Making sense of my photography hobby in retirement


Strings of Pearls

Strings of Pearls, spider web, fence, mist, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Strings of Pearls

I was strolling along, and there it was glistening in the early morning light. Dewdrop “pearls” strung on webs of silk in Alpine Victoria.


Taking Shelter

Taking Shelter, Myrtleford, Victoria, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2009

Taking Shelter

This sight caught my attention one morning as I was walking on the trail between Bright and Myrtleford in Victoria, Australia.  Clearly the caravan has seen better days, but it seems to be still in use as there is an electrical connection.  I would guess the roof leaks though if the shelter over the top gives any clue!

Abandoned Tobacco Dryers

Tobacco Dryers, Myrtleford, Victoria, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2009

Tobacco Drying Sheds

Until 2006 Tobacco was the major industry in the area surrounding Myrtleford in the Ovens River valley, Victoria, Australia.  Scattered throughout the are disused tobacco drying sheds  like this which was photographed through the early morning mist in 2009. Farming is now the  important industry in the region, including wine grapes, walnuts and chestnuts, berries, fruit, olives, vegetables, hops and beef and dairy cattle.

Capturing the Moment

There is little more that I can add about this image.  It was captured from a lookout at Curumbin Beach on Queensland’s Gold Coast.  It was a rather opportunistic shot, but it captured the moment.

Capturing the Moment, Curumbin Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Capturing the Moment

Southport Spit

At the entrance to the Broadwater at the Soutport Spit in Queensland there is a pair of breakwaters that create the Gold Coast Seaway to the Pacific Ocean. The southernmost breakwater is  popular for both walkers and recreational fishers.  Nearby, some 500 metres to the south is the Gold Coast Sand Pumping Jetty which is part of the Seaway and is used to pump away any accumulations of sand that could hamper the use of the boating channel.  This also is a popular walking and fishing destination.

These black and white images form part of my ongoing experimentation with black and white processing.

Fishing, Breakwater, Gold Coast Seaway, Southport Spit, Queensland, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Fishing from the Breakwater at entrance to Gold Coast Seaway

Gold Coast Sand Pumping Jetty, Southport Spit, Queensland, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Gold Coast Sand Pumping Jetty at Southport Spit

Lady Jocelyn, Gold Coast Seaway, Southport Spit, Queensland, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

“Lady Jocelyn” leaving the Broadwater through the Gold Coast Seaway at Southport Spit

Maddie and her Bear


Maddie and her Bear, Broadwater, Southport, Queensland, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Broadwater Parklands runs for 3.5 km along an area known as The Broadwater at Southport on Queensland’s Gold Coast. It runs alongside the Nerang River. There are walking and cycling tracks, playgrounds, swimming areas, and large areas of picnic and entertainment space.

Near the southern end, sitting on “The Hill” overlooking the river is Maddie and her bear.

Maddie is a 2.5 metre fibreglass sculpture of a seven year old child, an original piece of artwork by John Cox (a local Academy Award winning designer and artist) and his wife Julie, which was created as a tribute to the Parklands strong family-oriented appeal.

Maddie can be seen from many vantage points as she sits quietly contemplating the scene around her.  I came across her on one of my early morning walks and just had to photograph her.

Surf’n Wagon

Surf'n Wagon, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia, Copyright Chris Gregory 2012

Cool Surf’n Machine

On a recent holiday, while taking my morning walk along the Gold Coast Walkway between Surfers Paradise and Main Beach, I happened on this cool wagon.  It had been setup as a prop in a commercial photography shoot near a surf patrol tower and it sparkled in the early morning sunlight.  This type of vehicle takes me back to my youth.  I am unsure of the make as I didn’t want to intrude into the photographer’s territory, but it may be a FJ Holden with a Californian style wooden trim.  Whatever the make, it was immaculate.


Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia

I like to take a brisk walk each morning, whether at home or on holiday.  One recent morning while holidaying on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia I passed this lifeguard tower at Surfers Paradise Beach and noticed an elderly couple toweling down after an early morning swim.  The thought of these people swimming on an unpatrolled beach known for its tidal rips and powerful surf surprised me at first, but their seeming comfort with the surroundings gave the appearance that they may have done this many times before.  The radiating shadows cast by the early morning sun helped to put the scene into context.

Three and Free

Imagine.  You’re a three-year-old who has been cooped up at home for the last week with chicken pox.  You’re bored out of your tree and just want to be out enjoying yourself like everyone else.  At last you are able to go outside and enjoy the open air, to run on the beach with the wind in your hair. Freedom – at last!

Three and Free - Southport, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Shower of Spray

Its great watching kids play on a beach.  There is so much opportunity to explore, dig, splash, build, or just run around.

Shower of Spray - Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

I watched my grandson for ten minutes while he investigated the waves rushing up onto the beach, and then receding again.  Sometimes he would just stand and let the waves wash around his legs. Next the game became waiting until the last minute then running ahead of a wave to beat it to the dry sand, or trying to jump over them as they came towards him. Sometimes he cupped his hands to capture some water, then let it escape through his fingers.  This image caught him as he experimented with creating an arc with a shower of water scooped up from in front as a receding wave passed from behind.  He was fully absorbed with the waves for the whole time.


Even though it’s called the Sunshine Coast, it still rains there and can get quite cold in winter.  When it’s raining in the hinterland behind the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia it is even colder, as we discovered when detouring there after our few days at Noosa. The road into the Blackall Range is quite steep. At 400 metres Montville has its head in the clouds when it rains, and with the wind blowing from a southerly direction it’s cold in late June.

Montville Queensland Australia - Umbrellas in the Rain

Umbrellas in the Rain - Montville, Queensland, Australia

Even though it was cold and wet there was a surprising number of visitors on the Monday we ventured into the hills.  It was the beginning of Queensland school holidays and the rain didn’t deter large groups of people from visiting this picturesque mountain village.


Its cold and horrible in Auckland today. Sudden southwesterly squalls with brief but intermittent bursts of watery sun.  The lawn is so wet that muddy footprints are left where feet have trodden and tracks where the lawnmower has been.  I don’t mind the cold, but the continuous wetness gets me down after a bit.

Tracks of a different kind are shown in this image.

Tracks to Fraser Island ferry at Inskip Point, Queensland, Australia

Tracks - Fraser Island Ferry at Inskip Point, Queensland, Australia

During a recent trip to Australia we took a day tour to Fraser Island from Noosa on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.  This unusual tour traveled 120 kilometers up the ocean beaches north of the Noosa River to Rainbow Beach and Inskip Point in a 14 seat 4WD truck that had been converted into a bus.  At Inskip Point one crosses the sandy spit to the ferry that takes you to Fraser Island.  Both Fraser Island and the sand dunes north of Noosa are known as sand masses and are extensive national parks.

4WD Tour Trucks - Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

4WD Tour Trucks - Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia

Fraser Island is separated from Inskip Point by a 1 km passage.  Flat-decked ferries from two companies compete for custom to take vehicles to the island.  There are few roads on Fraser Island, and those that do exist are rough.  The island is therefore 4WD country only. People visiting the island need to take all their supplies with them and remove all their rubbish when they leave.  Despite all of this hundreds of vehicles cross to the island during holiday periods, taking their passengers to remote spots up the ocean coast for camping and fishing holidays.

Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia - 4WD vehicles look for a camping spot

Fraser Island - Holiday visitors travel up the ocean beach to find a camping spot

A 35 km drive up the ocean beach on the eastern side delivers visitors to Eurong Resort, the only resort on the island. From here, tracks in rutted loose sand lead through rain forest to inland freshwater lakes and walking tracks. There is even a chance to sight a dingo, Australia’s famous native dog.

Our visit was on a beautiful sunny Queensland winter day – not at all like the weather here at the moment!

