Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Day 181 2016: I know I sit by the dock of a bay...

Day 181: ...but really, I do more than watch the time roll away

Really. It is true though you mightn't believe it looking at the blog Monday to Friday. I spend, say, an average of 9-10 hours in and around the office each day, I take about 9-10 photos, that's about one and hour on average and at about 1/200 of a second on average, then really, technically, that's not a lot of time now is it.

It is merely the illusion of time that a photo preserves that fraction of a second forever, so it can seem like a long time...

How's that, dear reader, a little lens philosophy as the long way to say...more port pics today. But really, as I said yesterday, it is very hard to get used to the view with so much movement. If I were to retire, it would be to a busy view like this (or Moffat Beach, or perhaps my backyard with the birds and the birdbath...).

Anyway, in between marking and preparing classes and reviewing the politics of two elections campaign running at the moment, I looked out the window a few times to see the port just kept on working.

Racing to the end

This light, this colour... (no filter)

All quiet on the waterfront

Except for David and Goliath a few minutes later

It was supposed to rain for most of the day but never quite enough for a brolly, though the light on the bay around the bridge was quite, how shall I say, 'eerie' for a moment. 

Tomorrow, another view of the bay, probably, but I'm not wasting my time (though I might be wasting yours). 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.50pm, 6.06pm, 6.15pm; 29 June 2016]

Day 180 2016: Grey day...

Day 180: ...with late splashes of colour

We're not quite done with the rainy season here just yet. Just when you think the sun and the humidity have come to stay, the rain finds a way to come back. It is swings and showers like this for a few more days yet. 

All of which makes the room with a view look a little bleak on the one hand, but then again, the changes in the surface of the water or the variation in the cloud and mist keep the camera lens busy.

It is amazing just how quickly the surface of the water in the port changes (not that I spend *all* day staring at it of course, dear reader), to the extent, I thought today I might one day do a series looking at just that shift.

But not today, it was all about marvelling at the change in the greys...

The surface as canvas


From the calm and still to a race down the port

...until the end of the day when a work function meant staying back a little later than usual to see all the greys turn to all the colours. 

Bridge at night

At work, wheely late

So lucky to have my room with a view, any time of day, or night.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.25pm, 3.26pm, 3.45pm, 8.13pm; 28 June 2016]

Monday, 27 June 2016

Day 179 2016: Always looking up...

Day 179: and looking out

One of the vague rules of the #project365/6 game is to capture that which we take for granted. In other words, there is a picture in everything (just about) if you look. And sometimes you don't have to look that hard. Sometimes, I just like to 'look up' as I did this morning on the way to work. The sky offers so many possibilities and is different everyday. Yet, there it is we take it for granted. 

All the elements, at the bus stop

Windows and a blue sky

Of course, once I get to work, there is less 'looking up' and more 'looking out'. I mean how much 'looking up' can one do from the tenth floor after all...

Today's weather: fine

How do I get them to clean my window?

And then there is the port, which can change in a matter of moments. 

One minute, it is these two racing down the port...

Only to be joined by the rest of them

I don't think I'm going to run out of ideas anytime soon. 

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 9.43am, 11.08am, 11.27am-11.28am, 3.26pm-3.28pm]

Day 178 2016: There are all sorts of things...

Day 178: the neighbourhood

To see and do. Makes you wonder really why one would travel an hour each way for a cup of coffee (Day 177) when there are coffee shops in the neighbourhood. OK, there is just one, and today there was a waiting time of maybe 15 minutes which is longer than I wanted to wait to sit down and have a coffee while reading students' work. 

So I declined the wait and went back home to make a coffee and read students' work. (Yes, I know dear reader I could have done that without going out was Sunday...)

So I went home via the local Inari Jinja, one I've been to before. It is a little more run down since the last time I visited and the exploration was curtailed by a large sign warning of a large wasp nest on one of the dying trees (which came first of course, the dying tree or the wasp nest?). 

The main (original) gate

Shadows cast


Other Guardian

Two trees without wasps

Root system

Looking a little tired

Maybe there's no-one left to look after it, maybe it will just be left to run itself down. It is just one block back from the main road so it can't be ignored. It's been around for a while so I will have to investigate further. I couldn't help but wonder, with the stone statues, how it might relate to the shrine on Fukushima. 

Looks like I've got a future weekend project at hand...just to take a break, from reading students' work over coffee.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 6.07pm-6.10pm; 26 June 2016]

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Day 177 2016: My Saturday place...

Day 177:'s worth it, really

One thing I enjoy about Saturdays (if I'm not rehearsing or going to performances, or marking) is to go and sit in a coffee shop and have a coffee, read the paper, take in the zeitgeist etc. I used to have a little cafe up the road at home where I did that. 

And while I'm yet to settle into any real day-to-day humdrum patterns of life (except going to and from work of course), I have found a little coffee shop which, during the week, qualifies as being on the way to or from work, conveniently. It is on the same subway line I catch to work...

Come Saturday, well, it generally means a special trip (unless, as I might, make it a destination as I go to and from the National Library). But today was, indeed, a special trip. About 60 mins each way to score a cup of Byron Bay coffee, long black, made just like home. 

Coffee, long black, and a salted cream scone; could become a thing
And since I'll be spending a bit of time here from time to time, I thought I should introduce you to a little of the Ichigaya neighbourhood. 

