Sunday, August 29, 2010

Getting the Glide Right by Drew Ginn (01 May 2007)

G get t THe g GLIDE R riGht by Drew Ginn (01 May 2007) ..

Warning: This may make no sense at be patient

"Get the glide right"


Rowing[/paddling] involves an in and out cycle that swings and sways. It also goes up and down, sometimes even side to side.

It’s cyclic and so with every revolution we have an opportunity to make the next one better.

With ever turn of the wheel we need to keep putting effort in which is natural, the flip side to this is in the moments of glide, recovery, reflection, pose, readiness, preparing and spaciousness.

It’s a time when you can decide what’s next and how you’re going to make the next cycle better. You get the chance to decide what you need and want?

So you see the glide is critical for achieving your best.

Call it what you want. You decide what to call it; you decide what’s next.

To me the glide is an opportunity to find that perfection, to create the links between the drive, the work and the effort.

The glide is the link between each stroke, every session, all the races; each and every one counts and needs to be accounted for.

It is through the glide that they become more than the parts.

The sum is in total an accumulation of much more than just effort; it is more because we allow our effort to be rewarded by allowing it to happen.

Trust the glide and make more of rowing[/[paddling] that just effort and grunt. [..]

Another Favourite Blog Post from Drew Ginn.

In dragon boating we have the Hit and Glide, so when I read this I definitely understood what Drew was saying, not only about moving a boat, but also life in general. Probably one of the best pieces of writing on rowing[/paddling] I have come across (there a few more Drew Ginn articles which are just as good and they will follow at some stage).

Pacific Dragons - AusDBF 2009 National Dragon Boat Championships - Kawana - 23 April 2009

Pacific Dragons - AusDBF 2009 National Dragon Boat Championships - Kawana - 23 April 2009

Pacific Dragons - AusDBF 2009 National Dragon Boat Championships - Kawana - 23 April 2009

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Photos: A Rainy Day in Venice (Wed 16 Sep 2009)

A Rainy Day in Venice - Wed 16 Sep 2009 (picasa)

A Rainy Day in Venice - Wed 16 Sep 2009 (picasa)

Just a couple of simple photos to remember a Rainy Day in Venice. I like the colour, scaffolding, the graffiti (it's everywhere which surprised me for such a historical city) and in particular the umbrellas in both photographs.

Really enjoy Jonathan Walker's writings on Photography and have learnt a lot from him.

In particular, I have really enjoyed his writings of his experiences of taking photographs in Venice. The resulting series of photographs, titled Let us Burn the Gondolas, is fantastic.

The Climb by Miley Cryus

The Climb by Miley Cryus

The Climb Lyrics ..

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"

Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking

I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going

And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on

'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose

Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!

Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

A Simple Paradigm - Time For Adaptation by Vern Gambetta

A Simple Paradigm - Time For Adaptation by Vern Gambetta (05 April 2010)

When you think about going for the quick fix, just quickly run this simple paradigm through your head. It all relates to time for adaptation. Nothing complicated. Don’t over think this. This is a just a general guideline, a reminder, that the process of adaption to training takes time.
  • Flexibility improves day to day

  • Strength can be improved from week to week

  • Speed (A fine motor quality) improves from month to month

  • Work Capacity improves from year to year

Based on the law of reversibility
  • You can lose flexibility from day to day

  • You can lose strength week to week

  • Speed declines month to month

  • Work Capacity declines year to year.
Another favourite blog post from Vern Gambetta.

Something worth remembering when starting out on a new activity. Also particularly worth remembering when having a voluntary break (between campaigns, etc) or forced break (injury say) from your activity.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Favourite Photos: Tree - Perisher Valley - Jan 2005

Tree - Perisher Valley - Jan 2005

Scan of a 4x5 transparency taken with my Shen Hao HZX 4X5-IIA Large Format Camera (more here).

