Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category
I’m making good progress with my five-year old Canon EOS450D camera.
As I continue to click away, I’m aware of the grind on both camera and lens(es). But with some luck and care, I’ve flipped the “number counter” on my camera a seventh time with over 70000 exposures to date.
I headed out to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Australia in Sydney to visit the “JEFF WALL Photographs” exhibition. Jeff Wall is also from my hometown of Vancouver, Canada, and while I was in Vancouver earlier this year, I’d seen a number of his photos on display in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection. With the exhibition in Sydney, the opportunity arose for a coherent perspective of his work.
The following is one of my favourite Jeff Wall pieces, called “A sudden gust of wind (after Hokusai)”, which is on loan from the Tate London for the MCA exhibition. Wall’s work is based on a Japanese woodblock print by Katsushika Hokusai, Ejiri in Suruga Province (Sunshû Ejiri), AC 1830-33, housed at the British Museum.
Beautifully constructed and a wonderful homage to Hokusai’s original, Wall’s photograph is presently mounted in one of the last rooms of the exhibition; so, there’s plenty of room for people to wander into the space and to admire the scale and movement of the photograph. With that in mind, I stood towards the back of the room, and I began photographing people standing in front of the photograph. It didn’t take long to find two people standing in the right place and leaning towards each other in conversation – the visitors providing complementary well-timed superposition to the photograph.
The “JEFF WALL Photographs” exhibition is free of charge at the MCA Australia from 1 May to 28 July 2013. The MCA Australia can be reached with CityRail to Circular Quay station or with Sydney Ferries to Circular Quay Ferry Wharf.
I made the photos above on 5 May 2013 with the EOS450D and Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 lens. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Train stations on Christmas Eve are emptier than usual and an unlikely place to visit. But I’ve always viewed the timing as a unique photographic opportunity.
I was in Berlin on Christmas Eve 2010, and with the city already covered in snow, I set out into the evening under additional heavy snowfall. I wanted to photograph the quiet conditions in the capital city, and I stopped at Potsdamer Platz station, normally a busy transfer station in the Mitte (or central) district.
My spontaneous visit and photographs resulted in something more profound.
In S-Bahn (suburban services) Potsdamer Platz, there on platform 2 was a woman; she was the only person along the entire length of the platform. I guess she was waiting for a train to take her home, or to visit friends for Christmas dinner, a party, or gathering. I hope she arrived safely that night.
The Christmas and New Year’s holiday season can be a rough and tumultuous time, even for people in the best of situations. It’s easy to consider how some might feel lonely and depressed, and it might even lead one to associate the number of suicides peaking around that time of year. However, some studies have shown that springtime is generally the peak period for depression, with extreme cases leading to suicides.
• 2005 article, from The Guardian
• “Seasonal spring peaks of suicide in victims with and without prior history of hospitalization for mood disorders.” Journal of Affective Disorders, 2010 February, 121(1-2): pp. 89-93
As (northern) spring is in full swing with this posting, please take a moment for the people about whom you care, and let them know you’re thinking about them.
I made the photos above on Christmas Eve 2010 at Bahnhof Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, Germany. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
It’s late-April, and the days grow shorter in autumn here in the southern hemisphere. That also means that with each passing day towards the winter solstice, the sun’s path across the sky drifts a little bit northwards. The 23.4-degree tilt of the Earth’s rotation-axis with respect to the Earth’s orbital-plane around the Sun ensures that most of the planet experiences four seasons with every full orbit or revolution around the Sun.
From my desire to photograph sunsets here in Sydney, Australia, I knew that the setting sun would soon intersect the crown in the arch of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge as viewed from Dover Heights in the eastern suburbs. Frequent “reconnaissance” visits to Dover Heights (and getting to know the 380 bus-route very well), I had worked out how much the position of the (setting) sun would change in the sky with every passing day.
There would be an occasional day when a part of me would reject the notion of heading out to try again. The reasonable side of me wouldn’t hear of it. “It’s sunny, it’s +25C, you have to go through Bondi Beach (awww); so, get your butt out there before you regret it.” Aaaah, because regret and me, you know we’re … “this” close.
With a successful experiment to photograph sunsets (and the full moon) in late-April, I have no regrets.
