Friday, 30 January 2015

Day 30 2015: All out of character...

Day 30: ...or right in it

...depending on your point of view. 

I heard on the grapevine that there would be a gathering in town, in our town square, the one named after a king, one of the Georges. It used to have grass and trees and shade but now it is all concrete. Nonetheless, the gathering had a political flavour (it is election eve) and in the interests of my research on political participation in Japan and Australia (no, really), I ventured into town. 

Beforehand though, I was taken by the noisy miner, not being noisy for a change and looking quite, well, quite adorable. (Yes, I hear you @Chasseur06...). I mean really, what's not to like...

A pensive moment

And then there was a wasp, I took the challenge...

Working, building subsequently buzzed me. 

Turned out to be safer in the city to watch our democracy in progress. 


After all, it's what I do. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 100-300mm, 7.59am, 8.15am, 10.00am]

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Day 29 2015: Light. ...

Day 29: a feather

So taking it as learnings from yesterday's errors, I set out to take a pic early today, just in case, dear reader, you got another pic of a swamp pond from work. Oh, it was another long day in the office and much of today, for example, was spent preparing and writing up a research proposal and finalising timetables and preparing a guest lecture reading and...are you seeing some patterns here dear reader?

And while I was tai chi-ing early in the morning (as one now does), I was entranced by the light and movement of the feather that was caught on the back of the chair. Soft, flowing...(the feather of course, not the chair)...

Flight of the feather...

So entranced, I also grammed it...see what gramming can do to a pic...


Highlight of the day was learning from friend and colleague, tweepster Susan Hetherington, (@snoozen) that we shall be joining Rebecca Levingston in the Social Media Lounge at 612ABC on Saturday night: election night. What a party, I mean, responsibility! As @snoozen said, 'bring. it. on' (although Susan said it without the fullstops). 

Interesting times ahead. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 6.49am]

Day 28 2015: Reflecting...

Day 28: night falls

Yes, dear reader, another day at work. (well, after a brief stopover on the way to catch up with lovely tweepsters @Chasseur06, @Aquapuppy and @Pattycam), then to work. 

And the main part of the day was taken up with meetings. Meetings to work out teaching allocations, meetings to revise course outlines, meetings to discuss guest lectures...oh, and all the other stuff that needs to be done in a typical day. 

Suddenly then too, it was the end of the working day (by which we mean 'working in the office but preparing to go home to continue working at home'...). And of course, I reached the end of the day realising there was not yet a photo to be seen. 

All I had really was this walk across the bridge...on the way to the car park.

As the night falls...

It is a recently replenished pond of sorts and as my photographer's eye wandered past, I was struck by the light and shade, the colour and reflection. That's all really. A little clarity perhaps. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 6.35pm]

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Day 27 2015: Finding the path...

Day 27: ...a yellowish, clay road

Meanwhile, back at work...I'm fast realising that the time in the office goes very quickly. One minute I'm sitting down at the desk, switching on the computer, checking emails, all those things...and then suddenly, it is late afternoon or early evening and it is time to head back down the highway...

I park quite a distance from the building where my office is located, mainly because of the guaranteed 10 minute walk at the start and end of each working day. *Exercise*. At this stage, it seems the only time I have to snap a pic. 

The path to...[insert your own destination]

Today, it was one of the recently completed paths past a new-ish building. I can share nothing other than the curve of the path, the perspective, the texture, caught my photographic eye. It would be nice if it took me somewhere, but as night turns to day, I know I'll be back there tomorrow, being led up the garden path again. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 4. 40pm]

Monday, 26 January 2015

Day 26 2015: Tap, tap, tap...

Day 26: ...good-o then

Australia Day. Orstraya Day. Invasion Day. It is a complex day, this 'national' day of ours. It is a conversation we need to continue. Certainly there is much I think about today, every year. 

It was another hot day today and, with a friend, I opted for the air-conditioned comfort of a cinema to watch new Australian film 'Paper Planes'. (Overall, a lovely little film, certainly of some interest in telling a story about Australia and is ne'er far away...)

While I was sitting and thinking about various things (like today's pic for example) I heard a tap, tap, tap on the verandah. Earlier in the day, I had flipped some shutter speeds to try and capture butcher junior flapping about the deck. 

Light as feather

The take-off moment
But it was butcher senior that was responsible for the tapping. Pinched a dog biscuit from somewhere by the looks. Tapped away for a few seconds and then took flight to a nearby branch. The cam must have looked like a predator of sorts. Still, something different for today. 





The movie, then rehearsal and now back to work tomorrow. The year is well and truly on the way. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 100-300mm, 10.13am, 10.42:06-10.42:19am]

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Day 25 2015: Time out...

Day 25: ...tide out

Or perhaps time to have a good hard look at oneself. Well, not me, but perhaps the birds along the foreshore at Manly this afternoon. After a long day at the computer and a few tense moments, not to mention a rather warm day, I decided the best thing a wannabe snapper could do was pack the camera kit and head east...

