Starfightera and Anamarietta

Mural by Starfightera and AnamariettaArt Basel attracts many talented muralists to Wywnwood and this year was no exception. This particular mural was executed by Starfightera and Anamarietta. Here you can see the boom lift that they used to paint the mural. Lifts are indispensible during Art Basel as it is impossible to paint a three story mural like this one without a lift or scaffolding. 

Art Basel in Wynwood

The Jose De Diego Middle School in WynwoodOne of my favorite places to photograph is Wynwood, and one of the most interesting times to photograph Wynwood is when Art Basel is in town. This year was no exceptipn and we had some talented artists come and create some amazing work. This is a shot of the Jose De Diego Middle School. Over 40 artists where invited to paint at the school to bring attention to it's lack of an art program. On the left side, behind the tree, there is a piece by Pixel Pancho. To the right, in the corner of the building there is a piece by MTO. The school is now covered in beautiful murals and has practially become an art museum.

Great Catch!

Pied Billed Grebe with Florida GarToday at Shark Valley the grebes were running the show. They were very actice preening themselves and swimming back and forth looking for food. Usually they consume their catch too quickly for me to photograph them in the act but this one caught a small Florida gar which he could not swallow without a significant struggle. Unfortunately the grebe swam away to consume it's catch in private. I would have loved to see how the grebe managed to eat such a tough meal.

Itsy Bitsy Spider

While sitting in my booth at an art show, this tiny spider dropped by. My Canon G9 is great for macro photography and its always by my side. I took out my G9, set it to macro mode and started snapping portraits. The spider was not the easiest of models to deal with, she kept turning away from the camnera and when it would get too close, she would jump on the lens. While the cropped photo is tiny, you can still see her cute little face. Snaps like these are why I always carry a camera with me. wherever I go.

Light Trails

One of my favorite subjects to photograph are light trails. This night my wife and I were returning from a function and she was driving her convertible with the top down. Without the roof in the way it is much easier to move around and get to frame the subject without parts of the car getting in the way. I always carry with me my Canon G9 so I took it out, set the camera for long exposures (about a second is good) and started snapping away. The resulting images were a bit noisy, but today's noise filtering software make it possible to reduce that sensor noise greatly. I found that shooting while we were driving in a straight line allowed me to keep the cars relatively still while still producing awesome light trails.

Support The ARKive

ARKive is a global initiative to locate and gather films, photographs and audio recordings of the world's species into one centralised digital library for the benefit of present and future generations. As such, it is sometimes described as the new Noah’s Ark, or the Noah’s Ark of the online era. (From Wikipedia)

I have donated the use of the image at left to The ARKive. It is now available at The ARKive's section on Green Herons.

Art at City Hall

Some of my photos will be participating in the Art at City Hall program in the city of Miami Springs. My photos will be exhibited in the lobby of the city hall during the month of August. There will be a small reception on Monday, August 2nd from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Its Not All Luck

So much of nature photography is luck, being in the right place at the right time, but it takes more than mere luck to get that special photo. This morning at Shark Valley the weather was cloudy and even though the forecast was for only 20% chance of rain, it felt more like 80%. Once every 20 or 30 minutes the sun would peek out from behind the clouds and shine upon us photographers and gathered beasts for a few short minutes before being hidden again by a large rain cloud. The rest of the fish that were killed by the week long cold snap at the start of the year are now too ripe even for the most determined vultures and alligators. The fetid smell of rotting fish carcasses permeates the air for yards around the spots where the current have gathered the decomposing cadavers. There were few birds flying by. The wood storks that were everywhere a week ago feasting on the dead exotic fish have moved on. Only a few hardy birds work the shore looking for the few remaining fish. It wasn't one of those days when it was wonderful to be in the Everglades. And then a snowy egret found a perch and started to preen itself. It didn't take more than a minute for the egret to pick through it's feathers and shake out the dirt, but in that minute I got images that made my day. Persistence and the skills to catch the moment when something happens made that “lucky” shot possible. In order to get lucky, I had to be there, in the rain and fetid air, ready to capture that magic moment.

A Cold Morning

A crow eating a catfish.This Sunday morning was quite cold for the Everglades, temperatures reached below 32°F overnight. Native species of fish can survive such cold conditions but the tropical exotics like the oscars, blue tilapia and Mayan cichlid can't survive the cold. The presence of so many easy meals meant that birds like black vultures and crows were enjoying a rare treat of fish.

Normally selectively killing these exotic species would be a good thing, except that if there aren't enough native fish species left, the birds that usually populate this area in the winter will have to move on and search for food elsewhere. In the meantime the scavengers like the vultures and this crow as well as the herons and egrets are enjoying a banquet of exotic sushi.