Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The things people judge others on are often their own insecurities

Bathurst and George, just outside of the food court on 580 George. Look left, then right, then lfet.

I've walked this way so many times before but never noticed this. At first I thought I must've just missed it, but it doesn't show up on Google Streetview, either. Either way, it makes me wonder if these actually work at all if no one notices, but then again, it's like wondering if anyone reads if no one notices the the extra words. Maybe everyone knows what it means, even if you don't pick up on the mistakes.

Half the fun of buying Asian food is the weird names that are given to them. Mmm juicy buns. They're actually filled with soup, and they're not buns, they're dumplings. I think the meat inside is pork. It's all the same, really.

Almost as good as "Hot pot ass", which really is an assortment of hot pot doohickeys. That's a technical term.

I don't even know what to call this place anymore. Is it Tumbalong park? I'd always thought the giant green area was called that. Anyway, this place has seriously changed. There are deck chairs and people sun baking. Sun baking! During work hours?!

There used to be a Gloria Jeans there (Yes, yes, I frequent them far too often) that I now only have a faint recollection of. I'd been quite sensitively told by a girl I was chasing at the time that things weren't going to work out. For an 17 or-so year old that had never been shot down before it was an interesting turn of events, but in hindsight, if I was still coming to grips with who I was at the time, it'd be a task for someone else to do the same.

Oh those little kiddies that think they're in love, when they don't even know who they are yet, but expect someone else to love them. Come to think of it, I know plenty of adults that are like that.

It's corn! Not only is it corn, it's ice cream! There's a place on Quay Street, just near Railway Square called Harmony Mart, which sells corn flavoured ice cream in a corn-shaped wafer-biscuit-cone thingit. I'm not exactly sure what it is, except I know I feel the need to express my excitement for it.

Probably the best part of buying ice cream from that place, aside from most of them only being a dollar, is that when everything is in Korean, you don't know what you're going to get. It's a culinary adventure in ice cream!

Over in Chinatown on Thomas Street is the Prince Centre. I always think of Katamari Damacy whenever I remember the name of the place. I've heard it called the Burlington Centre because of the supermarket downstairs that went by the same name, but that business shut down and the replacement Yen Yen Centre just doesn't have the same sort of ring.

It's filled with all sorts of weird shops and has the strangest ceiling. One of those shops is a Chinese herbal place, selling (if you can tell from the extremely blurry picture) "MALE POWER - Sexual energy for men", with a muscular man on the box and also "Hayfellery tablets", which has a giant nose. I hope I don't get picked up as spam now.

I'm always in two minds about what to do whenever I see street photographers. A part of me wants to go over and say hi, but another tells me to mind my own business and stop staring because you make people nervous when you stare at them, why are you still staring at them, oh God they've noticed you, just act natural, act natural.

So naturally, secretly taking photos of them and posting them to the web is much better. And oh so very meta.

I went along to the inaugural Google+ Sydney Photowalk on the weekend. Strangely enough, didn't take many photos, but made a bunch of new friends. My Google+ network is no longer a ghost town and it's all very addictive to see what has been posted. Oh, so very clever Google.

This shot was taken from Observatory Hill. In all my time in Sydney, I'd never been there. It's actually quite pretty. It was pretty hazy that day and we didn't stick around for the light to get better. Some of the later shots from the group were quite impressive.

I know there's been Seven already, but I thought I'd throw in just two more from the weekend photoshoot. I lucked out on this one. I've got a horrible tremor, which makes any blurring from camera shake much more pronounced. I normally like to darken up the skies in my pics, but there wasn't any need to this time. Just inside the Botanic Gardens, near where Macquarie Street leads on to the Cahill Expressway.

This chap was taking a moment out of his day and watching the numerous folk with their cameras taking pictures of all sorts of things. I used to wonder about taking a moment to have a smoke, but I found that when I used to, it wasn't a relaxing break at all; it was a rushed afterthought in between getting from A to B. I later found that I could do the same thing with coffee, when I used to hide on one of the top floors of a car park overlooking Crows Nest, quietly sipping away and watching the world go by.