...east to Manly, Wynnum, Welly Point...all part of the greater Moreton Bay area with fresh breezes and lots to photograph. Yes, I know dear reader, we've been here before but I consider this my extended backyard. And really, do you want to see *more* flowers...?

And today, it was a case of a heron, a curlew and a pied oystercatcher or two walk onto a sandbar, or a mudflat...and well, you know the rest, or you can make it up, like I do. Time to let the pics speak for themselves.

The elegance of the heron...

...which kind of knew it.

Perhaps admiring itself...

But actually, got something

The Pied Oystercatchers took flight

The curlew and the oystercatcher went to sea...

Sometimes the horizon

Tide out....

Snapper as shadow
It is a marvellous space and even nicer for seeing families, friends and many others out walking, jogging (ugh, I know, in this weather...), walking dogs and just a few or four, like me, snapping away. Lovely arvo. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 100-300mm, 4.33pm-6.05pm]

Day 24 2015: The new year begins...

Day 24: ...finally

For many, the new year begins on 1 January, or when you return to work shortly thereafter; maybe it is when tai chi classes recommence; or perhaps it is when radio schedules and presenters return or when the children go back to school. One sign for me that the new year has really begun is when rehearsals for my groups start again. That is this weekend. Today was the clarinet group (a week earlier than usual) and on Monday, the orchestra. 

The clarinet group begins its 16th (or perhaps 17th, no-one quite remembers) year this year. That's a lot of notes. Incredibly the core of the group has remained for that time. It is a marvellous group and I kind of miss it when I can't get there for whatever reason. 

We have a few playouts already lined up including our first 'on-the-road' tour to Crows Nest coming up soon. The bus trips are always immense fun and the communities at the other end of the trips are always most welcoming. No doubt they are surprised that about 30 clarinets can actually sound OK...

It is a big group, as is the orchestra and as a player in the back row (of both), I might have just a minor role, but we all know, to make the group work, we have to pay attention to our detail. At least, that was what I was thinking today with the pics...

Tuning note

Moss: it's all about the detail
True, they're just from the backyard but they make you think that it is the small things (the back row players) who are just as important as the stars up front. Bring on the 2015 musical year.

[Camera : iPhone 6, 4.55pm, 5.01pm]

Friday, 23 January 2015

Day 23 2015: When the rain leaves us in the lurch...

Day 23: means loris on the perch

Yes, dear reader, the other day it was the heat. The humidity. Yesterday it was all about the rain. And today? It is all about even more rain. (Over 110mm in the eleven hours since 6.00am in fact, #newraingauge.)

I was pleased I didn't have to head out today but rather work at home, examining a thesis, writing a book review, responding to emails and preparing a research application. Yes, an academic's 'day off'...

Of course, on such a wet day, too wet to go out and take pics of raindrops on rose petals (yes, I hear your sigh of relief dear reader), the pics come to me. Namely, the lorikeets. And the usual pair. 

So really, less from me and more from them...

"I think we have to do that pose thing again"

My preferred side...

My slightly...darker side

And then...gone

It is one of the pleasures of working at home in the rain. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 100-300mm, 10.04a, 3.13pm, 3.16pm, 3.22pm]

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Day 22 2015: City rain....

Day 22: ...some orange indulgence

Some days, I just can't wait to hit the road and head home. There's a bit of a standing joke at work that the powers that be just like to find creative ways to say 'no' to any proposals, ideas, suggestions I might make. Today's response to a request just took the cake, as it were...

Suffice to say, permission was denied to try and start up a tai chi group...seriously. I remain... well, best leave it be. 

I had a class this evening back in Brisbane. I arrived just early enough to find a scene that contrasted dramatically with yesterday's hour at the beach. The rain on the window added a certain something. Beige, with a flash. 

Urban. rain.

As I entered the hall, the lilies were out in the garden too. 

Welcoming sight
I had to try and cheer myself up, and flowers, of just about any sort, will do that. (Though not quite as much as the beach...)

Life goes on.

[Camera : iPhone 6, 6.14pm, 6.17pm]

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Day 21 2015: A wreck...

Day 21: ...and being back at work

Last year, before I took long service leave and when I was still travelling up and down #theBruce to work each day, I made a concerted effort to detour the 15 minutes from campus to go to the beach--either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Very restorative. 

I decided to do that again today, hopefully in the hope that I will continue to do so. I took the proper cam. I've never got around to photographing the remnants of the Dicky, a shipwreck from 1893. I read recently it was going to be removed. I had visions of capturing it in the colours of the setting sun. 

Let's face it. I had visions of it being much larger than it actually is nowadays. Nonetheless, I thought it opportune to practice slo-mo water shots, or different focal length, shutter speeds, ISO...and so on and so forth. 

Before I knew it, there were about 150 pics...oh my. 

A small selection: 

First view

No, not the wreck


Ghostly waves

More playing with waves

Ploughing through the ocean (ok, not really, but *effects*)

Washed up

The old and the new


I'll have to head back again, and again. It will help with the work day. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 28-80mm, 100-300mm, 5.42pm-6.59pm]

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Day 20 2015: Welcome rain...

