Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Getting Started - 4 Years On Today ..

The Eiffel Tower - The first time I saw the Eiffel Tower - Paris (Wed 24 Aug 2005)

Jenny and Geoff - Paris (Thu 25 Aug 2005)

It all started with this little challenge (*) by Seth Godin (*) on the Tue 24 Feb 2009 to celebrate his 3,000th blog post:
if you'd like to celebrate this milestone (there won't be another like it for three years or so) please go ahead and start a blog. If you already have a blog, please go ahead and post something really interesting today.
A few days later I would take up the challenge and I posted my 1st blog post here at eljeiffel (*) titled Getting Started (*). Since I had been blogging (the term had not been developed back then) for the period between 1997 and 2003, I looked to my experiences back then and I started again with a small quote (*) from Gustave Eiffel about essentially function and form.

I won't go on as I think I touched on what I have learnt about myself and life, over the last 4 or so years, in my 1,000th blog post (*) back in Aug 2012. All I will say is that it has been challenging, rewarding and interesting for me, at least, and I am glad I took up Seth's challenge back on Thu 26 Feb 2009. The act of creating, editing and the resulting archive (*), seems to give me some comfort and a way to reflect on who I was, who I am and (maybe an inkling to) who I hope to be.

Geoff - A Small Statue / Sculpture of Gustave Eiffel - He designed the structural skeleton for the Statue of Liberty - Liberty Island / New York (Mon 15 Aug 2011)

Blue - Erskineville Road / Erskineville (Wed 13 Feb 2013)

Blue - Erskineville Road / Erskineville (Wed 13 Feb 2013)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Warning Light - Mt Fuji / Japan (Wed 19 Sep 2012)

Warning Light - Mt Fuji / Japan (Wed 19 Sep 2012)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Wheat Paddock - Somewhere between Burren Junction and Walgett (Nov 1988)

Wheat Paddock - Somewhere between Burren Junction and Walgett (Nov 1988)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Wall - Kyoto (Sat 15 Sep 2012)

Wall - Kyoto (Sat 15 Sep 2012)

Friday, February 22, 2013

On Success and Searching - Bruce Wrighton (1988)

Poster Boy - Erskineville Road / Newtown (Wed 13 Feb 2013)

Bruce Wrighton (*) makes the following observation On Success (*):
Success is, of course, as an internal factor – a connection that we, or I, have made with whatever I am searching for.

Sometimes it can be elusive.

Sometimes it can be immediately self-evident.

The expression. The pose. The posturing. There can be windows that open up that are surprises.

But it’s that connection.

It’s the connection between having a sense of what you are working for, but not really having it defined well enough, so you always have to search, you always have to dig a little bit, it’s always a little bit unknown what you are looking for.
which leads onto a rather interesting observation about the relationship between Success (*) and Searching (*):
If you know what you are looking for I’m not sure what the value of finding it is.

That is to say, I’m not sure what’s the value of doing the search. At that point that part of you has been ‘played out’ so to speak.

If I find myself making the same images over and over again,

I begin to suspect that I have to dig a little harder or deeper to find what the next level of mystery is in a particular subject matter or go on to a different one.
via INTERVIEW: “An Interview with Bruce Wrighton” (1988) (*) by Sean Phelan.

As always, Bruce is talking about his experiences with photography, but these simple observations can be applied to all aspects of our lives.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (3 of 3) - Boston (Oct 1988 / 22 Aug 2011)

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (*) - Boston (*) [Mon 22 Aug 2011]

The Museum had not changed too much in 23 years since I was last there on my first visit to Boston in Sep 1988. This is my favourite photo from both visits. I love the complexity, contrast, colour, light and mostly the shadows on the white concrete wall to the left.

The way I see has changed a lot since those early days when I travelled with Pentax K1000 that was a gift from my Family for my 21st birthday back in 1981. I still have the K1000 and it would be fun to get it out and shoot a few rolls of film to see what comes out.

