Fotoeins Fotopress

One photo at a time – one journey to last a lifetime

Posts from the ‘Australia’ category

Remembering ANZACs: Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Aussie Aussie Aussie, Pie Pie Pie

January 26 in Vancouver, Canada marks a great convergence of two events. It’s Australia Day, and running concurrently is the Dine Out Vancouver Festival.

I’m at the North Plaza of the Art Gallery in the city’s downtown/CBD. Here over 20 food trucks are participating in the Street Food City in conjunction with the Dine Out festival. This is the third consecutive year for food trucks to highlight their street food over a period of five days.

One thing I’ve learned after spending time throughout Australia and New Zealand is I’ve frequent serious cravings for their meat pie. Months ago, I looked for meat pies in Vancouver, and with a quick online search, my eyeballs made a beeline to Aussie Pie Guy.

Aussie Pie Guy, Street Food City, Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2014, Vancouver Art Gallery
Street Food City, Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2014
Aussie Pie Guy, Street Food City, Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2014, Vancouver Art Gallery
Aussie Pie Guy, Street Food City, Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2014, Vancouver Art Gallery

I’ve had the smooth stylins’ of their chook (chicken) pie previously, but I see today they have Kangaroo Pie: “kangaroo mince with sweet potato mash, bacon, and pepperberry spices.” Without hesitation, I get the kanga pie “epic” style, complete with peas, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

First bite in is a winner: savory ground meat with smoky BBQ-like hints from the bacon, the blend of sweet and spicy flavours from the sweet potato and pepperberry, a golden flaky pie crust shell, all topped with just chewy mashed peas, creamy mashed potatoes, and a generous portion of warm thick brown gravy.

I feel loss in the final bite, because the pie is done and gone.

(Watch how I stuff me piehole at the 1 minute 9 second mark in the video here …)

Epic Kanga Pie

Doesn’t that pie make you want to reach over and dig in? For addicts like me, the Aussie Pie Guy food truck is out and about Vancouver, ready to satisfy everybody’s need for Australian meat pies.

Aussie Pie Guy, Street Food City, Dine Out Vancouver Festival 2014, Vancouver Art Gallery

Amy & Hayley

Thanks to the Australian ladies for their hospitality and conversation! I made all of the photos above on Australia Day (26 January) 2014. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at

No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions Disclosure: No Connection, Unpaid, My Own Opinions. I have not received any compensation for writing this content and I have no material connection to the brands, topics and/or products that are mentioned herein (

Fotoeins’ 13 Instants from 2013

It’s been an interesting year, as “interesting” came complete with their own highs and lows, across a variety of nations on three continents. Friends would say that’s simply par for the course to describe any length of time on travel. I ended my year-long around-the-world (RTW) trip in January, sought a new path in Sydney, Australia between March and June, and returned to Vancouver, Canada with a short stop in Europe for a writing course at the end of July. The following 13 moments in 2013 arrive courtesy from Berlin, Germany; Sydney, Australia; Vancouver, Canada; and Wellington, New Zealand.

January 15 – “Coming home”

My RTW lasted 389 consecutive days from the end of 2011 to the early part of 2013. Here at Terminal 5 in London’s Heathrow Airport, I waited to board a British Airways Boeing 747-400 plane for the non-stop flight and return to Vancouver.

January 30 – “This is home”

I’ve visited the Museum of Anthropology a handful of times, one memorably on a field-trip when a wae lad was I. Located at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, the museum holds a large collection of art and valuable cultural artifacts from First Nations’ peoples. I’m home in British Columbia in the presence of “Raven and The First Men,” a sculpture by Bill Reid, showing a part of the creation myth for the Haida First Nation.

February 10 – “Our flag”

It’s easy to forget Canada’s present flag was unveiled only in 1965, and the official National Flag Day was declared in 1996. It’s easy to pick out where flags appear once I know it’s time to look; the following are examples on Vancouver’s Granville Island. I write more about Canada’s Flag Day here.

March 23 – “Hang over”

The third week of March marks the onset of autumn in the southern hemisphere, and in Sydney, the season also heralds time for the annual Royal Easter Show. The 2013 version at Olympic Park marked the 190th anniversary of the festival, complete with all sorts of animals on show, amusement rides, and a wide assortment of “carnival or fair food”. Click here for more highlights.

April 14 – “Sydney Sunset Haiku”

Part of Sydney’s public transport includes ferry access on the Parramatta River between the western suburbs and the City (centre). I arranged to travel on one of the ferries into the City right around sunset, leading to this haiku attempt: “Sydney Harbour Bridge – from Parramatta River – time for dusky light.” Click here for more.

