Posted by: gnangarra | 8 April 2011

Kimberley pipe line

To build or not to build(sorry Mr Shakespeare)

Western Australia is facing the same issue it faced in the 1890’s that is water supply holding back expansion of the state. In the 1890’s it was the discovery of gold being affected. WA had two people up to the task at hand, an engineer(CY O’Connor) with the gumption to say it can be done, the other was a politician(Sir John Forrest) with the balls to fund it even though it came close to sending WA bankrupt. The pressure resulted in the engineer taking his own life, the politician went onto bigger things but both are recognised/revered for what they achieved.

So whats happening now, the South west of WA had its dryest year on record, its warmest summer, its hottest March, more sunshine then previously recorded if it wasnt for 0.4mm of rain it’d have also recorded it longest period without rain. Our dams are dry, are rivers are drying up the Gnangara mound has fallen so low that the caves at Yanchep need to have water pumped into them to protect them. While looking at the Gnangara mound if we stop drawing water from it today it’ll take 50 years to recover to the point it was at 20 years ago.

Here WA sits having ridden a mining boom that saw amazing growth in the population and the size of Perth and many centres in the south-west, the only thing that stopped water being a major problem sooner was that WA had access to the water resources to cope with this expansion, even if it cause serious damage to the environment. We can’t sustain this growth through another mining boom. WA doesn’t have the ability to absorb the predicted population growth that’s needed to feed this new boom, it doesn’t have the people and it doesn’t have the water. Theres work being done to address the population issue, even if it’s not all that popular but for every person needed to fill a job theres two-three other people we need to cater for.

Theres are no more rivers to Dam, we can build more desalination plants, like wise we could tap the Yarragadee aquifer but do really want to go down the pathway of the Gnangara mound. There an alternative option its been thrown around in some form for the last twenty odd years, that bringing water down from the Kimberley where the Ord river discharges sufficient fresh water into the Ocean that it could refill Sydney harbour twice over, the Fitzroy river has a similar flow each year as well, both have dams in place though the Ord river dam is significantly bigger. To get the water to the SW there’s been two options put forward one is pipeline the other a canal, I prefer the pipeline because it has a smaller footprint on the environment that a canal and has less water loss to evaporation.

What holding WA back now isn’t the engineering, it isn’t the impact on the environment, it isn’t opposition by the wider community, it because some bean counter has said to get the water here either by pipe or canal will cost 5x as much as desalination or tapping the Yarragadee. Desalination is a high energy user that means a carbon foot print, Yarragadee is an environmental risk and has a limited life span before it too runs dry and becomes the environmental disaster that is Gnangara mound.

A pipeline taps a resources that renewed almost every year from a tropical rainfall pattern that’s exactly opposite to the SW rainfall pattern. You bring the water to the SW and pump it into the dams keeping them at around 60-75% of capacity that gives a buffer for both regions if ones has significantly dryer or wetter than average season. We’d see from this greater frequency in water overflow of these SW dam which will renew and flush the river systems, since three of the largest dams flow into the Peel inlet and Harvey estuary these systems will have environmental benefits as well. We could stop tapping the Gnangara mound for drinking water and let that regenerate, it may even possible to assist that regeneration by providing water to the few remain lakes. All a long what ever route is taken WA could expand, industries could be developed, and agriculture prosper this would also encourage greater population growth outside of Perth-Mandurah-Bunbury region and alleviate some more pressure on our environment.  Just imagine as agriculture industry that isn’t subject to the season issues of floods, cyclones that our current major growing areas are all to frequently destroy by think of how being in the middle of Australia will make it easier to access every market.  If we had such an industry think of the water that could be returned to the Murray-Darling system from the current irrigation industries, it’d revitalise not just WA but all of Australia.

You what we elect governments to protect us and our future to enable future generations to enjoy what we have and build on the benefits we’ve created. These government collect taxes to do this and we expect them to be conservative when spending those taxes but we aren’t shareholders looking for profits we are people looking to build a secure future.  That means we recognise that governments must spend and sometime that money isn’t going to have commercial returns the problem is that many departments are expected to act solely as commercial entities, even the WA police force has specific revenue raising based actions that take precedence over public safety and law enforcement that such actions are purported to be for. How can a government agency be expect to act in the interest of the people of WA  when its called Water Corp and primarily focused on making a profit(earning more money than it spends).

