It was a rainy gray day.
Typical West Coast weather.
But rainy days don’t stop surfers.
And gray days don’t hide colors.
Long Beach, Vancouver Island. May 2019
This week’s challenge reminded me of one of my last photo walks in Singapore.
It was in Bukit Pasoh, an old retro district filled with colorfully restored shop houses. One shop house in particular caught my eye. The orange patterned chairs and yellow walls contrasted sharply with the battered wooden doors. Marilyn Munroe eyes and stacked tiffin boxes lured me in. This was a quirky restaurant decorated with vinyl records and 70’s nostalgia.
The signboard outside named the place. Or so I thought. I couldn’t read Chinese. Careful inspection of the picture though, identifies the cafe as Eight. Located at 8 Bukit Pasoh. Singaporeans may be nostalgic but they are efficient.
Photos taken in Singapore, 2017
I’m not much of a wild life photographer. I don’t have the patience for it. To photograph wildlife, I’d have to spend lots of time looking and waiting for something to happen. More often than not, something is nothing. Plus, I’d have to lug around my camera with a heavy zoom. Unless I’m certain of a shoot, I never tote my camera and lens.
We live near a national park reserve, so loads of wildlife abound. From our balcony, I’m occasionally gifted with the sight of a bald eagle flying across the bay. It is a glorious sight. I rarely have my camera on hand and even if I did, I’d miss the joy of just watching the bird in flight.
The best way to photograph an eagle is to find it on it’s perch. The best way to spot an eagle is to spot the spotters. They’re the folks with big lens trained upwards, standing still for inordinately long times. Sometimes when we’re driving around I’ll yell “Eagle!” It’s not because I’ve spotted an eagle. Rather, it’s because I’ve spotted someone spotting an eagle.
So what’s a girl to do with a challenge about ‘Feathers’?
I can share my best and only close-up of a carved eagle.
Or I can filch excellent photos from hubby, someone with no trepidation about toting big lens.
Ucluelet, B.C. May 2019
Wick Beach, Pacific Rim National Park. May 2019
It was the morning on the first day of the Rip Curl Nationals. I was there for the open heats. So were a lot of other photographers with some serious gear. Massive telephoto lens and tri-pods speckled the beach. Lens envy! But my zoom and hand-hold allowed me to move around. I think I got a few good shots and I enjoyed myself.
Some photos are best served with music. I recommend No Ordinary by Charles William. I had this song and lyrics playing as I worked through my photos.
I can be anything
I think i’m ready to go
I think i’m ready to be
I think i’m ready to show that i’m no ordinary
I think i’m ready to know
Don’t need the world to believe
Right now i’m ready to show that i’m no ordinary
Wick Beach, Pacific Rim National Park. May 2019
I didn’t think I would join this week’s challenge. For one, I don’t really know Chutes & Ladders. In my day, the game was called Snakes & Ladders. But then I remembered the last time I’d seen a cellophane wrapped packet of the game.
I was in a restaurant in Singapore called Old School Delights. It served up hefty portions of tasty food but its real appeal was the nostalgic decor. The tables were adult-sized school tables, set with Jack & Jill readers and tin cups filled with crayons and pencils. On one wall, a big blackboard was decorated with caulk and had a “Top 10 List” of “How to know if you are Delightfully Old School.”
My photo is not the best (I may have been nibbling something delicious at the time) so I’ll list them here. I did not grow up in Singapore but where I did, it was a similar island country, in a similar time.
TOP 10 LIST – HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’RE DELIGHTFULLY OLD SCHOOL
1. YOU GREW UP WATCHING RE-RUNS, DORAEMAN, SMURFS, WOODY WOODPECKER, TOM & JERRY, CARE BEARS AND LOONEY TUNES.
… and they were all in Black & White on a 26″ TV console with antenna ears.
2. YOU KNOW WHAT SBC STANDS FOR
… I’m guessing this must be Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) because we had a Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) which was modeled off the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
3. PAGERS WERE THE IN-THING AND MOBILE PHONES WERE THE SIZE OF BRICKS
… In my house the in-thing was having a landline phone mounted on the wall. An extra long chord made it mobile. Funky colors of avocado green and mustard yellow made it cool.