Eight in Line

Eight in Line

Taken in Melbourne, Victoria in 2009 from a bridge crossing the Yarra River.  This image has been worked on in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 using the ethos outlined in David duChemin’s book Vision & Voice – Redefining your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. David asks the question “How did it feel?”

The photograph presented itself quite by chance.  After work rowers were on the river training as the sun lowered itself to the horizon.  I saw them coming towards me and the idea of capturing them in silhouette occurred to me.  As the rowers came through the sunlight reflected off the water the moment arrived.  Straight out of the camera the image seemed pretty good. However, but a bit of work with the blacks, exposure, highlight recovery and enhancement of the blue of the bow canvas and yellow of the oar blades brought the image to how I remembered it and “how it felt”.

I have been reworking some of my photographs since reading the book and feel that I am now starting to get more mood from the images than previously.

Audrey’s Special Syrup

Spotted this in a Sunday morning market at Burleigh Head on Queensland’s Gold Coast.  This was from a time when advertising standards were somewhat different from they are today!  It reminds me of claims on food and medicine products from China not so many years ago that could “increase your child’s intelligence…”, amongst other things.  I wonder how the “oil tycoon Humphrey Gibbons” felt about the claims on the poster/label?

Audrey's Special Syrup

There were other similar facsimile signs and posters on display, including one for “Marriage – The end of a perfectly good sex life”,  and “Shut the xxxx up – The original WHAT-EVER spouse poison”!!  I wonder how many of these are original, or just someone’s fantasy?  Definitely very Australian though.

Surfing for Breakfast

Most mornings along the beaches of the Gold Coast there are surfers out in the water trying to find the perfect wave before breakfast.  As soon as the sun peeks over the horizon boys and girls appear with their surfboards and take to the waves.

This image was taken from Main Beach, Surfers Paradise and shows the distant buildings of Burleigh Head on the horizon.

A quick surf before breakfast - Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia


There is a newish building at Broadbeach on Queensland’s Gold coast that I understand the locals call “the wave building”.  To me it looks more like a basket weave, but waves could also describe the architectural features of the building.  What do you think?

Waves - Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


The forest near Mount Tamborine in the hinterland of Queenland’s Gold Coast there is a “skywalk” in the canopy of the trees.  There is another at O’Rielly’s in the Lamington National Park. The Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is less than two years old and has an impressive steel bridge that takes visitors thirty metres above ground level into the trees and gives a view of the forest that can’t be seen from the ground.  Built off-site in a factory as modules, the visitor centre and bridge system were brought into the forest on trucks and bolted together.

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Information about the flora and fauna is posted on signs along the walkway and paths that lead through the trees. There is also a forty metre cantilever “bridge” reaches out into the high branches.

Cantilever - Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, Queensland, Australia

Billed as an “eco-walk”, it is worth the visit for the experience of seeing the trees as the birds do.

Verticals - Long straight limbs along the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk


Tucked in behind all the tourist infrastructure and bustle of the Gold Coast are a series of mountain ranges known locally as the Hinterland. Near to Surfers Paradise is Tamborine Mountain with its small hamlets and cutesy shopping centre.  From Mt Tamborine there is view back to the Gold Coast and, inland across a rural plateau, towards a series of mountain ranges that include (amongst others) the Springbrook, Lamington, Mt Barney and Main Range National Parks.

Hinterland, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

The best time of day to view this area is at sunset  when the sky is coloured by the sun and the layers of mountains can be seen in the distance.  Mt Warning, named by Captain Cook in 1770, is the highest mountain in the area and is at the southern end of the chain.  Its present height is only half of what it once was.  Natural erosion over the millenia has reduced the volcanic caldera to a low horseshoe with the pyramidal Mt Warning being the prominent feature. Mt Warning, 1,900 m (6,200 ft), is the peak at the left skyline in the image.