A photo of the tree in the background of another photo I took back in Jun 2001. Fires had passed through this area a few years earlier. New growth can be seen at the base of the tree. Like the way the a small branch appears to be propping up the larger tree.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What's in a race plan? by Drew Ginn

What's in a race plan? by Drew Ginn (Wed 31 Oct 2007)

[..] What I have come to realise is that we only really use a race plan as a framework, it is like our template to bring us together in the way we will approach the racing we do.

What we don't do is put our confidence in our race plan to be the defining element of our rowing.

I have always felt that getting a good start was important because it sets up the race. This does not mean that it is the only thing but it is easier to control things from in front.

When it's close after 500m the thing that is wonderful about that is that it creates an intensity about the middle stages of the race.

Competitive instinct can bring our the best and worst in everyone.

So then a race plan is the thread that runs through our performance.

It's a framework the enables a crew to understand what's required and where.

We use a plan that we believe gets us in to a position that we can use as a platform.

The idea of it being a thread which you have key moments to hang, place, perform based on your decisions the rowing that will bring it all to life.

Every stage can result in an expanded thread which stands out in the field and like wise each of the key moment can result in a contraction that is a narrowing of options and is visible as a performance begins to fade and become lost back in the field.

We have in our minds key point of a race where certain things can take place, certain opportunities realised.

The race plan should keep your options open which is exciting and creates anticipation and is a great source of energy.

On the other hand a poorly conceived, ill considered and unrealistic plan can have an effect in opposition to every athletes desires. [..]

Another favourite blog post from Drew Ginn. Seems related to yesterdays post on Pacing Strategy.

M2- Final at Rowing World Championships, Munich, 01/09/07

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Any good endurance athlete will say ..

With 100 metres left, there’s really no thinking, it’s just endurance and just focusing on the pain and trying to ignore the pain at the same time, which is a strange thing. You’ve got to focus on where the pain is and try to eliminate the feeling of fatigue and really just focus on maximizing each stroke, which is a difficult thing when everything’s on fire.

As far as the pain goes, you’ve got to keep pushing it or do I choose to relent and give in to my body’s reaction to working too hard?

The test of an endurance athlete is to push that limit and push that boundary and tell the body it’s got to sit tight a couple of minutes as you see how much you can do.

Any good endurance athlete will say that maintaining their form and their technique through those moments of pain and fatigue is probably the most key aspect to maintaining the speed. It’s really easy to break down the technique and not to be as snappy to return to the setup phase in the kayak stroke.

Adam van Koeverden, Oakville, Ontario, Toronto Star, 21 August 2008

k1-500m Final - 2004 Olympics have a great post on Pacing strategy - how good pacing wins gold medals ..

Now, we know that in virtually every single type of sport, as soon as the event lasts between 3 and 5 minutes, the optimal pacing strategy is a fast start, then a slowing in the middle and an increase at the end, so that the two halves are close to even, but there is an "inverted U-shape" . This is why the first and final laps of mile and 1500m world records are significantly faster than the middle two laps.

When races are short, like a men's 400m or 800m run, or the men's 200m or 500m kayaking event, then it's different - the best strategy then is to go out hard and accept some kind of deterioration at the end of a race. Longer races, like men's 5000m and 10000m running events, the marathon, the Tour, all benefit from even pace, or even a slower start, with an 'endspurt' in the final kilometer. It's not co-incidence, for example, that in 24 of 25 World Records over 10,000m, the fastest kilometer has come at the very end of the race!

[..] for an event lasting 3 to 4 minutes, like the [..] K1 1000m kayak event, the optimal way to race is to hold reserve over the first half and then finish almost as fast as you begin. [..]

