Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sydney Life 2010 - In the Park

Enjoying Sydney Life 2010. I snapped each of the canvas' framed by the surrounding trees and gardens using my Canon G10. Processed the CR2 Raw files using Google's Desktop Application named Picasa. Uploaded the resulting photos to my Picasa Account in a Folder named Sydney Life 2010. Used Picasa to create a few collages.

As indicated last week, I seem to be quite drawn to Tamara Dean's photo titled This too Shall Pass. From my brief viewing of Sydney Life 2010, Tamara's photo has certainly drawn some attention by the viewers. Even had one person ask me, whether I thought the Dogs were of "xyz" type (sorry I can't remember, and I don't know :-)

As I see the photos more, I start to see little details, and I try to photograph these details as the weeks go by.

As I used to say to Jenny, "just mucking around" and having some fun.

This too Shall Pass (by Tamara Dean) - Sydney Life 2010 - Wed 29 Sep 2010 (picasa)

Detail - This too Shall Pass (by Tamara Dean) - Sydney Life 2010 - Wed 29 Sep 2010 (picasa)

Collage - Sydney Life 2010 - Wed 29 Sep 2010 (picasa)

Collage/Detail - Sydney Life 2010 - Wed 29 Sep 2010 (picasa)

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Minds Eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson (Extract)

For photographers, there are two kinds of selection to be made, and either of them can lead to eventual regrets.

There is the selection we make when we look through the view-finder at the subject; and there is the one we make after the films have been developed and printed.

After developing and printing, you must go about separating the pictures which, though they are all right, aren’t the strongest.

When it’s too late, then you know with a terrible clarity exactly where you failed; and at this point you often recall the telltale feeling you had while you were actually making the pictures.

Was it a feeling of hesitation due to uncertainty?

Was it because of some physical gulf between yourself and the unfolding event?

Was it simply that you did not take into account a certain detail in relation to the whole setup?

Or was it (and this is more frequent) that your glance became vague, your eyes wandered off?

The Picture Story in The Minds Eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson.

What struck about this passage was not the regret that is felt at losing an opportunity to have a great photo, but what we have learnt from why the photo is not as strong as we would like. I have felt this in not only in my photography, but also in my paddling. If you know you have made a mistake and know why, then you have learnt a valuable lesson and you will become better at your chosen activity.

Graffiti - Brick Lane/London - Wed 2 Sep 2009

Window and Books - St Ives/Cornwall - Tue 8 Sep 2009

Intersection: Berlin - Aug 2005

Photos: Intersection - Berlin - Aug 2005

Have always liked this photo. Love all the elements that make this so pleasing to my eye - the colours (Orange, Yellow and Black, and Red), the composition and even the graffiti. One of the first photos that lead me down this path.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Heroes - IceHouse Live - 110% Tony Squires - Aug 2004

Heroes - IceHouse Live - 110% Tony Squires - Aug 2004

Was shown on Channel 7 a few weeks before the 2004 Athens Olypmics. Was happy to find this as I lost my recording on a failed hard disk.

Berlin Wall Mural - Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing his East German counterpart Erich Honecke - (more here) - Aug 2005

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Photos: Sydney Life 2010 (24 Sep 2010)

It's that time of the year where the northern walkway of Sydney's Hyde Park becomes an outdoor gallery for 22 large scale 3x2m canvas printed photographs. The exhibition is now called Sydney Life and is part of the month long Art and About Festival. The exhibition has been held annually since at least 2002 (that is my first recollection at least). Unfortunately, the web site for each years exhibition is overwritten by the coming years exhibition. Would be nice if there was a permanent archive, though I do have the programmes for each years selection.

Collage - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

On the afternoon of the second day of the exhibition (Fri 24 Sep 2010) I took a wander along the walkway to see what had been selected for this years exhibition. It was not a surprise to see Tamara Dean and Dean Sewell featuring again with another couple of stunning photos.

I always photograph all the photos in position in the Park, and this year I used my iPhone and sent the photos to a folder in my picasa account.

I often think some photos have been selected because they fit so well into the location and the framing each position along the walkway provides. In the morning the photos along the eastern walkway are backlit and in the afternoon the west side photos are backlit.

Lynn Smith's photo of an abandoned Industrial Warehouse seems to be beautifully framed by the branches of the trees in the backgound. They interact with the rafters on the warehouse's roof.

