Monday, 30 June 2014

Day 181: The sky, a canvas...

Day 181: ...nature's palette...

Today is 30 June. That is, calendarly-speaking, halfway through the year; the end of the Australian financial year; tax time approaches. In terms of #project365 though, we're not quite halfway yet. It was also perhaps the coldest day so far in Brisbane, well by cold we mean it got down to about four degrees for about ten minutes, sometime between 6.00am and 6.09am, or thereabouts. The rest of the day was a brilliant sunshiny-day. 

Perfect day for another look at the sky. Early on while the loris and kookas twittered and laughed away, I experimented with some shutter speeds. A very fast speed on the bamboo offered some real clarity (1/1600). It also presented an almost surreal sense. I like the might make good wallpaper. 

Fast bamboo

The evening sky offered another canvas and I was particularly interested in the ridge behind my place. I noticed the light on it the other morning during sunrise and wondered about it as a sunset view. Just as I did, the clouds scooted across the viewfinder. I'd take forever to learn to apply paint with brushes to a canvas for that minimalist effect. Press the shutter button, and presto! Cheating? No, not really. Just learning to work within my artistic limits. 

Cloudscape I

Cloudscape II
A classic case of "art"is in the eye of the beholder...or the viewfinder, in this case. 

On its way back...

And, the moon is on its way back. Just in case you were missing it, dearest reader. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 300mm, 9.11am, 5.10pm, 5.14pm, 5.16pm]

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Day 180: The river hop...

Day 180: ...and a tai chi step...

And jump: to Sunday. We've been anticipating this day for a little while. The tai chi group was set to catch the little river ferry between parks, stop off, do a tai chi set and be on our way...from New Farm all the way around to South Bank. 

Now this is a little adventure I've not undertaken before and like a typical city resident, unlike our city visitors, I'd never thought to do so. The city reach of our Brisbane River is a lovely, intriguing and interesting place from 'on the river'. I only had the fruit phone with me today but I've already determined to head back with the big cam, get on and off more often and capture a bit of a river day.

Back to today. A perfect blue sky day but a strong gusty wind at times. Apart from blowing out a couple of my more 'delicate' moves, it was a lot of fun. A lot of bystanders watched with some interest (or something...?) and we were done by 2.30ish. 

The Wheel, again
Waterfront Place, bluesky (I once worked on the 36th floor here) 
Story Bridge, bluesky (and rule-breaking sun, photographically-speaking)
Follow me! Seagulls on the pool, South Bank
Sunday Cool Cats: The Hanlon Brothers on the Green and the CityCat on the river
End of the Arbor Walk: Bougainvillea and Somerville House, South Brisbane

That meant another chance for another stroll along South Bank through to the Mater Hospital end, a repeat of yesterday but with about two hours difference...

...and what a difference an hour or two can make to a Brisbane afternoon's light. Left me feeling with a bit of a hop, skip and jump in my step.

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 10.14am, 10.40am, 10.48am, 2.27pm, 2.51pm, 2.58pm]

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Day 179: The tangled webs we weave...

Day 179: ...the things we observe

You will know, dear reader, that I have recently started tai chi. Each morning, preferably as the sun is rising, I aim to complete a full set of tai chi and foundation exercises. I like to do it as the sun rises to take in the beginning of the day and meditate on the day ahead. (Well, OK, not just at the moment; I'm flat out remembering the 108 moves in order...but that's the plan, eventually.) 

Of course, photographically-speaking, it is an excellent time for light and shade and it lasts only briefly. So when something catches your have to interrupt whatever it is you might be doing and present...lenses.

The twist in this web caught my eye just at the point of 'carrying the tiger to the mountain', as we say. It was the twist I liked and I wondered did the spider know it was headed for such a tangle? Maybe. It seemed to give up on trying to join it all at the top.

Twists and turns

A little while later, along came the loris looking for their serve...of birdseed. These two are regulars and reasonably accustomed to humans. They allow me to get quite close with the 300mm lens, though I have also cropped here for effect. 

