Sunday, 28 February 2010

Day 48: Faded Flowers

It seems that this is one of my favourite things to photograph as I have kept finding myself drawn to them over the past few months. They are hydrangea flowers from last year and they seem to stay stuck to the plant through everything. It surprises me because I would expect them to be dropped like normal petals or leaves. So I keep coming across them in different forms - I have a picture of a dead flower on a climbing hydrangea on my DeviantArt account called Pretty Dead - and there's just something I love about them. They have a great texture, they look like they are made of thin delicate paper, they're pretty, you can see all the veins and they are all at different angles, they look so fragile and yet must be strong to brave the wind, and I even like the colour - although it seems boring it just works for me. That could be because I'm not keen on the regular hydrangeas during the summer when they are all bright colours (I have yet to see a climbing one in flower in summer). I guess in close up photos they just produce a lot to look at and a lot that pleases my eye.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Day 47: Urban Jungle

I was in town with Mum today because she needed some bits and pieces before going away to school camp on Monday, so I took my compact camera in case of something interesting and... here is the interesting thing! This area has been empty for quite a number of years now since a fire destroyed the buildings that used to stand here. They're supposed to be rebuilding but years after the plans actually came out and still nothing has happened, except today we walked past and I did a double take because there was colour! I guess if they're putting in a mural then there won't be any building happening any time soon ;-p It looks really good though - very bright and vibrant and it livens up an empty space which is good. Looking at it closely I think it might not be finished yet - the right hand side has less black definition than the right so I shall need to try and remember to look out for it and see if it changes and then go back with my big camera and hopefully get a better shot - this is good but I'm just not quite happy with it and I can't put my finger on why - possibly just the light - it was a pretty gloomy day. Anyway, I think it's cool :-)

Friday, 26 February 2010

Day 46: Colour!

Horrible, miserable, boring day with nowhere to go. Poured rain all day so it was really inspiring me to go out and find something to photograph....yeah, right. So I went with a photo of the brightest, most colourful thing I could think of - pastels. Which actually sounds ridiculous because generally people describe pale colours as pastels - well these are anything but pale and they satisfied the need for something that wasn't grey, dark and wet. Not a great photo but at least it's new.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Day 45: Dramatic Skies

I'm rather partial to dramatic light and clouds and sunsets and such. This was taken on holiday in Wales last year. Yes, another old one - so I promise to do my best to post a new photo tomorrow - no matter how rubbish it is.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Day 44: Orion in the Snow

Today was miserable, but tonight was the first meeting of the Astronomical Society's new Imaging Group so we got together and talked about the basics and showed some photos we already had and this was one of mine. It was taken at the beginning of the year when we had a ton of snow and I was very pleased with it because I managed to balance out the foreground and also the constellation - which is Orion. It's pretty difficult to focus in the dark on something as small as a star so the fact it is in focus was also pretty impressive!

This is the original image as it came off the camera and the pinky purpleness is light pollution from the town. Most astronomical images are processed to get rid of light pollution but I think I'm going to leave it - the thing is that as soon as you start manipulating it, it becomes hard to make it look natural - since there are the snowy branches in the foreground - so taking away the pink makes them look weird too and monochrome is just a bit boring, so I'm sticking to my slightly odd pink image of Orion.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Day 43: Last Year's Reeds

I took this on Saturday and really quite liked it - wasn't in the same league as the swan though. But taken with the wee camera too! It's not a bad camera and I guess I'm kinda hard on it - it's not so easy when you started out with an SLR though - I still look at wee cameras and go "I can't work this" - people think it's funny since I'm the one with the fancy camera, but they are really rather different. Oh yeah and I'm posting old stuff again because I'm just too tired. Whatever I've had isn't gone yet and I'm constantly exhausted and basically have a cold now so *fingers crossed* it passes quickly and I can get out again because I really hate this.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Day 42: Who Needs Deep Thought?

I came home to find this on the blackboard on my bedroom door courtesy of my Dad and his Roger Penrose book! Very appropriate for day 42.

And no I don't think the equation works out to 42 - not that I can even read the equation - but my Dad's reasoning was that anything Penrose had to say was probably pretty close to the answer!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Day 41: Ice on the Beach

We went to the beach. "Where is all the sand and sea?" I hear you ask - well it was opposite this mini glacier! I've never seen anything like it - the water runs down over rock to flow into the sea and it was frozen over and where there was a step down in the layers of the rock there was this fantastic collection of icicle on top of icicle. You could see the water flowing down under the ice in trickles and then running down the icicles. So this turned out to be my favourite over the other beachy things we saw - I expect they will all be there next time - but I don't know when I'll see this again! On another note - I'm slightly better again and I took my big, freshly cleaned with a new blower, camera! I was pretty exhausted when we got back but it was worth it :-)