And we are not so different that each individual has an optimal pacing strategy. Yes, some are better at sustaining faster starts than others, some are better at kicking later in races. Much of this is psychological, I feel, but there are likely physiological reasons too. But these physiological differences are not so large that anyone can get away with vastly different strategies. For some reason, Germany have figured this out and are winning races that physiologically, they might otherwise have lost.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Favourite Photos: Sandstone Swirl - La Perouse/Sydney - Jan 2005

Sandstone Swirl - La Perouse/Sydney - Jan 2005

Another scan of a 4x5 inch transparency taken with my Shen Hao HZX 4X5-IIA Large Format Camera (more here). Was really happy to get everything right here - exposure, camera movements and time of day. Again the detail in the transparency is incredible.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Macau 2010: CCWC 2010 Mixed 500m Finals

Another video of the CCWC 2010 Mixed 500m Finals, including a couple of minutes of post race celebration on the water.

Nice to have these memories captured on video.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Favourite Photos: Perisher Valley - Jan 2005

Perisher Valley - Jan 2005

Scan of a 4x5 transparency. One of the first photos I took with my Shen Hao HZX 4X5-IIA Large Format Camera (more here). The detail in the transparency is amazing when viewed through a magnifying eye-piece on a light box. Was inspired by the work of Fred Williams (an Australian Landscape Artist - see google) at the time.

Fred Williams - google images screenshot

Jenny - "Don't Wonder 'What If?'"

Jenny - "Don't Wonder 'What If?'"

Photos: Intersection - Lyon/France - Sep 2009

Intersection - Lyon (Perrache Railway Station)/France - Spe 2009 (picasa)

Another Intersection photo. The red and blue signs were the things I noticed first.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Photos: Intersection 2 - Brussels/Belgium - Sep 2009

Intersection - Brussels/Belgium - Sep 2009

Another Intersection photo. A variation of this. Enjoy the red poles as well as the people (who look like the poles) waiting at the pedestrian crossing.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

RPA Tribute to the late Professor Chris O'Brien

RPA Tribute to the late Professor Chris O'Brien

Professor Chris O'Brien passed away on Thursday evening, 4th June 2009. This tribute is from the conclusion of the RPA episode which aired on Wednesday evening, 10th June on the Nine Network.

Jenny and I watched this when it aired on RPA on Wed 10 Jun 2010. Jenny that afternoon had received a phone call confirming her suspicions that she had a brain tumor. She rang me at work to tell me and I quietly shed tears as she explained the details to me. We all knew this was going to be different. It was the progression of the cancer that she feared most.

Joanne was not able to watch this episode with us - I can't remember why - but I had it recorded on my PVR, and Jenny and I thought we would play it to her at some stage.

Late the next day we saw Jodi (Jenny's Oncologist) in a corridor meeting at the St George Cancer Center. She had the brain scans and we saw a large tumor on the left side of Jenny's brain.

Jenny and Jodi - St George Private Hospital - Mon 22 Jun 2009

Things progressed quickly from there and on Wed 17 Jun 2009 Dr Davies performed a 4 hour operation at the St George Private Hospital to remove the tumor. Six days later on Tue 23 Jun 2009, a day before Jenny was scheduled to return home, her heart failed and we almost lost her there.

The next six days were very difficult and Jenny was unable to move by herself. This resulted in a significant build up of fuild in her lungs. I was called to the Hospital at 9:15am on Tue 30 Jun 2009. All I was told was to "hurry". I rang David to tell him that he should call Joanne at School and get her to come to the Hospital as quickily as she could. As I approached the ICU, I thought I needed to call Jodi, Jenny's Oncologist. No need to, as I rounded the corner, I could see Jodie and when I saw her I knew what had happened. She hugged me with tears in her eyes and told me that Jenny had passed away - Jenny's lungs had failed from a massive pulmonary hemorrhage and she left us at 9:16am on Tue 30 Jun 2009.

I said to Jodi I had not expected it to end this way. For some time I had thought we would have Jenny at home for a final few months of caring for her as she quietly left us - just as Jenny and Joanne had done with their mother. Jodie told me you can never tell how it will end and that for Jenny "it started with the lungs and ended with the lungs".

Though Jenny never met Chris O'Brien face to face, they were rather well connected in many ways, not just through their cancers. Jenny was the Sutherland Shire Relay for Life Survivor Representative in 2007 and she spoke to a large crowd at the Candle Ceremony on the day of the Relay.