The dilemma we now face is that Water Corp has become profit orientated its lost its social purpose and that is to ensure that all Western Australian have access to a permanent reliable supply of water. Yes a pipeline will be expensive be, yes it will have high capital costs but it’s not about costs it’s about Western Australia’s development into the future,  it’s about ensuring that what we enjoy now, a safe clean reliable water supply will be available for future generations. That means that building costs should not be a factored into the supply costs, and they should never be included in the final cost of delivery because Western Australian will have already paid for the building of that pipeline, only the ongoing operating costs needs to be considered.  Like the goldfields water scheme of a hundred years ago there will be many benefits that will be delivered to WA in future it’s just that these benefits wont be in a form that the Water Corp can gather money from, that s why it must be built by the State for the State. The Federal government should also share in those costs because the benefits for  Australians(yeah Western Australians are also Australians) are clearly tangible and significant.

All we need now is an engineer with the gumption to build it and the politician with balls to fund it.

Posted by: gnangarra | 25 January 2011

January 25, 2011

Set out this afternoon to photograph some of the place in the Wikipedia category Requested Photographs in Perth Western Australia. I managed to get a few photos of a few places and visited another couple  but decided they weren’t in a presentable condition.

  • East Perth Power Station: An interesting Building partly renovated/restored, fences made clear shots difficult but there was a couple of angles where I could photograph over the fence,
  • St Annes Hospital, Mercy Hospital:In Mt Lawley has a beautiful view over the river looking south. The gardens are well maintained creating some very pleasant aspect to photograph the buildings. Like all public buildings especially hospitals taking photographs are a question timing and patients so that people privacy is respected, when taking photographs for something like Wikipedia when from past experiences media outlets will subsequently use the photographs you need to avoid the inclusion of people, (authors note: I was born at St Annes hospital)
  • Dilhorn House:unfortunately the southerly aspect(morning sun) and maintenance vehicles at the front meant that this location wasnt photographed today it’ll have to be revisited another day,
  • Dorrien Gardens:gates were open I was able to get some from the ground that included both the grand stand and the city skyline, also a useful plate out the front that detailed the history of the ground, that give the editors something to guide them with the expansion of the article,
  • Beatty Park: quick stop just grabbed a couple of the front of the buildings, noting its been scheduled to be renovated over the winter months must try to get back and get some photographs inside before then,
  • Leederville oval: bad timing morning sun would be better but traffic was congested another one the list of places to be revisited, but like Dilhorn house this will be a good subject or a sunday morning, since its only 5-10 minute drive between the two both can be revisited at the same time,
  • E & D Litis Stadium: started life in 1959 as a velodrome was used during the 1962 Empire Games(now Commonwealth Games) the original buildings from then are still there as is the basic structure of the track though the track surface has long since gone.  I quickly duck in through an open gate to take some photographs while doing this I met a fantastic and helpful person called Sam. He was surprise I even knew of the history and that I wanted to take photographs of the venue. Sam showed me through the buildings including the tunnel that led from the change rooms into the centre of track for the competitors and is still used today. The change rooms are the original ones from 1959 while maintained they are still in near original conditioned with only minor changes like replacing of tiles and upgrading power to todays requirements have occurred, though they do need some significant work due to the nearby ghost gums that caused some uplift and damaged the drainage systems, while its part of a heritage listed complex the reality of the ravages of time this building will probably become fodder for the bulldozers in the future.  Sam also show me through he current club rooms there are many wonderful photographs of teams from the 1960’s 1970’s that show the track still in place in the background, he told me that he photographs from around 20 years ago when E & D Litis gave the club the funds it needed to make E & D Litis Stadium the clubs permanent home. This included removal of the old track the rest of the seating that had deteriorated and was dangerous along with the lowering of the high banks where the seating once was. Even after all this work the original layout, landscaping is clearly visible. Just the time I spent today with Sam was is invaluable in both the access to photograph but also in being able to describe what changes if any have taken place in the descriptions,
  • Loreto Convent: was the next destination unfortunately my notes on its location meant I didn’t get there so it’ll just have to stay on the list of required photo until another day.

