Archive for the ‘Macro’ Category

Anemones

October 25th, 2012

These days, I seem to be increasingly turning my focus to underwater photography. Something about it makes it just so very attractive to me. Perhaps it is the challenge of shooting in this difficult environment, or perhaps the sense of wonder brought on by the alienness of the landscape and the life. And it must be said, the coastal waters of the UAE and Oman offer many opportunities for the adventurous.

Few species of life appear as alien as do anemones. These animals are named after the colorful terrestrial flower. They are carnivorous polyps which sting their prey – any fish which stray too close to their tentacles – with a potent neurotoxin.

These two closeups were taken some four to five meters below the surface about 10 minutes apart, during the course of a snorkeling session.

The first is a closeup of a type of anemone which is commonly home to clownfish (which, especially if you have kids, appear to have now been renamed “Nemo fish”). I love the purple tips.

I’m assuming these are a type of anemone as well. Any confirmation of this is welcome. These grow in massive domes reaching a meter or more in diameter.

More coming soon!

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Nudibranchs

October 15th, 2012

Until a perfectly normal wreck dive off the coast of Abu Dhabi I had never heard of, nor seen, any nudibranchs. Suddenly there they were: all over the sunken barge. Nudibranchs are a type of soft sea slug which are apparently among “some of the most colourful creatures on earth“. Absolutely beautiful creatures.

The bright colouring is a form of defense, indicating it would make either a very bitter or extremely toxic meal for the passing fish.

While there were two types of nudibranchs on the barge, there exist thousands of species.

While some species can grow to up to 60 cm in length, the specimens seen here only measured some 5 to 10 cm. As you can easily see from this shot below of a fellow diver taking a picture of one. If you look closely, you can make out three specimens along the bottom of the image, to center-left.

More coming soon!

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The Nobility of Time

November 2nd, 2010

Dali. The mad genius.

Regardless whether you love or hate his works, it cannot leave you unmoved. For my part, the effortless grace and simplicity in his madness speaks to me. And I enjoy how the meaning of his works to me has changed as I have grown older and the way I view the world has evolved.

I recently had the chance to shoot a sculpture by Dali  titled “The Nobility of Time” (yep, the real thing). Here are two pictures from that shoot.

For the above shot I added a quarter CTB (color temperature blue) gel to the background flash. It gave a slightly blue tint to the back of the sculpture, as well as to the white surface upon which it rested.

The second shot was made without the CTB gel.

I lit both shots with a studio flash firing through a softbox high to camera left, and another firing through my HiLite Background (I love that thing).

The Nobility of Time was described follows (I don’t remember where I got the text from, sorry):

Dali’s melted and crowned watch is both draped against and supported by the remains of a tree – the trunk sprouts new life and its roots entwine a stone. The terminology, “the crown of a watch” is assumed to mean a mechanical device that allows us to set the hands and wind the timepiece. Time, however, according to a Dalinian watch, has no internal power or motion. Given this watch’s lack of movement, the crown is interpreted as a royal crown adorning the watch, clearly identifying time’s mastery over human beings, rather than being an object of utility. His majesty is attended by two reoccurring, mystic Dalinian symbols: a pensive angel and a nude female figure elegantly draping herself in a long piece of cloth.

As the watch melts over the tree, it transforms into a human profile, underlining the interminable relationship between human beings and time. The unexpected softness of the watch also represents the psychological aspect whereby time, whilst considered to be a precise and fixed concept, can in fact vary significantly in human perception. The flow of time and its unusually irrational nature developed into an obsession for Dali; the image and symbolism of the melted watch thus reoccurred in many of his works.

On another note:

More coming soon!

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The Award

October 3rd, 2010

Hey guys! I’m back!

Well, I’ve been back home for a few days, but they’ve been rather… full … for lack of a better word, hence the prolonged absence.

Today, I’d like to share something truly very special.

That there is my father’s brand-spanking-new award.

My father has just been promoted to Commendatore (Commander) of the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit of the Italian Republic)! The Order of Merit is the highest ranking honour of the Italian Republic. This award was signed by Giorgio Napoletano, Italy’s current President, and countersigned by Romano Prodi.

