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Photos of Portals

Updated on February 4, 2011

Photographs of Entrances & Exits

One door closes, another opens. Or not. When I see an interesting portal, I photograph it.

Here are my best portal photos, assembled for you to peruse and ponder.

Some are whimsical. Some are fun. And some are even haunting. I hope you enjoy this gallery and warmly welcome your comments.

Grate Expectations - Within without.

photo old grate brick gutter footpath sidewalk warehouse
photo old grate brick gutter footpath sidewalk warehouse

This air vent grate has been mouldering for a century. Despite the modern coating applied 15 years ago, nature's taking its course and things are getting elemental. When a wayward foot knocks this portal open, what will emerge? And what will venture within?

Through the Wire - Escape to a brighter world?

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I'm no fan of mindless graffiti tags. But this gap in the wire caught my eye. When I saw the green grass and blue sky beyond it, I imagined that one kid had made an opportunity for himself and gone on to better things. A long shot, I know. But I am a writer!

Tower Shot - The liquid lead dropped here was highly pelletable.

photo abandoned Abbotsford brick shot tower broken window
photo abandoned Abbotsford brick shot tower broken window

Here's a window into the top of a very tall shot tower. The liquid lead cooled into pellets as it fell earthwards. It was then gathered up and, I assume, shot at pesky wabbits. Compare the lovely brickwork to today's concrete tilt-walled monstrosities. Note the chequering and faux crenellations. They don't build 'em like this any more. Wish I could get up there for a closer look ...

Into the Breech - A powerful shot.

photo 1915 Krupp field artillery gun breech
photo 1915 Krupp field artillery gun breech

A sunny day. A verdant park. And a grim weapon of mass destruction for kids to climb. Herr Krupp certainly built his guns to last. Despite almost a century under the Australian sky, field piece No. 548 barely has a scratch. How many lives passed through this portal with each artillery shell?

The Road Less Travelled - Yes, that's how we spell it in Australia!

photo of blue gate, green grass, lane and blue door
photo of blue gate, green grass, lane and blue door

I've been so busy with work, I've not been out photographing for weeks. After a fairly meagre result yesterday, this scene grabbed me as I headed home. Funny how that happens sometimes.

Smash & Grab - A window on today's youth.

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The late afternoon sun lifted this stark concrete tower. It's obvious a lot goes on when the sun sets. I like how one shaft of sunlight enters via the smashed window to illuminate a square patch of graffiti above the silo.

Anty Freeze - Holed it!

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These little guys are small as. Guess it comes with the territory.

Stairway to Heaven ... - Or whatever YOU may call it.

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There's no escaping the fact that this photo is over exposed. Yet the flaring light, coupled with the unusual steps, suggests more than a literal interpretation. When I walked my dogs up this path and into the sunshine, it did feel pretty amazing. So you never know ...

Steel & Glass - Beauty's where you find it.

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From the filth of a shabby bathroom comes light and shade of the first order. A rainy dusk made moody lighting while the vegetation gave a fascinating foil to the hard, man-made surfaces. In the web, a spider silently prepared for her dinner guests.

PS. This room belongs to the pub in which they shot the drama series Offspring. But don't tell them I told you!

Draining - Be swept away.

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A pretty ordinary subject is saved by details. The leaves and other detritus, pushed past the portal by a heavy rain. The tin can, hanging on by a thread. The foreground grass, stubbornly surviving in a sea of asphalt. The pure, impenetrable black of the void. I think this photo has earned its place. Do you?

Driven to Tears - Hurry up and stop.

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Driving to Geelong. At dusk. In peak hour. In the rain. On the Westgate Freeway. NOT my idea of a good time. Still, I got a portal photo. Always take a camera!

Down Stairs - Come on down!

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This is the ruin of Melbourne's first power station (the wooden superstructure burnt down ages ago). It was a water-driven mill that also ground flour. The primitive turbines are still down there - covered in rust and pond weed. A fascinating photographic subject.

Niche Market - The beauty of focus.

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If you go down the stairs featured elsewhere on this lens, you'll find this fellow (and rather a lot of his friends). Up high, surrounded by sheer walls and water, this spot couldn't be safer.

