Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Day 181 2015: EOFY...

Day 181: ...or something

But things go on. Today is the end of the financial year. We're also halfway through the year and coincidentally, almost halfway through this year's project...and so far, pretty up-to-date.

I probably should be doing some kind of celebratory photo series. Not that I as an ordinary taxpayer necessarily have anything to celebrate. Indeed, we are in the throes (the final ones it must be said) of marking and grading. Almost there. 

The sun was out this morning, after a few grey days, and it struck the current flowers in a way that was just so. Well, I liked it, so I figured you might too, dear reader. 

Tulips opening up

The i[r]is

And when I got to work, all the birds that were not swans were out and about strutting their stuff in the sun. And even though they were more the ugly ducklings rather than yesterday's beautiful swans, I have to say that despite their urban reputation, I have a bit of a soft spot for the ibis. 
The i[b]is
But perhaps not the plover, which I understand prefers the name 'lapwing' these days...hmm. 

Tomorrow: more marking. No happy new [financial] year parties planned here. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 7.46am, 9.44am]

Monday, 29 June 2015

Day 180 2015: When you see the swan...

Day 180: ...I always remember the ugly duckling

We've almost returned to a state of normalcy. Actually, I don't think anyone really knows what a University's normalcy is anymore. No sooner do you finish classes, there'll be a pile of marking, then assessment then onto preparing the next semester in between trying to write grants, articles, books, do a little research...all this work must, surely, turn into something...one day. 

Well, it is what I sometimes wonder at work. And then some days, you have a win and it all seems OK. After a two week hiatus because of exams, I was able to return to the car park by the lake today and that, of course, means reacquainting ourselves with the birds there. I think I have missed them. The blog has felt bereft.

And who did I see first but our swans...which always make me think of the ugly duckling to beautiful swan story...I think it shall be my epitaph, it is just that I remain stuck in the ugly duckling stage. Never mind, I'll grow up one day. (That's a career analogy by the way.)

The resident swans

Then, after an apparent collision (not really, just a trick of the camera...hehe), off they went, in (mostly) perfect formation. Glorious. 

Low flying ibis as swan


Feet up...



Formation flying

Then the ibis made a picture on approaching the island...


 And I'm enjoying my iris and tulips so much, I thought I'd share...enjoy. 


Tulip and contemplation

Flowers are 'just so'. No ugly duckling phases there. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 8.14am-8.15am; 75-300mm, 5.00pm-5.05pm]

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Day 179 2015: When blogging photographing mates get together....

Day 179: ...for Ekka challenges

***The subject of today's post might just coincide with the post at susansnaps***
(But I'm just guessing)

I have previously mentioned one of my photographing partners in crime, Susan (@snoozen) who is basically the person on whom I confer all responsibility for encouraging me in this #project365 endeavour. We bumped into each other at the ABC Studios one morning a few years ago, between segments, and the rest, they say, is history. 

We marvel at each others photography, we marvel even more when our blog post subjects coincide (we're counting the number of times)... It is always a good thing to share your interests with friends. 

This year, we're taking it one step further and we both entered the Ekka photo competition. Today was not so much D Day but M Day, M is for mounting...the tricky part of the process. It is not just the mounting but for me it also means decision time...I had seven printed to choose four. My clever friend Susan on the other had, chose eight to split four each across the two divisions. Smart.

Anyway, that's 12 photos demanding a backing card, framing mount and all with double-sided tape, no glue. (The Fine Arts schedule is an exemplar of pedantry and pernickety precision...but that is half the fun of the fair...) And we decided to do it together.

No probs: we started the day at the art shop down the road, selected required materials (and a few new tools because, why not...this is the world of the serious amateur) and back to Susan's we went. 

We measured and cut, and placed and taped and shaved and pressed...looked and, yes, admired. Susan's pics are excellent. 

Let the measuring begin...
And we were watched, by the famous Sir_Rumple...

OK, so he only had eyes for his owner...

Card here, card there, card everywhere

A short breather, a beautiful tree

Taking shape

The end of the double-sided tape

And we eventually got to the end, about six hours and just one small paper cut later. 

