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How Has Our World Changed?

This week I attended a presentation at my grand daughter’s school in Canberra, Australia. Her Grade 1 class was asked to create a museum to display an old item from home and explain how it was used.

Technology was a major topic for display, and telephones were the most frequently displayed items. These included several analog phones, and even one early cellular phone. In Jacob’s family, “my daddy used this telephone to call people and some of his friends about 20 years ago.”

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Abby displayed an old camera that belonged to her father. As she explains, it “took a picture you couldn’t see on the screen,” and you had to “wait ages” to get the prints back.

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Marlie chose a VHS cassette player that her parents used about 30 years ago. “Today we use Netflix, Foxtel and DVD’s” to watch the same programs.

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Going back further in time, Amelia displayed an RCA transistor radio that was purchased 60 years ago. Interestingly, she included some comments on the relative cost of technology in the 1950’s, noting that the price of the radio was equivalent to about 3 weeks of salary.

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Other students chose items that reflected their cultural history. Ryan displayed a photo of Buddha who “used to be a real person, but now he is dead.”

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This was an educational “window” into the minds of six year olds. They are already developing an appreciation of the past and anticipating what the future may bring.

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Simple solutions

In March, 2016, the State of North Carolina passed a “bathroom bill” that requires people to use public restrooms of their sex at birth and not the sex to which they identify. Although there was a great outcry from various community leaders and celebrities, the law remains in effect in North Carolina.

With the subsequent election of President Donald Trump, this situation has paled in light of other, more sinister decisions that are now being made in the USA. Apparently, several other states are also considering similar legislation.

Meanwhile, on a recent visit to Christchurch, New Zealand, I spotted these public washroom facilities in the downtown core. The signs say “Unisex Restroom”, and the doors are all colours of the rainbow. There is no need to have to make any choice here – other than finding one that is vacant!

This blog post is my contribution to Thursday Doors this week. Perhaps a bit out of the mainstream of submissions, but there is a message here.

Continuing on the topic of Thursday Doors, kudos to Norm Frampton on his February 2nd post regarding the recent murder of 6 people in a Muslim mosque in Quebec City. Doors on places of worship are left open to welcome anyone who wishes to enter. Doors do not discriminate but people do. Time to take a pause and think about all of the people who were affected by the events in Quebec.

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Simple solutions
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50 Shades of Red

Sometimes I scan through my images in search of a common theme. Today my theme is RED. In keeping with the quote below, here are three sample shades of red, in association with automobiles.

“If one says ‘Red’ – the name of colour – and there are fifty people listening, it can be expected that there will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.” — Josef Albers

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Out with the Old and in with the New

On February 22, 2011, a major earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand. The City of Christchurch was near the epicentre of the quake, and many older Victorian and Edwardian buildings in the CBD were severely damaged as a result.

Nearly six years later, the City is still in the process of demolition and rebuilding. A few of the older buildings are being restored, but much of the CBD remains clustered with gravelled parking lots amid the streets and construction sites.

Some of the new architecture is a stark minimalist solution, especially when compared with the older buildings. No doubt, the new buildings are more seismically resistant, but something has been lost in the transformation.

The following images illustrate the process of transition in Christchurch. To see more photos of Christchurch, refer to my Flickr website.

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The former Lawrie & Wilson Auctioneers Building was built in 1912 and most recently housed the Christchurch City Council Traffic Department. It is currently being restored as part of the South Frame.
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We Create Space!
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Re:START – this refers to the temporary shopping mall that has been created by using shipping containers.
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the new Minimalism
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More Wallpaper Images

I have been travelling in Europe for the past month, and as a result I have collected some new images to add to my portfolio.

In order to ease back into posting on my blog, I decided to start with a familiar theme – some new images to add to my “wallpaper” album, which is included on my flickr site. I am always on the lookout for walls and facades where I can minimize the perspective and create a two-dimensional image.

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abstract in grey and white
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cottage roofline
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daytime parking on Chiddingstone Street
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Geometric Shapes

There is a national TV network in Canada named CTV. Back in the 1960’s CTV introduced a new logo that incorporated a circle, a square and a triangle to represent the “C”, “T” and “V” respectively. This logo has survived for 50 years and it is still going strong, even though the ownership has changed over the years. I believe that the use of simple geometric shapes is part of the reason for the ongoing success and recognition of the logo.

The following are three sample images that utilize strong geometric shapes and patterns.

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under the dome
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the blue room
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two paths to righteousness
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Black & White & Red

I enjoy converting some of my photographs into monochrome black and white images. This usually occurs in situations where the colours do not add anything to the overall quality of the image. However, sometimes there are situations where a little added colour can have a great impact.

The following are two examples where I think that a touch of colour has a great effect. In both cases, the colour is red, which is a “hot” button that immediately draws your attention to the main focus point.

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Industrial waterfront, Bilbao, Spain
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“I’m ready, where’s everyone else?”

 

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Sun and Shadows

All of the images in this series are of public spaces located inside buildings. Two of these buildings are located in Australia, where the sun is always prevalent. The sun, shining through glazed windows, leaves its imprint on the walls and floors. The structural system of the walls and glazing is revealed through the shadows that are cast by the sun.

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Harbourfront lobby, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia
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Atrium, Gordon Place Hotel, Melbourne, Australia
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Main entry, University of Toronto Pharmacy Building, Toronto, Ontario
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Walking in the Cotswolds

In 2013 we walked the Cotswold Way, from Chipping Campden to Bath, in the west of England. The Cotswolds are a very picturesque part of the country, where you can walk on trails and paths and find your own way that does not involve cars and roads.

A selection of three images from our walk are included here.

The Chipping Campden Market Square was built almost 400 years ago. Although this is a black and white image of the square, it is built in the typical honey-coloured stone that was quarried in this part of the country.

Hailes Abbey is on the route from Broadway to Winchcombe. The ruins were once a Cistercian monastery, and they are now managed by English Heritage.

Wesley House is located nearby in Winchcombe. It is a traditional heavy timber wood framed building which has been preserved and operates as a hotel and restaurant. We stayed for a night in the hotel, and I always had to watch my head on the low beams and doorways!

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Chipping Campden Market Square
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Cloister view, Hailes Abbey
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Wesley House, Winchcombe