Change of Seasons

Sunset Tue 4 March 2014

The hot summer seems to have passed.

I don’t know how those people I see on the street still walk around in T-shirt. Welcome back, the quiet, the introvert, the long nights, the European Master Pieces, warm scarf and hot chocolate and slow-cooked lamb and roast… all the good things this part of the year brings.

End of winter

wet evening at the end of winter

Little did I know it at the time, but a couple of weeks ago I was walking in the last week of winter in Melbourne.

wet evening at the end of winter

It was dark, heavy and wet.

wet evening at the end of winter

20 August 2013

Some days, the cloud seem so heavy. You could see the spots of heavy rain across the horizon.

Altona Beach

Monet's Pond

I realised that the art-filled winter is coming to an end. I jumped in to NGV to have a quick look at their Monet’s Garden exhibition. They are rather good. I’m hoping to check out again this weekend, before it closes on Sunday.

dusk in early spring

And one day, we woke up, to see the soft light shining through.

dusk in early spring

No more harsh cold wind. It’s just soft, hazy air out there.

dusk in early spring

People are starting to dress in shorter clothes.

dusk in early spring

Even the arrival of the night is not as depressing…

And we know…

Melbourne

The winter is gone.

Soft rain

autumn leaves

My friend and I had a quick coffee in the balcony outside his kitchen, and got in my car. As we pulled into a carpark at the end of the dirt road, gentle drizzle started to come down. Covering the camera from rain with both hands making a roof under my neck, I enjoyed the walk in this beautiful place.

autumn leaves

autumn leaves

autumn leaves

autumn leaves

autumn leaves

Light in Winter – kids by night

Winter is here in Melbourne, it seems. During the day it gets pretty warm, but as the sun goes down, we’d rather be in front of that wood burning fire place. I live throughout the year without using a heating but I sure love the smell of that burning wood in the air. Melbourne comes up with ways to keep you in the city even on those evenings, and they come with a bit of fun! Continue reading “Light in Winter – kids by night”

Eisuke

Eisuke and daddy

It was in early December when the news came; it was a boy!

Keisuke runs a bottle shop along the highway in northern Osaka. He loves driving his MX-5, though his regular car’s been changed to a red Alfaromeo hatchback that he bought when he got married. He is no older than I am, but every evening he is in the truck delivering cases of drinks to this bar and that restaurant, while sitting behind the counter in the store during the day. Since his father passed away a few years ago. His talk is gentle, with accent of people from Tokyo – something he’d picked up in his university years. Always smiling, listening well, it is not very often he talks of himself. I guess that’s what you become when you are in a customer-facing business for a long time. First rule – customer first, you listen.

It was a pleasure to be a part of his wedding which coincided with my last short visit to Japan, and this time his first son. December is a crazy time for anyone in Japan, but especially so for people who are in business. Following the custom you have the gift giving and receiving, you visit your business relations like your wholesaler, customers, and all that, to congratulate each other for another hard year passed and wish for a safety and prosperity in the new year. It is often with a sigh of relief that those people welcome the first day of January, when you can finally sit down and enjoy the meal and sake with family, appreciating the new beginning. I waited until all those madness is gone from his life, and in the mid-January visited his parents’ home behind the bottle shop where his wife and son drove in from their apartment for this photo shoot.

Osaka had a very cold winter this year. During the month-and-half I was there, I saw flakes of snow come down probably more than 10 days. It is not continuous fall, and it tends to melt before it starts to cover the ground white, but it did get to that level for once or twice. On this day, however, I had my sunglasses on, not because of the snow glare but it was a sunny beautiful day, as I drove my father’s Peugeot. I walked into the liquor store to find the tiny baby in his mother’s arms. Her sister-in-law called for her brother for me, and together we walked to the house in the back. I believe this was the first time little Eisuke came to the home his father grew up in. With eyes wide open he keeps staring up at things around him. So much intensity!

Finding himself in the father’s arm, Eisuke seems to be communicating a lot with his father. Unfortunately we would not understand him even if he had made some sound, so he tries with his intense eyes. I wonder what the father is feeling. Is there some special communication only parent and child can have? It must be nice to have your prince. I am happy to travel around the world to find my princes and princesses, only they are not quite ‘mine’ and raised by my friends and brothers. But it is a pleasure to see them grow.

mother's embrace

Kumiko-san takes over as Eisuke starts to cry. Mother knows best. She quickly understands what he wanted. Keisuke seems a bit concerned. I think this is just a lovely image of a couple. Don’t you think? With both parents giving all they can to protect, the little boy is growing up.

grandma

Keisuke’s mother, or Eisuke’s grand-ma, had not had many opportunities of holding her first grand child in her arms. She looked very happy to hold her even for a brief moment. I went around to photograph them where they were.

In this cold winter we were blessed with plenty of sunlight on this day. We get to choose the type of light that comes through window and had a great hour of photo shoot. Unfortunately the printed photos I gave the couple as a gift was way too light (whit-ish). I guess that is the problem when you do not have a pro-lab in your neighbourhood and want a good set of prints done quickly. Next time, I’ll know better to choose a professional lab in town, and give it extra few days to process. I’m sure Eisuke would have become a larger boy by then.

I’d like to thank little Eisuke for his patience, and the kind couple of Keisuke and Kumiko for allowing me to photograph their precious boy. And many thanks to Keisuke’s mum for sweet snack with coffee, and a box of rice crackers to take home. I will definitely come back 🙂

The last of winter rains

It seemed the spring had come, but the weather brought in one more twist. The temperature dropped and rain storm covered the city. The sight that surprised me when I arrived in this country for the first time is now a common place – people walking in the rain without umbrella, even in their suit. Melbourne street hides anything unclear and shows its beauty on the rainy days and at night. I stood on my familiar street corners and snapped away without taking it too seriously.

 

unexpected rain
unexpected rain

 

 

coming down
coming down

 

 

waiting
waiting

 

 

moving through the rain
moving through the rain

 

 

those on the other side
those on the other side

 

 

cross road in rain
cross road in rain

 

 

rain walkers
rain walkers

 

 

rain walker - casual
rain walker - casual

 

 

city shoppers in the rain
city shoppers in the rain

 

 

flowers on the street
flowers on the street

 

 

rainy day in the mall
rainy day in the mall

 

 

blown away
blown away