Relay for Life 2007 - Jenny - Survivor Representative - Sylvania Waters - Sat 28 Apr 2007 (picasa)

Geoff, Jenny, Grace, Lynn, Betty, Thomas, Grant, Joanne and David - Relay for Life 2007 - Jenny - Survivor Representative - Sylvania Waters - Sat 28 Apr 2007 (picasa)

The next year, Chris O'Brien was the Survivor Representative and it was his turn to speak at the Candle Ceremony. We almost got a photo with him after his talk, but he was in a dinner suit and had to rush off to a Charlie Teo Foundation (Cure for Life Foundation) Dinner.

The last talk Jenny gave was on the 1 April 2009 at the Riverview School in Lane Cove. The talk was given to approximately 200 Year 9 and 10 boys. They were mesmerised and inspired by her story of hope, courage and strength. Jenny was also touched by the fact that the guest speaker they had a month earlier was Dr Chris O'Brien, a person she felt quite connected with. He made sense to her through his own public journey with cancer.

Geoff, Jenny and Joanne - Riverview School - Wed 01 Apr 2009

On Fri 3 Jul 2009, as Joanne and I readied ourselves for Jenny's Funeral on Mon 6 Jul 2009, we found a spare moment and I played this video for Joanne to finaly watch. It was a moving moment.

Geoff and Joanne - Kirrawee - Fri 03 Jul 2009

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Photos: Intersection - Brussels/Belgium - Sep 2009

Intersection - Brussels/Belgium - Sep 2009

Another Intersection photo. Saw the Red poles first and then got really lucky with a red bike passing by within moments.

Any Given Sunday - Inch By Inch Speech by Al Pacino

Al Pacino's Inch By Inch speech from Any Given Sunday

The background music is "Peace", by Paul Kelly, on Soundings in Film

One of my team mates from Prague 2009 had this on his Notebook. Before we got off the Bus at the race site for the 200m races, he played this to the Team. I enjoyed it and it seemed to do the trick. Somehow we squirmed into 3rd place in the final for a completely unexpected Bronze. Thanks Rick. Just a memory from Prague 2009.

Rick Lambe and Gary Quartermain - Senior Open 200m Final Presentation - Racice/Prague - Fri 29 Aug 2009

Inch By Inch Speech by Al Pacino

I don't know what to say really.
Three minutes
to the biggest battle of our professional lives
all comes down to today.
we heal
as a team
or we are going to crumble.
Inch by inch
play by play
till we're finished.
We are in hell right now, gentlemen
believe me
we can stay here
and get the sh*t kicked out of us
we can fight our way
back into the light.
We can climb out of hell.
One inch, at a time.

Now I can't do it for you.
I'm too old.
I look around and I see these young faces
and I think
I mean
I made every wrong choice a middle age man could make.
I uh....
I pissed away all my money
believe it or not.
I chased off
anyone who has ever loved me.
And lately,
I can't even stand the face I see in the mirror.

You know when you get old in life
things get taken from you.
That's, that's part of life.
you only learn that when you start losing stuff.
You find out that life is just a game of inches.
So is football.
Because in either game
life or football
the margin for error is so small.
I mean
one half step too late or to early
you don't quite make it.
One half second too slow or too fast
and you don't quite catch it.
The inches we need are everywhere around us.
They are in ever break of the game
every minute, every second.

On this team, we fight for that inch
On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us
to pieces for that inch.
We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know
when we add up all those inches
that's going to make the f*ing difference
between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING.

I'll tell you this
in any fight
it is the guy who is willing to die
who is going to win that inch.
And I know
if I am going to have any life anymore
it is because, I am still willing to fight, and die for that inch
because that is what LIVING is.
The six inches in front of your face.

Now I can't make you do it.
You gotta look at the guy next to you.
Look into his eyes.
Now I think you are going to see a guy who will go that inch with you.
You are going to see a guy
who will sacrifice himself for this team
because he knows when it comes down to it,
you are gonna do the same thing for him.

