Crazy Colours

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I need to redecorate this place, refurbish it. It’s in danger of getting boring. I’m getting tired of theme posts and the same ol’ same ol’. We need more variety and humour, like in the old days. A breath of fresh air will be . . . uh, . . . refreshing. I haven’t yet thought about how I might get some variety back into Madang – Ples Bilong Mi.  I’ll have to cogitate on that for a while.

Still, I do know what triggered my thinking about change. It’s not what you might suspect. It has to do with moving my wallet from my back pocket to my front pocket.

Yesterday, at the town market, I was the victim of an attempted robbery. It’s not as dramatic as is sounds. It is, however, becoming a far too common event in Madang. No matter how much we love the place, we have to accept that even Paradise is not immune to any and every kind of decay. The decay of security, feeling safe in one’s living space, has been shocking.

As I was leaving the gate of the market, I felt a disturbance in my personal aura space. Then I experienced an abrupt violation of my very personal physical space as clumsy fingers attempted to sneak into the back pocket of my ancient Levi Strauss 501 cut-offs. Fortunately, there were plenty of people around (not that that helps much). So, when the first try failed, there was no violent second go at the wallet. That’s when things get nasty. The clumsy thief beat a hasty retreat back into the market followed by my nasty comments regarding his personal hygiene.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I returned to my car and sat there for a minute of quiet gratitude that I did not have to replace my various driver’s licenses, identification and credit cards. As I sat there I decided it was time, disregarding comfort, to move my wallet permanently from my back pocket to the front.

Reading back over that, I realise two things. First, I realise how little sense it makes. Then, I realise how difficult it is to connect an attempted mugging to my sudden need to spice up MPBM. As you may have gathered, I’m making this up as I go.

Now that I have wasted this much of your time, you may as well stick around a little longer for the main course of blather.

As I was looking for some amusing images from about forty that I have lined up for posts, I was struggling to find some that fit together in any interesting way – some way that I haven’t already worked to death. A few stuck out like sore thumbs. Some greens, reds and magenta hues began shouting in unison, me, me, me, me. Well, how can you ignore that? So, mixing them up a little (shaken, not stirred), I begin with Green Coral Imperfection:

There is some interesting detail in this shot. You might want to click to enlarge it. I particularly like the one structure which sticks up above all of the rest. It becomes that place which the eyes simply can’t stay away from. The rest becomes a negative space which all the more directs the eyes back to that single difference, that imperfection.

Switching from green to red, here is an image of the embers left from lunch at Blueblood last Sunday afternoon:

I confess to a childish fascination with fire. Given some spare time and an opportunity, I can sit by a fire much the same as a ten-year-old boy, poking sticks and throwing objects into the flames just to see what happens. These visceral reactions to fire seem primordial. As a natural phenomenon, I imagine that fire is at once the most useful and the most dangerous of the processes that humans have been able to harness. Possibly that is why it holds such sway over our emotions. Fire is possibly the most comforting and the most terrifying force of nature.

When I saw this fern at Blueblood, standing alone on its dead tree fern pedestal, the afternoon sun was lighting it up like a neon sign:

It looks to me like a huge green flower.

Mixing the colours up a little, we have here a Magnificent Anemone hosting two Pink Anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion):

It’s a delicious combination.

Finally, let me show you this lovely magenta-stained Solitary Coral (Fungia fungites).  These are also known as Mushroom Coral:

I wish that I knew what causes this colour. I’ve not been able to find a reference for it. Behind it and in front are three other species of coral. The white and green blobs to the left and below are a species of sea squirt.

The muse seems strangely mute this night. I have promised myself that I am going to try to avoid laying down on the bed this evening until I’m ready to go to sleep. I’ve been reading about bad sleep habits lately, in hopes of finding something which will help me. Lounging in the evening in the bed in which you sleep is reckoned to be a very bad habit. That’s a tough one for me to fix. I’ll have to think about moving some things around. I hate that. I like for things to stay the way they are. I’m going to have to get used to change.

So, it seems that what I ended up with here is yet another theme post.

Oh, well.

