jungle warfare


A shot from a while back - an untold story - in an unknown jungle.

camouflage & concealment

I remember the seven basic rules of camouflage and concealment from my Royal Marine Commando training; shape, shine, shadow, silhouette, surface, spacing, movement. When I was stalking around this pond looking to take photos of these frogs I noticed that they had learnt all the rules and were hard to spot, but this one moved so he was easy to see. "Hey frog you forgot the last rule, if were a Spetsnaz you would be dead now, and so would all your oppos too, you are not only letting yourself down you are letting all the other frogs down too! Swim around the pond five times and then give me 50 press-ups, of hop-ups, or whatever it is you frogs do…"

Hmm I suppose the “Spetsnaz” reference really dates my military training eh. I wonder what today’s sergeants shout at recruits who forget rules?

flower

I am not sure what kind of flower this is, but I like it, especially the colour. As seen today at the RGB (Royal Botanical Gardens) in Hamilton.

couldn’t help it

So I went to Henry’s just to look at the Nikon D5100 not to really buy it, but when I saw it I could not resist! She here it is along with my traditional “first shot” to introduce a new camera.

So why did I get the Nikon D5100 when I already have a D3100 and a D300s?

First, because of the D5100’s light weight. It is the same size as the D3100, but the problem is the D3100 does not really belong to me, I “borrow” it because I prefer it to my heavy D300s, and I am always being asked by my partner “when am I going to get my D3100 back.” So I had to do something about that.

Next, because of the fully articulating screen. This shot for instance would have required me to lie on the ground with the D3100 or D300s, but the D5100 has a little screen that pops out and flips up to show me what the camera is seeing when it is on the ground or in some other odd position. Ever since I gave up my tiny point-and-shoot about 5-years ago, which had a small articulating screen, I have missed the fluidity that this gave my photography. Now that I have one of these screens back again, it will open new photographic possibilities, or more accurately it will reopen old opportunities that I lost when I switched to a DSLR with a traditional eye-level viewfinder.

The final reason is that the D5100 has some video features that the D300s lack, but this is not a big selling feature. Indeed, although it has more features than the D3100 it has far fewer features than the professional D300s and the one that worries me the most is a far less sophisticated focusing system. However, so far the D5100 seems to be focusing okay, but this along with other features it lacks represents a step down from the D300s. So will the switch to the D5100 be a good move? I think it will – but time will tell – and if it is a good move I will eventually sell my D300s to cover the upgrade, well actually “downgrade” because even used I can sell the D300s for more than the D5100 cost new.

free as the wind

Sailing has captured my imagination since I was a child. Part of this captivation comes from my father, and his father (and his forefathers too for as long as we can remember) all being sailors. So in a sense sailing it is in my blood. But there is another captivation in sailing that leads me to sail and I think led all these ancestors down to the sea too.

First, in the old days of sailing at least, ships were driven by the wind. No noisy engines, no pollution; just like the catamaran in this picture, you are as free as a bird to be carried on the wind.

Next, once you are far out to sea, or in blue water as sailors call it, there are no boarders or boundaries. You are doubly free – sailing an ocean that nobody owns – and carried by a wind that is free.

I suspect, therefore, that my longing for the sea and my father’s too is not just about the fun of sailing a small craft like the one in this photo or a more sturdy blue water capable yacht, but a longing for a borderless world where people can go wherever they will.

dreams of the sea

This is a shot of my sister and I looking out at an evening the ocean from a dock in Cuba – telling stories to each other about our dad – who used to sail these very seas long ago.

Our dad gave up the navy when my sister and I were born, but when we were children whenever he took us to the beach he would look out at the ocean and tell us that one day he would make just one more trip. He always dreamed of that trip, but never made it, so on days like this in the photo my sister and I dream for him.

yesteryears

Friends and relatives in the UK said goodbye to P today. Although I could not be there my thoughts were with them.

I wondered whether or not to post a picture of P and in the end I did because when people leave us, we keep them alive through photos and stories, and by sharing such photos and stories they are never really gone. So here is a picture of P, not one of him in later years, but one of him in his younger years when I remember him the best. I took this photo of P exploring a deserted castle in Cornwall. We trekked all over Cornwall in those yesteryears, and as we did I never stopped smiling because P always had a funny story or a joke to tell. Consequently, even though it was a sad day today, I smiled about those good times, and about a great man who warmed our hearts and left us with fond memories.

Bye for now P, you will always be in our hearts, and I know you will still be checking my photo blog for sure :-)

nineveh

For some reason this tree in Cuba, which was the only shade in this area, reminded me of Nineveh

body massage

I saw this place in a Cuban village and thought the sign and scene were interesting. I did not try out the massage to check if it was the "best I have ever had in my life," but I did get a chance to talk to the people living here. As always in Cuba, they welcomed visitors; and they sold people in my group some nice seashells.