Dragonflies : coincidence. Really

Next stop, delivery to the loading dock at the Showgrounds...such fun. Really.

[Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 1.47pm-6.39pm]

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Day 178 2015: Things unseen...

Day 178: ...until the camera reveals

The noisy miners gave it away this morning. There were many of them and much screeching. Serious screeching. It could only mean one of two or three things: there were kookaburras; there might have been a koala; or, the Pacific Baza from yesterday made it into the backyard this morning. 

If you guessed number three, you'd be right. There it was, out the back in the trees in all its magnificence. Except it was being rather hassled by the miners. And, it turned out, one or two others I didn't see until I uploaded the pics for the day...

The Baza is back

Outta here...

The miners and the butchers

Outta here II

Claws digging in
Nor was I truly aware of its stress until...

Some things you don't see until after the pic is taken
Oh well, they say timing is everything. Which is what we'll be awaiting for over the next few days as these beautiful tulips and irises I bought today reach their full bloom. Lovely work from my favourite local florist, Lesley at Fleur de Passion. 

Budding tulips
Saw out the day with a movie or two, Far from the Madding Crowd and Inside Out...time out before tomorrow...where big decisions have to be made. Big. Important. Final. Decisions. must be made...

[Camera : Canon ESO 60D, 75-300mm, 7.54am-8.41am; 18-55mm, 12.35pm]

Friday, 26 June 2015

Day 177 2015: The randomness of Friday...

Day 177: ...'eating ice cream with your eyes closed'*

It is Friday. At last. It has been a long week, but not without its highlights. By the time I got home, I was a bit tired from the week's events and feeling I hadn't had a particularly strong week photographically. But looking over the pick of the pics this afternoon, I thought they illustrated of the randomness that sometimes embraces the week. 

In my pursuit of finding the photographic in anything, I 'picced' an ice cream. Then, drawn outdoors by the squawking of the miners, I spotted the return of the Pacific Baza, but at quite a distance. It didn't stop me from noticing a few other things though...


...including the return of a kooka. Haven't seen them around for a while. 

Yes, time for a mow

Welcome back

Sky as canvas, infinity series

Some days have no real theme...but the significance of events will emerge later. I suspect. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 4.10pm; 75-300mm, 4.24pm-4.42pm]

*'Eating ice cream with your eyes closed': the title of one of my favourite Australian plays, written by David Brown, performed at QTC, some years ago. Imagine. Eating ice cream with your eyes closed. 

Day 176 2015: There was marking and assessing...

Day 176: ...and then more 'work'...

You may recall, dear reader, going back to mid-December last year, I had some work to do in Tokyo at one of our partner institutions. Three days of celebrating Musashino University's 90th Anniversary and associated events. Today, one of my hosts had her turn to visit Australia and at the end of a hectic week, she had arrived at the SunCoast. 

Well, what is one to do but to take her to the best example of the freshest fish and chips at the Fish Markets at Mooloolaba? And so we did.


With visitors, students and colleagues
(and the coloured lights)
It was another of those days where the work/play line was blurred but really, if this is work, then I'll do it every day.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 18-55mm, 7.38pm]

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Day 175 2015: I did not see it passing by...

Day 175: ...so I settled for fish and chips

Long day at work today, and just some unfortunate timing. We are in the exam period and so students are completing their end-of-semester assessments. For our language students, that means a presentation in a workshop scenario. They actually do it very well. Last week, the third years, today the seconds, tomorrow the firsts. Then the marking. 

And if the workshop had been set just 60 minutes either way of its scheduled time, I might have been able to catch the USS George Washington heading up the coast, around Caloundra, after its departure from a few days R&R in Brisbane. Hmm. So I did not see it passing by...which I would have liked to do, for research purposes of course.

So, really, I don't know why I went to Moffat Beach around 5.30pm this evening (apart from the fact I was leaving campus a bit late). I guess it is because I'm developing quite an interest in the long exposure exercises I've been doing there of late. It's not the fish and chips of course...

And some really interesting results tonight: 

The red and the green

I couldn't reproduce those green and red lines on subsequent shots...cue third dimensional music...

