Putting It All Together

For a long time, too long in fact, I have been planning to organise my local images into some sort of manageable order. By local, I refer to photographs from around the coastal area where I have always lived and photographed for many years. Rather than having everything arranged folders according to the years they were taken, and lumped in with every other photo shoot done in that year, I finally created some new folders that had a much more logical format.

The new format sorts the images into location and has brought everything into a much more user friendly order. Just that simple process has made me realise that I have some great images and the idea hame to mind to put it all together into a form that would make it easier to appreciate them. With that simple process I decided to create a calendar and a book. The title would be “Bayside – From Black Rock to Parkdale” and so the project began.

Here’s the actual Introduction Page from the book:

Within this book you will find many beautiful images of a wonderful part of Port Phillip Bay, the eastern shores, from Black Rock to Parkdale. While Beaumaris and Black Rock fall within the City of Bayside and Mentone/Parkdale are part of the City of Kingston, I have concentrated mainly on photographing the Black Rock to Beaumaris area for quite some years until more recently.

My earliest photographs are of Half Moon Bay, Black Rock, my place of birth and where I spent my childhood. On the next two pages you will see two photographs, one in colour and the other black and white. I can remember very clearly the day I rode my bicycle as a teenager to take a few shots of the pier and boats moored in the harbour. That was in September 1964, some 50 years ago, and that very photograph appears on the next page. In those days it was black and white film, long before the invention of digital photography.

HMVS Cerberus 1965

HMVS Cerberus 1965

To celebrate the half century, I decided to re-visit the same spot to capture the effects of time and tide on the rusting hulk of the HMVS Cerberus. Upon arrival, I soon discovered that road making and building development meant that it was impossible to reproduce the exact same image. The main impediment was construction of the new Black Rock Yacht Club building that blocked a considerable part of the vista. To the best of my ability (and memory), I did manage to get somewhere near the same location and perspective in order to reproduce the shot.

GNE_0586 Colour Blog

The same location 50 years later.

A lot has changed in that time. The Cerberus has partially collapsed and much of it is now below the water line. Not to mention the considerable list to one side. The pier has been renovated and landings constructed for boat launching. Most of the old wobbly planks that formed the deck have been replaced with newer timbers that too are showing some ageing but nowhere the character that the old ones had.

A lot has changed in that time. The Cerberus has partially collapsed and much of it is now below the water line. Not to mention the considerable list to one side. The pier has been renovated and landings constructed for boat launching. Most of the old wobbly planks that formed the deck have been replaced with newer timbers that too are showing some ageing but nowhere the character that the old ones had.

The moored boats and Brewer’s Boat Hire with its orange clinker built boats has long gone as too have the floating buoys that they tied up to. Of course the car park has been remodelled, paved and parking fees now apply to all but the City of Bayside rate payers who now bear parking permits on their windscreen.

Well that’s progress I guess, but how much of the charm of the era flows back to you when you can see it all before your eyes in the form of a photograph, especially those that you have taken yourself. The area is a part of me and I am a part of the area, and I guess that’s where my passion for photography began.

Half Moon Bay, Black Rock

Half Moon Bay, Black Rock

The following pages of images depict the changing moods as captured by the modern camera and extend a little further than my first ventures on my bicycle. Rickett’s Point and Beaumaris feature in the middle section of the book, particularly around the Marine Park area where the measured mile marker, a maritime navigational aid, creates a point of interest. Now days the area is often visited by flocks Pelicans that find food and shelter in the little coves and rock pools.

Navigational Marker - Rickett's Point

Navigational Marker – Rickett’s Point

Pelicans Feeding - Rickett's Point, Beaumaris

Pelicans Feeding – Rickett’s Point, Beaumaris

Mentone Beach

Mentone Beach

Moving along further south we visit the beaches of Mentone and Parkdale where an old timber construction features in several images. Many people wrongly think it is the remains of the old Mentone pier, which it isn’t. Others also wrongly believe it is the remnants of the old sea baths, but these were located further north nearer Seagull Rock. A local historian believes that it is the remains of what may have been a timber construction covering and protecting an old brick storm water drain.

Whatever is was is a matter of conjecture, however, I do know that it makes an interesting subject to photograph on the shoreline. I don’t know how much longer it will remain in place as recent storms have damaged parts of it to a point where the local council may well one day decide that it should be removed as it serves no other useful purpose other than to amuse us photographers.

This area of the coastline underwent many changes over the decades. As mentioned, there used to be a pier at Mentone and Sea Baths at Parkdale and lovely craggy sandstone cliffs between the shore and Beach Road. The cliffs were blasted and re-aligned during the 1960’s for safety reasons due to erosion and instability. That is something that would just never happen in this day and age.

How I wish that I had been around with my camera to record more of the history of the area before it was destroyed by a combination of nature and human intervention.

Old Sea Baths and Mentone Pier in the distance

Old Sea Baths and Mentone Pier in the distance

Mentone - Parkdale Beach

Mentone – Parkdale Beach

These are a sample of some of the images I have accumulated over the years. Many more appear in the book and a selection were also used to produce a calendar. Both these item may be viewed on the following links.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/gregearl/calendars/12642051-3193-bayside

http://au.blurb.com/b/5591923-bayside-black-rock-to-parkdale-by-greg-earl

3 comments on “Putting It All Together

  1. Love these photos. I now live in Sydney in a beautiful spot which reminds me very much of my home in Black Rock. However I miss the people and “home” – these photos capture memories and the beauty of home. So thank you so much for posting! πŸ˜€

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