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18 Responses to “Crazy Colours”

  1. Jill Says:

    Re: your wallet – when I first met Norm and his family over 30 years ago the thing I noticed that was so totally weird was that Norm’s dad carried his wallet in his front pocket…well then I learned Norm did too. (It was one of a few reasons I questioned my sanity about even considering joining this family!) However, Norm has taught our sons to do the same…and since you already know my mental health then you know I legally joined this crazy family 26 years ago and so glad I did.

    I really enjoy your photos. I rented a camera for our snorkling of the Reef but didn’t of course come out with the stark beauty of what you have so thanks for posting them.

    Regarding Sleep: Eric has always had trouble with sleep but even more so after all the drugs they pumped into him for three years during his teens. So he entered a sleep study – still in process but will let you know if there is anything interesting to learn. Norm takes pills. Glen’s problem is staying awake (ha ha) and me – well changing time zones and shift work mean I’ve learned to function on 4-6 hours of sleep although since coming back from PNG I’ve been doing more like 2-4 then trying to grab a nap before work. But I pray, Jan, that when you do get to lay down and sleep that you will do so with peace and feel rested when you wake :)

    Gee I’ve written such a long response to your post maybe I should start this blogging???

  2. kristy Says:

    Love the coral! Great eye to pick out that one guy standing up from the rest!
    Are you lighting these pics from above and behind? Or is that just the natural light coming in?
    Trying to figure out how I can convince the hubby that we need an underwater outfit for our trip to Hawaii in Dec!

  3. Fortescue Bullrout Says:

    Using a computer at night is really bad for sleep (if you do) as the screen puts out a bluish “day” light . There is a neat little program called “f-lux” that changes your screen automatically at local sunset (or when you want) to a softer, more yellow light, sort of like candlelight. You can turn it off for image work etc, its very tweakable. And normal light comes back on at dawn.
    Just thought I would mention it, maybe you know it already.
    We have been using it for a couple of months and it helps sleep a lot.

  4. ZydecoDoug Says:

    That shot of the green coral is magnificent. I seem to remember that one from a previous post, perhaps one that I went searching for in your archives. It belongs on a magazine cover. I’ll bet you could have a little fun with that in your Photoshop. It’s so stark, it almost begs for some playfulness. Just a thought.

  5. MadDog Says:

    You should definitely start blogging, Jill. One thing that I’ve discovered is that even someone as incoherent as I has a voice and some people want to hear it. I’m constantly amazed by the number of people who come to MPBM daily. I don’t even know who the vast majority of them are. The only ones which I know of are those who comment here, contact me on Facebook or email me.

    It doesn’t strike me as crazy to carry my wallet in the front pocket, just self defence. If a mugger sees that it is impossible to get to, then he probably won’t try. At least the front pocket makes it more difficult. I can always give it up, if I think I’m going to have a fight on my hands. Thirty years ago I would have put up a fight. Now I’m not as tough as I used to be. By the way, I think that you’re fortunate to have married into a crazy family.

    I wish that I had access to a bit more sophisticated help for the sleep problem. It’s not killing me, but the lack of sleep makes everything look worse. As long as I don’t use it more than three or four times a week I can get away with a 10mg Temazepam tablet to put me out if I wake up at 03:00 and can’t go back to sleep in twenty minutes or so. I’m trying to get in the habit of attempting to go to sleep at a regular time, about 23:00 to 23:30. So far, the hours per night are very slow creeping up, on the average. I was having sleep problems typical of aging before Eunie died. I think that the reason the problems have gotten worse since then is simply because of the general level of stress. That’s not going to get much better any time soon.

    Thanks for your prayers, Jill.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Kristy, I like that coral shot also. It’s one of many coral patterns which I have done. They make very dramatic screen savers or desktop backgrounds.

    I much prefer to shoot with the natural light which falls on the reef. Of course, I have to correct the colours to account for the change in the spectrum of the natural light as I go deeper. That’s not hard to do with Photoshop if you have your camera set to shoot in the RAW mode. The Camera Raw Filter has Colour Temperature and Tint controls as simple sliders. You just juggle them until the image matches the colours which you saw.

