Rough | Smooth

Smooth hard hat and rough rock — Coober Pedy opal mine visited from The Ghan train.

Here’s a selection of photos that contrast rough and smooth textures for Jude’s 2020 Challenge.

Samples of rock, rough on the right and polished smooth on the left — Grand Canyon.

Smooth violin (fiddle) and rough seat fabric — Grand Canyon train.

Smooth glass beads and rough sequins — New Orleans Lafeyette Cemetery.

Rough mooring lines and smooth metal winch — tall ship Tenacious.


You’ve been framed!

I haven’t had time this month to take new photos for Jude’s challenge, so I’ve turned to the archives for this selection that illustrate the use of man-made frames in composition.

About the feature photo, above: This is horizontal because I wanted to capture the symmetry of the alcoves with their matching lamps at right and left. The diminishing horizontal/vertical beams frame the garden at the end. This is the Reef House Hotel, Palm Cove, QLD, Australia.

Below is one of my favourite framed photos. Jude says “portrait-shaped pictures (vertical orientation) tend to relate to foreground and background subject elements” although here I’ve gone for a landscape orientation in order to include more of the metal arch. Nonetheless, I believe the viewer’s eye is drawn from foreground to background as the buildings get smaller with distance. I like how the point of the arch complements the point of the tower it frames.

Manhattan, looking south from the top of the Rockefeller Centre

This more traditional portrait orientation slowly leads you from foreground to background, aided by the contrast of darker, shadowed foreground with bright background. The eye is pulled through the rectangular foreground opening, through the invitingly open gate in the middle ground, and into the background courtyard with its host of intriguing objects.

A courtyard in New Orleans

Here, the blurred foreground serves only to frame the circle through which the subject of the photo is viewed. From what I recall, a vertical orientation wouldn’t have worked because above and below that metal plate were distracting elements that would have drawn attention from the locomotive.

A locomotive at the Pine Creek Railway Museum, NT, Australia

The symmetry of the architecture and the line of hanging lights, diminishing in size with distance, are framed by a single arch, starkly white against the rich red wall. A vertical line runs through the point of the arch and the line of the lights, drawing your eye to the far end of the corridor. I think this vertical composition helps to emphasise the length of the corridor.

A corridor in the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London.

Posted as part of Jude’s 2020 Photo Challenge with the subject of Framing


Travel Album: New Orleans (1)

Courtyard, Le Croissant d'Or

Courtyard, Le Croissant d’Or (pastry shop)

Impressions of the French Quarter

Before I arrived in New Orleans (in June 2015), I had become quite concerned about my safety. I read so many articles about the crime, so many first-hand posts and comments from people who had been harassed, assaulted or robbed, that I almost regretted deciding to go. I even changed hotels in order to reduce walking time! Yet when I opened my hotel room curtains early on the first morning, the French Quarter seemed peaceful and innocent.

How much danger could this lovely spot possibly hold?

How much danger could this lovely spot possibly hold?

However, clearly it was not a safe place. This is not the sign a woman walking on her own wants to see:

oh dear oh dear ...

oh dear oh dear …

I am very happy to report that my stay in New Orleans was completely without incident. 🙂 Yes, parts of the French Quarter are tatty and tacky, full of drunks and fools and those who prey on drunks and fools, but early in the morning you can wander with a camera with no more than a sensible degree of caution. It’s a photographer’s delight!


The difference (I learned) between a gallery and a balcony is that galleries are supported on pillars from the street, whereas balconies jut out from a building with no support.


When walking around an unfamiliar city, I can’t resist peering through open doors. Like Paris, New Orleans offers up glimpses of the private lives behind the public facades.

Le Croissant d’Or

My wanderings that morning did have a purpose: breakfast! I was aiming for a French pastry shop I had read about online, called Le Croissant d’Or. The inside seating area was air conditioned yet rather charmless, but the outer courtyard was full of character.

Street scenes

A few random photographs of things that caught my eye:

A reminder of a darker past

This former slave exchange is now a restaurant. My lunch was excellent, the service was attentive and friendly, but it was unsettling to look past the cheerful diners and try to imagine what scenes had played out in this building.

This is the first of a series of posts about New Orleans.




Let there be light(s)

House light - New Orleans

House light – New Orleans

It would be an exaggeration to describe lamps and lights along streets, houses and parks as my “muse“, but I do seem to take a lot of photos of them! I’m drawn to their shapes (which can be sinuous or angular), their symmetry in rows or clusters, and of course the way the light plays on them.

(click any image to view full size)