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Day 40: Swan

This was... actually taken outside today!!! I'm rather a lot better than I was but still exhausted so I went for a walk with my dad but not too far and only with my compact camera - we wouldn't have made it to the pond if I'd had to carry the SLR! This did frustrate the hell out of me since I kept seeing things I could have done if I'd had my big camera but oh well - I did get one nice shot with the wee one and here it is. I was lucky this swan was hauled out on the side and sorting it's feathers and didn't mind me crouching nearby to take a few shots. It was so nice to be outside :-)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Day 39: Icey River

From nearer the beginning of the year when it was all snowy and icy. I like the patterns and colours in this and the fact that it's pretty abstract.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Day 38: Playing in the Mud

Indian Rhinos Baabuu and Fanindra playing in the mud some unspecified time ago

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Day 37: Baby Pygmy Hippo

This is a picture of Lieshan the baby pygmy hippo taken last year when she was about 2-3 months old. Since it's a close up in the water there's not much scale but she was pretty small and of course you can tell she's cute!

Still ill, still in a lot of pain, not getting much sleep or out or new photos and I'm fed up - might go to the vet and get myself put down tomorrow.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Day 36: We Watched Up Today...

...and Wrinkles wouldn't believe me that it had sad parts in it! I couldn't understand why I had heard people talking about how they all cried when they went to see it. Until I went to see it in the cinema. Every kid in there was just sat watching it and enjoying it - possibly a little puzzled at what was happening at the beginning - but you can bet every adult in the place either had a lump in their throat or was fighting tears. Still an awesome movie though - and I loved the short that goes with it too - poor hard done by stork!

Oh yeah, so this is Wrinkles and he is my bestest friend ever. I got him at Christmas when I was one year old so he is now 23! He likes a chocolate yule log for his birthday cake - expects candles and happy birthday sung, and can be found most days lounging in the living room watching tv (and occasionally raiding the biscuit tin) with his mate Doogal :-)

Monday, 15 February 2010

Day 35: Meditating Bison

Still ill and miserable :-( I hadn't really wanted to go for old photos as soon but well I can't do anything so no new pics... This is from last year and I really liked it - maybe a little dark but never mind. It's interesting because it's off centre and I caught him with his eyes shut which gives him a nice peaceful look.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Day 34: Eider Duck Attack

Today I'm very not well, so while I'm actually awake for 10 minutes I'll post one of my old but extremely awesome photos. This seagull tried stealing a crab that had just been caught by a baby eider duck - you wanna see them dive and catch and eat crabs - it's awesome. So anyway, the 2 mummy eider ducks were having none of it - the baby dived almost immediately with it's crab and the 2 mummy ducks went mental at the seagull. Moral of the story - mummy ducks are ferocious and should not be crossed.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Day 33: There Will Be No Miracles Here!

This is the other light art thingy on display at the moment and, admittedly, I did take this last night at the same time as Everything Is Going To Be Alright but nothing happened today (except I cheated on my camera by looking at new ones :-/ ) and I really wanted to use this so here it is. This one is by Nathan Coley and the text is apparently taken from a royal proclamation made in a town in 17th century France which was believed to have been the site of frequent miracles. I think it's hilarious!

Day 32: Everything Is Going To Be Alright

This makes me think of Douglas Adams - probably because it's in the vein of "Don't Panic" and the giant flaming letters that were God's last message to his creation. I love it - it's comforting and it's blue - what more could you want? It's a work by Martin Creed and while I think it's kind of strange to call it art, it is also genius because it's perfect and I want one!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Day 31: Aren't Ducks Supposed to Float?

I can't remember what made me think of this but it was one of my back up ideas for a day with not much time and/or no inclination to go out - today was both of those! It struck me as a funny idea that a yellow rubber ducky would sink but this one has a magnet on the bottom so I figured he would - surprisingly he does actually float but only on his side. Made for good splooshy bubbly photos though and I liked the look on his face in this one.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Day 30: Female Bullfinch

I go to the Botanical Gardens and I still find the wildlife... Not that I'm complaining - it just seems like this should be a plant photo or a landscape. It does have a tree in it though! And this is what the Bullfinches were having for lunch. This is a female Bullfinch. They're not quite as striking as the bright pinky coloured males but they are still very pretty and one of them nearly flew into me as I came round the corner! I was less than 2 metres from them and they carried on eating which was brilliant...until some bratty kid came running past yelling *sighs*

I also uploaded a pic to DeviantArt of some yellow tree blossom - bright spark here didn't think to look at the label on the tree to see what kind it was but since I forgot to take the camera's ISO down from 1600 as well, this is hardly surprising!
Yellow Tree Blossom

Day 29: Sumatran Tiger

This is Tibor - a male Sumatran Tiger at my local zoo. Isn't he gorgeous?! I love big cats and I think tigers might be my favourite - just don't tell the lions! I was really lucky with this one - I was on my way out because I had to be back in time for Rainbows and spotted him pacing near the window - he was waiting to get in his house since it was that time of the afternoon and I decided to risk being a little late and swap lenses for a couple of quick shots against the glass. Miraculously I got this shot which is beautifully sharp :-) I'm not sure what anyone else will think since they haven't seen him, but I think he looks a little surprised. His eyes are different because he had an injury as a cub and while his eye doesn't bother him or impede him it looks like it has a very small pupil in comparison to the other eye. Having looked him in the eye I know the eye we can see here is his bad eye, but I wonder if that's obvious to other people?

