KATEI

Katei

I almost passed him by. He was just another busking artist, one of many that fill every block of Swanston Street in the centre of Melbourne. It was late on Friday night. I had a dinner on my own in Chinatown, sat down in a coffee shop with a book for a while, and just about ran out of ideas to kill any more time. I plugged in with something of my ‘walking’ heavy rotation through the in-ear Bose, volume turned up a bit high, pushing my way ahead of half drunken, half touristy crowd slowly moving down to Flinders Street station. First my eye caught the sight of the ‘cowboy photographer’ Kazu standing there, which made me stop to say hi, then I realised what he was there for. The sound of violin came in to my system as I pulled off the ear-plugs. It was not one of those amateur musicians.

At a break between songs, I walked up to him and asked if he would mind me photographing him at work. He was cool with that. I guess it is a matter of respect – many people just start snapping away, and maybe it was the way things are with many people with mobile phones. But I often get a lot more involved, moving around in their sight… and I would like them to be comfortable with it, and hopefully see the images and give me comment later. So it’s far better to just ask – all they can say is ‘no’. Then I would have just packed away my camera and enjoyed the music.

Katei

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Katei

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Katei

Even in Melbourne where people are generally appreciative of public art, a crowd around a musician is a sign of something real. People may be generous and paying attention to the performance around them, but they are also exposed to a lot of them and know the difference between something that is not worth their time and a few that they want to stick around while they last.

Katei

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Katei

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When the song finished, the applause rises from the crowd. He opens up his eyes wide and smiles. He almost looks like a totally different person – a craft man at work is not a friendly approachable young man! Not a few drops coins, some leave notes and grab a CD on the stand.

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Katei

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Katei

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Then he focuses his mind to the voice of his trusted instrument again…

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Katei

Are you now curious what his music sounds like? Well, as with many musicians, I find his live performance far better than what I hear on the CD or on YouTube. So make your way down to the city in the evening, when the sky is clear, and look out for a violin player with his own world about him…

… having said that, if you do not live in Melbourne, you may want to check out his YouTube and Facebook page to get started. Once he is back in touring, he may re-appear in Japan as well as other countries. So stay tuned!

Follow his performance schedules, send enquiries to
KATEI’s Facebook page

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On the street – first half of October

cars

It is already mid-October? Before you know it, it will be Christmas, and 2013! How time flies. Sorry I have not posted any new pretty photos for you to look at here for the past 3 weeks. I have been posting stuff on the Facebook, so if you are following me there, you would have seen those photos already.

Anyhow, here are some of those recent ones. Please do leave your coments here, on Facebook or Flickr. Love to hear what you like and why.

The other

solo

Burn

intersection

the back
And a couple more, in black and white.

boat

walk

The creative life

_03.jpg

I am fortunate. Not everyone has time to invest in their creative life on top of their day job. Well, maybe it is not precise. Not everyone is aware of the importance of investing in what you are passionate about. I am fortunate enough to meet a few creative people who had the lasting impact on how I face my life.

This week I was not at my happiest. Not that I faced disaster or lost something important. A few things happened that upset me. In between the new moon and the full moon, a lot of things went through my mind. Some upset me, some made me nervous and others filled me with a little joy. One day, after a day of upset, I put the headphones on, played music a bit louder, and grabbed the camera out of my bag even before I started to cross the street. I flicked the switch – from where I was during the day to the other, creative side.

blue

blue

One evening I was walking fast towards my platform when I saw this poster. I’ve got to make a few more shots. Maybe I’ll do it with the old mobile camera. I know exactly what I want. But I’ll need to use some patience…

silhouette

walking

I even managed to add another photo to ‘The Other’ series I’m working on.

The Other

Some images come more or less by accident. But let’s recognise it as it is. It may lead to something next.

untitled

Thank you, for all the inspiration in my life. Thank you for helping hands. Thank you for your encouragement. And thank you for your comments and Like’s. You make my day.

Burn

burn

The shot I came home happy with from today’s street shoot is this one. I probably should consider updating the page template. I want you to see it in as a larger image, and for this kind of image, it makes perfect sense to show on black background / frame.

Alternatively, if you don’t mind a couple of clicks, if you could click the image, it should open up in Flickr site, and another click there should show in the ‘lightbox’ mode.

I might go back to this location again soon and see if I start to see any more.

Walking

Almost every other evening I stand on the street, the camera strapped tightly to my right hand. Slowly, something is beginning to foam from the foggy vague inspiration or impression or whatever it is that flickrs past.

2 styles. But inside me, I think I’m chasing the same thing. Let’s see where I go. All these images from today’s street shoot.

1> ‘The other’

The other, the ones we keep with us but never share the same space with. They’re just there, standing with back straight. We just don’t pay much attention. But on a day like this, some of us notice it. They’re there all right…

The other

The other

The other

2> ‘Walking’

Walking

Walking

Love to hear your comment, what you feel, what you see… project your art on mine…

Back on the street

I actually have not ventured out on the street with the right inspired mood on me for quite some time now. I missed that feeling of concentrating on my senses and condensing the essence of whatever that inspires me, there and then. The lighting is out of my control. Where I can position myself is often limited. And equipment is limited – old school or whatever you call it, I go out on street with a wide to standard prime on my camera, no zoom, no telephoto. I do not have an issue with photographers who take candid pictures of strangers using a long lens. But that is not what I do. And limiting yourself to a single focal length I think is a great exercise in both forcing yourself to look for an effective composition and also to naturally know how wide your angle of view is at any given point of time. Anyhow… that’s how I put my 20-year-old lens on my much younger digital camera and stepped out onto the wet street of Melbourne just after the sun had gone down beyond horizon.

(Please click image to view in Flickr. Click image on Flickr to view on full screen.)
dusk on the street

I love being out on the rainy day. Wet surfaces add more reflections, making the world look more interesting, and also brighter.
dusk on the street

dusk on the street

dusk on the street

dusk on the street

Like I was saying on Facebook earlier (and obviously this is inspired by the famous words by Cartier-Bresson)…

Just grab your camera, step onto the street. Surprise yourself. The rest will take care of itself.

Keep your eyes open, your senses wide open. When you feel something, be humble and face it. Don’t hide from it, don’t shy away from it. And when you did get the courage to actually point and click, you will be rewarded with satisfaction. Good luck to you, and see you on the street!