My favorite photography subjects are from nature. The frame of the camera lens helps me see things in ways my naked eye misses. Much of my intrigue and curiosity about natural wonders are the marvelous secrets that are not visible to the eye.
Lotus flowers have held such a secret for centuries. It’s life cycle is unique: Its roots grow in muddy, murky river water where, every night it submerges and miraculously re-blooms the next morning, no residue on its petals.
Science has learned the lotus’ secret for keeping so pristine. It is in their nanostructure: Thousands of nano-sized bumps on the petals, that cause water to pick up the dirt and roll it right off the petals.*
The lotus holds a revered place for Buddhists and Egyptians and considered one of the most sacred flowers today.
There is general consensus among ancient texts that it symbolizes spiritual enlightenment and rebirth with its ability to dip into the grime and revive itself —an incredible daily cycle of life, death, and an immaculate spiritual rebirth.
The lotus is native to India and Vietnam.
Scientists are researching the lotus’ nano-structure to create windows that never have to be washed. Hopefully, the next step will be self-cleaning clothes, sinks, floors, cars . . .
*“The lotus effect refers to self-cleaning properties that are a result of ultrahydrophobicity as exhibited by the leaves of Nelumbo or “lotus flower“. Dirt particles are picked up by water droplets due to the micro- and nanoscopic architecture on the surface, which minimizes the droplet’s adhesion to that surface.”
“Plants with a double structured surface like the lotus can reach a contact angle of 170°, whereby the droplet’s contact area is only 0.6%. All this leads to a self-cleaning effect.”
Did you know that Egrets are carnivores and have sibling rivalry . . . to the extreme?
They snare prey by walking slowly or standing still for long periods, waiting for an animal to come within range of their long necks and blade-like bills. The deathblow is delivered with a quick thrust of the sharp bill, and the prey is swallowed whole.
Fish are a dietary staple, but great egrets use similar techniques to eat amphibians, reptiles, snakes, mice, and other small animals.
Great egrets are found near water, salt or fresh, and feed in wetlands, streams, ponds, tidal flats, and other areas.
I found these at the San Diego Zoo.
This long-legged, S-necked white bird is found throughout the Americas and around much of the world. It is typically the largest white egret occurring anywhere in its range (only the white-colored form of the great blue heron is larger).
These birds nest in trees, near water and gather in groups called colonies, which may include other heron or egret species. They are monogamous, and both parents incubate their three to four eggs. Young egrets are aggressive towards one another in the nest, and stronger siblings often kill their weaker kin so that not all survive to fledge in two to three weeks.
The great egret is the symbol of the National Audubon Society and represents a conservation success story. The snowy white bird’s beautiful plumage made it far too popular in 19th-century North America. Great egrets were decimated by plume hunters who supplied purveyors of the latest ladies’ fashions. Their populations plunged by some 95 percent. Today the outlook is much brighter. The birds have enjoyed legal protection over the last century, and their numbers have increased substantially.
I’ve been taking a portrait painting class with Peggy Nicols and it’s very difficult. Now I’m inspired to work harder because Carol Cormier taught her FIRST GRADERS to do portraits! You’ve got to check out more great drawings of Picasso, Warhol, Dali and Kahlo!
Click here to see ALL the first graders portraits at:
Time . . . we pass through it . . . or perhaps it passes through us . . . but do we SEE it? Take a look:
“I photograph by hand; this is not a time lapse. … It’s my eye seeing very specific moments. I like to describe myself as a collector.” Steven Wilkes
“Once Wilkes has all the images, he picks the best moments of the day and the night and creates what he calls a master plate. Those images then get seamlessly blended into one single photograph, where time is on a diagonal vector, with sunrise beginning in the bottom right-hand corner. That process of creating a single image can take about four months — though it’s photographed in a single day.
of magical moments.”‘
View from The Savoy, London, Day to Night, 2013.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
Times Square, NYC, Day to Night, 2010.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
Pont de la Tournelle, Paris, Day to Night, 2013.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
In this last photo of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania – “For 26 hours, Wilkes shot 2,200 photos without moving the camera and while suspended in the air in a tent-like structure with a little window, so that animals wouldn’t see or hear him as he photographed them coming to a watering hole from sunrise to deep into the night.”
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Day to Night, 2015.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes/National Geographic
“Carl Sagan once said anything shining in the night sky does so because of distant nuclear fusion. The physics involved are awesome, and so too are the billions and billions of stars seen from here on Earth. But with every passing day, increasing light and air pollution from growing cities diminishes our ability to observe the cosmos.”
‘“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” says Cohen. “Photography is way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”’ French artist Thierry Cohen
To really see the impact of the night sky view FULL size pictures at: Wired, Thierry Cohen, Darkened Cities
Rio de Janeiro
‘“Photography is about poetry more than it is about reality,” says Cohen. “It is how you see the world. You can show the world you want to show.”’
“French artist Thierry Cohen draws attention to this creeping loss in his seriesVilles éteintes (Darkened Cities), which imagines the world’s largest cities under clear night skies. His photographs are as impossible as they are beautiful. The dark urban landscapes and vibrant constellations are composites of two images—one of the city and one of the sky.”
Los Angeles, Disney Hall
“Cohen has visited nine cities including New York, San Francisco, Rio De Janeiro, and Hong Kong. Using an equatorial tripod mount and polar-scope, Cohen captures an urban landscape, then travels to a less populated location at the same latitude with greater atmospheric clarity. Using this method, the skies above Shanghai are actually in Western Sahara and Paris is illuminated by the stars over Montana.”
Darkened Cities is on show at East Wing Gallery, Abu Dhabi until November 20.
There are few people whose life’s work honors their mothers.
This spectacular photographs by Kirsty Mitchel are all inspired by her mother. An excerpt from her biography:
“I was born in 1976 and raised in the English county of Kent, known to many as the ‘Garden of England’. My earliest memories were always of the stories read to me by my mother as a child … how it felt to be curled into her side, listening to the rush of her breath as she paused for effect, before launching into yet another characters voice. She was an English teacher, and read to me almost everyday, to an age I could no longer admit to my friends. She instilled in me the most precious gift a mother could, her imagination and a belief in beauty…… it became my root, and the place I constantly try to return to in my work, and my dreams.”
“Tragically my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and my world fell apart. Photography became my only escape when I could no longer talk about how I felt. I lost myself in street portraiture, focusing on those who reflected my own sadness and loss. I later turned the camera inwards, and began photographing myself throughout the hardest year of my life. It became an utter fantasy that blocked out the real world, and a place where I could return to my memories of her, far away from those hospitals walls.”
“She died in November 2008 and that was when photography engulfed me, becoming an overwhelming passion that I could not stop. I found myself producing pieces that echoed the memories of her stories, and the belief in wonder I have always felt since a child.”
This is her website where you can read about her WONDERLAND project and see all her portfolio: http://www.kirstymitchellphotography.com/
or check out her flickr gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kirsty841/with/3500479250/
Chino Otsuka digitally inserts current photos of herself into old photographs of herself when she was a child in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
You gotta check this out. Beautiful, eery, thought-provoking and brilliant. Here’s a sample!
1976 and 2005, Kamakura, Japan
Photographer Chino Otsuka binds the past and the present in her photo series titled,Imagine Finding Me.