It is one clear morning at Sydney Harbour. The sunrise is always energising. And it still amazes me that there are more of the Opera House scenes to be photographed.
There was an episode in my life that I managed graveyard shifts at a 24-hour restaurant in this tourist spot and finished at 7 am. Although it was an odd hour, I got a chance to absorb the tranquility of the harbour without the crowd. It was truly inspiring. Still is.
It is quite calm on the boat ride to Full Moon Party in Haad Rin. It is the same route as I took in the morning but with the moonshine behind the cloud, reflecting the sea. It feels strange that this tranquillity will drop us off to the beats of chaos.
I always have a mix feeling about big parties. There were times I took photos of dance parties in Sydney I was not sure I was fond of them them but got photos I really liked. They are bits and pieces of basic human nature I pick up from them.
I only work on the camera phone this time. The main challenge is to stay up all night to catch the dawn, the most photogenic scene. I have done so in a past assignment but this time with the sun rises in front of you.
I stick to a electronic music area, which is not too crowded and have some chats with other partygoers. I surprisingly enjoy myself in the party.
I finally make it to Thailand after six years of moving to Sydney. It is a bit of culture shock for me. The new international airport, Suvarnabhumi, is so huge that it takes 40 minutes to walk to the immigration. The duplicated paintings of famous Thai artists’ artworks are enjoyable. Anyway, the selection is quite narrow, just representing the beauty of old Thai lifestyles and values and losing the touch of modern Thai culture. But you cannot win a tourist propaganda, no doubt. They will see the chaos and fall in love with it when they pass these posters anyway.
I stay at my brother’s house which is not far where I grew up. The morning sunlight beam from the back into the house intrigues me. It is an empty marshland behind the wall in the back. There are still places like this in the working class suburb even though the area is more occupied by people. I actually hear birds that I did not notice before making photographs in Sydney. Photography does not just teach us to see but also to listen as well.
When the evening falls, old friend of mine gather at the place for a few drink but we decide to move on because another party is singing Thai karaoke country-pop songs and sharing it to the entire neibourhood. No one seems to mind except us.
At a beer garden, I have to try this new invention. It is a 3-litre Singha decanter, keeping the beer cool with an ice tube in the centre of the cylinder. We do not have to put ice in the beer anymore. Have I mentioned we put ice in the beer? 7 hours drinking is the way to go on the first night in Bangkok.
The largest ocean liner, Queen Mary 2, visits Sydney Harbour for the first time. The same day, her sister ship, Queen Elizabeth 2, also arrives. For the first time since WWII, two Cunard’s ships meet in Sydney Harbour. This event attracts thousands of Sydneysiders to see the two Queens along and in the Harbour.
Each dawn has its own unique dramatic sequence. I feel blessed every time when morning ray shines on my face. This one is at Trinity Beach 20 km north from Cairns, Queensland.
The first post of 2006 has to be sunrise.