Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Restful Waters - Wordless Wednesday

"Restful Waters..."
Stones reflected in water
Wordless Wednesday
stones / rocks with a reflection in the water - restful waters with reflection"Beside restful waters he leads me, he refreshes my soul." Ps 23,2

Friday, 25 April 2008

Thunder and Lightning! Strike at Night

"Thunder and Lightning!"
Lightning striking in a thunder storm at night
Sky Watch Friday
lightning strike - thunder storm at night with lightning striking and purple sky
Wow! That's what I thought when I saw this lightning bolt strike last night. We had a thunder storm here (fairly rare, I might add) and so I went out, like I did during our last lightning storm, in the cold and wet, to get some lightning photos. The noise of this particular strike nearly deafened me! It struck less than 1km away, so the thunder came almost instantaneously.

I took this picture on "B" shutter mode with about a 20-second exposure at F6.4. The lightning you see in the picture is actually the result of two strikes - one huge lightning strike (the large ball of white lightning on the left), and another smaller one almost directly after.

Because of the long exposure, and the brightness of the lightning, I had to use the GIMP to adjust the saturation curve for this image to make the lightning bolts visible. But I can assure you it isn't "touched up" in the common sense of the word - this is exactly what it looked like in real life! Even though I only saw the lightning for a second, I can still see the strike as if it was right in front of me now. And I can hear the thunder just as clearly - it was the sort of sound that's so loud and deep that you can feel it as much as hear it!

ANZAC Day - The Dove of Peace

"The Dove of Peace"
Anzac Day
Dove on tiled roof - ANZAC Day

Anzac Day, April 25 in Australia and New Zealand commemorates the landing in 1915, during World War I, of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The Allies attempted to take control of the strategic Dardanelles from Turkey, allied with the Central Powers, in the so-called Dardanelles Campaign, which began in February 1915. ANZAC forces landed on April 25 and secured a beachhead at what came to be called ANZAC Cove, on the Aegean side of the peninsula. Despite additional landings by other troops during the succeeding months, the Allies could not capture the strait, and they suffered enormous losses from battle and disease. By December 1915 the Allied troops, including the ANZAC forces, had been withdrawn. Nonetheless, the ANZAC troops earned a reputation for valiant fighting, and they then served with distinction in France and in the Middle East. Later, in 1917, the Australian and the New Zealand forces were separated, and ANZAC thus ceased to exist.

In 1920 Australia and New Zealand created ANZAC Day as an official holiday to honour those who had fought in the Dardanelles Campaign. Since then it has been broadened to become a memorial day honouring all who served and died in World Wars I and II and in the Korean and Vietnam wars. It is a public holiday marked by religious services and parades and by ceremonies in which veterans participate. The Cook Islands, Tonga, and Samoa also observe the day.

This dove represents peace in the world. The bird, perched high on the roof of a shrine, is looking out over the world wisely, and is at peace. We in Australia are thankful for the peace we do have, and for those who have gone before us defending that right. Not only Australians, but everyone in the world should remember the ANZACs and all like them with gratitude today, and look forward with hope to the peace of the world to come.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The Calm Before the Storm - Wordless Wednesday

"The Calm Before the Storm"
Wordless Wednesday
Storm clouds looming behind a gum tree

Monday, 21 April 2008

Free Access to Encyclopedia Britannica for Bloggers

Encyclopedia Britannica LogoEncyclopedia Britannica is well-known as a reputable source of information. Over 4,000 editors who are recognized as experts in their field help to maintain well-written and accurate articles in this classic reference. Unfortunately the encylopedia has been somewhat neglected nowdays, with the advent of Wikipedia which offers free access to all articles. For every article viewed on the pay-for Britannica Online, an estimated 187 articles are viewed on the free Wikipedia.

This may be set to change though - you can now get access to the online version of Encyclopedia Britannica for free through a new program called Britannica Webshare - provided that you are a “web publisher.” Bloggers are included in this invitation: “This program is intended for people who publish with some regularity on the Internet, be they bloggers, webmasters, or writers. We reserve the right to deny participation to anyone who in our judgment doesn’t qualify.” I signed up for this program, and now have access to all 65,000 articles in this reference work online. From now on I'll be citing Britannica articles on my blog whenever I include information about the subject of my photographs.

If you sign up, and you'll have instant access to the world's most famous encyclopedia, with the ability to link to the full article in your blog posts. Your visitors will have access to any articles you link to, but will still have to pay to access the full encyclopedia.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Cumulonimbus Storm Cloud - Thor's Masterpiece

"Thor's Masterpiece"
Cumulonimbus Thunder Storm Cloud at Sunset

Sky Watch Friday
cumulonimbus thunder storm clouds at sunset
I found this storm cloud photo as I was going through my archives searching for images to enter in an upcoming photographic competition. The huge Cumulonimbus cloud is lit up a light pink colour by the setting sun, while the horizon below is silhouetted against the threatening dark blue clouds around the base of the thunder-head.

This photo was taken in Goondiwindi, Queensland. When I entered it into the Goondiwindi Photo Competition, I titled it "Thor's Masterpiece".

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Pumpkin Flower - Wordless Wednesday

Yellow Pumpkin Flower with Radiating Spines
Wordless Wednesday
Yellow Pumpkin vine flower. This photo is from Spring, now quite a while ago in Australia. This Pumpkin Vine Flower was still opening, but the pumpkin itself had already started to grow. Notice the radiating spines sprouting just above the fruit - they make a nice decoration with the flower, almost like a medieval collar.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Palm Trees and Moon - Sky Watch Friday

"Tropical Twilight" - Moon through palm trees
Sky Watch Friday
tropical palm trees framing the twilight moon
This is one of my older photos, taken in 2006 with the Kodak camera. I was experimenting with taking moon photos, and tried out this framing technique with the palm trees silhouetted against the twilight sky, and the fronds reaching from the top of the picture downwards to the moon. I think it turned out fairly well, although the moon is quite small due to the minute 3x zoom offered by the Kodak camera.

You can just see the colours of the setting sun reflecting off the top of the palm trees.

Update: Tom and other readers pointed out that you can actually see a face in this picture - look at the curve of the tree on the left for a nose, and the moon becomes an eye. Thanks Tom!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

A New Day - Wordless Wednesday

"A New Day"
Wordless Wednesday
Golden Sunrise - Trees silhouetted and golden yellow-orange sky

Friday, 4 April 2008

Purple-red Clouds at Sunset - Sky Watch Friday

Deep purple and red Sunset looking over the city
Purple and Red Clouds Sunset over dark trees - Red at night, Shepherds delight
Last Sky Watch Friday, just after I put my post up, I went out to listen to a presentation on the Australian Navy. When I was walking in the door I noticed this brilliant sunset lighting up the sky. I happened to have my camera with me, so I was able to snap a few shots. I didn't have a tripod with me and I used about 250mm lens so I had to bring up the ISO a bit to get a clear picture.

Purple clouds at sunset
Purple and pink clouds at Sunset

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Green Grass - Wordless Wednesday

Green Grass
Wordless Wednesday
Green blades of grass close up - on the grass lawn - wordless wednesday

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