Lori at brunch 1

Lori at brunch 2
I do try to avoid feeding them everyday so they don't become too dependent or expectant. That would be a complication, an expectation, a tangled web, too far. 

I headed off to my subscription play later in the day, The Effect. A play about drug trials, depression, love and's more complex tangled webs that I doubt web-weavers ever imagine. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 300mm, 7.55am, 8.58am, 9.02am]

Friday, 27 June 2014

Day 178: From the suburbs to South Bank...

Day 178: ...and back.

Hospital daze. A colder start to the day--seven degrees, that's a Brisbane winter morning. Medical appointments and hospital visits* more or less took up the whole day. Previously, I've usually had the big cam on me but today I didn't take it...

Unfortunately, I didn't have it on me this afternoon when I had a bit of time to take a stroll along South Bank from the Goodwill Bridge end through to the Cultural Centre--the opposite direction of my usual travel. I didn't plan to go quite so far but it was such a lovely afternoon and after spending so much time indoors, it was nice to be out and about. It's not that far really. 

There was a flash of setting sun against the skyline...

The River City
A different angle on the tweepsters favourite South Bank subject: the wheel...

The wheel
The sun going down at the bus stop...

Craning for a view
And, as they sing in Les Miserables, the end of the day...

A 'burb's eye view
Effectively, an hour of the setting sun today. From home to the city and home again. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 4.27pm, 4..46pm, 5.06pm, 5.31pm]

*Visiting...not about me (^.-)

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Day 177: There was something in the air...

Day 177: ...and it wasn't clouds

The last few days have taught me that while I thought I was taking photos of sunrises and sunsets, in fact, I've been taking pics of clouds. The tweepster alert had us up and looking east early enough...and looking and looking. 

I saw the sun rise, and without the clouds the colour was very different. But it made me focus on the 'other sights' while I was waiting. I like the result: 

Sun rises in the east 1
Sun rises in the east 2
The other lovely thing about cloudless starts is the blue sky later in the day. The bougainvillaea a little later, for example: 


And on the way to the bus stop today there was one of the best examples of our blue sky days...the poinsettia flowers. 

Blue sky, red flower

The sky stayed like that all day. It makes such a difference to the day, everyone remarks on sky, it is like there is a magic 'something' all day. The setting sun mirrored its rising this morning.  

Blue sky, 23 degrees celsius. That's a Brisbane winter's day. Tough huh.

[Canon : Canon EOS 60D, 300mm, 6.40am, 6.41am, 9.39am; iPhone 4S 11.11am; some cropping]

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Day 176: Another day...

Day 176: ...another sunrise

A longish day, for different reasons from the usual. But there was that sunrise today. Another tweepster alert, another stunning set of colours but very brief. It looked grey for a while, then hints of pink and then this colour-burst...

Sun clouds 1

Sun clouds 2

...and then in the time it took to switch from the long lens to the wide-angle, it faded and was gone. If one aspect of the #project365 is to try and capture the ephemeral, then today typifies that. Colour there and gone in the space of about three minutes, but captured here.

The evening was spent helping out the new local coffee shop/gallery with some 'mood music' as the owner embarked on her new Wednesday night venture: pizza night (with music). It just might work.

Tomorrow is another day.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 300mm and 18mm, 6.39am, 6.41am]

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Day 175.5: Sunrises and sunsets...

Day 175.5: ...starts and finishes

And so to one of my bonus pages. It is of course, the fault of that group of the #612tweepsters who urge us all on to capture the colours of the morning and, as it turned out, the evening sky...

The morning started with glorious colours: 

A wispy start (iPhone)

Morning palette (Canon)
Some of us were then urged on unto the sunset, in the hope, nay, expectation that the sunset would be as spectacular as the sunrise...a nice formation of clouds during the day offered much promise. There was also the opportunity to exercise my night photography learnings... 