Five minutes works wonders. I really think everyone should try five minute holidays every so often rather than burning themselves out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

When faced with a question of ethics, the harder choice is often the right one

This is just to the side of the Mercure, near Railway Square. It's not really an alleyway, but so much tends to happen down here. In the morning, sometimes there will be a Chinese or Japanese tour bus. Other times smokers from the hotel, taking a moment to fill their lungs. After a rough night, it's necessary to watch your step. That's not spilt coffee or water on the ground there. And there's a hole in the wall where many times I've wandered past couples looking for some privacy before their bus or train leaves. Every street has a story.

Surprisingly, the DSLR got some time out this week. I've been shooting with it and a point and shoot despite having my camera phone on me all the time. I've been leaving it at home more recently as it's difficult to carry along with my gym gear on most days.

Remember what I said about complete randomness last week? We had a stuffed Dodo toy which had a little cape on it. While I thought it would be funny to put in on a coworker, he ran with it and planked on a chair.

Still experimenting here. A crutch I'm currently using is to stand near a street corner while waiting for the lights to change and shoot into the intersection. I could probably be shooting at people and they couldn't care less, but I still don't think I'm there yet.

I met with my mentor this week and he happened to have with him the new Nikon V1, which was announced the other day. It's a pretty sweet camera for a mirrorless system, but it also has a viewfinder. Without making this into a review, the screen on the back of that thing is extremely clear. Don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.

Good Samaritan or someone playing silly buggers? I've often wondered what happens to clothing that is lost, then placed in prominent places for anyone that might realise and come back. I passed a very neatly (and possibly washed) jumper on the side of the street the other day. You have to admire the fact that whoever does this has no idea whether it will be found or appreciated, and they know they'll never be thanked for it.

I don't come out to the cross very often, but a group of friends decided to eat at Wasabi Bistro. It's at 1 Kings Cross Rd. The last time I came here it was another sort of Asian restaurant, so it was slightly weird. The food was pretty good though.

For some unknown reason, the artwork out the front really annoys me. I don't know what it is. Maybe the cluttered-ness of it, or the way that the "balls" are off-centre. Perhaps because it's likely that they aren't as heavy as they look. Actually, they don't look heavy either.

I somehow ended up on the other side of Central this week. I rarely ever come through this side and combined with all the construction work occurring, I barely recognised it. It reminds me in a way that things and people that are so close by can be there for so long, that you forget about them. Then after a slow, gradual change, things can become so different that it's like seeing something or someone new.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

You might be the best, but if you never beat yourself, you'll never win.

Wow. Look who's been a lazy bastard.

I try to post on Mondays, but obviously that was just too freakin' hard this week, wasn't it?

This is Billy. I used to hang out with him at all sorts of odd hours when I was at uni. We gave him a set of keys when I was housesharing and when I came home from the bar at 4am, he'd be clocking off from his pizza place. We'd sit on the stairs of my apartment eating cold pizza and drinking, talking about crap that boys talk about at that age. Then I'd have to stumble to class the next morning at 8am.

For some reason I did really well in those morning classes though, which was odd because it was my accounting elective.

"Troll Tours". I saw these guys later the same day, heading in the opposite direction down George Street. I have a sneaking suspicion the tour operators tell them they're almost there then tell them it's all about the journey and not the destination once they catch on.

I often forget that most of society doesn't "get" internet memes. Makes for some awkward situations at times. Like now, if you don't get it. ...

I was pretty hungry.

Actually, I associate this place with uni lunches. It's Thai La Ong on King Street, Newtown. Cheap food that doesn't taste like cardboard.

Speaking of cardboard, one of my co-workers took issue with The Australian one morning. I think he said it tasted like crap. I wasn't sure if he was referring to the content or the physical paper.

I often have no idea what is going to happen in the office with him around. Things could be spontaneously exploding into live chickens that shoot pillows out of their bums and it wouldn't seem too out of place.

I get to travel down Pitt Street Mall quite a lot now after work. Now that there's more sunlight after office hours all the performers have come back out. They're pretty cool to watch, although I try not to since I usually don't carry change around with me to offer and I'm on the way to the gym.