Downhill to the station

At the intersection

Looking up

'Wild' 'life'

The outer moat (train station to the left)

Safest spot for the boats

Looking down

The waterway is what's known as the 'outer moat' of the Imperial Palace which is not too far from here. Nor is the Yasukuni Shrine, the controversial shrine, I might take you there one day. The birds. How do they survive in the green-in-all-the-wrong-places water...?

It is worth the stop off. I'll be back. 

[Camera : iPhone 6S, 4.14pm; Lumix, TZ-85, 4.37pm-4.43pm; 25 June 2016]

Day 176 2016: When Friday comes along...

Day 176: ...don't ignore the detail

...and find the bright lights. Yes, it is Friday and I have, amongst other things to do, some marking. Not a lot, but just enough to [experienced educators can fill in this part yourselves...]. It is still the rainy (grey) season here too which makes choosing a time to duck out of the office to do some errands a bit tricky. 

Still, one can try and artistically capture shades of grey from the window...


...or get out and about to realise that a) the parklands need a good mow...


...or b), there's actually some quite fine floral detail here among the weeds...

Pretty weeds

and in purple

Or, being Friday, one can take a new angle on an old familiar....


Or just look for the bright lights signalling 'Friday, party time'...

Night on the port

Or simply time to head home if you are a weary academic at the end of the working week, sort of, if you don't count the work you are taking home in your bag. [Experienced educators can fill in this part yourselves...]

[Camera : Lumix, TZ-85, 2.38pm, 3.38pm-3.41pm, 5.26pm; 24 June 2016]

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Day 175 2016: We're happy little psephies...

Day 175: bright as bright can be

I am up to my earlobes in elections at the moment dear reader. And this, as you know, is what I get paid to do. Watch and wonder the hows and whys of how and why people mark their ballot papers in the various ways they do.

And lucky for me, I get to do it on two languages. And next month, July, I get to make those observations three, yes, three times. Yes, most people groan at the thought of even one. I am, on the other hand, sharpening my pencil in anticipation. 

There's the Australian federal election on 2 July (where I'll be taking in the atmosphere at the Embassy here in Tokyo...), the Japanese Upper House election on 10 July and the election for a new Tokyo Governor on 31 July now the incumbent has had to resign over money scandals (he also resigned from Tokyo University when I was studying there many years ago, but that's a story for another time...)

So naturally, I'm keen to take in observations around the neighbourhood. I took a pic of the poster board the other day, just prior to the day candidates could start to put their posters up. Yesterday was the official start to the election and already today the board is filling up. 

Filling in the gaps

A range of parties...

A range of faces

Indeed, even on my way home this evening, I noticed a few more had been added in the interim. 

And on my way to a research seminar this evening, I noticed some of the neighbourhood flowers were getting their maroon on, following last night's marvellous Origin victory. 




[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 4.22pm-4.23pm, 4.27pm; 23 June 2016]

Day 174 2016: Filtering the movement...

Day 174: ...I just didn't realise

One thing I've been pretty particular about with my photography over the years is to show something 'as it is' much as that is possible. In other words, I don't do much 'post-editing' (except cropping) or add filters or effects. My basic rule of thumb is that if it is something I might once have altered in the dark room, then that's as far as it goes. (Yes dear reader, I once developed pics in dark rooms...I am that old.)

Today, as I was looking out the window (waiting patiently for the late special lecture Mark II I was due to give...) I thought the rain through the day really changed the effect on the appearance of the port...

Rain, rain

But we keep on working

to and fro

in the (filtered) rain

...and then I realised that in fact, it is the window itself that is actually a bit dusty and smeared and thus has probably been acting as a 'filter' of sorts all this time...

Good, bad, inevitable? Does it break my 'no filter' rule? I'll let you decide.

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 3.06pm-3.13pm, 22 June 2016]

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Day 173 2016: Time and motion...

Day 173: ...sometimes bad timing and no motion

Japan is famous for its trains always being on time.

So went the saying, once. Not quite these days though. And isn't it always the way that just when you bet on getting a slightly later train to work, it is going to be the one that will have more delays in one trip than it usually has in a week. And of course it would also be on the day I have a morning class, for which there is still some preparation to do...

Tokyo's train system, in seeking to maximise convenience, has become too complicated for its own good and like computers, when it works, it is very very good, but when it breaks, it can be well, not quite horrid but a little annoying. To say the least.

All the lines used to work quite discretely, you just reached a particular station and changed to the next line. Now, many of the 'lines' run into other 'lines' and so an accident in a far distant places can cause mayhem just about everywhere else...something butterfly, something wings, something storm...

Anyway, we got there, and we managed the class and then it was back to where time and motion are constant: the port. After yesterday's minor effort of near zero, today I was more mindful of time and motion on the bay...

Constant motion

A view of the bridge

{Then I watched this ship come in under the bridge...}

Birds, bridge boat

{Through the port...}

'Steaming' ahead

{And do a u-ey to berth...between 6.22 and 6.43pm}

Spinning around

And time and motion in the sun and the moon.

Nice one, after a rainy morning

Welcome back 300mm

Thus completing a day where I managed to use all the cameras...too much time? Just enough (e)motion?

[Camera : Lumix TZ-85, 2.31pm, 5.14pm, 6.22pm-6.43pm; iPhone 6S, 6.26pm; Canon EOS60D, 70-300mm, 9.07pm; 21 June 2016]