Sunday, August 30, 2015

On Ambiguity - Joel Meyerowitz (Sat 29 Aug 2015)

Jenny - Sydney Life 2005 / Hyde Park (Oct 2005)

Joel Meyerowitz writes on Ambiguity:

ambiguity is part of what makes seeing and then photographing so interesting
via Ambiguity by Joel Meyerowitz.

Friday, August 28, 2015

On Heart and Soul - Streetshooter (Wed 26 Aug 2015)

Yarn Heart - A Heart of Orange - Chippendale (Fri 28 Aug 2015)

Streetshooter on Heart and Soul:

The heart and soul live in your work

Yarn Heart - A Heart of Orange - Chippendale (Fri 28 Aug 2015)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

On Anxiety and Growth - Reframing your Thoughts - Patrick McHugh (Sun02 Aug 2015)

Water - La Perouse (Mon 22 Jul 2002)

Patrick McHugh on Anxiety and Growth:

Some can be paralyzed by their feelings. Is the key to look at every situation that produces anxiety for us as an opportunity to grow?

Reframing ones feelings is often the best way I have found to help me deal with issues of anxiet and thus can be a great coaching tool.

via Checking in from the Airport by Patrick McHugh.

On Ordinariness - Joel Meyerowitz (Tue 25 Aug 2015)

A Pile of Rubble - King Street / Newtown (Mon 24 Aug 2015)

Joel Meyerowitz writes on Ordinariness:

the ordinariness of it all made me reach for the camera
via Contadina by Joel Meyerowitz.

Saw this a mile off and I knew there was a photo amongst it all.

On a Moment - Just Being There - Joel Meyerowitz (Tue 25 Aug 2015)

Street Art - Chippen Lane #2 / Chippendale (Wed 01 Jul 2015)

Joel Meyerowitz writes beautifully on a Moment:

These simple moments are precious, no attitude, no becoming something she is not. She's just there, rooted to the earth, part of the spirit of the place.
via Contadina by Joel Meyerowitz.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Uncomfortableness and Growth - Steve Magness (Sun 02 Aug 2015)

Water - La Perouse (Mon 29 Jul 2002)

Steve Magness on Uncomfortableness and Growth:

One of the best lessons I've learned, is to put yourself in uncomfortable, anxiety inducing situations; they are where we grow as a person.
via twitter by Steve Magness via Checking in from the Airport by Patrick McHugh.

On Happiness - Memories - Iain S. Thomas / I Wrote this for You (Wed 26Aug 2015)

Paddling - Pacific Ocean / Dover Heights (Sun 11 Aug 2015)

Iain S. Thomas on Happiness and Memories:

Happiness isn't forgetting. Happiness is finding new things to remember.
via The Haunted Quiet by Iain S. Thomas.

So obviously true, but mostly forgotten or neglected. Thanks for the timely reminder, Iain.

Monday, August 24, 2015

On Art and Empathy - Iain S. Thomas / Intentional Dissonance

I have a Dream - King Street / Newtown (Mon 24 Aug 2015)

Iain S. Thomas on Art and Empathy:

[nice artists] create because they want to describe the world to others so that they won’t make the same mistakes or so that they’ll know what to look out for. They’re extreme empaths and if you’re extremely empathetic, you’re extremely good at communicating and art is about communicating a feelings from a thing to a person.
via Intentional Dissonance by Iain S. Thomas.

On Empathy - Iain S. Thomas / Intentional Dissonance

Heart - King Street / Newtown (Mon 24 Aug 2015)

Iain S. Thomas on Empathy:

Niceness is a symptom of empathy. It means you understand how someone else feels and if you understand how someone else feels, it nearly always means you care about them and if you care about them then you’re nearly always nice to them.
via Intentional Dissonance by Iain S. Thomas.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

On Gestures - Joel Meyerowitz (Sat 22 Aug 2015)

cheers - Kayleene - Venice (Mon 08 Sep 2014)

Joel Meyerowitz on Photography and Gestures:

Physical gestures are the matrix of photographs
via Gesture by Joel Meyerowitz.

