Tag Archives: words

2014: My favourite images – July

July was all Japan. I posted 56 photos to Flickr in 28 days. Choosing a favourite from the DSLR images is easy for a change. I’ll never forget the excitement I experienced when I first caught a glimpse of Shibuya Scramble Crossing. The black and white lines of the pedestrian crossing were vast open space as the traffic stopped for the red lights and then those lines were eaten up as hundreds of people hurriedly crossed. I watched it over and over again. Later I crossed it over and over again. I could never get enough of the place. Nothing makes me feel more alive than being in the swell of humanity surging across the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. I got so many photographs of it in the two times I have been to Tokyo, but this one is my favourite.

July

July

Finding a favourite from the iPhone images of that month is not so easy. There are so many I really like. I could have chosen any of these:

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Ununiforming the individual

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In life it is not what happens to you

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Shibuya

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Distances

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Street Portrait

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Faint heart

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This nagging knowingness

 

 

But the one I keep coming back to is one I wrote about when I posted in July. One that is part of a series of images I am working on related to the concept of distances. There is something which captivates me about this.

July

July

Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year! Thanks for all your support and kindness in 2015.

Kiss that future…

 

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2014: My favourite images – February

You got to love yourself is the title I gave to this photograph which looking back at February is my preferred from that month. I took it on a cold Sunday morning. Reflections always catch me. I love that they present different ways of seeing. This man reflects in a cafe window; a cafe that caused much controversy when it opened. The reason being is that it was built right in front of the entrance to a city centre park and resulted in obscuring the view of the decorative and old entrance. It was a stupid place to locate it.

February

February

When I started this blog a couple of years back my objective was simple – I wanted to write. Nothing gives me more pleasure than writing but I tend to write in spurts. I have so much archived away – short stories, poems, essays. I needed to begin to write and felt a blog would be a good way to do it. Maybe, I don’t know. I still have not done it consistently or done the hard part – rewriting. Maybe 2015 will be the year.

My preferred iPhone image from February is one that I wrote a short accompanying text to. I will let it there and you can read it and take what you will from it.

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We sat in the car, neither of us driving, each sat at our own window. The rain and its drops ran on mine and through yours the wind it whistled until you yourself wound it closed. Try as we might we never would reconcile the rain and the wind, but that car, it brought us both to where we are now.

 

Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

December 11 2014

Closing the series on Copenhagen today. It has been a nice ride and might revisit it later on. Thanks to all for the wonderful positive feedback on the images I have posted here.

Here is one of the first images I took on that sunny Saturday afternoon in Copenhagen. There is very little processing on this. I like the older woman looking off into the distance. We started with a young woman and close with an older one. From black and white to colour also. You can see the full set of images here.

Closing Copenhagen

Closing Copenhagen

And this image is one I really like; simple and to the point. It has the ubiquitous bike and that wonderful burnt orange paint on the brick of the houses. You can see the full set of iPhone images from Copenhagen here.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Copenhagen – wonderful. Definitely a place I would like to revisit! Thanks to all.

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

December 2 2014

Rushing today. I found this old one from Taipei and it really caught my eye. Hope it catches your eye too.

Taipei

Taipei

And this continuing with the theme of bicycles, here is one of a reflection of a bicycle in a dirty window frame in Copenhagen.

Reflections in a forgotten window frame

Reflections in a forgotten window frame

 

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

November 20 2014

This

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Breathe

and that

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The good book

 

 

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

September 27 2014

My parents are fifty three years married and fifty five years together. They married at the average age for their generation, an age which would be considered crazy for today’s generation. I, myself, got married when I was 38 and in hindsight it was about the right age. If I reach the milestone of fifty three years of marriage, I will be 91 years old. Wow! When we see young couples demonstratively showing affection for each other in public, it is slightly irritating, but when we see an elderly couple displaying affection there is a such a tenderness to their love. A love that has withstood the storms of time. I am truly blessed to see the love my parents  share through the years. I have few real ambitions in life, but one would be to raise my family with my wife by my side and for the love we share to deepen and strengthen. If I could inherit one thing from my parents, it would be the key to a happy marriage. This is probably not something I will inherit, rather something I have grown up in and been a part of.

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Love

The iPhone image brings us back to Daegu, Korea. Taken of a girl on a bus. The reflections and the eye contact. Have a good weekend!

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In and out of consciousness

 

 

 

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

September 21 2014

– Coincidence is a dance that needs music.

– Huh? What is that supposed to mean? I don’t get it.

– Look at this way, right. This world is chaotic, there’s no order to things. There’s no plan, there’s no preordained destiny. There is just constant chaotic disorder.

– And?

– Well, if we take it like that, we might as well give up, no?

– Take it like what?

– That it is chaos, uncontrolled and that we have no force over this, that even the dreams we have, that they’re pointless because in the end it all comes down to luck.

– Luck? Not sure if I get what you are saying; or even if I do, not sure I even agree.

– You don’t have to.

– Don’t have to what?

– Agree!

– Get back to what you were saying. Coincidence being a dance.

– That coincidence is a dance that needs music.

– Ok. That. That coincidence needs music. I still don’t get it.

– It’s simple. Give you an example. Our conversation here, our little exchange.

– Ya.

– Well, it can go in a million directions. You can ignore me, leave me ramble on and eventually I will run dry and the conversation will have ended. Or you could jump in with a new topic and I’d never get to explain.

– Ok. And?

– It’s that. There are endless possibilities, but ultimately we can, if we wish, direct them, steer things in the direction we want. You asking and is an example of you steering things.

– Right? But music? Coincidence? Dance? What about that?

