Monday, August 30, 2010

dendrobium

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yet another present for myself from Scotsdales garden center, this time dendrobium orchid. I am not sure what I am going to do with all those orchids when it's time to move (maybe big give-away event is indicated).

The thought of move is the only thing that stops me from buying books like this one - beautifully illustrated, expensive and heavy as bricks

Saturday, August 28, 2010

polished street

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this is how old street's surface in Zadar looks like. It looked just the same in Rovinj.

One of the things that surprised me in Zadar this year is how busy and touristy it was - maybe not quite as busy as Venice (i.e. you could walk relatively freely without having to squeeze between sweating bodies), but close. Even more surprisingly, Rovinj as I remember it three years ago was almost spookily empty. Considering that Rovinj old town area is more beautiful and has fewer or maybe even none of the new buildings, the explanations I can come up with are : we were there not in the peak of high season and there are a lot more tourists coming now to Croatia in general then it was three years ago.

Back to polished street: they look slippery, but those were uneven stones to start with, so they provide just enough grip to walk safely (although I don't know how it'll be in rain).

But I did manage to fall (and drop my camera!) on stony surface in Zadar - and that was not on old street, but on newly laid edge of a lawn close to the waterfront. Waterfront there serves as town beach, and especially show-off bathers take a loooong run before they dive, so there are always wet patches here and there. And whoever decided on the new layout for the area had a bright idea of making some of the surfaces of completely smooth, flat and polished marble. I truly don't know what possessed him or her. Some water on that marble and it's as slippery as ice, so beware.

Having said that, it's nice area, especially for a evening stroll, and of course "Greeting to the Sun" glowing disk is an absolute highlight.




photos from Croatia for sale at shutterstock

Friday, August 27, 2010

Greeting to the Sun

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I had big difficulties chosing those two pictures out of dozens taken on "Greeting to the sun" solar panel disk on Zadar's seaside. Zadar has two Nikola Bašić's installations, another one being "Sea organ", which is not very impressive visually, although not less imaginative. This one is visual treat, especially in summer sunset when it reflects the summer skies (and of course at night when it lights up in psychedelic patterns)

I added both pics as entries to Photographer of the Year competition - see them and links to other entries here and here

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

apple juice and skylight

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yesterday we came back home (to a lot of rain) from extremely hot Croatia. We stayed in Zadar area, and for two nights in two different apartments in Zadar itself. The pictured place, in the converted loft of one of the old houses, had two good points - very central position and two roof windows which gave beautiful spotlights in the morning.

When Timur went to have his apple juice on scratched-glass-topped table, it looked like he's having is out of a torch.

On the last night we've left our Rough guide to croatia in the (different) flat, figuring next time we go we'll need a new book. So if you stay in Zadar and find 2007 edition laying around somewhere, it's probably ours

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

tendril

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between two rains went to Cambridge Uni Botanic gardens yesterday. I don't know which plant exactly is that - although both me and Timur like green greenhouses there, he tends to drag me through "rainforest" bit pretty quickly, because it's damp and hot there. So there is no time to trace the creeper plants to their roots and little name plates next to them. I have a very vague impression that it belonged to passionflower plant - red species (Passiflora coccinea), but I can't be sure.
various tendrils on shutterstock

Saturday, August 14, 2010

suspension bridge

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I've already processed this bridge picture (from Fuengirola, Spain) a goodish while ago, but I tend to re-comd through my folders before removing them off my hard disk . I leave them on external back-up disk, of course. This time processing left me with more perfect silhouettes, and I am hoping that this time the pic will be accepted at picture agencies, since people on the bridge are now unrecognizable.

Friday, August 13, 2010

more zebras

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just one more pic of them and I'll stop.

Do you see interference (I think it's interference, although my optics are shaky) - an additional pattern is formed on defocused zebra in the background? Or is it just me?

Both zebra pictures were converted to black&white using infrared pre-set in photoshop elements. I just tweaked it a bit, adding more green and adjusting other channels to match. By a stroke of luck, it make the background white in first case.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Zebra abstract

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Zebras from Linton zoo. Shame that there is only four of them there (at least, I think it's four). In my opinion, a herd of zebras is a sure recipe for millions of instant masterpieces

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

baby tapir

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went to Linton zoo today and luckily, came to tapir enclosure just as this young lady was finishing her talk. After the talk she stayed to answers questions - mostly about this very cute baby tapir, two months old, if I understood correctly.

After some very short belly scratching, baby happily flopped on his side, as a dog would. It was all very "awwwww".

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baby tapir pics on shutterstock

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Montana Roja

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the mountain in the background is meant to be red, but not in this picture, clearly. Colors are all over the place anyways - intentionally, but still. In any case, it's not really that red, you can only just about see reddish tint in the aerial pictures

Combing old Fuerteventura folder again, clearly a sign of seaside hols long overdue

Monday, August 09, 2010

summer reading - 2

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Timur is reading a book from "A Series of Unfortunate Events". I think it's book number twelve out of thirteen. He looks quite engrossed and he really is, which is a nice thing to see. Usually, he prefers books of "Eyewitness guide to.." type - information books with lots of illustrations.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

IR jumps

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they are not IR photos, of course, but the day was grey and the out-of-camera results were not that great, although dynamic and emotional. They were near-silhouette, but not near enough, plus it felt wrong to loose all the texture from the clouds.

Here the blue canal is almost zero and red and green almost equal, so it's not really IR either, but close. I like the results, they look like photos from old magazine.

Conversion was done with photoshop elements (I would love to have full PS, but it's expensive and elements cover most of my needs anyways)

Place is Wells-Next-the-Sea, that marram-grass covered hill opposite from the row of beach huts.

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Thursday, August 05, 2010

fly-in sunflowers

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I rarely put my lensbaby on camera, which is a shame, but explainable by the fact that I tend to shoot with image stocks in mind and they are somewhat suspicious of unusual effects. but this sunflowers asked for it, I think.

Timur's attitude to posing is normal for majority of kids and many adults I know - that is, once you point your camera at them, they make a face (they won't describe it as making a face, but that's what it is). So to make him to change his expression to something more natural, I had to tell him something funny, which was "nobody expects the spanish inquisition!", and produced desired effect

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Lensbaby The Composer for Canon EF mount Digital SLR Cameras

Sunday, August 01, 2010

red and black

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another color block picture, red and black this time.

this one is from last year, I was just thinking that the weather is too gray at the moment to go to pick-your-own. but we'll probably go there soon anyway - Timur likes jelly and so far blackberry jelly's his favorite.

He decided to try something new a few weeks back and asked to make orange jelly in orange skins - the idea picked from Canaries, where they had lemon and orange sorbet this way. To my surprise, jelly did set (somehow I was sure some weird chemical reaction will prevent setting), but it wasn't great success. so I figure we should go back to old favorite.