Here my lovely wife Anna does her best impression of a mermaid at the local Byron pool. An impression she's all to willing to convey, over and over, until I have to pull her from the water. I am still playing with the cheap underwater enclosure (Digipac) for the Nikon DSLR which is working pretty well. I also tightened the levels for better contrast in post, but didn't otherwise alter the colour too much.
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This is a test of a new Digipac enclosure I bought for my Nikon DSLR. I took a leap of faith, and without testing, assumed the $100 case would protect my $2000 camera. Happily, it worked as intended. (Phew.)
My results were mixed. Conditions weren't great and I'll need more practice if I'm to get a nice barrel photo. The case and nikons menu system mean it's very difficult to change ISO and focus. I switched between Auto and Manual focus but auto means you can't fire off a volley of shots quick enough. Being a poor swimmer doesn't help either. Still, it's a good excuse to get out among the sand, sun and surf. Hopefully, more of this sort of thing to come with some practice!
Datura's natural distribution is unknown, because the plant had been so widely distributed and cultivated by humans. This plant is growing at the Crystal Castle near Mullumbimby. The classic hanging trumpets are typical of Datura plants which are often seen in regular garden's across Australia.
The toxicity of the plant however is well known and can cause delirium or death. The irregularity of toxin strength from plant to plant means that Datura is particularly dangerous as a recreational drug. In some cultures, the plant is simply used as a poison.
Spring is in the air, and even the resident geckos have been getting busy. Just when you thought the torrent of baby photography was over too!
I was lucky to capture this relaxed portrait of our friend's one year old during a recent visit. The backlighting from the sun nicely frames his soft features and gentle eyes. Typically with my post production method, I've tightened the levels to exaggerate bright and dark. I've also added to sharpening to the eyes after resizing for the web.
I can't help myself! My baby boy is still almost the only thing I'm pointing the camera lens at these days. I think this may be my favourite photo of him so far, because it captures his friendly nature and his thoughtful glare. He also wrings his hands together a lot, and this photo was not posed beyond placing him on the sheep skin rug. It's also wonderful to be able to let him play in the nude in the middle of winter thanks to the wonderful Byron Bay weather recently.
Some tips for baby photography...
I tightened the levels in post processing to give it that "high key" light / white feeling, although you could achieve this by overexposing the shot to start with if you have enough light on the scene to get away with it.
I also used a feathered selection around the eyes and an unsharp mask filter to give the reflections in his eyes that really "sharp" crisp, in-focus look.
Remember when we landed a man on the moon on a rocket called Apollo?
The Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) that landed man on the moon had 36k of read-only memory and 2k of “ram”.
To put it in perspective.. here is a JPG photo of a kitten that is almost equivalent in file size to the entire computing power on the Apollo spaceship that landed man on the moon.
Think about that next time you complain your first gen iPhone 3G is only 16 gigabytes .. about 440,000 times more capacity than the computer that landed man on the moon.
Every year they drop the yellow pages on my doorstep and every year I’m filled with bitter disappointment for the sheer volume of waste this bygone era of information delivery has wrought on the world.
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Donald E Brown, an American anthropologist and scholar, took the time a few decades ago to compile a list of things that all human races appear to have in common. I remember finding this list online a few years ago and pouring over it.
One of the topics that has always interested me is the question of what it means to be human. This list doesn’t answer that question and these things are not uniquely human, but we do appear to share them across disparate cultures. The modern office worker and the Eastern Eurpean cave man’s commonality is documented here, and it’s wonderful.
From the prehistoric cave walls, to ancient roman graffiti, to modern art and culture.. is there nowhere on earth that isn’t improved with the addition of an impromptu phallus, complete with vein lines and pubic scribbles?
So I know it must seem like I’ve been pretty quiet. I used to give you guys the excuse that I had to study, but now my masters is finished I’ve no such excuse. I can say however that behind the scenes I had spent some time in negotiations for my business, DNA Digital a local australian web design company.
Rather than explain it, I’ll just link the Northern Star’s reporting of it. (Click Here to Read “Couple Weave’s Own Web” from Northern Star Newspaper) There was an official press release you can find on the DNA Digital site too. The only things I’d clarify is that I’ve been in business for 10 years, not 2 and Your Name was not a “rival”, but run by a great colleague and peer of mine.
Suffice to say running the business from Byron Bay this last year has been excellent. Mostly because of the food. I must have put on 4 kilos. Such GOOD food mere footsteps from my office is a dangerous thing to my health. No packed lunch for me. I often walk on the beach before, during or after work and love that clients are all too happy to drop in when they are on holiday. I think I see them even more regularly now than I used to!
I’m going to try and write more often. Even if it’s just interesting tidbits here and there, and not necessarily rambling discourses. Take it easy!