Day 302 – Calm down, Henry!

I got an email from Flickr yesterday.

My Flickr is here, btw, and desperately needs some new additions. But that’s not important right now.

The email in question was the announcement of the winners of the Your Best Shot competition from last year – an opportunity for the photographers in the community to share… well… their Best Shot from 2020 in an effort to win prizes, fame and fortune.

But mainly prizes.

I didn’t enter this time around so as to give someone else a chance to win.
Same as every year.

I was actually a little disappointed with the overall standard of the winning entries, but it (quite literally) isn’t for me to judge, and so well done to those whose images were selected.

One thing I did like was “the photographer’s words” bit under each photograph, describing why or how they took it and what they were aiming for. It’s cool to have a bit of a story and some context while you’re looking at the image. For example:

“This bottle kept floating into my shots… and I decided to make it my subject matter. It’s very tough to see what you are capturing when the sun is shining hard, the waves are lapping, you are treading water, and you have a snorkel mask on. The phone has a plastic case on it (all giving off reflections making it hard to see properly), so I was pleased when I got back to the beach and reviewed the images that a couple of them were just what I had hoped for.”

That’s for this one, by the way.

Or, for Inside and Outside, this:

The photo was shot on my trip to Kathmandu, shortly before the Covid crisis made these kind of trips difficult or not possible at all. On a walk in the old city of Kathmandu… a man appeared and stopped some meters away, unfolding his newspaper and (possibly) reading what is going on in Nepal and the rest of the world.

Lovely.

But then I scrolled down to Morning Fog Over Copenhagen:

[screenshot]
and there was this:

As I impatiently listen to the coffee machines gurgle, a hazy somber morning observes me through the old windows of my apartment building. With my trusted bike on my shoulder, I head for the stairs. As I pull the door open, it’s clear that my windows made no illusions. My neighborhood’s Covid-infused streets are shrouded in a fog so thick it turns every light source around me into beautiful living organisms. I mount my bike, and a green light appears ahead. As it pulls me into the unknown known of my hometown, I reach for my camera.

[Puts away thesaurus; closes adjectives dot com webpage; hands in Year 6 English homework assignment]

Alright, Shakespeare. Take it easy. This is the literary equivalent of #RBOSS. No need!

Look, I’m not saying that I could do any better in Danish (and I’m not saying that for very obvious reasons), but Jesus, Henry: please just stick to the photos in future.

More ‘togging, less blogging?

Incidentally, I think his photostream has some wonderful pictures. But their descriptions are thankfully much less verbose.

Day 290 – More Star Stuff

After yesterday’s astonishing star size facts, here are some more astonishing stars from the chilly Isle of Man, courtesy of FOTB Chris Wormwell (you may remember him from such posts as CJ Wormwell still making lovely photographs and Chris’ PoA sky & lighthouse p0rn).

This one is a timelapse of the Milky Way, taken from The Phurt, down in the North of the Isle of Man.

Lovely stuff, and almost difficult to remember (because of the tholtan and the bush remaining static), that’s it’s actually us that is spinning and the galaxy that’s standing still.

You can see the rest of Chris’ Youtube channel here (he recently got a drone) and his Flickr is here.

Day 275 – Boxing Day QP

As ever, I’m writing a few posts in advance over the holiday period (such as it is) so that I can have a little bit of break as well. And because I don’t want to be using up all my words in one go, here’s a quota photo that I took on our recent trip to the Cederberg.

Star trails for dayz (or… er… nightz).

This was the result of 2 hours (and one second, because why not?) of exposure, then an automatic noise clean up on the camera (I won’t be using that feature again – took another 2 hours!) and a bit of tweaking in Lightroom. Bigger and darker here.

I quite like it.
It was almost worth fumbling around in the pitch darkness of the bush in the early hours.

Almost.

Day 260 – Cederberg pics

Our trip to the Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve would have benefitted from being one day longer.
We didn’t have time to get everything in and relax. But we managed to have a great time anyway.

There was hiking, stargazing, rock art, wildlife, drinking, swimming, nature drives.
The food was excellent. The views were incredible. Miles and miles of complete desolation.

Peace and quiet. Very few humans. Blissful stuff.

Here are the other photos.

Day 243 – Continuing the positivity

After yesterday’s minor – but important – successes, I had a quick gander over at Brian Micklethwait’s New Blog, as I do several (or more) times each week.

Says Brian:

I’ve been feeling down in the dumps lately, and I came to realise that the permanent photo on my computer wasn’t helping. It was of a boarded up house in Brittany, and it was there because that seemed appropriate for the times we are all trying to live past. But, because it was so appropriate it was also deeply depressing, just like the times we are all trying to live past, and it was making those times, for me, even worse.

I’m with you, Brian. I think we all are. 2020 has been an absolute slog.
We shouldn’t underestimate the toll that it has taken on us: we all deserve some recognition for making it through the last few months.

Brian has taken steps to cheer up his background and bring some additional inspiration into his daily life by selecting this photo of the Tate Modern from his archives and setting it as his desktop background:

There is no hidden meaning here. That’s a full-on promise in neon lights (or, given the colour, more likely Xenon or an Argon/Mercury mix, but those technicalities shouldn’t distract from the clear mantra). Yes:

EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT

Brian’s post made me look at my desktop background too. And yes, I had – subconsciously, I think – done exactly the same thing as he had, taking this photo of a typical scene in the Tankwa Karoo and then desaturating it to give me this far more sombre image, which seemed somehow more appropriate and which has been sitting as my backdrop for the past few months.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. But it doesn’t promote happiness, and having read Brian’s post, I decided to find an image that would. I would want a landscapey photo for my desktop background, nothing too busy.
Trouble is, I seem to have a lot of landscapey, not too busy photos that don’t quite fit that bill:

 

I especially like that third one, but it’s not very happy happy joy joy, is it?

Yeah, I have a lot of photos, but very few of them are suitable for a (positively) inspiring desktop.

I’ve ended up going with this one:

OK, I see the rough seas and the dark clouds, but I also see the sunshine and I see hope.

And I see Suiderstrand, which always makes me happier.

And I remember that EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT.

Right? Right.