Wake up with full charge

When I say that, I am not referring to ourselves. I did sleep way longer than I should have today but yesterday was an unexpected and long day at work. I’m pretty charged again.

But no, I’m talking about phones.

As I am currently sleeping on the top bunk of a hostel bed, I have limited access to a charger overnight. This means I really need to charge before I sleep if I don’t want my phone to die overnight and miss that alarm call. Last night I didn’t do that, and my phone was on it’s last legs by noon.

As I was walking down to South Bank (a walk I love to take to wake me up before I blog) I walked right by a lizard that was perfectly positioned for a great shot. Now there are lizards running about here all the time, but this one was perched on the wall right on the footpath, staring right at me with the posture of a lizard that I can only imagine would adopt at a lizard modelling shoot. I was listening to music which probably didn’t help my battery life and as soon as I swiped up to activate the camera, blackness. That dreaded iPhone spinning wheel of death emerged on the screen and this shot was wasted.

Now I am using it as a reminder that I should have full charge, like all the time. Not because I am addicted to my phone (I am though a little bit, but I have to for my blog) but because you never know what is around the corner. What may seem like the routine walk to work or the shops or whatever it may be could one day provide the footage of a lifetime. The world is full of crazy and crazy shit happens everyday. I know this was just a lizard, but next time I don’t want to miss out on something that I might regret. Something potentially amazing.

Photography requires quick thinking at times, and taking plenty of shots is good practice for this. But the first step, get that phone or camera charged.

So instead, here is another picture I took of a lizard in the same spot some months ago. I think I named him Kevin in an earlier post.

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Now get that charge to 100%!

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

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Happy blogging,

Sam

Drum and space

Skyline in Brisbane, QLD taken from Eat Street food market.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

This picture from my non-religious perspective

This is a shot I captured whilst walking through Waverley Cemetery on the Bondi to Coogee walk that I recently posted about here. It is a stunning walk, even the graveyard was fairly picturesque.

The picture below was inspired by my friend that stood in this spot to get the great effect. I liked his image that much I had to do the same.

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For me, this photo sums up the reasons why I am not religious. For some, this photo is a sign. A message from a higher power that has incorporated two things in life into one glorious view for us to marvel at. A person no longer with us that has been glorified by God at this moment when people are present to witness it. I didn’t look at the gravestone, however I can imagine this moment of spirituality for some would increase tenfold if it was a person with the same name or birthday. We seek patterns and coincidence and love when they occur.

But of course by taking a step to the left or right this picture would not be the same. It would simply be a gravestone with the sun behind it. The same if I held the camera higher or lower. For this shot to work, I had to make it work.

This does not mean that I don’t appreciate the view. This may be my favourite photo I have taken on this recent trip and I often look at it. I love it and not being religious doesn’t take my appreciation away from it. But it does help me to understand that in life we look for such patterns and apply a meaning because it is fun. It makes us feel good and telling ourselves that there is a logical and non spiritual reason why this often occurs is nowhere near as enjoyable as putting it down to something unexplained or wiser than us.

I am not very good at it, but I enjoy trying to differentiate between what I think is true because is it logical and what I think is true because it feels good. We are a very emotional species that likes hearing the truth when it makes us feel warm inside. If it makes us feel crappy, the truth is an inconvenience and this is substituted for a more pleasant alternative. Of course this is my personal belief but this is exactly what I was doing when I was a younger, more religious person. I see it as a blessing and a curse having OCD that I obsess over things and if I think I am believing something contrary to evidence because it feels good, the obsessive part of my brain won’t let it go until I find a rational reason as to why I believe it. If I cannot find one, I stop believing it. This is why I am the person I am now, with my current blog and opinions on religion and atheism. I used to be a lot more direct and not as compassionate in my opinions on religion once I had left it, however I know what it is like to feel rock bottom and having at least something to cling to and this has helped me to transform my blog into a one that anyone of any faith or opinion can reach out too and speak openly on. Of course some religious people are dicks, as any human is capable of being, so my rule is if you are nice to me I will be with you also. The golden rule if you will.

But yes, back to the photo. I think it is good to see this photo with logic, as with life itself. Not to just see it and assume something that reaffirms a belief but break it down and ask questions, maybe contradicting your own opinion. Yes it is good positioning, however why does the cross have to be at an angle for it to work? Why does it have to be this gravestone? Why a graveyard where the person has already passed and the sadness already suffered? To ask questions feels like breaking the shackles for me and liberates us of the thoughts that we have always been told to think, and opens up doors we feel uneasy about opening. Sometimes in life we are so grateful to open these doors and when looking back, do not want to imagine a life in which we didn’t.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Yay or nay?