Love my little Canon S95 (*) [the most recent version being the Canon S110 (*)] which I bought in Jan 2011. It has taken just over 22,000 photos and is still going strong. It (*) has been to New Zealand (*), USA 2011(*), Hong Kong 2012(*), Korea 2012(*) and  Japan 2012(*). It fits easily into my pocket and it goes everywhere with me. I have recently printed a few of the photos to 30x20 inch (*) and they are crystal clear.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (2 of 3) - Boston (Oct 1988 / 22 Aug 2011)

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (*) - Boston (*) [Oct 1998]

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (*) - Boston (*) [Mon 22 Aug 2011]

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (1 of 3) - Boston (Oct 1988 / 22 Aug 2011)

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (*) - Boston (*) [Oct 1998]

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum (*) - Boston (*) [Mon 22 Aug 2011]

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tokyo, the 50's - Ikko Narahara

Tokyo 2012 - Sumida / Tokyo (Sat 22 Sep 2012)

Ikko Narahara (*) writes in the preface to Tokyo, the 50's (*):
Tokyo, the 50's
When I First Roamed the Streets
by Ikko Narahara (*)

Photographs arrive suddenly from out of the future. For it me it was always like that. Suddenly I would reach out and grab it in midair - the photographs had appeared by itself in my hand. Whenever I pushed the shutter button, my body seemed to become transparent, as if it were out int the middle of the photograph. And as I continuted to take photographs over the years, I came to feel that the images I took had already buried in matrixes of some sort in the space of the future, where they remainded waiting for the moment when I would one day dig them up. That must surely have been how it was. From that time of the big bang with which the universe started and began its evolution, perhaps even though the will of the universe latent in the fluctuations in the "nothing" preceding the big bang, these experiences had surely been prepared for. I am simply a messenger sent to meet up with the images and rescue them. This is the only way I can reconcile myself to the strangeness and mystery of having brought so many photographs into the world.

Possessed by thoughts like these day after day, I suddenly remembered I'd forgotten something - the photographs I had taken when I first began roaming the streets.

I bought my first camera in 1954. I got it to use for my planned work., "Human Life". At the time I couldn't have imagined that after exhibiting that work my whole life would change course toward photography and toward the person I am today. In the intervals between photographing "Human Land" I used to walk the Tokyo streets with my camera. I didn't have any special or clear purpose in mind. My family had often moved to different locations in western Japan, and since I was a child I'd had the habit of thoroughly exploring each new location. I felt the same interest in my exploring Tokyo, whereI'd lived since I came there as a college student. The only difference was that now I carried a camera with me. I breathed photographs on Tokyo street corners the way I breathed air. In my viewfinder those street corners changed into "streets in my photographs." Whenever I released the shutter, I seemed to hear the beat of modern jazz, which I loved so much. I remember I kept on rambling the streets in this way until I became involved in taking my next work, "Domain" in 1958. I was so lazy that I only printed a few of these photographs. The negatives lay buried their negative case, where I forgot about them. By chance, however, I remembered these negatives from forty years earlier. For the past three years I have again been photographing in the streets of Tokyo, and this brought back the memory of my earlier roamings.

"I'd really to see them .. I wonder what photos I took back then?" I couldn't even remember most of the images, and very few of the contact prints remained. But the moment I realized I wanted to see them, I was overcome with the strange feeling of being faced with the all too obvious and simple fact that photographs have to be printed in order to be viewed. After all these years I'd become thoroughly accustomed to the life of taking photographs, and yet here I was suddenly realizing that all too easily I'd vaguely assumed that once I'd pushed the shutter the things I'd taken simply continued to exist by themselves. But even for me, they were actually nothing more than events lying latent in my mind. As mere negatives there were like inverted ghosts; they had to no reality as photographs. I was shocked to realize that those negatives still lacked real existence, and then I had to laugh at my own blindness.

Before long, from what seemed to be the negatives, I made new contact prints and began to look through them.

As I put them into the enlarge, I could hardly wait to see how they would turn out. Unrecognizable images of which I had almost no memory began to appear before my eyes. Were these really my photographs? The photographs came into being like starlight arriving from forty light years away.

Past time buried in the time of the future - a sleeping time with with its eyes suddenly wide open. Through this small astonishment I was also tasting the strangeness and wonder of photographs. As that time my darkroom was filled with the paradoxes of time travel.

