Archive for March 2012

Black Stare   12 comments

Sea gull, gull, seagull, black eyes, eyes, bird, sea, beak



Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix   2 comments

Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix, Arizona, puppets, Chinese

The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona offers a huge array of handcrafted instruments from around the world. The instruments are largely arranged in geographic exhibits including Africa/Middle East, Asia/Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean,  United States/Canada, and Europe. The figures above are puppets from the Chinese exhibit. The puppets were  part of a larger setting which included some massive tubular drums.

As part of the tour, each visitor gets a set of wireless headphones which activate as the visitor approaches an exhibit so you not only get to view the instruments, but you get to hear them too. It’s a very engaging experience. You can easily spend hours engrossed in the exhibits. Once you’ve seen and heard your fill, you can go down to the Experience Gallery where you can try out a small selection of the instruments for yourself. It’s mostly percussion instruments in this gallery, so you might brace yourself for the cacophony of enthusiastic drumming from a crowded room.

After the Experience Gallery and just before closing, we stopped in Artist Gallery where you can hear the music and see the instruments (and sometimes the clothes) of iconic musicians from Elvis and Lennon to Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana.

If you’re ever in the Phoenix area and even the slightest interest in music, you’ll love the MIM.

Revisiting Texture   7 comments

Salt Spring Island, sailing, sail boat, Strait of Georgia, gulf islands, southern gulf islands, British Columbia, west coast, coast, islands, boat, BC Ferries, sunset, sunrise

Sorry folks, but I’ve been off skiing at Sunshine Village in Banff National Park where they’ve had 9m(!) of snow this year. I even took a break from photography and left my camera at home.

For my first day back from vacation, rather than working on this blog, I worked on a post for Digital Darkroom Techniques (DDT). If you’re curious how I do textures in my images (like the one above), pop on over to DDT for a look. If you have suggestions on how to approach textures differently, I’d love to hear from you.

Since I have no new pictures (did I mention I’ve been skiing without my camera?), I’ve pulled an image from my Salt Spring Island archives to do a little texture work. While the base image is old, the textures are new and I’m sharing if you’re interested. When I was recently in Arizona, we visited the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix. At the MIM, they have an extraordinary collection of drums and I shot almost every one of them for my texture collection. I’ve shared nine of them in my post on DDT just in case you want to add them to your collection.

So Long Duff   13 comments

Cairn Terrier, Pet, Pet Photography, dog, little dog

This week, after many happy years, Duffy (aka Duff, Duff-Duff, Duffers, Duff-man, Duffy-dog) passed on. Duffy is my in-laws’ Cairn terrier. He was a friendly, playful, loyal little dog who loved being part of the action (especially in the kitchen). He loved going for walks and was very protective of his territory (that little guy could ration out little sprays of pee for miles!). He was a much bigger dog in his imagination than in reality. He barked with authority at the really big dogs on the street (as long as they were behind a fence, and even sometimes when they weren’t).

While he was a pretty, easy-going dog, sometimes he had a whole lot of stubborn in him. Once, while on a walk he grew a bit tired and lay down without warning. My mother-in-law didn’t notice and started dragging him along. He still wouldn’t stand up. Now, that’s stubborn! And when he was stubborn, he did what he wanted, when he wanted.

He was the big dog, in charge of his little pack. He leaves behind the younger and feistier Rascal (aka Razzy, Raz-Ma-Taz, Razzle-Dazzle). The house is sure going to seem quiet without him. So long Duffy.

Cairn Terrier, Pet, Pet Photography, dog, little dog

Too Far Off The Rails   4 comments

Magpie Goose, goose, Mamukala Wetlands, Kakadu, Northern Territory, Australia, flying,

Okay, so apparently yesterday’s image wasn’t to everyone’s taste… bit too far off the rails? Hopefully, this one wins you back a bit!

This is a Magpie Goose flying over the Mamukala Wetlands in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. For bird enthusiasts, Kakadu is a spectacular destination. The isolation, the greenery, the warmth, the abundant water all make it prime territory for a wide variety of birds.

Places like this one are quiet (except for the occasional bus load of tourists) with lots of bird watching opportunities. Further south, in the thick of the park, there are cruises out on the water ways that will tire out your trigger finger with the number of birds in residence.


Coming In For a Landing   4 comments

I’ve had this picture for a long time. I originally didn’t care for it. In fact, I cared so little for it that I don’t even have the original image. I cropped it this way a few years ago.

Coming back to this shot today, I found that I actually like the movement, the shape of the bird, its foot out and ready to land, the head turned away as if it has been distracted at the last moment. It is, by no means, a sharp, beautifully focused picture of a bird straight out of a bird book, but I think I like it better this way.

Going In For The Kill   12 comments

owl, panning, flying, flight, wings

This owl clearly has his eye on a target as I followed his flight with this panning shot.