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  • Landscape Photography in Iceland | 2015
    on conversations with myself with bewildered fish with whatever swims my way In contrast endurance and patience were our only real limits in Iceland Plus the ability to talk was a novelty We talked about a lot of things though you might be surprised at how infrequently topics related to photography came up Sure when the time came to settle in and get serious about triggering the shutter we exchanged thoughts about perspective settings timing etc but for the most part we conversed about current events social trends politics etc We were mostly cut off from the internet and other outside interference so it was the perfect opportunity to really talk really listen really spend time thinking It reminded me of the good old days before instant communication and the expectation of instant response permeated our existence The fact that I ve maintained a consistent presence online for almost a decade should demonstrate that I m not a Luddite by any means but still being disconnected for a couple of weeks was refreshing It was nice mainly because I got to know Jon really well We ve been friends for six years or so but think of it this way When is the last time you had an opportunity to spend 24 7 with a friend for two weeks with nearly no interruption from emails phone calls etc with the opportunity to chat and explore issues in depth with discussions spanning many hours spread out over days Dramatic skies during rainy sunset western Iceland License image In between talks and lots of wandering around we stumbled into a few excellent photo opportunities The scene above for example materialised out of nowhere We had just dropped off a couple of hitchhikers Dutch and German female geology students hiking and camping their way around Iceland when the sky clouded up then turned brilliant shades of red orange and purple It was dark cold and drizzly and we had to schlep gear through excrement laden fields lots of cute but poop prone sheep in Iceland It was all a bit of a confused rush I m still not sure how I managed to get a decent photo in the chaos Shortly thereafter we made it to a well photographed place Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula We actually got lost and headed the wrong way at first but fortunately corrected course in time to pull up a little before sunrise Kirkjufellsfoss Iceland at sunrise License image I ve said this before but it bears repeating Light is everything to photography After getting the photo above for instance I was ready to pack it in The sky had grown dull and it was cold But Jon having substantially more experience than I do with this type of photography thought it wise to wait About half an hour later golden light broke through a hole in the clouds and hit the waterfall just so Just perfectly so All the possibility and promise of a new

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/lovely-landscape-photography-iceland-2015 (2016-04-26)
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  • Atlantic Puffins in Iceland | Fratercula arctica
    from their burrows from time to time plodded around a bit grabbed mouthfuls of grass then disappeared back into their homes Puffin with a mouthful of nesting materials License image Sometimes the grass proved to be stubborn and wouldn t break free Instead of moving on to tug at a different patch of grass puffins would often double down on their chosen greenery They d brace both bright red feet against the turf and yank with all their might tugging one way then another pulling with every little fiber of their dorky yet adorable bodies Most times this monumental test of avian will resulted in the desired outcome producing a mouthful of prime nesting fodder On more than one occasion though we watched as a bird lost its grip and tumbled backward from its own momentum recovering moments later to look around with a half dazed expression of You didn t see that Nope You didn t see that One fell off the cliff The laughs didn t stop there though Atlantic puffin landing on a cliff in Iceland License image Puffins are not graceful flyers They are if anything awkward but mostly competent Proof of this came in the form of sound While lying on the ground eye to eye with a few birds Jon and I heard a loud noise somewhat of a cross between a Plop and and a Thud a Thlop perhaps The cause wasn t immediately obvious until we noticed it again when we spied a puffin returning from sea In hindsight I am quite certain that said bird fully intended to make landfall next to us with as much savoir faire as is plausible for a puffin That didn t happen though The bird smacked belly first into the side of the cliff tumbling

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/atlantic-puffins-iceland-fratercula-arctica (2016-04-26)
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  • Japanese Luna Moth (Actias artemis) | Kochi, Japan
    in Kochi prefecture Japanese luna moth Actias artemis License image We didn t know what it was at the time I was rushing off to dinner and he had to get back home to do homework so we didn t have time to figure out an ID A couple of days later though he gave me the drawing and text below the product of research he had done at school Taketo s moth ID research Roughly translated the text says The name of the moth we saw is probably one of these two To Tony from Taketo The one on the left turned out to be the correct ID It is so totally cool that he took the initiative to dig through books to look for an ID and then went to the trouble of photocopying probable matches and writing this note for me Even better it s a reminder that curiosity and a desire to learn are traits we should cultivate and never lose While I m sharing drawings from young friends here s one that Taketo and his younger siblings Tatsuto and Honami gave me on my birthday It s a birthday card one of the best I