I've come to see that these photographs, which excavated the light and wind of the 1950's, were unmistakably the first steps in my travels through cities which would turn into the rest of my life. [..]
I bought this book following this Review (*) by Jesse Freeman (*). The preface is one of the most amazing pieces of writing on photography I have read, and I have read a lot. A beautiful book, both in words and photos, and I am so glad I took the risk to buy it on a whim.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Intersection - Park and Pitt Streets / Sydney (Mon 18 Feb 2013)

Intersection - Park and Pitt Streets / Sydney (Mon 18 Feb 2013)

On Letting Go - The Bulletproof Musician (Sun 17 Feb 2013)

Blue - Renwick St / Alexandria (Jan 2013)

The Bulletproof Musician (*) writes On Letting Go (*):
Assuming you’ve put in the work in the practice room, and you’ve worked out the intricate details, nuances, and technical complexities of the repertoire you’re playing, you have earned the right to keep it simple, let go, and trust your body to naturally produce what you have trained it to do through all those hours in the practice room.
via The Importance of Keeping Things Simple Under Pressure (*) by Dr. Noa Kageyama (*).

Friday, February 15, 2013

On Life Purpose - Seth Godin (Thu 14 Feb 2013)

A few 30x20 inch prints of some of my recent favourites - Alexandria (Jan 2013)

Seth Godin (*) writes on finding a foundation for our Life Purpose (*):
When we find our own foundation and are supported in our work by those around us, we can get back to first principles, to realizing our own dreams and making our own art by supporting others first and always.
via Open, generous and connected (*) by Seth Godin (*).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On Success and Luck - Joerg Colberg (Mon 11 Feb 2013)

The Galleries - George St / Sydney (Wed 06 Feb 2013)

Joerg Colberg (*) talks Connections (*) and Luck (*):
there are connections (*), and there is luck (*) (the only real equalizer left in this world).
via What is at stake? (*) by Joerg Colberg (*)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Intersection - Kyoto (Sat 15 Sep 2012)

Intersection - Kyoto (Sat 15 Sep 2012)

Will need to look at the photos from that day to work out exactly where in Kyoto I took this one.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

On Art and Creativity - David Grohl - Spectrum / SMH (Sat 09 Feb 2013)

Street Art - Leamington Lane / Macdonaldtown (Tue 11 Oct 2011)

David Grohl (*) talks Art (*) and :Creativity (*):
It's all those bad habits and those mistakes (*) I make that gives what I do personality.

When it comes to making art (*), when it comes to creativity (*), there should be no right or wrong.

As long as you have the tools, you should just go with what you feel and go with your heart.

And that's exactly what I did.
via Love Letter to Sound City (*) by Bernard Zuel (*).

Breakfast Reading - Urbanbites (*) / King Street / Newtown (Sat 09 Feb 2013)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

On Performance - Drew Ginn (Mon 24 Dec 2012)

Uniform Top Swap Buddy - The racing was done and the "high pressure" uniform swapping process was in full swing. They had paddled with the USA U23 team and were from Philidelphia. His 16 year old twin brother had already made a swap for an Australian top, so I was more than happy to make sure he did not miss out / one of those great moments in life and paddling for someone like me, who has been around a while - 2011 World Dragon Boat Championships / Tampa (Sun 11 Sep 2011)

After a 16 year career of international performance, the recently retired Drew Ginn (*), made a summary of his personal views On Performance (*). He starts out with the a succient and general summary of his learnings (*):
to compete there needs to be a certain level of conditioning reached through quantity and targeted intensity while maintain integrity of movement effectiveness and harmony.
From which he expands:
Now there is heaps in all that but suffice to say if you do the work, row effectively and are ready for the event then it becomes easier.

Thats not to say its easy to do but rather the flow, process and deliver can be uncomplicated and then the depth of effort can be reached which can put athletes into that state. The state where it takes everything they have while the realisation emerges that it was less hard and not as difficult as previously thought or perceived.

So simply work to make it easier. Focus to help it flow and push to let it happen. Under do it and you feel guilty, over do it and frustration appears and so to get it just right is the key. The flexion point between effort and ease, tension and relaxation, concentration and letting go, its all a fine line and to learn & master is where art form meets science.

Finally then with out the work your not in the game. With out the efficient your unable to make the most of the opportunity. Then with out being ready for the nature of the big event all can be lost in the blur and intensity of what rises on the day. To seize the day requires all three elements to be developed, stimulated and firing.
Been following Drew's Blog (*) since March 2007 and through it I have watched him through two Olympic Games, three World Championships, back surgery after Beijing, a short and successful bike road racing career and his comeback to rowing.