4. KFC USED TO BE A HIGH CLASS PLACE THAT USED METAL KNIVES AND FORKS
… I don’t recall KFC ever having a dine-in option. For me, KFC was a rare treat and the delight was in opening the red and white cardboard box and eating chicken with my fingers.
5.HOPSCOTCH, FIVE STONES, CHAPTEH AND ZERO POINT WERE ALL THE RAGE
… I played hopscotch by scratching out the grid in the playground and getting my school uniform dirty. My brother played hacky sack, which would’ve made him a chapteh champ. I preferred to play Jacks with a ball rather than Five Stones without. I wasn’t very good at double dutch with jump ropes which means that I would’ve been awful at Zeropoint with elastic bands.
6. YOU HAD PENCIL CASES WITH LOTS OF SMALL TINY DRAWERS, TRAYS AND SHARPENERS THAT POP OUT
… and my pencil case was made of wood. I also had a wooden ruler. At school Sister Martenella, the head-mistress had a bigger ruler. She used it for punishing bad behavior. For things like getting your uniform dirty.
Looks like this Top 10 List only had six items. The rest were probably on a different wall. I don’t have a photo but I can add four more items which make me old school.
7. YOU COLLECTED PAPER STATIONERY
… which was strawberry scented and strawberry shaped.
8. YOU WROTE LETTERS TO YOUR PEN-PAL
… I used paper stationery to write to my pen-pal in Ireland. I wrote my letters by hand. The letters were sent by post and it was delivered directly to her door. The whole process took three to four weeks. That was real-time, the old time way.
9. THE CLOSEST THING TO A HOME COMPUTER WAS AN ELECTRIC TYPEWRITER
… and there was a special school to learn how to type.
10. A SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR WAS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY
… But calculators were not allowed in school. I used logarithmic tables instead. But I’m so old school, I can’t remember what I used logarithmic tables to calculate.
Present Day Canada. May 2019
I’ve been thinking about a new theme of photos.
I thought of quotidian except it’s such an overblown word for ordinary things. But I want to share more than ordinary things. More than ordinary but less than extraordinary, because that’d make them phenomenal, and that’s really too hard to maintain as a theme.
I’ve settled on ‘Walk About’ because that’s what I’ll be doing – walking about and snapping unexpected scenes.
Like this one. If I’d had staged it myself, it couldn’t have been a more perfect shot. But Tartan Window Cleaning had nothing to do with the Tea shop and Taco stall behind it. By the time I’d walked back, the truck was gone and the store fronts were back to being ordinary.
Ucluelet, B.C. May 2019
It’s May and it’s officially surf season. Next week is the Rip Curl Nationals and this weekend it’s the West Coast Triple Plank. Only on Vancouver Island can you triple plank – SURF, SKATE & SNOWBOARD – in one week-end. Surfing is on Cox Beach, Skate boarding in Tofino and Snowboarding on Mt Washington.
The West Coast Triple Plank was created three years ago as a fun way to raise awareness and funds for the Central Westcoast Forest Society (CWFS), a registered charity for rainforest conservation and restoration.
Surfing was on the agenda today and we headed out to have a look. For once, I had the foresight to bring my camera and I hoped to get a few good shots. I had lots of opportunity.
There were serious surfers.
And there were those having serious fun wiping out.
Wipe out or no, old friends were always on shore.
Cox Beach, Tofino. May 2019
I’m a fan of street photography but when I’m on the street, I focus mainly on light and composition. It’s in the post-selection work that I look for finer details. For street portraits, it begins with the eyes and ends with context.
For this week’s challenge I share pictures from a trip to Santiago de Cuba.
I was tramping through the grounds of an industrial property when I noticed this fellow eating his lunch. My first instinct was to turn away – I was trespassing – but then he waved hello. Like everyone I’d met in that sleepy town, he was friendly and curious about what I was doing. He told me about his work; it had something to do with digging utility poles and hauling them around in his ’60s-era truck. My understanding was limited, I knew just enough Spanish to give an illusion of comprehension. But I nodded wisely and asked if I could take his photo.
I met this other fellow several times during the trip. He was a musician in the local band and I enjoyed his music in the town square and swanky hotel resorts. On this particular day he welcomed me to his workshop where he built and repaired guitars. Cuba is a resource poor country and musicians have a hardscrabble life. Even so, it’s clear that for some at least, their revolutionary leader is still admired.
Photos taken in Cuba, 2018