Friday, August 21, 2015

For a Moment, Forever .. To be an Aurora - eljeiffel (Wed 19 Aug 2015)

A Moment - Before, During and After - Racice / Czech Republic (Sat 29 Aug 2009)

For a Moment .. You think, you dream, you are inspired and you decide to go for the Team. You plan, you flex, you push, you pull, you metal, you shuffle, you kettle, you stand and paddle, and jump a few hurdles, and suddenly, you've made the Team, the first stage of a dream. You smile for a while, but you know it is only the first mile. You train, you strain, you pain, you drain, you gain, you laugh, you cry, you try, you learn, you create capacity and experiences, and build motion, connections and emotions for a Moment that seems so far off. You desire, you aspire, you perspire, time transpires and suddenly the Moment is there just in front of you, just there waiting for you to decide and respond as only you know how to. May you seize this Moment just ahead. It is just there .. waiting .. yes, just there. Where? It's there, just there, you know it. Grasp it with both hands. Fight for the inches, they are hard to find but they are there. And given an inch, take a mile, no mercy. What lies ahead is a mystery and shortly it will be history, to become your few threads in the rich tapestry that became before you. Be in and saviour this Moment, it is there waiting for you to move into and through, just like a door, to shape you and to become your memories with friends for a lifetime. Forever. As Jenny would say, "Don't Wonder 'What If?'". Go Australia!! Go the Auroras!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

On Doors and Windows - Anne Whiston Spirn / The Eye is a Door (2014)

A Door, A Window - Alexandria (Wed 19 Aug 2015)

Anne Whiston Spirn on Doors and Windows:

Why a door and not a window? A window is something to look through, but a doorway is to pass through; crossing a threshold, one enters a new place. To see, to really see, is to open a door. To pass through that door is to arrive at a new understanding.
via Pick up a camera and use it to see, think, and discover (pdf) by Anne Whiston Spirn.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

On Travel - Alain de Botton / FT (Fri 14 Aug 2015)

A Globe and an Atlas of the World - Amsterdam (Mon 19 Aug 2013)

Alain de Botton on Travel:

All of us have equivalents. Things we care about that aren’t mentioned anywhere. Part of growing up, and learning to travel well, means daring to take our own interests a bit more seriously.
via Alain de Botton on why we travel by Alain de Botton.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

On Photos and Remembering - jtinseoul (Thu 13 Aug 2015)

Deb, Sophie and Kris - Blackwattle Bay / Sydney (Jul 2004)

jtinseoul on Photos and Remembering:

the most important photos to take are of the people around us. They, surely, will be the ones we remember.
via I used to think the best photos were those taken in a documentary style.. by jtinseoul.

And it is so true. Thanks jtinseoul for the reminder.

Friday, August 14, 2015

On Light - Dissonance and Exposure - Joel Meyerowitz (Thu 13 Aug 2015) | Matthew Kees (Sat 22 Sep 2001)

Underexposed ( - Sydney Opera House / Sydney (Tue 31 Jul 2001)

Joel Meyerowitz on Light and Dissonance:

There are 2 kinds of light; natural and man made, and often we find ourselves in the presence of both but fail to consider the photographic possibilities that their dissonance presents.
via Dissonance by Joel Meyerowitz.

And a note on exposure by Matthew Kees:

exposure is a creative tool, not a right or wrong. This picture is correctly exposed for what you were going for
Something I was glad to be made aware of so early on and something I have always remembered. Thanks Matthew.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

On the Verge of Success and Failure - Garry Winogrand / Mason Resnick / Trent Parke / Spencer Lum

Eros - Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain / Piccadilly Circus / London (Fri 12 Sep 2014)

Garry Winogrand on Art, Success and Failure:

the most successful art is almost on the verge of failure
via Coffee and Workprints: A Workshop With Garry Winogrand by Mason Resnick.

A favourite quote, from the many I've collected here over the years. I like it because it is so true in Art and Photography, but also Paddling and Life.

I am reminded of it every now and then in my own life, through my photography and paddling experiences. And today was one of those days ...

