Tuesday, March 31, 2009

An Experiment...Time Lapse Photography

Raglan, New Zealand...immortalized in the surfing film, Endless Summer, as having one of the longest left point break waves to be found anywhere. I was there on a 'less than perfect' surfing day but I photographed the wave anyway. Thirty five surfers jockeyed to catch waves.

My first foray into time lapse imagery isn't all that exciting to watch but for me it opens up a world of endless time lapse photography projects...stay tuned.

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Watery Salvation

A gun-metal grey day delivered very little inspiration from life's ceiling. Underfoot everything looked like death, in this, the season of life. Spring. As I schlepped along, my hang dog camera swung from my shoulder like a long-bored pendulum. I looked eagerly to the heavens for a gift, for light, for warmth. There was none. I shook my fist and longed for the kaleidoscope of New Zealand, still burning brightly in my wandering mind.
It was one of those late afternoons when the yarn thick clouds pulled the wool over the lone eye of the sun. I was a drop of pink paint and bones walking across a barren, salt and pepper landscape. Boots scuffed the sand and pebbles; I strained to motivate my pace. I stopped to reflect. Alone I stood on the bridge, a perfect steel and concrete metaphor for deliverance...from one place to another. I looked down, beyond the lines of noteless guardrailing. Far below I saw music.
There was nowhere left to go, for I had already arrived. The music that played upon the water was not obvious. It was to be seen, not heard. Shattered ice, itself cursing its fate from above, drifted past the reflection of a grossly muted sun. I was witnessing my own emotion reflected in the ice, but it was a mirage. It was not the lingering death of winter, rather the birth of spring. I gazed down upon earth like a startled godfather.
An endless world of possibilities drifted past my eyes. Depicted in the images above is but one interpretation of a fleeting moment in springtime.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's just grape juice...

Wine, what's the big deal?

I spent $45 to go to a wine tasting in December and I loved it. What do I remember about the wine? Nothing much really. I just signed up for another $45 wine tasting event which begs the question....

Why bother?

Do I really need to spend so much money to discover that the wine I'm drinking tastes like mown grass, honeydew melon or kerosene? My little voice whispers in my ear, "Ian, don't be a moron." My reply is simply 'it's not about the wine'. I couldn't care less what flavours are in a wine, I only care whether:

a) I like it,


b) I don't like it.

For my palate, it's that simple. Imagine if we took milk drinking as seriously as wine tasting.

"Oh, that Holstein March 2009 was awful...tasted like alfalfa, binder twine and John Deere's underwear. Just horrid. I'd recommend the Jersey March 2009...a delightful nose of timothy and blackberries."

Blackberries? In my milk?

Kerosene? In my wine? Yes, I bought a bottle of 2001 Reisling in New Zealand simply because the tasting notes described it as follows (and this is a direct quote):

"Carefully cellared for five years before the release, the wine has developed interesting kerosene and beeswax characters, with mineral, citrus and floral notes. Finishes dry."

I couldn't taste the kerosene in my Reisling which left me bitterly disappointed, yet relieved. And what if I had tasted kerosene, or propane, or lighter fluid? Then what?

I was pretty stoked that the Reisling finished dry...cool trick. If only I could make Melba toast finish wet. Sometimes my hot chocolate finishes dry...usually because I didn't stir it enough. Just a happy accident, not unlike the discovery of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (hey you got chocolate in my peanut butter!). I digress.

So why am I spending $45 to taste more wines? Well, I like the social aspect of it. I like the people. I don't care too much for the wines, it's just grape juice (more or less....haha!). I'd happily spend $45 to go to a milk tasting event but no one offers such a thing. This is a real shame because (I swear) that I tasted beeswax in my milk the other day and I'd like to compare notes. By the way, it was Northumberland, 1%, early March 2009.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The View From Above

Last evening I took what I felt was my best image of the ' frozen deer on the lake' but I've decided not to post it today. Day after day of seeing a dead deer might not be too uplifting, though artistically the deer has been more than rewarding. The eagles feel the same way as they've pretty much moved to Cambridge-Narrows for the moment. They're even having their mail redirected.