That's a team, gentlemen
and either we heal now, as a team,
or we will die as individuals.
That's football guys.
That's all it is.
Now, whattaya gonna do?

Macau 2010: Intention and Reflection

Intention & Reflection by Drew Ginn (7 May 2007)

What does it mean to have conscious intent?

To be fully engaged and intentionally focused is a critical ingredient for improving performance.

Maintaining a clear focus when everything becomes hazy with fatigue and stress is certainly some thing I practice.

It is something that I work on while engaged in any activity, in fact that is the greatest part you can practice it any time.

Being clear about what, how and why creates a purposeful performance and intention is that capacity to transfer thought in to action.

It is easy to switch off and go through the motions, but to stay present and aware is a challenge, at least initially.

That's why I love training by myself sometimes, it enables me to practice finding that clarity and to apply thought or mental image to action.

Reflection is important to ensure that what you intent is realised and it is upon reflection that insights are gained about how to improve each session, each stroke, each race and each season.

Clear intention is like a laser. It penetrates through the power of unity. A diffused athlete is more likely to under perform than an athlete who is clear, driven and focused.

Another blog post that I keep coming back to read.

Now that we are back from Macau, it is a good time to reflect on what was achieved and how it was done ..

CCWC Mixed 500m Final (Video Screen) - Pacific Dragons/Lane 2 - Macau/China- Sat 31 Jul 2010

Premier Mixed 500m Final - Macau/China - Sat 31 Jul 2010

CCWC Mixed 500m Final - Pacific Dragons - Macau/China- Sat 31 Jul 2010

Premier Mixed 500m Medal Presentation - Pacific Dragons/World Champions - Sun 01 Aug 2010

Pacific Dragons Premier Mixed 500m Team - Back (l-r) Geoff Eldridge, Norman Joe, Rachel Mosen, Kerry Davenport, Darren Ma, Todd Skeels, Craig Stewart, Justin Spake, Michal Hrcka, Suzy Kong, Annett Happich, Mark Hall, Lisa Green, Stuart Young, Toby Wilson, Graeme Bacon Front (l-r) Michelle Ng, Helen Papin, Christian Happich, Matt Spies, Michelle Hone, Nicola Frowen, Di Morgan, Paul Smith, Christophe Pistoni, Julia Ryall, Kathaleen Burrows - Macau/China - Sun 01 Aug 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Photos: Intersection - Shanghai - May 2010

Intersection - Shanghai - May 2010

Just another intersection photo. Could say there are some Jeffrey Smart influences in seeing this photo. Was firstly, drawn in by the Red Car and Front Red Sign. Then was pleased to see the receding Red Signs as well as the Blue Signs. All came together nicely. The most complicated version of the colour theme photos I have posted so far.

Another and closer view ..

Intersection/Another view - Shanghai - May 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Thoughts on Being the Best by Vernon Gambetta (11 Nov 2008)

Thoughts on Being the Best by Coach Vernon Gambetta (11 Nov 2008).

Control what you can, not what you can’t! Be Smart. Work on something specific each day. Have a plan! Train with a purpose. Improvement is incremental. Small steps lead to big steps.

Pressure - Pressure is what you make it! Use the pressure to make you better, internalize it and use it as a positive influence.

Belief – Think you are the best and you are on your way. Confidence, believe in yourself, your preparation and your support system.

Routine – Great athletes doing the same thing, the same way, at the same time each day. Regularity. You can set a clock by the great ones.

Work - Every one works. The great ones work smarter. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses objectively. Minimize your weaknesses and optimize your strengths. Bring your weaknesses up to the level of your strengths.

Choices - It is always about choices. Make the choice to be the best. Life is constantly about choices.

Improvement - Michael Jordan, as good as he was, got better every year he played! He would pick one aspect of his game each off-season and set out to improve that aspect with relentless determination.

