Monday, May 31, 2010

The Old Campaigner

Regular visitors to this site would have seen the occasional round photo inside a square black frame. This is no digital trickery like where you see an old Polaroid frame around a modern digital image. These are genuine fisheye images taken on film and here is the culprit.
Now my oldest lens, a great campaigner and veteran of many briney missions.  It's in semi-retirement until somebody comes up with a cheap way of removing the fungal growth inside one of the many pieces of glass that enable it to focus light from 180 degrees onto a piece of film.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sunny 16

I am excited and humbled to be reacquainting myself with Jacques Cousteau's best ever surfing invention - the underwater 35mm camera. OK I'm not talking his 1963 original "Calypso-phot" but the next model the Nikonos II - manual hyperfocal distance focusing, manual wind on, manual exposure released in 1968. Manual exposure???? Could be interesting given that I have been spoilt by the benefit of hand held lightmeters, flashmeters or meters built into the camera.
Nikonos V Bay of Granite Spring 1984?
After 19 cameras, I have travelled a meandering route that takes me back to learnings buried under a couple of decades worth of hype and sound bites. Back to Photo 101 class and the wonderful, left brain mathematicality of the Sunny 16 rule - on a sunny day F16 and 1/ISO or in my case and taking no chances with ISO400 film (a four pack and dirt cheap) exposure should be F16 and 1/400th sec.
Big Thanks to my brine brother and legend longboarder Tony Stewart for loaning me this camera. I'm truly stoked and humbled.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Evidently Chickentown**

Time to cut the nails and practice pentatonic scales - the Annual Chickentown Guitar Show complete with inner city blues and blue suede shoes. Big thanks to Reece from Guitar Brothers for letting me bring my camera.

On the road last century. Bundaberg I think at a place called Across the Waves. Maybe not. Definitely a Gibson Firebird bass owned by my mate Tony who is organising the visit to the Guitar Show this weekend.

Evidently Chickentown**copyright John Cooper Clark

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Brinetopia Autumn 2009
530 am Eastern Standard Time, woke up from a dream about my workplace with a few lines from Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row playing in my head. There’s over a 100 lines of verse in that 11 minute beast first found on his 1965 album Highway 61 Revisited. The one's that were stuck in a loop between my ears were:
“you would not think to look at him
but he was famous a long time ago”
L-R Simon Anderson, Joe Larkin and Peter Townend Noosa 2010
As I walk out onto the back deck a few kookaburras start laughing from under a blanket of pre-dawn clouds skidding from west to east as fruit bats fly in the opposite direction. What does it mean? Portents of rain? Earthquake? Crisp offshores? 
Noosa Autumn 2010
First time I saw Dylan (the Zimmerman) live, I was a teenager with a few rolls of Kodachrome at a place now demolished before I acquired a few stories of my own and a ton of adult responsibility.
Huntington Winter 1978
I go to the kitchen computer that doubles as my darkroom these days and hunt down Desolation Row on iToons. There's a dull roar in the distance. Peak "hour" has already started as I start making my lunch totake on the bus. There's Bob hiding on the hard drive in between Department of Youth by Alice Cooper  (never seen him) and Devil Got My Woman, an old Skip James blues cover by Bonnie Rait who supported Dylan the second time I saw him with GfG and Tony at the no-cameas-allowed-venue.  
Brinetopia 1977
Headphones on. Family's still asleep. Responsibility is at least one album and a commute away as Bob sings me a surrealistic tale of carnies, crazies and clowns and those lines that could apply equally to ageing shapers.

“you would not think to look at him
but he was famous a long time ago”
Bob Dylan Desolation Row 1965

Monday, May 24, 2010

Site of the Week

Feeling a bit shabby today and wasn't going to post, but then got inspired by this young crew from the mean streets making an effort to break the cycle of dysfunction. 
If nothing else check their beautiful video over at Nathan Oldfield's Look and Sea site.
The Scraperbikes site also contains a bit more info about the crew's "rules" - riding in single file, going to school. That's the leader on far left I think called "Champ" rides a trike, Deadly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Change 5

After seeing the Stones' Exile on Main Street documentary 
the other night and noticing how old they look now, 
thought I'd get a little theme going on "change". 
The mere mention of film as a recording medium
 - 35mm and 110 formats 
brings to mind the transitory nature of our surf technology, 
our image capturing devices 
and even ourselves.
MV Cherry Venture, once state of the art. 
Blown ashore near Noosa. 
Familiar landmark on the way north. 
Now a few remains of corroded iron 
mixed with the former mining site that is Teewah Beach.
Top pic - Noosa Hill last century.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Freestyle Rant

Imagine what scenes this old shed has witnessed.

Imagine what the world looks like upside down.

Imagine what walls these fins have bitten into.

Imagine what unridden peaks these wings have soared.

