I’ll Take Whatever My Camera Gives Me

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Because of my incredibly generous boss, with whom I sleep, I ended up with a five day holiday. Perhaps I should explain. My boss at the office also happens to be my wife. About the holiday, we had to skip one recently because of work loads, so she gave us that one back and another one following Independence Day. So, I was off from Wednesday and I don’t have to go back to the IT sweatshop until Monday. Hurah!

To celebrate, I’m going crazy (un . . . make that crazier). I worked on fourteen images this morning and I’m going to throw them at you in a more or less random order over the next two days. Some may amuse you. Some may not. Some may lead you to wonder what I’ve been smoking. All is well; it’s my job to amuse. It’s the only thing that I do with some degree of competency.

Let’s start out with this perfectly ordinary image of a perfectly ordinary object. It’s an Aussie barbecue. I can hear the Americans scoffing. Believe me, the Aussies scoff just as loudly at the Yank style. My friend Trevor Hattersley explained it yesterday:  “The Yanks got it upside down. They put the grill on top and the plate on the bottom. They do everything upside down up there in the Northern Hemisphere.”:

An Aussie BBQ

As a Yank, I’m not allowed closer than this to the barbecue. Sometimes they will allow me to start the fire, under close supervision. The white stuff on the big steel plate is sea salt left from the sea water used to ‘scrape’ the plate. The plate is never  cleaned. I’ve been told it sometimes takes years for the plate to develop the correct flavour. I case you’re wondering, the food that is cooked on this contraption is exquisite.

This shot of a hibiscus lit from behind with the coconut fronds and the dark blue sky in the background is exactly as it came from my Olympus SP-590UZ. Sometimes the camera is right. You don’t want to mess with it. I only did a little cropping:

Hibiscus lit from the back

As much as I like Flying Foxes, I’m shocked that I have no good shots of them. I’ll have to fix that someday. They are hard to shoot, because they are way up in tall trees, mostly beyond accurate slingshot range. Here is an early morning mob just settling in after a night out dining on the farmers’ papayas and bananas:

Flying Foxes

Here’s a shot a little closer in. You can see a couple of them flying around:

More Flying Foxes

This is as close as I could get from where I was standing. You can begin to see individuals. The really pack themselves in:

Still more Flying Foxes

Keeping with the day’s theme of randomness, here is a nice shot of an Indonesian style boat with Little Pig Island  in the background:

Indonesian boat

I would really love to have one of these. It’s a very pretty design. They travel thousands of miles over open ocean in these boats. I imagine that they must be very fuel efficient, since they are small and have a very long, slender hull. The outriggers make them very stable.

To finish up for today, here is a shot that I got on the way back from Blueblood on Wednesday. We had a birthday party up there for Di Cassell. We rode up and back on Mike Cassell’s boat. On the way back, the setting sun was glistening off of the water in a very magical way:

Sunset from Mike Cassell's boat

I particularly like the crazy angles in the shot. The horizon is level, but nothing else is straight. The Olympus did a nice job of exposing the image, even if the highlights are blown. You couldn’t expect much more from any camera given the dynamic range in the scene.

Unless you’re completely colour-blind, you’ll note that I converted the image to monochrome. Some things simply look better without the distraction of colour.

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2 Responses to “I’ll Take Whatever My Camera Gives Me”

  1. Kevin Lock Says:

    I taught at Madang Tech in 1964 and set a three hook line baited with blade steak close to the Madang Hotel swimming pool. The next morning we cruised up to find a 16 foot Tiger caught. I shot it and the staff of the hotel helped me get most of it in our boat. Kids at the Tech School wouldn’t eat it because most of them knew someone who had been taken by a shark.

    Never even took a photo of it.

  2. MadDog Says:

    Thanks for that, Kevin. That is quite a story! It’s too bad there are no photos. I’d certainly feature one here. I suppose you have heard that just a few years ago we had three people killed by Tiger sharks in one week just along Coronation Drive.

    Keep the stories coming, mate. If you’ve got any photos of that period, email them to me and I’ll put them up on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi.