13 November, 2012

Highest leaf

The highest leaf on the tallest tree;
all the horizon;
breeze and wind,
shower and storm,
dawn and sun and set,
stars and moon,
the vault of the night sky.
Life in a season.

10 November, 2012

Fashion police

I find myself occasionally bumping into one or another of the “fashion police” websites. It’s probably paradoxical (I prefer not to use the word “hypocritical”); but I feel obliged to respond with some (partly negative) comments of my own.

The negativity is relentless. (Whatever happened to, “live and let live?”) And, you can see it played out in the on-line comments of the cheer squads, whose staple contributions are: “Eweew,” “noooooooooo,” “no way,” “lol,” “yuck,” etc. With plenty of capital letters and exclamation points.

These sites seem completely free of creativity, innovation, or insight.

If you’re interested in fashion or street  fashion photography, then I suggest, for example, The Sartorialist - a site that celebrates creativity and innovation.

So, what to wear? Not for me to say. (And, thank God too, because I'm the last person you should ask.) I liked, however, what Naomi Wolf wrote:
Perhaps we will forget to elicit admiration of strangers, and find we don't miss it....

08 November, 2012


In his essay, "What is Wabi-Sabi," Architect Tadao Ando says this:
Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle of growth, decay, and death. It's simple, slow, and uncluttered-and it reveres authenticity above all. Wabi-sabi is flea markets, not warehouse stores; aged wood, not Pergo; rice paper, not glass. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. It reminds us that we are all but transient beings on this planet-that our bodies as well as the material world around us are in the process of returning to the dust from which we came. Through wabi-sabi, we learn to embrace liver spots, rust, and frayed edges, and the march of time they represent.
For obvious reasons, then, the phrase, "wabi-sabi" gets used a lot in photography. But it seems that wabi-sabi is much more.

I've embedded an interesting video called, "In Search of Wabi Sabi." (I hope that it stays available on YouTube.) Below is part-one of the BBC Four program presented by Marcel Theroux in 2009. It's 90 minutes, broken into seven, bite-sized portions:

I thought that I had a bit of an understanding (similar to Tadao Ando's description, above), but I'm not so sure now. Because it's a much more broad, cultural concept, I think that I'll have to be a bit more careful in how I use the phrase.

30 October, 2012

Nothing is perfect

After spending almost any time in malls, it's nice to find places that have character of their own. Not perfect, just real. This news agent was in the suburb next to mine — it's gone now.

Rainworth News Agent

"[Wabi-sabi]... nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect."
—Richard R. Powell

29 October, 2012

Selective desaturation

I'm usually not a fan of selective colour treatments. They get attention, but it seems to me that they wear out their welcome pretty quickly. As an alternative I tried some selective desaturation. I didn't pick a colour or two; instead, I picked an area or two.

Noosa Markets

28 October, 2012

A dog's life

A dog's life?
We should be so lucky.

Come as you are

If life isn't a "come-as-you-are party,"
then it’s not your life.

Photographer (not me) at Mt Coot-tha

16 October, 2012

Abstain from Injuring these Walls

A gentle sign – from not always gentle times. This is from an interior wall of the Victorian Trades Hall in Melbourne. It appears that subsequent decorators couldn't bring themselves to paint over it. I like it.

Holiday at the Beach

There's nothing like a few days at the ocean. A warm breeze, the beach, blue skies. Best, however, if you can share it with someone.

13 October, 2012

The "Break" and the Nun

I was at Brisbane's South Bank Parklands the other day. It was crowded because of the nice weather.

One path runs along the back of a series of restaurants. A few of the guys were having a break.

In the markets area a Buddhist nun was kind enough to let me take her picture. She was very careful to adjust her robes properly, and she didn't want me to photograph her working.

12 October, 2012

Noosa Markets

The good thing about markets is that the sellers usually have covers that keeps potential subjects out of the direct sun. These are from the Noosa Markets on the Sunshine coast. The problems is that if you buy stuff, then your hands are full and it's hard to take pictures.

11 October, 2012

Life in the Neighbourhood

Near the top of my street there's a cosy little (very little) coffee shop. These places are the glue that holds neighbourhoods together. Having said that, I don't remember the barista's name. This was a Saturday morning. I should go there more.

06 October, 2012

Bluegrass on the Sunshine Coast

Last week I was up on Queensland's Sunshine Coast (100k's north of Brisbane) at a concert featuring Celtic as well as Bluegrass. Clearly, I have not paid enough attention to Bluegrass. My mistake. The group responsible for this rethink is, "The Company."

01 April, 2012

Not a morning person

I'm not a morning person. I did, however, get up to visit Mt Coot-tha at sunrise the other day. As a mountain Mt Coot-tha is a modest 285 metres; but it does provide a useful lookout for Brisbane.

01 March, 2012

Most of us don't

We're all familiar with the William Purkey invocation to, "dance like there's nobody watching." Most of us, however, don't. A few do, and Anne Marsen is one of those. You might have seen her on, The Good Wife. But if you don't know the name, then I suggest that you visit girlwalkallday.com. One of the videos is conveniently (you're very welcome) embedded below. It's free (pun intended) This, and the whole series, is a collaboration between Marsen and videographer Jacob Krupnick. It's the courage of art.

01 January, 2012

More beach pictures

The surf beach at Twin Waters is pretty good: Long, uncrowded and clean.

Not to worry. These should be the last beach pictures for a while.