Wanderlust – Lochbuie Stone Circle

Mystical energy abounds@

I have to say the WordPress has been on a roll with their Weekly Photo Challenges, as they provide ample inspiration.  This week’s theme of Wanderlust is another cool one, so I figure that I’ll share some of my travel images over the next couple of days.

Let’s kick this week off with a rather magical location that is filled with energy reaching across the ages: the Lochbuie Stone Circle on the Isle of Mull, Scotland.  There is a small and well preserved stone circle overlooked by spectacular Ben Buie (in the background in this photo) and standing within the grounds of Lochbuie House.

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Loch Buie Stone Circle

The circle was originally nine granite stones, set in a ring about 12 metres in diameter, with the tallest stone being about two metres high. It is mainly composed of granite slabs which have been positioned with their flatter faces towards the inside of the circle. One of the original stones has been removed and replaced in recent times with a low boulder.

There are also three single stones set in the field at different distances from the circle. The nearest of these outlying stones is 5m away to the south-east, and is only 1m tall. The second outlier is a spectacular monolith 3m high and set about 40m away to the south-west. Also south-west of the circle, 107m away, is the third outlier, over 2 metres high. The stone is broken at the top and was probably taller when erected.

While walking this area, I could feel increased energy flowing forth from certain locations, which were imbued with power that reaches across time and space.  Clearly, this was a location of great importance to early settlers.

Diversity of the Earth – pt. 7

This could be a prince!

This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Earth, which is appropriate, given that Saturday is Earth Day.  So I figured that I would do a weeklong series of different views of the Earth that I have experienced.  Feel free to join in with the fun!

In this seventh and final episode, I’d like to feature a group of animals that have adapted themselves perfectly to the water-rich planet that we call home: Amphibians.  Their ability to make the best use of both water and land environment, has made them an evolutionary success story.

On top of that, they are often gorgeous to look at, such as this one….

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Patient Frog

This shot came about when I noticed this beautiful frog sitting next to a decorative pond; I decided to try and approach it, by crawling on my stomach to slowly get within shooting distance.  As I got closer, I’d take another image or two, until I got myself hanging out over the pond to get this angle.  After this shot, I put my camera down and gently pulled myself back on safe ground.

The frog never moved!

Technical Details

This images were captured with Canon EOS 1D MkII using an Canon EF 24-104mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/60 second at f/7.1 and 400 ISO.

Diversity of the Earth – pt. 6

A new treatment of Skye

This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Earth, which is appropriate, given that Saturday is Earth Day.  So I figured that I would do a weeklong series of different views of the Earth that I have experienced.  Feel free to join in with the fun!

In this sixth episode, I’d like to share some of the awe that I experienced visiting the Isle of Skye during our trip to Scotland.  This island in the Inner Hebrides is the largest and northernmost in the group, carrying the shape of a lobster claw.  What struck me about Skye is its diversity in presentation to the camera’s lens, as each turn of a road provides fresh views unlike no other and the movement of clouds paints the hills with shadow and light to create one-of-a-kind other-worldly vistas from one minute to the next.

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Skye’s the Limit!

This view is across the Quiraing range on the Trotternish peninsula; after finding a reasonably high vantage point, I simply enjoyed Nature’s slideshow, which was on display with unending generosity.

Technical Details

This image series was captured with Canon EOS 5D MkIII using an Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/125s at f/18 and 400 ISO for the middle image and -1/+1 EV for the bracketing images.  These were processed using Photomatix Pro.

Diversity of the Earth – pt. 5

Beauty to behold.

This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Earth, which is appropriate, given that Saturday is Earth Day.  So I figured that I would do a weeklong series of different views of the Earth that I have experienced.  Feel free to join in with the fun!

In this fifth episode, I’m going to another part of the animal kingdom: lepidoptera!  Usually, butterflies are admired by most of us from a young age, as they are frail and beautiful.  Their close cousings, the moths, tend to have a bad rap, as we all know about keeping moths away from woolen clothes, lest they be moth-eaten!

However, there many gorgeous species of moths, such as this Giant Swallowtail!

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Giant Swallowtail

This image came from a trip to a local butterfly habitat where this beautiful moth was sitting quietly, hoping for more warmth, as it tried to recover, as it had been touched by someone, who didn’t think about how delicate these creatures are.

Technical Details

This images were captured with Canon EOS 5D MkIII using an Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/125 second at f/6.3 and 200 ISO.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – RGB

The good primaries!

Welcome to Week 54 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.  As we’re into the second year of the Tuesday Photo Challenge, the pressure is on to keep raising the game, both mine and, by challenging each of you, yours!

So, you’re probably looked at the title of this post and wondered where I’m going with this week’s challenge…  If you guessed it, your mind is as full of twisty passages as mine!  My challenge to you this week is to use RGB: Red, Green and Blue.  In your photo have each of the colors red, green and blue be represented.  This may seem a bit tricky, but I think that by looking around, you’ll quickly see how often these colors occur in the world around you.