Perfection - The perfect game has yet to be played, in fact it will probably never be played. The perfect race has yet to be run. That does not mean we should not strive for perfection, it does mean that that we should strive for perfection but not be frustrated when we do not achieve perfection. Take chances, risk, try a new move in a game, take on a defender. Make things happen!

Mental Toughness - Physical preparation gives mental strength. Push yourself, do not give in. Go the extra step and the extra mile.

Effort - Performance may vary, but effort is a constant. You have control over your effort. Make it high energy, high level and purposeful. Consistent effort will level out the peaks and valleys in performance.

Goals - It is about goal achievement not goal setting. Anyone can set goals, but few can achieve goals! Dreams are private. Goals are public. Share them. Find people to support you to achieve your goals. Be specific both in setting your goals and the means to achievement. Constantly visualize yourself achieving your goals!

Focus - No rabbit ears! Program your inner voice to respond only to what you tell it. Only listen to your positive self-talk. Filter out the negatives.

Evaluation - Self-assessment is a constant for those who chose to be great. Be objective. Look at the positives and the negatives. It is an ongoing process. Evaluation and self-assessment are a series of stepping-stones necessary to climb the staircase of success.

Be yourself and true to yourself. You are great and will get better!

A copy of a blog post that I always come back to. Learnt a lot from this and all of Vern's writing.

Geoff an Jim Farintosh Canadian Senior Mixed/Open Coach and Sweep - Racice Prague - Fri 29 Aug 2009

Always take the time to say hello to Jim Farintosh from Toronto. First met him at Sydney 2007 when he coached and swept the Canadian Senior Open and Mixed Teams. Next said hello in Penang in Aug 2008 where he coached and swept the Toronto area "Mayfair Predators". Decided in Prague to finally get a photo with him after the Senior Open's 200m medal presentation. A top coach and a person who is obviously highly regarded by his peers.

Photos: Intersection - Geneva / Switzerland (Fri 19 Aug 2005)

Intersection - Geneva / Switzerland (Fri 19 Aug 2005)

Just another intersection photo.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Favourite Photos: Tung Chung Intersection - Hong Kong - Jul 2010

Intersection - Tung Chung/Lantau Island/Hong Kong - Mon 26 Jul 2010

Seem to be drawn to Intersections, Pedestrian Crossings, Safey Barriers, Traffic Signs and Road Markings. Saw the above photo while waiting to catch the Cable Car (Ngong Ping 360) to see the Tian Tan Buddha. This is just one of many Intersection photos I have taken over the years. Very Smart like.

Study for 'Car Park at Night' - Jeffrey Smart - oil on canvas, 56 x 46cm - 1986

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Macau 2010: The warrior of light is a believer ..

The warrior of light is a believer.

Because he believes in miracles, miracles begin to happen. Because he is sure that his thoughts can change his life, his life begins to change. Because he is certain that he will find love, that love appears.

Now and then he is disappointed. Sometimes he gets hurt.

Then he hears people say ‘He is so ingenuous

But the warrior knows that it is worth it. For every defeat, he has two victories in his favour.

All believers know this.

From the Manual of Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho. A really hard campaign (and here) for me in many ways, but I know we believed when it counted most - it was a matter of 'remembering and honouring', and 'letting go' at the same time .

Pacific Dragons 2km Premier Mixed Team - (b-f-l-r) Kaizer Austin, Michelle Hone, Lisa Green, Rachel Mosen, Joanne Petterson, Nicola Frowen, Geoff Eldridge (Jenny's Candle), Kerry Davenport, Helen Papin, Paul Smith, Di Morgan, Michelle Ng, Stuart Young, Anne Weber, Christian Happich, Annett Happich, Christophe Pistoni, Craig Stewart, Graeme Bacon, Matt Spies, Michal Hrcka, Justin Spake, Mark Hall, Todd Skeels, Norman Joe - Macau/China - Thu 29 Jul 2009

