Dawn Chorus

As an overnight reporter, you sometimes get sent to jobs that aren’t all blood and gore. Very rarely, Friday night police round photographer Gordon McCormiskie and I would get to go and see something beautiful. Leaving the bowels of Western Sydney or seedy Kings Cross behind, we got to head to Bondi Beach for the Sydney Festival at the end of one of our shifts. At a time when most people were looking bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (apart from those who came straight from last night’s party), we dragged our overtired bodies, Gordon’s camera equipment and our radio (just in case some major accident or crime would require us to dash off in a flash) down to Australia’s most well-known tourist beach.

Hundreds of people were streaming onto Bondi Beach and, amongst them, a small group of a capella singers set up to greet the morning with classic and modern songs. It was a beautiful sight as the sun rose over the Pacific Ocean and seagulls dipped down past the Ben Buckler headland. But after being up for over 24 hours at this stage, the scene took on a slightly outlandish quality before my eyes. Distorted colours, undefined shapes in the semi-darkness, too many people in one place for the early hour of the morning. The shot below captures my impression quite well.

Local photographer Kent Mathews has also taken some eerie shots of the iconic beach. I also love the ethereal quality of his dreamscape images.

Dawn Chorus

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