Nick Allbrook of Pond, formerly of Tame Impala. Taken at Fat as Butter 2012.

Fat as Buttering Again

Fat as Butter was on again this year on the foreshore, and I was able to get some shots once more. You can read about the gig elsewhere, so I’ll just leave a few of the more interesting shots….


1929 Indian


Chicks Who Love Guns


Marianas Trench



Hey Geronimo










Good Charlotte

Winterheat in Civic Park

The third part of Winterheat 2012 was held in Civic Park tonight. What better opportunity to get some interesting shots?

The Cultural Centre-Captain Cook Fountain-City Hall axis works well at night, especially with the extra pyrotechnics. (and no Laman St. fig trees).


I tried for about an hour (without much luck) to get some decent candid people shots. It was pretty busy and hard to be inconspicuous, so most of my intended ‘candid’ shots failed, with the subject instead staring at me with a ‘why-is-he-pointing-that-camera-at-me’ face. I was going round in circles chasing shots, and eventually got fed up and instead stood in one spot and let the shots come to me.

An event like this is probably most fun for the kids.


It was cold for Newcastle, but warm enough for people to have fun with a snow machine.


As always, young kids make great subjects, especially with lighting such as this.

HMAS Newcastle

HMAS Newcastle is an Adelaide Class guided missile frigate, and is in her namesake town for a few days. I thought I’d get a few shots.

The queue was about 300 people and 1 hour long.


What you see in the next 3 shots is an RIM-67 Standard missile, which is a long-range missile that can be used in both surface-air (anti-aircraft) and surface-surface (anti-ship) modes. It’s painted blue because it’s a training round and lacks a warhead and propellant. The launcher moves insanely fast, and in the picture below, the missile is actually moving upward from below decks onto the launcher. The entire process of loading the missile from below, rotating the launcher 180 degrees, and then depressing into the firing position takes about 2 seconds. I suppose every moment counts in warfare.


The next shot was taken from the bow, and you can see the Vertical Launching System. This fires the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, which is a short range surface-air and surface-surface missile. Yes, the ship was listing a degree or two!


A typical corridor below decks. What I like about warships is that every single thing visible has a definite purpose, and that everything is labelled or has a placard next to it. There is absolutely no decoration. They’re a plumbers’ and electricians’ delight!


Visitors weren’t allowed through this doorway.  From its position in the ship (basically underneath the bridge), I’m guessing it leads to the Combat Information Centre.


Onto the bridge. Still has a rather old-fashioned compass binnacle.


This is the helmsman’s seat.


Then up onto the top deck.


Newcastle has two launches: this is the larger one.


This is the Otobreda 76 mm gun. It’s located amidships on the upper deck. To give you an idea of size, the round standing on end is about 1 metre high. Hard to imagine that a gun this big can fire up to 85 rounds per minute.


The business end.


Here’s the Close-In Weapons System, located at the aft end of the upper deck. It’s the ship’s last line of defence against incoming missiles or aircraft. It’s uses the same gun as the Air Force’s F/A-18s. I asked the sailor pictured how often he gets to ‘fire’ it; he said about once a month, and sometimes they train against drones or targets towed by a LearJet. Of course he doesn’t really fire it; it’s pretty much automatic.


Looking down onto the boarding ramp.


I’m not really sure what this antenna is for.


On top of this tower is the sea search radar.


On the flight deck the crew had set up a sausage sizzle and weapon displays.

Steam, Steel & Grease

This weekend marked the 27th Hunter Valley Steamfest, and of course it’s a prime opportunity for photography as well, even if you’re not a trainspotter.

Given the subject matter, I have explored the use of some desaturation and high-contrast in these images. A high-pass filter magnifies the effect further.


The following 3 images were taken at Newcastle Station. This old man was the driver for excursion train to Newcastle on Saturday.


The train about to depart for Maitland.


Lots of brass and gauges in the cab.


This is the valve-gear of the excursion train to Dungog, taken at Maitland on Sunday.

This is the back face of the firebox of a traction engine, taken at Maitland on Sunday.


Just some old tools on display, taken at Maitland on Sunday.

