My book The Victorian Planning System: Practice, Problems and Prospects is now available from Federation Press.
My book Movie Towns and Sitcom Suburbs is out now through Palgrave Macmillan.
Tagsaction movies animation australian film backlots bad movies blockbusters clampett clause 101 close analysis criticism disney documentary film as heritage herzog humour indiana jones james bond james cameron kael looney tunes lucas matthew guy miff mocap obituary peter jackson pixar planning in victoria planning news politics science fiction silent film simcity spielberg star trek star wars superheroes tarantino tintin trailers vpp reform welles westerns zemeckis zones
Follow / Subscribe
RCI Planning is my consultancy providing expert advice, VCAT advocacy and statutory planning services in the Victorian planning system.
Category Archives: Photography
As you might have noticed things have been quiet around here, with this site serving mainly as a repository for the occasional things I’ve written for Planning News. However, I do have a couple of biggish bits of news to update with.
The first is that I am officially now at work on a book. This has been coming for a while now, but I actually have contracts and so on all lined up now. The exact title and production schedule are still TBA, but it will be with Palgrave Macmillan and I assume is likely to appear sometime late next year. It will be based on my PhD research, which blends film and urban planning topics together to look at the interactions that have occurred between how we picture cities and towns culturally, and how we build cities in real life. Obviously I’m super excited about this, if only because it gives me a decisive answer to those who complain I never write about film any more.
The other news relates to the life changes I am making to get this done. For the last year I have been working part time in local government and part time at RMIT. While I have enjoyed this dual balance, it hasn’t been terribly well suited to doing the writing I wanted to (whether on my book or other projects likes this site). So with considerable regret I have now left my old local government job, after fifteen years in state and local government planning.
I’ll be filling the gap with some consulting work under the banner of RCI Planning. In the initial phase at least (while I write my book) my main target will be local government VCAT advocacy though the website lays out some of the other intended areas of practice.
We’ll see how this goes, but the hope is it will give me a bit more flexibility to do the writing and other projects I want to pursue. Who knows, maybe I’ll even start writing on film here regularly again.
I just discovered that my great uncle, Fred Mitchell, is selling his photos as prints on RedBubble. Fred’s photos have been a source of admiration in my family for years, but it’s nice to see them readily available somewhere that a wider audience can view and order them.
While his collection is very wide and full of good stuff, it’s his photos of mid-twentieth century Melbourne that I keep going back to: in addition to their intrinsic attractiveness, they are fascinating for their portrait of daily life in 1950s Melbourne. (One of his products is a calendar collecting together many of the best).
Just because, an assortment of photos of Leo, our kitten adopted from The Lost Dogs Home. He’s aged in these shots between about four and nine months.
Support animal shelters people!
The purchase of Instagram by Facebook the other week interested me, if only because I have been noodling around with the service myself in recent weeks. This fits my long-standing pattern of being just enough of an early adopter to leap on board something at the exact moment it becomes passé. At one level I can understand the incredulity about the price (a billion dollars is a lot to pay for a service thats only revenue plan seems to be “get purchased by facebook”) and about the merits of Instagram itself (Jon Stewart epitomised a widespread perspective when he described it as a “thing that kind of ruins your picture.”)
While its value to Facebook may seem dubious, I can see the merit of Instagram itself from a user’s perspective. It is true that at one level those filters are, at worst, ruining your picture as Jon Stewart says and, at best, just adding a cheap veneer of artiness. No doubt people will sneer at the Instagram aesthetic, driven as it is by gimmicks like the graininess, ersatz tilt shift, and old-timey colour filters in the image at the head of this article. Yet while the Instagram effects are in a sense cheap tricks, they are also doing something real, which is stripping the naturalism from the photo and making us see it with fresh eyes. I like that something so popular is making people look differently at their images, and stirring the realisation that even that naturalistic look from a good camera is not a neutral aesthetic choice.
Some snaps from my recent trip to New Zealand. Most of these are from the Routeburn Track. All are clickable for a better look over on flickr.
A round up of various photos that I haven’t posted previously.
In posting these I make no great claim for their quality. I know the difference between my amateur efforts and really good photography. But this is my site, so I post my photos, modest as my efforts are.
All are clickable for a better view over on flickr.
As a companion to my photos of deserted Disneyland, here’s a selection of shots of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Once again, for a sense of why this might be interesting, I suggest you look at my post about Disneyland as an example of urban design.
As I suggest in that article, I don’t think the design of the Magic Kingdom is nearly as successful as the original Disneyland, although this is hard to fully convey in a series of photos. The architecture is grander and more show-offy, and hence more vulgar and less charming.
A look at the architecture of Disneyland, uncluttered by visitors. Who says you can’t get away from the crowds?
If you’re perplexed as to why this would be of interest to anybody, I talk more about Disneyland at this post. You can see a similar set of shots for the Magic Kingdom at Disney World here, allowing you to compare the architecture of the two parks.
Photographic highlights from Canada. You can see some contrasting United States landscapes here. Click for a better look.