The Judges choice for this year exhibition was Nick May's black and white photo of a Bondi beach scene. They said:

"It was a difficult choice for the judges with many fine photographs to choose from but we were drawn to Nicholas May's timeless and unforgettable image showing Sydney as an almost mythic place of relaxation on Australia Day. It's a sculptural, deeply unsentimental observation of Australians at play and the cultural ambiguities found on Sydney's most famous beach."

Apart from Lynn Smith's photo, I also enjoy James Hill's elevated view of the Five Ways in Paddington using a large format camera. There is a lot going on in the photo and I will go back to look at it in more detail.

Finally, I think Tamara Dean's photo, The Pack, from her Series This Too Shall Pass is a beautifully delicate photo, which is a signature element in many of her photos. Must admit I don't really understand it, but it is beautiful to look at in the afternoon before the sun disappears early behind the city sky line. It really did stand out.

Will take a walk to see what the light does to the photos in the morning.

[Post note: A great article on last year's Sydney Life - Sydney Life, 1 October 2009 - not obvious which photographer it was who put this together. Would like to see the documentary. ]

Proof Sheet - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Nick May - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Geoff Harvey - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

James Hill - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Lynn Smith (flickr) - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Paris Spellson - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Tamara Dean (more) - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Gregory McBean - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Tom Williams - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Steve Christo - Sydney Life 2010 - Hyde Park/Sydney - Fri 24 Sep 2010

Photos: Intersection - Toulouse - Wed 23 Sep 2009

Intersection - Toulouse - Wed 23 Sep 2009

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Pilgrimage – The Ord River Marathon

The Pilgrimage – The Ord River Marathon

"How we came to be on a dragon boat paddling down the Ord River in the Kimberleys, is a bit of a long story."

These were Michelle Hanton’s, now famous, words at the start of the Ord Marathon in the 2004 June Long Weekend Australian Story Episode, In the Pink. This episode told the Dragons Abreast Story in Australia and it covered all aspects of living life with breast cancer. It helped raise the awareness and benefits of Dragons Abreast Australia, and the number of new Dragons Abreast clubs and paddlers grew quickly across Australia. For the Ord Marathon Organisers, the Kununarra Dragon Boat Club, the show also exposed their great event to Australia and the World.

Joanne and Jo Stanton at the Start (Jo was the Marathon Registrar and also helped with the coordination of the Flowers for the Lily Lake Flowers on the Water Ceremony) - Sun 13 Jun 2010

Geoff, Lindsay Gassman and Joanne - Lindsay lead a great team that not only organised, but also paddled the Marathon - Lily Lake/Kununarra - Sun 13 Jun 2010

The Ord River Marathon is 55km Dragon Boat paddle down the Ord River from the Lake Arygle Dam Wall to the Lily Lake in Kununarra. The paddlers weave their way along the Ord River through one the oldest landscapes in the world. Anyone who has travelled the Ord will tell you about the beautiful dominant colours of the orange weathered gorges, the unique green vegetation and the blue sky that comes with the beginning of the "dry season".

Jenny's Paddle - Colours of the Ord: The Orange, Blues and Greens - Ord River - Sun 13 Jun 2010

For all who have paddled the Ord River Marathon, I am sure there "is a bit of a long story" and for many in the Dragons Abreast Community, the Ord River Marathon has become a kind of "pilgrimage" and a must do at some stage in their paddling career.

Fast forwarding six years to the 2010 June Long Weekend, Joanne and I would find ourselves undertaking the Ord River Marathon as part of the Penrith based Pendragons Dragons Abreast Team – "The Spirit of Friendship".

For Jenny, Joanne and myself the Ord River Marathon was something we always wanted to do. Jenny and I had travelled across the Kimberley’s in May 2001 (Jenny and Joanne had only just started dragon boat paddling) and we spent a few days in Kununarra, which included travelling down the Ord River, along the same course of the Ord River Marathon, on the "Triple J" Tour Boat (the main support boat for the Marathon, as we would find out this year).

Jenny on the Trip J Tour Boat - Ord River - 19 May 2001

So in 2004 when Jenny had co-featured in the Australian Story Episode with Michelle and various others, the Ord River was very familiar and the Ord Marathon was an event we set as a goal. Indeed for me, it was one of the reasons I started paddling.

In the Pink - Australian Story - Mon 14 Jun 2004

In the Pink - Australian Story - Mon 14 Jun 2004

Every time the opportunity presented itself to paddle the Ord River Marathon, we were always busy on some other paddling campaign and we would always say, hopefully next time. Unfortunately, Jenny passed away on the 30 June 2009.

