Have you ever had a conversation with your mates, about the things you would grab in the event of a fire?
You know that question someone voices at a backyard BBQ, or perhaps it's one asked around the table at a dinner party? It's always asked as a hypothetical without much seriousness attached and each one of us, far and wide, hope that it always remains that way. Back in the days before cloud storage, the Internet and all things digital, The Family albums were almost always among the top three items mentioned.
We live in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia and have stunning native bush and a National Park within a stones throw. Our Winters are cold and wet, and Summers hot and dry. Summer heatwaves are relentless, searing and blinding. Each year there are, what the CFS (Country Fire Service) call, Extreme Bushfire Days. They are the days where everyone becomes a little more weary and occasionally, that Extreme category may be upgraded to what they call, Catastrophic! Now that all sounds rather dramatic, doesn't it? But in reality what it means to us locals, is that we keep our phones nearby in case of an SMS from the CFS 'Alerts Personal'. If received, this message advises us to be 'evacuation ready', but just to give you a little perspective amid the drama, these occasions are exceptional and since we moved here at the start of 2013, I am deeply grateful that a Catastrophic day has only been declared once. When it was, we did all that was adivsed; we watched the online updates, streamed the news report and stayed close to the phone in case of the final word. The car was ready and evacuation routes planned out with safe destinations notified. My two kids had each packed a small box full of what they deemed important, while I had located the pets and had them ready to load. Into the car went the external hard drive and a few of my irreplaceable treasures, including the eight photo albums I have kept from the pre-digital age. They are full of memories, those from my school days through the years of Uni and then my first big trip overseas. An adventure that took my childhood friend and I hiking the Nepalese Himalayas and then on to India. Those albums hold the prints and their negatives, and as I write this, I realise that it would probably be wise for me to store those negs separately! I was given my very first camera for my 11th birthday in 1987 and used film until 2001, when I was given my first digital camera as another birthday gift.
I have been taking photographs for over 30 years! So many of those photographs are terrible, displaying very little skill but a whole lot of memory. But it was when I was working in the film industry, that my interest shifted gears and I started to actually take a decent image. It wasn't until 2007 that I purchased my first DSLR, a Nikon D80 and I worked that camera for years, until 2015 when I purchased the camera I am still currently using. A Canon 70D.
I am completely self-taught and really, I just like to have fun and play around. If any of my images invites you to do so, then please don't hesitate to get in touch.
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ps/ we never did have to evacuate :)