Tag Archives: Photography

Pointing and Calling

Japanese Train Conductor

When you board a train in Japan, you might notice rail workers in crisp uniforms constantly pointing at things and calling out.

For example, the train conductor would point to a speed limit sign along the track, read out loud, and then point to the speedometer to verify. Or he would point to the signal light, declare the status to himself, and then operate the knobs and buttons on the dashboard accordingly.

Likewise, for the platform attendant whose duty is to ensure the tracks are free of debris or fallen passengers, he would point down the track and sweep his arm along the length of the platform, with his eyes following the hand movement, before declaring all clear. Apparently, a visual scan alone is not enough.

Such movements and shouts are practised by Japanese railway companies. The procedure is known as “Shisa Kanko” and translated to mean “Pointing and Calling”. It combines looking at something, pointing at it, calling out the observation, and listening to your own voice. The act of pointing promotes focus and attention, while the act of calling out the action reinforces correct procedure. It helps to avoid sloppiness and complacency. This method has been credited with reducing workplace errors and accident rates.

I am impressed with their attention to details and awareness of safety. It also requires a lot of self-discipline to carry out such physical gestures and vocal calls even when not under supervision. Most of the time, there is no one to hear or observe his action! In fact, you often see train conductors seemingly talking to themselves while alone in the driver’s compartment.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Detail

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Infinite Shades of Grey

Alpine Circuit, Lake O’Hara @ Yoho National Park (Canada)

Flight Connection

Flight Connection

I think most people will not appreciate this ordinary shot. But, somehow, I am very pleased with it. I shall not say why. Good photos are like good jokes, if I have to explain it, then I must accept the fact that it just isn’t that good 😛

I would like to thank Tina, Amy, Ann-Christine and Patti for hosting the Lens-Artists Photo Challenges! What a year! Catching a connecting flight at Heathrow Airport is my response to one of the suggested themes: Connection.

King’s Landing

Old Town of Dubrovnik (Croatia)

Game of Thrones fans are flocking to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik to check out the locations where the wildly popular television series was shot. It gets crowded with tourists who are snapping away aimlessly, or taking selfies, or vlogging, or walking with their heads down as they fiddle with Instagram.

This gentleman, however, was taking his time to sketch the Old Town. I am somewhat of a stationery addict and have a soft spot for pens and notebooks 🙂

Silent Lake

Silent Lake Provincial Park (Canada)

Morning mist over the aptly named Silent Lake.

Lens-Artists Challenge: Serenity

Summer in Cottage Country

Cottage Country (Canada)

Cottage country is a common name in the Canadian province of Ontario for regions that are populated with recreational properties such as cottages and summer homes.

Winter Trees

Winter Trees

This was shot in my neighbourhood park using a notoriously bad camera from Kickstarter. It reminds me that it is not necessary to travel far for great photographs, and no need to be obsessed with camera specs.

More of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Trees.