I made the photos above on 18, 25-28 April 2013 at the Dudley Page Reserve in Dover Heights, Sydney, Australia. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
Previously, I produced a photo-essay of a few commemoration activities on ANZAC Day (25 April) in Sydney, Australia.
As parade marches proceeded through Sydney’s Central Business District later that morning, I departed from the crowds, and I wandered over to Martin Place. An elderly man with a green suit jacket, green tie, and a green beret was describing the Commando Memorial to a number of visitors from Asia.
Had I not strayed from the spectators lining the parade route, I wouldn’t have had the great fortune of meeting Ken Curran: Australian Army Commando and Military Unarmed Combat (MUC) Instructor.
For about thirty minutes, we sat on a bench and talked. I asked him about his service in the Australian forces, and I told him about how in Canada the focus is on Remembrance Day (11 November). He remarked that for late-April, the mid-autumn weather was bright, sunny, and warm, unlike some of the colder wetter ANZAC Days in past years. But it was mostly hot and humid in places where he had served in the war.
Kenneth Roy Curran was born on the 9th of September 1925 in Waverley, New South Wales (NSW), Australia. He joined the army at age 18 in 1943; by 19, he was eligible to serve overseas, and transferred from Infantry to Commandos. By the end of World War 2, he would serve in Moratai (Indonesia); Labuan, British Borneo (Malaysia); and Rabaul (Papua New Guinea). He returned to civilian life and among a number of jobs, he worked in the NSW police force and the NSW railway. He reenlisted into the Citizens’ Military Forces (precursor to the Reserves) in 1955, and stayed until his retirement from the military in 1975.
In two decades with the 1 Commando Company, he directed annual MUC training for his unit and other military personnel. Over time, he also began to train police including members of the NSW Tactical Response Group, as well as members of the NSW Corrective Services, Australian Protective Services, and Sheriff’s Department.
In official recognition of his expertise and services related to MUC training activities within the military, and for service to the public community, Curran was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM).
After retiring from the military, he continued to conduct self-defence and training courses for security companies. Even at the age of 85, he still carried out training for security officers and taught personal self-defence techniques to the general public. Now (of posting) at 87, he admitted he’d slowed down some, but we agreed there was still a lot of life to live and there were many lessons left to teach. Ultimately, he was happy, if not relieved, that most Australian children today did not have to experience first-hand the deprivations and ravages of war.
More details of Ken Curran’s biography are found here.
Martin Place can be reached by CityRail at Martin Place, St. James, or Wynyard stations. At Martin Place, the Cenotaph is located at the west end (George Street), and the Commando Memorial is found at the east end (Macquarie Street).
I made the photos above on ANZAC Day, 25 April 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.
The guns are silent.
In Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance to mark the 1915 landing at dawn of ANZAC troops at Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey in World War 1 (WW1). The Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) saw their first WW1 military action in Gallipoli as part of an Allied expeditionary force whose aim was to free passage for allied shipping through the Dardanelles, a narrow strait connecting the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and onwards to Constantinople (now Istanbul). Instead, months of heavy fighting became a stalemate with major losses on both sides.
The importance of this date for both countries has ensured that ANZAC Day takes place annually on the 25th of April. In the present, ANZAC Day is a day to remember Australians and New Zealanders who have represented and served their countries in combat and peacekeeping efforts around the world.
Most veterans from the two great world wars of the 20th-century are gone, and soon, they’ll all fade away; the last surviving Australian participant at Gallipoli died in 2002. If ANZAC day has become an excuse for consumption and frivolity, the historical context for present-day commemoration is in danger of becoming lost. Michael Brissenden of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation wrote:
… It’s clear now that Anzac Day has grown to become our most important commemorative day. But is that in itself enough? Should it also spark more of a national conversation? And shouldn’t we at least try and invest the day with what historians like Clare Wright call “historical authenticity”? Along with the mass patriotic sentiment, the huge crowds and even the football grudge matches the day now inspires, some are still searching for more.
My photographs of ANZAC Day 2013 provide only a small cross-section of people, memories, and the feelings of loss.
We won’t forget for tomorrow; the guns are silent today.
(In another post, I write about Ken Curran, an Australian WW2 veteran and medallist of the Order of Australia.)
I made all of the photos above on ANZAC Day, 25 April 2013. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.