Saturday, February 28, 2009


I'm constantly trying to take good pictures of birds, especially in flight. Unfortunately, I don't have a good camera for doing this. Tough to get good wildlife pictures with an average point-and-shoot camera, unless the wildlife is motionless, in perfect light, and let's me get real close to it. And I have a tripod at the time. So what happens is I end up with a hard drive full of mediocre-to-bad photos of birds. Sometimes I leave them alone and never really go back to them, and sometimes I try and make them a little bit better in some way. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.

I took some pictures of crows this week at work, and tried to at least do something interesting with what were otherwise pretty poor quality shots.

I haven't decided if I like the outcome or not. But I guess I don't hate it. Yet.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

This cracked me up

I love creative people.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Flight of the Perroquet

Perroquet (named for the member of the parrot family that is the subject of the photos) was an exhibit that ran in late 2008 in Europe. I came across these images on one site, and found the source here.

As much as I am absolutely opposed to any birds being held in captivity (unless there are simply no alternatives), I found these images to be too visually striking to not share.

If you follow the link to where these images came from, you can read about why and how the artist did this, as well as see some more pictures, and 8 short slow-motion videos of the perroquet flying by. The videos are really fascinating if you have any interest in birds, as you get a chance to really see details in how the perroquet flies, thanks to special high-speed cameras that were used.

Though I don't consider myself to be a "bird-watcher" in the classical sense, in truth I could happily sit for hours and do just that - watch birds. So for me, these pictures and videos are the perfect way to really be able to study a bird in flight.


Pic 1

Pic 2
Pic 3
Pic 4

Friday, February 20, 2009

A blog by any other name...

I've just changed the name of my blog for the second time, and most certainly not the last. Probably not the best way to accumulate readers, but then, that's not really my intent here, as nice as it would be to have hundreds of followers.

So I thought I'd just keep a running list of the names I've used. When I first started this one, I called it "Life as I know it (is probably about to change)". I liked that one, and it felt true (still does), but I also started noticing how many other variations of that theme there are (not at all surprisingly). A lot of "The world as I see it" and "The world according to..." and titles like that. And I like being just a little bit different than the masses (which begs the question, "why did I start a blog then?") So I decided to change mine to "Because I'm not you (that's why)", which I also liked and still like, but it also seems a bit...harsh, or something. Which wasn't my intent. My initial thought about it was that it was the perfect answer to anyone who read my blog and thought "Why did he...?".

So now I'm changing it again. This new one that I'm using - "Inside my head (in words and pictures)" - seems fine for now, but I can already tell I'll get bored of it eventually.

The need to change the name of the blog from time-to-time might have something to do with my recently self-diagnosed ADD, but that's a post for another time. For now, I'll just feel free to change the name occasionally, and I'll hope it doesn't confuse those few of you that visit here once in a while.

3/23/09: Just changed the name again to "Picture Window - a glimpse into my world". I like this one a lot, and think I'll keep it for a while.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A truly rare moment, captured

One of the sites that I like to visit for great photography is It usually takes only a minute to find a photo that makes me turn green with envy. I wish that I had the equipment and the talent to take incredible photos. One day I will, but for now I admire the works of others and daydream.

I was browsing the site today and came across this image, which I was going to just use as my desktop wallpaper, until I read the story behind the photo. If you know me at all, you'll probably realize that I am now INSANELY jealous of the photographer. You'll see why when you read the story she posted about how she got this shot (posted below the image).


by Elin Torger

The story behind this photo:

The summer 2008 I met a little fox in the woods.....

I went out to photograph flowers...I was in the middle of the forest among the pine needles and leaves and flowers...and mosquitoes...the sun was coming was a little chilly...

"Bang!"...what was that...? "Bang!" was branches and cones, which fell down from the trees...I thought it sounded like hoof steps...

"Cough!?...?Sneezy!?...What was this? I turned around ... and find to my surprise, a little red was coughing...maby either it was cold, or allergic..;)

?Typical...?...I thought...?I don`t have my zoom lens with me...?

I started to approach the little fox jumped all around...back and forth ...back and forth...
Finally...after maybe fifteen minutes, he sat down...
I approached sudden movements... slowly...

There I front of the little fox...eye to eye, for maybe a half meter from it, with my Tamron 90 mm...without a bad light...mosquitoes all over.....

Each time the sharpness locked on the camera and it clicked...the little fox leaned his head...:))

There he small and sweet and red.....:)

If you click on the title of the picture (Vigilant), it will take you to the page that this picture is posted on. If you enjoy it, leave her a comment.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This matters a lot to me

If it matters to you as well, I encourage you to visit their website.

