Friday, 9 April 2010

Of photography and maps

Easter has been and gone. We travelled but not far. I spent a lot of time looking at the hills through which we journeyed. I always enjoy going away with the family because Mr Blithe drives and I get a chance to look at the scenery. He loves driving so it is part of the holiday for him. I enjoy the break from chauffeuring (or is that chaufferage? No -- that sounds potentially odd/too interesting.)

Sometimes I try to photograph the scenery streaming past the windows. I have not yet mastered the art of the moving photograph. Everything is still so green. It looks pretty but I have been here long enough now to think a little anxiously of fire season. Here's an attempt where you can see the hills but also the grass blurring along the front of the image.

Back at work, one of my colleagues sent me a map that he had found of Ipswich in the 1840s. I'm helping to put together a presentation to help launch a new research project and we've been looking at images of how Ipswich has changed over time. I loved this map. The d'Aguilar Range marked on it is the range that marches across the horizon of my daily perspective. Limestone Street is still one of the main thoroughfares of town.

In many ways Ipswich is still the contained town shown and in other ways it has changed completely through administrative acquisition of vast tracts of new housing developments. The mayor has been in the news, spruiking the fact that Ipswich is the fastest growing area in Queensland. I admit to perhaps-false-idyllic small town nostalgia.

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