May 25 – “End of the line”

The photo shows at Walsh Bay installation number 60 called “The Dalgety Line” at the VIVID Sydney festival: top panel on Dalgety Street; bottom panel at Wharf 8/9. This was one of the last sculptures or installations on the list, and I wonder if it wasn’t subconscious, seeing this installation, and feeling as if I myself was at the end of the present journey. Click here for more highlights from the festival.

June 7 – “Of spheres and monoliths”

The “FERNS” spherical sculpture is suspended high over Wellington’s Civic Square. The afternoon sun, the FERNS, and the City Gallery made for an ominous combination, calling to mind images from “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Instead, I drew hope and optimism, with light streaming out from the corner of the monolith and a hint of a reflection from the sphere.

July 1 – “Metal dinosaurs at dawn”

It’s been a long time since I’ve been home on Canada Day. The opportunity presented itself beautifully in Vancouver under perfect summer conditions, and I made photographs throughout the entire day. Up at 430am, I began the holiday with a walk out to Burrard Inlet to witness the rising sun to the northeast at 510am. My 18-photo set appears here.

August 12 – “Eclipse”

At the end of my short return-visit to the German capital, I wandered over to one of my favourite spots to watch people and to gauge the city’s rhythms at Berlin’s Alexanderplatz. I had to return to Vancouver, but I wanted very much to stay, to examine and explore what it would be like, under the guise of perfectly suited people in an imperfect situation. I wrote about my ambivalence and struggle with conflicting feelings here.

September 11 – “Honoured figures”

With fellow travel blogger Pamela in town and summer hanging on strong with sun and +25C/77F temperatures, it was only right for a mid-week stroll on Vancouver’s Seawall. Balanced stone figures appeared out of the sand and boulders at Stanley Park’s Second Beach next to English Bay. I like how the one on the left is holding fast to that log.

October 12 – “The fall classic”

There’s an abundance of evergreen trees in the Canadian Southwest rain forest. Fortunately, there are sufficient numbers of deciduous to provide occasional (and wild) splashes of colour. A clear mid-October afternoon provided a good exercise in colour, form, line, and symmetry at Vancouver’s Andy Livingstone Park.

November 22 – “Vancouver Weihnachtsmarkt”

My love of things German arrives in full circle at my hometown’s Christmas Market. I spent a part of the festival’s opening weekend with Amanda and Megan, marveling at the lights, fixtures, and decorations; and eating and drinking our way through the market. I wrote more about the Vancouver Christmas market here.

December 21 – “Winter break”

December solstice marks the first day of winter (summer) in the northern (southern) hemisphere. In Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood, the wide-open green space that is MacLean Park has always provided a source of fun, comfort, peace, and a sense of community. After 10 centimetres (4 inches) of snow fell the previous evening, the chairs here at MacLean Park suggested a place for impromptu meetings which are out of session for the holidays.

What are your favourite moments and photos from 2013? Please leave your comments below with your favourites!

I made all of the photos above on a 4th-generation iPod Touch. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at

Navigating Melbourne’s lanes for street art

Happy 40 to the Sydney Opera House

Mrs. Macquarie's Point

Icon for City and Country

The Sydney Opera House is made up of three groups of interlocking “vaulted shells” housing two primary concert auditorium spaces. The shell-like structures sit upon a large platform, encompassed on the outside by stepped terraces as staging or assembly areas for visitors.

On 20 October 1973, Queen Elizabeth II formally opened The Opera House. Forty years on, the building is an icon for both Sydney and Australia. The building endures as a “landmark” and “ambassador” for both city and country. Immediately telling are the roof’s white shells, looking like wind-blown sails at a distance in the harbour.

Danish architect Jørn Utzon won the design competition in 1957 for the building. His brilliance was the ability to combine various elements of nature with the immediate surroundings of the physical site in the interplay among land, air, and water to “conspire and construct” a structure which would attract people into the facility and yet, simultaneously drawing people’s eyes from the building’s interior outwards to the sky, the sea, and the surrounding city.

How the present-day roof came to be has its own history, as Geraldine Brooks wrote in The New Yorker:

… The premature start (to the construction) meant, for instance, that piers needed to support the roof were sunk in place before the roof design was resolved. Utzon had drawn free-form sculptural shapes that the project engineers, Ove Arup & Partners, struggled in vain to convert into buildable solutions. Utzon, still living in Denmark, prowled his father’s shipyard. He thought about a saying of his father’s: “Here in the dockyard you construct and produce what you can’t buy, what is not to be had, what is necessary.” The large curves of the hulls gave him an idea: all of the Opera House’s roof shells could be generated from a single sphere. The solution was not only buildable; it allowed complex elements to be prefabricated using a small number of simple forms, as in his beloved Sung-dynasty manual. Excited, he returned to his studio and explained the idea to an assistant by cutting all the necessary shell-shaped segments from the skin of a single orange. However, the impact of the new design on the Sydney site was rather less elegant: the piers weren’t in the right places to bear the loads imposed by the new geometry. For several days, downtown Sydney shook from the explosions as the piers were blasted out and redone.