It would be a nice place to just stand around taking photos for a while. I saw a chick the other day just standing around shooting with a 70-200mm -- a fairly conspicuous, large white lens -- and no one was batting an eye.

This might've been a nice pic had it not been completely out of focus. I often curse at my poor eyesight. Focus-recomposition works poorly in street and I've never gotten the hang of very quickly manual focusing.

There is this thing called practice though. I've heard it works wonders. =)

The message lays close to the ground. I wonder, did they do it so their message would likely last longer and possibly be read more, or did they not want it to be read by the unobservant? Is it ironic that the message tells us to look around, yet it's obscure?

Bit of a quiet protest, isn't it? Say, that reminds me of someone. Someone whose name begins with M and ends in ichael.

So, Seven for the week. I might have more than seven already for the week shortly ending, but I'll try to stick to getting them up on Monday. It's become a lot easier now that I have a small point and shoot that I've been carrying around, but I don't know if that's doing much in terms of actually creating better pictures. Either way, it's a different way to shoot Sydney.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sometimes it's better to worry about what might not happen rather than what might.

What's the hardest part about street photography? Here's a hint: it's got nothing to do with photography.

It's about realising you're one person on a tiny planet in the middle of nowhere who, in the grand scheme of things and relative to the infinite duration of time, won't matter and won't be remembered as that strange person on the street.

It's strange, trying to let go of years' worth of worry about how others see and perceive you and it's certainly something I want to do. I frequently just call it not giving two f**cks, not in an arrogant way, but knowing that sometimes you can't and shouldn't need to change someone's opinion of you.

Something to think about while standing on a street corner.

Soon after I got back in from Japan I went to a Japanese popular culture festival. Go figure. I got off the plane and marched right in. I was dead tired. Here are some of the lovely maids at their cafe.

The idea is you get treated like the man (or woman) of the house. They're meant to make your stay enjoyable. How anyone actually needs to feel even more welcomed in Japan is beyond me, but it's part of their culture. I'm not the type that enjoys this sort of thing, but admittedly it's fun to joke around with the maids and butlers since they're all in it for the fun.

Mr Puddles is not your typical cat. Actually, no cat is really typical. I've never met two similar cats now that I think of it. Well, we gave him a paper bag to crawl in. Sometimes he gets the "crazies" and wants to be "hunter kitty". He'll hide under things and dart out when he thinks you don't know he's there.

Well, he apparently wasn't in the mood and decided the bag was better to sit on. Other strange habits? Licking plastic bags. Randomly falling over on one area of the floor. Chirping whenever he sees birds.

He's not a companion cat. He's more like the cat of the house... and we're the maids.

They aren't cookies. They're meat patties. The little ones work better. They cook faster and you can stick 'em in bread sammiches. Yes, that's a technical term.

It was raining earlier last week and I have no idea what they were trying to set up here. There are bales of hay and some tyres. A car racing a horse? A horse pit stop? I don't know. I felt bad for the one guy who was trying to sweep up all the hay that was blowing around in the wind. A futile job, but then it's just like any one of ours in the grand scheme of things.

A friday afternoon. South Park, nerf blaster magazine, beer. Work hard and play hard. The giant penguin I used to shoot has been moved though, so I'm not even sure what to shoot at now. Might take to people soon.

I often don't appreciate it much. I can't remember the last time I went up the tower to see the view. We're really spoilt for choice, aren't we? Eat at the tower, climb the bridge for exercise, settle at the Opera House for entertainment and evening drinks.

It's on the way to the gym. Gym? What's this gym thing? What a horrible concept. Well, I'm doing it finally and my first gym experience has been a pretty good one. Aside from the constant aching. Again, the futility of it all is a bit amusing to me. Move that weight! Move it! Up and down! I wonder if we could have put that power into something else. Or is that the kid engineer in me seeing wasted energy?

I was pretty amused by this. Probably more than I should be, and probably in a much more geeky way than is needed. Google doesn't have Google+ support for Google Apps yet, but if you try to log in on a mobile platform, it displays this dialog box. Only, I don't use an iPhone, so I have no idea why it looks like an iPhone dialog box. Favouritism? Sure looks weird on my phone.