What will be interesting to me, is how you will use these colors in your photography to express their primal existence within our world.  I’m very much looking forward to your entries!  As always, you have free rein with your interpretation and direction of creative outlet, so color your world with fun imagination!

Even though, I had a very specific image of mine in mind, when I thought of this challenge, I’m leading off with another image…

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Just Paperclips…

These paperclips came from an experiment I performed during a product photography course, when I wanted to show the humble paperclip in a different light.  Using light and arrangement to add a bit of pop and drama, and a macro lens to get extreme size, I created this image just over 3 years ago.

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Very much looking forward to all of your great images!  Should be a fun week!

Diversity of the Earth – pt. 4

Catch bull moose at 4!

This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge has the theme of Earth, which is appropriate, given that Saturday is Earth Day.  So I figured that I would do a weeklong series of different views of the Earth that I have experienced.  Feel free to join in with the fun!

One of the areas of amazing diversity is the Animal Kingdom.  The level of adaptation to the opportunities presented in our planet’s environment is simply stunning!  From bacteria that thrive in volcanic vents on the bottom of the ocean to birds of paradise that create mating displays beyond human comprehension and everything in between!

Among my favorites is the moose, featured in our fourth episode…

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Bull Moose in Rain

This image was captured in June, 2006, during a photography weekend led by the wonderful photographer, Mark Picard, whose moose and nature photography are stunning!  As it happened, we were graced by a significant amount of rain during this weekend, for which I was prepared; one of the advantages of doing a lot of outdoor photography in New England is that preparation for lots of different weather conditions becomes second nature.

Despite the weather, we saw around 27 moose in under three days, which was phenomenal.  This bull was very happy grazing the underwater vegetation in this pond and was clealy not affected by the rain 🙂

Technical Details

This images were captured with Canon EOS 1D MkII using a Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-6.3 APO DG lens.  Exposure settings were 1/250 second at f/5.6 and 1000 ISO.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 53

Life’s mysteries abound!

Welcome to the 53rd round up of the Tuesday Photo Challenge!  Together we have crossed a milestone in completing our first year’s worth of Tuesday Photo Challenges!  A heartfelt thank you to all of you who have contributed, read, commented and kept this series going across the first 52 weeks!  Let’s see what the 2nd year brings us!

With a theme like Mystery, I intentionally left the door wide open for your creative horses to gallop through and blaze new trails!  You found mystery and wonder in the world around us, the sky above and even the symbols that we summon to represent us.  You have once again managed to surprise and amaze me!  Thank you!!

Thinking of the theme Mystery, this was one image that also came to my mind…

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Resisting Escape

This image is from my series of surreal images, each of which has a touch of mystery within it.  In this image, we might wonder what is drawing the woman into the sky, or what lies behind this sky?  Why would she resist escape from this dismal bathroom?

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts:

  • Xenia posted first this week with a great haiku and photos in her blog Whippetwisdom.
  • Rheka’s post in wHakAahUa is filled with the mystery of flowers, which is enhanced by technique and beauty.
  • Charles’ image in charlesewaugh is truly mysterious in that, while recognizable as metal, it is not easy to figure out what it really is.
  • Ladyleemanilla combines the mysterious in both some of the unusual items that she captured and the beautiful text that accompanies it.
  • The only deadhead in the hameau provides a stunning, mysterious image in theonlyD800inthehameau; go check it out…
  • iBallRTW brings us to the Thar Desert in Rajasthan, India, for some very unusual animal tracks.  Can you tell what animal made these tracks?
  • Candace juxtaposes the old and new in her post in Netdancer’s Musings; a mysterious blend results.
  • Leola’s brings us a mystery in Spiritually and Emotionally Connected with a photo that asks the viewer to identify what might be happening.
  • Ron brings us a touch of mystery in his post in Progressing into Solitude, and adds a touch of Elmo to it!
  • Amy brings us the mystery of horses in her blog The World is a Book…; what might these horses be hiding?
  • Marie’s post in The New 3Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect is a bit mysterious, as Jupiter was crying…
  • George, who writes the blog The Alchemist of the Woods may not have enjoyed flying (for all the right reasons), but did bring some mountain mystery with photos and poetry!
  • Miriam went all out in her post in the Showers of Blessing, as she peeled back some of the layers of mystery of our favorite planet!
  • Leaking Ink has a cat with a nose for mysteries, who solves them without any encouragement of humans!
  • Steve celebrates Earth Day with us in a Bum without a Beach and brings along some Muscovy ducks for good measure!
  • Judith shares a mysterious look from her cat in Nature Knows Best with a little touch of Macavity!
  • Debbie brings us another Forgiving Fridays post in ForgivingConnects, examining the mystery of love with a little encouragement of Meister Eckhart!
  • Khürt brings us the mystery of looking into a house in his blog, Island in the Net, as we wonder what might be going on in this house…
  • Miriam shares mystery and wonder in her post in Out an’ About, as she brings us the moon, the flowers of the earth, the road ahead and many other images!

This is another great set of images, posts and participation!  Thanks to each of you for taking the time and being creative!  You have truly made this first anniversary very special!