How High's the Water, Mama? - Remember how I said that spot couldn't be safer? Well ...

We had heavy spring rains a few days ago. And sleepy hollow was transformed into a whirlpool portal of an altogether different hue. As this video footage shows.

Lightning Quiz

Are you having fun yet?

See results

River Slide - Could you find a more tempting door to the other side?

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I didn't know a plain old storm-water drain could look so fetching. The draping greenery helps. And the water reflections. The foreground flowers seal the deal. Where's my torch?!

Trapped! - Whatever's down there, it ain't coming out!

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Last night I went to an Irish pub in Geelong. It was open mic night and very well patronised. This floor and trapdoor looked very old, and the stage lights picked out the pits and scars in the wooden boards just so. The feet belong to Suey and Adam.

Back to Bali - Paradise lost?

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Bali was a big disappointment for me (and perhaps vice versa). This rubbish shute belongs to one of the rash of villas that is steadily consuming the rice paddies of Seminyak. The water in the channel carries the trash far and wide - right into the fields themselves.

Pigeon Hole - Somewhere to go when you're ... pooped

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Shots like this make me realise I've a LOT to learn about photography. Even so, I reckon the flight, faces and faeces are interesting elements despite my lack of technique.

Yes, they're pests ...

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But aren't they cute?!

Tree Mail - Scary, no?

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I find this portal a bit creepy. Is it because we can't see what lies within? Or is it a throwback to the spooky woods of so many childhood tales? I welcome your thoughts. BTW, check out the crazy mutt at bottom left!

Bird's Eye - Twelve years in the making!

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I've walked past this nesting box almost every week for 12 years. Today I finally saw a denizen at the door of this little home. Fabulous!

Bricked In - Another slightly disturbing one?

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I wish I'd photographed this before it got painted over. It's lost a lot of its character, but I still find it very intriguing. I've no idea what it's for. Or if it's still in use. How about you?

Daisy Wheel - Do you believe?

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To see this as a portal, you need a robust belief in the wee folk. I was startled that such a bog-ordinary weed could produce such a bright circle of colour. Let me know what you think below.

Your View

Does this floral array constitute a 'portal' in your view?

See results

World's Smallest Sinkhole - Fasten your seatbelts!

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I was going to call this photo 'Square peg' but world events gave me a better idea. I took a dozen close-up photos of this phenomenon, but none captured every facet. There was literally too much going on!

The 'cavern' is a full-on micro-environment, complete with moisture, detritus and critters. The woodgrain tells its own stories, and the lichen ... well let's just say we'll cover the lichen elsewhere.

Footage from The World's Smallest Helicopter

Going to Ground - Square hole in a round pond!

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What an odd thing to find in a bush billabong. I wonder about this portal every time I pass it.

None Shall Pass! - Here's a security door with the lot!

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Yet rust - that slow, silent fire - has been working the hinges and seams. I'm fascinated by detritus and decay. This door fairly screamed to be studied. Now we have. Imagine what's behind it!

What do YOU think?

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    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      I came back for a second look! What a wonderful series of photos! They bring out the dreamer and wanderlust in me :-)

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @GeorgeneMBramlage: What a lovely review, Cercis! You honour me. :)

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 6 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Marvelous photos! Clarity and colors are wonderful. You have a keen eye and powers of observation. And I appreciate your commentary. Cercis

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @alyssa87: Thank you very much! :)

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      alyssa87 6 years ago

      great piece of work :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Thank you, Darcie. You sure are good at showing your appreciation and support. Thanks a lot! :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Clearly I love this lens, as my face is seen on it more than a few times. Back this time with some fairy dust ~ and off I go again -:)

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @deyanis: Well, you're certainly improving my morning! Thank you for your generous words! :)

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      I've never seen so many portal pictures in one place, two thumbs up for you for capturing great, interesting portal shots and telling us the story for each portal. The anty freeze is so cool, you definitely have a great eye for detail. --- Blessed ---

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @myraggededge: Thank you! I'm so pleased to hear you like the notes. I've tried lenses with some notes, no notes and lots of notes. This one seems to have found the right balance. :)

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 6 years ago

      You have an eye for a portal, that's for sure! Very interesting and thought-provoking. Love your notes for each photo.

