Street Photography

SO here is a theme that I have not tried in a very long time…..

STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. It was Canon’s February theme, so I gave it a go. It’s always good to try different things, right?

It brought up some interesting issues around the way that I choose to shoot. Like highlighting¬†the fact that I don’t like to be watched while photographing. Perhaps that is part of me preferring to be behind the camera rather than in front of it, but I did notice the irony of shooting others in public, but not enjoying doing the shooting while in public.

What I do enjoy about it, is watching for patterns and relationships in the everyday (and sometimes not so everyday) events happening around you. That can be quite captivating and can mean that I forget about being observed (to some degree).

I certainly enjoy the work of other street photographers…. after all I have two large volumes of work by Elliott Erwitt who is famous for his street photography all over the world. In fact I met Elliott Erwitt in New York City and had him sign one of his books for me!

It is the appreciation for simply SEEING what is there and capturing the essence of what makes it special – whether that be a pattern of shapes in one split moment, or an expression, or sequence of events that can be beautiful or humorous or interesting in that one moment.

I believe it takes great patience, perhaps that is another aspect I lack. However, it does relate to the work I do, in that I like to photograph “found” things rather than something I make up and is make believe.

This was my entry shot, taken at the Rockabilly Festival in Ballarat, February 2015.

Alison Shirley Photography

Through the windows of the past.

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Learning to look up

I’m on a pathway of learning to love what I am, what I have and who I am.

It’s not that I won’t be trying to improve, but I’ve come to realise that I waste a great deal of energy lamenting what is NOT present in my life, my body and my immediate world.

Of course this is destructive, wasteful and poor management of energy, among other things!

So it is a year of moving forward, perhaps not without fear, but THROUGH fear. Yes, I do that every year. I guess I want to leap a little further, a little higher, be airborne a little longer.

Perhaps I have already learnt to trust myself more and that it’s ok to spread my wings further without knowing what will happen.

What will happen is life – as always – abundant with the full spectrum of emotions and experiences.

I’m a private person and sometimes that prevents me from exposing myself as utterly as art does. It also leaves me feeling as though I have¬†nothing to “say”.

So rather than concerning myself too much with that, I will just BE.

So here is me, trying something new, learning to look up at the abundant sky – simultaneously reminding me how minuscule and integral I am.

I hope you enjoy…

 

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January night sky, 2015

The colour of hope

It has been awhile, my apologies!

Last year was terrible and challenging for a number of people I love and care about.

I did a great deal of moving, and now comes a time to settle properly where I am and enjoy.

It was a busy year for me, photographically. Lots to catch up on, but for now I would like to show you a few shots from my wanderings closer to home.

For it is in this place that I live and explore. Right now I am working on pieces that incorporate both photography (still and moving) – and dance! It all comes together!! All those parts of me that most love to show themselves.

This series is a taste of an exhibition to come.

It is about hope.

It is about the great dry.

The need to live in hope and the need to survive the great dry.

The land expresses everything that we as human bodies experience – and it’s telling me to stay hydrated and treasure those magical life forces that we take so for granted most of the time.

Myrniong turn off, Victoria

“Myrniong turn off”, Victoria

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“Barbed wire fence” Myrniong turn off, Western Highway, Victoria

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“Shades of dry” Myrniong turn off, Western Highway, Victoria

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“Tired and cross”, Myrniong turn off, Western Highway, Victoria

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“White wash”, Myrniong turn off, Western Highway, Victoria

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“Field meeting”, near Myrniong, Victoria

A new day in a new way 2013

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If you have been wondering where I have gone with my photography, I’ll tell you – into snappy land.

Being summer and having a holiday and sunshine, lots of outdoor time, some relaxing time and visiting family etc, I found a new photography addiction in the form of Instagram.

SO I entered the digital world tentatively, thinking I was a purest, and I’ve landed here, where all things are quick and simple.

It didn’t take me long for two reasons:

I have always loved the square format. I still have a beautiful Mamiya twin lens medium format camera which I still shoot with sometimes. I love it. Square has long been a favourite for me.

Then there is the ease of having your phone with you – as opposed to needing to carry around your heavy camera.

Now don’t misunderstand me. This is about the everyday, the snaps that would otherwise pass you by, the moments that you can see and grab quickly.

They don’t replace the other work I do. They are simply another form of my photography and I have to say I am having a lot of fun with this!

I hope you enjoy them too.

Above, was the trip to Sydney, below the heavenly holiday in Hobart.

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Then some gorgeous days in Dover, south of Hobart, fortunately not near where the fires were raging. You can see how orange the sky was at times though.

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And then back to work and driving to and from town and city

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In 2013, celebrating what is my town, wondering around it in the sunshine when I can and taking a look about the place.

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Have fun this year, enjoy your photography which ever way you like it, just make sure you shoot.

Spring has sprung!

 

After more than a year in my new home, my garden is still giving me great surprises with what comes up in each new season.

It’s hard not to get out the macro lens and show my appreciation, so I have done it again, focussing this time on a gorgeous purple bulb that seemed to shoot up out of nowhere!

It reminds me to keep on keeping on, as you never know what is around the corner. So here is a little visual thank you to the universe that is my garden, doing it’s own amazing thing.

And may we all continue to do our own amazing thing, even if it takes getting through those winters to rise up and greet the sunshine with everything we have to offer.

And we all DO have something to offer!

 

 

 

 

 

Interviewed by Abc Open, Alison Shirley

Things are quite exciting right now.

Just a few months ago I took a big leap, in moving from Melbourne city where there is plenty to inspire and encourage creativity, and the place is really well KNOWN to me, to going rural.

I moved to Ballarat, despite the warnings!… All that means is that I am renowned for being a summer girl and B’rat is known for it’s harsh winters. Ouch!

Ballarat is also a beautiful town, proud of it’s gold rush history and abundant in inspiring landscape and architecture.

Since being here, I have been able to focus more on my creativity and making a mission of allowing myself to PLAY.

A short time ago I was contacted by ABC Open producer, Marc Eiden, who said he’d been enjoying reading my blog.

That in itself was a great affirmation, but he also mentioned wanting to interview me about shooting macro and writing blogs, in order to inform and inspire others with their macro photography.

Well I certainly hope it does exactly that! Inspiring others to move forward and get their creative buzz going is one of my favourite things!

Doing your own creative or artistic thing, is often a world of unrecognised hard work and dedication, but a wonderful teacher of mine always said, “You must do what you love and the rest will come.”

If I ever doubted her, I consider this experience with Marc at the Abc as a reminder to have more faith. And to just keep doing what you love!!

I have also entered the Up Close competition, which you will find at the ABC Open site, so perhaps some of you out there also have something you want to put forward….. Go for it!

The secret look of plants from ABC Open Ballarat on Vimeo.

What’s new is old

I’m in a new town

In actual fact, it’s really an old town, with a colourful history – only new to me.

What I notice and admire in a new town, is old things.

Many times in the man made and in the natural world, I admire age.

Age, ageing, aged.

It occurs to me as it often does, that we as humans too often don’t allow ourselves a similar kind of admiration.

So this series is in appreciation of age and it’s beauty.

It’s colour, vibrancy, complexity and detail.