Some years ago Italy awarded him with the Knighthood (so basically he now skipped the rank of Ufficiale and went straight to Commander). He’s also been awarded with Knighthoods of the National Orders of Merit by both the French and the Spanish.

All for civil services rendered to all three states over a highly distinguished and extraordinary career.

You can see two of the medals in the Still Life gallery on my main website, pictured together with a very old portrait of my mother.

Few people can claim to have received any of these National Orders of Merit, and fewer still can claim to have been awarded all of them. He’s a great man (and clearly that is not just my opinion). It’s refreshing when all the effort and work he’s put in over the years is recognised and appreciated.

I took this picture over the weekend, lighting the award with two studio stobes fitted with softboxes.

More coming soon (though is still likely to be somewhat erratic – bear with me)!

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The Masks We Wear

August 3rd, 2010

I made this picture earlier this year in France when I was stuck indoors during a storm.

More coming soon!

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Hands II

February 2nd, 2010

Back in September of last year, I began a mini-project to photograph something I felt was relatively neglected and which offers a glimpse at a person’s inner world: hands.

It’s been a while since I added anything along those lines. So here are a couple of shots.

More pictures coming soon!

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The One Ring to Rule them All

September 29th, 2009

The ring

For my thirtieth birthday I decided to offer myself something I’d been thinking of for a long time: a ring.

Not just any ring, mind, but something special. So when a great friend of mine suggested I take a look at Namu‘s work, I fell instantly in love.

Something about Namu’s work resonated strongly with me, in part due to my passion for all things swords, and he has a line of products that tapped directly into that – he incorporates damascus steel into many items, and in particular: rings!

Here I am

So I ordered one made special for me, which arrived shortly after my birthday and early in the new year.

The story of how it slowly made its way from the US of A and into my waiting hands is a tale for another day.

Fading in a White Sea

A few days back I decided to have some fun shooting the ring. Here are some of the results.

Indexed

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Hands

September 15th, 2009

Elegant Pose

A while back, I posted a series of pictures of faces.

Today, I’d like to share a few snapshots from a work in progress, also people-related – Hands.

The Royal Flush

Hands can say so much about a person. They can be neglected, pampered, elegant, busy, active, tense, lazy, relaxed, cheerful, graceful, playful, angry, violent, sexy, gentle, strong, quiet, soft, intense, manic, sensual, artsy, old, young, satisfied, or any manner of other things…

Play it again, Sam

I was started on this path at a brunch a while back. I noticed that one of my friends there had such beautiful hands, and I couldn’t resist not shooting them. The rest is history…

I need a break...

I hope you enjoy these few shots. More will follow soon.

The discussion

A certain effortless grace

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Up Close and Personal

September 5th, 2009

Lineup

I’d been looking to try my hand at the world of close-up (macro) photography. So a few days ago I added a new piece of glass to my gear: a AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED.

If you’re interested, you can find a review of the lens here.

Crystal

I took it out for a test run after purchasing it. I must say, it’s rapidly becoming one of my favourite lenses – and for portraiture, too.

Here are some of the results from my first shoot with the lens.

Brown Leafy

Shed leaves and root

Legion

Shark-Fin Leaf

Icy

Eye Am Watching You

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Playing with Knives

July 28th, 2009

This past weekend, I decided to fool around with some random stuff at home and see what comes out…

I took this beautiful knife I bought from a gem of a store called We Be Knives that I unexpectedly came across in Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. I mean, who’d have thought it? A great, quality knife shop on Pier 39 – Tourist Central?

The knife’s a joy to behold and handle – it’s a beautiful, handcrafted Sakura KB-202 field knife made by Kanetsune in Seki City, Japan. The handle (and sheath) are wrapped in cherry tree skin, hence the name – Sakura, which I understand means Cherry Tree. The damascus blade is made of 15 layers of blue steel. Stunning stuff.

I used the knife to cut up a large carboard box to make a makeshift lightbox, lit it through a large napkin, brought along a mirror for the party and introduced the victims, an orange and a pepper, to the knife. Here are some of the results:

CachunkReady, set, slice!SlicedChop-Chopped

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