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @clouda9 lm: Thank you very much. That is such an encouraging comment to receive! Best regards, P. :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      some really cool pics

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      Each one of your portals has a story of its own too. Loved the shots and the stories I started imagining in my head. My Angel Blessing today is SWAH :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Many thanks, Ricky! :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @sirkeystone lm: Thank you, James. I appreciate your support very much. :)

    • sirkeystone lm profile image

      sirkeystone lm 6 years ago

      It could be fun to favorite so many good lenses! Easy way to return the favor... (I just can't open so many at once, low bandwidth on my end! heheh)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you, Steven, I agree. That camera is an absolute ripper. And I haven't even got past Automatic Everything yet! Best regards, P. :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Just shows how good your photography can be with out having the most expensive camera. Great photos, and a great subject. Thanks for sharing them.

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @thesuccess2: Then you've certainly come to the right place! Thank you. :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @ideadesigns: Such kind feedback! Thank you! Yes, not every shot is a winner. But I'm hoping to improve with practice. Your bookcase idea is excellent. So nice to see we're on the same ... page! :)

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      ideadesigns 6 years ago

      You have such a great focus! Sure it probably doesn't happen every time, but you capture those portals great! I like them all. I'm thinking about the shadowy holes between books on a book shelf where do they go? You like the outdoors so do I. Great lens :)

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      thesuccess2 6 years ago

      I love "doors to nowhere" . Great Lens

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @EuroSquid LM: That's very generous of you! Freud would probably say I was envious of my father's camera. Or something. Many thanks for visiting. :)

    • hunksparrow profile image

      hunksparrow 6 years ago

      Amazing and unique photos. Can't wait to check out more of your lenses.

    • EuroSquid LM profile image

      EuroSquid LM 6 years ago

      Wonder what Freud would say about this lens? Doesn't matter. I gave it a thumbs up and Angel's blessing.

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @hunksparrow: That's a very generous comment. Thank you for making it! Best regards, P. :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @anonymous: It's great to hear you say that, Mark. Many thanks! :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great photowork. Very interesting theme.

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @PizmoBeach LM: Many thanks for saying so. I appreciate it very much! :)

    • PizmoBeach LM profile image

      PizmoBeach LM 6 years ago

      Some amazing photos. You have a great eye (as they say).

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @JenOfChicago LM: Thank you, Jen; that's lovely to hear! :)

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

      You're a great photographer!

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Another generous soul graces my lens. Thank you too, Darcie. Comments like yours are the icing on my cake! :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @ChrisDay LM: You are so supportive, Chris. Thank you. It was a wonderful surprise and certainly a shot in the arm. Stay tuned for more pics! Best regards and thanks again. P. :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      That is fabulous- congrats Paul, well deserved. A purple portal cow lens indeed.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Congratulations on an extremely well-deserved purple star. The first of many, I hope! I couldn't be more delighted for you. As you say, a great kick-off to 2011.

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @mikerbowman: You write the best comments! Thanks for yet another one. It is indeed fun wandering around my less-than-salubrious suburb finding these treasures. It gives me great pleasure to know kind souls like you are digging the scenes. Best regards, P. :)

    • mikerbowman profile image

      mikerbowman 6 years ago

      Paul, your lenses never cease to amaze me. I think this is my favorite one so far! You always seem to find the coolest shots in such mundane locations... you are truly talented!

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Onya, Darcie! Thanks very much! :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @ZenandChic: Nice to see YOUR smiling face again! Many thanks! :)

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      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Love it, thanks Paul!

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      Patricia 6 years ago

      Great pics!

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @ChrisDay LM: Hi, Chris. I'm not sure why this concept works, but it sure seems to be hitting the right note with people. It's a wonderful topic to photograph; I never know where it'll take me next. Your theory is as good as any I've heard. Thank you for tabling it. :)

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      You have some really great shots here. The idea of transition from one phase in life to another or of a journey is fascinating. Is it because the travelling is better than the arriving and with these shots, the travelling's all still to do?

