Success!

Well, I have some good news to report.
Yesterday afternoon I went to Cafe on the Dam ( http://www.cafeonthedam.com/ ) and showed some of my work. They agreed to take it on consignment, which means that if it sells, we both make some money.
They took everything I had with me, which made me want to have taken more, but you are only as good as the worst piece of work you are displaying, so perhaps the minimal work on display was a good thing?

Either way, I’m very happy with this success. Cafe on the Dam is set in a lovely location, in the bush behind Jarrahdale and Serpentine. Not only is it local to us, it is the kind of location I would like to display my work anyway and that is a really important thing.

I didn’t take any photos of the event happening, it was more a business transaction anyway. After we had agreed on what kind of commission the cafe would get, my partner and I had lunch and a short walk around the dam wall. My partner took a lot of photos, I have to say, I dislike being the subject of so many photos.

As usual, I wasn’t 100% prepared and I have to now write short little spiels for each piece. Well, I don’t have to, but I think that at least adding the location and description of each photo would add value for potential customers.

In other news, the last week has been very busy photographically for me. Exactly this time last week I was shooting for the cover of my employers new brochure. The shoot was a last minute request and was well timed as I was due to leave site and return home with in a few hours. Fortunately, my boss knew what he wanted and the surveyor I was working with was a great assistant/model. To help, nature put on an amazing sunrise.

Self Portrait, at work.

My employer ended up going with something similar to this.

Dampier has possibly one of the cleanest ports I have ever visited. Despite being a hub for heavy industry, nature exists here in all her glory and with just a little photoshop, you might never know otherwise.

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Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) patrolling the coast line

Over the Fathers Day weekend, we were visited by our niece. Being a child, she is wide eyed with wonder out here. As a child I remember the joy of visiting farms, playing with horses and chickens, bush walking, and it is very satisfying to see it in another young child.

Sun Dews are magnificently soft and only a little bit sticky.

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Millstream-Chichester National Park, a brief tour

Being the mining, oil and gas industry, we have a plethora of silly and nonsensical rules.

One of the not so bad sometimes rules is the mandatory RDO. That’s a rostered day off for you casual workers. On this site, we aren’t allowed to work more than 13 days straight before we have a day off, and that day happened on last Sunday.
Thankfully, the crew here is pretty lively, interested in the local surrounds and keen to get out amongst it. So, the site supervisor took it upon himself to motivate us all to pile into the work 4WD’s and head out to Millstream Chichester National Park.
It’s here https://maps.google.com/maps?q=millstream+chichester+national+park&hl=en&ll=-21.189534,117.358704&spn=1.092208,2.068176&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=58.467737,132.363281&t=h&z=10

Anyhoo, we visited Python Pool and the Homestead, saw a train and another train, then some more trains. I took a photo of two trains. Every one else took videos. After spending some time waiting for the trains to clear the tracks (the boss had a snooze, people on the other side of the tracks made tea), we continued driving around.

The Kiwi in the car was fascinated by everything and after some close calls, heeded my advice to not touch anything. Until he decided that the spinifex looked soft and brushed it with his hand. He whinged like a pom.
After some casual racism and a bit more driving we saw some cows. I didn’t take a photo of the cows.

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Driving East towards Python Pool.

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The Homestead, built to last!

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The Homestead, it lasted long enough for me to take two pano’s.

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Spinifex Dove? These were really cool birds. They were not keen to be photographed, so would hide behind tufts of grass. They would run behind a tuft, look up over it, duck down, run behind another tuft and then look up to see if I was still there.

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Iron Ore trains. You haven’t been delayed by a train until you’ve been delayed by one of these. They seem to go for kilometres, a never ending flow of metal. Both literally and metaphorically.

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Python Pool. Not quite the gorges of Karajini, but special in it’s own way. I can only imagine being here 10,000 years ago, wandering through such a inhospitable landscape, coming across this place. Millstream Chichester has a strong history with the original inhabitants of this land, not just for it’s water, but also for the varieties of plants that grew there. The area was used as a meeting place for a long time.

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I don’t know, it’s a rock.

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The last photo I took. We had driven through Millstream Chichester, and were now heading back towards the township of Roeburne.

Despite my derisive sarcasm, I had a great time. Having other people waiting on you really forces you to focus and take a shot, rather than waiting around and hoping something better comes along.
I hope to do another trip on my next RDO, perhaps go further afield?

The Great North West

98% Completion, seconds from the end

 

The above, blurry, photo shows my current location. Situated in the North West of Western Australia are dozens of places like this, work sites where billions and billions of dollars are being spent.
It may not look like it, but this is a multi-billion dollar project, a wharf expansion for a port that links by rail to mines located hundreds of kilometres inland.  The entire port handles iron ore only and it handles several hundred Mt/a. And it’s going to double that with this expansion.

I absolutely love my job. I’m an engineering/construction surveyor working on some of the biggest projects in the world. When I was a kid I played with Lego and Meccanno and was always building industrial stuff. Shit, I say as a kid, but if you put either toy in front of me now, you won’t get a word out of me for a few hours.
One of the best things about working like this is the places I get to go to.  Some are extremely remote, two hours of serious 4×4 driving to get to the nearest road and some are located next to sleepy little towns in the middle of nowhere. All of these places are great for photography, I’ve even called my job a distant second priority to the photography.

<rant>What shits me though, are the self righteous and entitled fucks who expect everything on a silver platter. Not every one who works in places like this are like that, but it seems to be getting worse. Perhaps it’s just an obvious minority, like political lobby groups, but they sure bring the mood of the place down. I’ve never could have imagined that some one could get paid so much to do so little and still feel hard done by! Deck hands and labourers who get paid $150k+ and won’t work because they feel their conditions are unfair. Operators on $200k+ who won’t work because they don’t like their supervisor for personal reasons.
It makes me fume.
Some people blame the unions, others blame the current political parties and some blame the companies, contractors through to the clients, but I think they are missing the obvious culprit here. Culture. It is all through Australia, a sense of entitlement that disables the effected’s ability to be responsible and capable, “I’ve done my bit and don’t need to do any more”. It’s such a far cry from the propaganda stereotypes that every one knows about Australia, that when you tell people what you are thinking, they treat you like a heretic.</rant>

I think I might bring my camera in to work with me tomorrow and take some photos of birds or something….