I also uploaded a nice silhouette of a Gelada Baboon to DeviantArt:
Gelada Baboon

Monday, 8 February 2010

Day 28: Raindrops

It rained, and there were hail stones too. All I could think to try was rain hitting the bird bath and surprisingly, my flash reaches from the back door so it was possible. This is the best of the pics and it's not that great really but oh well. At least you can see a wee bit of bouncing water in the middle of the big ripple in the middle. It's not very good and I'm not particularly pleased with it because it's naff if you look at it full screen, even the uncropped version, because the ISO was up at 1600 and there's no depth of field because of the aperture and *grumblegrumblegrumble* Need to try it again sometime I think.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Day 27: Reflective Aaron

We got to take Aaron to the beach today! He had great fun running around and paddling and chasing waves and jumping in pools that were deeper than he thought (you should see his face on those photos!) and attacking the dangerous sea weed all up and down the beach. I think I will upload some of the others of him in the sea to Facebook but this is the most artistically pleasing and I really like it. I was lucky he stood still to sniff long enough for me to get the shot! Who is that other puppy in the sand... and why won't he play?

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Day 26: Jelly Beans

Disgusting horrible day - misty rain - all day *grumbles* So we're back to indoor macros of anything I can think of that looks interesting or, in this case, colourful - felt like colour was required after the shades of grey experienced outside. I suspect they won't last long now that the box is open - you know how it is with sweeties - you just have to eat them quick because they don't keep once the box is open! ;-)

Oh and before you start complaining about cravings I have caused with yet another macro food shot - it was the weather's fault! I should start a series of "Mouth-Watering Macros on Miserable Days!" After the chocolate coins and popcorn this will be the 3rd. What on earth am I going to shoot next time it's horrible outside? I may have to stock up on sweeties just in case... :-p

Friday, 5 February 2010

Day 25: Puppy!

This picture is far from perfect but I actually like it so much better than the technically good ones. Probably mostly because he is actually looking into the camera and it's just a nice angle, but I think there is something about the way it's framed that works for me too, although I couldn't tell you why. This is Aaron, my brother's golden labrador puppy and he is about 8 months old now, I think, and he is huge! My brother is home on a course for a couple of weeks so hopefully I'll get to see some more of him before he goes back down south.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Day 24: Tufted Duck

Pretty male Tufted Duck! Actually that's not very masculine...sorry. Handsome male Tufted Duck! I went back to where the swans and ducks hang out and so very nearly ended up with a swan photo and another female Mallard on ice but I did succeed in my goal of getting a Tufted Duck photo - hurray!

However the female Mallard silhouetted on ice was just too pretty to pass up so it is on DeviantArt :-)
Silhouetted Duck

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Day 23: Stanley the Crane

Ok so it's really a Stanley Crane and while they were very curious and came for a look at me and my camera, they didn't introduce themselves. I went to the zoo today - it was kinda dark and gloomy which posed problems with exposure but it did force me to have the camera in manual for most of the afternoon which is good practice! I really like these guys - I think they're very pretty and I hope I get some more nice photos of them. I have zoo membership and now I'm armed with a bus pass I shall be out and about more - hurray!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Day 22: Goldfinch

I'm still feeling a bit rough so instead of going off out and being all grumpy and bad tempered and getting nothing usable because of my bad mood, I spent 20 minutes at the bottom of the garden waiting for the birds to decide it was safe enough to come into the garden to have a look and see if I was safe to eat around. It was cold and had snowed a little so they were quite keen on the seed feeders. The snow also meant I could hide beside the greenhouse without being seen. After a lot of chirping back and forth to each other a few did come and sit in the Sambuca for a look and I got a few photos. This is a Goldfinch - we get a lot of them in the garden because we put out nyjer seed which they particularly like. The interesting thing was that I got a photo while I was out of a Brambling (completely soft of course as is always the case with the new and interesting!) - I have never seen one before and certainly didn't think they came to the garden! I hope if this was his first time that he comes back and isn't put off by the strange girl hiding behind the greenhouse with a big camera :-)

Monday, 1 February 2010

Day 21: UFO!

Ok so it's not really... it's a spinning top! Best spinning top ever - it spins really well and when you spin it it lights up LEDs and makes pretty light patterns. I've been meaning to try this for a while so here it is. This is the best one I think - has all the colours and it's quite well defined and I like that the centre kind of looks like a flower with green petals and a yellow centre. My dad pointed out that the inner green looks like a chain at the bottom. I would have played with it longer but I'm not well and I need to lie down now :-p I may do this again since I quite liked the idea of trying to create a band of colour streaking from one side of the frame to the other by doing a long exposure and panning past it with the camera on the this space.