Tag Archives: travel

Tourist Stranger – self-portraits in Mexico

French photographer Benoit Pallé enjoys exploring the theme of the Stranger. This project, spotted on the excellent It’s Nice That (a glorious soubriquet for a cultural web colander if ever I saw one), sees him wandering the beaches of Mexico allowing tourists to capture themselves, photo-booth style. They are fab.

‘Tourist Stranger Self Portraits’

Snowy Range, Perseids meteor shower – we are hurtling through space on a rock!

Amazing composite image this. We really are spinning around the galaxy on a big rock.

The Perseids meteor shower: The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so-called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus. The name derives in part from the word Perseides (Περσείδες), a term found in Greek mythology referring to the sons of Perseus.

Says photographer David Kingham:

Last night I went out to Snowy Range in Wyoming in search of dark skies for the Perseid meteor shower. I wanted something special for the foreground and I knew the Snowies faced in the perfect direction to get this shot. I started shooting at 10pm and didn’t stop until 5 am, I had to change my battery every 2 hours which made for a long night. The moon rose around 1am to light up the mountain range.

This is a composite of 23 images, 22 for the meteors/stars and 1 taken at sunrise for the foreground which was lightly blended in. I also corrected the orientation of the meteors to account for the rotation of the earth (this took forever!)

I had a great night which was made even better because I spent it with my newly adopted dog Emmie, she was a trooper!

Free wallpaper downloads on my website! www.davidkinghamphotography.com/night/h626c32b#h626c32b

The Big Cloud: The Lovely Monster

Checked in on The Atlantic for the first time in a while, and saw these gorgeous images. Lovely Sky Monsters is a series by Camille Seaman, who partnered with storm chasers to track down and photograph a magnificent cloud type – the supercell.

Do definitely make time to look at the original set, and also her pictures of icebergs.

Careers guidance: The hobbies section of my résumé

By Dan Kennedy in the unparalleled McSweeny’s.

I enjoy reading, travel, and the outdoors. Let’s see, I do vision boarding, I like housesitting for people more successful than me, I’m an avid fan of winter sports (snow wandering, sad phone calls). I search eBay for cut-rate mascot costumes, and I laugh at them then get sad. Rattlesnake videos on YouTube, I enjoy magazines and cigarettes, watching television is still a big thing with me. I also do a hobby sometimes where I can see the truth about everything, it’s hard to explain, but I picture a situation, like the movie business, and I can see the truth of the whole thing; I just stand and stare and think about something until I can see the whole truth of it. This started after I did something like three grams of mushrooms in one night in the late ’90s; I’m probably literally retarded from that night. I’ve never sailed, but I feel like maybe I would like that. I like photography; I tried to take a picture of this pimp on 10th Avenue who has a tarantula that he’s always got walking around on his arm, but he physically threatened me so I just turned a little bit and acted like I was trying to take a picture of something to the left of him, and then he called me a quiet little bitch, whatever that was supposed to mean. Softball, camping. I know a guy named Tic Tac who was a martial arts assassin for the Marines, like a freelance killer basically. My main hobbies involve high stakes situations, motherfucker. LOL!—just kidding around, a little. Let’s see, I don’t know, how long is this section supposed to be? I guess I have the same hobbies everyone else has; fishing, jogging, whatever, you name it, I’ll do it. I’ve been pretty lonely, so lately I’ll try just about anything—if someone says they love to go antiquing, I’m like, “Not so fast, when are you going next, because I’m coming with you so I stop climbing the fucking walls over here.” Anyway, I have tons of hobbies. I’ll put eating candy on here, just because, you know what, why not? You’ve probably seen weaker shit than eating candy in the hobbies section of someone’s résumé. Certainly someone has put something like “Spending time with my kids” or something like that, so I’m playing the candy card, chief. You know what, I’ll tell you what my biggest hobby is, my biggest hobby right now is getting my shit back on track. So, let’s get real about how we’re going to make that happen, because I’ve been on a lonely stretch of medium luck for about six months. Also, I am bankrupt and not allowed to trade stocks, securities, futures, or annuities for twenty-five years in North America and its territories, including Guam. I can make sleeping pills and bottle rockets. Those last two aren’t really hobbies, I guess, more like special skills.

(Via)

Song at Sunset

Song at Sunset, by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

Splendor of ended day floating and filling me,
Hour prophetic, hour resuming the past,
Inflating my throat, you divine average,
You earth and life till the last ray gleams I sing.

Open mouth of my soul uttering gladness,
Eyes of my soul seeing perfection,
Natural life of me faithfully praising things,
Corroborating forever the triumph of things.

Illustrious every one!
Illustrious what we name space, sphere of unnumber’d spirits,
Illustrious the mystery of motion in all beings, even the tiniest insect,
Illustrious the attribute of speech, the senses, the body,
Illustrious the passing light–illustrious the pale reflection on
the new moon in the western sky,
Illustrious whatever I see or hear or touch, to the last.