So, the view of Brisbane and beyond from the southside's highest point, Mt Gravatt, looked like this: 

To the east

Story Bridge from Mt Gravatt (cropped)

Evening palette 1

Cityscape 1

Almost done

Sun down (more westerly)

There is much experimentation here with shutter speeds, f stops, lenses and, most importantly this time: the tripod! Even then, the wind and chill factor added an extra challenging element I had to account for in setting up each shot. There is no after shot editing here for colour, all was determined via ISO, shutter speeds and apertures. Such a mix.

And since these bonus days are about my photographic study dear reader, I don't mind saying that of the six or so that made the cut here, about 25 fell by the wayside...not only that, one might have thought it a tad obsessive to chase all the way up the mount for these shots. But no dear reader, I was one of several. It seems sunsets attract just as many chasers as moonrises and storm chasers. 

To each of us then...whatever. There remains much to learn. 

[Cameras: iPhone 4S and Canon EOS 60D, lenses from 18mm to 300mm; times: 6.27am and 6.31am, and 5.19-5.37pm]

Day 175: Just a couple of blow-ins...

Day 175: ...and a noisy miner

After all the action of the last few days with the Baza and the other birds, I opted for a quieter photographic day. The beautiful sunrise was going to be the theme for today: all the #612tweepsters were enamoured and the twitter timeline was chockas with sunrise scenes from all over the city and surrounds. 

I was headed in that direction too. Up and at it at around 6.00am to get those shots. I was thinking about trekking into the city proper but though the better of it. Besides, the view from the backyard was just as stunning, with that 'inky pattern' I'm taking a liking to lately. 

But, I digress. While I was out and about in the yard, my photographic eye caught the images of these leaves: I know, no particular reason, I just thought they were a picture unto themselves...where they fell.

First leaf

Second leaf

Third leaf

Late in the afternoon, one of the kookas returned and with the kookas (and indeed the Baza) come the noisy miners. Now, there are some tweeps who have a bit of a soft spot for these here, dear reader, for you, are the afternoon blow-ins: kooka and the miner. (Inspired by @Chasseur06)...

Another blow-in...

Now, there is a sequel to this day...Day 175.5...there were just too many pic ops for just one day. 

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 8.07-8.09am; Canon EOS 60D, 300mm, 4.45pm, (cropped)]

Monday, 23 June 2014

Day 174: S/he's baack...

Day 174: was the moon

I am, by habit, an early riser. Seems I don't need an alarm, there is just an internal clock that goes 'ping' at first light, or earlier, even in winter. A sharp bright light through the window this morning got me up and at it early on, much brighter than usual. I thought perhaps it was one of the early planes. I got up to investigate. 

What greeted the early risers today, pre-sunrise, was the beauty of the crescent moon (yes, apologies dear reader, another moon) with the morning star and the beautiful inkiness of the pre-dawn morning. It is neither light nor dark. The star is just above the tree in the bottom right corner.

Once the sun was up, the dawn chorus began...the kookas, some cockatoos off in the distance, the loris got going... and a little later, in came the noisy miners, again. They are always a signal that some 'intruder' is about and lo and behold, today the Pacific Baza returned (see yesterday). Back in the treetops...What is a photographer to do? Well, dear reader, you know the answer to that. 

Outa here...

I was preparing to take a still shot of it perched on the branch when it took flight. Yes, a fluke of a shot, fast shutter speed to combat the direct sun and just luck that I was hitting the shutter button at the right time; the 1/800 shutter speed really freezes the flight action. It's just about my favourite bird shot of late.

S/he might be back again tomorrow, for some more practice shots. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 6.23am; 300mm, 8.16am]

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Day 173: From raindrops...

Day 173: the Baza, huzzah!

A foggy start to the day today, but a beautiful blue sky one in the end. Inspired by the early fog pics by the usual twitter pic crew (Shelley Lloyd among them) out I went with the camera, enamoured by the raindrops from the rain overnight, though not much in the way of fog in these parts. Nonetheless, plenty to take so off went the shutter. 

As I was photographing the frangipani leaves on this particular angle, I actually imagined them as the span of a bird's wings.

Raindrop not fog

Frangipani raindrops

Cue, a few minutes later when my lovely neighbour drew my attention to the latest visitor (announced by the noisy miners), a Pacific Baza. You'll often find us calling out to each other over the side fence when there is a sight to be seen...

At first glance, they look like a well-fed version of our ubiquitous crested pigeons, but they are quite different. Huge wing span (hence the coincidence of the frangipani pics) and feeling quite annoyed by the persistent miners, or perhaps that was the persistent human with the large black 'beak', it spent some time flying around the tops of the gum trees in the neighbourhood. 

Inquisitive Baza

Such span

So flight, wow.


We don't see them all that often but it is a wonder when we do. I really do feel the privilege of the beauty in our suburbs everyday.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 75-300mm, 8.25am, 8.33am, 8.54-8.58am including cropping]

Day 172: A little sparkle...

Day 172: ...turned to seed...

No, it's not as bad as it sounds. It was just the two most picturesque things to pass by my lens today; very contrasting but pleasant in their own ways.

Being Saturday, well, it does seem I may have this sort of semi-permanent gig down at the local cafe. Gloria quite insists I continue there when I can...we had a return customer (Beatles fan) and a couple of the residents from the nursing home pop over to 'see what all the music was about'. (Londonderry Air for them, always a favourite for those of a certain age.)

Hehe, I can't help but chuckle. We're going full-on this Wednesday with a pizza night and 'live music'. "Bwhahaha"as we say on twitter but there you go. 

The sun hits an interesting angle at a particular time of the afternoon and I have mentioned that I like to capture light (and shadow) in all its manifestations. Mid-song, I couldn't go past this refection of the sax on the music...just a nice afternoon. 

Shine one...
When I got home, I just liked the colour contrast of the out-of-place bougainvillea leaf among the birdseed. No other reason really. 

Colourful contrast, nothing out of place really

The evening finished up with one of the most accomplished performances of the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no. 3 I have ever seen, a world premiere of Stanhope's Elegies and Dances and a special performance of a rare original manuscript of Sibelius's fifth symphony. Now *that* is music...

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 2.30pm, 4.12pm]

Day 171: A little urbanity...

Day 171: ...or just the the urban

A full day of meetings today over the other side of town, the last of its kind for me for a while anyway. My term for this particular council is almost complete so one less responsibility. It is another part of the gradual de-linking of my life as I walk different paths. 

The building in which we meet is in an odd, though convenient, place transport-wise. The trip in the morning is on two buses; the quickest way home however, is via train into the city and bus home. 

And the train station is where I found myself with the first opportunity to take a pick all day (although the brownies at lunchtime were probably worth a pic all their own). It occurred to me as I stood there that I will make few trips from here anymore and I do like a bit of chunky urban landscape...perhaps one of my favourite photographic genres, after birds, flora, fauna, the moon, food, seascapes...and so forth. You, dear reader, pretty much know the drill by now...

Blue sky, interrupted
I also quite like traveling by train. Blame it on all those Tokyo years perhaps but commuting by train is quite handy, I'd like to do it more often. I shall miss it.

[Camera : iPhone 4S, 4.07pm, 4.09pm]

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Day 170: One reign ends...

Day 170: ...and the rain returns

The morning after the second of three football matches in the series that is known as the State of Origin.  Last night's win by NSW (state of my birth) brought to an end eight consecutive years of rule by Queensland (state of my residence and, mostly, allegiance...yes, even in this series). As always, controversy was the dance partner of victory and with a tight 6-4 score line...well, it could have gone either way. 

One reign ended, but another came today. And the rain was much needed. All around the backyard as it came down, life went on as normal, albeit a little wet. 

I enjoy working with the rain, photographically speaking, it puts a different light on things; it gives us raindrops; it gives us abstraction. Most of all, it gives me wet didn't stay wet long enough to get a series of these two but a little lunchtime distraction nonetheless.

Wet, wet, wet

We're late, we're late...

Rain, in abstract

It would have been nice to see Queensland go on to get nine series but they didn't. And today, really, was just another, like any other. There's always next year, to start over. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 55mm, 300mm; 12.39pm, 2.07pm, 2.44pm]