The Sun rose over the City skyline as we did our Thursday morning high intensity session in two, six person outrigger canoes. We do short interval efforts (level 4, level 4+) over repeat efforts of 8, 4, 2 and 1 minute. It's at a pace and intensity that can be maintained for these short time periods which is a bit higher than our race pace intensity (level 3) which we maintain for much longer periods.

We are pushing ourselves at Level 4 and the rhythm in the canoe is often not quite as nice as it would be at level 3 or 2. Our effort and technique is on the edge, on "the verge of failure or breaking down".

As I reflect over a 10 year paddling career, I have found that the best Training Sessions and Races have been the ones where everything is just a little out of control and uncomfortable. It's like a being on a knife edge or the edge of a precipices. It's that boundary between the known and unknown, good and bad, success and failure, and courage and fear (thanks Kayleene). And ultimately, the fault line between our past and future (thanks for that one Chantel).

It can be stressful and can feel like a feisty prickly relationship. A disonnance. And often questions and self-doubts rise to the surface.

When you are on the edge, you are pushing yourself to the limit of your abilities and beyond. And, with that comes the risk that you push too far and fail, or you just find that easy comfort zone and also fail through a lost effort and opportunity.

Disappointment may come with the failure, but if you reflect and abstract a learning, then you are more experienced and capable for the next effort. And often, as Trent Parke succinctly notes:

mistakes and accidents usually lead to the best discoveries.
You are learning, broadening your experiences and creating the future opportunity for "successful art", if you keep caring and trying.

I love that feeling of "being on the edge of failure". Instead of fighting it, try to find it and some comfort in the uncomfort, and in the knowledge that this is, as Spencer Lum astutely notes:

where all the good stuff happens
As Jenny said, Give it a try, step outside of your comfort zone. You might be surprised where it can take you ...

Don't wonder 'What if?' - Jenny P

On Empathy - Seth Godin (Wed 12 Aug 2015)

Music - Circular Quay (Sun 09 Aug 2015)

Seth Godin on Empathy:

Empathy doesn't involve feeling sorry for someone. It is our honest answer to the question, "why did they do what they did?" [..]

Dismissing actions we don't admire merely because we don't care enough to have empathy is rarely going to help us make the change we seek. It doesn't help us understand, and it creates a gulf that drives us apart.

via Empathy by Seth Godin.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On Photography - A Record of a Moment - Joel Meyerowitz (Tue 11 Aug 2015)

Self Portrait - Canon IXUS on Shen Hao LF Camera - La Perouse (Fri 07 Jan 2005)

Joel Meyerowitz on Photography and a Moment:

It's always fun to turn the tables on someone who is filming you and do it back to them. If nothing else it becomes a record of the moment, and that has value too.
via Turn the Tablle by Joel Meyerowitz.

And so I did and so it was.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On Photography and Truth - Andre D. Wagner / abstractelements (Sun 09Aug 2015)

Street Portrait - Circular Quay / Sydney (Sun 09 Aug 2015)

Andre D. Wagner on Photography and Truth:

the mystic power of good photography or intelligent work. it’s not about pretty pictures for me, it’s about truth. truth is magnificent and truth is layered. truth sometimes hurt but truth will always be beautiful.
via new york city, 2015 *it’s not too often that one of my... by Andre D. Wagner.

On Photography and Life - Andre D. Wagner / abstractelements (Sun 09 Aug 2015)

Untitled - Circular Quay / Sydney (Sun 09 Aug 2015)

Andre D. Wagner on Photography and Life:

I hope my photography is a manifestation of feelings about life itself
via new york city, 2015 *it’s not too often that one of my... by Andre D. Wagner.

Monday, August 10, 2015

On Going Back - The Passage of Time - Joel Meyerowitz (Sun 09 Aug 2015)

200 Year Timeline ( - Circular Quay / Sydney (Wed 16 Jul 2003)
Sunset in the Sails - Circular Quay / Sydney (Sun 09 Aug 2015)

Joel Meyerowitz on Photography:

it's the going back that counts.
via Ordinary Places by Joel Meyerowitz.

