Location: Manning Valley NSW
Date: July 2009

July 31, 2009. This morning I drove out to my doc's surgery at Chatham, Taree, to collect a prescription and decided on the way back to have a sticky beak at the Manning riverside. I found the fishermen's co-op but, more importantly, I found the abandoned Dairy Farmer's Milk & Cheese factory. It's been closed for a decade or so, and has been earmarked for residential development, so I'm glad I got the opportunity to photograph it before it disappears. I just love ghost towns, and peeling paint, and broken windows and all that spooky stuff. I was in 7th Photographic Heaven. Yes, I saw plenty of Keep Out signs, and Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted signs, but a bloke with a camera on a mission is unstoppable. Click here for the photo album.

July 27, 2009. During the past week or so I've pottered around the local Taree hood (and even my backyard) taking a few pics and learning a thing or two about the Fuji Finepix. Click here for the album.

July 18, 2009. A short drive west of my house is Taree Estate. It's a part of the Manning River area that I wasn't very familiar with, so I went out there this afternoon in unseasonaly beautiful winter weather and took a few pics. It's very scenic and countrified. I used my Fuji Finepix on high res just to test it, and it works fine - no complaints at all. One of the pics is of a pond with a lone deciduous tree. There were ducks swimming around but they fled when they saw me coming, dammit! Then a cloud dropped into the water, so I hightailed it outta there before I got arrested for something. Anyway, I think the pics are most pleasant, as is the area. Click here for the album.

July 13, 2009. Yesterday, I took a drive to Tinonee Orchids for their show day, and I was quite surprised at how many people were in attendance. Even a busload from some place out of town arrived to admire the gorgeous flowers. Rather than create a new album, I've added the latest pics to the previous album.

Bluey currently has a problem with the carburetor. She either idles too slowly or revs like bloody hell. When I arrived at Tinonee Orchid Farm I tried to park in a ditch which lifted one of the rear wheels. Bluey wasn't going anywhere, and the rear wheel simply spun around in the air. However, I did manage to reverse and get out of the pickle. Meanwhile, the engine decided to rev like buggery while I was trying to sort out the problem. Just across the way, there was a bloke and his missus sitting on camp chairs, enjoying a cuppa as well as the view of the countryside (which really is truly enchanting). I figured they must've thought I was lunatic driver who should never have been given a license. Wheels spinning, engine revving and all that nonsense. So when I finally got Bluey parked, I said to the bloke, "I like to make an entrance... I like to be noticed." He agreed that I'd succeeded brilliantly.

Anyway, I managed to get some nice pics, so it was worth the embarrassment. Click here for the previous album which includes the new pics.

July 4, 2009. This is the day Americans celebrate for having kicked the Brits out of the US. But don't fret... they've kissed and made up. This is also the day I took a walk in the park - Fotheringham Park to be precise, just down the road from my joint on the banks of the Manning River, Taree.

It's been a nice day so I thought let's (I always refer to myself - sorry, us - in the plural) go for a wander and take a few pics. Since I joined Red Bubble a few days ago, my attitude toward pressing that shutter button has changed dramatically. Now I think of pics in terms of ART rather than just a record of what I'm doing and where I've been.

On the way to the park, I stopped off at a radiator repairs place just a few doors down, and took a few pics of a Holden EH (63/64 model) carcass. Why not? Then I spotted a side door of the building that looked rather interesting so I took a pic of that as well. You see, once a normal ordinary person - indistinguishable from the great unwashed - gets a camera in his hands, he undergoes a weird transformation, and sees EVERYTHING as art! And you know something? Maybe he's right!

Then I toddled further down the road and wandered about the park, pointing the Carl Zeiss at this and that. It's amazing what you see when you're in "pic mode" that you might otherwise miss. At one point, I spotted a little kid peering into the depths of a pond. But by the time I reached him, he'd gotten tired of that and went to inspect something else. So I yelled, "Hey, you little runt, get your dumb ass back here this minute or I'll rip your bloody arms off!" No... that's not what I said. I asked his father for permission to shoot the kid (photographically speaking) re-enacting the peering thing, and the father, as well as his little son, were both most obliging, for which I'll be eternally grateful. It's a lovely shot.

Other shots that I think are worthy of being called 'art' are 006, 014 (love it to pieces), 018 and 020. Some of the others are okay too, but, hey, I'm picky. Click here for the photo album.


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