Not conventionally beautiful?

White peacock

This pale peacock is stomping about and strutting  his stuff for the benefit of another more gorgeously hued bloke.  There was not a jot of interest in the macho display from some nearby peahens, who very carefully weren’t watching.

Word for the day is leucism, is a condition in animals characterised by reduced pigmentation, and different from albinism.   Quite tricky to photograph without blowing out all the highlights.

Holiday creatures

I’m back from my leisurely trip from deepest Southern winter to European summer, so now I start sorting through way-too-many photos.   I visited a bunch of zoos and wildlife parks, most singing a conservation tune and doing their best to offer inhabitants a reasonable facsimile of a interesting life, albeit one lacking both the dangers and the freedoms of the wild.   The primate rescue centre in Southern England was one of the most impressive.  The place is dedicated to rehoming mostly former lab animals and illegal pets who couldn’t ever be repatriated or released, and telling the various sad stories (albeit ones that ended happily) of how the residents came to be there.

[I will add more to this page as I sort through the SD cards]


Bastille Day, Paris

I’ll spare you the fireworks over the Eiffel Tower, but the Bastille Day in Paris was great!  The military parade was wonderfully strange, although I was in an bad spot for taking photos.  Walking through one of the many parks near the Louvre afterwards, there was a ‘military camp’ with people dressed in garb from various wars, all happy to pose for photos. Mustache guy was definitely my favourite.

Okay, just one shot of the fireworks . . .


Not impressive, unless . . .

Museum LemurOkay, this is a pretty blah photo of a tatty old taxidermied lemur – unless you know the specs behind it.  The little creature was behind glass in a very dimly lit museum.  The lens I had only goes to f 3.5, so I used an ISO setting of 10,000 and handheld 1/13 shutter - handheld!

So, yeah, the new Sony A6000 is looking promising as a holiday camera.

My favourite way to idle away hours in foreign is to wander around dusty old museums and inspect mysterious objects in cryptically labelled jars.

Expect photographs that prove this predilection shortly . . .


Picking up the ol’ digital paint brush again

Miss Amanda Fish
Not nearly finished, but well underway- Presenting Miss Fish.  Based on this lovely tintype photo from the 1880s.   The tiny original is, in the manner of its time, Photoshopped, with the eyes retouched, and colour added to her cheeks and earrings.  This one, painted using my trusty Wacom Intuos 4.


Flies, as used for flyering

Among the masks made for scifi improv show Return to the Planet, a trio of bug-eyed bugs, denizens of Planet Beelzebub.  Dressed up in one of these (with a fetching green velvet medieval gown to complete the ensemble), handing out flyers for the show was surprisingly easy.  A buzz even (ow, don’t hit me).   I was amused as always by the people who pretended not to see me – it takes real determination to ignore a giant fly walking through the central city on a weekday lunchtime.

The mask is made of Instamporph, over a clay sculpt, the eyes are plastic hi-bounce balls, cut in half and lined with kitchen-drawer liner foil.  The paint is acrylic, with texture from those micobeads sold for scrap booking, under a couple of layers of clear acrylic sealer.  Antenna made of instamorph over wire – although I had to go back and thicken them up, as my initial efforts proved a little fragile.