– If more than one thing happens at the same time, then that is a coincidence. Coincidences are constantly happening, it’s a dance, but for us to take these and make things ours, to steer them in the direction we want, we need music. We need to act. Look at her? 

– Who?

– This girl approaching. Here is a coincidence. All the possibilities that ever existed have brought us and her to this moment to pass each other in a few seconds. That is the coincidence. The dance. But we play the music, we…

– She’s passed. She’s gone.

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Coincidence is a dance that needs music

And some fun with the iPhone. A happy commuter on a full train.

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O

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Korean Restaurants

One of the best things about travel has to be the food. Coming from a country which is not renowned for its cuisine, getting the chance to travel to exotic places and taste the variety of dishes they have is such a treat. But food is not only experienced through taste. No! Food arouses all the senses.

Enter an Korean restaurant and your senses are overwhelmed by the noise of the kitchen and waiting staff as they hurriedly plate up and serve the food. The other diners loud in conversation, their laughs echoing around you. You hear food crackling  and hissing as it is tossed in hot oil, plates and dishes clinking and clanking, the fragrance of the food rushing through the restaurant as the doors to the kitchen swing open and shut. All the while you sit and wait in anticipation to see what will be served up, sitting there in awe of the pace and momentum of it all. Then it arrives! Plates and plates of food. No other country gives you as much food as Koreans.  Side dishes, so many side dishes. Little saucers of garlic, pickled onions, pickled turnip, beansprouts, tiny fried fish, the ubiquitous kimchi (the national dish of Korea) and always a big bowl of steaming hot broth, all placed around the barbecue in the centre of the table.

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Korean food – more side dishes to come

Korean restaurants don’t cater for the solo traveller. Eating is not a solitary activity in Korea. It is something communal to be shared. You cannot get a dish for one in a restaurant and many restaurant owners, on a busy night, will turn you away should you be on your own. You would be taking up valuable real estate sitting on your own at a table designed for four. When I was in Seoul, I wandered around Gangham (ya, the place made famous in that song) for well over an hour before I found a restaurant that would take me in. I was met with the Korean gesture for no – the two index fingers crossed and a regretful smile and tilt of the head. Eventually, a ajuma (a middle-aged Korean woman) took pity on me and let me in, muttering away to herself, in what I guess was pity for this poor traveller all alone and nobody to eat with. She escorted me through the crowded restaurant past the tables of animated and loud Koreans out to the back where she pointed to a beer barrel with a tray on top of it and pulling over a stool up to it, indicating that this was to be my table. I looked at her. She looked at me. She with a look of this will have to do for you, and me with a look of pleeeease, can I sit with the others? We exchanged these looks, both of us trying to convince the other, neither of us willing to give in. But someone had to, something had to be done.

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Eat up!

So, I took the tray off the beer barrel, handed it to her and lifted the beer barrel up (it was empty – I am not that strong or stupid) and walked back out to the main part of the restaurant and plonked it down to the side of a table of bemused looking Koreans and with a this is better, isn’t it? look I smiled at the waitress and hoped she would also smile in return. She did! And I can only imagine what she said to the table of Koreans next to me that caused them all to erupt in laughter. But I didn’t mind. I was hungry and more than anything I was right in the centre (well centre enough) of all the activity and I was going to lap it all up.

She handed me the menu and with the limited Korean I have I ordered Bulgogi, a beef dish that you fry yourself at the table. To accompany this, I had a small bottle of soju (Korean rice wine) and a bottle of Korean beer. As I said, Korean restaurants do not cater for individual guests. My order was a meal for two and luckily I have no problem in putting away enough food for a small family in one sitting. The only problem was that how could it be cooked! I was sitting at a beer barrel. A beer barrel without a barbecue. More laughter erupted and did not subside until the penny dropped for me and I realised my predicament.

With much gesticulation and hope, I managed to order some other food, food which did not need to be cooked at my table and I waited until the table next to me became free and I was able to relocate and use the barbecue there.   For the next hour or so, I waited contentedly at my beer barrel taking in the sights, the sounds, and the smells, all the while picking on great food and getting that little bit drunk on Korean soju. I must have been a peculiar sight sat there on my own at the beer barrel, but I loved it!

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Sharing food

 

Eventually, the people next to me vacated the table and I jumped in. I was surprised to see that when they got their coats the waitress sprayed them down. I was baffled as to what was happening, but then it dawned on me that she was using Fabreeze to rid them of the odours of the food and tobacco (still legal to smoke in Korean restaurants). Koreans do service so well! They even think of what will happen to you after you leave. You would not like there to be a lingering odour. Oh, no! So they you spray you down! And a thing I love is that there is no problem in asking for more of anything in a Korean restaurant and the best thing is that when you want your waiter to come, all you have to do is ring the bell on your table and hey presto, they arrive.

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Korean Restaurant Scene

 

The restaurant began to empty out and things quietened down. The waitresses were able to take a little break and the cooks came out from the kitchen to join them. Feeling their eyes upon me I gave them a nod hello and a thumbs up for the great food. They smiled back and bowed their heads. I raised my little shot glass of soju to them, finished it off and gestured for the bill. After paying, I stood up and expected to be sprayed down. Unfortunately, I did not get this treatment. Perhaps, they felt I wanted the experience to linger.

It has!

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My friendly waitress at end of night shift

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My little angel

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She makes stillness dance and silence sing

 

 

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reconcile the rain and the wind

We sat in the car, neither of us driving, each sat at our own window. The rain and its drops ran on mine and through yours the wind it whistled until you yourself wound it closed. Try as we might we never would reconcile the rain and the wind, but that car, it brought us both to where we are now.

photo (6)

Posted in iPhone, photograph posts, Words Also tagged , , , , , , , |