Tom’s Story: A Gentle Giant

With gray hair, a freckled face, and a large body, Tom is a likeable fellow. His caregivers describe him as a gentle giant, and say that he is likely to remind you of a dear old uncle.

Born in Africa, Tom was ripped from his family and spent 30 years in labs where he was infected with HIV. He endured over 369 knockdowns, 56 punch liver biopsies, one open liver wedge biopsy, and three lymph node and three bone marrow biopsies. In the lab, Tom was plagued by intestinal parasites, and often had diarrhea and no appetite. When he had strength, he banged constantly on his cage.

Today, Tom lives at Fauna Foundation, but is limited in the social skills necessary to be a part of a group - skills he would have learned from his mother and family in Africa. Instead, he lived alone in barren laboratory cages with little opportunity to be a real chimpanzee among his own kind. However, Tom’s social skills have greatly improved, and he spends time during his days with one or two chimpanzee friends at a time, including Jethro.

(Tom's Story is located at this site:

Photoshop for those without computers

(image from

Friday, February 13, 2009


Koala love story wins hearts after deadly fires

CANBERRA (Reuters) – A love story between two badly burned koalas rescued from Australia's deadliest bushfires has provided some heart-warming relief after days of devastation and the loss of over 180 lives.

The story of Sam and her new boyfriend Bob emerged after volunteer firefighter Dave Tree used a mobile phone to film the rescue of the bewildered female found cowering in a burned out forest at Mirboo North, 150 km (90 miles) southeast of Melbourne.

Photos and a video of Tree, 44, approaching Sam while talking gently to her, and feeding her water from a plastic bottle as she put her burned claw in his cold, wet hand quickly hit video sharing website YouTube (, making her an Internet sensation.

But it was after reaching a wildlife shelter that Sam met and befriended Bob, who was saved by wildlife workers on Friday, two days before Sam, in Boolarra, about 180 km from Melbourne.

Tree, who has been a volunteer firefighter for 26 years, said it was extremely rare to get so close to a koala so he asked his colleague Brayden Groen, 20, to film him.

"You can how she stops and moves forward and looks at me. It was like a look saying "I can't run, I'm weak and sore, put me out of my misery,"" Tree told Reuters.

"I yelled out for some water and I sat down with her and tipped the water up. It was in my hand and she reached for the bottle then put her right claw into my left hand which was cold so it must have given her some pain relief and she just left it there. It was just amazing."


Sam was taken to the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter in Rawson. Her story was reminiscent of a koala named Lucky who survived the 2003 bushfires that destroyed about 500 homes and killed four people in the capital of Canberra. Lucky became a symbol of hope.

Colleen Wood from the Southern Ash Wildlife Shelter that is caring for Sam and Bob said both koalas were doing well while other animals like possums, kangaroos, and wallabies were also starting to emerge from the debris.

She said Sam had suffered second degree burns to her paws and would take seven to eight months to recover while Bob had three burned paws with third degree burns and should be well enough to return to the bush in about four months.

"They keep putting their arms around each other and giving each other hugs. They really have made friends and it is quite beautiful to see after all this. It's been horrific," said Wood.

"Sam is probably aged between two to four going by her teeth and Bob is about four so they have a muchness with each other."

Wood said about 20 koalas had been brought into her shelter in recent days, several of whom had bonded as koalas are known to clump together, but none had garnered the same attention as the new Internet star Sam.

Tree, a volunteer with the Country Fire Authority Victoria, has visited Sam since her rescue and was delighted to see she had found a boyfriend in Bob.

"They've really taken a shine to each other as they are both burned and share the same burned smell," he said.

"My heart goes out to the people in these fires and this was so innocent so people have used this to distract them from all the sad stuff that has gone on. It gives people a bit of hope."

Donations for bushfire support can be made to the Country Fire Authority Victoria via their website at

Monday, February 9, 2009

Indeed, it is.

(This image, and the images in the next three posts below were all found at

All you'll ever need

Love Song

After the poker game

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kellog: Droppin' it like it's pot

So I just saw that Kellog, famous maker of cereals and snacks, has decided not to renew their contract with Olympic medalist Michael Phelps (the contract expires at the end of the month), citing as their sole reason the picture of him smoking pot that recently surfaced.

I have some problems with this. The other day I saw that another of his sponsors, one that makes watches, I think, stated for the record that they saw no connection between the picture of Phelps that surfaced and his contract with them, and that they were proud to have him on board with their company. I thought that was classy.

