Tag Archives: photography

Canberra – Cooma – South Coast

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Seems the new aesthetic for Canberra hotels is “auspol shitpost”, I got into it after a while

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Floriade

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I ran past the intersection of Polo Flat Road and Geebung St in Cooma, bit of a bush poetry reference going on here

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Cooma was very quiet but the pub had Kosciuszko Pale Ale on tap and the clouds were good

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Perisher was even quieter than Cooma, but they still had snow. Beard status: unpopular progressive album

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Tathra is really beautiful. “Imagine being in the snow then driving 300 km to a beach like this” -some Australians

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A wallaby and joey at Arugunnu in Mimosa Rocks National Park.

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I haven’t been to Mystery Bay since I was a kid, when I thought these rocks were petrified wood, which apparently they aren’t. The geological term for Mystery Bay is a ‘kink zone’ so I was probably too young for it at the time.

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It was surprisingly hard to find fresh oysters but driving to Pambula was worth it. There are some who would find oysters for morning tea, two days in a row, to be excessive, but they are weak.

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The fattest, fluffiest, laziest cat in the world lives at the heritage village of Central Tilba, where they also have great cheese and scones.

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The mouth of the Bega River at the north end of Tathra Beach.

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Silvery gibbon at Mogo Zoo. These are Indonesian animals but I think it’s picked up some gestures from the locals.

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Near Pretty Beach. I used to come on family holidays a few beaches north from here when I was a kid but never noticed how insanely lovely it is.

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Ancient images

On Photography, Susan Sontag
Mr Turner, Mike Leigh
Ancient Laughter: On Joking, Tickling and Cracking Up, Mary Beard

I’m a latecomer to Susan Sontag – I think On Photography is the first book of hers I’ve ever read. It’s really good, in spite of a very late 70s-early 80s tendency to swoon about like the End of Days is At Hand, and made me wish she were still around to write about the people who get freaked out by selfie-sticks. The racist trope of the native fearing the camera’s soul-stealing powers is pretty old-fashioned, but photography is still enough of a novelty that its new manifestations – which are really just an acceleration of the trend to cheapness, portability and popularisation which Sontag records – arouse responses which it doesn’t seem unfair to call superstitious.

I’ve not been much of a Mike Leigh fan – Naked is one of the very few films that I wish I’d walked out of – but I really enjoyed Mr Turner, which contains a nice set-piece at the very start of photography’s history. I’m not much of an artist-biopic fan, either, but Leigh mostly avoids the genre’s cliches, his 19th century has a very convincing, lived-in feel, and Timothy Spall’s performance is admirable. It’s worth seeing on the big screen, as the cinematography is excellent. The audience I saw it with tittered in embarrassment at some of the parts which I found most touching and convincing – Turner singing out of tune to an out of tune pianoforte at a patron’s country house, for example. By our standards, there would have been so much slightly-off music in the days before recordings – George Bernard Shaw’s early work as a music critic is very instructive.

I’d been looking forward to Mary Beard’s Laughter in Ancient Rome ever since I saw a copy in Melbourne last year, and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a dried and more scholarly work than her Pompeii – Life and Death in a Roman Town, but that added to the austere pleasure of a text which not only describes the most ineffable of emotional responses – the history of theories of laughter is something like a narrative of repeated attempts to catch smoke – but also attempts to register that response’s echoes across the gulf between ourselves and the ancient world.

Google image search

Google Image search

Interesting

Now that I’ve bought a real camera, I can put photos of sunsets and flowers into my Flickr account, and it will become more like the contents of their “interesting” pages.

The “interesting” photos are only meta-interesting: they have a pretty narrow range of subjects (scenery, usually with mist or a sunset; flowers; girls). Many of the photos seem to belong to invite-only groups with ~~strange punctuation~~ in their names.

If Flickr is Borge’s Aleph, then the “interesting” page is the Kaph: K for Kitsch.