Posted in Mixed Nuts on October 11th, 2010 by MadDog
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Some days it just doesn’t pay to carry the camera around. Yesterday I drove up to Blueblood to join friends for a day at the beach. it was a greyish day with very flat lighting. I had hoped to get some images for this journal, but I seemed uninspired and the poor lighting didn’t help. I guess that it’s okay to show the results of a bad day of shooting, It reminds me that I can do much better.

The memorial service for Eunie on Saturday went very well, but I was in a weird state through most of it. I seemed to be running on autopilot. However, I was grateful that I was overcome three times during the service and dissolved into a sobbing mess. I have been distressed during the weeks since I returned to Madang that the reactions which I expected to experience were not forthcoming. It was a relief to discover that, when the circumstances are right, the tears will come. Though the day was exhausting, I felt better in the end. A small group of us went over to Mike and Di Cassell’s home for a mini wake afterwards. I also spent a couple of hours in the afternoon with our PBT group at the home of Mike and Eunice Herchenroeder. Both were comforting and happy celebrations of Eunie’s life.

The barbie is a constant feature of Blueblood beach parties. This is a typical spread of yummy victuals:

Pascal Michon wields the spatula. How a Frenchman came to be the barbie master, I don’t know. I guess he knows what he’s doing.

Since the lighting was so poor, I had to seek out subjects that might promise some small portion of visual appeal. I became mesmerised by the interplay of light dancing on the ripples on the water and the small ripples forming in the sand in the shallow water near the beach. There was a lot of dark leaf detritus which formed into lines along the ridges of the ripples:In this shot, there was just a hint of sun poking through the overcast. This gave enough of a point source of light to refract bright patterns on the sand from the little chaos of waves on the surface of the water.

Of the dozen or so shots that I took, this one was the best:

The ripples in the sand were quite small. These were only about five centimetres apart. Again, a hazy sun created enough shadows to make a pool of light in the middle of the image. You can also see the reflection of the flat, grey sky. On a sunny day, the reflected sky would be distinctly blue.

To demonstrate just how desperate I was for something to shoot, here is some rust for you:

This shot might be a little puzzling without explanation. The corrugated, galvanised iron roofing is a little the worse for wear. There are two sheets of it in the image. The one in in the rear is in fairly good shape with only a few rusty holes. What appears to be a huge rusty area on it is actually a second sheet a few inches in front of it. That one is nearly rusted away.

I thought that this shot of driftwood on the beach might be more appealing. Try as I might, I could not bring it to life:

I thought to convert it to monochrome, but the black and white image was even more lifeless. Sometimes a flat grey sky is just what you want, but this was not one of those days.

Of the hundred or so shots that I took, this is the best by far. The softness of the light worked to advantage here for these fern leaves:

There is something strange going on in the water drop at the tip of the leaf. You can see it if you click to enlarge. At first I thought it was mosquito larvae, but now I notice all of the other little twisty, black threads near the end of the leaf. I don’t know what it is. There is also a strand of sticky stuff extending from the drop down to the leaf. What’s that? Nature is full of tiny puzzles.

UPDATE: From reader Lee Downie concerning the black, hairy stuff on the fern leaf and in the drop of water:   The birds nest fern (as it is known here) has hair on the back of the leaf when it is sporing. My father has actually grown ferns from this hairy stuff, he has quite a green thumb.   – Thanks, Lee

As soon as I gather some photos from friends, I will write a post about the memorial service.

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