Day 20: change (just not here)

It is probably fair to say that a review of my pics would reveal a) lots of flowers, b) lots of raindrops on i) leaves and ii) petals. That means, dear reader, that you get to see a lot of raindrops and a lot of flowers, often combined and usually in varying degrees of close-up and cropping. I know what you are thinking dear reader...'I don't get out often'. Indeed. 

I have no particular reason other than I like the effect of raindrops on plants. We had some much needed rain last night which resulted in a pleasant change after several days of hot weather (and 10mm in the newly-placed rain gauge!). So today's pics centred on the rain/flowers phenomenon but just to add interest dear reader, I had two cameras out there today: the baby Canon and the fruit phone. 

Here's a little quiz: 

A rose by any other name...

...looks the same on any camera. But which camera? 

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

A frangipani by any other name is a plumeria (I reckon Shakespeare would've said...):

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D:

Bonus frangipani...just because...

Besides, I reckon my garden has to be a lot more interesting than my workplace, for the most part. 

[Cameras: iPhone 6, 6.08am, 6.09am; Canon A490, 6.06am, 6.07am]

Exhibit A: Canon A490
Exhibit B: iPhone 6
Exhibit C: Canon A490
Exhibit D: iPhone 6
Exhibit E: Canon A490

Monday, 19 January 2015

Day 19 2015: #theBruce...

Day 19: ...a reacquaintance

Tweepsters I know will recognise the hashtag #theBruce. It's been a while. Indeed, last time I used it with monotonous regularity was 2013 and with some luck and good judgement, that was hopefully going to be the end.

Well, it's back. And it will be back with the monotonous regularity of other years. The academic year has recommenced and so my trips up and down the Bruce Highway. I've also realised it will limit pic opportunities because ... well, because I spend much time in my office and I don't get out enough. 

A stroll towards the car park at 5.00ish and out came the camera to take a pic of...

Water coursing it a tributary? A storm water drain? A bit of run-off? 

I'm not sure, I don't recall seeing this bit of water here previously. Perhaps it has been put here as a new flood control strategy. Anyway, it gave me something different to notice after a day of reacquaintance of campus after six weeks absence. 

And it looked like the swamp hens were aiming to acquaint themselves with the new water course too. 

[Camera : iPhone 6, 5.00pm]

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Day 18 2015: Pineapple ice...

Day 18: ...Queensland summer

I know it is wrong to complain. And I'm not complaining. But it is hot. Humid. But it is Queensland. Summer. we say in Japan, can't be helped. It's a handy little phrase. 

I spent part of the day easing back into work, reading, preparing, applying for further studies (yes, just ignore that last one). There was also a political commentary to complete once the Palmer United Party held its launch...ah, work is back. Or, I'm back to work...whichever comes first.

One pic kind of summed up today though, pineapple ice from ice trays recenlty received. I can see these will have much potential and not just as water-based ice. I'm imagining lime juice cordial-ice, pineapple juice-ice, green tea-ice, coffee-ice, etc. I think you get the creative picture here. 

Pineapple ice

As I went about my Sunday chores, I came across a moth, overwhelmed I expect from the heat but with a wing pattern worth preserving I thought. 

Looking at you: moth patterns

Just so. 

And towards the end of the day, the bromeliads were all finally placed in their rightful spots in the garden. A little bit of everything in today's activity. A little bit.

[Camera : iPhone 6, 2.08pm; Canon A490, 1.55pm]

Day 17 2015: Into the woods...

Day 17: ...imitation

The 'summer' 'weather' continues here in Brisbane. I'm not complaining, per se. It gets hot. Very hot. It gets humid. Very humid. There's only one thing you can do really. Go to the movies.*

*OK, there are probably plenty of things you can do but in the absence of the immediate availability of a pool or similar large body of water, movies in cool, air-conditioned cinemas suffice. 

And so it was, a friend and I decided to head to the cinema for the best part of the day where 'which' movie took second place to 'time' and the mere opportunity to be indoors.

That's how we ended up seeing 'Into the Woods' first up followed by 'The Imitation Game'. Both interesting in their own ways: 'Woods' for Streep and Sondheim, 'Imitation' for the story of Alan Turing and the breaking of the German Enigma code during World War Two.

Work is never far away and 'The Imitation Game' provided some very interesting possibilities for one of my courses I'll be teaching later this year...the dilemmas which face decisionmakers in a war or security situation...stay tuned.

By the time the movies had finished (and the crowds and crowds which also thought a day in the cinema would be the thing to do) we came out to an even bigger crowd walking, pausing, heading to a round ball game at Lang Park. How big? Well, it took 23 minutes to get out of the car park. By which time, when we reached the surface, the twilight colours were setting in. 

Twilight clouds
By the time I got home, it was dark, except for the bonsai which, when highlighted with a little bit of flash...suddenly looked a lot more like those 'Woods'.

It's a bonsai, but not as we know it

Imitation Woods

Same again tomorrow weather-wise it seems. More movies? Perhaps. 

[Camera : Canon A490, 6.53pm, 7.34pm, 7.35pm]