Saturday, October 8, 2011

Walking Through Adelaide - Photo Fun Part 2

 One of the things that I was trying to do when I went for my "big day out" with the camera, was to practice taking some people shots. Now, this is something that I don't have a lot of experience at, except for my family. And I have to say, I'm still not sure what's the correct protocol when it comes to taking photos of people in a public environment. Anyhow, I've tried to put only photos up that I thought were interesting, but not too interesting. I guess I'm a shy kinda guy, and I'm happier to be the fly on the wall observing than asking people if they mind their photo being taken.

One of the more interesting characters was this 'Guitar Zamurai'... for those familiar with near contemporary Japanese characters, he was a famous talent of a few years back. This isn't him, but clearly he's got an eye for some historical/cultural references all of his own. I'm sorry I didn't wait around long enough between his set to ask his name... but he certainly enjoyed himself, and the life of a busker is not an easy one.

Adelaide's not exactly Protest Central - although that may not be exactly true (as it always seems there's protest marches heading off to parliament house). Still, I was a bit surprised to see some global politics being given an outing in the centre of Adelaide - which generally has a much more local set of interest groups. In the space of 100m you can find a kimono-clad novo-punk guitarist and a very serious protest about middle-eastern politics. That's Adelaide for you.

Sometimes, you don't need to make a portrait all about the person - although that sounds strange even to me as I type it. I kinda like this shot below, as the maneki neko (lucky cat) was the focus, but the interest is really the woman concentrating hard on making crepes in the background. BTW - I'll post up my post on a really good Japanese crepe place in Rundle Mall. Not quite the real thing, but pretty damn close.

Of course - there's many in life that have lived through many more years than I. And I guess we tend to block them out from our vision. They just don't quite fit into our view of the modern youth-centric world. They move to a different drum, yet it's a tune that we keep time to.

Of course - my natural inclination is not to take photos of people at all... it's all too messy really. I prefer things I can stare at for moments on end, without them getting nervous, and/or calling the Police. Inanimate's the way to go. And so, I couldn't resist throwing in a couple more of my shots from around town. This time I've been even more dramatic with the treatment on them.

 Adelaide can be a little disturbing at times - it's what comes of having a lively Arts community. Sometimes you wonder however if we really do notice the things around us though. Or if those things are noticing us...

Indeed it used to be having two large metallic balls (the Mall's Balls) was considered cutting edge - that was a product of the 70's (1977 to be exact). Clearly stainless steel was the new black back then.

Nowadays ART has a slightly more rural urbanity about it. Mixing in the (Orwellian-influenced?) pigs and their insatiable desire to scavenge through rubbish. The Mall's pigs have become a new icon of Adelaide. It's a different scale, and perhaps a slightly different self-image. Street sculpture is definitely a thing of the last decade, where inanimate life is meant somehow to make a place feel more lively...

And speaking of lively - Adelaide's not known for it's development. We'd prefer to evolve rather than change. Still, for all that, change is inevitable. But it makes you realise just how long it's been since the face of Rundle Mall changed appreciably when a building lot becomes the focus of a photographer hobbyist. 

 Good ol' Adelaide. Traditional to the end however. It doesn't take you long to realise that the more things change, the more it stays Adelaide.

Time indeed flows differently here... and it's not measured in hours or minutes. 

It is often said that Adelaide's like a large country town. By some this is said in the way of nostalgic warmth (that Adelaide hasn't lost it's small city feel), whereas for others it's said in slightly more disparaging tones. It does feel however like a city built on the back of a country town, and you don't have to look far (for example down the main "adult precinct" of Hindley Street to get a sense of the slow moving town ambience (if you ignore all the sex shops that is).

And I guess, after all, not every city has to be big and bold as brass. Adelaide is a small city, where the pace of life is generally a few steps behind the rest of the world. It is our home, and where our family lives. It's our place, and that always gives it just that little more well-lived in feel. Home has such a significant meaning. To all of us - no matter where we are from.


  1. Some nice pictures and love the variety of different shots. The first one and picture of the two bikes are my two favourites. Did you have a fun time taking them?

    Japan Australia

  2. Great photos, I like the black and whites one, mostly because I am just unable to make a shot look good in b&w. How do you decide when to go to b&w?

  3. Thanks guys. As for B&W... I have to say that I used to be a non B&W person... I also never saw the point, or the opportunity. Then I guess I just started experimenting... and in the end, some things just made sense as B&W - especially when you look at trying to bring out the tonal range that may not be as strong in coloured shot. Then again, there's photos like the first here where just beg to be in B&W to bring out the emotion or starkness. If I were to suggest something, I'd say, look for simple pics first. You need the strength of focal point rather than an overly complicated image... but really, it comes down to just applying B&W filters to images and seeing what works for you. I'm no expert (by any stretch of the imagination)... but the first thing is to keep B&W as an option - and always ask, what would I gain as a B&W image, and what would I lose. Sorry - that most probably sounds a lot like teaching 'how to suck eggs'...