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: Thanks a lot, Darcie! With comments like yours, how can I not?! :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @grannysage: That's jolly decent of you, Diane. Thank you for the honour! :)

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      grannysage 6 years ago

      I love portals. These are some really interesting ones. Lensrolling to the Portal to the World of Grannysage.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      Love the newest addition to the portal pics - keep 'em coming -:)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @anonymous: That is such an encouraging comment. Thank you very much! :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      An amazing collection of pictures, some almost haunting. This was a lot of fun.

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @JakTraks: Thank you for your feedback. It's much appreciated! :)

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      Jacqueline Marshall 6 years ago from Chicago area

      Great photos. Love Bird's Eye.

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @darciefrench lm: That's wonderful to hear, Darcie! Comments like yours make this lens worthwhile! :)

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I went through each of these portals and loved what was on the other side. Wonderfully engaging lens.

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @CliveAnderson LM: Many thanks for your very welcome comment, Clive. I greatly appreciate it! :)

    • CliveAnderson LM profile image

      CliveAnderson LM 6 years ago

      Very interesting concept and subject, I especially like the mindset of the portal idea, "who knows what lays beyond?" Great lens thank you very much for sharing...

      Warm Regards,

      Clive

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @Tarra99: Thank you. I'm so pleased you like it! :)

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      Tarra99 6 years ago

      congrats on the new addition to your bird house ;o)...I love his coloring!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      @PaulHassing LM: I'll just have to do that!

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @anonymous: You are so ace, Tipi! Thanks for yet another wonderful comment. :) If you liked the daisy wheel, be sure to check out my Photos of Yellow lens. There's a daisy photo there that'll take your head clean off! Best regards, P. :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Did you put the daisy wheel here just for me? My favorite flower! Another outstanding masterpiece my friend! I love every bit of it and I learned a new word, "detritus". Now I'm wondering about lichen.....and what your plan there is.

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @ShamanicShift: I'm delighted you feel the same way, Elizabeth. It's wonderful when I hear that a lens resonates with someone such as yourself. Many thanks! P. :)

    • profile image

      ShamanicShift 6 years ago

      Many everyday openings beckon me to go deeper, every day!

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @adamnrave: You are very clever, Ad. Thank you! :)

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      adamnrave 6 years ago

      I'm with Margo the Fletcher. Great stuff. Straight and true. Carry on!

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @MargoPArrowsmith: That is very encoraging, Margo. What a lovely thing to say! Thank you very much. :)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I just love your pictures! The more I see the more inspired I get!

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @BetsiGoutal1: Thank you, Betsi. I hadn't thought of that. I thought Zazzle was mainly T-shirts. Can you sell photos through them too or something? Best regards, P. :)

    • BetsiGoutal1 profile image

      BetsiGoutal1 6 years ago

      Cool pictures! You should set up a zazzle shop with these shots, if you haven't already. :)

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      Paul Hassing 6 years ago

      @unstucktheory: Thanks, Sammie. It is hard to know how much to write with these photos. I've tried no comments, short comments and long comments. I'll get there in the end. Thank you for visiting. :)

    • unstucktheory profile image

      unstucktheory 6 years ago

      Loved this lens - the concept, the photos and your entertaining comments! The Bali photo really drew me in to start with, but once I read your comment and realised what it was all about it became a little uneasy, portraying an uneasy truth I guess.

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @OnePhoto: Thank you! That's high praise, given your obvious love of cameras. :)

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @dustytoes: Thanks very much for your detailed comment, dustytoes. Melbourne has a Cave Clan that loves to explore our underground system of drains. I'm not that keen. In fact, I'm simultaneously drawn and repelled by that pipe. I agree about the billabong portal. I'm going to get some footage of that at my first oportuntiy. Best regards, P. :)

    • profile image

      OnePhoto 7 years ago

      Great shots, liked it all!

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 7 years ago

      A totally interesting way to look at things. I can't believe you'd like to investigate inside that large drainage pipe. The tree photo reminds me that I have many tree photos myself that include "portals" and that odd hole in the "bush billabong" is the most creepy in my opinion. I very much enjoyed this lens!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Test Comment

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      GrowWear 7 years ago

      @PaulHassing LM: Awww. Thank you. ...Standing by.

