“the big wheel…

…keep on turning neon burning up above
And I’m just high on the world
Come on and take a low ride with me girl
On the tunnel of love”

Canning Fair
The Big Wheel

More old school photography. Pentax 645IIn with Pentax 45-85mm f4 lens and Fujicolor 160s colour negative film.

The title of the post is part of the lyrics to the Dire Straits hit song “Tunnel of Love” released in 1980 on the Making Movies album which was a particular favourite of mine back then and still gets played now.

Crazy Train

Another blog post inspired by a song.

I like trains, not in that anorak wearing train spotter way, but I have happy associations with them of journeys done and I’ve always lived by railway tracks. It’s not the first time I’ve made blog entry about trains. The other one was TransPerth Transhumance. So the first of my photos is this:

York CBH Nocturne. Train been filled at the York CBH grain handling facility in York, Western Australia. Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF24mm f/2.8 lens. Exposure: manual mode 20.0 s at f/4.0 ISO 800.

I live very close to the CBH grain handling facility in York and can hear when they are filling the trains, which for some reasons always seem to happen at night. Anyway last night I heard the train pulling in at about 8:30pm and I quickly grabbed a camera and tripod and headed down there. So here it is fresh from the camera card.

Thomas the tank engine pulls into the platform at the Beverley Station Art Gallery. Immediately he senses that something is not quite right. Beverley, Western Australia. Canon EOS 550D with Canon EF24mm f/2.8 lens. Exposure: aperture priority mode 1/320 s at f/11.0 ISO 1600.

The picture of Thomas was just a piece of fun. My partner had an exhibition at the Beverley Station Gallery, and I found this old battered Thomas The Tank Engine Toy in the gallery so it was a picture just begging to be made.

Oh and for those wondering about the title of the post and where it comes from – it’s from a track called “Crazy Train” by Western Australian band The Waifs.

After Midnight

Night time at the old York drive in movie theatre. Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF20mm f/2.8 USM. Exposure 64.0 s at f/4.0 ISO 800.

Apologies to the late, great JJ Cale, who wrote the absolutely sublime song “After Midnight”, but I have been prowling around after dark with my camera and tripod. Every summer I do this because endless blue skies and fields of sun bleached wheat stubble do not make for very interesting photographs. Shooting at night can make the mundane look strangely beautiful and ethereal.

CBH Nocturne, York, Western Australia. Canon EOS 550D & Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 OS EX. Exposure; manual mode 30.0 s at f/4.0 ISO 3200.

Most of the time the images are straight, i.e. I just set the camera up on my tripod and make an exposure, like the two images above. Sometimes I like to play a little with light painting and flash to make something a little more out there.

In the wreckers yard at night. York, Western Australia. Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF24mm f/2.8 lens, Canon 550EX Speedlite and Canon 430EX Speedlite . Exposure: manual mode 30.0 s at f/2.8 ISO 400.

This image and the one below used flash with gels attached and fired by a set of el cheap “Poverty Wizards” I bought off of Ebay. I keep meaning to get a couple more old manual speedlites and some more wireless receivers to achieve more complicated lighting effects, but what usually happens is that summer ends and I stop going out at night and I quickly forget about it. Maybe this year.

Toxic Waste. Something’s happening in York’s drains!!! York Western Australia. Canon EOS5d with EF20mm f/2.8 USM lens, 430EX Speedlite, and 550EX Speedlite. Exposure 251.0 s at f/5.6 ISO 400.

What makes this fun is that it is experimental, you’re never completely sure how the image is going to turn out. Also with exposures knocking around 30 to 240 seconds it is a slow process and that makes it a more thoughtful exercise as it is not just a case of blazing away and hoping. I find because it can take up to twenty minutes making test exposures and then the final image I become  thoughtful about composition. It is not unusual to have been out for a couple of hours and only make four or five images.

As always clicking on an image will take you through to my online gallery.