Tree, Vietnam

Tree, Reunification Palace, HCMC, Vietnam 2014

I didn’t visit the Reunification Palace while I lived in Ho Chi Minh City, only seeing it when I returned to the country on a flying visit.

The building has a rather theatrical quality, which makes me think of a film set. The gardens, but contrast, are cool, dark and rather inviting, with lots of shade to hide from the sun in. Unusually for me, I took lots of pictures of the trees which all looked unique and characterful. I liked this one best. It has a monumental quality.

Leaves, Shanghai

Leaves, People’s Park, Shanghai 2011

Another leaf photo!

I’m not sure the species of tree this is – perhaps maple (it has a 5 finger leaf), but I remember thinking how beautiful it looked. On anything but the calmest of days, closeups are hard to photograph because of subject movement.

I took this photo in People’s Park which is one of the most famous attractions in Shanghai (it was built on the former Shanghai Racecourse – the idea of a racecourse in a downtown area of a city seems extraordinary to me).

Tammisaari, Finland

Near Tammisaari, Finland 2004

Sometimes, I think being from the UK makes the rest of the world seem a much more dramatic place. People start to moan when the weather even gets near to 0 and when it goes a couple of degrees below, certain newspapers start trumpeting about an”arctic vortex”, when really, it is just a bit cold.

In Finland by contrast, no one mentions the weather until it gets to about -15 degrees or so. A Finnish friend asked me why I thought it was strange to ride a bicycle in the snow – it was perfectly normal to her.

If the whole cold thing interests you, I recommend visiting the Culture Museum in Helsinki. I particularly enjoyed reading about Kai Donner’s adventures in northern Finland, where it gets really cold.

Anyway, when I took this picture, it must have only been about -10. And it wasn’t windy. So no macho points for me.

But it was very quiet and still, possibly silent.

River, Clayton, GA

Clayton, Georgia, USA 2003

I don’t find it easy to take square landscapes. Here I was trying to use the curve of the river’s edge to lead your eye through the frame, but I’m not sure it works.

I believe Clayton is in the north of Georgia where once you might have found bears in the countryside, but no longer. I did find some rather large deer which burst from a bush as I walked through the forest, making me jump. But that was it.

Sorry You’re Leaving? London

Card, Bloomsbury, London 2004

This is another ‘details’ picture.

I found it outside an office building in Bloomsbury, London. I suppose most of my interest is narrative- “Was it thrown or was it lost?”. Part of me wants to write a short story about it.

Foliage, Tokyo

Tree, Tokyo December 2018

This is a photograph I took in Ueno Park, which is in the centre of Tokyo. If we zoomed out, you would see that Ueno is the distict where the Zoo and National Museum are (a fascinating place as well). It is rather beautiful and manages rich colours, even in the middle of winter.

Although, it feels like a worn phrase, but I think Japan (and the Japanese) is very good at details and little touches.

Long Shadow, Shanghai

Shadow, West Nanjing Road, Shanghai November 2019

Although I have been there quite a few times, I always enjoy walking around Shanghai – there is always something to see.

The camera I was using was made in 1975 and as usual, I found myself wondering what the place I was visiting was like in 1975.

West Nanjing Road is probably the most famous street in Shanghai, running from by Jing An Temple all the way to the Bund. This particular part is being redeveloped as you can see in the photograph.