorail 5×4″
90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon
f11 30 seconds, Fujichrome 50

Here we can see that when the weather closes in, visibility is low and it is difficult to see the lighthouse.  I wanted this image to go into the book to make that point but was overruled.

In 1857 the sailing ship Dunbar foundered at the base of this cliff, notwithstanding the presence of the earlier lighthouse.  A total of 121 passengers and crew drowned.  There was just one survivor who managed to reach safety at the foot of the cliffs and he was not discovered for two days.

Macquarie-Floor

Brass and marble flag on lighthouse floor with staircase, 12.45pm 6 November 1987
Arca-Swiss monorail 5×4″
f45 6 seconds, 65mm Schneider super Angulon, Fujichrome 50.

The lighthouse contains a few remarkable architectural embellishments.   Here is the New South Wales flag on the floor at the entrance of the lighthouse.

Macquarie-Doorhandle

Macquarie Door handle
6 November 1987
Arca Swiss Monorail 5×4″

This is a brass door handle inside the lantern room.

Macquarie lens

Macquarie lens
Nikon FE, 16mm f3.5 fisheye

Here is the bulb and fresnel lenses inside the optic, which was large enough to stand up inside.  Lots of fisheye distortion here.

Macquarie and Cliffs during night 6 November 1987 Arca Swiss Monorail 5x4" 90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon f6.8 20 minutes, Fujichrome 50

Macquarie and Cliffs during night
6 November 1987
Arca Swiss Monorail 5×4″
90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon
f6.8 20 minutes, Fujichrome 50

The weather had greatly improved during the day and this was an important lighthouse so I stayed to try again for another night.  This was the night of the full moon, which is the source of light for these exposures.

Macquarie and Cliffs during night 6 November 1987 Arca Swiss Monorail 5x4" 90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon f6.8 40 minutes, Fujichrome 50

Macquarie and Cliffs during night
6 November 1987
Arca Swiss Monorail 5×4″
90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon
f6.8 40 minutes, Fujichrome 50

The white lines in the sky are star trails.  In the distance are ships anchored or moving.  The waves are washing in and out during the long exposure.

Macquarie and Cliffs during night 6 November 1987 Arca Swiss Monorail 5x4" 90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon f6.8 30 minutes, Fujichrome 50

Macquarie lighthouse and Cliffs during night
6 November 1987
Arca Swiss Monorail 5×4″
90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon
f6.8 30 minutes, Fujichrome 50

To get to this position, I climbed over the railing and down to a platform where I had been the previous night and where I was not visible from above.  I stayed there the whole night, trying different exposures from time to time.

Macquarie and Cliffs at Dawn 5.20am 7 November 1987 Arca Swiss Monorail 5x4" 90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon f11 1 minute, Fujichrome 100

Macquarie and Cliffs at Dawn
5.20am 7 November 1987
Arca Swiss Monorail 5×4″
90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon
f11 1 minute, Fujichrome 100

So here we are, and it’s half an hour before dawn on the morning of the 7th of November 1987.  This is the image displayed on the front cover of the book.

Barranjoey

On the 15th June 1987 I came to Barranjoey lighthouse, at a small peninsula near Palm Beach, on the very northern edge of Sydney. The lighthouse was built in 1881, primarily to protect the entrance of Broken Bay, which while never a significant port, could be used as a refuge by ships in a storm.  The lighthouse was automated as early as 1932 and the houses let out from 1960 to 1997.  Since that date the houses and headland (though not the lighthouse itself) have been managed by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Barranjoey-Lighthouse-and-Cottages

Barranjoey Lighthouse and cottages
5.15pm 15 June 1987
Nagaoka field camera 5×4″
f11, 1 minute, 90mm Linhof Schneider Angulon, Fujichrome 50

It was late afternoon when I got there and I went a bit cross-country, climbing up a small cliff to get there.  According to The Photographer’s Ephemeris, the time I have recorded here for this location and date is 20 minutes after sunset.  The tree with the red blossoms is an Illawarra Flame Tree (brachychiton acerfolius).  The lighthouse and cottages are unpainted sandstone.

While I was taking the photograph, I got to meet Jervis Sparks, who was renting out Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage No 2, at the left here.  He had been living here for nearly twenty years at this time and had to leave ten years later when the Parks and Wildlife Service took over ownership.  He had restored the cottage from a derelict state to authentic nineteenth century condition and invited me in for a cup of tea.  The internal walls were also unpainted sandstone and he had eschewed electricity for gas lamps and a wood-fired stove.  It was like living in a natural museum and a great privilege to visit.

