Monday, April 30, 2007

Rainforest Plants

During my daily two-hour walks and frequent bike rides around Citrus Park, I photographed many species of plants at a variety of times throughout the day.

This morning I am sharing three photos that I thought looked like a 'rainforest'. I am not certain, but these are similar to banana trees I photographed in a different location in the park.

I will send other photos of Florida plants over the next while.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Black and White Colobus Monkey

More photos from the Naples Zoo this morning. The black and white colobus monkeys were sleeping in the trees high above the tour boat that took us around the islands inhabited by primates. It was the first time I had heard of this strange looking monkey. It is black and white with long white back hair and tails that hang down as they lounge on branches of trees.

It is difficult to photograph animals that are so high up in the trees because you are looking towards the bright sky. The fact that they are black and white also adds to the difficulty of getting a good exposure.

There are a lot of strange looking animals in the world. I wonder why black and white colours helped this species of monkeys survive over the years. Like the photos of the painted bunting I sent a week or so ago, the colours of these monkeys don't seem to be helpful for survival.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Malayan Tiger, Naples Zoo

This morning I have chosen two images of Malayan Tigers taken when I visited Naples Zoo earlier this month.

Like other photos taken at the zoo that day, these images were made through a wire mesh cage. The tiger was in motion which made it difficult to focus. I was lucky to get a few nice images that were in focus.

Five images are on line at:

Friday, April 27, 2007


This morning I have chosen two images of the same sunrise.

The first one shows a the sun rising behind a group of palm trees and the second shows the sunrise without any trees in the foreground. When there are clouds in the early morning (or evening) sky, it helps add interesting colours the the scene. The sky looks so dark in the second photo because I zoomed in and the sun was so bright that nothing but the brightest part was captured.

Unlike, the weather here on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, within minutes of the sun rising, the sky in Florida cleared of most clouds. Here we have gone weeks with total cloud cover and no sun whatsoever!!! I see why they call Florida, the sunshine state.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Butterflies 2

This morning I have chosen 3 additional photos of butterflies.

The first one shows a close-up of a butterfly's head with a missing antenna and the second two show interesting colours.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


On Friday I had an opportunity to tag along on a school fieldtrip with 45 grade 1 students. We visited the Butterfly Pavilion at Bowering Park and I had the opportunity to take pictures of the butterflies.

There were many species of butterflies and numerous opportunities to see them up close. A few landed on me as I was taking photos. The kids got a kick out of it whenever a butterfly landed on one of them.

It was fun and fairly easy to get close-up photos.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


While in Florida I photographed several cacti plants that were growing around the streets of Citrus Park. The three photos today were from the same plant. It was about 6 feet high and had many red flowers. I am not sure of the variety of cactus shown in the photos.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Spider Monkey

In the Naples Zoo there are several small islands that are home to a variety of species of monkeys and lemurs. A boat tour around the islands is a good way to photograph them because there are no cages. The water is a natural barrier.

One little spider monkey put on quite a show for the tourists as we passed by in a small tour boat that held about 30 people. It used its prehensile tail to swing around upside down in the trees, capturing the attention of everyone on the boat. The monkey in today's photos was the most active one we saw.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Holyrood Ice

As most of you know, I try too keep current with my Photo of the Day. I am interrupting the Florida series for today to share a couple of photos I took yesterday here in Holyrood.

Because of the wind direction over the past week or 10 days, sea ice has been pushed into bays and harbours all along our coast. A few pieces, about the size of a small iceberg have been attracting quite a bit of attention from both visitors and locals here in my home town.

The shapes and textures of these pieces of ice are very interesting and photogenic. I have placed 14 other images on a web site for those of you who would like to see more.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


It would be strange to go to Florida and not see at least one alligator. One day I saw a small one sitting in someone's back yard (about 20 feet from their house) on the bank of a pond. I estimate it was close to four feet long. (120 cm).

As usual, I took a long shot, moved a little closer, shot again, moved closer and took another series of photos, and continued until the alligator jumped into the water and swam away. It was a good thing it jumped away - and not towards me - you wouldn't believe how quickly it moved.

Because I was shooting into the bright morning sun, there are harsh shadows on the alligator that I find distracting. However, the photos are useful to show you how alligators have adapted to living near people. I saw 3 different alligators in 3 different "ponds" and they were all around the same size. A couple of people told me they had seen a "ten footer", but I didn't see one that big on this trip.

If you want to see other photos of bigger alligators, let me know and I'll send out a few from another year.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Royal Tern

The beach is always a good place to capture photos of birds.

One day, I saw a flock of strange looking "seagulls" standing together facing the wind. The black feathers on their heads looked like they were being blown by the breeze. Some of the birds had solid black heads, like the one in today's photo, while others were spotted. No two were alike! I later identified these birds as Royal Terns.

Like the painted bunting photo sent yesterday, this was the first time I had photographed this species of bird.

