Tag: photography

Kangaeroo Corner’s Critters!

Courtesy of a great act of kindness, this post is the result of receiving a gifted camera.

Little prince protea

An old mate read my previous post and generously passed on a camera he had not been using.

I took the camera out in the garden this morning and got to snap away.

I was very pleased with the results.

I’ll need to study more on how to use the Sony NEX-7, having been an almost exclusively Nikon user for the past 35 years.

It’s glorious weather today, which helped with taking photos.

I turned the camera on some of the critters in Kangaeroo Corner.

I’ll take the camera with me on a ride later today.

She sure is a beauty, and wonderfully light.

Fortunately, Dino has been laying eggs, so I am basically unencumbered in my movements.

Other plans for this three-day weekend include taking parts to a bike shop to get wheels built.

I tried to do it myself, but I am just too clumsy and I fear breaking something.

I’ve also got to help with a cleanup of the housing estate tomorrow morning.

Hopefully, the activity will be uplifting in more ways than one.

A Pheasant Start to the Morning

I got a delightful start to the morning with a not-quite-chance encounter with a beautiful green pheasant near the Tama River.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to cross tracks with pheasants in a few places.

They’re beautiful birds, the males are at least, and I loved being able to catch a glimpse of them, sometimes up close.

And being a photography aficionado, I was keen on getting a good shot.

I’d tried with my mobile phone camera, but the photos weren’t much chop.

They were grainy and out of focus, and it was hard to get a decent picture.

But I saw pheasants in a few places on a ride yesterday and mentioned it to Mrs. Kangaeroo, who implored me to take a decent camera on my morning ride and get some good photos of the pheasants.

And today I listened to her.

And I was blessed with a wonderful encounter with a pheasant.

Turning onto the cycling track from the Tama Ohashi Bridge, I noticed a little shadow off the track in the distance.

I knew it was a pheasant.

I rode up to the bird slowly, removing the lens cap and extending the zoom to get as close as possible.

I was amazed to be able to get within a few meters of the bird and fired off some shots, having little concern for whether they were good or not, but just trying to get the images.

A bloody jogger staggered along, apparently deliberately huffing and puffing loudly and scared the pheasant.

The bird fled, but only to the bottom of the embankment and not into the bushes and out of sight.

I got to take lots of photos, albeit at a distance.

There were a couple of other places where I fancied my chances of getting a shot, so it was time to go.

I scattered a few handfuls of the bird seed I had brought with me and rode off.

Unfortunately, that was to be my only encounter with a pheasant this morning.

And even worse, the photos I took weren’t nearly as impressive as I had thought they would be when I rode off after taking them.

Still, it was good to get some shots, and a wonderful experience to come up so close to such a beautiful bird.

Update: Got to see my new little mate again today (the day after the above photos were taken) and got even better shots.

Where’s the Whist Amid the Wisteria?

Being greeted by the sublimely serene sight of fully blooming wisteria in the outer suburban wonderland of Yakushiike Park only to have the calmness crushed by the piercing squeal of a little prick abusing and haranguing me for riding a bicycle in the park wasn’t really what I had been expecting at 5 a.m.

As the angry man hurled invective at me, I felt my blood boil and the urge to smash him in the face was becoming almost uncontrollable.

He screamed loudly, fiercely and incessantly as I tried to take photos of La Cangura amid the flowers.

I envisaged punching him and using my mountain bike shoes to kick him in the face while he lay on the ground. I was utterly infuriated and the prospect of clobbering this bloke was made even juicier by the fact that he was only about half my size and at least close to my age, so he was not immediately apparent physical threat, attracting the bully boy in me. Add in the self-righteousness of having done nothing to this person other than strenuously avoided coming into close contact.

Thankfully, my life is enough of a mess at the moment to not need to add charges or jail time, let alone endure starting over again from scratch and, most importantly, having to live with having severely hurt someone, so I took my bicycle and walked away.

Honestly, though, rather than those quixotic ideals, the little prick’s saving grace was that he appeared to be carrying what I thought was a small dachshund unable to walk for itself, and I didn’t want to do anything that might lead to harming the pooch.

Anyway, I strolled around the park, trying not to get too mad and focusing on getting some good shots in the rain before I would have to rush home in time for a 7 a.m. meeting.

As the gallery shows, my efforts were resoundingly successful and I was blessed. The spitting rain that stopped me going on a real ride was proving a blessing as it accentuated the greenery of the park.

