Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Containers

“This week, share your own vision of a container you find interesting. You can take the challenge as literally as you want — a box of chocolates, a broken bottle, your town’s water tank, an empty shell on the beach.”

 

Containers

Photographed in Haji Lane, Buena Vista, these electrically lit containers make for innovative and eye catching signage at night.

Location: Buena Vista, Singapore, 2009
Camera: Canon Canonet QL17 GIII, Film: Lucky B/W Film SHD100
www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Relic

“Share a photo of what ‘relic’ means to you — it could be your still-running 1979 Honda Accord Hatchback, an historic building in your town, or an old, rusted farm implement poking up through the long grass in a field.”

 

Train station

The building in this photograph appears to have been some sort of utility shed associated with the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) railway track out of sight, to the left of the frame. The KTM trains used to run from the causeway in the north to Tanjong Pagar in the south of Singapore. KTM stopped operating within Singapore in 2011. The land occupied by the tracks was handed back to Singapore as part of a land swap deal with Malaysia at that time and has since been turned into a green corridor popular with hikers and mountain bikers. I know little of this building other than it sometimes housed homeless and squatters overnight and has not been used in any official capacity since long before 2011.

Location: Buena Vista, Singapore, 2009
Camera: Olympus Stylus-550WP
www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Contrasts

“This week, in a post created specifically for this challenge, share your own photo showing a CONTRAST.”

 

Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand

This photo contains multiple contrasts. Not only is it a “contrasty” photograph owing to the harsh Autumn midday lighting, but it is a symbolically contrasty image. In the foreground, one of nature’s most formidable representatives of her power, a volcano. In the background, symbols of human power. The Central Business District (CDB) of downtown Auckland with its centres of wealth, commerce, banking and gambling. The most potent of which is the Skytower, arrogantly thrusting skyward, as if to pierce the very clouds above it.

Portrayed here, frozen at 1/500th of a second, both symbols of power seem benign and still, not at all in competition for space or psychological supremacy over the local citizenry. But I believe the tension is palpable. The dormant volcano last erupted 28,000 years ago, long before humans encroached on its sovereign territory. Should the busy, scurrying, activities of these invaders disturb this slumbering power to wakefulness the consequences would be unthinkable. By the same token you can’t help thinking that the city would happily bulldoze this uppity hillock flat and expand its territories given the slightest opportunity.

The final contrast lies in the weather. Dark, brooding, clouds prowl over Mt Eden and the near areas of the city. But sunshine brightens Aucklands North Shore and harbour.

Location: Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand
Camera: Olympus E-PM2, M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8; 1/500, f/4.5, ISO 200, 17mm
www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Between

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Between

“This week, capture something between two things, reflect on the process of transition, or interpret this word in your own way.”

 

Autumn in New Zealand
Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Camera: Olympus E-PM2, M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8; 1/125, f/3.5, ISO 200, 17mm

This photo was taken in a geothermal park called Hells Gate, near Rotorua, in New Zealand. My wife (pictured), son and I were on holiday in New Zealand last month (May), visiting friends and family, but mostly site-seeing.

May in New Zealand, situated as it is, in the Southern Hemisphere, is Autumn (or Fall, if you’re of the American persuasion). I’ve always thought of Autumn as a kind of in-between season. For me Summer and Winter are highlights of the year and I’ve always felt a little, “meh”, about Autumn.

That is, until recently. For the last 8 years I’ve been living in Singapore, where we effectively have very limited seasonal variation, being only 5 degrees latitude from the Equator. Because of my extended period of non-contact with Autumn and its astonishing burnt-colour palette of oranges, reds and yellows, I’m now gobsmacked when driving along country roads bathed in strikingly warm tones and hues. I’m now seeing it as if for the first time – as indeed it is for my wife who has lived all her life in the tropics. Together we experienced the full majesty and wonder of Autumn draping the North Island in all its rich vivid finery. A final display of polychromatic exuberance before the sober, cold, grey touch of Winter descends.

Country roads lined with fiery yellow
Location: Turangi, New Zealand
Camera: Olympus E-PM2, M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko II R; 1/200, f/5.6, ISO 200, 50mm

www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Extra, Extra

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Extra, Extra

“This week, share a photo that has a little something extra: an unexpected visitor, or a tranquil landscape with a splash of color. A lone carrot in a sea of peas. Draw us in with a humorous detail, or find a photo with an added element that makes it an image only you could capture.”

 

The hunter

My father is a horse trainer by trade but in his spare time he enjoys hunting. When taking his portrait the idea was to merge his horse training and hunting interests. This was achieved by having him don his regularly worn cowboy hat and carefully positioning him relative to the deer bust on the wall behind him. The animal was originally shot by him while hunting in Texas, where my parents lived and worked for 13 years.

The deer seems to be peering out behind him. It is blurred out of focus so as to be more of a symbol, suggestive of a life lived in the outdoors, rather than a distracting detail within the portrait. It is a surprising element often not noticed on first glance at the photograph.

Location: Waikato, New Zealand
Camera: Nikon D90, Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G; 1/60, f/2.8, ISO 200, 85mm
www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Room

“In this week’s photo challenge, share your take on the idea of room — it could be an actual room in your house, a favorite gallery in your local museum, a cubicle at work. You could also take this challenge in a more abstract direction, and show us where you feel like you have room — or lack it.”

 

American Museum of Natural History

The lobby of the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan, New York is an absolutely mind blowing room. It is so enormous that it has space to house two dinosaur skeletons as well as ticket queues and general lobby space. The dinosaur featured in this photo is actually the smaller of the two!

