WPC: Ambience

A subjective word meaning ‘atmosphere’. Not as in gaseous envelope, but more yer perceptions of what a place ‘feels like‘*.

At sea I tried often to catch the ambience of a sunset. In those days of film every shot had to work and every shot had to count—short of facilities I never had there would be no post-snapping tweaking.

I strolled onto the upper-deck with camera in one hand and coffee in the other and caught this moment—

RAN ship.png

—HMAS Parramatta lolloping quietly along with us. A pity they had their guns all droopy but that’s a very good way to have your gun sometimes, especially when there’s nobody around to impress. You can only imagine the ambience—warm, salty, sea tang, gentle lap lap splap of waves … and the promise of an icy cold beer when I went back below. You just don’t get ambience like that ashore.


of recent yesteryear. I love to try to capture it by snapping forgotten artefacts like this sign, painted on the side of the old once-was-a-cinema in Winton—

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 17.15.22.png

—hell, we lived with stuff like that! All very modern mod-connish it were too (ya don’t get washing machines like them these days, I tells ya!).

And behind me as I took the above, but closer to the ratty little alleyway that leads to the main north-south highway—


—that doorless doorway being the entry to the underworld alley; you can imagine the ambience felt by punters as they came through for their whatever it was that Reflections traded in. Beauty Parlour, I think … shut for a wee while now, hence all the spiders. Spiders too add to ambience. Brrr.


carried on walking. Having passed through the graveyard (saying ‘Hi’ to the deceased—dunno why I bother, they never answer, never call, never write) I moved into terra incognita exploring a gravel road that I’d not footed before. I remember such roads from the days when they were all we had in NZ, once outside of city limits. For reasons I never figured they always developed oodles of parallel ridges that if hit at the right speed would make your passengers’ teeths rattle—


—and the more you tried to avoid them the worse things got. All good clean fun—I remember having to release a spare wheel from under the car once, and when I finally got it to drop there came a cascading avalanche with it. Aaaah, those were the days, Jim Lad~!


for POE and GW to all men has now passed, but I managed to try to capture the ambience of the Winton Christmas nativity scene by night—

JC 1.png

—which from across the road on a tripod looked much like this. A nice capture of the miracle of Christmas lighting, and a shot that is the very proof of Murphy’s Law (as applied to Argus and tripods at night).

So now we’ll duck back to the park for the ambience of motherhood, fatherhood, and soggy baby feathers cruising an aromatic world—

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 17.25.20.png

—and to appreciate the ambience of the Queens Park pond you have to be there breathing deeply (not an adventure an intelligent punter would care to repeat).

I go there often in the vain hope that one day I’ll find a duckling who stays in focus … and to hell with the ambience; live for the thrill of the chase, I always say. (It’s all you can say after the ambience of that pond, I tell you—quite a challenge).

boom-boom* Sort of.


5 thoughts on “WPC: Ambience

  1. Your sunset shot is a bit of a corker, Argie. Not often do you get to see such wonderful vessels cruising along the orange-tinged horizon. No, not your ordinary sunset shot at all. I can only imagine that you must have a very impressive collection of photos from your navy days. You ought to post more of them, assuming of course that you have them all scanned into your computer. I’ve only done so with a few of my analogue prints. Bill on the other hand has been extremely diligent in that respect. I get sidetracked far too easily…

    I like your other little naval cruisers too, replete with wee fuzzy, out of focus-looking ducklets. Lovely!

    I was trying to work out what was going on with the Nativity scene though. The odd construction on the right looked like an illuminated Eiffel Tower. What is/was it…?

    1. Hah! I don’t think anybody knows, but the clue: the firm concerned deals in earthworks, concrete, and construction. I think it’s a whimsical something …

    2. Rotten ducklings~! I’ll see if I can bracket the focus next time. If ever I can get the little quackers to be still long enough.
      Next spring, perhaps …

      1. I remember you saying it was nigh on impossible to shoot a duckling in focus due to its latent fuzziness. Surely you must be able to get their bills all nice and sharp? Mind you, like most creatures they fidget a lot.

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