The Photography Exhibition

Today I was sitting at the desk on behalf of Newcastle Photographic Society, at the photography exhibition at Newcastle Show.

It was pretty chilled-out, just people-watching and answering questions, but I did manage to sneak this shot in while I was doing it.

New Year’s Eve 2011

Just a few shots from New Year’s Eve….


I caught the ferry over to Stockton where things are a bit more family friendly….

Red Lantern Markets

The Hunter Street Mall has been looking a bit tatty recently, but last night it was pumping with the Red Lantern Markets. These are an initiative to help revitalise a part of Newcastle that’s pretty empty at night. Not only that, it’s an opportunity for local artisans to showcase their work and for the public to discover just how much really good quality arts, crafts and design there is in Newcastle….


It had been rainy all week, but the the sun finally broke through earlier in the day, and the evening was pretty warm and steamy. It suited the mood of the markets, I thought.


Now a description of just some of the stalls to be found.


Here’s some very cute handmade dolls by The Hair and the Tortoise.


Natural handmade candles by 2 Chi Candles.


Just a fraction of the jewellery on display by Mahala Handcrafted Jewellery.


Dandelion and Honey does kids toys, clothing, accessories and gifts.


More candles! This time from Polka Dot Candles. Here’s a basket set including fragrant oils.


On to something to eat. These cookies are from Nutso – gluten free and with nutty goodness.


Here’s something pretty unusual – a vinyl record cakestand. Not just cakestands – handbags as well, by Bags a Record!


How cute are these owlets. These and much more by Blossom and Cat.

It’s a Wee Ripper!

Taken at the All German Car Show today at Newcastle Foreshore Park.

psst: It’s the bonnet of a Goggomobile Dart!

Living Smart Festival 2011

Yesterday, I dropped down to the Living Smart Festival at Speers Point Park to see what was going on. The festival is about sustainable living in all its forms, so there were displays of such things as solar power and electric cars…


…and electric chopper bikes.


But as usual, the most interesting things were to be found in the stalls. First up I found OzTukka Native Australian Spices. The dukkah mixes looked delicious.


There was also handmade jewellery by Electique Designs



Some very delicate ceramics by Sandra Lee Brown. There were more colourful pieces on display, which were hard to photograph in the direct sunlight.


Speaking of colourful, here are some very pretty sunglasses cases by Floral and Spot. Lots and lots more colourful women’s fashion in that stall too.


If you like natural soaps, take a look at the Goat Soap Lady. This is just a fraction of what was on display….


More natural stuff with skincare products by Aspire to Wellness.


There was organic wine from Macquariedale Organic Wines.  Not just organic, these are Certified Biodynamic.


And finally, natural beeswax candles from Suz E Bee Candles. Who knew beeswax candles could be so pretty?

Fat as Butter Photoshoot: Phat Photos Part 3

And so, Fat as Butter continued – you can find earlier shots here and here….


The next act to appear was Naughty by Nature.

They didn’t act up to their name. They were very polite, played to the crowd, mixed in a bit of Men at Work and Aussie Aussie Aussie, and wore custom T-shirts….a great show. At this point the sun was getting low, making things more interesting for me….


There’s the T-shirt….


Back to the second stage, feet getting a bit sore now….surprised that Sparkadia were not on the main stage….


And so to the first of the two headline acts on the main stage. The Living End are veterans and they knew how to please Novocastrians, by launching their set with Prisoner of Society….


The final act was Empire of the Sun. Up till now I had never seen this live; I just thought the tunes were mildly interesting on the radio. Well, after seeing a bit of the performance, I now think that Luke Steele is an eccentric genius. Combine the sophisticated groove of David Bowie, a bit of MGMT, about 8 acts from 1983, some Madonna flamboyance, and perhaps even the independent vision of Syd Barrett…

Basically what you end up with, is something very strange, but pretty cool. And very hard to photograph…the drummer was sick, but couldn’t get a decent shot of him. He’s the figure with the Viking helmet.


Crowd looks happy!

Fat as Butter Photoshoot: Phat Photos Part 2

Continuing on from Phat Photos Part 1….


British India


The Jezabels. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about this act in future….


