Monday, September 26, 2011

Walls, Doors, Guys (and guitars), Graffiti, and Museums

I came across this oddly illuminated wall/hedge the other evening.

A neighbor put out some nice potted plants the next day.  It if wasn't for all the brightly colored doors, I'm sure I wouldn't have even noticed.  But a big red door against a white wall is hard to miss.

We were walking around downtown Belfast On Friday the 23rd and came upon this guy.  As we walked past we realized he was singing some song by The Jam.

We went to a nice park on Saturday.  We were going to go to a much nicer place...a place with some good hiking and some old rock formations.  Apparently our week bus pass had just run out and we didn't have the cash on us to pay we meandered to the other park, passing this...I suppose Love Crime is better than Hate Crime.

On Sunday the 25th we went to the Ulster Museum.  It is two minutes from our apartment.  It is free to get in.  It is a nice place to go when it rains.  Which it does frequently.
Here are some things found in said museum...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Mostly Belfast Zoo

I saw this on the way to Ikea on the 19th.  Nothing special, but I liked the composition and the focus falling on the wall, behind the subject, instead of on the subject.

Bus Stop?

More importantly was yesterday's trip to Belfast Zoo.  I warn you people that some of these images are awfully depressing...not in some mangled and bloody way.  The emotion some of these animals are projecting is just extremely sad.  
The zoo is actually a very nice zoo, TONS of space for the animals.  We had a very nice time, and spent the majority of the day there.  I guess sometimes you just capture a picture that goes a little deeper.  I feel I have done this with the first two pictures.

Staring Into My Soul

Alone in the Rain

In an attempt to not leave you utterly depressed, here are some baby meerkats and a cute bat.

Baby Meerkat

Baby Meerkat Up Close

Not a Normal Angle

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 14th through the 18th

The view out one of our windows in our Belfast apartment is a nice one.  It's an interesting mix of older roofs and modern hospital buildings.  Here is a tilt shift version of it.  I had my tilt shift lens out from I figured I should use it again before putting it away.

Tilt Shifted Belfast

I passed something wonderful on my way to the grocery store on the 15th...a flyer with the words "ska nation" on it.  You can't go wrong with ska.  Adding to the awesomeness was The Special's Rude Boy standing there on said flyer.  A day later I was on a bus that had a flyer that said The Specials are playing in the next week or so.  This is a beautiful world that I am currently residing in.  The only thing that would make it better would be if it was Operation Ivy's Skanking Man instead of the Rude Boy.

Hooligans and Rude Boys

My wife was told that Friday morning is the best day to go to Saint George's Market.  Apparently that's when they have the most produce.  So we went.  We survive off of produce.

 Irish Pineapples

 Happy Men and Their Produce

There was a nice little fair on the 17th and 18th.  There was music and food.  It took place in the Botanic Gardens right by our house.  A palm tree house that is only opened once a year was opened.  It was filled with crazy plants.   A jazz/swing band was playing.  This trumpet player was filled with soul.

 Irish Palm Tree

The Horn Section

We went hiking yesterday.  The trail had a few hidden animal mosaics.  Some of them were covered with shrubbery, some were missing parts.  Only one mosaic, the squirrel, was fully intact.

 Bats, Squirrels, and Badgers

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Zeno's Paradox of the Arrow (and another day of photography)

Yesterday was extremely windy.  It was while I was out walking around in the wind, wind that I later learned was part of a new hurricane that recently showed up on the radar, that I started thinking about Zeno of Elea.

Zeno was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher.  He theorized about many things, motion being one of them.  His paradox of the arrow logically comes to the conclusion that motion does not exist.  Of course we seem to live in a world filled with motion (leaves blowing all over the place while the trees bend at the wind's mercy and rain drops slam into your face) and thus, his conclusions seem to be paradoxical.

The argument goes as such - imagine an archer is preparing to shoot an arrow at a target.  The arrow is a certain size, occupying a specific amount of space.  He shoots it.  Though the arrow appears to move from the bow to the target, at any specific point in time, though the arrow my be in the air, it is static, occupying no more space than it ever does, not moving to a position where it is yet to be.  Time and motion are composed of these instances, and since in these instances everything is at rest, motion is an illusion.

