Month: September 2023

Save the Koala Day

Close-up of a koala sitting in an eucalyptus tree
A koala I photographed in the wild on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

You know how much I love Australia, so it’s no surprise I love cuddly koalas, too! Unfortunately, while found in millions in the past, the koala population has dwindled to less than 100,000 due to deforestation, urban expansion, and hunting.

Holding a rescue koala at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Koalas are found in the wild in parts of eastern Australia  (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia). I was lucky to see koalas in the wild in both New South Wales and South Australia, and I hope both I and others will still be able to do so in the future.

September is Save the Koala Month, and Save the Koala Day is celebrated on the last Friday in September. The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) started this campaign in an effort to save wild koalas whose number is steadily diminishing. Their website has a wealth of information about koalas and what one can do to help them.

Even if you don’t live in Australia but care about koalas, you can help by donating money here or buying something from their online shop (worldwide shipping). If that’s not practical, please help by spreading the word about Save the Koala Day and the Koala Foundation!

I leave you with this cute koala compilation; it’ll melt your heart.

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A Reality So Subtle

In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.

Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz (1864 – 1946) was an American photographer and founder of the controversial movement Photo-Secession that promoted photography as a fine art.

To read more quotes, click here. To read more on photography, click here.

Hope Is the Thing with Feathers

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
  6. Departing Spring
  7. The Skylark
  8. What a Strange Thing!
  9. Although The Wind …
  10. The Old Pond
  11. Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand
  12. Hast thou 2 loaves of bread …
  13. Youth and Age
  14. A Postcard From the Volcano
  15. The Kraken
  16. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
  17. There Is a Solitude of Space
  18. Because I Could Not Stop for Death
  19. Mad Song
  20. Answer July
  21. Success Is Counted Sweetest
  22. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
  23. The Bluebird
  24. A Vision of the End
  25. The Crying of Water
  26. A Rose Has Thorns As Well As Honey
  27. Winter
  28. The Dark Cavalier
  29. There is no Life or Death
  30. Sheep in Winter
  31. To a Snowflake
  32. Sextain
  33. A Crocodile
  34. Sea Fever
  35. The Giant Cactus of Arizona
  36. The Coming of Night
  37. Going to the Picnic
  38. Moon Tonight
  39. A Southern Night
French Vintage Drawing

‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) was one of the most original American poets. She is considered one of the most important American poets of the 19th century, along with Walt Whitman.

To read more poems, click here.

Favorite Photos: August 2023

  1. Favorite Photos: January 2023
  2. Favorite Photos: February 2023
  3. Favorite Photos: March 2023
  4. Favorite Photos: April 2023
  5. Favorite Photos: May 2023
  6. Favorite Photos: June 2023
  7. Favorite Photos: July 2023
  8. Favorite Photos: August 2023
  9. Paris Is Always A Good Idea
  10. Favorite Photos: October 2023
  11. Favorite Photos: November 2023
  12. Favorite Photos: December 2023
  13. Favorite Photos: January 2024
  14. Favorite Photos: February 2024
  15. Favorite Photos: March 2024
  16. Favorite Photos: April 2024
  17. Favorite Photos: May 2024
Close-up of two pink dahlias

Another photo taken with my new Lensbaby Velvet 85 lens, and I’m still in love with it!

All Lensbaby lenses use only manual focus, so it’s best to take lots of photos to make sure you nail the focus – especially when shooting at large apertures, as I do. I love to shoot for the blur, and I normally love F/1.8 to F/2.8, but I noticed that F/2.8 to f/4 works best for me when using a Lensbaby.

And since EXIF data for the lens is not available, it’s best to note what lens and what aperture you were using. Since I only have the Velvet 85, the lens is not an issue, but I tend to forget to note the aperture. I still need to find the best process for this. I think simply going from large to small apertures (F/1.8, which is the largest on this lens, to F/2.8, then F/4, then F/5.6, and so on) would be simplest. Or having cards with the aperture values that you photograph every time you change the value. Oh well, time will tell.

Still-life with pink dahlia, vintage camera and vintage books

I’ve continued experimenting with still-life photos and textures. This is so much fun! I particularly love this photo because it contains the three things I love most: photography, books, and flowers.

I used my macro lens at f/2.8 for this photo and a couple of textures from 2 Lil’ Owls Studio.

Close-up of a pink dahlia

This is another photo taken with the Lensbaby Velvet 85. How gorgeous! Straight out of the camera, hardly any processing needed. Did I mention that I love, love my Lensbaby? I added a texture from 2 Lil’ Owls Studio, since I’m so in love with textures at the moment.

Hackspett, Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) posing in our backyard. This is the old oak tree that both squirrels and birds love.

We call it the Tree of Life. Woodpeckers and squirrels chase each other up and down its trunk, small and not so small birds land on its branches first before jumping down to the bushes closer to food and water, and a lot of insects call it home. It provides a quick getaway for birds and squirrels when they get startled, and even our tabby Minette climbs it every now and then to survey her domain. (I suspect the woodpecker may have something to do with it.)

Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa, Pudrad smaragdflickslända

The butterfly and damselfly season is here, at last! I’ve taken loads of photos, but I didn’t have time to process any of them, save for this one 😅. This is an emerald damselfly couple (Lestes sponsa). The top one is the male; females lack the bright blue color of the males. 

I’m looking forward to setting camp by the little lake in the woods and photographing more damselflies and dragonflies again!

I hope you enjoyed these photos; there are more to come next month.

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