A slight breeze detected

It actually 'looked' pitch black, really

Night fishing
Of course, these pictures aren't true representations of what I saw with the 'naked' eye. It was basically pitch black except for the street lighting. The ambient light in a 15 second exposure truly intrigues me and I'm growing to like the effect...

...and the fish and chips, of course. 

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 5.52pm-6.10pm]

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Day 174 2015: Minding your business...

Day 174: ...minding my work

Some days it is just more productive to work at home. The two and a half hours taken up in just commuting can be the difference between three or four essays getting marked...or papers written or reading done. 

Outside the window where I do most of my work, there is a fig tree, a potted fig tree, but a fig tree nonetheless. And the fact that it is growing in my garden is, well, a miracle really. 

The new leaves are brilliant and distracting. Shiny, new, red. And when they are against a (briefly) blue sky, well what is one to do on one's tea break but step outside (briefly) and snap them...and other things to be seen. 

Like the noisy miners minding their new baby miners. Hmm. Feelings slightly mixed but they're not bothering us at the moment. Good luck to them.

Minding the babies
Then the way the leaves were captured with varying angles, focal lengths, apertures and shutter speeds against the blue sky. Just something 'photographic'. An intangible reason why we snappers get out there and do this...

Against a blue sky 1

Against a blue sky 2

Against a blue sky 3

Just for the effect. And just because it was there...

A puff

Sometimes, there are just no reasons really. I'm just minding my work.

[Camera : Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 10.11am-10.18am]

Monday, 22 June 2015

Day 173 2015: Cloudy days...

Day 173: ...marking and grading

Yes. Office. Each day until every. single. piece. of. assessment...every. single. piece...is sorted. Oh it is a joy. Really. Those who worked hard, and succeeded, those who didn't. After 25 years, there are very few surprises left. The nature of the marking--content, quality, meaning--has changed dramatically too. But that's a post for the other blog (or the Masters I'm also undertaking at the moment).

So there was much marking, preliminary moderation, discussion and sharing of views today before it was time to head back to rehearsal, which I was determined to attend this week. 

It also rained during the day, somewhat unexpectedly so by the time I got out, the sun was going down (it is winter solstice after all) and all I had to play with were the clouds and the moon...and some dusky grasses.

Moon view

Dusky sky

Not so dusky, dusky sky

Dusky coloured grasses

Well, that's not all that bad now is it. Is it?

All straight, no filters, no editing (well a touch of cropping). Amazing range of light and colour. Bit like the marking really, amazing range...

[Camera: Canon EOS 60D, 75-300mm, 5.09pm-5.11pm]

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Day 172 2015: Hanging out the washing...

Day 172: ...just another day in paradise

Sunday. No concerts, no particular commitments. Sundays that are not part of semester per se give one a little more latitude as to how they might play out. 

Of course, there are the usual household chores but with such a brilliant sunshiny day, there just had to be more on the agenda. 

A bike ride for one. After visiting a friend who lives not far from the Brisbane River, I opted for a try-out of the bike track along the Brisbane Corso. OK, not quite brave enough to tackle the Heartbreak Hill leading up to and over the Green Bridge to UQ, but a nice ride to Dutton Park and Yeronga and back. Gently, gently, easy does it.

Bike riding. Resting. 
Then I did make a dash into the Gallery of Modern Art to catch the last day of the Michael Parekowhai exhibition. I've seen his work before and indeed, it is his elephant and Kurilpa sculpture, The World Turns, which dominates the river side of the Gallery. There was also some of the pieces from the Japanese collection. 

Here's a bit of a taste of his eclectic and challenging work, including the piano exhibition which actually involved members of the public playing. When I was there, this young lad was playing rather beautiful classical etudes, and the audience didn't want him to stop. (Neither did he.)


Who doesn't love a Kombi

Pick up sticks, or not


Sound. Space. Concert. Exhibition.

Installations by Kimio Tsuchida

I just took the little cam, the powershot. Some OK pics but I should've opted for the big cam. Oh well. 

Nice day. Topped off with the purchase of the Thea Astley biography. I'm really looking forward to that. 

Now, back to work.

[Camera : Canon PowerShot A490, 12.55pm, 2.31pm-3.00pm]