It’s pretty standard now to have seemingly random and meaningless sculptures in city centres. I have stated before that I am not really a fan of these pieces of art, there may in fact be a meaning behind them but if I am able to recreate it, I’m just not that intrigued by it. 

Saying that, I do like how the skyline is bordered by this sculpture, located near the State Library of Queensland here in Brisbane.


What do you think of these, are you a lover or a hater? I’d love to know your thoughts and opinions.

Nature’s skyscraper… — Miracles Respectfully Preserved tm…

The above picture made me think a little about life and nature. It is easy for us to differentiate between the lush, green city parks and the man-made concrete and steel jungles surrounding them. One seems much more natural than the other.

But the reality is they are both as natural as the other. The buildings are products of humans beings that are products of nature. If they weren’t natural, they wouldn’t be there. I love the sight of skyscrapers rising as much as the flowers around them, and this is why I love city life.

This is a re-blog of Pamela Breitberg’s post seen via the link below.

Jerusalem Artichokes nod to distant man-made skyscrapers as they reach to the sky around Lincoln Park’s North Pond. The John Hancock is the high building with the two antennas. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg Obediant Plants seemed to mimic Chicago’s downtown skyscrapers in design and statue. Copyright 2018 Pamela Breitberg

via Nature’s skyscraper… — Miracles Respectfully Preserved tm…

Photo of the Day — Ian Cook’s Blog

I love these kind of shots… ones with a mountainous backdrop and a sky that you can reach up and touch if you were to reach the summit. There is something a little eerie about the scene, one you see a lot of in the lakes in England or the Scottish highlands. The dark clouds smothering the mountains, as if the world is closing up on us, and coming directly for us.

I wish this was my photo, but it isn’t. It is from Ian Cook’s blog linked below, thank you for the shot. I don’t often reblog but this shot was one that caught my eye. Sunlight in the foreground soon to be in darkness with the arriving storm.

Our world is amazing!

via Photo of the Day — Ian Cook’s Blog

The waves of motivation and the reason I can blog daily

This was my view the other night when walking home from the gym. I decided to rotate the image below because I like how it changes the shot. It feels to me like a cross between the movies Inception and Interstellar, the world seems to be bending before an endless universe.

I find my motivation fluctuates constantly for the many things I want to do in life. Whether it is save money, go to the gym or plan an itinerary for my next travel, my eagerness is always at risk of dwindling. One day I could wake up from an early alarm easily and jump at the thought of the gym. The following week, it may be the last thing I want to do. My motivation seems like it could move mountains at times, only for it to come crashing down and it feels like I need to lift a mountainous weight just to get up and pack my gym gear.

Despite this fluctuation, one thing hasn’t been affected and that is my blog. Some days I spend less time on it, but even then I am still on it. Even when I do not feel like writing, I do it. I imagine that is how some people I walk by reach their peak fitness levels, by going to the gym even without the desire. Just doing it and fighting off any complacency. If personal fitness is someones passion, a lack of motivation won’t prevent a gym session. The same with a passionate musician, bleeding fingers won’t prevent someone practicing that song.

And with this in mind, my blog is my passion.

I think it is important to at least have one passion, that one thing that we do even when we don’t feel like it. When tiredness makes us consider a day off but doesn’t result in a day off. When it would be easier to stay in bed that extra hour but the end results are worth that annoying alarm call. If we have something that we are doing even at times when we don’t want to, we are doing something we are dedicated to.

So despite my sudden motivation to go to the gym the other night after work, it isn’t a passion like blogging is for me. I don’t know when I will take this walk back home from the gym again, it depends how I am feeling and how much my motivation builds.

What I do know is that no matter how I am feeling tomorrow, I will be here to blog again. Regardless of mood and tiredness, wifi troubles and double shifts at work, I will be posting when I am able to. I am thankful that I have something in my life that I feel so dedicated to, and I hope you have that passion too.

 


 

Thank you again to all my followers and regular readers, and hello to you if you are new to my blog!

New to this site? Click here to visit my About My Blog section

Want to keep up with my travels? Click here for my Travel Diary or follow me @samest89 on Instagram

Want to introduce yourself and your blog and discover new ones? Click here for my meet and greet page.

Happy blogging,

Sam

Fact check everything!

I woke up today with an image that a couple of people shared to their social media. It was the image of nightmares, an aggressive bear entering a tent and growling at it’s next victim. Here is the image.


If you have seen the image shared, or shared it yourself, you will probably have a description that goes a little like this.

Michio Hoshino, a photographer known for his pictures of bears and other wildlife, was mauled to death by a brown bear on the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. He was in his mid-40’s and lived in Fairbanks, Alaska. This is the last photo he took.

This isn’t the last photo he took.