I would have to say Circular Quay is not an ordinary place, based on the throng of tourists and locals down at the Quay yesterday.

It was a magnificent sun soaked winters day afternoon, with thousands of people enjoying the light, space and atmosphere of the nautical gateway to the City, at the footsteps of the Sydney Opera House.

We were in town for a Birthday Lunch for Janice who we lost in April . The lunch at Customs House was spectacular, not only for the view and food, but the company of Janice's immediate family. Janice would have loved it. And that we were all there together, remembering her.

Afterwards, we strolled around the Quay, through The Rocks, under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and back. As we strolled past the Bounty, I was reminded of my 2003 photo above (along with my post made back then) and made a similar photo as the sunset.

Looking at the scene yesterday and the photos now, what surprised me was that after 12 years, how similar the two scenes were. At the macro level, the Bounty and the Opera House, appear identical, but I am sure when I look closely, there will be micro changes representing maintenance and technological progress that 12 years brings.

With these two photos, also comes the change in my "vision", my cameras (Canon IXUS S100 then and Canon S120 now, and a few in between) and words. As they say, "same same, but different". The difference probably being my experience in photography and life. In many ways, the camara is now an extension of my hand, I know what it sees and it knows what I feel through the resulting photos it exposes and brings to my life and this world. I am constantly and pleasantly surprised by the power of photography and what it reveals to me.

The two photos represent a passage of time in themselves and my implied meaning assigned to the Jul 2003 photo, along with my words at back then. Together now, the two photos above, represent the passage of 12 years of time in my own life where everything has changed so much.

So pleased we went back and I now have these photos and memories. Without the photos, the motivation to make them and assigning some connection to them, these memories and thoughts would most likley be lost.

As always, thanks Joel Meyerowitz. I never know where a thought and a few well chosen words will take me.

Jo, Patricia, Fabian, David, Pam, Gavin and Geoff - Customs House Forecourt / Circular Quay (Sun 09 Aug 2015)

Friday, August 7, 2015

On Visual Thinking - Anne Whiston Spirn / The Eye is a Door (2014)

Aerial Urban Landscape - Mitchell Road / Alexandria (Wed 29 July 2002)

Anne Whiston Spirn on Visual Thinking:

Visual thinking is a powerful ability, and photography one of its tools, but that potential is unfulfilled
via Pick up a camera and use it to see, think, and discover (pdf) by Anne Whiston Spirn.

Have followed Anne's words and photos for a long time. I see shades of my own vision in her photos and her words are ever inspiring for someone who struggles with words - they are so hard to find for me. I suspect I am more visual than verbal. Thanks for putting it all so nicely Anne.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

On Landscape - Anne Whiston Spirn / The Eye is a Door (2014)

Sandstone Landscape - La Perouse (22 Jul 2002)

Anne Whiston Spirn on Landscape:

Landscape is an ideal vehicle for honing the skill of visual thinking; it is always at hand, whether in city, suburb, or countryside, and its meanings are not just metaphorical but real, practical as well as poetic.
via Pick up a camera and use it to see, think, and discover. (pdf) by Anne Whiston Spirn.

Monday, August 3, 2015

On Photograph - It's Gift - Hilary Swift / Elijah Walker (Sat 01 Aug2015)

late winter afternwoon light - Alexandria (Sat 01 Aug 2015)

Hilary Swift on the Gift of Photogaphy:

It’s taken me places I would have never imagined going, and I have met so many wonderful people that I would not have met without Photogaphy. I get to wake up every day and if I’m really mad or sad, or any negative emotion, I love that photography gives me the option to find something so beautiful every day. It’s like I’m forced to find something beautiful and even if I’m photographing a sad situation, I’m trying to find the light in it.
via Turning Point: Hilary Swift by Elijah Walker.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

[It was] 2 Years On .. - Tampa (Aug 2011) / Prague (Aug 2009)

Opening Ceremony - IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships 2011 - Tampa / Florida - Tue 03 Aug 2011 (picasa)

Post 200m Senior Open Final - IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships 2009 - Racice/Prague 2009 - 28 Aug 2009 (picasa)