I like drone music. I'm trying to get to like drone photography but it feels like a harder slog so far. My resting father, a glider pilot, may have enjoyed it moreso, but only if he couldn't do the real thing.
I did the necessary registering and certification stuff, which wasn't too onerous for Australia, but moreso in Thailand when I took it along just in case I'd be able to use it. The 150m limit (generally, around where I am) doesn't feel like an issue – I've never gone higher than 100m so far, and still had pleasant-enough results. It feels like I have to go through that “the first 10,000 photos are going to be terrible” process all over again in order to feel like it's part of my overall mission.
I love the vistas I see from travellers like Yan, but accept that I probably won't be travelling that much or that far. There've been occasional moments, though:
It'll be a slow burn, this one. The hard part is finding a diversity of times and places to practice – it's much less immediate than the camera in my hand, but the payback is the opportunities that I'm hoping it will open up. All said, I'm grateful to my prior employer for the 10-year tenure gift card that prompted me to consider this at the start of last year.
(click through to see the original photos in their full panoramic glory, BTW – they're getting squeezed in this blog)
The transcendent nature of hearing a strange old robotically buzzy 20 year old song as the bus crested the hill on Punt Rd and, a little later, I stepped off and walked to the office; it fit the cold morning air so well.
When did I first hear this song? I’d bought the CD in Singapore and listened to it on this train trip to Kuala Lumpur in early 2004, in very different weather to this wintry morning:
I learnt so much on that trip, and saw so many things:
As we get older, it’s harder and harder to fight the pull of nostalgia. What would I have done differently? Plenty of things, but also nothing.
We visited Ueno Station one cold, grey morning, entirely because of a memory of an old song, as you do – or, well, as I do.
My wife found it odd. I couldn't really explain how songs seep into your bones over time, but it related to how I needed to experience a more random nature of Tokyo beyond other people's top-N lists.
We could've seen anything at all here, and it would've helped a few more connections form somewhere in my brain. That's what I'm looking for – the joy of less-conscious discoveries. After all, it's up to you what the image means.
I woke up to a sea of memories from musicians and other folks about Tom Verlaine and Television; my own are more second-hand.
An influential friend gave me a mixtape in the last year of high school containing a single from a local band we all liked (and whose guitarist would, in a strange mixing of worlds much later on, become my manager for a year or so). The b-side of that single was a cover of Little Johnny Jewel which lodged itself squarely in my mind, even after I bought the impossibly good Marquee Moon later on.
Somewhere among the waves, I enjoyed reading Lucy Sante mention how every gig sounded different – it almost makes me miss going along to more live music in the hope of those transcendental moments (who am I kidding? I feel too old for all that standing up).
I hadn't had a First Day at Work for 11 years, to the day. There's a lot to worry about, for a born worrier like me...
...but things turned out just fine in the end. Lovely people, familiar problems, and a mix of familiar and novel solutions from prior folks that my new colleagues were now dealing with the consequences of.
Can I help? Yeah. I think I can. Not overnight, but all in good time.
I want to bottle this feeling because I know that over time I'll feel heavier with context and angles and responsibility, but right now I appreciate the lightness of feeling that comes with finishing a day, comfortable with not knowing.
I've spent the latter half of December embroiled in various muscular injuries – just as my leg got better, I managed to strain my back pretty badly – and so it's been difficult, if not impossible for me to:
get out in the lovely weather (at last!) and take some new photos
sit at the computer and concentrate long enough to dig up interesting old ones
In between the groaning and cursing I'm onto my second tube of Deep Heat, and am now intimately familiar with the limited number of spaces I'm able to sit in around our house, and for how long. These things will pass, though – I'm fortunate to be able to rest, for now.
I'll be back soon with some more photos and stories and things – in the meantime, here's a wedge-tailed eagle we saw near Korumburra on a one-night-away trip last week, when I thought I was nearly better:
Stopping off for a mid-morning coffee after dropping off some slide film to Vanbar for development, I noticed that if #Marios on Brunswick St in #Fitzroy can make it along for another four years it'll be 40 years old! It's been a reliable source of Eggs Benedict and/or coffees for me for much of that time.
The entryway hasn't changed – from 2005:
One strong memory is from when I bought my very first brand new film camera, in 2008 – a Bessa R4A with a 28mm lens – and my first photos with it were taken there after running into a couple of Flickr friends:
I since took other cameras there (2010):
But also took other lovely portraits outside other, nearby cafés – this one on Smith St in 2013:
In the process of digging, some other good café window views came up:
from the northern edge of Thornbury in 2010:
from South Preston with a pinhole camera in 2010:
from Fremantle in 2009:
from a long-gone café in Xi'an in 2013:
and from South Preston in 2017:
Nothing beats the window at Captains of Industry in the heart of the city, though – I have countless photos of it:
Earlier this year I found myself in #Huế, a city full of pre-20th-Century Vietnamese history – to be fair, I found myself there because I'd read up on that stuff, hoping to get a little more from my trip than the usual “American War” fare and see some remnants of the Nguyễn dynasty and such.