Monday, 25 August 2014

Taking It To The Streets

Today I'm taking it to the streets with a small selection of street photography from my travels both within Australia and overseas. 

On the shopping strip in Waikiki Beach, October 2013
In a cafe in Kuranda on the Cairns Tablelands, April 2009
A handful at the Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco, September 2007
Chinatown San Francisco, September 2007
Making contact with strangers is not something that comes easily to me. I’m rarely one to make the first move unless I really need to, like asking someone desperately interesting if I can take their photo, or finding the nearest rest rooms. 

Taken on the Kuranda Railway, April 2009
Night riders on the cable car in San Francisco, August 2012
I walked by like everyone else, Waikiki Beach, November 2004
I’m more likely to strap on a long lens and shoot from afar. This makes travel really interesting, and is probably one of the reasons I’ve only been so far to two non-English speaking countries. It’s hard enough to communicate in a different culture that actually speaks your language; I can’t imagine complicating that by introducing a language barrier as well. 

A love match in Brisbane, 2006
Spotted on a cable car passenger in San Francisco, September 2007
Flat out on the steps of Grace Cathedral, Nob Hill District in San Francisco, August 2012
The Melbourne St bus station in Brisbane, October 2010
I love Americans and America, but the accent is a barrier. MY accent that is. I find myself spelling my name out phonetically on the phone (foxtrot echo romeo romeo echo tango tango!!!) and choosing things off menus simply because I think I can say them and be understood (anything without an ‘r’ is a good start). After you've been in the States about 3 weeks you start to hear your accent. This is enough to make you just stop talking altogether.

Supermoon worshipper, Pottsville Beach, May 2012
Pier 39 in San Francisco, September 2007
About to get towed on Pier 39, San Francisco, August 2012
Life imitates art, San Francisco, September 2007
But there are advantages to being a stranger in a strange land. People love to help you out whether it be finding a landmark or finding yourself, and they always want to know your story. My story isn’t any more special than theirs so I’m always happy to trade and give us both something to take home.  

A random connection in Chinatown San Francisco, September 2007
Oddities on the Powell and Mason line, San Francisco, August 2012
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, August 2012
Near Pier 39 in San Francisco, August 2012
I rarely feel homesick  when I travel. Occasionally a smell or sound will bring a lump to my throat but usually it passes quickly. Once I did burst into tears hearing lorikeets trilling in an aviary at San Diego Wildlife Park; I think that had more to do with not wanting to leave there than actually missing home. 

Catching some zeds at the Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco, September 2007
Lost in San Francisco, September 2007
Lost in love in Sydney, Australia, November 2008
I grabbed this final shot in San Francisco on my solo visit in 2007. The sign stopped me in my tracks and, oblivious to the glances of passers-by, I let tears roll down my face for a few seconds. At that moment I felt every one of the twelve thousand or more kilometres between myself and Australia. I cried again at the airport a few days later, this time not wanting to leave this fabulous city and already planning ahead to when I would return.

There's no place like home, spotted in San Francisco September 2007

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