"Hindsight is always twenty-twenty. " Billy Wilder
"Hindsight is an exact science. " Guy Bellamy

28 April 2013


Image © PeteM2020

I was pondering the question (whilst watching the surfers at Cape Woolamai)  – why is it that we subconsciously, and quite often literally follow in somebody else’s footsteps? Is it the remnants of the herd mentality, follow the crowd or the “they” must be right attitude – or is it simply a lack of independent thinking?

Unfortunately, the surf wasn’t much cop, so the answer to my conundrum and some great surfing pictures will have to wait for another time.

19 April 2013

Silver Lining

In Paris, a bit lost, or directionally challenged, the narrow backstreets of Le Marais led us to a small gallery. The exhibition was showing large photographs depicting the myriad of windows typical of the huge residential blocks that are scattered throughout Hong Kong. Despite the building facades at first looking uniform, careful observation revealed how each occupant had put their own very personal stamp on their living environment. Voyeurism – maybe, or just a fascination with the individualism and personal expression of the human race?

I have repeated that image style whilst in Hong Kong, but sadly they lose all their impact on a computer screen.

On a clear (very) cold evening in Melbourne, my plan was to capture a city building just as the light was fading - that short period when the ambient light and the inside light is about equal. The mission was an abject failure!

As I was walking back to the train station, somewhat despondent, I turned around and caught this view. Every cloud…….
Image © PeteM2020

15 April 2013

Max Dupain

Image © PeteM2020

I’ve had Max Dupain in mind every time (for the past couple of years!) I’ve had a go at capturing this image.

Although probably better known for his iconic Bondi Beach photographs, Dupain also produced a large body of black and white still life images. I’m sure he didn’t struggle for a couple of years to produce a simple photo of a couple of mesh chairs!

Dupain’s philosophy can probably be best summed up in two words, simplicity and directness.  With this in mind, he remained an adherent of black and white photography.  Colour, he felt, was restricting in its objectivity, leaving nothing for individual interpretation.

14 April 2013

Hamer Hall –Southbank, Melbourne

Image © PeteM2020

I wandered through the revamped Hamer Hall the other day – wow, what a transformation, from the previous rather sombre d├ęcor to a virtual feast for the eye with a fabulous mixture of colours, mirrors and “architectural niceties”.

The panoramic video screen behind the lower level bar is an absolute highlight, that long, narrow, format has me enthralled. So much action focused onto a large wide panorama keeps the viewer constantly engaged, the eyes darting “every which way” to devour the animations.  Just a pity the poor screen resolution doesn’t show off the full potential of the works.

07 April 2013

The Dancer, a conflation of Organic Shapes

Image © PeteM2020

Organic – the new buzzword! Organic shapes, organic vegetables, organic chickens, even organic hair shampoo ….. Hmm! What does it all mean?

To distinguish from geometric shapes, maybe the “new” organic shapes should be referred to as curvilinear or free form shapes, as they can be made of angles, curves or both. Or does curvilinear sound too much like the language of engineers rather than artists?

Strolling along the beach the other day, I became captivated by a piece of driftwood – it’s curves, textures and the way it’s shadows were distorted by the waves rolling onto the sand. “The Dancer” was born in my mind’s eye.  Other beach elements were skilfully (or probably more frankly described as haphazardly) gathered and then the image soup was magically distilled through Photoshop. Voila!

04 April 2013

A Portrait

Image © PeteM2020
As I saw this scene unfold, my mind went to a painting by Jeffrey Smart. He was commissioned to paint a portrait of Clive James, however, Smart insisted that he didn’t do portraits. The commission was eventually accepted and a marvellous portrait was produced. Like my photograph, a tiny image of Clive James is set in a large urban scene – yet with Smart’s talent, the likeness is unmistakably true. What a wonderful skill.

Follow this link to view the painting:

The following is an extract from an ABC 7:30 Report: 27/06/2006
Clive James' artful journey
Reporter: Scott Bevan

CLIVE JAMES: This is Jeffrey Smart's justly famous portrait of Clive James. And if you look very, very, carefully. Portrait of Clive James? Surely, it's a portrait of a wall. Look very, very carefully and there I am.

SCOTT BEVAN: To the artist, size, particularly of a yellow wall isn't everything.

JEFFERY SMART, ARTIST: Despite all that, 90% of the area, the one more important thing is that little thing, that is bigger than a postage stamp, not as big as a postage stamp, as big of my little finger, of Clive. And that is much more important, isn't it? Not because it is Clive, but because it's a human face. 

SCOTT BEVAN: Still the subject was expecting something bigger when he sat for his friend.

CLIVE JAMES: He had problems with my ears apparently. One is higher on my head than the other. Of course my eyes are vanishingly small. He told me about this while painting me. It wasn't very flattering. The result was terrific and it hangs on my wall in Cambridge and I thought he would go away and do a big portrait with my head that big. When I got to Sydney this was already hanging here and I realised that I'd shrunk. I had become the incredible shrinking man. But it is...that's me alright and I'm very, very proud to be in it.

02 April 2013

Girls, girls, girls!

Image © PeteM2020

Fotoholics MUPC, the Melbourne University photography club recently had a “photograph girls” day – I think the outing was called something else, but photographing girls was what it boiled down to.

A bunch of semi-professional models strutted their stuff with a group of eager photographers swarming around them. A fun day out – met some like minded people and even got a couple of OK shots.

To hone my web skills, I have made a web page with some of the images from the day. The page looks OK in all browsers except some versions of Internet Explorer – no surprises there.

Like to have a look? Just click here.