Posts Tagged ‘b&w’

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The winter water.

August 14, 2011

Even though it was the middle of winter, on my recent trip to New Zealand I spent a lot of time at the beach.  This probably seems unusual to you, especially if you didn’t grow up in a coastal town.  The beach and ocean tend to conjure up images of summer: surfing, barbeques, volley ball.  For me it’s not a seasonal activity, but rather just the way it is, every day. Whatever the ocean decides to do on a particular day—spray refreshing blue water up into the sky or slumber a deep green of calm—I love it, I need it and I am calmed by it.  These images are from the Lyall Bay (Wellington) coast at dusk. Wintery cold, grey with a hint of orange, and just the right amount of uncertainty to feel like everything was just as it should be.

 

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And the sun came out.

March 21, 2011

It was a beautiful weekend! We ventured out to White Rock Lake, one of Dallas’s many (unnatural) lakes for a trek in the sun. This lake is a spot for boaties and bird watchers alike, and the fisherman were also out in full force. Also, I particularly liked the boathouse at White Rock, so spent a little too much time looking at the birds taking refuge in shade. And, since this is America, the police were out and about, too. I was reminded of England, and how on the first day like this each year, everyone is outdoors because one could never be sure how long it would last. But this seems strange in a city like Dallas. Sure, it was a harsh winter, but it really only lasted two weeks! The forecast for the rest of the year? Hot. And sunny.

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Don’t fret, Steeler fans.

February 12, 2011

It’s been a long time since I posted anything, and I must thank aipingplum for getting me to wake up.  These are photos I look back in November on a trip to Pittsburgh.  It wasn’t my first trip to Steel City, but it was my first with a decent camera and the determination to bear the cold. Although, I almost didn’t last out there breathing in that cold Appalachian air.  The centre of Pittsburgh is situated at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, forming the Ohio River, and the ‘Three Rivers City’ has bridges to boot. Maybe it’s too soon–a week after their beloved Steelers lost the Super Bowl–to remind all Pittsburghers to look out their window and appreciate these immense structures and beauty of their rivers. Your city has more than football–including some of the best universities, architecture and natural beauty of any other American city.


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Soul food.

November 23, 2010

Religion is a difficult topic to discuss. While I understand its purpose to be uniting, it seems to have a divisive effect on people, communities and, well, the World. However, that cynical outlook couldn’t be further from the minds of the members of the Inspiring Body of Christ Church in Dallas.  I attended their Sunday service, partly to see their exceptional choir perform, partly out of curiosity about church (I’d never been), and partly as a cultural experiment.  The pastor Rickie G. Rush, and his Living Sound Choir gave soulful, rousing performances and I certainly felt how seriously they took their religion, their message and their community.  These people are on a mission to save souls – it says so right there in their manifesto, handed out to all visitors. IBOC have chosen a very powerful medium: I can’t express how moving the music was (a hundred voices in unison, full band, and soul dripping from their brows). I bet even Richard Dawkins would find himself tapping his toes to the beat of their drum.  Everyone was very welcoming, and genuine, and I loved that – it was an example of exactly religion should be like. Community.

 

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From my cold, dead hand?

August 15, 2010

I’ve never been a fan of guns; I wasn’t raised in a culture where they were lauded, sought after.  But I don’t fear guns, either. Or at least I didn’t think I did because I was never around guns: where I come from they can’t just be purchased from the local corner store or where ever it is that you can get them from here in the US (I’m told Wal-Mart has stopped selling them).  I jokingly said that I would take hand gun lessons when I moved to Texas – you know, to be like a local.  So, off I went to the local gun club (very local, only two minutes down the road!) and the moment I walked in and saw the guns hung up on the walls, heard the bullets popping and witnessed the cool, calm, collected behaviour of the shop attendant my heart leapt into my throat and proceeding to beat at a rate I can’t purposefully achieve with a hard session of cardio at the gym.  But I didn’t waiver (Charlton Heston would have been proud, not that I particularly care for him or his pride), I loaded the chamber (I rented a Magnum .38)  and fired a single shot at the paper man-target. And that was me done.  I spent the rest of the hour taking photos of my braver companions. That’s the kind of shooting I prefer.

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Squirrel!

August 13, 2010

I thought that after the ducklings paid me a visit all those months ago I’d had my year’s fill of cute and fluffy.  Luckily for us all that proved not to be the case as this weekend, while strolling around the state capital (Austin), I spied a young boy feeding a squirrel.  The closer I got the more it became apparent that this cheeky little animal (the squirrel, not the boy) was the least camera-shy creature on the planet.  He even had a preferred “side” for the photos and continually turned so his right side faced me!  Alas, if it weren’t for my 75-300 mm lens I would never have been able to compose any shots the way I wanted.  Here he is, munching on (ironically) an animal cracker.

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National Day of the Cowboy.

July 26, 2010

Yeehaw!  July 24 is the National Day of the Cowboy.  I know, I know: it sounds much like some sort of made up day for the purpose of selling cowboys hats and lassos and whatnot to as wide a market as possible.  But this is Texas. And cowboys are Really Important here.  It seemed the only way to spend my day was with them and those who love them.  Watching a cattle drive.  Trying on cowboy boots. Listening to country music. Attending a rodeo. Yes, you heard (herd?) me.  I’m not going to lie to you, I thought the whole thing was bizarre. But they all seemed to be loving it.  Maybe there is something truly delightful about watching a young man (and some were really young!) being shrugged off the shoulders of a very angry horse. Much to the amusement of the Native Texan I was sitting next to at the rodeo, I was only horrified.