This photo was taken on the eve of hurricane Sandy, on 29 October 2012. The “superstorm” was due to make landfall that evening. I was racing around the museum (my first and so far only visit) trying to see all the amazing exhibits before scurrying back to my hotel room in the face of what was to become the second-costliest hurricane in United States history and the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

All children are fascinated by dinosaurs and I was no different growing up. I had always hoped to, one day, see a full scale skeleton and feel the thrill of being in the sights of one of earths most terrifying predators. I was not disappointed and would thoroughly recommend that anyone visting New York spend an afternoon wandering the halls of the museum in astonished wonderment.

Location: American Museum of Natural History, Manhattan, New York, USA
Camera: Nikon D800, Sigma 20mm F1.8 EX DG ASP RF; 1/40, f/1.8, ISO 1100, 20mm
www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-Second Story

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Split-Second Story

“In this week’s photo challenge, capture an image that tells a full story in a single frame.”

 

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This photo was taken on a warm morning at the “train market” outside of Bangkok, Thailand. This market has been featured on Discovery Channel, I believe, and is a fascinating but sometimes dangerous place.

The market exists along the edges of, and directly over the top of, an operational railway track. All of the shop canvas shades and items on tables must be pulled back just before the train comes through the market. To make this easier many of the tables are on rails themselves so that they can be easy slid back from the tracks. Some produce, not stacked higher than the train clearance, is often left in place to be skimmed over by the carriages.

Shoppers themselves have to have a good awareness that the market is being made ready to allow the train passage through it and must get off the tracks to avoid a nasty surprise!

Location: Maeklong, Thailand
Camera: Samsung EX1; 1/60, f/3.4, ISO 100, 5.2mm
www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Move

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is On the Move

“Whether on foot, in a kayak, or on a train, we can document our lives easily. More than ever, the moments of our in-betweens are photo-worthy and shareable.

For this week’s photo challenge, share your interpretation of “on the move.” You can be the subject of your image, or you might want to experiment with movement or transportation in a different way.”

 

This photo was taken on a rainy, overcast day, after flying in to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam, from Singapore. I was in a taxi heading from the airport to our hotel in District 1.

 

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I love HCMC. It is a very energetic and busy place. The Saigonese go everywhere on scooters and motorcycles from a very early age. They all seem to have incredible poise and balance when speeding around the frenetic streets.

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Camera: Olympus TG-2
www.seanlowcay.com

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring!

This weeks weekly photo challenge from Daily Post is Spring!

“For this week’s challenge, share a photo that shows what spring means to you. It can be a flower in bloom (or a field of them!), a May Day celebration, or your dog luxuriating in the grass after a long winter indoors. Maybe it’s a shot you took on a spring break trip, or your family wearing Easter finery.”

Location: Singapore Botanic Gardens
Camera: Nikon D90, Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 + Vitacon DSLR PRO MC AF Digital Wide Converter w Macro 0.5X 67mm
www.seanlowcay.com

I always visualise spring in the classical sense, flowers and new life. So for me this photo really typifies the beauty of spring.

Labour Day in Singapore

Bugis is rapidly becoming one of my favourite street shooting locations. On Thursday it was especially busy due to a public holiday, Labour Day. This part of town is often so busy that people just don’t notice you and your camera. This makes it an almost ideal location for taking photos of people acting naturally in their environment.

 

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An old woman works very hard in her drinks stall, mostly pouring hot teas and coffees. This view is looking through from the side. Her main counter is directly in front of her. She only appears to be a prisoner of her work, as, perhaps, we all can feel like, from time to time.

 

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An man runs a complicated, key cutting, business from a simple, portable stall.

 

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An old woman drags these boxes and papers through the street, presumably for recycling or possibly the cardboard enables her to gain income somehow, perhaps through selling them.

 

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A couple, dressed almost identically. They had been holding each others index finger a split second before I took this photo. They seem to be having a difference of opinion. But it was the similarity of their outfits and builds that caught my eye.

 

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The young lady on the left was having her palm read by the woman on the right. Everybody seems to be anxious to know her fate, even the bird on the table.

 

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The old man on the right was clearly a good story teller and, judging by the tattoos on his arm, probably had many stories to tell.

 

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The man on the right is attempting to enlighten the man on the left about what fate may have in store for him via a kind of numerology.

 

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An old woman sells joss sticks for a near by temple. Why she needed two hats wasn’t clear to me.

 

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A couple sells flowers for use at the temple near by.

 

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In a very busy area in Bugis, an old amputee sits, almost unnoticed, on the pavement selling small tissue packets, as the world hurries past him.

 

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This man’s demonstration/selling technique was so riveting that it drew interest from passersby and others that were no where near him.

 

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As street hawker’s patter warms up to full speed, his granddaughter patiently seems to supervise and evaluate.

 

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I love this photo. To me resembles a movie scene. On the left there appears to be very a oddly matched couple of assassins who have finally made their marked man.

 

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A fascinated crowd crane their necks for a look at some magical, occultist, Chinese, wizardry that was taking place inside the stall.

 

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A no nonsense, clairvoyant, card reader finds herself temporarily without customers. No doubt she knows exactly when the next one will appear.

 

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A street seller’s demonstration magnetically holds everyone’s attention.

 

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Peddle powered trishaw drivers line up, ready to hit the streets.

 

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Diners enjoy their meals above a carpark.

 

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Another angle of diners on a mezzanine floor above a carpark.

 

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Two girls entertain themselves while waiting for a bus, their bodies, a mirror image of each other.

 

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Mum and two children, tired at the end of a day, patiently wait for their bus.

 

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Mobile devices are now ubiquitous. They seem to dominate so many of our free moments.

 

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An old woman purchases a traditional snack of roasted chestnuts.

 

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Hanging out.

 

Location: Singapore
Camera: Fujifilm X100s
www.seanlowcay.com