Tuesday, 24 January 2012
The human face is the center of all mental attention. Programmed to see faces everywhere we look, it is the first thing we perceive, indeed the first thing we instinctively look for, as newly born beings. If things go well, it is also the last thing we see before we expire. With our powerful imaginations, it only makes sense that we would give a human face to the elements, the animals and plants, the day and the night, the heavens, and the earth itself. We combine our inherent diversity with our insatiable imaginations, to produce faces of infinite potential, and ubiquitous meaning.
Thursday, 12 January 2012
It is a snowless January in Rhode Island, and while this is almost certainly a bad thing in terms of the larger "climate chaos" discussion, for the purposes of expeditions, it is a blessing. Arriving at the RISD Farm*, we were greeted with bearably cold air, bright sunshine, and a vast expanse of low grass, bounded by dense marches of naked trees. The blue tone of the light overlaid the red in the brown tree trunks, turning them purple. Beyond that alien vegetation lay the sea, our ultimate destination.
*NB - The RISD Farm is actually not a farm, but a beach, while the "RISD Beach" which is really just a swath of grass in an otherwise urban landscape.
At the edge of the field stood a strange manmade structure, which I originally thought to be just a cardboard roof, a home to some unfortunate homeless person. Such a supposition is clearly the work of my third world instincts; anyone squatting in this place would be dead.
Upon closer inspection it became obvious that this was an intentional structure, one which was actually very well crafted and built. The process of curving those wooden arcs would have been arduous, and overall, the structure seemed to have resisted the elements quite well. Still, its "contents" for lack of a better word made me curious. Perhaps the structure simply functions as a shelter for firewood. The waterproof tarp seems to imply as much.
A green carpet led into the trees (past meadow grounds), and the tangled branches became alive with the sound of birds. Small flocks of finches scattered among branches whose long blue shadows draped over brambles and piles of wood, both natural and manmade.
Then there was a path that parted a sea of reeds.
Passing through, one could hear the sounds of a busy and constant tapping, the sound of a tiny woodpecker conducting his business not on solid wood but hardened grass. No sooner had I spotted him than he had disappeared, lost in a sea of tan and gold.
The beach, is always a crossroads. A ribbon of earth, its sands are always moving like water, and so it shares the natures of both its parents, the two worlds it separates. Here it captured the tracks of its siblings, the dogs of the land and the birds of the sea.
The nebulous combination of frames of canine motion form a probability density distribution for the existence of the beast, superimposing several slivers of time, at a time.
At the water's edge, science is conducted. Though the sample is clear and cold, undoubtedly it teems with life.
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
The following are simply photographs from a recent exercise in observing a Snapping Turtle skull.
Using a proscope, (essentially a hand held microscope but with less intense magnification) closer observations were made. Note the multiple textures exhibited by this single bone.
|Somewhat porous looking spongy bone. Note the microfracture that almost bisects the image. |
This was probably an active seam of the bone during the animal's life, allowing the skull to move and change shape through growth and maturation.
|Edge of Optic or Nasal cavity, where keratinaceous beak grows.|
|A view through the eye (at other orifices).|
Sunday, 1 January 2012
I've always had an obsession with certain neighbourhoods, or *types* of neighbourhoods in "the East" of Trinidad. Of course, by "East", I refer in the most typical and ignorant fashion to anything "past d' lighthouse" (when taken from a western perspective). Recently, I've realized that fascination really amounts in some degree to a love for Trinidadian suburbs. The 360º pseudo-panorama below is an attempt at summarizing a sleepy Wednesday afternoon in Preysal, Couva. Incidentally, it may win the award for most overexposed shot of the year. (Make sure to enlarge).
Close-ups reveal some of the usual inhabitants. This one (below) seemed more panther than dog due to his the languor of his posture and the cool sheen of his black coat.
Instead of just picking one of a series of average shots of the aforementioned panther-dog, it seemed more interesting to try to combine the chronological series of his facial expressions and movements, from investigative panting, through quizzical computation, to expected bark.
Moving on from the suburbs, one can expect to encounter a generic corner shop, where bleached posters flaunting horrendous graphic design, can be found in multiple abundance. (The overall green tint of the pictures is the result of the windshield of the car in which I was seated at the time.)
|Bigger size. More Penis.|
... that's what I read anyway.
(Don't act like I'm the only one.)
The journey continued and we eventually arrived in Valsayn (my ideal living location, were I to suddenly become rich overnight). Here I encountered a "rare Valsaynian Wall Cactus" (totally legit name right?), and enjoyed the evening light overlooking a fertile plot of land, experimenting again with the multi-shot stitching technique - the poor man's panoramic lens. (Again, enlarge for best effect).