When Joanne and I were invited by the Pendragons Dragons Abreast Team to paddle the Ord Marathon with them on Sunday of the June Long Weekend this year, we felt very privileged and a great sense of honour. Like many DA clubs, the Australian Story Episode was the catalyst for the creation of their club and the reason a number of their members started paddling.

The Spirit of Friendship - Morning Tea Break at end of the first leg - Ord River - Sun 13 Jun 2010

There were many special moments for all of us who paddled that day and we all felt a great sense of pride in completing the 4 legs of the Marathon in good time, having started at 7:30am and finishing around 4:30pm.

Morning Tea Break at the end of the First Leg - Ord River - Sun 13 Jun 2010

Joanne has used Jenny’s paddle since Jenny’s passing and for the 3rd and longest flatwater leg (15km) of the Marathon, each of the paddlers in our boat paddled with Jenny’s paddle for approximately 1 km – this seemed to help make this our strongest leg.

As we entered the Lily Lake all the Dragon Boats came together so that we would finish together. A few meters from the finish, in front of a large crowd, all six Dragon Boats rafted up and the two Dragons Abreast Crews spread some flowers across the Lily Lake, and Joanne and I scattered some of Jenny’s Ashes.

Jenny - Remembering Jenny - Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort/Kununarra - Sun 13 Jun 2010

Congratulations to everyone who paddled their dream and added another memorable page to their life story. Also a huge thank you for everyone involved in running this great event and to the Pendragons Dragons Abreast 'Spirit of Friendship' Team for giving us the opportunity to paddle this event in Jenny’s Honour and Memory.

[Note: This article was originally published in the July 2010 Issue of Dragons Abreast Australia's Magazine In the Loop (pdf)]

The Spirit of Friendship - Back (l-r) Geoff Eldridge, Louise Blockley, Debbie Roberts, Lynne Barrass, Barb Williams, Joy Mutimer, Jan Giles, John Caldwell, Jan Caldwell, Front (l-r) Joanne Peterson, Rita Redden, Gillian Brown, Sharon Mathieson, Julie Willis - Lily Lake/Kununarra - Sun 13 Jun 2010

Joanne and Geoff - Kununarra - Sun 13 Jun 2010

Jenny overlooking Kununarra - Lookout/Kununarra - 16 May 2001

Photos: Intersection - Bondi Junction / Sydney - Wed 22 Sep 2010

Intersection - Target - Bondi Junction - Wed 22 Sep 2010

Intersection - Red: Bigger, Better, Brighter - Bondi Junction - Wed 22 Sep 2010

Intersection - Red, Yellow and Green - Corner Park and Castlereagh Streets/Sydney - Wed 22 Sep 2010

"Just mucking around!" - Geoff 22 Sep 2010

PS - Sydney Life 2010 Starts Thu 23 Sep 2010 (until Sun 24 Oct 2010).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Introduction - Dragons Abreast Seminar - Brisbane (31 Aug 2010)

The Introduction

Dragons Abreast Ausrtralia Seminar
Cancer Council Queensland
Tuesday 31st August, 2010

Thank you for having us here tonight. We appreciate the opportunity to continue to tell Jenny’s story.

This is the first time that Joanne and I have had the opportunity to tell Jenny’s Story since her passing on the 30 June 2009.

Geoff and Joanne - Jenny's Memorial and Ashes Placement - Woronora - 30 Aug 2010

As Mike Haslam (Executive President of the International Dragon Boat Federation) wrote to us just before our first Christmas without Jenny ..

"Jenny will continue to be an inspiration to us all and her story will be there for others as an example of the strength of the human body and spirit when faced with adversity, [..]

Her story and your telling of it will ensure that Jenny lives on, not only in your own hearts and minds, but in those of everyone who comes to know her through you."

Jenny, Mike and Joanne - Club Crew World Championships - Penang/Malaysia - Thu 29 Jul 2008

Geoff, Mike and Joanne with Jenny's Paddle and Gold Medal - Prague/Racice - World Dragon Boat Championships - Day 5 - Sun 30 Aug 2009

Jenny’s life changed after the June 2004 airing of In the Pink, the Australian Story Episode that we have just watched. From then on, Jenny was often recognised in public. She, and even Joanne, would often be "pulled up" by people in the street or at regattas so that they could share their story about how the Australian Story episode helped them to make positive changes to their lives.

