alive for 365

This alien-looking Quiver Tree is indigenous to the arid regions of southern Africa.  This photograph was taken in the Namib Desert in Namibia.  Apparently the tree only blossoms after 20 or 30 years and can grow to 300 years old.  The nest seen in the tree is built by a community of Sociable Weaver birds.  It is quite unusual for any animal species to herd in large numbers in arid regions.  The large nests is an adaption by the birds, helping then keep cool during the heat of the day, and warmer during the cold nights.

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I took this photo of the Hotel du Louvre during a trip to Paris in 1993.  I carefully propped  my camera against a hand-railing  to steady it during the slow exposure of 1/4 second.  As I took my first frame, a bus drove past. I cursed my luck and took the photograph again. (This was pre-digital, and I was poor enough that every frame of transparency film that I shot was expensive.)  Anyway, I cursed my luck, thinking the bus would spoil the image I was after. However, when I saw the results, the ‘accident’ looked far better than the intended shot.

This favorite photo of mine, is this week’s entry for the Alive for 365 project.

[ Pentax Z-1; Pentax-FA 28-80mm f3.5-4.7 / Fujichrome RD 100 ]
[ Paris, France / April ’93 ]


alive for 365 – week 10

March 10, 2010

This very colorful street scene is – if I remember correctly – in the quaint town of Macroom in Ireland.  It was one of the towns we visited while exploring the beautiful country-side near Cork, Ireland last year.

It is my choice for this week’s entry for the ongoing Alive for 365 project.

To enhance the colors even more, I used my favorite Photoshop plug-in, Topaz Adjust 4

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alive for 365 – week 9

March 10, 2010

With the run-up to WPPI 2010 in Las Vegas, I didn’t have the time to mention my latest entries to the Alive for 365 project.  My choice for week 9 is this image which I titled a very obvious, “Cappuccino”.

The slightly surreal image is part of a London cityscape, with a double-decker bus whizzing past.  The lettering in the sky is actually the lettering in the coffee-shop’s window.  I had flipped the image around to have the word read correctly.  I also juiced up the drab colors a bit with Topaz Adjust 4.  Big news!  Topaz just improved on it with a free upgrade to version 4.

If you do order Topaz Adjust (or any Topaz product) through that affiliate link, use the discount code ‘planetneil’ for a 15% discount off any item in your shopping cart.  (There is also another time-limited discount in effect on their website.)

The effect that I used was the Psychedelic setting in Adjust 4.  I pulled down the opacity, and even then masked the sky to reduce the effect further on the sky …

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I am sure the designer of this phone box intended for it to have this distinctly cartoon-like face.   When I saw this, it instantly drew my attention.  It really looked to me like a constantly-surprised wide-eyed face.  Something out of Disney’s animated movie, Beauty & The Beast.  This then is my choice then for this week’s entry in the Alive for 365 project.

The photograph had some Photoshop work done to it to give it much more snap than the straight-out-of-the-camera version.  Oh, and the lighting was bounce flash with available light …

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