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S for Spider

long legged spider in web

Creepy but compelling!

This is a St Andrew’s Cross spider, so-named because of the bright zig-zag ‘decorations’ that can form a full or partial cross on the web. (This spider has so far managed only one arm of the cross.) I came across it while walking along Cremorne Point on Sydney’s north shore. The colours and patterns of the markings are beautiful, even in black and white. The feature photo at top is the same spider but seen from below, and looking very monster-ish with this treatment — but don’t worry, the bite of a St Andrew’s Cross spider is not toxic to humans, and they are not aggressive.

Cee’s black and white photo challenge this week is anything that begins with an S.

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Carved in black and white

Carved anchor chain on a headstone, Waverley Cemetery.

Carved anchor chain on a headstone, Waverley Cemetery.

This could be a first for me: not only two posts in one day, but two collections of photographs taken during the same shoot. I was excited to see that Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge this week has the theme of Sculptures, Statues, Carvings. On a beautiful Sydney winter day (flawless blue sky, 15 degrees C) I headed off to Waverley Cemetery, which I know has a great collection of wonderfully weathered stone subjects. While sitting on a bench I realised I was staring at a vault door, and I remembered that the Weekly Photo Challenge is doors. (Click here to see the vault door post.)

Anyway, back to the Sculptures, Statues and Carvings …

The next photo was taken on a previous visit, but fits in well with this theme. I love the way the wings and the drapery seem to become one at the bottom. It’s the statue I described looking for in the post “In search of an angel“.

Angel and boy.

Angel and boy.


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A glass of water in black and white

Black and white glass of water with blue straw

Black and white glass of water with blue straw

I’m thrilled that Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge is looking for photographs of liquid, because I couldn’t imagine how I’d ever get to post these two shots of a glass of water. Which do you prefer — the all black/white, or the black/white with blue straw?

Black and white glass of water with straw

Black and white glass of water with straw

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striped rug black and white
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Geometric shapes in black and white

Shadows on a landing, Goa.

Shadows on a landing, Goa.

“Geometric: using straight lines and simple shapes, for example circles or squares.” Cee’s Black and White Challenge this week is all about geometric shapes.

Sydney Opera House during the Vivid festival 2014.

Sydney Opera House during the Vivid festival 2014.

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (detail).

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (detail).

Woven hut (and mangoes!), Vanuatu.

Woven hut (and mangoes!), Vanuatu.

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Roads I have travelled down

Cee’s Black & White Challenge this week is roadscapes. Here are a few shots of roads from my travels.

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Watery reflections in black and white

Cee’s Black & White Challenge this week is Reflections and Shadows. I have a trio of watery reflections to offer, all taken recently at The Bryon at Byron Bay, a resort set on 45 acres of rainforest and lily ponds about 750km north of Sydney.

 

The water in the pond is so still, this looks like a mirror image.

The water in the pond is so still, this looks like a mirror image.

The lines of the dead tree provide a solid reference point among the quavering reflections of trees.

The lines of the dead tree provide a solid reference point among the quavering reflections of trees.

The busy grooming activity of this little duck cast concentric ripples onto the still reflection of the trees.

The busy grooming activity of this little duck cast concentric ripples onto the still reflection of the trees.

Found in nature

I really enjoyed Cee’s Black & White Challenge this week. It gave me another set of photos on which to practise my nascent RAW file processing, and it prompted me to look at my familiar surroundings with a new eye, wondering what might look good in black and white. These images are of things Found In Nature.

Dried silver fern leaf from New Zealand.

Dried silver fern leaf from New Zealand.

Eroded sandstone cliff face.

Eroded sandstone cliff face.

Dried flower heads.

Dried flower heads.

Sea shells from Texas.

Sea shells from Texas.

A weathered tree trunk.

A weathered tree trunk.

A feather in the grass.

A feather in the grass.

Jungle life

I live in a jungle. Well, no, I don’t; I live in the largest city in Australia. But my apartment faces what seems like a jungle, with three massive old trees crowded together like commuters in a rush-hour train. The one closest to me is a gum tree (eucalypt), at which I generally curse because it blocks my view. Sometimes, though, it has a beauty even I can’t deny, especially when rendered in black and white for Cee’s most recent challenge.

Sunrise on a foggy winter morning.

Sunrise on a foggy winter morning.

New growth. I took this photo this morning, specifically for this challenge.

New growth. I took this photo this morning, specifically for this challenge.

Up close and personal

Cee has set a great black and white challenge this time: macros. I love the way a photo changes when I zoom way, way in, and the way it changes when I switch from colour to black and white.

A cliffside garden near Bondi Beach.

A cliffside garden near Bondi Beach.

The image above was inspired by the shallow focus photos of Elina over at Capturing Little Moments. One of the great things about blogging, I’ve found, is that it has exposed me to new ways of taking photographs. It’s also made me realise that I need a better camera! (To see the non-macro, colour version of this image, click here. The plant I zoomed on is outlined in yellow.)

Chocolate! Sparkling wine! Together at last!

Chocolate! Sparkling wine! Together at last!

A meal and a drink, all in one! You get a better idea of how much fun this is in this video (colour).
Yes, I know, I’m easily amused. 🙂

Alone for eternity

I have two photographs for this week’s Black & White Challenge: Abandoned or Alone, both taken at Waverley Cemetery, Sydney. The cemetery, which opened in 1877, sprawls across cliff tops beside the ocean.

Someone has propped this fallen cherub on the grass beside the grave on which it was placed decades ago.

Someone has propped this fallen cherub on the grass beside the grave on which it was placed decades ago.

Toppled from the grave she once adorned, this marble girl lies abandoned on the ground, sinking slowly into the earth.

Toppled from the grave she once adorned, this marble girl lies abandoned on the ground, sinking slowly into the earth.