After taking these photographs I decided to join the regular Tuesday walk of Flickr photographers from the group:Photographers in Perth(PIP) this evenings walk was around Cottesloe beach we initially met up on the Cottesloe Groyne after the obligatory photograph across the water towards the tea rooms we headed south past the sun-dial down onto the beach then for some shots around the rocks before heading back north alone the road to the OBH(Ocean Beach hotel) after some toing and froing as the work crowd joined us we headed down onto the sand and walked north again before heading to MadLily burgers which were very nice. We then headed back along the road to the golf course where plans were made to head to northbridge for coffee.

Remember all my photo can be viewed on Flickr, all photos are copyright “Photographs by Gnangarra”, I will be uploading the Wikipedia photographs to Wikimedia Commons where they can be used in all language Wikipedias

Posted by: gnangarra | 7 October 2010

Preparing your house for photographs – Inside

Now we’ve prepared the outside of House its time to look inwards, I’ll presume that you’ve done the obvious cleaning of every room as you want to present your house in the best way. I’ll also make the presumption that the house being sold is the one you live in, I’ll talk about working with tennants in a separate blog.

What I’ll focus on is the little details that are there everyday and that you no longer see, remember you’ve lived in the house for a few years now and have adjusted to the little nuisances while making things comfortable and convenient. Firstly declutter as much as possible as it makes the rooms look more open and helps people to move around during home opens. When I say declutter I mean making the areas that people will walk thru open, as a gauge to decide if its open try wheeling a furniture trolley with an empty packing box on it through your house. If you can’t get the trolley through with ease then people viewing your house will have problems, and your walkways will look cramped in the photographs.

In every room

Lights look and work best if they have globes in them they also help me in lighting the room and make it more friendly than relying solely on my equipement, that aso goes for lamps as a lit lamp can add atmosphere to a room. With  mats and rugs make sure they are flat there’s  no rolled edges near walls and furniture, if they are either fix or remove it.

Shelving looks better if the books/DVD/videos/files are standing with the spines facing outwards and the same types are next to each other with volumes in sequence.  If the book doesn’t fit lay it flat with the spin facing outwards.  Check the labelling isn’t likely to detract or attract the wrong attention ie “Marijuana growers association newsletters” . With shelving its great opportunity while preparing to do some early packing of items that you’re not using, the same applies to wardrobes and kitchen benches.

Power cords that cross a room or run around a bench top are not a good look in photographs it says to the buyer that there’s insufficient power outlets available, or they havent been installed in functional positions .  In this case we need to remove them before the photographs are taken, but wait until I leave before returning them especially in open plan living areas as they can appear in later photographs. Powerboards and the cords associated with them need to be tidy, hide any excess cords unplug anything that prevents you doing it or thats stretched and visible like to lamps.

Curtain need to look like curtains, they need be to hung so that it appears all hooks are in place, blinds look better if all the slates are there and in good condition but with these there are multitude of ways to hide most issues, I’ll adjust these to suit the light requirements when I take the photographs anyway.

The Living areas

TVs, stereos, computers etc the cords should be tidy, remotes need a home the TV guide should be out of sight not laying on the table or stuffed down the side of the chair. The coffee table in the middle of the room should have minimal items on it, flowers or ornaments should be low in keeping with the purpose of the table. Coasters on a table look more harmonious if the number is even and the distribution is in harmony with the seating arrangement also if they have a holder then use it. Cushions should be arranged on the seating, bean bags should be removed from formal areas. Bar area glass should be aligned neatly, novelty items are better not seen and stubby holders should be positions to present the most neutral face. Packaging should be either complete and full or removed a six-pack with two bottles removed looks messy. Fridges look better nothing on them that includes on top and stuck on the door, though don’t panic the 300 fridge magnets you collected driving across Australia last year can also work. Ornaments and collectables are a wonderful feature but they can be either minimal in appearance or over the top cluttered just keep themes together.

