Sunday, 24 March 2013

Collingwalk - An inner urban photowalk

Another photowalk bites the dust. We had an attendance around 30 or so starting at Collingwood station and migrating around the suburb looking at the amazing street art, architecture and people.

You can see some of the images (mostly phone at this point) uploaded to the event.

Shortly after the start the usual breaking up into the slow meanderers and the power walkers happened. The power walkers burnt out early and headed off for an early dinner. Marg and I were kicked out of a church but not before photographing the windows.

We had a few late comers, most of which caught up with us eventually and joined the walk. The walk included a lot of different genres this time including urbex, street art, performing art, stores and of course Ninja Monkeys.

The stores around Collingwood are an amazing eclectic collection, many of which were happy to have walkers inside shooting the store and their wares. We even visited a former store owned by Al who has stripped it out in preparation for a new life. Al gave us the complete history of the store and the nearby location including the gambling den supposedly operated by the Catholic church across the road and the mistress one of the priests kept in the store we were in.

Who would ever have expected to find a Sydney Harbour Bridge kit in a store named Reclaimed. This place is a photographer's paradise.

I have a bit of a passion for pressed metal toys, particularly robots. In a cafe which included a Japanese design shop I found this little bloke for only $15. You can see this fella and Hanna Silver's blue robot in action in a video. Great fun little wind up toys. The hands are Hanna's.

You'll see him pop up in a few of the images from the walk after I process them from my camera. I've not thought of his name yet - what do you reckon? Got a suggestion? I'm sure he'll be along on more photowalks along with the lego Mario from Trace Mclean and soft toy Mario from Marc Bradshaw.

A spot of urbex (Urban Exploration) around the old Abbotsford Brewery site (what's left of it) revealed interesting art installations including this colourful painted tree and junk within a walled area. The area is almost completely closed off but is accessible from the pay carpark off Robert St. Quite an interesting experience.

The old towers that once contained malt, barley and hops used for making the once famous Abbots Lager now stand derelict and empty. Various brave souls have climbed the internal workings and offered their tags to the world. Some colourful and interesting. Others plan and boring like Sync here who had to have hung from a rope to paint these massive letters.

Visiting The People's Market was quite an interesting experience and it gave me an opportunity for some street photography at distance using my new (very old) 400mm prime I picked up from Frank Yuwono. The lens certainly takes some getting used to - it would generate big arms if you used it all the time.

The market is  great place to stop by for a beer and nibbles. A little pricey at the bar at $9.50 for a pint of a name beer but tolerable. Interesting art installations and the hope tree.

As usual we ran well behind time, eventually making our finishing point of The Retreat Hotel with about 15 people left in the group, others having peeled off as various times. The television soap series The Sullivans was filmed in this pub. Staffed by very friendly people with some good solid comfort food. The chicken parma was great with actual meat, generous cheese and sauce. Really nice.

It was absolutely fantastic to catch up with the regulars and meet some of the new people on this smaller more sociable walk.