A candle for Jenny - Macau/China - Thu 29 Jul 2009

Pacific Dragons Small Boat 200m Premier Womens - (b-f-l-r) Michelle Hone, Nicola Frowen, Joanne Petterson, Annett Happich, Michelle Ng, Anne Weber, kathaleen Burrows, Di Morgan, Julia Ryall, Suzy Kong, Kerry Davenport, Helen Papin, Lisa Green, Rachel Mosen - Macau/China - Fri 30 Jul 2010

Geoff, Joanne and Mike Haslam - Macau/China - Fri 30 Jul 2010

Premier Mixed 500m Final - Macau/China - Sat 31 Jul 2010

Pacific Dragons Premier Mixed 500m Team - Back (l-r) Geoff Eldridge, Norman Joe, Rachel Mosen, Kerry Davenport, Darren Ma, Todd Skeels, Craig Stewart, Justin Spake, Michal Hrcka, Suzy Kong, Annett Happich, Mark Hall, Lisa Green, Stuart Young, Toby Wilson, Graeme Bacon Front (l-r) Michelle Ng, Helen Papin, Christian Happich, Matt Spies, Michelle Hone, Nicola Frowen, Di Morgan, Paul Smith, Christophe Pistoni, Julia Ryall, Kathaleen Burrows - Macau/China - Sun 01 Aug 2010

Macau 2010: The Warrior's Motivation and Inspiration ..

One day, for no apparent reason, the warrior realises that he does not feel the same enthusiasm for the fight that he used to.

He continues to do what he has always done, but every gesture seems meaningless. At such a time, he has only one choice: to continue fighting the Good Fight. He says his prayers out of duty or fear or whatever, but he does not abandon the path.

He knows that the angel of the One who inspires him has simply wandered off somewhere. The warrior keeps his attention focused on the battle and he perseveres, even when everything seems utterly pointless. The angel will soon return and the merest flutter of her wings will restore the warrior's joy to him.

From the Manual of Warrior of Light by Paulo Coelho - (more here). More about Macau 2010.

Geoff and Joanne - Macau/China - Fri 30 Jul 2010

A candle for Jenny - Macau/China - Thu 29 Jul 2009

Hotel Eaton/Hong Kong - Tue 27 Jul 2010

Joanne and Geoff - Ord River Marathon - Kununarra/WA - Sun 13 Jun 2010

Geoff and Joanne - 2010 Asian Dragon Boat Championships - Wujin/China - Sat 01 May 2010

Geoff and Joanne - 2010 Asian Dragon Boat Championships Opening Ceremony - Wujin/China - Fri 30 Apr 2010

Geoff and Joanne - AusDBF National Dragon Boat Championships - Adelaide - Sun 25 Apr 2010

Back (l-r) Mark Hall, Michal Hrcka, Marty Doherty, Craig Stewart, Graeme Bacon, Grant Billen, Norman Joe, Stuart Young Front (l-r) Adrian Wicks, Moana, Geoff Eldridge, Gavin Godfrey, Matt Spies - Pacific Dragons Mens Outriggers - OC6 State Marathon Titles/Port Stephens - Sat 27 Mar 2010

Jenny, Geoff and Joanne - St George Private Hospital - Sun 19 Aug 2006 (picasa)

Geoff and Jenny - 2nd Wedding Anniversay - Quay West/Sydney - Tue 30 Apr 2002

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Favourite Photos - How much beauty in decay! - Hyde Park/Sydney - Dec 2001

Leaf - How much beauty in decay! - Hyde Park/Sydney - Wed 27 Dec 2001 (picasa)

A photo I took after work during the Christmas New Year period of 2001. Fires were burning all round Sydney and the sky was covered in smoke which resulted in a strange orange colour which can be seen in this photo. At the time I was reading much about photography and various photographers. This particular photo was inspired by Eliot Porter.

Eliot Porter was a photographer I found early on in my photography journey and self-education. It was easy to appreciate his work (google). He was a pioneer of colour photography (more here) and his life work was bequested to the Amon Carter Museum in 1990 shortly before he died (NYT Orbituary).