The Kitchen

Benches should have as much as possible nothing on them except maybe a bowl of fresh fruit or a bunch of fresh flowers to add colour. Remove paper(bills notes etc) from fridge doors, and behind the phone, also remove that list of number for the shoot, I know I don’t want my home phone number displayed on a signboard in your front yard and I can guarantee your friends don’t either. Knife blocks look good if they are full with all  the handles of the same style, some times I will remove them if there’s an external door near by or they clash with the kitchen. Chopping boards leaning against the microwave, tea/coffee/sugar jars that aren’t a set or missing lids, tea towels hanging on the oven door, dish cloth on the sink, detergent in the window sill, plugs all need to removed.

The Dinning Room

In many houses now the dinning room really is just an extension of the kitchen or an area within the adjacent living areas. Basic neat tidy appearance, symmetrical layout of chairs around the table works well if the chairs so signs of use dont panic we’ll adjust them to suit the camera angle on the day. The table can be laid out as a formal setting, just have place mats and a vase of flowers on it or be completely blank. A candelabra can make an intriguing feature on any table the candles themselves need to consistent with each other and the presentation you create.

The Study

The study or home office is a room where we can accumulate many pieces of paper, letters and bills just by placing these in folders it will improve the appearance of the rooom. In/out trays and the stationary set are useful if they dont match put them out of sight, also the blotter make sure it has a clean sheet of card preferably in a plain colour we dont want your boss or a mates boss to see you’ve got the company stationary, do we! Its also room that we place stuff that we used infrequently but need handy like spare chairs, these can be moved out the room and returned as I photograph.

The Bedrooms

Make the bed, use linen thats a matching set put excess pillows in the wardrobe along with the bright yellow dolphin torch. Jewellery, watches, wallets, mobile phones and loose change  looks better if they aren’t there and why would you want to publicise what you’ve got and its location anyway. Shoes look better in a line and paired if there isnt a specific storage device for them draws and doors closed. Toys look great in kids rooms when they are neatly arranged as give life to the room though some in the adults room are best out of sight.

example I was photographing a house one day and the owners werent able to be there so they arranged for their Mother to let me in. While I was taking the photos she was walking aournd with me chatting as you do. I opened the oldest sons room, I think he was about 19 or 20 years old, his room was immaculate and well presented in the room there was a set of shelvess on the wall. On these shelves was a collection of ornaments granma looked in the room and commented that she never realised her grandson was into collecting china ornaments and said she will keep it in mind for christmas. I took the photograph then moved on to the next room, deleting the photgraph as I went. I never had the heart to explain to the grandmother that the ornaments were bongs and I suppose her grandson will be a little confused about his christmas present.

Bathrooms and ensuites

All clothing baskets will need to removed beforehand, towels should be the same colour hanging neatly on the towel rails not on the shower screen, floor mats on the floor if you wish but be careful about colours clashing. Ornamental despensors are a nice touch so are soaps and candles but ordinary plastic bottles, used soap cakes, sponges, and razors aren’t. Toothbrushes that are in a new condition in a special holder are fine,  plugs are another item that if they have holder use it. If the toilet is in the bathroom then the seat should be down and any covering should either match the room or be removed. Oh dont forget the air freshener in the window and to clean the exhaust fan covers.

We know that every house is unique just like every family is unique the suggestions I’ve made are a guide to serve as a starting point to help you get the most out of the photographs that I will take to market your house.  The preparation you do to take the photographs also assists you in preparation for the home open to come. The more you put into the preparation even spending a few dollars to store excesses items,  hire someone to help with the gardens or cleaning the house can result in a higher offer and a quicker sale. Talk to your agent and listen to their advice, they do this every day its what your paying them for.

So far I’ve made suggestions based on you living in the house your selling but thats not always the case I’ll address that in my next Blog

Posted by: gnangarra | 4 October 2010

Preparing your house for photographs – Outside

So you’ve decide to sell up and move on, you’ve spoken with you agent and signed up what happens next is important.

The agent is going to discuss marketing with you, some of the best marketing you can get  are listings on the internet at sites like To do that you want good quality photographs so request that your agent uses a photographer, like me. It takes about an hour to photograph your house which provides your agent with 20-30 photographs to use, for the best results you need to spend time making some preparations.

