Archive: » 2016 » November

Aliens…It Must’ve Been Aliens

Mudflats are interesting places, superficially a single featureless creature - but the closer one gets, and the more attention one pays to the being that once made up the entire west coast of Trinidad - the more it seems like another world altogether. At high tide, it's completely covered by the lapping waves. At low tide, soft exposed mud is attended to by a number of birds, invertebrates and a specially adapted fish called the anableps. Sitting quietly at the edge of the soft mud allows one some intimate time with the inhabitants of this special eco-system. Fiddler Crabs are most present, but they...

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Some MF Rarities

So naturally, once I no longer possessed a working lens, reports of rarities started coming in thick and fast. Hahaha. The south-western end of Tobago is an important stop on the southern journey of migratory waterfowl, and the sewerage ponds and drains never disappoint. I have previously spoken about the joys of the drains of Bon Accord here; this time however, the sewerage ponds kept all the treasures close to its filthy heart. The unmistakable gaunt figure of a Great Blue Heron was the first thing that caught our attention upon arrival, and somehow it didn't immediately fly off once we saw it. Great...

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The Aftermath

Slowly recovering from the shock of losing lens function at the end of 2015, I started 2016 on a completely new page. I had twiddled my thumbs enough. I had put my camera away expecting the problem to magically disappear. It didn't. Eventually, I decided to plug in my 1.4x extender and see what happened. Miraculously, I was able to take a picture. It's a give and take, right? I gained some extra focal length (now shooting at 560mm), but at the same time lost some light (maximum aperture f/8) and, perhaps most critically, the ability to autofocus. Ever thankful for small mercies, I decided to bring...

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CBC 2015: A Tale of Two Bitterns

The time is almost upon us for the next Christmas Bird Count - scheduled for 27th December, 2016. The CBC is an international activity started many years ago by John James Audubon himself, with the aim of attempting to quantify avian life in as many areas as possible. Initially focussing on American birds, it has since expanded with the advent of global communication to include many other territories. Here, in Trinidad and Tobago, we hold the annual event typically between Christmas and New Year's. With just over a month to go until this year's edition, I've reached the end of 2015's images, in my seemingly...

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Manakin Challenge

So I've been noticing that the internet has been ablaze with this ridiculous challenge about Manakins. Obviously, I must follow, because I'm always on the lookout for new viral trends. So here's my attempt at this famous "Manakin Challenge" with the invaluable assistance of some of my feathered bros. White-bearded Manakin:             Golden-headed Manakin:             Blue-backed Manakin:             Now in the context of the Caribbean,...

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“Three is a Crowd” and Other Stories

Ever used to read those compilation books? I had a bunch of them, Brer Rabbit and other stories. It was always an invitation whenever I saw a book marked "...and Other Stories" - what were these mysterious other stories? And why were they deemed insignificant? I'd hate to end up as an "other story". But perhaps, to some people, I am just that. We all are, at the end of the day. We're all someone's other story. Here's my life, and other stories. Embarrassing stories? Steamy stories? Who's judging? Anyway, back on track! Today I'm sharing a hodgepodge of images, and we'll start with a shout-out...

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13 of My All-time Favourite B&W Images

Over the years I've made thousands of images of the natural world around me, most of them in full, vivid colour as they are meant to be. Nature is, after all, the full representation of the spectrum; even beyond the visible, as many animals can perceive wavelengths of colour beyond what we are capable of. I believe this is the main reason why most nature/wildlife photographers retain the colour in their images. After all, if you're showing your audience something they've never seen before, you should leave nothing untouched (in terms of representing your subject, of course). Without colour, however,...

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Now I Don’t Usually Photograph Birds on Wires, But When I Do…

It must be something pretty, or pretty rare. I generally avoid man-made objects in my images, the main reason being that I am completely obsessed with a world without humans. Also, some man-made objects can tend to add a tasteful urbanization to an image. Perhaps the title of a future blog post? Hmmm. But sometimes, it's the only damn shot you got. Which was definitely the case here. Something I hadn't seen before caught my eye whilst driving one day, and I had to pull on the side instantly. Finally, I laid eyes upon a pair of Brown-throated Parakeet. They were on a termite mound, well, I should...

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Why “President Trump” makes me sh!t myself all the way in Trinidad

DISCLAIMER: This is not a photographic-type post. This is purely a rant.   Let me start by unequivocally stating that I have one of the biggest known aversions to politics a person can have. I have observed people on social media talking big about both candidates for the US election, of course, you know Trinis, once Mr. Trump won, so many of them jumped on that “I told you so” bandwagon. I guess people have an inherent need to be “right”, some need to be validated by others. Well, to each their own, I guess. I’m not saying that I was a Clinton supporter – that’s definitely...

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Big Birds and Little Creatures

Well, it's been a while since I've posted, of course not as long as my previous hiatus (thankfully) but still longer than I'd prefer. From the T&T Bioblitz last weekend, to a hissy fit about unsustainable hunting, to most recently, the death of one of my favourite teachers - it's been quite an eventful week. Browsing that backlog of images from last year, I came across some backyard images I made after the first rains for 2015. Last year we had a long dry spell, and everyone felt the brunt of it. We always think of large animals suffering the most when it comes to a drought, of course that's...

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