A “Fruit Sphere” Solution

What does an orange have to do with the roof of the Opera House? A simple at-home experiment provides an answer.

Take a smooth round orange (or grapefruit), and slice the fruit in half.

Place one of the halves with the flat-side down onto a flat counter or table top.

Carefully cut from the peel four triangular-wedges of different sizes.

The four pieces have two things in common: (1) they’re all obviously made of the same material, and (2) despite their different sizes, all four pieces have the same radius of curvature, as each piece has been cut from the same peel or surface of the fruit (from the same sphere).

From RIBA’s (Royal Institute of British Architects) “Demonstration model of the opera house”:

The roof structure of Utzon’s competition-winning design could not be built as planned as the shell forms of the roof were irregular and structurally unsound. Utzon’s solution was to take all the forms from a single sphere, as shown in this demonstration model. This allowed all the shell components to be calculated and then prefabricated.

and from DeDeCe blog and The Opera House Project:

The simplicity of the idea appealed very much to Utzon. It would mean that not only the building’s form could be prefabricated from a repetitive geometry, but that a uniform pattern could also be achieved for the tiling of the exterior surface. It was the binding discovery that allowed for the distinctive characteristics of Sydney Opera House to be finally realised. The vaulted arches, the exceptionally beautiful finish of the tiles and the timeless sail-like silhouette of the house all derive from his decision to move the form to a spherical geometry.”

Key to the Shells, Jorn Utzon, 1961, Sydney Opera House

“Key to the Shells”, Jørn Utzon, 1961 – photo by JoanJoc

On the plaque outside the Opera House (shown above) appears a quote from Jørn Utzon:

“… after three years of intensive search for a basic geometry for the shell complex I arrived in October 1961 at the spherical solutions shown here. I call this my ‘key to the shells’ because it solves all the problems of construction by opening up to mass production, precision in manufacture and simple erection and with this geometrical system I attain full harmony between all the shapes in this fantastic complex.”

Pritzker Prize & UNESCO Designation

Political issues forced Utzon to leave both project and Australia, but reconciliation eventually came between architect and country. Utzon was in 2003 awarded architecture’s greatest honour, the Pritzker Prize, for which the prize jury stated:

… There is no doubt that the Sydney Opera House is his masterpiece. It is one of the great iconic buildings of the 20th century, an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world—a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent.

In 2007, UNESCO recognized the site’s importance and heritage value to modern architectural history by listing the Opera House as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Opera House was the youngest cultural site at 33 years of age to be included on the World Heritage List, and one of only two cultural sites listed while the building’s architect was still alive. Utzon died one year later in 2008, never having returned to Australia to visit the completed building. Even from afar, The Opera House never strayed far from his thoughts.

My photos, my memories

I first set foot in Sydney and Australia in 2007. Whenever I’m in the city for any length of time, I’m compelled to return to Sydney Cove. The sight of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House tells me all is right in this part of the world. If Sydney becomes home one day, home won’t be complete without those two landmarks.

Sydney Cove

Open jaw at Bennelong Point

Sydney Opera House

Geometric repetition

Sydney Opera House

Vaulted arch

Sydney Opera House

Dawn sparkles

VIVID Sydney, Play, Spinifex Group

“PLAY” by Spinifex Group, VIVID Sydney

VIVID Sydney, Play, Spinifex Group


VIVID Sydney, Play, Spinifex Group

Curved pointers

VIVID Sydney, Play, Spinifex Group

Shark bite

Sydney Cove, Sydney, Australia

City skyline from Sydney Cove

Sydney Cove, Sydney, Australia

Afternoon glow with the Harbour Bridge’s shadow

Louis Kahn once wrote that:

“The sun did not know how beautiful its light was until it was reflected off this building.”

and in 2003, Jørn Utzon was pleased that:

“To me it is a great joy to know how much the building is loved, by Australians in general and by Sydneysiders in particular.”

•   The full article by Geraldine Brooks for The New Yorker about Utzon’s story, conflict, exile from the project, and subsequent reconciliation with the Sydney Opera House appears here.

•   For additional highlights from the 2013 VIVID Sydney festival, click here.

Except the second photo by Joanjoc, I made the remaining photos on visits between 2007 and 2013 inclusive. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at


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