And it was as I came to this realization that I made another discovery: the bloody dachshund the angry little prick was carrying wasn’t a dog; it was a bloody telephoto lens. He had been screaming at me because the bike had given me the speed I needed to get to the best photo spots ahead of him. For some reason, that made his anger a little understandable and I soothed significantly. Knowing I had a camera full of good shots also helped.

Today promises to have some more wonderful moments. I’ll meet my brother and sister-in-law for the first time in several years, albeit briefly as they are flying out. And get to be joined by my youngest daughter! It has already been a magical day and will get better, too.

Warming Up

After yesterday’s spectacular start and the promise of a 20-degree day, I woke with great expectations of another brilliant beginning.

Anticipations of even greater things arose with the warmth being decent enough to enable the year’s first early morning ride in shorts and short-sleeves (albeit with a heattech T-shirt).

Wanting to get higher quality shots of the expected glorious sunrise, I loaded up with the heavy DSLR camera.

And it was with great delight that I headed up the Tamagawa Cycling Road and noticed a bit of patchy cloud cover.

This was delightful as the presence of clouds creates greater visual appeal with sunrises.

And….the clouds ended up taking over.

Approaching the point where yesterday I noticed the sunrise was going to be something special, I was disappointed to see that the morning was still bleak and dark.

And it stayed that way pretty much the whole time for the rest of the ride.

Eventually, despite carrying the camera for the entire ride, I got home without taking a single shot.

At least it was light by the time I got home and I could see the growing number of blossoms starting to flower, including the wattle in the garden.

In keeping with the outcomes of the day, I’d been able to gather considerable video footage of what was frankly an unremarkable ride….but yesterday I got almost no images even though I had thought I was recording most of the trip.

But now, a couple of hours later, it’s shaping up to what looks like a lovely, sunny day! And I am here in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt (more heattech underneath, though!)

Nature’s Double Delight and Not a Skerrick of Proof

Nature turned on a absolutely glorious morning – albeit a freezing one.

There was a huge moonset in one direction and a delightful sunrise simultaneously in the opposite direction.

Unfortunately, the only camera Kangaeroo was carrying was on a smartphone.

This rarely takes decent pics at the best of times, let alone trying to get a lunar shot, which is challenging at the best of times with the most sophisticated equipment.

Then, blessed with a delightfully colorful sunrise and otherworldly cloud pattern on the return journey, positioning and timing rendered photographic evidence impossible.

Kangaeroo was not in a good spot to capture a good spot and needed to make it home for a meeting.

So, while waxing lyrically about the waning moon and waxing sun, Kangaeroo lacks pretty much a skerrick of evidence to back the claims.

You’re just gonna have to take his word for it, punters.

Yesterday’s moon was also glorious, but the timing today meant riding a bicycle in a westerly direction for the first half of the ride so it drawing closer to the setting moon.

And it was resplendent as it slowly descended below the ridge line created by the Okuchichibu mountains.

Nonetheless, the smartphone did the best it could.

The camera captured the best shots it could, but couldn’t do justice to the beauty of the day.

Win some, lose some, I guess/

Beautifully Breaks the Tama River Morning

Mornings can be hard to get up for, particularly in the cold and dark of winter.

Yet, some things make it worth waking early for.

Waking, then moving, can be a great way to start the day.

It can get the body working and warmed up before the mind takes over, or even put the mind in a decent space.

In Kangaeroo’s case, it’s handy. The mind is rarely friendly.

Winter 2021-2 has not been particularly constructive.

Moved to a home last year, renovations kept it dark….for three months.

Work is not going well. Laid off three times in 2021. Not feasible to retire.

Bike breakdowns, and no replacement parts owing to supply problems.

Camera stops working and repairs cost as much as a new one.

Working extra jobs to try to recover lost income.

Can’t ride, can’t shoot, can’t avoid work. Darkness.

But the glorious mornings are worth waking for.

The gorgeous light as it breaks through the dark. The solitude. The serenity.

Make it all worthwhile.

Saturday Night Shibuya

After many years of not blogging, a website fix inspired me to get back into it. For several years, I had been keen on photography but let that fall by the wayside, too, mainly because carrying a camera around everywhere is bloody cumbersome and I now cycle a lot, which makes me focus on reducing the volume of stuff I carry.
Yesterday, though, I took my camera with me and shot a few pictures for the first time in a long while. I’m really rusty, but liked some of the results.