Though no ‘ACTION’ has been taken on this goal in terms of pen to paper, the thoughts and plan has started to form in my mind. Originally I simply thought I would wake up one morning, drive into the city and start taking photos of everything I see. However the more I think about Brisbane I realise the culture and beauty is not simply contained in a two acre sector of the CBD. In order to get an accurate reflection and perspective of Brisbane, I will have to plan a list of ‘hot spots’ to visit to get a more rounded view of Brisbane life.
The places I have thought of to this point are as follows:
- Early morning at Mt Cootha Lookout
- Roma Street Parklands
- New Farm Park & Brisbane Powerhouse
- New Farm Markets
- Toowong Cemetary
- Botanical Gardens
- Brunswick Mall
- Riverside & Circular Quay
- Citycat up and down the river
- Kangaroo Point Park, Walkway & Rockclimbing Cliffs
- University of Queensland
- Queen St Mall
- Cathedral Square
- Adelaide Street
- Park Road & Rosalie
I’m sure so many other places form a part of Brisbane life and culture and hopefully in the coming weeks I will be able to expand on this list. The second challenge I will soon face is how to fit my photo taking into a single day.
The reality of this goal is not likely to come to fruition for several weeks as at the moment I find myself constantly travelling interstate and spend most of my weekends away from home.
The day before I left to go to Sydney I went down to the New Farm markets and with my camera in tow, took a few photos of the old Powerhouse and city prospects. It’s amazing that when you really purposely look, you begin to see things you’ve never noticed before. You start to appreciate the wonder of nature, the progress of humankind and the vibrancy of life.
I love what C.S Lewis once wrote ‘you can’t go on seeing through things forever’. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it…. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To “see through” all things is the same as not to see’.
Too often in life we “see through” things that become normal and expected in the status quo we set for ourselves and for the world at large. We’re too busy looking through the glass to see a pearlescent raindrop leaving its silvery trail down the window, we’re engrossed in schedules and in seeing only that which we’ve intended for ourselves to see. If we’re driving to a location, indeed we arrive and capture the beauty of that which we’ve intended to see however we never remember nor truly “see” the journey there.
Even spending these few moments in the New Farm Park precinct, it gave me a fresh revelation of Brisbane Life that I had never seen before. It just shows how large and extraordinary the world can be when we choose to open our eyes.
The city in which we live would have more influence in defining our lives than many of the most photographed historical landmarks of the world, yet it is our cities which are often overlooked and taken for granted. Our attention is captivated by sights such as The Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Sydney Opera House, the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower, Yellowstone National Park or the Taj Mahal. Yet though they earn our absolute respect and admiration, few of these will have as big a part to play in our lives as the landmarks and memories of our own cities.
I am the typical tourist, I take photos of anything and everything – I am enthralled by the culture that surrounds me, the architecture whose history speaks of generations past and the landscape which bears the unmistakable imprint of bygone days. However, though I’m the absolute photo enthusiast when I travel, I fail to neglect capturing the beauty and heritage of my own homeland.
When I saw this goal, I was almost saddened by the fact that I’d never taken photos of my own city. I’d walked its streets without a casual glance towards the culture that I’d become so accustomed to. I’d sailed upon its river without taking more than a few moments to admire its beautiful banks. I’d eaten of its food and drank of its culture without fully immersing myself in the spirit and diversity of its people. The sad thing is, if I ever departed from its shore, I would look back and realise that I never really knew my city, I would never truly know what I was missing.
It is therefore one of my key goals in the months to come to spend a day as a ‘tourist’ – to photograph Brisbane and capture the essence of this great city, taking snapshots in time.