Tag Archives: writing

October 26 2014

Copenhagen is a great city. One I had always wanted to visit and when I got there earlier this month I was not disappointed. Of the many things I liked, the one I liked more than any other was the fact that the city is made for cycling. I have cycled all my life and anything that frees me of being behind a steering wheel in slow-moving traffic is a godsend.

On the Sunday I was there I cycled out to find where the University of Copenhagen was located so that the following day I would not have to worry about how to get there. The ride out there was, as I described in a previous post, a little long but really enjoyable. Cycling along the cycle lanes I began to see shots appear in front of me and realised I needed to get the camera out of its bag and be prepared. Over the course of the five days I was there I took many shots cycling past people and locations. Not ideal, but sometimes images appear and disappear in front of you so quickly that there really is not the time to dismount, lock the bike and get that shot.

Of the images I brought back from Copenhagen this one has to be one of my favourites. I rounded a corner and saw these two old ladies engrossed in their conversation about 20 metres ahead of me. Keeping one hand on the handlebars, I hoisted the camera and snapped as I passed them. I could continue to write about the image but it’s all yours now. Let whatever story you want to imagine emerge.

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Beautiful Women

Choosing an iPhone image to go with that beautiful shot needs something similarly tender and intimate. This couple with their contrasting black and white clothes.

Together!

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Together

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

October 25 2014

Two photographs from Copenhagen again. Strong sunlight. The iPhone image is different from the one I am posting to Flickr. If you click on the image you can contrast them. Often when processing you arrive at a stage and you just want to stop. I tend not to slide as much as I used to. The latest DSLR images are processed using Lightroom where they a re converted to B+W, then contrasts and highlights are played with a little and that’s it. For the iPhone images, I employ similar processing on Snapseed. But times curiosity gets the better of me and after saving a version of the image I continue to push out contrasts to see how far things can go.

Here are two other versions – click on the images to bring you to the Flickr version. Let me know which you prefer.

Two new truths [2]

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Two new truths [1]

The DSLR image is again from the main shopping street soaked in late evening sunshine.

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Mapping a path

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

October 22 2014

Photography is fun when you experiment. This shot here of the flipped shadows is an experiment. I always liked shots like these but never tried it out. Standing at the intersection on the main shopping street in Copenhagen with the sun shining in your face and looking down to avoid and noticing these long shadows of the pedestrians waiting on the other side is a signal. Get that shot. I have to say that there are some whose shots like these are much better and if you want to see good examples of these here are two of the best: Michael Kistler and Thomas Toft.

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Self esteem

Not to be unfair to the iPhone, I got a few shots  shadows with that also. But today I won’t post those; instead here are two people trying to evade their shadows.

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Shadow Evasion

 

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

October 20 2014

The mornings are darker now. Just 8 a.m and still not bright. How I dislike winter? My little boy, James, is an impatient 4 year old and asks when will he be 5. I bring him to the tree in our front garden and together we stand there as the wind rushes through and clears the tree of its leaves.

“When the leaves come back on the tree, James, then it will be your birthday?”

“Did the leaves bring me, Daddy?”

“No, the leaves didn’t bring you, James.”

“Will the leaves bring me presents?”

“They might, you never know.”

“Why do the leaves fall off the trees?”

“The wind blows them off.”

“Will the wind blow them back on when my birthday comes?”

“No, new little leaves will grow and the wind won’t be able to blow them off for a long time.”

“How do the leaves know it will be my birthday? Do the leaves have birthdays too?”

“I don’t know, lovey. What do you think?”

“No, leaves don’t have birthdays, that’s silly, Daddy. Is it a long time to my birthday, when is it, Daddy?”

“I told you, when the leaves come back on the tree, then it will be your birthday.”

“But there are still some leaves on the tree. Look!”

“I know. But soon they will be gone and then we will have to wait until the new leaves grow.”

“Oh!”

Winter, I hate it! My birthday will come when the leaves come back on the trees and I cannot wait for it. Spring! don’t mind getting a year older either.

Two more shots from the centre of Copenhagen this morning. Two more shots with beautiful sunlight. The first, with the DSLR, has eye contact – the connection. Catching this elevates an image. It allows a story to emerge more cleanly.

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A collision of coincidences in Copenhagen

And how lucky to get a sunflare like this.

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See the beauty in me

 

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

September 26 2014

Why take photographs?

I read a great quote yesterday – a quote I did not save and now regret as I cannot recall with exactitude its content or author. Shame on me! But kudos to Google to for its competence in dealing with the inadequacies of my memory. Google works! The quote is from Daido Moriyama (one of my favourite photographers) – he said:

“I think that the most important thing that photography can do is to relate both the photographer and the viewer’s memories.”

