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Shine a (little) light

A perfectly ordinary reading lamp.

As the caption above says, here is an ordinary reading lamp. You may have one at home, on your desk or on a table beside your favourite reading chair. Those bendy arms are so convenient for getting the light in just the right place.

But, through the magic of scale manipulation, the lamp shrinks! This book looms over it.

Perfectly ordinary reading light shrunk to half the height of a paperback book.

And how many ordinary reading lamps can hang over the top of a Kindle?

Even smaller when hanging over the top of a Kindle.

Clever shots, you may think, but not achieved through forced perspective or other photography tricks. This is no ordinary reading lamp: it’s actually a miniature. The book and Kindle are full size. (And I really do hang the lamp over the Kindle, it’s very useful!)

The moment of truth: the lamp is actually tiny!

(I hope you’ll forgive the bit of shameless self-promotion: the featured books are two of my own novels written under my pen name of Elizabeth Krall.)

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Passing by in a blur

People walking along Martin Place, Sydney.

These two photos of pedestrians on Martin Place were taken a couple of years ago during the annual Vivid light festival. The long exposure needed for the lights created some interesting motion blur as people passed by!

I’m really not sure what this person was doing to turn into such an odd shape!

Aside

The coveted Bondi Beach view — if you don’t have it, fake it!

The “view” from my bathroom. The sun always shines, and it’s always summer on Bondi Beach.

I live in an apartment building on Campbell Parade, the street that curves along Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. Any dwelling along the road that has a beach view is prime property indeed! I, however, live at the back of my building — much quieter, and with sweeping “district views”. One wall in my bathroom does face the beach, though it does not have a window (just as well, really, because on the other side of that wall is the foyer/lobby area for my floor!).

So I gave myself a view. I took a photo of the beach, slipped it behind a graphic of a window frame (complete with pot plant on the window ledge) and had it printed as a large poster. Then I put it on the wall, and for the finishing touch added real curtains.

Hey presto! I too now have the coveted Bondi Beach view.

(btw, the peach-painted wall is the landlord’s idea, not mine!)


The view from the window

Tiramisu slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)
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Luscious layers of cakey scrumptiousness

Tiramisu slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Layer upon layer of sinful delight, topped with an cheeky little disc of white chocolate.

When I read that the theme for this week’s photo challenge is layered, only one thing popped into my head: cake! (Though to be honest, cake needs little prompting to pop into my head.) So I stopped by my local bakery on the way home (the dangerously tempting Wellington Cake Shop on Bondi Road) for a slice of something layered.

I ended up buying two — the second one purely as a backup, for photographic purposes, of course. Just look at these cakes: tiramisu (above) and hazelnut (below). The richly textured cake layers with their flecks of nuts and chocolate, the silken melt-in-your-mouth creaminess of the filling. Oh my.

Hazelnut slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Small flakes of nuts cling to the cake like mountain climbers scaling Everest.

Hazelnut slice from Wellington Cakes (Bondi)

Eat me. You know you want to.

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Waiting for the train

Lamy station, New Mexico.

Lamy station, New Mexico. Not a lot to do.

I spent a few hours at Lamy train station, waiting for the westbound Southwest Chief to take me from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Williams, Arizona (for the Grand Canyon). It was hot. It was dusty. It was endless.

Every now and then, the station master would add a new figure to the ETA post-it note.

Delay after delay after delay.

Lamy station Indicator board.

Lamy station Indicator board. About as low tech as it gets.

Peering down the rails. Still nothing. Still waiting.

Still no train.


Can-US-badge

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Textures of the Great Barrier Reef

Coral is the most amazing stuff. It looks like rock, but it’s alive, and not rock at all but animal. The colonies are formed by millions of tiny soft-bodied polyps which have a hard outer skeleton that attaches to rock or to other (dead) coral skeletons. (More info about coral here.) And what a variety of corals there is! All the colours and textures that you can imagine, often growing around or on top of one another.

The ruffly yellow stuff looks rubbery, in contrast to the spikier coral behind it.

While snorkelling or diving around corals, it’s important to avoid touching them — not only can it damage the coral, but a person can get a nasty cut from those sharp edges.

What a mix of corals and textures here!

What IS that yellow stuff? It looks like spilled paint that has dried in wrinkles and folds.

I took some of these photos last week on the Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas (with a GoPro I hired for the day), and some on the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns three years ago (with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT20 I bought for the trip, but it was second hand and died after one outing).

This is brain coral, I believe. I imagine that if you brush your finger along it, the little white knobs would feel plush. But I have no idea!

That white coral looks smooth, but I’d steer clear of the spiky stuff at lower right!

A texture contrast here of hard coral and smooth, slippery fish.

This is a Maori Wrasse dubbed “Frank”! He’s very friendly, as these divers are discovering. I don’t dive (only snorkel) so did not get to pat Frank and discover his texture.

There are so many warnings about the health of the reef and the damage we (and nature, in the form of destructive storms and voracious starfish) are causing, that I feel now is the time to see this astonishing feature — while it’s still there.

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Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

There were unusually big waves and powerful surf at Bondi Beach today. Very dramatic to watch as they gathered themselves up, curled over, and then surged in foam towards the shore.

Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

Big waves at Bondi

Very few swimmers ventured into the water, but a few of the better surfers got in on the action.

Surfing the big waves at Bondi

Surfing the big waves at Bondi

Surfing the big waves at Bondi

Surfing the big waves at Bondi