Watching the Jezabels, I missed The Herd, but as yet, I have not perfected the art of being in two places at once…..and then point Flo Rider was cancelled (he had missed his connection)… a DJ was put on the main stage to keep things flowing…..


….and I went and checked out Jonathan Boulet.


Next on was Funkoars.


This enthralling series continues in Part Trois

Fat as Butter Photoshoot: Phat Photos Part 1

Last Saturday saw the return of the Fat as Butter festival to Newcastle. It’s now the premier music festival in Newcastle and brings headlining Australian and international acts…

I’ll keep my comments to a minimum and just show you the pics. I’ve split this into several blog posts to keep your loading times down – you can see Part 2 here and Part 3 here.


Everybody was there to see and be seen, but someone forgot her sunglasses….


Wacky performers.


First band I shot: Pigeon




Calling All Cars


Crowd was getting slightly warmed up at this point…


And we had a bit of a quirky street performer show. I don’t think many of the punters quite knew what to make of it but I thought it was funny.

And so to Phat Photos Part 2

Karts at Mt. Sugarloaf Raceway

I used to drive past it just about every day on  my way home from work, but I never took a close look.

Mt. Sugarloaf Raceway, that is. Today I decided to have a closer look, as this weekend is the final round of the CIK Stars of Karting series (which basically is the Australian Championship), and it’s being held here.


I know next to nothing about karting. One thing I noticed is that lots of drivers were aged under 18: I wonder whether any of them are a future Mark Webber…..








Darby Street Festival 2011

The Darby Street Festival is an annual event – and this year’s festival took place last Sunday. I dropped down to see what was going on….


I arrived right on opening time, and it was clear there was going to be a big turnout.


These delicious-looking delicacies are by Coco Monde Chocolateria…..


Colourful ceramics by Ontherantan


More colour here! Cupcakes by I Do Cupcakes and More.


I thought these were really special, and the scent coming out of this stall was amazing. Leathergoods by Rust Leather!


Jewellry with an edge, from Obsessive….


Gourmet and flavoured olive oils from Pukara Estate. The lime infused olive oil was fantastic.


Some quirky T-shirts by Monster Threads….


And the band was playing Spearhead, so all was good!

The Definitive Roy Orbison Tribute Show

The Definitive Roy Orbison Tribute Show is based in the Newcastle region, and is one of the finest tribute bands around.

I caught them playing at Soldiers Point Bowling Club – it was a full house and the punters left the place wanting more….I’m sure the band will be back in the not-too-distant future!







Newcastle City Farmers Market

Newcastle City Farmers Market is held on most Sundays at Newcastle Showground. I thought I’d hop on down today to see what I could see and maybe get a few interesting photos. It’s good to get in early so you can see all the produce at its very freshest best – so be sure to arrive at 8AM when the gates open.


Not far from the carpark entry I spotted this very enticing advertisement for organic vegetable soup – too bad I had just eaten!

Organic Vegetable Soup



The first stall I encountered was that of Bluegum Limes. They make a range of lime juices, cordials, and sauces, as well as fresh fruit.

Limes are green



A little further on, was this gentleman with a huge range of syrups and cocktail mixes. Yummy!



There were apples in abundance.



Not just apples – potatoes as well. If these were any fresher, you’d have to dig them up yourself.



There isn’t just fresh produce on display. Want hats?



And there’s jewellry by Oscar & Matilda – be sure to have a chat with the lovely Zoe….

Jewellry by Oscar & Matilda



Next were some beautiful fresh pineapples, asparagus, spring onion, and rockmelons…



Do you like smoked fish? Then this may be for you. Courtesy of I’m Smokin’ Hot…



It was time to move into the pavillions. First I found some fantastic looking olive oils from Wollombi Produce & Trading Company. Rosemary, Orange & Fennel sounds interesting…



Also on display were some colourful soaps…



…and some just-as-colouful candles.



The Hunter Valley Pasta Company was present.



Time to go back outside, where the band was playing.



And time for some Dutch Pancakes as well…



Finally, this little puppy knows what oranges are for.


I fully recommend Newcastle City Farmers Market for everybody who wants a bit of the best fresh local produce from around Newcastle & the Hunter Valley!!