    If you buy a camera for underwater use, you don’t have to spend a bundle. For about $400 you can buy a Canon G11, the camera which I’ve been using for the last couple of years. Before that I had a G9 and then a G10. The G11 is a fantastic camera with an excellent lens and every shooting feature that you can imagine. It’s also very tough. You can get a factory underwater housing for it for about $200. That makes it the cheapest professional quality UW outfit that I know of. You don’t need a fancy UW flash, either. All of my macro shots which had to have flash have been done with the built-in unit.

    Be prepared also to buy at least Photoshop Elements and download the Camera Raw Filter from Adobe. The full version of Photoshop would be better, but I think that the latest version requires a 64 bit operating system such as Windows 7 64 Bit.

  7. MadDog Says:

    Hey, Fortescue, that sounds very interesting. I’m going to download it and give it a try. I do keep the colour temperature of my huge Samsung Graphics Pro CRT screen cranked up to 6,500K so that the colours come out looking right. That is pretty bluish, compared to the warm light which would be more conducive to sleep, I suppose. I’ll let you know if it helps me.

  8. George W Says:

    Jan, the same thing happened to me in the Madang market entrance 9 years ago. You simply have been lucky. The security situation hasn’t changed, apart from normal ups and downs.

  9. MadDog Says:

    Doug, that is a new shot, but I have so many coral patterns on the site, that I’m not surprised if it looks familiar.

    Magazine cover. One can only dream. I’ve had exactly three covers in my life. That’s not exactly big time.

    Maybe I could try a kaleidoscope effect on it.

  10. MadDog Says:

    Hmmm, George. I’m afraid that I have to disagree with you. I think that the general law and order problem has increased greatly over the last few years. I believe that just about anyone would agree with that. Even the top cops say that the situation is critical. There are far too few police officers. Petty crime is rampant. Violent crime has become commonplace. Gangs of youth engaging in criminal behaviour are everywhere. Twice this year I was attacked in broad daylight on the streets of Madang. Many of my friends have been victims of crime. I don’t see any indication that the situation is going to improve. Security in Madang is worse by far than I have seen it in the thirty years I have lived here.

  11. Ray Selby Says:

    If I was a mugger I’d be very cautious not to mug a guy with Orang Utang like arms! The green coral shot is now my desk top background , looks terrific.

  12. MadDog Says:

    Very funny, Ray. You know, there was a time when a mugger would have been very ill advised to take me on. I was a lot tougher then and well armed with a Walther P-38 in a little snuggie holster in the small of my back. These days, I’m not so dangerous. I like it better that way. I feel more peaceful. You are right, however. A potential mugger needs to have a close look at these arms and see if he’s willing to risk tangling with an ape man. Ooooooo, hoooooohhh, aaaahhhhh, haaaaaahhhh. eeeeeeeehhhhhh, heeeeeeehhhhhhh!

  13. Steve Bennett Says:

    I’m a big kid when it comes to fire also MadDog, and I think your image is fantastic, almost volcanic.

    The green coral shot and the Anemone fish shot are just wonderful, thank you for sharing.

  14. MadDog Says:

    Steve, I never tire of playing with fire. Obviously, I learned nothing as a child. I was quite happy with that shot.

    I’ve had a few comments on the Green Coral shot. It surprised me with it’s detail even at 1600 pixels wide. You should see it at 4000.

  15. Steve Bennett Says:

    While I still dabble with fire and flame, I am glad I disposed of the tendency to blow the *&%$ out of things…. explosives will creep on you eventually.

    The Green Coral shot is quite a piece. I wish I took that shot!

  16. MadDog Says:

    Steve, I still enjoy blowing stuff up, though I seldom get the chance these days.

    I bet you have some great photos. Why don’t you email me half a dozen of those you like best along with brief comments about each. Make them 1600 pixels on the longest dimension and JPG them down to about 300K or less. I’ll do a Guest Shot for you.

  17. Steve Bennett Says:

    I’m flattered and honoured MadDog… I do not know where to start… but I have an idea.

    Oh dear, off to go rummage around a few photos or two….

  18. MadDog Says:

    No rush, Steve. In your time.