Today I've posted another image taken from the bridge. At 7pm last evening I took this image, shooting into the western sun. It features open water on the right, a ridge of ice in the centre and snow/ice on the left. For me, the water has taken on very metallic characteristics, like aluminum foil or solder. There is warmth in the evening light yet it still feels cold and raw. My hands were freezing on the bridge while composing the image. There was a 'strong breeze' (according to the Beaufort Scale) coupled with below zero temperatures. The wind gave the water texture, without it the shot would not have been made.

Oddly enough I'm not yet sick of the cold as it's delivering opportunities that I won't get in the spring or summer. I'm sounding dangerously like an optimist!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

He Who Soars With Eagles (?)

Do the words 'Šuŋgmánitu Tȟaŋka Ob'wačhi' mean anything to you?

Not likely. I had to look them up myself. They translate to 'dances with wolves' which probably sounds a lot more familiar. Ah yes, Kevin Costner and his multiple Academy Award-winning film. Kevin's character, Lieutenant Dunbar, was bestowed this name by his Sioux soul mates.

This got me thinking...(???)...what would my spiritual name be, if our First Nations community gave me one. Given my focus of late, I'd like to think that they'd call me 'He Who Soars With Eagles' for my photographic fascination with feathered flyers.

Maybe they'd cut the crap and call me 'He Who Stands On Bridge With Camera'?

What would they call you?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bird's Eye View

I finally managed to get an image of the eagle at the deer carcass. It took me 4 days. Yes, it's a bit graphic, but so is sushi.

How do you get above an eagle? Those who know me are well aware of my ability to walk on water, but that doesn't mean I can fly. Here's the poop... I was standing on the Cambridge-Narrows bridge, about 15 metres above the ice, when I took this shot. The bridge affords a bird's eye view...how fitting.
The eagle didn't stick around once I arrived, leaving me just seconds to get the shot.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pine Cones and Mastodons

Me clever?

Well, not really. I do like watching anything with colour being released from the ice. I get excited finding a pine cone peeking through at me...imagine how fun it would be to have a mastodon thawing out of the formerly frozen tundra. The smell could be a problem though.

What do mastodons have in common with divorced people? Their ex stinked. (I just made that up...sad huh?).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Nice Ice

My intention was to photograph eagles this morning. There was a lone eagle standing atop a deer carcass but it flew off to a nearby perch before I was able to get my million dollar image (pre-tax).

The world doesn't need another 'majestic bald eagle sitting in tree' image so I abandoned my quest. Tomorrow...perhaps.

I went for a walk this afternoon with my wife and my macro lens. As a happy threesome, we enjoyed looking at leaves embedded in the ice. The leaves, imprisoned by winter, are about to be unlocked by spring (not unlike many humans). The image to the left is of air bubbles, encapsulated in the frozen iced tea waters of the Washademoak. Tomorrow they may be gone and the world will be none the wiser, but for today they were greatly admired.

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20...Signs of Spring

It's almost the first day of spring and the birds are already pairing up.

Or maybe it's two brothers flying together. Or two sisters. It's pretty difficult to tell what sex birds are...those feathers just ruin all the fun (for 'bird' watchers).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Shipyards, Christchurch, New Zealand

I was fortunate enough to visit a ramshackle old building called the Shipyards in Christchurch. The absence of a roof has allowed the dilapidated walls to become a canvas of sorts for some talented local graffiti artists. It's perhaps the most curious art gallery I've ever visited. For a photographer, it was brilliant slice of life. You can view my tweaked images at http://picasaweb.google.com/theleisurologist/Shipyards?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ_ohM-C1a76_AE

Hawaiian images

Only 35 images to view, mostly surfing and North Shore, Oahu images. http://picasaweb.google.com/theleisurologist/OahuHawaii2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCIiO9Iq43qb2fw

New Zealand images

A few (like, 243) of my New Zealand images are available on Picasa Albums. Check them out at http://picasaweb.google.com/theleisurologist/NewZealandFebruary2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCOG49pvcxoixcg
I would suggest viewing them as a slideshow (but do as you wish, you always do).