    • PaulHassing LM profile image
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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @adamnrave: Thank you, Ad! Dare I call them 'pretty portae'? I haven't been game to take my camera off Auto yet. I do have the manual, though, so I should be able to break a lot more stuff soon! I greatly appreciate your comment, as always. :)

    • profile image

      adamnrave 7 years ago

      Loving your latest portals (porta?). I think the overexposure is the point with your stairway. And breaking photographic rules is what it's all about. Please carry on. I'm enjoying the ride.

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @DecoratingEvents: Thank you, Mandee! How nice to know we're on the same page! Best regards indeed, P. :)

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      DecoratingEvents 7 years ago

      The stairway, overexposed and all, is my favorite. It makes me see hope and possibilities. Thanks for sharing.

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @delia-delia: You are so encouraging! I feel like grabbing my camera and heading back out right now! Thank you. :)

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      Delia 7 years ago

      absolutely great shots! you have a real good eye and perspective...can't wait to see more..very entertaining!

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      Dear GonnaFly, sunworld and Color_Expert, what a lovely surprise to wake to your kind messages of interest and support. I'm so pleased this concept is resonating with you. Your generous words will inspire me to greater efforts. Thank you! :)

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      Jeanette 7 years ago from Australia

      What a fascinating collection of photos and an intriguing topic. Well done.

    • sunworld lm profile image

      sunworld lm 7 years ago

      What a wonderful concept for a lens. Original and nicely formatted. It brought to mind something I once read about Jim Morrison and the Doors first business card, it read:

      "There is the known and the unknown and inbetween are the doors."

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      Kate Smith 7 years ago from Ashburn, VA

      Great images and interesting ideas make for a great lens. Thanks for sharing and for stopping by one of my lens. Hope to see you again soon.

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @adamnrave: Trust you to take it to the next level, Ad! What a great extrapolation. Never even thunk o' that'un. :)

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      adamnrave 7 years ago

      The world's smallest sinkhole is on the world's smallest, most-sheer sided mountain. Love the ecosystem within ...

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @VBright: Thank you, Veronica. That is extremely encouraging. Now I have no choice but to keep going. Cheers for the support! :)

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      VBright 7 years ago

      What an exceptional lens! I loved the Birds Eye photo. You have some exceptional pictures and insights. I look forward to seeing more.

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @GrowWear: Wonderful to receive your visit, Mimi. I love it when that happens. I'm glad you find these images intriguing. They get me every time. I will mount a second expedition to see if I can get the footage you seek. Stand by! Best regards, P. :)

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      GrowWear 7 years ago

      These are just fascinating. The pond hole...I wish you'd film it like you did the smallest sinkhole. ...That is the first time I have ever seen such. Where does that water go? And the dog, can't forget the dog. He's scoping you out but good. :D

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @JourneyJottings: Hee hee! As it was a state of emergency, local regulations had been relaxed. Besides, when you consider the SIZE of these doggies relative to the helicopter, who was going to catch them?! :)

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      JourneyJottings 7 years ago

      Love the homing in vid with the clear as day (on both sides of the sinkhole) that its an 'On lead' area and there are a couple of pooches running around in the background -

      Whoever could they belong to? LOL

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @adamnrave: Thanks again, Ad. I do feel I'm onto something here. Intriguing photos with pithy descriptions - wrapped in an easily digested theme. I'm already planning Photos of Green. Watch out for that one! Best regards, P. :)

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      adamnrave 7 years ago

      A fabulous series. And I concur with nukem there, that the force is strong with you. LOVE the graffiti door ... the Shadow's Lair perhaps? And the fairy ring. Oh, I believe ... great stuff ... keep them coming ...

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @WildFacesGallery: I'm so pleased you want to see more. I fully intend to expand this series. And with support like yours, how can I not?! Many thanks! P. :)

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      Paul Hassing 7 years ago

      @nukemdomis lm: Thank you for your very kind comment. That sort of feedback - that I help others see the world more (or differently) - is one of the highest compliments you can pay me. Best regards indeed. :)