New Town @ Sydney

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by subbarayan_prasanna, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. I was in Sydney, Australia for a few weeks last month. We stayed in a suburb called New Town with our son and wife. New Town looks like it was built in the era of the Rail Road suburbs, full of Town Houses on 40 feet by 60 feet sites. Locally, they call the Town Houses as “Terrace Housing.” Many homes were split into two, down the middle; so each of these houses, now, is 20’x60’. Large families are almost absent here. Most homes are occupied by young professionals, perhaps with one baby or none.

    King Street and Enmore provide long Bazaars. These are full of ethnic eating places [every second or third shop is an eating place] spanning those from SE Asia to Mexico via India and the Mediterranean. I did not perceive any German, polish or Russian restaurants. Bias against Northern Europe! There are also many old book-shops and other antique dealers. I noticed an active Greek cultural center and a Buddhist meditation place. New Town seems to have renewed itself into and international community. Add to this the charm of the U of Sydney campus contiguous to the neighborhood.

    I was very ill throughout my stay and could take only health sustaining walks in the neighborhood. I was hoping to contact Tony Lockerbie; I missed out due to my illness. [I apologize Tony!] Somehow managed to take my camera along on my walks and make a few pictures. Just captured the ambience of the place, especially, near the cross-roads of Kingstreet and Enmore. It is kind of a clustering place as the underground metro train station is also located there.

    In all of five to seven Kilometres of Bazaar on both roads there was only one part time photo shop. He was selling some old cameras and some Kodak film. I enquired if he developed B&W. He said “yes” and that he would pay special attention for A$ 10.00 per roll. That seemed reasonable in their economy, as the minmum wage is A$16.50 per hour, I was told. In India I process B&W film at home for a cost $ 0.01 or less. [Of course, not counting my minimum wage and life-style compulsions.] Strangely, despite this minimum wage [it can provide easily two meals a day if one works one hour] I saw many people begging in the cross-roads junction. The welfare state does not seem to solve problems for some.