For myself, he has inspired me through three World Dragon Boat Championships, two Asian Dragon Boat Championships, and three World Club Crew DB Championships and countless Local and National events. I think I have just about experienced everything in paddling, though I am not so sure (*) on that - which is something I have learnt from life and I think is a good thing.

His writings make sense to me and I can relate to much of what he has written and shared with us. In short, he is a role model to me and I think he has helped shape who I am as a paddler and a person. He has influenced me in how I train, race, and behave on and off the water. In fact, it was Drew's blog [along with Vern's (*), who is someone Drew can learn from as he moves forward with his coaching career] that helped me get started (*) here almost four years ago.

The above piece of writing at the end of his long and successful career as a rower, is a brilliant summary of what it is all about. He will take all of this into his new career as a coach. All the best Drew.

With thanks .. Geoff

Friday, February 8, 2013

Intersection - Hiroshima Peace Park / Hiroshima (Sun 16 Sep 2012)

Intersection - Hiroshima Peace Park / Hiroshima (Sun 16 Sep 2012)

Origami Cranes - Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students - Hiroshima / Japan (Sun 16 Sep 2012)

Origami Cranes (*) - Memorial Tower to the Mobilized Students (*) - Hiroshima / Japan (Sun 16 Sep 2012)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

History is .. - Brooks Jensen / LensWork Daily (Fri 01 Jun 2012)

A dragonfly flitted in front of me .. (*) - Hiroshima Memorial Museum / Japan (Sun 16 Sep 2012)

Brooks Jensen (*) writes On The Past (*):
History is important
  • history is inspiration;

  • history is a foundation on which we stand;

  • history is an opportunity to learn from the wisdom of others so that we don't have to make their same mistakes;

  • history is a background that informs our work.
via Our Place in History (*) in Random Thoughts (*) by Brooks Jensen (*).

Brook has a way with words and these caught my attention when looking through his Random Thoughts Archive (*) today. I have a few photos that remind me of history and the photo above is one of the most powerful of the incomprehendible. At least for me anyway. On Hiroshima, I can't put it any better than Beth Nicholls (*) who writes (*):
It doesn’t bear thinking about, and yet it is something we all need to think about it. The Hiroshima Memorial Museum is a painful eye opener that I wish every single one of us could visit. It is hard to think that we were ever at war with Japan, but even so, it is one history lesson we must not forget.”
Found via a quick Google Blog Search (*).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On Racing - Vernon Gambetta (Thu 03 Jan 2013)

Running - Grand Palace / Chiyoda / Tokyo (Tue 18 Sep 2012)

Vernon Gambetta (*) talks On Racing (*):
[..] the medals are won by those who can race. Those who are race hardened, who understand tactics and are fully adaptable to variety of race situations.
via Lessons from 2012 - Part One (*) by Vernon Gambetta (*).

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

On Photography and Reflection - Joel Meyerowitz (Mon 28 Jan 2013)

Newtown Police Boys Club - Erskineville Road / Newtown (Mon 31 Dec 2012)

Joel Meyerowitz (*) talks Photography (*) and Reflection (*):
It’s a beautiful system, this game of photography, to see in an instant and go back and think about later on.

It’s pure philosophy. And poetry.”
via Joel Meyerowitz on What He’s Learned: Part II (*) by David Walker.

Monday, February 4, 2013

On Ambiguity - Joel Meyerowitz (Fri 25 Jan 2013)

No Stopping - Henderson Road / Alexandria (Mon 31 Dec 2012)

Joel Meyerowitz (*) talks On Ambiguity (*):
You often hear people talking about the intricacies and the mechanics of the medium, more than about the emotional content—the ephemeral characteristics of the way time and moments change.

I felt that ambiguity is an important characteristic in my work, as it is in life itself.
via Joel Meyerowitz on What He’s Learned: Part II (*) by David Walker

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Dark Skyline - Hong Kong Island (Wed 11 Jul 2012)

Dark Skyline - Hong Kong Island (Wed 11 Jul 2012)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A Little Bit of Red - Erskineville (Thu 31 Jan 2013)

A Little Bit of Red - Erskineville (Thu 31 Jan 2013)

Yes, it was the red that caught my eye.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Abstract Construction - London / Canada (Fri 02 Sep 2011)

Abstract Construction - London / Canada (Fri 02 Sep 2011)

An A3 print is wonderful. The random palette of shapes and textures is what makes it. This small jpg does not do it justice.