In the Pink - Australian Story - Mon 14 Jun 2004

In the Pink - Australian Story - Mon 14 Jun 2004

A few months later, in October 2004, just before Jenny and Jo flew out to Shanghai for the World Dragon Boat Championships, Jenny was asked to speak at a Pink Ribbon Lunch where the Governor of NSW, Marie Bashir, was the special guest.

Geoff, Joanne, Marie Bashir and Jenny - Pink Ribbon Lunch - Sydney - Mon 11 Oct 2004

The talk was well received and this was the start of many to follow, as she became a Speaker for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

As the years passed by, Jenny’s story evolved (through the spreading of the cancer and her dragon boat adventures) and she was constantly editing and adding to it.

Jenny as Ausrtalian Flag Bearer with Australian Dragon Boat Crew - Opening Ceremony - Asian Dragon Boat Championships - Sep 2006

Jenny - Jenny's Gall Bladder had failed a few weeks after a liver resection - St George Hospital Emergency Unit - Jun 2007

In the later years she added a photo slide show to provide a visual element to the presentation.

Powerpoint Slide Presentation - Riverview Talk (pdf soon)

So when we were invited by Michelle and Jo to speak about Jenny’s Story tonight, we thought long and hard about it. In the end, we felt that we could not tell Jenny’s story better than she did. So we thought it would be appropriate, and as a tribute to Jenny, we would present Jenny’s last talk (pdf), which she did at Riverview College on the 1st April 2009, just three short months before she left us.

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

The complete presentation is here:
  • The Climb - Our Main Range Summit Challenge (here)

  • The Climb (Video) - Jenny's Amazing Climb (here)

Monday, September 20, 2010

GPS - A Dragon Boat Training Session - Thu 13 Aug 2009

I have used a small GPS for my paddling since February 2007. Started out with a Garmin 305, and following its failure in Nov 2008, I moved to a Locosys GT31.

Have found the GPS output to be useful in gauging what is happening with the boat during a session (stopped looking at it in the boat a long time ago). Also, when comparing with other GPS outputs, we can see the outcomes of the our training over the course of the season or campaign.

I have developed and refined numerous spreadsheets and programs to process the data, and present some useful information in the form of graphs and tables. Ultimately, I hope to have a web site - (have registered the domain name and have lots of python code already written) - up and running (by writing this here, I will hopefully find the motivation to finish the web site off).

The following is an example. The reason I show this particular session, is that it stands out in my mind and shows a breakthrough in our performance and training. We had come a long way since early May 2009. It demonstrated that we had blended together as a team and we were definitely a strong crew (both physically and mentally) with potential to achieve our dreams. Aim to make the Final and anything is possible ..

The 500m Sets were done at Level 4 (a couple of notches below race pace) with a soft 20 Stroke Start (114m at 30s - the high 120m's is where you need to be competitive in an international race) with both 500m Sets done in around 2min 3secs. Certainly not world record pace, but for a long and intense training session, very respectable. Actually, I had not recorded such numbers in any boat in training on the Bay and remember being very excited when I downloaded and processed the data.

Over the next week we would change and refine our starts to a 25 Stroke Start for the 500m and a 30 Stroke Start for the 200m. I always found the 30 Start better and hoped that we would move to a 30 Start for the 500m's at some stage. We did this in our last race as a Mixed Crew (as George called it - "The Rabbit out of the Hat"), the Final of the Senior Mixed 500m in Prague on Sat 29 Aug 2009. It worked brilliantly.

[No secrets here - every campaign, boat, crew, technique and waterway is different. What's done is done and hopefully we can learn from every experience. The GPS definitely facilities the learning experience for the current session and campaign as well as for future campaigns.]

Session - Australian Senior Mixed Dragon Boat Team Training - GPS - Blackwattle Bay - Thu 13 Aug 2009

Set3/Side 1/500m@L4 - Australian Senior Mixed Dragon Boat Team Training - GPS - Blackwattle Bay - Thu 13 Aug 2009

Set4/Side 2/500m@L4 - Australian Senior Mixed Dragon Boat Team Training - GPS - Blackwattle Bay - Thu 13 Aug 2009

Set10/Side 2/Broken 500m - Australian Senior Mixed Dragon Boat Team Training - GPS - Blackwattle Bay - Thu 13 Aug 2009

Statistics - Australian Senior Mixed Dragon Boat Team Training - GPS - Blackwattle Bay - Thu 13 Aug 2009

It's Official - Senior Mixed 500m Final - Prague/Racice - Sat 29 Aug 2009