Michio Hoshino was indeed a photographer. He was also killed by a bear. But this doesn’t mean any photo with a bear and the attached text is all it seems. Just a 30 second Google tells us that this isn’t a genuine photo, but a photoshop used in a competition.

Over at Snopes, they provided a little insight to the origin after the image went viral.

It’s an entry from a Worth1000 Photoshop competition in which contestants were tasked with creating “a last-photo hoax: the final photograph of the victim, whoever he might be, had a camera on him right before ‘it’ happens.

This blog as far back as 2009 also analyses the image. With the title ‘About Alleged Michio Hoshino’s Last Image of a Bear’, the author studies the image in more depth, with an update that ‘the photo was photoshopped by user BonnySaintAndrew as a an entry for a Final Photo 9 contest’. It also looks into the lighting in the photo considering the attack occurred around 4am.


Of course I could spend all day fact checking the fact checkers, but this would take me all the way back to the deadly event in 1996. But as always, if it seems to incredible to be true, it probably is.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t incredible photos out there. There have been so many that I have seen and thought ‘that has to be fake, come on!’ before looking it up and finding out it is indeed a genuine. There are photos even crazier than this one. The first one that springs to mind is camera footage of a Bigfin Squid found by a deep-sea camera operated by a drilling company in the Gulf of Mexico. 


Now I am not sure if this specific photo is genuine, however finding the video footage of the encounter shows that this is exactly what it looks like. I believe this image was a zoom out of that camera, and even if this is a fake, it is still nowhere near as eerie as the actual video footage when it was unexpectedly seen.

I don’t want to be a bore and call out all amazing yet fake photos, I just think it would be much better if we filter out the fakes and enjoy the genuine crazy occurances that are captured by our amazing little pocket devices. 

I know as the day goes on, that bear photo will continue to be shared. There will be hundreds more comments of ‘hey, that’s incredible!’, ‘scary shit!’ and so on. Yet it takes less than a minute to find the genuine source and the specific photoshopper. Is it any wonder we live in a world of lies and deceit when they can spread like wildfire online? Why spend time researching the facts when it takes less time to simply believe. This is why we have so many conspiracies, and religions determined by geographical location more than evidence. This is why I find it so fun to do a little research, the most interesting caves are the ones that are waiting to be discovered!

Finding the positives

I worked over night last night. I don’t do this regularly, just to help out. The problem with this is that I struggle to sleep before the nightshift, by 6am I am practically sleepwalking. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its perks and I think it is best to try and extract all the goodness out of the things we struggle to enjoy.

This is what I enjoy. The view at sunrise.

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The photo really doesn’t do it justice. The sky at sunrise turns a lovely golden colour as if it were lit up by a million fires, and at 6am I really do feel like one of the only ones awake to appreciate it. With the exception of course of the little people that I can see climbing onto the top deck of the Norwegian Jewell as she arrives, so silently I often don’t notice until it has already docked.

It always fascinates me how such a big city has very quiet periods. Periods where the millions of people that walk these streets are absent. The 9-5 has us collectively running about at the same time and despite the impressive numbers of high rises just out of image, they are only occupied for a small portion of the day. Growing up in a rural area of the UK, skyscrapers were new to me. I always thought from Hollywood movies that this is where the action happens. I have since learned that this is far from the truth.

So although I was half asleep at this very moment, I was able to appreciate the view. I think it is important to find what we like best about the things we don’t really want to do. The scenic route home, the opportunities to blog in the gaps when work is quiet, the view from the window… It is one of the few things that keep me sane at times!

 

Changing the meaning

I posted an image yesterday with street art from (seemingly) two different artists. Since then I have discovered another example of this from Newcastle, NSW. Basically, it is a spray painted message that was edited by someone else to say something else.

Now, this one needs very little explanation compared to yesterday’s. The first spray painted message read ‘VOTE NO’, inspired by the recent vote for same sex marriage here in Australia. Many of you will already know that the yes vote won, although it is clear there was a campaign to prevent it from doing so. I even found protests looking up into the Sydney skies, I posted about it in The sky told me how to vote today.

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I feel sorry for these people. I have been watching debates from those opposing same sex marriage such as Ben Shapiro, and although he can give a coherent, educated rebuttal from faith, I just cannot find sympathy. One of the reasons is that it is heavily inspired by faith and religion, a reason why I left it behind. I cannot think of another reason why anyone would be opposed to same sex relations, other than the reason I provided in this post.

Being religious just isn’t a good enough excuse for me. I found that leaving it behind meant I had less reason for telling people how to live, or be offended by how they choose to live. Plus, the rainbow flag looks great painted onto a concrete floor. If I am not being harmed by a same sex partnership and guys are free to date guys instead of the girl I could be talking to, I am happy. What could be worse for traditional marriage than two people of the opposite sex not wanting to be with each other anyway?!