Monday 29 February 2016

Though a leaf

Just a quick post today.  This is my response to a 52 Frames theme of Patterns.  This is a leaf taken with transited light - i.e. I stuck it to a window!

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday and I love Macro

Friday 26 February 2016

Clouds over the south end

No prizes for guessing where this is - these mountains are a little like me at present - 'under the weather'!  I going back to bed!

Just glad I was not sick on Lord Howe!

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 24 February 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 187 - Black-winged Petrel

These were a really challenging bird to photograph - thankfully my family are used to me wandering off in search of bird pictures, even if this time they did abandon me and ride off on their bikes in search of food!

These are Black-winged Petrels (Pterodroma nigripennis), a fast flying bird about 28-30 cm long.  And like most petrels, they are very acrobatic flyers, making them very difficult to follow in flight.  Added to that is that when they do land on the ground, it tends to be half way but a cliff!

These birds were zooming (a technical term) around the cliffs where they nest on Neds Beach on Lord Howe.  Although I did not realise it fully at the time, this is a bird with another great migration story.

In Australia they only breed on a couple of islands off the east coast, Lord Howe being one of them.  In our winter these birds are found in north central Pacific from Japan to Hawaii and coastal central America.  Thats impressive.

Now it's over to you to join in - click the blue button and off you go.  SM

Monday 22 February 2016

The first hint of autumn?

It seems that the mornings are darker when I get up than they were a few week ago, there are Little Corellas eating the fruit and seed pods in the street trees and there could be just a hint of colour in the leaves.  Summer may not have had its last dice throw quite yet, but autumn is on its way.

I found these Little Corellas feeding in the street trees in my local streets this weekend - and much to my surprise they were still there when I got back with the camera.

You can can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 21 February 2016

Golden Orb Web Spider

I suspect this may not be my most popular post ever!

This is an Golden Orb Web Spider - and it is as large as it looks!  The body is about the size of a normal grape - and they were reasonably common on Lord Howe.  Thankfully, most of the paths on the island are walked often enough that you don't encounter these at face height when walking!  (Trust me, I was thankful for that!)

You can find more macro shots at Macro Monday and I love Macro

Thursday 18 February 2016

Fish on Friday

Fish on a Friday is a bit of a tradition I suppose - although I think it's more likely to be on a Thursday in this house, and then not accompanied by chips! (Shame!)

I have posted about the fish you can feed at Neds Beach on Lord Howe before, but these are a set of pictures I really like.  The blue fish is a Blue Fish - Girella cyanea - and what a great looking fish it is.
I like the abstract feel of these pictures.

The grey fish around the Blue Fish are mullet of some sort.

You can find more pictures of animals from around the world over at Saturday Critters.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 186 - Ruddy Turnstones

These birds are Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) another bird the breeds in the high Arctic but spends the summer in Australia.  I am always impressed by this kind of migration - but when it involves flying to an island as small as Lord Howe I become even more impressed.

These birds were feeding on a bed of algae that had been exposed at low tide - so I suppose these could technically be called Turnfronds as they were not turning stones at all.  The light was stunningly bright, which may explain why the birds do not look that 'Ruddy' - although they are clearly not in their full breeding plumage either.

I dont think these are the best images I have made, but I can't help but like the inquisitive looks on the birds faces as the peek under the algae looking for food.

Now it's over to you to join in - click the blue button and off you go.  SM

Monday 15 February 2016

Sydney Architecture

During a walk down to the water front in Sydney these buildings caught my eye - rather different in style I think.  Later in the walk we passed the Ian Thorpe Swimming Centre.

Later that afternoon I saw these layers of buildings while walking on the harbour bridge.  I have never seen more 'box like' dwellings anywhere!  It seems many of these units were empty - maybe people like curves!  Although what first caught my eye were the three styles of building in the view.

You can can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 14 February 2016

Numbers at the Museum

During out time in Sydney we went to the Australian National Maritime Museum - which, appropriately enough, is right on the harbour.  It was remarkable - if a little poorly - experience to walk around inside an actual submarine.  I don't know how people could live in those tiny spaces for weeks on end.

