Thoughts on teaching, technology, learning and life in an era of change.

Archive for the ‘ Photography ’ Category

Battle of Thermopylae 480BC
December 15th, 2008

View larger image

This is an ancient aerial photograph taken just before the final stages of the historic Battle of Thermopylae between the Greeks and the Persians in 480BC. The image was taken by Anna Chronism. The Greek forces were courageously led by Leonidas. The troops are camped by one of the ancient walls of the pass. To the right the traitor Ephialtes can be seen.

How was this post created? The original photograph was taken using a digital camera. Mt Faber, Singapore, 2003. The ants were building a wall of sorts prior to a storm on a step on a path. Were they intending to funnel water towards or away from their nest I wonder? Why were they building a wall? Was the impending storm their version of an invading Persian force? I imported the photograph into Comic Life. The cartoon elements were added. I exported the project as an image. Opened it in Photoshop Elements and saved the image for the web. Large and small.

Two memorable moments
December 14th, 2008

I have a couple of favourite photographs. Both taken with a 3 megapixel Sony digital camera about eight years ago. Thought I would write a little about each. The first is of an spider that I managed to photograph in Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Singapore back in 2000. It was hot and humid. I was there with some colleagues who were photographing some of the flora and fauna for a CD-ROM on mangrove environments.

View Larger Map

Location of Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve in Singapore.

I decided to see how close I could get to this particular spider. I made my way into the undergrowth and crouched down upon the wet damp leaves. I held the camera in both hands and using a simple macro setting eased the lens closer to the spider until it seemed to be in focus. I took the photograph. It is shown below. The spider is a little out of focus. She was busily repairing the web. [I think the spider is female as it lacks tarsal bulbs on its pedipalps]. She seems to have lost one of her legs. View large photograph.

The other was photograph was also taken in a mangrove. This time in Indonesia. My wife and I had taken a holiday in Bintan to get away from Singapore. While we were there we were given an escorted boat ride into a nearby mangrove and I took a number of photographs with the same Sony camera. While we floated along we came across a part of the mangroves where a large number of mangrove snakes were lying on the branches above and alongside the waterway. This species of snake is widespread and is also referred to as a cat snake.

View Larger Map

Location of mangroves in Bintan, Indonesia.

I asked our guide if we could stop so that I could take a photograph. The little boat paused. I grabbed my camera, gently stood up and pointed the camera towards the snake. The boat was swaying to and fro a little. I grabbed a branch with one hand and held the camera with the other. The branch I held is in the left of the photograph. As I grabbed the branch and took that photograph the snake turned to look directly at me. I quickly sat down and the guide backed the little boat out of there. He was worried that I might be bitten or the snake may drop into the boat. View large photograph.

The image is blurred. I did not have the time to focus. Still like the photograph though. I was close. Probably too close. I have been back to those mangroves, with my wife Shao Ping and my nephew Adrian.

Do you have a similar memorable moment captured on camera that you would like to share?

Interplanetary emoticon, part two :(
December 2nd, 2008

Moon, Venus and Jupiter. December 1st, 2008.
Photograph by Facundo A. Fernández.
Some rights reserved via a Creative Commons Licence.

Last night an alignment of the Moon, Jupiter and Venus created an interplanetary smiley emoticon. The weather was quite overcast last night and I was unable to take any photographs like the one taken by Facundo A. Fernández above.

However, this evening the sky was a little clearer. Out three astronomical neighbours were visible although the smiley emoticon has been replaced by a scowl.

Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. December 2nd, 2008. View large image.

Celebrations for Sungei Buloh
December 1st, 2008

Mudskipper. July 2008.

The Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve is celebrating its 15th anniversary. My friend Siva has blogged about the forthcoming event as well as a related photography exhibition and book launch.

Sungei Buloh is a great place to visit in order to escape from the hectic life of the city of Singapore. You were never sure what you may see when you visited. Over the years I have seen otters, Malayan Water Monitors, mudskippers, tree-climbing crabs, macaques, snakes, spiders and so on. Of course there is a rich variety of mangrove species as well.

Well, to share in the celebration I thought I would share some of the photographs I have taken at the reserve over the years…

Rain storm. January 3rd, 2003.

View from the tower

A view of the mangroves. April 12th, 2003.

Mangrove Pit Viper. 26th October 2003.

During my stay in Singapore I also helped out with the International Coastal Cleanup event at Sungei Buloh. I took photographs of the event and captured video. Galleries of those photographs can be found at the official site for the International Coastal Cleanup Singapore. Gallery 2001. Gallery 2003.

Happy Anniversary Sungei Buloh!

Evening clouds
December 1st, 2008

Evening Clouds 1

Late this afternoon, as the evening approached I went outside to see check the extent of the cloud cover in the western sky. I was hoping to photograph an interesting astronomical alignment of the moon, Jupiter and Venus. As I write this I am still hoping.

Evening Clouds 2

Anyway, the sun was setting and the I felt the sky looked quite spectacular. There had been some brief showers that afternoon. I grabbed my camera and took a few photographs. I noticed that the light from the sun was bending through the icy clouds generating some nice prism like effects. Hope you enjoy them.

Evening Clouds 3

Thought I might add this photograph I took of a sunset a few weeks back.

Sunset over the Illawarra