Good in all,
In the satisfaction and aplomb of animals,
In the annual return of the seasons,
In the hilarity of youth,
In the strength and flush of manhood,
In the grandeur and exquisiteness of old age,
In the superb vistas of death.

Wonderful to depart!
Wonderful to be here!
The heart, to jet the all-alike and innocent blood!
To breathe the air, how delicious!
To speak–to walk–to seize something by the hand!
To prepare for sleep, for bed, to look on my rose-color’d flesh!
To be conscious of my body, so satisfied, so large!
To be this incredible God I am!
To have gone forth among other Gods, these men and women I love.

Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon, stars, dart on and on!
How the water sports and sings! (surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up, with strong trunks, with branches
and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the trees, some living soul.)

O amazement of things–even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical flowing through ages and continents, now reaching
me and America!
I take your strong chords, intersperse them, and cheerfully pass
them forward.

I too carol the sun, usher’d or at noon, or as now, setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth and of all the
growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself.

As I steam’d down the Mississippi,
As I wander’d over the prairies,
As I have lived, as I have look’d through my windows my eyes,
As I went forth in the morning, as I beheld the light breaking in the east,
As I bathed on the beach of the Eastern Sea, and again on the beach
of the Western Sea,
As I roam’d the streets of inland Chicago, whatever streets I have roam’d,
Or cities or silent woods, or even amid the sights of war,
Wherever I have been I have charged myself with contentment and triumph.

I sing to the last the equalities modern or old,
I sing the endless finales of things,
I say Nature continues, glory continues,
I praise with electric voice,
For I do not see one imperfection in the universe,
And I do not see one cause or result lamentable at last in the universe.

O setting sun! though the time has come,
I still warble under you, if none else does, unmitigated adoration.

Tracks of my years – welcome the prodigal funk track

Down the side alley by the covered bit of Portobello market there used to be a dude selling mix tapes. He had a panama hat, one speaker turned up quite loud, and would whack away on a tambourine whilst purveying the purest funk and rare groove. He looked a bit like Norman Jay (maybe it actually was him).

In 1994 I bought a tape off him. Not just any old tape either. It had some serious belters on it, including one funk track that was well over 10 minutes long. I put it in my auto-reverse Walkman when I left on my travels, backpacking around the world. I listened to it on Samosir and by lake Maninjau in Sumatra, I cruised to it in Waihi and dozed to it in Fiji.

And then one day, a few years later, the tape disappeared. With it went the song. Echoes of it stayed with me – I’d hear it at the oddest times, bouncing round and round in my head, a real ear worm.

Until just now when I typed the lyrics into Google (which I’d tried every so often for years) and it turned out that last year some absolute genius had added them to a lyrics database, and HEY PRESTO, Tim Maia sings “Rational Culture”. Not the full version but a good 9.57 of it. The cycle is broken, I’m free of the ear worm at last! Sometimes I just LOVE the internet.

Listen to it. It’s marvellous. Turns out poor Tim Maia died back in 1998, but he was a goody, and he deserves to be played as much as possible.

EDIT – Here’s another version, this time with the intro. Doesn’t seem to be a full one up there:

Things

Things

There are worse things than having behaved foolishly in public.
There are worse things than these miniature betrayals,
committed or endured or suspected; there are worse things
than not being able to sleep for thinking about them.
It is 5 a.m. All the worse things come stalking in
and stand icily about the bed looking worse and worse and worse.

This is by Fleur Adcock. She wrote it in December 1973 – right in the middle of the Winter of Discontent. As she says in “Poem for the Day 2” (where I spotted it): “There were power cuts, a rail strike, shortages of every kind (a note in my diary on the 15th says that I managed to buy the last oil lamo in East Finchley). I had a cold, an elderly friend had just died, and all was bleak. The occasion for the poem was probably some minor cause for embarrassment that was keeping me awake, bet then all the more serious matters came crowding in. I thought other people would recognise the sentiments.”

But then, you read something like this and look out of the window on a nice sunny day, and think about the walk you’re going to have by the river or the lovely family you’re about to see, and it seems a little silly to let those things come stalking in. I love this poem. You can read it in a funny way too. It makes me feel better.

So I went to Namibia…

…and wrote THIS piece about shark fishing while exploring the Skeleton coast. There was loads of stuff I didn’t have space to write up. And I while I was enjoying my adventures, I took a bunch of photos (click to see slideshow):

Japanese Steamship Travel Posters

One of my favourite websites, Pink Tentacle has THIS fantastic collection of early 20th century posters for Japanese travel companies. Knocks the socks off Lastminute.com!

Osaka Mercantile Steamship Co., Ltd., 1916