It was three days off the full moon but the moon did not rise until 8:30pm.  I walked back along the lighthouse road and because the road was completely surrounded by trees, it was completely dark there and I did not have a torch.  The complication was that the road was exceptionally rough, even for a four wheel drive track.  For each step, I had to balance on one leg and carefully lower the other one to find out where it would land.  The drop for each step was quite variable and sometimes considerable.  It must have taken me quite a while to walk out.

Sydney Blues Festival 2012

The Sydney Blues Festival for 2012 played over three days in late October in the historic town of Windsor.  During that time I photographed 44 bands or performers.  Images and links for twelve of these follow.

You can find links for all the other performances in the overall blog page for Sydney Blues Festivals (2009, 1020, 2012).  This includes links to the Top 100 Images, Selected Monochrome Images (62) and the overall collection of All Images with subfolders by band.  This last also includes an overview of 39 images.

Jim Conway from the six-piece band Big Wheel playing Blues, Jump and Swing.  There have been a few personnel changes over the years and Jim and pianist Don Hopkins are the only remaining original members.

More images (another six); Band Website; Sample tracks.

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Rob Hirst of the “Delta Blues Wall of Sound” band The Backsliders.   He used to be drummer with Midnight Oil and brings spectacular energy levels to the band.  Dom Turner is guitarist and founder of the band 25 years ago. Broderick Smith here plays Harmonica.

More images (another 19); Band website; Videos.

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Mason Rack of the three piece Mason Rack Band, energetic and versatile Blues. I hadn’t seen them before and I was impressed.

More images (another 14);  Band websiteVideos.

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 Mia Dyson, back from the States and playing her own distinctive blend of music.

More images (another 11);  WebsiteTracks from Albums.

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Lanie Lane is relatively new on the music scene, incorporating blues, jazz and rockabilly.

More images (another 20);  WebsiteVideo.

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Billy TK Jnr, maestro Blues guitarist, over from New Zealand with his four piece band the Groove Shakers.

More images (another 19);  WebsiteSample tracks.

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8 Ball Aitken, Swamp Blues from Northern Queensland, performing solo with his three-woman backup dancers.

More Images (another 13);  WebsiteVideo.

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 The Angels, a seminal Australian Rock band formed in 1974 and setting a standard with their Face to Face album in 1978.  Rick Brewster, Dave Gleeson (formerly of the Screaming Jets), John Brewster and Sam Brewster-Jones (John’s son, standing in for Chris Bailey) with the drummer (Nick Norton) behind, obscured by the smoke.

More images (another 40);  WebsiteVideo.

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 Mick Conway, frontman of the Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, reformed for this performance.  They are a Jug Band from the 1970s and their best known recording is probably their second LP, Wangaratta Wahine.  For the performance here, they are an eight-piece band.

More images (another 18);  History and Info.

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Barbara Blue “the Memphis Queen”, a rhythm and Blues singer from Memphis Tennessee, here backed by Australian Musicians.

More images (another 22); WebsiteSample tracks.

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 Charlie Musselwhite, the great American harmonica player and band leader, here playing with his own band.

More images (another 31);  Website;

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Ian Moss, best known as the lead guitarist of seminal Australian Rock band Cold Chisel, performing here with a five-piece band including Dave Blight, Jonathon Sion (?), Peter Walker and Hamish Stewart (sp?) as the grand climax to the Festival.

More images (another 36);  Website;

Sydney Blues Festival (2009-10, 2012-13, 2016-17)

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Rob Hirst, the Backsliders, Sydney Blues Festival 2012

Click on a festival year (below) for an overview for that Festival plus folders for each band – or click links to select specific performances – or just look at the images on this page.  (There are 204 performances and 2,494 images here, probably too many to view them all).

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Rosscoe Clark, Sydney Blues Festival 2017.

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Mezscaltones
Mezcaltones, Sydney Winterfest 2017.

Tomcat Playground

Tomcat Playground, Sydney Blues & Roots Festival 2016

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Russell Morris’s bass player, Sydney Blues Festival 2013

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Rick Brewster, The Angels, Sydney Blues Festival 2012

Trevor Young, Forever Young, Sydney Blues Festival 2010

James Southwell, Barry (the Goose) Harvey and Tim Partridge, James Southwell Band, Sydney Blues Festival 2009

Kevin Borich, Sydney Blues Festival 2010