Time Geography Days 2015

Things don’t usually work out this like this but for once my teaching and research schedules have fitted together really neatly. This past week I’ve been busy with the IPPE 2015 students at University West introducing them to research principles and practices through recording their Time Geographical activities using Google Drive applications. Then on Thursday and Friday last week Per and I presented a paper on this collaboration to 2015’s Time Geography Days conference which was held at Gothenburg University.  We examined the Time Geography work that our Rhodes University students have done to develop their understanding of Space and Place.

I haven’t seen the students since they began their studies last September and it was nice to be met by smiles and greetings: especially as I was there to give them some work to do!  The conference participants were nearly all new acquaintances to me but they were easy to interact with and very interested in what we were doing.  So it’s been a good week.  Here’s the presentation we gave.

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Tomorrow will be my last day in the classroom on this trip to Scandinavia.  I’ll be showing the students how to map their Time Geography activities in Google Maps so that Per and I can examine whether their activities are more, or less, segregated than our South African students.  This should be interesting and will provide a nice comparison for our paper at the December SANORD symposium in Windhoek.

Symmetry in Nature: Preview

It’s a couple of months since I posted about the book project. There’s been plenty to work on: finding the right online publisher, deciding on the layout, selecting and reworking images, tracking down picture details, drawing the maps and then composing the book. Here is a preview of the covers: you are looking at the book opened out and face down so the back cover is to the left of the spine.

Symmetry in Nature: Covers

After a bit of research I chose blurb to work with as they publish a lot of photo books and their BookSmart software is free. They also give the option to convert your book into an eBook for publication in Apple’s iBook store. Which is something I will be doing very shortly. My book has a large square format since the images don’t come in standard sizes..  That’s meant laying out each page separately with an image and the original picture I worked from plus a short caption.  Here are two pairs of pages from the Mosses and Lichens and Trees sections.

Symmetry in Nature: Mosses and Lichens

 

Symmetry in Nature: Trees

I realised that I am not the first person to construct striking and evocative imagery through mirroring and duplicating.  What I have done in the book, though, is to add value to the pictures so that it is much more than just a set of lovely and intriguing images.  The book is divided into seven sections depending on the aspect of nature involved. Then I have added a brief description for each picture and included one or two small photographs of people and places.  Here is a two page spread from the Leaves section.

Symmetry in Nature: Leaves

At the end of the book I composed two pages of typical South African and Swedish landscapes so that the reader gets a better appreciation of the places where the pictures were taken.  Each page has a location map, list of where the pictures were taken, a panorama and four typical landscapes.

Symmetry in Nature: Landscapes

The book ends with a page showing how I constructed the images and there’s a complete listing of the technical details of all of the photographs.  It’ll be 54 pages in all. I am just waiting for ISBN numbers to be issued for the hard copy and eBook then it’ll be uploaded and published!

 

 

Six of the best: Sweden September 2013

A new compact camera was waiting for me at Willy’s post office in Uddevalla last month. It’s the Pentax WG-3 GPS that I took around with me.  Here are six of my better efforts with the new technology:

  • A sunset from the cliffs above Äsperöd where our apartment is;
  • Black and white leaves and a petal dripping in mist from the Botanic Gardens in Göteborg;
  • The harbour at Strömstad;
  • A snail at Trädgårdsföreningen in Göteborg;
  • A toadstool rising through the earth on the footpath from Dalgången to Tureborg.

One real bonus is that I don’t have to cart around my big heavy Pentax K-5 and so I managed (just) a business trip for four weeks carrying only hand luggage.

Mushrooms

It is late summer in Sweden, or perhaps early autumn is a better description, the trees are just beginning to change colour and it is the time when there should be plenty of mushrooms. But there aren’t many of them this year.

My friends tell me that they came out early with the summer being so cool and wet. Most of them have been picked already or eaten by the local wildlife.  There were some outside the mushroom exhibition at the Botanic Gardens in Gothenburg.  That’s the first picture in the gallery.  The rest of the pictures were taken in the forests around Uddevalla and Västra Götaland this past couple of years.  The red ones are dödlig giftig – deadly poisonous according to the exhibition!

Strange creatures in Nature: Pareidolia

I guess most of us have a few of these pictures.  The ones where you are taking a picture of a rock on Kompassberg mountain and you see an eye in it, or the face of a baboon on a rock in the Botanic Gardens, Göteborg.

Old trees are particularly good, I have a creature from a tree on Bassholmen island in Sweden and another from deep in the Baviaanskloof South Africa.

And then there is the  owl peering at you from the trees at Trädgårdsföreningen, Göteborg and the man in the tree on Koster Island.

What better way to finish than with the face in the foot, again from the Baviaanskloof, or the ghoulish eyes in the roadside tree at Tunis.