Of course, Aristotle himself had certain responses to the many paradoxes that Zeno came up with.  And since then, many other people brought up opposing conclusions from the argument and found elements of the premises that were fallible. 

Regardless of the authenticity of the paradox, I started thinking about it on a day that seemed to be filled with motion, and so decided to capture it in photo series form.

  Zeno's Paradox Series: Ribbon in the Wind
 I am yet to decide on the exact rules of this photo series.  I want to capture images of things that appear to be in motion without using the standard long exposure method.  The long exposure method would show what Zeno is arguing against - things in a transitional period - images with blur and such.  I want to capture precise instances that the subject (as it is) appears to be occupying solely the space that it occupies...just in different locations.  Multiple images, each showing a unique location of the subject, seems to be the best method.

- So really this just seems to be a study of motion series...the difference being it came about by thinking about some old Greek guy -

Today, September 13

This is a photo of a model of a street in Belfast city.  No, it isn't.  I lie.  It is a tilt-shift photograph of a street in Belfast city.  With a police officer taking a picture of the ticket he just placed on a vehicle.  Using a tilt-shift lens (homemade, of course) gives certain images a quality similar to that of a photograph of a die-cast model.

Odd Position
I think a second after I took this picture, he fell over.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Other Side of The Atlantic

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road, 
Healthy, free, the world before me, 
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose. 
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune; 
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,        
Strong and content, I travel the open road.   
Song Of the Open Road by Walt Whitman

I am alive.
Though it took me some time, I am now ready to go at this photo blogging thing...from Northern Ireland.
My wife and I made it here safely, made the apartment that we got into a liveable area, made our way around the help us better understand our new home, and made our way to some interesting and beautiful places.  Here is the proof that we have been living in Northern Ireland for a week and a half...

(Also, due to a less "connected" lifestyle, I will rarely be online.  I will be uploading a week's worth of photography once a week...from a friendly cafe with free wifi.  Worry not, I will take at least one photo every day.  That photo will make it onto this site.)

So, the first of September.
We said our last goodbyes and made our way onto a plane.  It was an evening flight.  With the time zone change it meant we got to see the sunrise just a tad before we landed. These pictures are not of that sunrise.

It was the 2nd before we got to our apartment.
This is it.

By the time the 3rd rolled around we decided we should probably eat.
I figured what could be better than cabbage, potato, parsnip, and onion stew.  Pretty much anything.  But few things are more Irish.  So that was what I made.

the 4th was our first chance to really get out and enjoy our new city.  Luckily the 4th was when Belfast was holding a bike festival.  You know me and bicycles...I am a big fan.  So is Belfast.

 I got some action shots

Some model shots (they were on bicycles..I just focused on the upper torso)

and some strange shots

The 5th was rainy.
Most days are.
I have been trying to take my photos in the two or three hours that are free of rain.  The 5th did not have any free hours...So I took a picture of all the food that we had accumulated.  This should hold us for a few weeks.

There is a beautiful botanic garden that is a two minute walk from our house.  We go there frequently and read (when it isn't raining).  These plants are located in said garden.  This was on the 6th.

the 7th.  the evening.  Looking down a street, all the chimneys lining up.

The 8th was a beautiful day.  Which was really nice because we had decided to go to some castle with an awesome hike called the cavehill trail whether it was nice or not.  The castle and hike are rather close, just a half hour bus ride away.  And rather worth the ride.

The 9th, also beautiful, was another day that we were going somewhere whether it was beautiful or not.  We rather lucked out.  We went to the Giant's Causeway, an area rich in Irish mythology as well as geological wonders.

We then went to an island.  You had to go on a rope bridge to get to it.  Kristin surprised me by actually doing it.

This guy was sitting on the bench next to us at the botanic garden yesterday.  He intrigued me.  He was having a strange conversation with someone on his expensive phone.

And today.  the 11th.  This is for my mother.
This is my Belfast trashcan.  It looks like something exploded inside of it.