March 2013 Archives

Another Intimate Landscape

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(click to enlarge) There's something both spare and rich about this image.

Pretty Parasitism

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(click to enlarge) Spanish moss growing on a southern live oak tree in Brevard County Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, Florida. I think this is a pretty good example of Eliot Porter's concept of "intimate landscapes".


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This view of Spanish moss from the Brevard Enchanted Forest seemed interesting when I took it, but it's not very interesting now: too bright and straightforward to capture the mood.

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Some post-processing --- converting to fairly contrasty black and white, adding a slight blue tone, and imposing a dark vignette -- does a better job of capturing the feeling.

Spanish Moss and Palmettos

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary in Brevard County, Florida near Kennedy Space Center.

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(click to enlarge)

Abstract Design in Nature

The last of our photos from the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area in Florida. Click photos to enlarge them.





Another example of the effect of the mysteriously named "TB83 Tone Curve Smoke 2" preset from Essential Development Toolbox. Fun!


The original.



Some photos come from the camera just sort of blah - flat and not particularly interesting.


Reducing exposure in Lightroom by 2/3 of a stop, and adding some vignette, improves things.


Then I explored some presets I had downloaded a while ago, but had ignored until now. What a surprise when I tried this one!

Straight and Bent

Tosohatchee WMA in east-central Florida. Click photos to enlarge them.



Palmetto Thermodynamics

The Second Law of thermodynamics in action: from order to disorder. In the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area, Florida. Click photos to enlarge them.



Intimate Landscapes

Eliot Porter, the great photographer of nature in color, coined the term "intimate landscapes" to signify that not all nature photographs have to be grandiose landscapes. Porter's aesthetic is one that greatly appeals to me, and I approached my Florida photography with that view in mind. Here are a couple of examples.

It's remarkable how colorful a scene can be with only greens and browns.

Click photos to enlarge them.



Golden Glows

In the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. Click photos to enlarge them.




Trees in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area in east-central Florida. Click photos to enlarge them.



Tosohatchee Vista

The vegetation in the Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area in east-central Florida is very dense, and most of my photos reflect that. However, this one emphasizes a different view: very flat terrain, straight widely spaced trees, colorful understory, and a vivid sky. (click to enlarge)


Florida Critters

In February we spent a week in Florida. While my wife was at her conference, I took a couple of days to photograph in two of the nature preserves near Orlando. Click photos to enlarge them.


A turkey vulture in Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area. Wikipedia: "This vulture is often seen standing in a spread-winged stance. The stance is believed to serve multiple functions: drying the wings, warming the body, and baking off bacteria."

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An armadillo rooting for insects and grubs in the Brevard County Enchanted Forest Sanctuary, not far from the Kennedy Space Center.

Portland Streetscapes

Afternoon sun and shadows on building fronts and scaffolding in Portland's Old Town Chinatown district. Click photos to enlarge them.





Some craftsmen/vendors in their booths at the Portland Saturday Market. Click photos to enlarge them.





Portland Saturday Market

We were in Portland, Oregon last week, and spent some time at the Portland Saturday Market craft and food fair. Here are a couple of photos of people in the crowd.

Click photos to enlarge them.



Monkey in Mount Popa Temple

January 15 (part 5): This is the last photo from our trip to Myanmar, of one of the monkeys who live in the temple that celebrates Nats as well as the Buddha. Perhaps the image exemplifies the mix of naturalism and otherworldliness that permeates this fascinating country. Or maybe it's just plain cute.

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January 15 (part 4): Near Mount Popa is a temple dedicated to Nats, "spirits worshipped in Burma (or Myanmar) in conjunction with Buddhism. They are divided between the 37 Great Nats and all the rest (i.e., spirits of trees, water, etc.). Almost all of the 37 Great Nats were human beings who met violent deaths" (Wikipedia). The statues have a distinctly worldly and raffish air, as if acknowledging the less-than-pious aspects of human existence.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Mount Popa

According to Wikipedia, Mount Popa "is a volcano 1518 metres (4981 feet) above sea level, and located in central Burma (Myanmar) about 50 km (31 mi) southeast of Bagan... Mount Popa is perhaps best known for the nearby stunningly picturesque Popa Taungkalat monastery atop an outcrop [volcanic plug]. The Popa Taungkalat (Taung Kalat) Shrine is home to 37 Mahagiri Nats, or spirits." It's an amazing sight.

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(click to enlarge)

Toddy-Palm Plantation

January 15 (part 2): We stopped at a toddy-palm plantation, where they convert the palm sap into alcohol. There were a variety of tourist-attracting scenes at the distillery.

Click photos to enlarge them.

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Two young monks

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Ox-powered water pump

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Concentrating the syrup by boiling

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Pictures of Aung San Suu Kyi and her father, among the few we saw on this trip

Great Tree in Bagan

January 15 (part 1): Our last day in Myanmar. The resort hotel where we were staying had two magnificent trees - tamarind, I think. Here's a portrait of one of them (click to enlarge).

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January 14 (Part 8): Within the grounds of the Ananda Temple in Bagan is the Ananda Oakkyaung Monastery, a small brick building. The inner walls are covered with paintings that are now under extensive restoration.

Click photos to enlarge them.




The outside needs touching up, also.

Ananda Temple in Bagan

January 14 (part 7) The Ananda Temple has been called "the finest, largest, best preserved, and most revered of the Bagan temples." Here are two of the four 9.5-metre standing statues representing the four Buddhas who have attained nirvana, plus one attendant.

Click photos to enlarge them.




Making Lacquerware

January 14 (part 6): A small "factory" in Bagan where they make lacquerware - all tedious handwork. The fellow in the first photo, with the wonderful moustache, explained the overall process. Click photos to enlarge them.





Woman with Neck Rings

The women of the Kayan Lahwi people (sometimes called Padaung) are perhaps the best known of the ethnic minorities in Myanmar. She was weaving near a temple in Bagan.

(click to enlarge)


A Brick Temple in Bagan

January 14 (part 4): Htilominlo Temple in Bagan. Click photos to enlarge them.


The basic building blocks of the temples in Bagan are bricks - sometimes shaped as tiles, sometimes just blocks. The most important temples are usually covered with smooth plaster and then gold leaf, but the massive, imposing Htilominlo Temple is unadorned.


Somehow, every statue of the Buddha is different - in pose, in expression, in surroundings.


This and many other temples were adorned with frescoes, most of which have been effaced or worn away. Occasionally some lovely fragments remain.

Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar

January 14 (part 3) Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan "was built as the most important reliquary shrine in Bagan, a centre of prayer and reflection for the new Theravada faith King Anawarahta had established in Bagan." It's rich and beautiful.

Click photos to enlarge them.




Bagan Temple Scenes

January 14 (part 2): More photos from Bagan temples. Click photos to enlarge them.


An unusual silver and gold Buddha statue, striking in its colors, its mood of peace, and its shawl.


Elegance animate and inanimate.

Bagan Temples

This is the classic view over the plains of Bagan, showing hundreds of temples and pagodas as far as the eye can see. (click to enlarge)


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