Last week I explained why I take photos of drain covers, and why that makes Japan so interesting for me. Today is our last day in Japan, so I thought I’d share another photo that I’ve added to my collection.
This was taken on one of the islands in the Seto Inland Sea, which we visited as part of the Shimanami Kaido bike ride we did. The bike ride starts in Onomichi City and meanders across six of the islands in the Seto Inland Sea and the bridges that connect them. The entire ride is 75km, but we only did about 30km, by which point we were both freezing and I was in agony, having remembered that the fact that Geoff rides a bike pretty much every day doesn’t make me a cyclist too.
This week’s quick pick of internet finds has a Japanese theme as we’re on holiday here at the moment. As usual, good things come in threes…
We’re on holiday in Japan this week, so this week’s photo post is from one of my personal projects. While it may seem strange that I have a personal project which includes drain covers, I can explain. My interest is in what I describe as footpath art, the art we walk over every day, often without seeing it. It started in Brisbane when after years of walking down Albert Street, I finally noticed the bronze plaques by Brona Keenan that form part of the Albert Street Literary Trail. Having discovered that I’d been walking over art I hadn’t noticed for about 15 years (seriously, they were installed in 1996 and I finally noticed them in 2011). I couldn’t help but start to notice this kind of art all over the place, and being me, to start to take photos of it. Japan has it’s own special variety of footpath art – illustrated drain or manhole covers. These are beautifully detailed designs specific to the local region they’re in. Sometimes they’re painted and sometimes they’re left plain, but they’re always interesting. I even have a coaster on my desk which is a small rubber version of the standard Osaka drain cover that we found last time we were here. So this is the latest edition to my collection. It’s from the Abeno ward of Osaka.
Here’s this week’s quick pick of internet finds. They do say that good things come in threes…
What could be more relaxing than standing on a calm, empty beach, looking out to sea while holding a giant red balloon? As is so often the case, all is not quite as it seems. Rather than being on a quiet empty beach in the middle of nowhere we were surrounded by early morning walkers, swimmers and surfers. There was a nice gusty wind that kept blowing the balloon around at crazy angles and threatening to steal it away. Yet thanks to the magic of photography (a high shutter speed and careful framing) we have a calm, reflective moment of peace. One of the best bits of the shoot was at the end when I told my subject (the beautiful Lou from Relaxed Soul, Happy Mind) to feel free to give the balloon away to a passing child. She spotted a family with two toddlers who had been playing in the water just down the beach from us. The balloon was probably as big as them and they were completely thrilled to have it. We saw them leaving the beach a short time later and couldn’t decide if it was because they’d had enough of playing in the water, or if they’d realised the mixed blessing that is a large helium filled balloon on a windy beach.
The start of a new year is a great time to review what’s gone before, to make changes and to plot a course for the year ahead. This year, as part of that process my website got a shiny makeover, which included a new look for this blog. The new look has prompted me to review the content as well and consider what I’d like to do with it over the next year.
I started this blog in October 2011 as part of the challenge I set myself to take and post a photo each day of the little things that caught my eye. After 7 months of daily posting, I wound it back to a few posts a week on no particular schedule. That process resulted in 273 random snippets from my daily life.
This year I plan to shift the focus to my work and personal photography projects. As the blog is nested within my business site I’m going to align them more closely. So I’ll be posting photos from shoots I’m doing and telling you a little about the pictures, the projects they form part of, or the behind the scenes fun. I’ll also be posting links to things related to the business – wedding tips, the work of photographers and artists that inspire me, and whatever else seems relevant. I’ll generally be posting twice a week, once with photos and once with links.
I’ll obviously continue to take random pictures of my life, which you’ll be able to find on Instagram, Flickr, and Pinterest.
I’m one of those people who has always loved to roam around cemeteries, reading inscriptions on headstones, and admiring the amazing sculptures that grace so many of the graves. This beautiful angel is in Toowong Cemetery.
Photographer Dane Shitagi has been taking the photographs that make up the Ballerina Project for the last 12 years. He takes dancers who are currently dancing or have danced for major companies and photographs them away from their ballet studios, in parks, on beaches and in urban environments, and the results are beautiful.
You can check it out on Pinterest, Facebook, or visit the project’s website.
In the words of the Levellers… “What a beautiful day, I’m the king of all time, And nothing is impossible, In my all powerful mind.” How could I not feel inspired waking up to this amazing view?
Go listen to the song, you’ll be humming it for days. 🙂