Tag Archives: Photography

Pulag Night Sky

I left out one of my favourite experiences of the Mt. Pulag trip from the last post and that was because I didn’t have the photos, and my words can only describe so much.  Many thanks then, to Aaron Palabyab who has kindly allowed me to use a selection of his impressive photos so you can see some of what I saw that night.  For more of Aaron’s fantastic work you can check his site here.

Having spent a good two and a half hours in the woods, dodging between puddles and uneven stones, we finally came out to an open area and our long line stopped, giving us chance to look around and have a breather.  The atmosphere changed once we were out into the open, there was a sense of anticipation building, partly because we knew we into the final third of our journey and partly because of our surroundings.

At eye level, there was a vast expanse of blackness in front of me – which I later found out was a huge grass field – and bordering this was an L-shape queue of the many of my other fellow hikers, the tiny lights from their headlamps flickering back and forth but mainly upwards to the glorious canopy above our heads. Read the rest of this entry »


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I Remember Sunnyside: The Rise and Fall of a Magical Era – Mike Filey

sunnysideupFirst published in 1982, I Remember Sunnyside is a mine of golden memories, bringing back to life an earlier Toronto, only hints of which remain today.

Like the city itself, Sunnyside was an ever-changing landscape from its heady opening days in the early 1920s to its final sad demolition in the 1950s. The book captures the spirit of the best of times a magical era which can only be recaptured in memory and photographs. It also presents the reality of a newer Toronto where change, although necessary, is sometimes regrettable.

In a bid to further inspire me to words, Resa recommended this book  which had already grabbed my imagination before it even arrived and although it didn’t pull me in quite as much as I had convinced myself it would, it was nonetheless still a quirky, interesting, immersive and speedy read.

Mostly my pre-reading thoughts were inspired by such literary mainstays as Joseph Heller’s thoughts on Coney Island, Stephen King’s Joyland as well as, to a lesser extent the feeling of exploring Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. Films such as The Lost Boys and The Warriors played a part with their atmospheres as well.

Establishing a fundamentally, albeit mostly American idea of what to expect, I feel the fond imagery of these amusement parks is established in the romantic landscape these days as something of a golden age. It is hard to imagine people speaking so eloquently today about their experiences at Alton Towers or Disneyland as this:

…as I thought of the days of Sunnyside when all things seemed possible and the late afternoon sun lit up the summits of the rollercoaster and you felt you were somehow at the source of things, a warm and tattered tent of life, convinced that something wonderful was going to happen within the next few minutes…

It’s a fond feeling of nostalgia to those who lived it and a love transmitted down to those readers who never got to experience such times and instead got the sanitised parks of later years.  It’s an evocative adventure to put ourselves back there, a place of charm and excitement, it makes me think of those long ago nostalgic days of rides and shows sadly gone in this modern age of queueing for hours to get 30 seconds of ‘thrill’. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 28/09/2016 in History, Memoir, Photography


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From the U.K.

If you haven’t already checked out Resa’s blogs, then this is a good place to start and not only because I got myself involved by noticing what was around me (after walking past it at least 20 times).

Graffiti Lux and Murals

Steve Johnson, or Ste J as his friends call him, from Book To The Future snapped these at a place called Carrington near Nottingham city centre.

photo © Steve Johnson photo © Steve Johnson

Thank you, Ste J, for these wonderful pics of street art!!

photo © Steve Johnson photo © Steve Johnson

 Pics taken by Steve Johnson – June, 2015

Nottingham, United Kingdom

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Posted by on 25/06/2015 in Art, Blogging, Photography


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U.S Hey!

I could have gone to the U.S for a touristy holiday, I could have gone for a huge burger but instead I went for the American experience (and a huge burger).  So what better way to immerse myself in everyday life than to share it with a fantastic and typically American family.


