Dockside / by Mario Mirabile

When I was growing up in Geelong, the waterfront near the city centre was still a working port. It's a different story these days. One of the main piers has been demolished, the other is a car park for the large restaurant perched at the end, and the wool warehouse where I lugged bales of wool one summer is one of Deakin University's campuses. They've even relocated a vintage carousel to the foreshore - I don't know what the wharfies that worked the docks would make of that. The gentrification of the waterfront includes many artistic touches - there are over 100 decorative bollards painted by local artist Jan Mitchell dotted over four kilometres, and the jetty pylons are now far more decorative than functional. 

I was in Geelong over the weekend attending the Victorian Association of Photographic Societies convention. The session I enjoyed most was an excellent presentation by local photographer John Conway, which really opened my eyes the possibilities of the area. What struck me most was that when I lived there I had never looked at the city and its surrounds through photographer's eyes. Either that, or the light is much better these days than it was in my youth.