By any other name

Charlene vagabonding 2 Comments

You know, I’m really not a flower person. I like flowers well enough where they naturally occur, but I would be a bit horrified to be presented a bouquet of the things, artfully arranged for the blushing beauty queen mincing down an aisle in slinky bindings and hobbles, an ensemble popularly known as “dress and shoes.” And roses, don’t even get me started on those senselessly overpriced, high maintenance, fast dying tokens of “love.” Wait, you say, I’m not really sure how you feel about flowers. It appears karma wasn’t either. New Zealand’s brand of cosmic justice is humorous though. New Zealand presented me with a flower – nay, a rose – I could learn to be fond of. This one below? It’s called a …

Singapore of Stockholm

Charlene journal 4 Comments

In early June this year, I was in Stockholm for an afternoon to give a presentation at Fujifilm Nordic. At some point during the proceedings, I had an hour to walk around Stockholm by myself. It was Sweden’s national day, so aside from a numerous wedding parties at City Hall, the waterfront was quiet. I headed for the old city which couldn’t have been more than a kilometer or so away, guided by its distinctive outline of spires, so different from the angular urban skylines I’m used to. It was breathtaking from a distance. I’d never been to Stockholm before this, and I was taken aback by how gorgeous it is. Not only for its spires and old buildings (as a child of a young nation, I am irresistibly drawn to the weight of history in …

Outside inside

Charlene journal 2 Comments

All is as if the world did cease to exist. The city’s monuments go unseen, its past unheard, and its culture slowly fading in the dismal sea. – Nathan Reese Maher Singapore to Kuala Lumpur: Fellow passengers make their way back to the bus, after a short break at one of the rest stops on the North South Expressway, Malaysia. I make this bus trip from Singapore a number of times each year to visit my family in Kuala Lumpur. Familiar as I am with the stops and starts of the journey, I’m normally fast asleep at this particular point in the ride. I spent my final years of secondary education commuting to a school on the other side of the island: it was a two hour ride each way by bus …


Charlene journal 2 Comments

Columns support an elevated walk way leading to Preah Khan Temple. Angkor, Cambodia. I took a short holiday with my mother to Siem Reap, some weeks ago. It was a whirlwind 4 days; Mum is not one to linger, so despite the X30 slowing her down some, I didn’t have a lot of time to hang around looking for things to shoot. We had with us, a guide who was extremely knowledgeable about his country’s political, religious and social history, which was a boon. For two of the four days that we visited the major temple ruins of Angkor, I was walking around mostly open mouthed, trying to wrap my head around the passage of time between the conception of these monuments, and my standing in their midst. Around and over us, the magnificence of trees.


Charlene journal 8 Comments

When I snapped this photo back in 2013 in Frederiksborg Slot, it was because I couldn’t resist the analogy of knights and shining armor begging to be made (and the light falling on both was beautiful). But our lives aren’t half as burdened as those who live in distress, and/or fight in enough metal to construct a car with. The thing that was probably going through my head at the time of this shot, having used nothing but a 50mm for over a year, would have been “gee, things look weird in wide angle.” Photo: Fuji X-Pro 1, XF 18mm f2

The significance of walking

Charlene vagabonding 7 Comments

Picture: Streetside, downtown Copenhagen, Denmark. Safety is something that is always on my mind. Wherever I happen to be, I look to the local women to show me how much range I have. In a new place, how free women (like me, or not) are to walk, speak, dress, etc without inhibition, is the greatest reflection of how I can expect to be regarded as an individual. Do women and girls walk alone with head high, regarding the world in the eye? Are they comfortable in their surroundings? Or do they step watchfully, taking the shortest amount of time between origin and destination? Do those who are brown like me, have the same liberties as their sisters who are a lighter color, or do they actively downplay the spectacle that is their …