In the hustle and bustle of life, we often overlook the simple joys that surround us. As a photographer residing in Australia, I have developed a unique New Year’s Day tradition that allows me to appreciate the quiet beauty that is often hidden beneath the daily chaos. Each year, on the first day of January, I jump on my bicycle and embark on a photographic journey through the deserted streets of our bustling metropolitan areas. It’s a day when the world seems to pause, and I capture the surreal, almost post-apocalyptic scenes that unfold before my lens.
One of the most compelling aspects of venturing out on New Year’s Day is the opportunity for unhindered cycling. While most people are still recovering from their extravagant New Year’s Eve celebrations, the roads are virtually devoid of cars, trucks, and machinery. It’s a rare moment when the usually congested streets transform into a tranquil cycling paradise. The sense of freedom and solitude that accompanies this experience is unparalleled.
The Australian summer graces us with its presence during the New Year, bringing with it a promise of glorious weather. The clear skies and abundant sunlight create ideal conditions for photography. The soft, warm light enhances the visual appeal of the cityscape, casting captivating shadows and illuminating hidden details. These pristine weather conditions are a photographer’s dream, allowing me to capture the city in its most flattering light.
As I pedal through the city streets, a sense of eeriness and stillness envelops me. The contrast between the deserted urban landscape on New Year’s Day and the bustling metropolis of any other day is striking. It’s as if time has temporarily stopped, offering a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where the remnants of the previous year are frozen in time. Empty cafes, silent parks, and motionless traffic lights create a surreal atmosphere that is both haunting and captivating.
To make each New Year’s Day expedition unique, I often choose a different film to accompany me on my photographic journey. Last year, I opted for Kodak Porta 160. This film choice allowed me to capture the subtle colors and textures of the cityscape in exquisite detail. The film’s fine grain and rich tonality added depth to my photographs, making them stand out as timeless visual memories of this special day.
Is this urban exploration a unique type of street photography you can get up to once a year? In a world that never seems to slow down, my New Year’s Day tradition in Australia serves as a reminder to cherish moments of stillness and solitude. As I pedal through deserted streets, basking in the warm summer sun, and capturing the quiet beauty of the metropolis, I am reminded of the transient nature of time. The images I capture on this day are not just photographs; they are visual representations of a moment in time when everything was on hold, and the past and future converged in a quiet, contemplative embrace. This tradition has become a personal reflection, a way to celebrate the beginning of a new year by embracing the beauty of stillness.