Drought? What Drought? by David McMahon

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I shot this on Bondi Beach, Sydney, on the Easter weekend in 2009.

Why? Because of the contrast between the metal and the powdery sand. I guess it’s also because this view is a complete contradiction of the fact that we’re accustomed to seeing propellers in or near water.

You can actually see the drag marks in the sand, at the bottom of this frame – and that’s the main reason I shot it as a vertical composition.

Notice how the metal flanges on the right-hand side actually resemble miniature shark fins?

I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 18-125mm lens. F8, 1/180 sec, ISO 200, focal length 88mm.

Featured in IMAGE WRITING, September 2009.

Featured in FOCUS ON NEW SOUTH WALES, August 2011.



sydney, propeller, bondi beach, prop

Walkley Award-nominated journalist, novelist and wedding photographer at

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  • mrcoradour
    mrcoradouralmost 5 years ago

    Great capture David, Great Detail, makes a grand scene.

  • Thank you, Malcolm. Glad you liked the result. I’m glad to see that it makes a significant pictorial statement.

    – David McMahon

  • Torfinn
    Torfinnalmost 5 years ago

    Excellent capture David!

  • Thank you, Torfinn. It caught my eye because it was such an unusual juxtaposition of objects.

    – David McMahon

  • janeymac
    janeymacalmost 5 years ago

    brilliant image and yes they do look like shark fins !!!!

  • Thank you, Janey – the light was very good that day, even though there was patchy cloud – so it was just right for the depiction I had in mind.

    – David McMahon

  • pat gamwell
    pat gamwellalmost 5 years ago

    Fabulous! Perfect setup/comp1

  • Thank you very much, Pat. I was just walking by the shore when I saw the Lifesavers’ rubber boat – so I wandered over, “saw” this image and framed it exactly the way I wanted …. I’m so glad you like the comp.

    – David McMahon

  • Helene Henderson
    Helene Hendersonalmost 5 years ago

    Great scene!

  • Thanks very much, Helene. The incongruity of this sight was what caught my attention.

    – David McMahon

  • E.R. Bazor
    E.R. Bazoralmost 5 years ago

    Wonderful photo and title!

  • Glad you enjoyed the shot. And thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the title as well.

    – David McMahon

  • John Vandeven
    John Vandevenalmost 5 years ago

    Ha Ha….Fantastic shot and great title David.

  • Thanks, John. In retrospect, I guess it’s such a common Aussie beach scene – so I simply HAD to depict it!

    – David McMahon

  • Betty Mackey
    Betty Mackeyalmost 5 years ago

    Interesting shot, especially as it compares with a shark fin.

  • Thanks so much, Betty. Glad you like the contrast – and the similarity to a shark’s fin!

    – David McMahon

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1almost 5 years ago

    Incredible capture~ excellent detail

  • Thanks very much, Cheryl. The metal really stood out against the colour of the sand, so that made it easier …. but thank you for noticing the detail.

    – David McMahon

  • Michelle BarlondSmith
    Michelle Barlo...almost 5 years ago


  • Glad you like it, Michelle.

    – David McMahon

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