QUOTE – LIFE

If you learn to enjoy waiting you don’t have to wait to enjoy

Kazuaki Tanahashi

15TH JULY 2013 – THE ORNAMENTAL LAKE CLOSE TO THE NORTH-EAST ENTRANCE OF THE ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS IN MELBOURNE

……..and the black & white version of the same scene.

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I’ve been off the WordPress Blogasphere for just over a month now.

No blog reading (let alone blog post uploading on my own blogs).  Well, maybe one or two  😀

I am getting too fatigued to do much now and have (finally) got the date booked for my open-heart surgery – 3rd August.   I have the inherited version of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy and the symptoms have gradually worsened over the last couple of years.

I have chosen to spend my current time in light off-line activities that don’t take up so much of my energy – mental or physical.  Yes, believe it or not, I find blog reading energy-sapping at the moment, especially the blogs that have a lot of writing accompanying their photos.

This heart surgery will have a long recovery time for me, as I have Fibromyalgia, CFS/ME, MCS and 3 other heart conditions.   The split sternum takes 6-8 weeks to heal and I can’t lift any weight for 3 months after surgery.  I haven’t been able to move forward with treatment/surgery for the constant nerve pain in my lower spine and right leg sciatic pain etc so that has been put on the backburner for now.   At least the total right hip replacement from last December is ‘done and dusted’.

I hope to be back online in a couple of months  🙂

QUOTE – Life

It’s like driving a car at night. 

You never see further than your headlights,

but you can make the whole trip that way.

 Doctorow, 1931 – 2015, American novelist

Note:  The series of images below were made travelling home in a bus from South Melbourne.   As I was sitting in the front seat I made random shots along the way on a very dark night and, at a guess, I would say I had the Sony a6000 ‘mirrorless’ on the Intelligent Auto setting as it takes great dusk and sunset images and I thought it had the best chance of capturing something.

In fact, capturing anything at all (was my aim).

I ended up with the camera automatically going up to a very high ISO and heaps of noise (or graininess) in the images.

I also ended up with many blurred images when the bus hit a bump in the road.  By the time I arrived home, I’d learned how many bumps and ‘potholes’ there actually were in some urban roads around Melbourne   😀

I’ve never shared them before as I thought ‘the noise’ reduced the quality and they were just not good enough (to share), but now, as I review them in June 2021, I love them for the moodiness they convey – almost looking like paintings, rather than photos.

 

In the image below, the bus had stopped at a red light and I managed to get a sharper focus on the shop window (with the trees and setting sun reflecting on the bus door window).

 

The images below were made as I left the centre of Melbourn’s CBD (central business district) and passed closer to Port Melbourne, eventually crossing the Maribyrnong River into the inner western suburbs and my home location.

While all of us amateur (and professional?) photographers like sharply focused images, perhaps soft focus is just as good in storytelling.

Life isn’t perfect and we all have our problems and unique stories to share.

QUOTE – LIFE

Courage doesn’t always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
“I will try again tomorrow.”

 Mary Anne Radmacher

I was determined to do some outdoor photography yesterday.

What actually spurred me to take a camera to my medical appointment was the weather forecast of ‘light winds‘.   This usually means the water is still enough to capture reflections as seen in the image on the right (taken a couple of years ago).

The bus stop outside my local medical centre takes me right down to the Maribyrnong River, a large lake and a small area of murky pond with a reed-covered island in the centre and access to a number of local birdlife.

The Maribyrnong River flows (unseen in the above image) just behind the tall reeds halfway down the frame.

To the left of the image above is the large expanse of water between the river and the residential area on the western side of the river valley.  Once again poor light and I had to fiddle with some basic photo editing tools just to get this amount of detail below.

Must be 18 months since I visited the area – partly due to declining health and lack of physical ability to walk across uneven ground and of course we Melburnians stayed mostly at home during Melbourne’s 111-day lockdown and nightly curfew during 2020’s COVID.

I discovered yesterday that I can no longer see through the viewfinder (or LCD screen) since a new glasses prescription earlier in the year.   So while I could see shadows and light and managed to compose a relatively good composition below, I missed the fact that the photo is out of focus (except for the bush in the foreground) until I downloaded it at home.

They say there is no such thing as poor light in photography, but yesterday there was poor light!

What to do?

Is my 10-year photography hobby at an end?

Or, do I try again ‘tomorrow’?……………. (when there’s better light).

Ever the optimist, I think I’ll try again another day.

I only had my lightweight Sony A6000 with me which doesn’t really get between thick foliage for bird photography.   And with the lack of decent light, the Swamphen image was the best I could capture.   I spotted about 4-5 Purple Swamphens (Porphyrion porphyrio) in or around the pond and only one Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) madly swimming up the Maribyrnong River itself (out of focus so no image to share).

PURPLE SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio)

Yesterday, it was nearly 4.30pm when I caught the bus down the river valley and in hindsight, I should have known there would not be enough light and just gone home after my medical appointment.

At this current stage of late Autumn, the daylight turns to a short golden hour, dusk, and then, depending on your location, pitch-black (if you’re not near street lights).

There are some spectacular Golden Hours and Sunsets in Autumn around Melbourne and the bayside suburbs though.   I’ve captured many of them over the last 10 years.

But yesterday, I turned around to shoot straight into the dying sun (below).   I knew from experience it would be just a silhouette.

I quickly decided there was no point staying, so walked around the rest of the pond.   You can see the bus stop shelter a third of the way down the frame on the right-hand side of the image below.

You can also see there was not a single bird to be seen on this side of the pond, so even if I’d taken my Canon DSLR and Sigma 150-500mm heavy lens, I wouldn’t have made any bird photos.

I crossed the road to the bus stop going in the direction of home.

I didn’t have to wait long (and it can be up to 40 mins on this particular bus route if you’ve just missed one bus).   As it climbed the suburban streets across the river valley, I could see the remnants of a spectacular sunset out the bus window.

When I got off the bus, I took a shot of what was left between the houses (below).

As I walked down my steep short road towards home I managed to capture a little more sky colour across the enormous open field next to my apartment building.

So it’s back to the archives for some images for this blog.

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The photos below were taken on a ‘good’ light day 2-3 years ago.

3 PURPLE SWAMPHENS totally ignoring me standing right next to them i.e. only 8-12″ away
juvenile GREY TEAL
PURPLE SWAMPHEN
A GOOD ‘LIGHT’ DAY ON THE SIDE OF THE POND NEAREST THE ROAD AND BUS STOP.
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa)
PACIFIC BLACK DUCKS
not enough detail to see but I think it might be an AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE
MASKED LAPWING (with a Silver Gull in the rear)
GREAT EGRET (in the golden hour)

SILVER GULL

KHAKI CAMPBELL DUCKS
The other end of the lake (which is only 10 minutes walk from home)
Juvenile GREY TEAL (Anas gracilis)
POND IN MARIBYRNONG WETLANDS (always has some ducks except for yesterday)

QUOTE – LIFE

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock,
perhaps a hundred times without as much
as a crack showing in it.
Yet at the hundred-and-first blow
it will split in two, and I know
it was not the last blow that did it,
but all that had gone before.
 

Jacob A. Riis

(Note: I knew if I kept this image long enough I’d find a use for it).