NZ’s Approach

New Zealand is looking to eliminate COVID19 from our shores. It is an ambitious target that is fraught with difficulties. Apart from the scientific nature of the virus, there is also the practical considerations required to limit community transmissions. I do not know better that anyone out there in New Zealand or the world. I prefer to listen to experts and take their advice.

There is only 1 small issue with my approach. There does not seem to be a “common view” from the scientific community about what we should do. We can also add into this mix the differing view from local and national authorities and politicians. Just to make it exciting, it is election time in New Zealand and every dog and person has a view and point to score.

I’m no expert. My view is no more important than the next person in the cafe. All I can say is that while both major political parties in New Zealand have very different approaches to economic and social progress, I’m glad their main focus to help Kiwis. It is hard, scratch that, impossible to keep everyone happy. But in the long run, New Zealand wins. Like I was reminded this week, don’t overreact. Let’s stay positive and look after each other.

Morning Light in a Cafe

For the past 5-6 years, my husband Chris, a man of routine, has been catching up with our friend Mike on Friday mornings for coffee after their gym workout. That routine still stands long after Mike and Chris moved on to different gyms. It took a heart attack and a global pandemic level virus to change this routine. It has been a few months, but Chris and Mike are catching up again on Friday morning.

I decided to invite myself to this coffee catchup as I’m working from home and the cafe they are catching up at is a short walk away. As usual, I take my camera along. It is almost instinctive. I know looking through the viewfinder ocassionally stops me from enjoying the moment. However, I still bring it along. I feel a little naked without. It’s a little crutch of mine. But I would love for it help open a conversation.

At the cafe, we opted to sit inside. I’m glad we did. Not only because it was cold outside. But because the sun was lovely and there were so many opportunities. This week’s lens of choice is my 50mm. Not the most ideal lens in a small enclosed environment. But I’ve learnt to appreciate the restriction liberation that a simple setup provides. When the 50mm is close for one scene, it will be perfect for another a few minutes later. True to form, I shot these two shots.

The lady shielding her eyes as the sun washes her in beautiful warmth was the first thing that caught my eye. I wondered how I could take a shot in the small cafe without drawing attention to myself and ruining the moment. Thankfully this is where my 50mm lens came in handy. The second shot was a sneaky and creepy shot under the table. I saw the toilet rolls she brought into the shop and I recall thinking she must have bought it from the Superette (Dairy, convenience store) a couple of doors down. I did not think much more then. But looking at it now, I realise there could be a humorous Covid19 statement in the photo. Unfortunately I’m not witty enough for a smart caption.

Not What I Planned.

I’ve walked past this house many times over the past 4-5 years that we’ve lived in this suburb. The single chair sitting by the side door of this house calls out to me. Whenever I walk past, I also feel that the best setup for this would be a high contrast scene with the chair in bright light but the rest of the house and garden in the shade. I’ve even seen this scene play out in front me before. But I’ve always found an excuse to not take the shot, someone is sitting by the window, I don’t have the right focal length or the light is too harsh.

But today, the scene in front of me is completely different from what I envisioned. There was even light across the scene, so different from what I planned. And yet it felt just right. I captured the shot using Ritchie Roesch’s Kodachrome II recipe.

Sometimes I try too hard to get everything just right. No. I simply try too hard to get everything right. Letting go and letting be could be the key. So contrary to a a lifetime (as of now) of Singaporean preparedness.

Evening Shadows on Sunday

I was googling to read more about Saul Leiter when I found an article written by Jacqui Palumbo. This paragraph from her article struck me.

Leiter wasn’t interested in the human condition, like Frank or Diane Arbus; instead he understood the simple poetry of a stranger’s silhouette, or raindrops on a window pane. “I may be old-fashioned, but I believe there is such a thing as a search for beauty—a delight in the nice things in the world. And I don’t think one should have to apologize for it,” he said in In No Great Hurry.

Why Saul Leiter Kept His Colorful Street Photography Secret for Decades – Jacqui Palumbo

My photography is not documentary in nature nor does it usually tell a story. I’m still trying to find out what my photography style is or what it seeks to convey. But what I know is that it gives me joy. That’s a start.

A Light Filled Chicken Burger

Today’s lunch has been planned since Monday. I’m catching up with Philip for burgers at his favourite burger place, a short distance away from where he lives. As with life in general, I find it easier to motivate myself when I have something good to look forward to. That promise of something nice could range from a meal or the potential for photography in a new place. This spring day promises both.

Eden Terrace is no more than 10 mins drive from where I live. Even though it is only a short drive away, I’ve not had much opportunity to explore the area. It is just a place I travel through. not to. What I know of the area is that it is a mix of residential and industrial developments. Overtime, new buildings squeeze between old buildings, meshing modern clean architecture with visible evidence of the passage of time.

Beautiful light and a delicious fried chicken burger. What more could I ask for? I was short of time and these were the photos from a short snap before and after my burger. I think another trip to take “photos” is necessary.

I shot these using my personal classic chrome custom setting. I’m learning to understand how well it plays and more importantly, how I should work with my camera to handle different situations.

Oh, Burger Geek has the best burgers in New Zealand. That Fried Chicken Burger? Oh my…. The next burger of theirs I’m going to try is the Sombra – Black Bean and Brown Rice Pattie with Fried Egg. Yup. That’ exactly what I will be trying.

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