South of Rockhampton in Queensland, Australia, the road divides an endless sea of grassy plains and rolling hills. Big sky’s and endless horizons are a constant feature that draws travellers from all over the world. Leaving the main roads to follow the lesser travelled byways opens up opportunities to see the real country.
On Anzac Day I found myself filling in time near Brisbane while waiting for a response from a person I had arranged to meet up with. As the day dragged on I found myself at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens near Mount Cootha.
There are themed displays under domes and in shade houses that would take days to see properly. The gardens are lovely with nicely laid out pathways and beautifully manicured plants.
It was here that I met Stranger No 3…. Hector was sitting quietly on the stone wall at the side of the path totally absorbed in something on his tablet. My first impression was that one could check out Facebook anytime, anywhere and it seemed that social media had claimed one more addict.
When I came up alongside him, I noticed that he was sketching the scene before him on the tablet. The treescape on the tablet was impressive and I stopped to ask him about it. He old me that there are quite a few apps that can be used for sketching and with the help of a stylus he was able to create a pretty impressive picture.
The app he used allowed him to choose the medium for each drawing…. this one was an oil painting and of course the beauty of this is that there is no cleaning up of brushes etc when the job is done.
Hector is from Chilli and has been here for two months to study. Clearly art is his passion and while his palette may be a tablet, art is art no matter what the form. One wonders what Picasso might have done if he had an iPad.
After a few weeks of full on preparation for the Commonwealth Games, my workload has diminished a little and last night I took a stroll through Broadbeach precinct. It was a tad after 9PM and there were surprisingly few folk out and about given we are in the midst of one of the larger sporting carnivals in the world this year.
The streets had the look that cities get when the crowds have returned to their homes and all that’s left are the cleaners; those nocturnal souls who rejuvenate the sidewalks and parks at the end of day. The blowers that inflated the blow up castle were now silent, and it now spread across the ground like some invasive slim often seen in sci fi movies.
The beach, now deserted, had transformed into a tapestry of texture where thousands of feet had churned through it during the day.
Coffee bars still plied their trade while groups of spectators sat watching one of the giant screens, scattered across the city, to see Australia pick up a trifector at the swimming.
Looking up at the tall apartment buildings, one got the feeling that, despite the enormity of the event, there were many vacancies as the lighted rooms were far out numbered by those which shed no glow.
Wandering the streets, I came across several stages that have been erected to provide spot entertainment for the crowds that have been expected. I stopped a moment to watch a troop of performers.
One feature of these games, and a sad indictment on the state of our world today, is the level of detail that has been put towards public safety. Almost everywhere you will see security or police officers, often just standing about, ready to act should there be any reason. Any place where public will gather is shielded with concrete bolards sheathed in colourful covers, preventing any vehicle attacks.
Following the herd, I made my way back to the tram station and so on to Broadbeach South where the line ends. From here I decided that a walk back to my apartment would do me some good. A pleasant night for a stroll.
If you have spent time at the games, what was your experience?
Please leave a comment if you had a great time or what were your grips?
Since I got my Apple iPad I have been looking at alternatives to the staple diet of Lightroom and Photoshop to process my images. Affinity Photo has come up with a strong contender that appears to be a crossbreed on both of those applications.
Sometimes, playing about when you don’t know what you are doing can achieve some pleasing or unusual results. Tonight I was demonstrating some of the features to a friend and colleague when a slip of the pen produced this. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but I don’t mind it.
Originally, a brightly lit shot of a stage at Broadbeach that had been erected for entertaining the sparse crowds there during the Commonwealth Games.