MEMORIES OF NEWCASTLE

And so ends our brief “whistle stop tour” of Newcastle, Australia, but not some of the fondest memories that I shall treasure forever. For it was on our very first evening stroll that I captured the magnificence and beauty of the Marina, a mere two minutes walk from the quaint 100 year old Victorian house our daughter Jenna, hubby Gert, and our streetwise granddaughter Noa now call home in Wickham Newcastle.

THE MARINA

Those opulent white yachts proudly birthed in their “liquid garages” breaking the fiery pink sky as the setting sun bid farewell to our awesome first day in Newy. This was to be the start of many quick photographic excursions to this specific location over the next ten days.

The rainbow was literally only visible for about one minute as I ran to this specific spot to setup and capture its brief but beautiful presence in the sky. And how strange is that shape of the continent of Africa cloud formation? ~ I guess you could call it “My Take on the Rainbow Nation”…

HUNTERS VALLEY GARDENS

Our visit to the Hunters Valley Gardens was certainly one of the highlights of our trip to Newcastle. Although we experienced some inclement weather, and the gardens are not currently at their best given the winter season, the ten different themed gardens were certainly well worth the visit.

NEWCASTLE @ NIGHT

UNIVERSITY OF NEWCASTLE

The University of Newcastle Australia (UON) is a world-class university. Excellence in teaching, research and the student experience is the focus at UON.

STREET ART BY ARTIST MATT ADNATE

The urban art of Matt Adnate, painting under the moniker of just Adnate, started appearing on walls around Melbourne in 2011. This born and bred Melburnian street artist instantly possessed a signature style to his work. We unfortunately only got to see two of his works in Newcastle.

You can however view more of his amazing creations here

PADDLE BOARDING IN THROSBY CREEK

A brave young girl not only swimming in icy cold water, but also having absolutely no fear for the “Bull Sharks” that inhabit the Throsby Creek.

NEWCASTLE MEMORIAL WALK

Newcastle’s Memorial Walk is a spectacular coastal walk with a personal connection for thousands of locals. The walk was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 1915 and the commencement of steel making in Newcastle; it acts as a magnificent memorial to the men and women of the Hunter who served their community and their country.

It was unfortunately once again a bitterly cold morning which prevented Jenna and I from completing the full route, but we did manage to get most of it covered before we returned to our favorite Coffee Spot, namely “The KiosK” at Merewether Baths.

NELSON BAY OUTING

We also took a run out to Nelson Bay on Saturday and browsed the various Market Stalls. Then a steep climb up to the Lighthouse for some spectacular views of the surrounding islands. A short drive later, and we found ourselves on the quiet beach at the very scenic Shoal Bay, grabbing an ice cream on route home again.

CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL

The Cathedral Church of Christ the King, also called Christ Church Cathedral, is an Australian cathedral in Newcastle, New South Wales. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Newcastle in the Anglican Church of Australia.

Jenna suggested that we visit the Christ Church Cathedral, and in so doing, climb the staircase of the Bell Tower to photograph the magnificent 360 degree views of Newcastle. Thirty AUS Dollars later, and Shirley and I found ourselves on the upper deck. Traversing this staircase can be very daunting, and left me feeling rather nauseous for a couple of hours thereafter. Jenna was the sensible one and decided to give this one a miss. Don’t blame you Jenna…

GLENROCK YUELARBAH TRIAL

Another one of our highlights was definitely hiking the “Glenrock Yuelarbah Trail” which took us through some breathtaking scenery as we made our way on foot towards the lagoon for that “much anticipated cup of coffee”.

“All we need to do is cross the lagoon to get to the coffee shop”, said Jenna as we traversed some of the most icy cold water I have ever walked in. But when we got there the cupboard was bear, so us poor three had none. THANKS JENNA!!!

THE MEREWETHER BATHS

Our visit to the Merewether Baths. As the clock struck four thirty, I gazed out of the window at the wind blown trees, and almost climbed back into bed. Fortunately my “Accountability Partner” Jenna shoved a cup of coffee down my throat, and pushed me out the front door. The images below will bear testimony to the fact that it was a bitterly cold morning, but oh so worth it as I was rewarded with some of the most amazing images that I have ever captured. This was definitely the second best photographic excursion of our visit to Newy.

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During the last two weeks I have seen many different captured images of the Merewether Baths in Newcastle, many of which to a large extent, pretty much look the same.

For this reason, I wanted to represent this “iconic photographic hot spot” in a very different way, and to this end, I would like to give you my take on the “Merewethere Bath” in a composition.

NOBBY’s BREAKWALL DELIVERS ON HER PROMISE

And so the final day before returning back to Melbourne arrived, and I had still not had an opportunity to capture Nobby’s in all her glory. Although exhausted from the “action packed” schedule that Jenna had put us through our paces on, I was adamant that I could not leave Newy without having one final crack at another “early rise” photo shoot, and so we headed off towards the Nobby’s Breakwall.

By now, Jenna had learned all about the Blue and Golden Hour shooting opportunities, and kept on asking me to check the App on my iPhone for details. But then, as she gazed towards the sky above Nobby’s, she suddenly put her foot on the accelerator in an attempt to beat the sunrise.

We parked the car and literally ran onto the beach to position ourselves for what was about to unfold before our eyes.I stand to be corrected, but it seems as if the “Blue and Golden Hour” time period is much shorter here in Australia than back home in South Africa.

My heart started pounding as I tried to recall all the appropriate “time exposure settings” on my Fuji XT-1 to best capture this unfolding event in front of us. The sky literally started dancing right before our eyes, like a chameleon changing her colour from a cold dark blue to the brightest glowing orange sky that I have ever seen.

Click adjust, click adjust, set for bracketing, change exposure, click adjust, click adjust. Change my position for a better angle, and once again click adjust, click adjust. Gotta beat the sun!!! ~tick tock, tick tock ~ time is running out… And then of course, every now and then, pause, no in fact STOP… Take time out to absorb the scene. BE IN THE MOMENT, ENJOY THE MOMENT…

I very seldom CHIMP, (i.e. snap the shutter, and then view the capture), and today was no different. I just knew that I was capturing some of the most amazing imagery that I had ever captured in my photographic journey, and I was not disappointed as I eventually arrived home to download and view the images on a larger screen.

THE MONEY SHOT

Needless to say, I captured a huge amount of images during our ten day visit, and I have many favorites, too many to post here of course.

But, the following capture is most probably, no wait, definitely my absolute favorite for the following reasons.

Firstly, the whole photo shoot was very special given the opportunity to see Nobby’s in all her glory, but it was only when I reviewed the following image on a 27″ iMac that my jaw just dropped as I came to the realization that the two shadows on the beach were in fact those of Jenna and I which were backlit by the street lamps behind us.

In some of the above images, you will see my foot prints in the sand confirming that “I WAS THERE”, but oh my goodness, to see the actual outline of our shadows literally etched into the sand in front of us just BLEW MY MIND… Talk about a “happy accident”…

IN CLOSING

In closing, thank you for taking the time to view My Blog Post entitled “Memories of Newcastle”.

I invite you to review my photographic essay entitled “My Love Affair with Melbourne” which I created in November 2015 during my previous visit to Australia.

Special memories of Melbourne
PBA_Love_Affair

Click here to view My Photographic Essay on Melbourne, Australia

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