What seems to have caught my eye were the numbers that were painted on the ships (and a helicopter!).  At times I really dot understand my own 'photographic eye'!

You can find more macro shots (if this is what these are) at Macro Monday and I love Macro

Friday 12 February 2016

Over and Under

Just to prove I take picture at places other than Lord Howe Island - here are a couple of images from Sydney harbour.

The bridge and the opera house are justifiably famous - and I was keen to see if could get some images that I did not feel like I had seen them before.

The light cooperated, which is always nice.  The clown face in the second picture is the entrance to a 'old fashioned' park called Luna Park - in its own way it's as much of an icon as the rather more well known harbour features.

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 185 - Little Curlew

One of the things that I think is really important as a bird watcher is to understand that rare things are rare!  As a result you don't see them very often, and most of the time, when you think you do see something rare, it turns out that it's not.  Learn to identify the common stuff is what people said - and by and large that is what I have done.  And I think it's served me well.

That was until I saw this bird.  I was happily photographing some Pacific Golden Plovers when I bird with a long (ish) curved beak walked out of some cover.  Knowing that the beak was too short to be an Eastern Curlew, I though 'Whimbrel' - nice!  I took some shots and the bird wandered back into cover.  Looking at the pictures on the camera, I though they lacked a bit of zap or colour, so I went back to the Plovers.

A couple of weeks later, back at home, I was looking at the 'Whimbrel' pictures for a WBW post - and thought 'That beak really is very much too short, even for a Whimbrel'.  So, I did some checking and got some second opinions - and the bird turns into a Little Curlew (Numenius minutus) which was a first for me!  Not only that, a day or so later I find out it's only the 10th record ever for Lord Howe!

So, while I don't see rare things all the time, it seems that sometimes I do!

Looking at the pictures now, I'm surprised that I did not notice how relatively short the beak was when I saw the bird in the feather - clearly I need to pay more attention!

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Shift Change - Darling Harbour

We were sitting in Darling Harbour planning what to do next, when I noticed this group of workers from a nearby building site walking towards us.  I assume that their shift had just ended and that they were on the way home.  I rather liked the 'high vis' yellow as a contrast to the clothes the other people are wearing.

You can can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Sunday 7 February 2016

Sydney Plant Wall.

We stayed in Sydney for a few days in early January - this was the first time I had been in Sydney for anything other than work.  Although it was stinking hot, I rather enjoyed it.

As we were walking out for a day of typical tourist fare, I found this wall covered in plants - I had read about these 'vertical gardens' before, but never had a close look at one.  I really liked this combination of colours and textures.

You can find more macro shots (if this is what these are) at Macro Monday and I love Macro

52 Frames - Week 6 - Levitation - "Levitation 50"

This weeks 52Frames challenge was 'Levitation'.  There was a good deal of talk on the FB page about Photoshop merging methods and such like - also many tips on how to make object float with fishing line and then how to clone out the line.

I am not a purist by any means, but I do tend to take images that are not staged - and I was not keen to take an image that relied almost entirely on post camera manipulation for the desired effect.

So, I tried to think of a situation where a high shutter speed capture of an object would give (at least some) illusion of levitation.  A dart about to hit a dart board came to mind.

I must have taken the best part of 300 to get this image as there were lots of variable that could mess the picture up, with picture taken at wrong time and the dart being well out of focus being the two most obvious.  In the end I ended up with lots of pictures of a bare dart board, and lots of pictures of a dart board with a dart already in it.

But persistence payed off!

What do you think?  SM

Friday 5 February 2016

Coming in to land

Another phone shot today.  This one was taken through the window of a plane just to add layers to the quality!  Still crazy busy - so please be patient on the comments front!

You can find more shots of the sky at SkyWatch Friday.  SM

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 184 - Sooty Tern

I have a great deal happening here today - so I am just going to put up a gallery of images of Sooty Terns (Sterna fuscata) and let them do the talking.

As has been the case for a while these images were taken on Lord Howe Island.  The small chicks were taken in mid-novemeber and the larger immature birds in the second week of January.  Even my kids don't grow that fast!

Now it's over to you to join in - click the blue button and off you go.  SM