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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0218: Notes From Florence – Nature’s Designs

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Amazing design is everywhere in this fine city, from buildings to manhole covers. Thanks to the folks at the Museum of Natural History, though, I have been able to explore design of a different kind – that of the natural world.

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Back home I explore the natural world in the rocks and fossils around me, the mushrooms (lately), plants, etc. But here I’ve had the most fortunate experience of exploring some of the museum’s aged and treasured collections.

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Of course, I begin with fossils.This one below is an interior section of a sea urchin dating back to the Miocene Epoch some fifteen million years.

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And next, a contemporary sea urchin in close-up.

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From the same collection (echinoderms) come the following two Heliasters, more commonly known as sea stars.

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Next, from the Reptile collection is a detail of a chameleon.

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And from the Entomology collection come the following three images, starting with a mantis

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…followed by a beetle

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…and ending with butterflies.

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I could go on and on with wonders from the museum but I must continue with some of the sights in the streets.

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Seems like turning every corner in Florence brings you to interesting and unusual street art. I hope you like some of these examples.

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And, finally, after walking and walking and walking (this city is all about walking) a relaxing break in a local park provided me with this view. Gray, moody skies dominate Florence this time of year (always so much more interesting for shooting, I think).

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Thanks for the visit.