What are those preparations, treat it like you would a home open because that’s exactly what the photographs do, they make your home open on the internet 24 hours a day 7 days week. Also something to remember like a home open you wouldn’t leave your handbag and car keys on the benches or beside your bed unattended. You should also consider what you want people to see things like collectables, military and sporting medals, electronic equipment can be an attraction to some of the less honourable people in our community. Like wise personal things like photographs, parlour toys and smoking implements can be a turn off to potential buyers, a good photographer will notice such things and suggest they be removed, we’ll cover more on this in the Inside part.


Gardens should be made neat and tidy, mow lawns, weed paths and if time permits weed/mulch garden beds. Planting out seedlings will make the garden look nice in the months to come but doing it the day before the photo shoot wont, if you really need to fix a problem area used advance plants like potted colour and plant them close together. Even the best fertilisers take 7 days before they start to have an effect, NPK blue will make your lawn nice and green within 7-10 days when combined with regular watering but remember that after 21 days it’ll need to be mowed. Also if it’s a hot day water an hour or two before I arrive so that the plants wont look as wiltered, in winter ensure there’s no puddles on paved areas.

Coil up hoses place, bins out of sight if you’ve got a shed use it I don’t photograph in there and I choose angles that don’t show whats between the shed and the fence. For visual security put a lock on the shed door and any gates even if you don’t normally have them, why tell people they can access you property any time they like with ease. Garden tools need to be out of sight, if you have a dog pick up its droppings and fill in any holes. Pet cages like aviaries and rabbit pens should be cleaned out while I might not photograph them in detail a white streak down the wall or a pile of old hay tells potential buyers that you havent really looked after the property and that there maybe pest problems in their future.

The Entertainment area

The area used for outdoor entertainment needs to be tidy, the table should be clean with seats neatly arranged. Remove the accumulated clutter from the top of the drinks fridge, the bright coloured packaging associated with pesticides and herbicides attract the eye in a photograph you want people see the whole picture.  While there are many elegantly designed lamps to ward off mozzies, too many can send the wrong message, fly traps should be cleaned out preferably  removed as the bright colours that attract flys also attract the eye in a photograph.  BBQ should be clean, not only the cooking surfaces but also any fat collectors, the steel hood and the dust cover.

The pool

If you have a pool you have a wonderful enhancement to the value of your property all you need to do is make sure it doesn’t look like a burden to potential buyers, scoop leaves off the surface, running the filter for an extended period the night before hand to improve water clarity. Check the waters chemical levels, as well-balanced chemicals give that extra sparkle to the water making it look inviting. Remove pool covers but allow time for any water spillage to dry, likewise Kreepy Krawly type cleaners and the attached hose should also be removed from the pool. Around the pool remove anything that is on the fence and remove inflatable toys etc from the pool side, any furniture should be adjusted to look natural but neat. This also applies equally for Spa’s

The Garage, sheds

Unless there are significant features you and your agent want to highlight then I wont be photographing inside them, this makes it  a good spot to store things, remember to close doors and add locks were appropriate. If the garage is open to road then it’ll be photographed if it’s open to the back yard it may be in the background of photographs in such cases anything in there should be neatly stacked if its empty oil stains should be covered or removed.

Vehicles, other garden ornaments

While cars, trailers, boats, caravans provide a good gage as to the size of an area, it can be negative as well a 30ft Caravan or boat can dwarf the front of your house making it look small and cramped. With vehicles that are there things like doors, bonnets, boots should be closed and covers should be in good condition, ideally they’ll be behind the closed garage doors.  Gnomes, swans, angels and other statues add to the garden ambience and create interesting photo opportunities, if they aren’t staying with the house let me know. Ponds, fountains and water features need to be full and the water clean, a working fountain adds to the ambience while providing a focal point for the photographs, let me know if a water feature is being removed. Remember to collect your paper early and to empty the letter box of junk mail.