Not sure how I found him, but his name seems to appear whenever landscape photographers start talking about Colour Landscape Photography when compared to Black and White Landscape Photography, particularly that of Ansel Adams (looking at the size of the wikipedia entries, it is easy to see who was more popular both as a photographer and selection of photographic technique).

Found some interesting information about him searching the web (google). Also, found some of his books (along with those of Australia's own Peter Dombrovskis) in the National Library of Australia and would often take a look at them in NLA's reading rooms when in Canberra. Many of his photos resonated with my own vision and definitely influenced me when taking landscape (even streetscape and travel) photos, particularly in the Snow Mountains.

At the UNSW I found the book Eliot Porter: photographs and text (a great article) by Eliot Porter. Learnt a lot from the text and photos selected for the book. The following is a quote (see my page) from the book, which helped form my photographic vision ..
"It is the beauty of nature that I try to represent by photography. What this expression means to most people, I am quite sure, is such features as flowers of spring, autumn foliage, mountain landscapes, and many other similar aspects about aesthetic qualities of which no one would care to offer contradiction. That they are beautiful is indisputable, but they are not all that is beautiful about nature; in fact they are only the obvious and superficial aspects of nature - which anyone may observe with half and eye. They are the peaks and summits of nature's greatest displays. There is no doubt about their importance; they could not be dispensed with. Underlying and supporting these brillant displays are slow, quiet processes that pass almost unnoticed from season to season, unnoticed by those that think that beauty in natures is all its gaudy displays.

Much is missed if we have eyes only for the bright colors. Nature should be viewed without distinction. All her processes and evolutions are beautiful or ugly to the unbiased and indiscriminating observer. She makes no choice herself; everything that happens has equal significance. Nothing can dispensed with. This is a common mistake that many people make; they think that half of nature can be destroyed - the uncomfortable half - while still retaining the acceptable and the pleasing side; their idea is a paradise where nature stands still. Withering flowers blooming, death follows growth, decay follows death, and life follows decay - in a wonderful, complicated, endless web the beauties of which are manifest to a point of view attached to vulgar restricting concepts of what constitutes beauty in nature. Thoreau, who observerd all aspects of nature throughout his life, repeatedly remarked on the beauty of the unaccepted. 'How much beauty in decay!' he exclaimed on examining a worm-eaten leaf. To him the sere, brown leaves of winter were as beautiful as the fresh green of spring. This was a principle that has remained important for me throughout my career."
A fairly long quote, but for me was definitely something worth remembering.

This link provides a great summary of the life and works of Eliot Porter. I like the ending quote ..

The final paragraphs on the art of photography touch on his views to color, composition and emotional content of his images:
"Sensitivity cannot be faked by trickor devise; it has no substitute, and any attempt to replace it with mechancial contrivances is certain to be apparent to the more discerning critics. Not all photographs have to be inspired to be worth making, but the best, rare photographs are the result of a a force at least very close to inspiration. Formulized work becomes impersonal, an all the individuality of authorship tends to disappear. It unquestionably has its uses, but it is not art."
The book itself echoes Porter's ability to redact nature's chaos into a single harmonious image, and is a well-deserved tribute to this pioneer of color nature photography.

The following was one of my favourite Eliot Porter photos:

Pool in a Brook, Brook Pond/New Hampshire by Eliot Porter - 04 Oct 1953 (Carter Museum)

I recently thought of Eliot Porter and the above photo, when I took the following photo during the 2010 Ord River Marathon:

Ord River Reflections - 2010 Ord River Marathon - Sun 14 Jun 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Favourite Photos: Macau/China 2010 - Green and Yellow

Green and Yellow - Macau - Mon 02 Aug 2010 - (picasa)

Just back from a week in Macau for the 7th IDBF Club Crew World Dragon Boat Championships. Had a chance to wander around yesterday and found this photo which continues with the same colour theme as Blue (Fowey/UK - Sep/2010) and Green (Shanghai - May/2010).