And if you can read

And you can surf
Thank the god of your choice.
Now turn off the computer and dive into the brine.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Goofy x goofy

Before and after digital, there were and there will always be goofy footers dropping a knee and grabbing a rail and tucking tight into the pocket. The lead singer from the local band back when Kodachrome was king and 30 years later the son of Noosa shaper Dragon taking the drop at Tea Tree.
"May the good lord shine a light on you
Make every song your favourite tune
May the good lord shine a light on you
Warm like the evening sun"

from Shine a Light by the Rolling Stones'
album Exile on Main Street 1972

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Exile on Vinyl Street

I feel compelled to land some type on this phosphorescent canvas before my eyelids close for the day. The reason is nearly 40 years old. A tale of too many drinks, drugs, deals and divas - across two continents, including chateaus used by the Nazis and tax exiles trying to make a bit of vinyl music.
So popular retelling has it. And today the wonderful people of iToons will re-re-release the Rolling Stones' double album Exile on Main Street, a wonderful, crazy, crankin', ragged double vinyl with cover layout by John Van Hammersveld (you know the Endless Summer poster) and photography by legendary lensman Robert Frank, himself an exalted chronicler of exiles on main streets.

If you are in Brinetopia glue yourself to the original Tube and watch the documentary on ABC1 9:30pm Thursday 20 May 2010.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Steamer Dawn

Last winter I wore my steamer once and that was way down south on surfari. It's not even winter yet and I reacquainted myself with its rubbery warmth on a cold but very fun and slidey log day yesterday. Bring on those wonderful winter days of sunshine, blue sky and all-day glass.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surf Craft Permit

A little mix of film and digital, traditional and modern mals, last century and this. Josh Constable, former long board world champ doing the surf check at his local point break with an old six stringer strapped to the 1946 Woody, which doubles as the Noosa Longboards staff car.

Friday, May 14, 2010

ROAD (Trip)

I got this brilliant left this morning.
Really big. 
So big and full that three of us rode it 
without hitting each other's wakes.
And I had nobody to the left of me.
So much wind coming up the face, though.
Hard to get the nose down.
Then the alarm went off
and it was time for me to get up
and drag a razor across my face
like I did yesterday and the day before.
And all I could think of 
as the stars started to fade was, 
"gee that was strange,  I always go right in my dreams"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tea Knost

Alex Knost graciously stopped for a chat in between shreddings at Johnno's a little while back. That old tuna style fin seemed to have a ton of flex. Are those markings on the board part of the aesthetics or the result of not wearing a leggie? I'm guessing aRt.
Pandanus tree background taken on an old TLR on a flat day - which happens all the time. Thank you Mr Knost.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Constant Element

From Mississippi John Hurt to Metallica
From Midnight Oil to The Middle East
From the MC5 to the Masters Apprentices
From the Modern Lovers to Missy Higgins
From Mott the Hoople to Muddy Waters

The guitar - the constant element

May 28 - 29

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Question Authority

The button on his tee shirt read "Question Authority". He had just returned from Europe to a party we were having in the Noosa hinterland. We had grown up together. Went to university together. Surfed and explored and camped out under the stars together. That was last century.
Last year we went on surfari with a few crew and scored some beautiful slides around Pensioners' Point. Still surfing. Still mates. Still questioning authority. Happy Birthday, Mark.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Vintage Wheels

About 18 cameras ago, before they built that rock wall thing out at the Point, there used to be a nice stretch of sand that ran from the Lifesaver's Pavillion to the North Kirra Creek mouth. In the morning, the sand made this squeaky sound when you kicked it. When the local fishermen drove their battered Land Rover 4x4s over that Kirra sand, towing their wooden boats in search of sea mullet, you'd hear their tyres making the same weird, squeaky sound.
They were tough, evil looking old guys even to Trevor, the cheekiest of us kids. They would look at the sea for a minute and know straight away if it was worth launching their boats. When they did, they would row in a U shape while their long net spooled out over a wooden roller on the stern. Then two teams - aided of course by us kids - would haul their net back into shore as shimmering gar and sea mullet would try to wiggle free. 
And whenever I see an old Landy 4x4, instantly I hear that weird squeaky sound of tyres on sand and I can smell fresh mullet and I can see Trevor, the cheeky deaf kid, waving a wiggling fish in my face.
 (pic by Hughie)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Vintage Pacific

"The name is Watts - 
Parrish Watts."
The brand is 
The vehicles are wooden.
Sometimes hollow.
Never ugly.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Too Much Acid

In the spirit of partying responsibly, 
remember that
"too much acid is a bad bad thing"**
**So said the underground Aussie band, Pineapples from Beyond the Dawn of Time. One guitarist used to wear a monk's outfit and the other was Clem Lukey, former resident of Coolum and slider of places like First Point (below) during the Single Fin Era.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oil and Enamel on Paper

when this image
decides to impede its ratio
the light takes the lens as a microphone
specifically to sing one word
you never thought you'd hear
(     )

An exerpt from Nathan Shepherdson's poem Out There published in his anthology "what marian drew never told me about light - a collaboration with Aussie photo-artist Marian Drew.
Nathan's father Gordon doesn't surf, but his huge oil and enamel paintings imply many happy moments beside the brine.
"Afternoon sky on dark ocean of dark eyes"
94x105 cm
Philip Bacon Galleries
Oil and enamel on paper