Spending time with Christina, Penny, Jordan, Jack, Emma and assorted cohorts and pets (four cats and two dogs), I chose to subsume myself not only in the culture but also, and totally unintentionally I might add, a character study of the dynamics of the family unit. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 18/05/2013 in USAdventure


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Keeping Those Cockles Warm

The weather has been worse than Scrooge at Christmas recently, which neatly reflects my view on shopping for it this year so far.  Still lethargy and annoyance aside, you need to keep warm at this time of year and as people haven’t put up their Christmas trees, then kindly left their curtains open for me to peer into their homes yet,  I have to find other things that keep me warm, so here are a few things that always make me happy and toasty inside:

First off is a piece of music I love from a really underrated film Sunshine, I am normally a cheesy 80’s film soundtrack man but this always conjures up the vastness of space and reminds me of our smallness in the grand design and of the absolute power might and majesty of the sun.  Also there is a feeling of connection with the ancient sun worshipping peoples that this film manages to convey, a primal urge if you will.

Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 26/11/2012 in Lists/Ephemera, Melancholy


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Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture

  However badly it manages internal scandals and tries to justify the extremely ridiculous nature of its management structure (and don’t get me started on the quality of some of its programmes), one thing the latterly beleaguered BBC gets right is its History programmes and accompanying books.

As usual with a BBC publication, the lavish use of photographs and small but not to small font gives you the feeling that you are holding a book containing a lot of substance, something you can read right through or dip into, but always something worth keeping and going back too.

Intrepid explorer Dan has travelled the world looking at buildings which have either changed the world or have the capacity to keep us ‘astonished delighted and impressed’ and the selection he as come up with are very varied and always engaging.

Some buildings are naturally familiar the world over, the structures of Pompeii, the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and such like, and allow even the most disinterested person a way to engage in the book, if not in the actual reading but in the many photographs.

Others edifices (edifi?) range from the obscure to the fascinating, such as the Sedlec Ossuary which is home to the bones of over 40,000 people, some of which some have been artistically arranged into chandeliers and other such adornments.  Type that into your favourite search engine and see how delightfully macabre yet visually arresting the place is. But that would be me digressing again.

With a book like this, it enables you to put a new perspective on the form of buildings, something you don’t see in the steel and glass structures of today’s ‘best’ designers.  A celebration of everything from the noble igloo right through to the majesty of Catherine Palace in St Petersburg. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 17/11/2012 in Architecture


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Observations of Melancholy Part 2: A Photographic History: From the Victorians to the Present Day – Nick Yapp

The 20th century was, looking back on it one crazy century and Nick Yapp has taken it upon himself to collect photos that chronicle life and its assorted times between the years of 1900 to 2003.

As you would expect all the seminal events are given ample room, everything from the Wright brothers, the Titanic, all the major wars, Nelson Mandela freed, various sporting events etc, (although there’s no room for photos of the victory parade from Mansfield Town FC’s glorious Freight Rover Trophy win of 1987).

But as fascinating as those photos are, my real interest rested in the people pictured in their day to day lives and how, when viewed from a completely unbiased point of reference, they could be interpreted.

To me each photo holds at least a spark of melancholy, either from the faux happy faces masking the strain of fear during the Blitz to the innocuous, such as people posing outside a factor or for a family photo, these latter I can blame on my wild imagination, judging in hindsight about how our society evolved or just some ungraspable element that I have conjured up out of the ether. It’s a hobby of mine, almost a fetish.

Each photo is its own rich memory bank, whether it be of a personal nature to someone who knows the photo protagonists or to the casual observers who just sees the rich and fascinating tapestry of all the ideas and possibilities that each person conjures up.  The mundane becomes fascinating in the viewer’s eyes, these are stories begging to be told.

The inverse of that of course centres around the real tragedies of life. The most appallingly shocking being the Holocaust, something which will resonate forever as one of the darkest times of civilization if that word can even be used in this context.  Looking at those photographs words fail me… Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by on 28/09/2012 in History, Melancholy, Photography


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