The first photo in my very first PAD was the one taken on 18 January 2010. The shot was actually a screw-up in terms of my f/stop selection which is what prompted me to PAD. Not that it's cured all of my bad habits; one day I'll develop what Ben Long describes as the "muscle memory" to check the exposure time before I hit the shutter release. Maybe about year 6 that'll happen.
And now here we are, four years later which, how the h3ll does that happen anyhow?
The 2010 shot was named, unpoetically enough, "Lunch Time In The Park" Every year since then I've returned to the same spot to take a shot, though the framing has varied with the equipment used. Year 1 was the (now essentially retired) 300D with the 28-135. (Then my 300D / backup lens, now with the death of the 24-105 the closest thing I have to a walkaround lens... and not one that I like much, unfortunately.)
2011 was still the 300D but with the very rarely used 17-40 f/4 on the front, resulting in a wider shot on a more overcast day. Both years featured the former HMAS Adelaide, which was towed off to be a dive wreck later in 2011. I was speculating on whether that would be my last year at Pyrmont, and still am. Life can turn on a dime, but at other times it can have the inertia of Lucy the Cat heading for the fuud bowl.
2012 saw the baton pass to the 40D with the 10-22 wide angle lens, though zoomed in to 22mm. The Adelaide was gone and the docks stood bare. While there were patches of blue, the sky was mostly cloudy.
2013 saw only traces of cloud in the sky, and two other ex-RAN ships awaiting disposal. I made the foolish-in-retrospect comment that "I don't clearly remember the past shots, but I'll remember this one" because the temperature was in the mid-40's. In reality I had completely forgotten about that until I re-read it this year, and even now only vaguely recollect that shoot. And given the way memories work, I can't be sure how much of the recollections are correct. Months pass, memories fade... but documentation like PADs remain, which is one reason that it's important to do them. That shot saw the same camera / lens pair as last year, but zoomed out to 14mm. Every year I moved a little further away, optically.
And now to 2014. Same camera pair as last year, but with some differences. First, the 18th was a Saturday and I decided that I wasn't going to go into the city just to shoot the PAD especially as I already had plans for the weekend anyway (as per the next shot). The day before would have to suffice. Second, I zoomed out to 10mm. I don't have a lens that can go wider so hey, maybe this time it really is my last year here. Third instead of one shot I took multiples and stitched them into a panorama showing a 180 degree view, something that Photoshop CS5 does easily and well as long as you keep your exposures consistent. This is a stitch of 4 shots so no single shot needed to cover more than 45 degrees (in reality Photoshop didn't split the layers quite that evenly) and at 10mm there was plenty of overlap between the frames. Although midday light generally blows chunks artistically, it does have an advantage when you're doing a panno in that it tends to be uniform with regard to intensity and quality, regardless of direction. The three shots looking from south(ish) to west toward the Anzac Bridge were all at 1/640 and the one looking north toward the cruise ship was 1/500th; near enough for government work, and in any case I was more interested in getting equivalent histograms than in getting exact TV matches.
Fourth is, to some extent, the content. This is the first year that there is not a cloud in the sky; not one. The day was warm to hot (I had quite a sweat by the time I got back) but nothing like last year thankfully. But it's been a very dry summer, as can be seen if you compare the relative yellow tint of the grass this year to the much greener tone of earlier years. Over on the old Conaust car import terminal (on the far side of Johnston's Bay, the nearer stretch of water) we see the epic majesty of the Sydney Convention Centre. Demountable rooms and plastic sheeting, we is civilised folk down here, yee haw! (The real Convention Centre, less than 30 years old, is being demolished but I'll speak of that elsewhere.) At White Bay (the further stretch of water, far right of frame) is the White Bay Cruise Terminal, which replaced the one on The Hungry Mile (or "Barangaroo", if you must) on the city's western side. As the tourism authority likes to spin it, the terminal is "Sydney’s newest port located near the iconic Anzac Bridge and best accessed from James Craig Road in Rozelle". Which, translated into reality-speak, means it's at the intersection of no and where in terms of things to see and do in Sydney and it's a half hour bus trip before you can get to anywhere of interest. Oh, and there's no long term parking for people who are taking cruises. And, I can only reiterate, "yee haw".
The other difference is the sculptures down on the corner of the parkland. These are sculptures which supported, you will not believe it... foosball tables. Not your average plastic type, but sculpted types, made from various materials. The first day I saw them they were all uncovered, but when I went back with a camera the next day they were covered in a plastic tarp. They've since been removed, though the supports remain.
As for 2015? The 18th is a Sunday. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what the next 365 brings. Right now I'm just trying to make it through one day at a time, work-wise...
And The Year Before
The Year Before That
And Where It All Started