Beginning in March, 2020, Victoria experienced lockdown on two occasions, with the result that the second time we were unable to travel more than 5 kilometres from home, over several months.

Living on the Peninsula was very different from being in Melbourne as I could still go to all the nearby beaches where I like taking photos. Lockdown meant that none of my usual activities – Tai Chi, the walking group and catch-ups with friends – could take place. As a result I had a lot more time to spend taking photos and walking to the beach. In March and April I would get up very early and drive to Blairgowrie bay beach before sunrise (i.e. I often left home around 5.45am), arriving at the beach in plenty of time to see the sun rise. The mornings were often stunning – I loved the quiet, the empty beaches, before even the dog-walkers arrived; I just had the birds for company. Two birds – a pacific gull and a white fronted tern – were at the beach most mornings and they invariably enhanced my photos. I felt the gull and tern got to know me and to be comfortable with my presence. One morning as I walked back along the beach, the pacific gull flew back and forth above my head, and then flew in a wide circle immediately overhead, as though playing a game with me. Since the beginning of lockdown, there have been more birds around, and they have seemed a lot calmer, particularly the seagulls, possibly because they are not being whipped into a frenzy devouring the chips people toss for them.

Some mornings I went to Sorrento Sailing Club instead of Blairgowrie; the pier made for good photos as the sun came up. Autumn is usually a great time for colourful sunrises, and I felt I took some of my best photos at that time. I confess to being a lazy photographer: I don’t take my tripod and on occasion balance my camera wherever I can.

The Fuji XT3 is a wonderful camera – I often manage to get birds in focus, even with a 16-55 lens, (and sometimes with the 55-200 lens). Below are a selection of photos taken at Blairgowrie or Sorrento.

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