Friday, December 4, 2009

suburb No 13: Bankstown

My knowledge of Bankstown prior to this week? Shamefully almost zilch. What I did know, however,
was that it had an airport. And airports have planes. Which is why this week 52 Suburbs was able to
take to the skies for a different perspective on life in a Sydney suburb.

Established during WWII as a key strategic air base to support the war effort, Bankstown Airport 

today is a sprawling 313 hectare site with three runways and a whole load of businesses – including 
a handful of places that will happily transport you to the heavens.

With the help of the lovely Joel from Red Baron, my camera and I were lifted skyward in a plane 

that looked like it came straight out of a storybook  - a bright red open-cockpit bi-plane. Joel did
a quick pre-flight test, slapped a most unflattering Teletubbies type cap on me, and next thing I 
knew we were sailing into the ether. The cockpit is open so you’re breathing the same air and 
feeling the same wind rushing past you as the birds. I had to remind myself to take pictures because 
you could so easily switch off and lose yourself in the feeling of being so free. Fortunately I managed 
to keep snapping…

would madam like her cockpit open or closed?

hop in, it's a nice day for a fly

front row seat

Roger Red Baron, you are cleared for take-off

up up and away

fly like a bird

unleash yourself from your earthly bounds

Miro-like shapes are everywhere

can't I come too?

wide land

flying can be highly addictive

Red Baron you are cleared for landing

back to earth (can we go again?!)

a great way to see the world

We were only up for 15 minutes but it was a thrill. And that's without a single loop or twirl, the 
speciality of the house. Aside from Red Baron there are also a few other places in the airport to
learn to fly or just have a joy ride.

joy indeed

Santa's sleigh

what happens if I push the CRASH button?

where else?

And if you can't afford the real thing, there's always the $2 Shop.

you can always dream :: 1

you can always dream :: 2

When I’d come back to earth I did a quick scout around the suburb centre. My impressions: very 
Asian and Lebanese, faded yet colourful with a couple of nice ‘70s buildings and more butchers
than you’d know what to do with.

there's something about those 70's buildings :: 1


 there's something about those 70's buildings :: 2

an Akubra and a walking stick

hey slim


 red :: 1

red :: 2

red :: 3

red :: 4

Beauty in Bankstown? The surrounds are blessed with swathes of unexpected green and a nice big 
river. And the suburb itself has the same appealing colourful energy that so many multiculutural 
Sydney suburbs have. But for me the high point was most definitely in the heavens above.

You might like to visit...

Red Baron,, 9791 0643, Christmas specials available.

See you next week.


  1. Amazing new pics for this week- well done.

    Great to see Sydney from yet another perspective.

  2. Lucky you to go up in the Red Baron!
    So many photos here to love - red 3, hey slim,
    70's buildings 2, learn to fly.
    What kind of camera do you use?

  3. Hi freefalling
    Thank you, glad you like. I just changed from a Canon 40D to a Canon 5D. Credit card hasn't forgiven me quite yet but it's a great camera. Now selling the 40D if anyone's interested - also a great camera.

  4. Hi Louise,

    Love the pictures, they have a vibrant almost painted look (especially in the backgrounds), how do you manage that?

    I also love the people shots, the best bit of travel photography is seeing and meeting the people in these locations.

    Well done!

  5. Hi Rob
    I shoot in RAW so there's a fair bit of editing to do - generally I boost the contrast and exposure to get the crisp vibrancy and then play around with the colour temperature to get a look I like.

  6. What a thrill, and fantastic shots, i to love the technic or filter you have used on some of these shots, i would love to know more.

  7. Hi mel bomba
    Thank you. I don't use a filter - as I said in the comment above I make sure the contrast and exposure is up, so the shot is bright and colourful, then I experiment with the colour temperature - always tend to go for a slightly retro look. For example, the shot of me in the plane - I wanted to exaggerate the retro look to suit the old style plane - so just played with the temperature and contrast until I got that look.

  8. I just love your work, and how exciting to be able to go up in that plane!

  9. Hi!
    I just found your blog!
    I remember you came in to our hanger last year and took pictures of the helicopters! I just love the way they turned out!

    It's a shame I did not have a chance to talk to you... You are a very interesting person!
    I blogged about this post on my blog here Hope you do not mind.
    Thank you for the lovely pictures!

  10. Plushka - Glad you found me! Those helicopters are very cool. So sleek and spacey. And I love flying in them too. Gets the adrenalin going nicely.