I really wanted to see the world in black and white for this theme so I switched my camera to monochrome mode.  Whilst the image is still colour when you look through the viewfinder, what is captured on the screen is in black and white.  I then discovered it reverts back to colour when downloaded to Lightroom but I still saw the shot in black and white.  I was thinking more about contrast and texture rather than colour and vibrance when taking these shots.

All my shots were taken at the same location, the HMAS Sydney memorial in Geraldton.  I was lucky to spend two days up there last week and visited the memorial at night and sunrise.  There’s something very special about memorials, it makes you slow down and think, be respectful of those who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice and be thankful for what you have.  I was alone during my visits to this memorial, which so beautifully remembers the 645 men who were lost at sea off the WA coast.  It was peaceful and calm, although very cold and windy,and for me, it really suited being shot in black and white.

POOL OF REMEMBRANCE – The pool was the final element added to the memorial once the location of the ship had been discovered.  I enjoyed watching the water cascading into the pool and creating foamy texture on the water surface.

DOME OF SOULS – This huge dome is made from 645 gulls, one for each of the lost sailors.  It’s stunning at night but with no tripod and shooting hand-held only, I wasn’t happy with my shots.  At sunrise, a beautiful golden light hit the gulls and against the blue sky it looked stunning.  In black and white, it looked just as good.

WILLIAM – There is a wall listing the names of all the men, but it was this little wreath of plastic flowers which put a face to a name and made it all seem so real.  William’s family had left the flowers in a corner of the memorial, his name and photo hanging from a ribbon emblazoned with the words LEST WE FORGET.

STELE – This huge structure represents the prow of the HMAS Sydney as well as symbolising a grave marker.  The Australian flag flies proudly atop.

WAITING WOMAN – She no longer waits, but watches over the final resting site of the ship.  When she was placed within the memorial, the site of the wreck was unknown.  As fate would have it, her gaze stares right towards the ship’s grave.

The memorial to honour and remember the sailors of the HMAS Sydney is really lovely.  Visit if you’re in Geraldton or find out more here.

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