Kellog, on the other hand, is being cowardly. But the truth is, I can't blame them entirely. Because as far as I'm concerned, this whole country is cowardly. I don't know anyone at Kellog, so I can't really say where they stand on the issue as individuals. And as a company, they have shareholders to answer to, as well as a very vocal and conservative public to deal with, even if all of the noise is being made by a minority of the population. So yeah, I guess in that sense, I understand Kellog doing what they did. Yet I still disagree.

If they had kept Phelps on, would it have hurt their sales in a measurable amount? I can't imagine it would. But then, I've often been surprised at how the ultra-conservative can hold the rest of the country hostage with their strict ideals.

The thing about pot is, it's not bad. I know it's illegal, but really, it shouldn't be. Not if alcohol is legal. Alcohol is actually much worse than pot. Give me a room full of pot-heads over drunks any day. I mean, if we are to look at stereotypes, what are drunks known for? Starting fights, being rowdy, talking excessively loud (I'm especially bad with that one), falling, knocking things over, etc. Pot-heads, on the other hand, are known for watching TV, playing video games, and eating tons of snack food (that's right Kellog, you may have just offended one of your bigger customer bases). And clearly, it doesn't have to impede your progress towards setting or reaching your goals, as Phelps has proven.

Pot doesn't make you waste your life away anymore than listening to Marilyn Manson makes you turn to murder or suicide. The folks who are going to do that stuff, they're going to do it with or without pot, or Marilyn Manson. And pot doesn't lead to harder drugs. The ones who turn to harder drugs, they were going there anyway. In fact, so many normal, everyday, upstanding citizens smoke pot that it's almost impossible to not start there if you're intent on doing drugs. But if all you want is pot, you won't find yourself reaching for the needle.

The thing about the ultra-conservative base is, they're really a small group, but they've got everyone convinced that their numbers are massive, and through this false reality they keep companies like Kellog in line. Kellog, you had a chance to stand up to the ridiculous right, and you chickened out. Shame on you.

But there's one more angle to this whole thing, and it has to do with the boom in technology which has completely decimated a person's right to privacy. Phelps was in his off-season, with literally weeks and weeks and weeks of nothing to do, and he was blowing off a little steam, being a 23 year old guy. But some douche bag had to post pictures of Phelps enjoying himself at a private party, and now because of that, Phelps is losing out on what was probably a lot of money. All for what? So kellog can woo the religious right some more? It's all bullshit. These public stances that are made in the name of purity and goodness, they don't usually fall in line with the general public, they bow down to the extremists. And I'm tired of it. If more companies and organizations and groups said enough is enough to those ultra conservatives, and saw that there really was no backlash other than some temporary shouting in the headlines, we could eventually be free of these ridiculous restraints. But Kellog won't be in the front of that rally.

Well guess what kellog, the next time I smoke pot, it won't be massive amounts of your cereals that I eat. But I might buy a bunch of watches.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stunning Photography

Last night, I came across the work of a photographer who has taken some amazing shots of wild animals in Africa, and especially in East Africa. The artist's name is Nick Brandt, and his stuff is so good, I want to share it with you. If you like the samples I've shown here, I would urge you to visit his site, where you can see more of his photos. Here he is in his own words, explaining his work:
Few photographers have ever considered the photography of wild animals, as distinctly opposed to the genre of Wildlife Photography, as an art form. The emphasis has generally been on capturing the drama of wild animals IN ACTION, on capturing that dramatic single moment, as opposed to simply animals in the state of being.

I’ve always thought this something of a wasted opportunity. The wild animals of Africa lend themselves to photographs that extend aesthetically beyond the norm of 35mm-color telephoto wildlife photography. And so it is, that in my own way, I would like to yank the subject matter of wildlife into the arena of fine art photography. To take photographs that transcend what has been a largely documentative genre.

Aside from using certain impractical photographic techniques, there’s one thing I do whilst shooting that I believe makes a big difference :
I get extremely clo
se to these very wild animals, often within a few feet of them. I don’t use telephoto lenses. This is because I want to see as much of the sky and landscape as possible--to see the animals within the context of their environment. That way, the photos become as much about the atmosphere of the place as the animals. And being that close to the animals, I get a real sense of intimate connection to them, to the specific animal in front of me. Sometimes a deliberate feeling that they’re almost presenting themselves for a studio portrait.

Why the animals of Africa in particular? And more particularly still, East Africa? There is perhaps something more profoundly iconic, mythical, mythological even, about the animals of East Africa, as opposed to say, the Arctic or South America. There is also something deeply, emotionally stirring and affecting about the plains of Africa – the vast green rolling plains punctuated by the graphically perfect acacia trees.

My images are unashamedly idyllic and romantic, a kind of enchanted Africa.

They’re my el
egy to a world that is steadily, tragically vanishing.

Nick Brandt
April 2004