A Steamy Jungle and Guests Steven Goodheart & Pascal Michon

Posted in Mixed Nuts on October 23rd, 2009 by MadDog
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I have an image of my own today, but I’d first like to show you some images of friends who have responded to my pleas for treasure.

The first two come from Facebook friend and regular correspondent on Madang – Ples Bilong Mi,  Steven Goodheart of Berkeley, California. Steven is a science writer. Since he was formerly an editor for a large textbook publisher, he has a vast storehouse of information concerning where to find what, something that has already helped me to provide more interesting and accurate information.

The first shot really grabs me. I’d call the composition excellent. It makes good use of the Rule of Thirds. The smaller, gnarly tree and its shadow pierce the space and take it over like Atilla the Hun:

Berkeley Nature Walk by Steven GoodheartThat one is a calendar shot if I ever saw one. Some images remind me of others. This one recalls an image that I showed you from Central Park in New York City.

Stepping from grandeur to minutia, here is a huge mob of my favourite insect, the Lady Bug:Lady Bugs by Steven Goodheart

I have no idea why Lady Bugs do this. Steven said it was immediately following a heavy rain. Thanks, Steven, for these shots. Keep them coming. I’ve shown you some Lady Bugs here and here.

My friend and dive buddy, Dr. Pascal Michon (our naughty resident Frenchman) sent me an image of this very nice little project he did for his nephew who was inquiring of his uncle about Hermit Crabs. It was clever of Pascal to use the images from my journal:

Bernard L'ermite by Pascal Michon

I can’t read much of it, but it tickles me, nonetheless. People often ask me about using my images. If you look at the bottom of the journal you will see that everything is covered by a Creative Commons copyright. The terms of the copyright allow free use of any text or images as long as you state clearly that it came from me. I prefer my attribution to be my email address, but my name will suffice. The only restriction is that, if you want to use it in any way that could be considered commercial, you have to ask my permission. I usually don’t ask for payment, but I always ask for the end product, for instance, a book, t-shirt, URL of a website and so forth.

I was disappointed by this image when I first saw it on the screen. It wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be. So, I spent a half hour or so ‘artifying’ it:

Steamy Jungle and Ship

I’m calling it Steamy Jungle and Ship.

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Blue Dusk – Red Dawn – White Thistle Down and More

Posted in Mixed Nuts on September 24th, 2009 by MadDog
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It was a gloomy evening when we arrived home late from the office last night. When I got out of the car, my right hand reached instinctively toward the Canon G9 that I keep in a holster on my belt in the back. I used to carry a Walther P38 9mm in the same location. The camera has proved much more useful:

Main wharf in Madang at duskThe stars around the bright lights are caused by the camera settings that I was using. Since I wanted the stars around the lights, I used the smallest lens opening I could get. You have to set the camera on manual to do these kinds of things, but sometimes it’s worth it. The small opening of the iris of the lens causes diffraction because it is not completely round. It’s made up of little leaves that move in and out to change the diameter of the opening. Each point where two leaves meet causes a ray of the star. You can tell how many leaves the iris on your camera has by counting the rays around a bright light. In this case, I know that my camera has a six leaf iris.

The big news in this part of the world is the spectacular dust storms in the general area of Sydney, Australia. The following image was happily filched from ABC News (That’s the AUSTRALIAN Broadcasting System, folks, not ABC in America):

Huge dust storm in Sydney (via ABC News)Imagine waking up in the morning and looking out your kitchen window to see that! I’d take a couple of valiums and pull the covers up over my head.

I promised white thistle down and I deliver what I promise, though sometimes a little tardily:

Thistle down

The little seeds have just come loose and are awaiting a breeze to carry them to their new homes. For the time being, they are hanging like Santa’s beard around the base of the fading blossom.

This bee was very busy and difficult to snap. It sorely underestimated my determination, however. This was the best of about fifty frames:

Highlands beeThe bees in the highlands seem skinier than our nice fat little buzzers on the coast. I suppose they are a different species.

This is very nearly what we used to call a Lady Bug when I was a kid:

Lady bug looking at meThe one above is having a good look at me. After a few seconds it decided it didn’t like what it saw and began to try to escape.

Why it never flew, I don’t know. It just kept running around on the same leaf while I kept snapping away:

Lady bug hurring home to save her burning childrenEvery time I see a Lady Bug I’m reminded of the horrible sayings and songs that adults deliver like sour medecine to children. Is it supposed to be good for us? I remember this little ditty from my youth:

Lady bug, lady bug
Fly away home.
Your house is on fire
And your children are burning.

Is this supposed to make kids feel good? Even the Itsy-bitsy Spider  seemed depressing to me. Up the spout, nearly drown going down, back up again . . . whew! Gives me the heebeejeebees.

I’ll finish up today with another shot of the Yonki Dam spillway:

Youki dam spillwayI liked the shot from a few days ago. This one has the same colours, but the effect of the camera angle makes it tell a completely different story.

Sometimes images are like new friends. They take a little time to grow on you.

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