    I am posting the pictures without much commentary. I hope you enjoy the ambience.
  2. I used this old possession of mine. The Nova 1B has the same shutter mechanism as the Nova 1 and the Super TL. The B stands for the meter, a selenium one built-in but not coupled. I use this meter for a cross check with my guesstimates on the gray shades. The meter works still some five decades after it was made.
  3. The lens is Meyer Oreston, later sold in the West as Pentacon 50mm. It is one of my favourite lenses.
  4. One can see the meter in this picture, above. It looks small and not apparently sensitive. I find it very accurate, especially, in the day light range. I used the ORWO UN 54 film and my Home Brew.
  5. I found the pedestrians quite vigorous. They keep banging the switch on the post a number of times. Perhaps they believe that if one bangs it a number of times the switch gear would "think" that there is a crowd waiting and give way!
  6. Land form is undulating with ups and downs. I noticed that cars parking on either side do not lock the front wheels on to the curb. Apparently, that is not required by the local traffic police. Notice the Graffitti on the walls.
  7. Missed one click!
  8. It was pleasant to see many old buildings conserved and used.
  9. Quite a few efforts were artistic and made in good taste. The local council seems to encourage this.
  10. Reminded me of some in the Western US.
  11. Neatly conserved.
  12. When they park on both sides of the street there is only one lane open to traffic in the middle.
  13. Many are still used for garbage collection and movement. Some are getting converted into shop fronts and even small home fronts.
  14. Public, mass transportation seems very well organized, despite the proliferation of cars.
  15. A Mexican restaurant by the side opens in the afternoons and serves on the shady space here. People halt here often after a walk.
  16. Cloudy day, still very bright. Also the UV radiation is very high here. I use Photogrey glasses for distance vision and driving in India. In India they usually become mid-range grey when I go out doors. In Sydney they became dark even in the shade at home. A new experience!
  17. The above picture was taken with a 2x Coverter at 100mm.
  18. Day light angle was photogenic in Sydney. I enjoyed my stay, really. Could not eat much despite the variety available, due to my indisposition. I made many more pictures. Shall post some later. i hope you enjoy the ambience.
  19. Thanks for sharing your trip to Sydney with us. I like the effect that the ORWO and the Praktica/Meyer bring to the scene in your accomplished hands.
    I confess that it's sometimes hard to tell in your Bengaluru/Bangalore pictures which side of the road the drivers are driving on. These less-individualistic Aussies leave us in no doubt. ;)
  20. Yes JDM, civic discipline and citizen participation are very high In Australia. Indian cities including Bangalore are chaotic in that sense. I am scared to drive into town even in lean hours. I wonder if things will improve here in my life-time. sp.
  21. Well, cheers for the unexpected; "SP does Sydney"! Your eye captures many of the same angles and compositions that we're familiar with from your Indian series, SP, and in some respects your images emphasize the similarities between the two cultures rather than the differences. I guess that traces of the older British culture lingers in both countries. I think you captured the "feel" of the suburb very well. Your comments about the high UV content of the light are revealing; I find the light too harsh for photography in the middle of a cloudless summer day and venture out only in the morning and evening. Once again, the Oreston does a fine job. I hope you're bouncing bac k to full good health, and many thanks for the post.
  22. What's with all the Grafiti? I thought that was an American aberration. My naive mind feels that other cultures are more respectful of their surroundings. I guess there are no geographical boundaries for trashy people.
  23. Wow SP, what do I see, photos from you in my own backyard! Well almost, Sydney is some 5 hours drive north from here and I avoid it at all costs these days!
    Shame you are not well and hope you are getting better. I would have loved to catch up with you, but never mind..maybe soon. Newtown is somewhat familiar as my wifes' family used to live in Drummoyne which is not far from there. I spend much more time in Melbourne these days as my daughter lives down there. But as I have stated, cities are best avoided...I'm a real country boy now!
    You are quite right about the intense light, not really much good for photography in the middle parts of the day, so I go out in the early AM usually.
    Ken, graffiti is pretty universal, especially in the inner city areas, but these are slowly becoming gentrified as prices rise.
    Very pleased to see a Praktica "down under".
  24. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Newtown is one of the oldest Suburbs in Sydney.
    Many (most) of the "Terrace Houses" would have been built be pre 1900, which is old, considering how young we are down here as a "colonized society". The roads are narrow, because originally the were built for horse and cart traffic.
    Newtown is now know for the artistic inclinations of the locals: many artists and actors live there and it sports many small venues for the arts, including drama and movie theatres where non mainstream productions can be viewed.
    Previously Newtown was typically a "blue collar" Suburb - the locals were trades people or dock workers etc, that was in the days when Mum would stay at home and raise the 7 kids.
    I am glad you enjoyed your visit.
  25. @Ken - ten or so years ago, when I took the train from Melbourne to Sydney, the graffiti started miles out, and continued right into the city centre. Sydney is more like New York, Melbourne has retained a [very little] bit more of the colonial outpost vibe.
    I remember reading somewhere that graffiti will flourish if no attempt is made to paint it over. When there's a persistent overpainting program, the graffiti tends to die out. Don't know if it's true, but the theory is that if there's a long term diligent effort to stamp it out, the "artists" move elsewhere.
    SP - thanks for the images and commentary. I look forward to your "slice of life" postings in B&W, and am glad to hear you are feeling better.
  26. Nice story Sp, nice pictures aw well. I believe the banging on the knob of traffic light is an analogue of knocking to the door. You can not knock once need to do it at least three times, better in triplicate...
  27. SP, liked the comments as much as the photos. Maybe I am biased but I like your home processing more than the $10/roll effort. Get well soon.
  28. I always enjoy your astute commentary. There was similarity in style and subject matter. The Praktika is
    an old friend in familiar hands. I look forward to your next post. I suspect the trip was not all that you'D
    hoped due to the health problems. I do hope you're better now God Speed!
  29. Thanks for sharing these, SP. I hope you got over your illness!
    As said above, your street eye travels with you. Nice to see the results in a different environment. Your comments are an excellent complement of the pictures - we feel like we have walked that area ourselves.
  30. Great series, SP. Sorry to hear you've had some health issues. Hope you have a speedy and complete recovery. As always, your combination of UN 54 and your home brew is excellent. Thanks for posting.
  31. Glad to see you posting again Subbarayan. The Praktica Nova 1b is an excellent choice for travel as it's only 560g on my scales compared to the 690g of my PrakticaMat. I picked up a Nova 1b locally a few months ago with a Domiplan, diaphragm still working. The Nova 1b shares that marvelously quiet vibration-free shutter of the Prakticamat and the clever mirror-stop fashioned from a strip of shutter curtain material. It's good that so many dismiss these cameras...
    I always find things to interest me in Sydney. It's an exiting city with a variety of cultures, plus the population density gives it a sense of velocity. Just lately I have been reading some interesting material about Sydney's development. Apparently when Sydney was about the same size as my hometown Auckland is today - i.e. just over 1 million people (back in 1910 or so) painful decisions had to be made to create room for the modern urban rail links that characterise the place now, and expensive loans had to be taken out to pay for it all.
    Auckland council is still fighting itself over the development of inner-city rail, with the pro-road/car/suburb faction engaged in endless stalling tactics to delay construction of even a basic inner-city rail loop. There is an interesting paper backgrounding the fight:
    "The American Heresy: Half a century of transport planning in Auckland"
    (Paul Mees and Jago Dodson, Urban Planning Program, Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning, University of Melbourne)
    Somewhat ironic that despite taking the medicine of the American automobile suburb for 60 years, we still end up desperately needing electrified rail and integrated public transport to go beyond our current density. Perhaps we will end up becoming the "Stockholm of the South Pacific" that the British planners of the 1940's envisaged after all.
    Thanks again for the interesting pictures. You capture Sydney well.

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