Thoughts of Louisiana

Ever since we returned from our Gold Coast Holiday the news of the oil spill off the coast of the southern states of the USA has filled the news.  Today is 51 days since the oil rig exploded that started this environmental tragedy.  Images of shrimp boats confined to port came to mind when I looked at this image taken at a marina on The Broadwater near Queensland’s Seaworld.

Fishing Boat, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

This boat is like many along those southern states.  The owners depend upon being able to get out of port to earn their living from harvesting the sea.  A boat in port is not earning any money.

There is talk of prospecting for oil and gas off the coast of New South Wales.  Imagine the impact on the tourist resorts along the eastern coast of Australia if an accident like that in the USA occurred here!


While all of the major commercial buildings associated with tourism are clustered close to the beach at Surfers Paradise, there is a whole different world less than a kilometre inland. The Nerang River wanders its way from The Broardwater at is mouth, snaking its way behind the tall buildings. What at one time were small swampy islands in the river have, over the years, been reclaimed and built on with low-rise residential development connected to the mainland by bridges.  Canal systems have been developed along the edges of the river where homeowners can park their boats at the front door.

Nerang River, Surfers Paradise, Queensland

This can be seen clearly on the Google Map below:

The Gold Coast has been a magnet for retirees from the south-eastern states of Australia, as well as from New Zealand, for years.  The warm climate has also attracted families to the area. The south-eastern part of Queensland has been one of the most rapidly developing parts of Australia for more than 40 years.  New housing developments are always on the go, and developers and “investment” advisors continue to lure new investors to part with their money in return for prospective rental income and capital gains. Many shady schemes have come and gone over the years, but for those who bought wisely and held on for the long-term have received reasonable market returns on their investment in this property market. Others have lost money through unwise and dubiously promoted schemes.  Such is life in a rapidly moving environment like the Gold Coast.

Surfer Girl

An early morning walk on a beach is always interesting.  As the sun rises above the horizon the light is golden and the shadows are long.  People emerge from entry points to walk, run, contemplate, or go surfing as they do at Surfers Paradise.

Surfer Girl, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

As I observed this girl preparing to go surfing I became aware of a couple of lads who appeared to be trying to impress her.  As she went through her stretching regime one of the fellows began to imitate by going through a programme of his own.  It was amusing to follow the routine, with the occasional glance along the beach to see whether she was watching.  As the comedy developed he began doing hand stands to draw more attention to himself.

Look at me!

Finally she picked up her board and nonchalantly walked to the water’s edge and launched herself at the waves.

Big Splash, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

The lad was still posing, even as I left the beach!

Surfers Paradise

The beach at “Surfers” is long and golden.  It stretches from Burleigh Head in the south to The Spit in the north. At intervals along the coast there are congregations of tall apartment and hotel buildings like this one at Surfers Paradise.

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

The beach faces east and catches the sunrise and morning sunshine.  From mid-afternoon the tall buildings begin to shade the beach as the sun travels westward. When big storms come the sand shifts up and down the beach. From time to time the Gold Coast City pipe sand from the north or south to replenish the beaches at the main resorts so the tourists can be kept happy.

This image was taken from The Spit on the southern side of the channel between the mainland and Stradbroke Island.  Nearby, but out of picture, is a jetty with sand dredging pipes through which the sand slurry is pumped to the beaches at the resorts.

Bird Man

Whenever we travel, my wife and I like to visit the local markets.  There is always a different variety of fresh fruit and vegetables which are different from those we normally see at home, as well as a different range of people amongst the visitors.

So it was at Nerang on the Gold Coast of Queensland.  As we wandered around the Sunday morning Farmers’ Market we came upon this fellow.

Bird Man, Nerang Farmers Market, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Here was a person who in all ways was a real character – hat, birds, accent, and all.  Obviously a regular at the market, he chatted to the stall holders on his rounds.  The white bird appeared to be moulting and looked somewhat scrawny, but this just added to the flavour of the overall package.

Long Man

Early morning at Surfers Paradise. Out to get some sunrise images.  Views this way. Views that way.  Turned around, and there he was.

Caught on Camera - Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia