Day 346 – Garden Bird

The beagle may have (mostly successfully) cleared the garden of the neighbourhood cats, but there are still visitors that she is powerless to defend against. We are regularly visited by several (or more) Hadeda Ibises.

The beagle will stalk the birds from the patio before going full speed (it’s not much, but full marks for effort) at them until they are vanquished to beyond the city boundaries move to the other side of the garden. At which point she gives up.

But that’s when they are in plain sight on the lawn. When they are in incognito mode in the flower beds, they can go about their foraging with complete impunity.

The Hadeda is much maligned in South Africa, but these particular guys are usually pretty quiet and completely harmless. They can be a bit messy around the pool from time to time, but I’ve not got to the point where I want rid of them.


Day 342 – Misty morning

It’s been busy recently. I haven’t taken any photos in ages. It’s still busy, but sometimes you need to take your chances. And after yesterday’s rubbish day, I had some English muffins drenched in butter for breakfast and decided to blog early as well. Good start.

Mist – the photographer’s friend – is fairly unusual on the side of the mountain here, so when it arrives, you need to get the camera out and get going. Sadly, today’s episode was very transient – the descending and then disappearing within 10 minutes – and coincided neatly with the requirement to get the kids to school, so some some degree of balance was required.

I got a couple of shots. And the kids got to school on time.
Everyone’s a winner.

This is actually not a monochrome image, but as well as softening everything around you, the mist also drains all the life and the colour from the scene, which works nicely when you have vegetation at various distances from your position.

There are actually three layers here, but only two are really discernible. More time and less private property would have been really helpful to fine-tune this shot, but as mentioned above, sometimes you just need to go with what you’ve got.

And it was just nice to get something.

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.


But then I scrolled down to Morning Fog Over Copenhagen:

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.