071218: Back to the Library

Once again I’ve been diving into my library of images from my shooting at the various divisions of the Florence Museum of Natural History. Today’s images are some of the more interesting and odder outtakes from a variety of its collections – Mammals, Reptiles, Entomology, Echinoderms, Paleontology, and Botanica.

So, from whale bones and reptiles to butterflies and fossils (and much in between):

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These last two images need a bit of explanation. Gorgonocephalus agassizi, otherwise known as underwater “basket stars,” remind me of Medusa, the Greek mythological monster with snakes instead of hair. Interesting enough, as the image above shows. The second basket star (below), found off Cape Cod in 1888, seemed to call out for a different treatment.

There are some Photoshop “tricks” that can easily become rather “gimmicky” and wise to avoid using. But sometimes a particular image just lends itself to the gimmick. And, used carefully and judiciously, it can provide some very interesting results. In this case, the horizontal flop gave me something natural as well as unnatural, an eye-catching symmetry from meandering randomness! More on this “trick” next week.

Thanks for the visit.

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062818: Afternoon Light

Like everything else outside my studio, my deck (where I often photograph) and its railing is always covered with fossil rocks. I try to keep new finds and old favorites close and in view. Different times of day, different weather conditions, even different seasons seem to imbue each fossil with “different personalities!”

Late afternoon sun was the trigger for this week’s images. A hard, warm light catches the deck and rakes across the rocks, providing definition and a little drama.

Once again, these are all Devonian Period marine invertebrates (app. 387 million years old), all found within a few miles from my studio! As if just living here in the upper Hudson Valley isn’t enough!

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I’ve been busy in several directions lately. So I thought I’d include a couple of mixed media pieces from the week past.

Thanks for the visit.

041918: Return to Mars

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at images lately (as opposed to making new ones). Again and again, I find my way back to NASA‘s amazing online libraries of Mars images. Today’s images come from the Mars Curiosity Rover (the first three), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

As a young boy I dreamed about adventures in space. Tom Swift Jr., Tom Corbett Space Cadets, Rocky Jones Space Ranger – they were constant companions in my imagination.

Mars has been the focus of imaginative fiction for well over a hundred years (See kirkusreviews). These days, as so much science fiction has become science fact, we think “when” rather than “if” regarding any visits.

Now we can see it with the clarity of a view out our windows. And, despite its apparent lifelessness, there is a beauty and sense of natural balance that we see on our own pale blue dot!

I hope you might enjoy these enhanced color images. If any of you are curious I’d be happy to provide information about any particular image.

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Thanks for the visit.

020818: Stranger Things (Rock Version)

While putting images together for an upcoming project I ran across the opening image of plant fossils that seems to have an almost calligraphic feel to it – a sort of written signage from Nature itself! All of today’s images come from days of shooting several years ago during the summer following Hurricane Irene. The tumult from the flooding tore apart Schoharie Creek and uncovered many amazing things. Some of the images are plant fossils (with a few marine invertebrates if you look closely), some are very strange looking rocks and markings, and some are a total mystery to me.

Funny how so many of these images seem more alien than all of last week’s post – seemingly earthlike landscapes of Mars!

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Thanks for the visit.

 

111617: Moss

This little sprig of moss snaking its way across a fossil cephalopod gave me the idea for this week’s post. I’ve been leaf blowing lately here in the woods, hoping to keep my fossils from disappearing from view. And, in doing so, I noticed how so much moss has already covered the surfaces of many rocks. The vibrant greens draw the eye.

The more I looked the more I appreciated the juxtaposition between the moss and the fossils themselves. Exploring that became my focus this week.

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Thanks for the visit.

100517: Circles and Arcs

I geeked out again this week on NASA’s Cassini website and found myself mesmerized by the amazing images of Saturn and its moons. Those images triggered a response in kind thanks to my pile of props – junk of all kinds, especially circular metal objects. That led me to today’s exercise – an attempt to explore some simple shapes.

Two of Saturn’s moons – Titan and Diane.

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Titan passing in front of Saturn’s rings.

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Saturn’s two largest moons – Titan and Rhea.

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Another view of Titan passing across the face of Saturn.

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The moon Enceladus appears before Saturn’s rings while the larger moon Titan looms in the distance.

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The North Pole of Saturn

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Clouds forming over Saturn.

These and many other beautiful images may be found at the NASA Cassini website:

Goodbye to the Dark Side

Thanks for the visit.

062917: Back to Fossils

A surprise, last minute trip to Cape Cod pulled me away from the blog last week. Between that and my last two bw posts of NYC I found myself missing my fossils! So I decided to return today with a full body of fossil images. They seem to be gaining more drama lately.

For those of you unfamiliar with these 387 million year old former denizens of my neighborhood I’ll attempt to provide identification (as best I can). Above are several types of coral accompanied by an impression of a trilobite pygidium (center left).

Not exactly sure what this is. The pattern suggests to me some form of coral.

Coral.

Cephalopods. I count at least four in this cluster.

One lone cephalopod.

An interesting mix – resting atop a brachiopod is part of the head (cephalon) and eye of a trilobite. That long dark cylinder I believe might be a small crinoid stem.

I can only think this is a slice of a brachiopod.

Sitting atop a bed of coral is a small rock loaded with crinoid ossicles (the round things). They essentially stacked to form the stem of the crinoid.

Brachiopods

Another brachiopod with some coral in the upper left.

Yet another brachiopod! Actually, there were some 12,000 or more various types.

And these (yes, brachiopods also) are different – they are the only fossils in this post not from the Catskill area. I dug them up several years ago while on a trip to Nashville.

A mess of fossils sitting out on an old table.

And, last but certainly not least, are a group of tentaculites, something I seldom find around here. I came across these along Kaaterskill Creek. I particularly love this one as it reminds me of an old retro sci-fi rocket ship! Fossils and rocket ships put a smile on my face!!

Thanks for the visit.