Timing is everything, consider what is the best time of day to maximise the light on the front of your house this is the primary(first choice) image that agents use on the internet to showcase the house, it’s also the one they frequently use in newspaper adverts and on shop front signage.  With timing if its bin day ask your neighbours if you can put your bin on their verge instead. If you have a park or school nearby don’t choose the times that children are coming and going as parents can be uncomfortable with someone taking photographs while their children are around.

An example I photographed a house that had a park & school opposite as part of the shoot profile the agent requested photos of the park, firstly I waited 20 minutes for the school to stop using the park, as I was crossing the road to take the photos recess started another 20 minutes lost.  After all of this I took a series of photographs, ten minutes later we had the principle knocking on the door wanting to know who I was, what I was doing and why, all the while warning me he had call the police.  I appreciate and commend the principle for his concern but I had to stop the shoot and download the photos to my laptop so that the principle could review each them and satisfy himself that no children were in the photos.

Now the outside of your house is ready to be photographed let move inside….

Posted by: gnangarra | 31 May 2010

Are you doing damage

With the on set of the wetter weather (we can live in hope) the little nasty known as Phytophthora cinnamomi or dieback is a soil borne water mould that rots the roots of plants is easily transfer on vehicles during wet weather.  Are your photographic adventures doing damage that you can’t see before you set off consider where your going and take care to reduce the spread of this disease. Ensure you clean your vehicle regularly including underneath. I recommend that you limit each excursion to one location and look for signs of dieback which are easy to spot as the tops of the trees are bare while the res of the plant appears healthy, unfortunately in Australia there is one other very good indicator of Dieback and that’s the lack of live Banksia trees in the understory which are particularly vulnerable.

When your off the road avoid puddles, where you cant proceed very slowly to minimise the amout of wash and spray At the end of your day before you even head home go through a car wash its even better if has ramps or underbody wash as the water and soaps used along with the disposal of the used water ensures that the you are less likely to transfer dieback any further. Dont forget to clean any equipment as you go brush your boots frequently, clean your tripod after each use as well as any other gear that has been on the ground and collected mud.

But dieback is not the only nasty you need to be careful of, the focus by many places to use geocoding to locate pictures on maps and satellite means that the photograph you get of that elusive flower is now a map to everybody else to follow in your foot steps. Consider if you want others to follow, when you say its at this location then illegal collectors now a place they know it was identified and a photo to confirm it. Also there are the just plain curious who just want to see it “in the wild”, this extra traffic not increases the spread of Dieback but also increases the amount damage that occurs when the number of people visiting increases.

Next time you find that elusive orchid, endangered spider think about how much detail you are willing to provide for the unknown followers.

example: The Western Australian Department conservation addressed these concerns when a new species of Banksia was discovered. 10 years on the only indication of where to find the species is a vague location approxiamatley 50km south east of Mt Magnet on a nature reserve and a sheep station with a combined area of around 500sqkm. Yeah you could work it out, you could even just explore the whole area but it took 100 years of settlement in the area to find it what are your chances like. They are even vague as to when it flowers saying that it flowers for a limited time but only if certain conditions occur yet they dont prescribe the conditions and the nearest public recording station is at least 50km away….

Posted by: gnangarra | 1 May 2010

to much Information


Maybe it was deliberate or maybe I just have a warped sense of humour, a recent visit to Northam included a stop at the Tourist Centre over looking the Avon River. This sign at the centre grabed my attention and left me wondering;

  • Do they keep the tapes
  • Do they sell them in the shop,(checked but couldnt find any)
  • What is the capacity of the Shower
  • have they gone digital, is the vision live on the web
  • And…why is there a bolt on the outside

Ok so it is just my sense of humour, but I still wonder what was the sign that was removed?

Posted by: gnangarra | 1 May 2010

Photographic sessions

Welcome to my first blog post on, this blog is following my photographic trips around Perth and Western Australia. As I do a public image photo shoot I’ll be blogging when where details along some example works and link to where to find the rest of the images whether its Flickr, Wikimedia-Commons, or Redbubble.

This particular collection of signs caught my recently when in Armadale, I thought it was a rather good move for parents with small children on a journey, beats trying to make a bottle on the go then find somewhere to warm it.