Feel free to check out 8 more photos of royal terns at:

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Painted Bunting

On one of my walks around Citrus Park, I spoke to a man who told me that 4 or 5 painted buntings visited his bird feeder on a regular basis. He invited me to sit in his chair and wait for them to come. I waited silently for 35 minutes before they came by. The male birds are quite colourful with a blue head, red breast and yellow back. The females are light green. These birds are fairly small, about 5 inches in length. (size of a junco or goldfinch). Believe it or not, when they flew into the trees, they were almost impossible to see.

I took quite a few photos before they flew away and have put 6 more on a Gallery on my web site. Feel free to check them out at:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


While in Florida I visited the Naples Zoo and photographed several species of animals and plants. There were two adult lions, a male and female, in one cage and the enclosure wasn't very large. For years I refused to go to zoos because I hated to see animals caged, but in recent years zoos have changed by building larger enclosures. Even though the enclosures were very small at this zoo, I did get an opportunity to take a couple of close-ups of a beautiful animal I hadn't seen, or heard, before (except on TV).

As usual, I can make a photography lesson out of the photos I am sending today. To avoid the wire cage, I used my zoom lens on maximum zoom and stood as close to the wire as possible. As you can see the cage is nearly invisible in the first two photos. When I zoomed back to a wider angle, the cage was annoying and I had to switch to manual focus in order to focus on the lion.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Florida Sunrise

During my stay in Florida I got up early every morning to photograph the sunrises. Each one was different and equally beautiful. I took close to 60 photos of this particular sunrise. Today's photos were taken between 7:50 and 7:58 AM during the first morning.

I was walking near the orange orchards of Citrus Park as the sun began to rise behind the trees. The first two were taken from the same location one minute apart. Note how fast the sun rises in the sky in that period of time.

Taking these types of photos is a little tricky because as the sun rises the sky is much brighter than the foreground. I focused (and metered) on the brightest part of the image which caused the camera to expose for a bright scene. This allowed me to capture the rich colours and silhouettes.

The third photo was taken looking between two rows of orange trees. I really liked the effect of the mist that nearly shrouded the trees in the background. Once again, I focused on the brightest area to capture the rich colours of the sunrise.

Peace and beauty are two words that come to mind when I view these photos.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Baby Shrikes

I took over 5000 photos in Florida during my most recent trip and over the next while I'll share some of my favourite with you. I am sending 5 photos of baby shrike that were nearly ready to leave their nest, located next door to the place I stayed. The birds never came back after my second day there so I was lucky to get these images.

While I was able to sneak pretty close to the babies, the four close ups I am sharing were cropped from the originals. Enjoy.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I will be in Florida in a few days and will not be sending my Photo of the Day for the next two weeks. I will, if possible, continue to upload daily photos to my Photo of the Day Blog -

The photos this morning were taken at Lovers Key Beach near Bonita Springs and shows people enjoying a day on the beach - and the beautiful weather.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Viking Boat, L'Anse aux Meadows

Photography Lesson - Viking Boat

I was looking at photos of L'Anse aux Meadows and thought that a discussion of how I took today's images might be useful to some of the people on this list.

People often ask how I can take so many photos in a short period of time. I hardly ever take only one photograph of anything. The three images that follow were taken in less than one minute. I was using a 17-40 mm lens, so I knew that I could get pretty close to the boat in order to emphasize its interesting shape. Kneeling down helped to emphasize the shape even more. I zoomed in to remove as much of the background as I could, then took the first photograph. By removing the background, I am forcing the viewer to look at the boat's shape.

Eleven seconds later, I had zoomed back to give me the widest angle. The boat now seems longer in the front, and a little narrower. More of the background is now visible, but the boat is still the dominant subject.

I walked around and took a photo of the boat while looking in the opposite direction. This time I decided to include the paddles, part of the Viking house and the fence.

Even though these photos are similar, each shows something different about the boat. The first two concentrate on the boat's shape rather than it's location. The third provides more information about location: its proximity to the house, the size of the village and fenced yards, the lack of trees in the area, and the type of oars Vikings used.

I took 31 photos of this boat during my visit to the Viking site in L'Anse aux Meadows. If I were shooting slides (I haven't taken a roll in 5 years), I probably would have taken 2 - 3 rolls of 36 frames - around 100 photos at a cost of $80. With my digital camera, I took 250 photos of the village and its people in the two hour visit. That day, I took a total of 627 photos. At no cost for film!
PHOTO HINT! Take lots of photos! Especially if you are using a digital camera. Try different angles and you will "see" that things don't look the same even if you are looking at the same subject.

If you would like to see other photos from my L'Anse aux Meadows Galleries go to - VIKING GALLERIES


Minimalist - Water

Minimalist - Water Today, I finished sharing minimalist photos of water in my Minimalist 29 - Water 4 Facebook Album. I take lots of picture...