Recently, I read an interview with a photographer, whose name fails me and I am too lazy to find right now, but he was saying that his photography has to be personal. The images he takes must have a connection to his life and be of people or things which directly relate to his experience. He was tired of trying to create images which he felt others would like, but ones that he did not connect with personally. He wanted to take more photographs of friends and family and not of  random strangers on the street. I found this idea interesting. Writing each day on this blog is an exercise for me, mainly in discipline. But the thing I like about it is that when I sit down to write about the two images I am posting and I begin to recall when and where I took the images, so much comes to me about the time when I took the photograph. These images I post to Flickr are personal to me. They document moments of discovery and adventure. I rarely post photographs of family or friends (or myself), but the images are seen through windows and my own reflection and the reflection of those I was with when I took the shot can be seen too.

Today’s image is special to me. It was taken on a gloriously sunny Tokyo Saturday in early May. I was with some of my favourite people in the world in one of my favourite places in the world. Looking at this image now, I can feel the warmth of the sun, hear our conversations above the noise of the passing traffic and sense our excitement of being in Tokyo. I can recall the oncoming patterns of the passersby as I composed and framed them into this shot.

A Saturday in Tokyo

A Saturday in Tokyo

And for the iPhone it is a wet Monday night in Shinjuku and a girl in a white dress appearing before me.

Shinjuku

Shinjuku

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

September 24 2014

Bringing to a close this little colourful series of images taken in Shibuya Station underground as commuters were leaving the station. I have tried here to keep the images with similar processing as much as I could, but sometimes it was possible. In fact, on the past two images there was very little post-processing work done. The light and colours there was really great. The thing is that in this digital age with the multitude of options and combinations available to process images there are just too many possibilities. I converted these images to black and white and they looked good like that too. The chequered floor lends itself to a two-colour combination, but the colours are needed to give the images their fluidity. Thanks to all for their kind words on this series.

We can walk, we can run, we should dance

We can walk, we can run, we should dance

I could spend all my time in trains and train stations in Tokyo and still get all the shots I want; there is just so much activity; so many people. This iPhone shot was taken with the camera at my feet as I sat opposite this cool looking elderly gentleman. Of course I had to get his full frame into the shot and a straight on composition would not allow that, so I had to get the camera on the ground to give it a low-down POV. The result is a little noisy, but I still like it.

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Tokyo

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

September 22 2014

 

 

It is Monday.

Commuting. Imagine the hours, the days, the weeks, the months, the years, the decades of an average life of a person living in a huge city spends commuting to and from work. The average is big cities like Tokyo is about 90 minutes. Do the maths on that and you will find that an average working life of 40 years, working 48 weeks in the year results in about 864,000 minutes commuting, or in days about 600. 600 days! 600 days spent commuting to and from work.

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600 days

600 days can be valuable if spent in the right way. Commuting can be drudgery. The thing that strikes me about it is that the isolation. People are put in such close contact with others; most sharing the same experience, but so little exchange occurs. In Tokyo, in the mornings there is silence. Silence as the masses travel. In the stations, all you hear are the public announcements over the tannoy and the footsteps of the throngs on the move. Mobile phones are not used and no conversations are struck up among the passengers on the trains. People choose to shut their eyes to snooze or shut out the world. Others find a space to stare blankly into, while so many will pass the time engrossed in what their smart phones can offer. We crave isolation in the close proximity of others.

All Free

All Free

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

September

The photos of mine I like most are the ones which serve as a springboard for words or stories. I never push it. If it comes, it comes. But sometimes just sitting in front of an image things are triggered and the words flow. Sometimes, I leave them with the photograph on Flickr and other times I delete them. In the coming year, I am going to compile them into a little book.

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September

September was a good month for my photography. There are several images I like, but the one I am choosing has a short poem which was inspired by the image. The old adage of ignorance being bliss is true here. The things we know can eat away at us, but we can banish them too. Not easy, I know.

 

a clippety clop it goes
this nagging knowingness

a drip-dropping aloneness
a still-of-night remoteness

a head-flopping heaviness

this nagging knowingness

a shrunken world below us
a carved out hollowness within us

this socketless electricity
this unyearned-for-loss

a clippety clop it goes

a clippety clop it goes
this nagging knowingness

it can end

this nagging knowingness

it can end

Posted in A Flickr Year, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The room welcomed me alone

 

The bed had one plump pillow and another that felt sad. The duvet had a half that lay there flat.The room welcomed me alone and never heard me laugh.

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Breathe to fade

 

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