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/japanese-luna-moth-actias-artemis (2016-04-26)
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  • Black-eared Kites (Milvus migrans lineatus) | Japan | トビ
    Milvus migrans lineatus magnificent birds of prey with a distinctive call that I absolutely love Black eared kite Milvus migrans lineatus in flight License image These birds which are called tobi in Japanese are abundant in Kochi prefecture patrolling the skies preening on beaches soaring high above the treetops Black eared kite flying above the ocean License image From a bit of background reading on the internet I gather that the birds in this area are a sub species of black kites Milvus migrans which are found all over the world One visual marker for the sub species seems to be the distinctive white patch on the underside of the wings Like most large raptors these birds usually fly high above making it difficult to take photos other than from far below I was lucky enough to find a spot that got me elevated enough to be at eye level for the occasional fly by The penetrating glare of a black eared kite License image And with some persistence i e sitting in one place for far too long being antisocial ignoring everyone and everything else I was able to watch individuals argue a few times like this A couple

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/black-eared-kites-milvus-migrans-lineatus-japan (2016-04-26)
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  • Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) | Kochi, Japan | アオサギ
    Herons in Japan I stretched my photographic wings while I was in Kochi prefecture recently and spent some time taking pictures of birds Grey herons Ardea cinerea for instance are common in the area so much so that they are considered a nuisance by the farmers who don t take kindly to the big birds traipsing through rice paddies flattening plants Herons are opportunistic though I saw them among rice paddies at the seaside along rivers and streams and even in the mountains Grey heron flying over ocean wings fully extended License image I spent a few days looking for a place to take photos of the birds in flight failing miserably until I stumbled across the perfect perch by sheer chance I was trying to photograph black eared kites when a trio of herons swooped past several times I think I shrieked with joy because nearby fishermen glanced over with What the heck is your problem expressions No biggie I m used to that I love the way herons trail their legs behind them while in flight License image In case you re ever in Japan and have an urgent need to say grey heron these birds are known

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/grey-herons-ardea-cinerea-japan (2016-04-26)
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  • Frogs in Japan | Hyla japonica, Rana ornativentris
    frogs like this Staring contest with a Japanese tree frog Hyla japonica License image It s a Japanese tree frog Hyla japonica known as amagaeru in Japanese They re not particularly rare but they re so adorable I couldn t help but smile and feel happy whenever I came across one of these little green gems Incidentally they re not always so green They can shift hues to better match background I actually saw a couple of these delightful dumplings when I was in this area in 2014 but I didn t have proper camera equipment at the time I packed lots of photo gear with me this visit though which facilitated this close up heart to heart with Kermit san Japanese tree frog sitting in a tree License image On a different occasion one of these tree frogs which don t always live in trees for some reason decided that I looked a tree Said misguided frog hopped on to me and climbed up to take a look around from the top of my head Sheesh No respect from the locals Japanese tree frog using me as a lookout post I saw at least two more species of frogs

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/frogs-in-japan-hyla-japonica-rana-ornativentris (2016-04-26)
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  • Beautiful Unspoiled Coastline and Beach | Kochi, Japan
    was in Kochi prefecture in Japan to photograph mating whitespotted bamboo sharks Kochi prefecture is part of Shikoku the smallest and least populated of the four main islands that comprise Japan Kochi is also one of the poorest of the nation s 47 prefectures a status that some would see as a disadvantage When I first visited last year though I saw the upside in this right way namely that much of Kochi has not been overdeveloped There is a tendency in Japan as elsewhere to bulldoze and demolish every last bit of nature in the name of progress Kochi city is an urban centre but much of the prefecture is different There are still coastlines with no concrete Rivers that haven t been paved over and uglified There are birds insects amphibians Life I was on a mission with the bamboo sharks last year so I didn t have the requisite time equipment or mental preparation to take photographs of anything but the sharks The photographic potential of the area stuck in my mind though As fate would have it I was fortunate enough to get another opportunity to visit Kochi this year invited for a photo exhibition and a series of presentations Though I was occupied for much of my stay I managed to grab time in between lugging all sorts of new equipment around with the hope of capturing and conveying some of the area s natural beauty on pixels me trying to look like a photographer probably not fooling anyone I spent a couple of days exploring the coast going back to areas that I recalled spotting when I drove past last year In the end I chose a single beach just below an overlook known as fushigoe no hana pictured above I scoped the area out several times noted the tide times and decided that I d try to photograph the beach at sunrise since it faces east Sunrise as it turned out was at about 05 10 which meant getting up at 04 00 argh and trudging out there pre coffee pre anyone else sane being awake I have to be honest The morning of I came close to just saying screw it and going back to bed especially since it was dark chilly and cloudy I m happy I summed up enough willpower to haul myself out to the beach that morning though The skies weren t as nice as I d hope they be so I knew right away that the shot I had envisioned wasn t going to happen But as I looked up and down the beach and watched the progress of the skies I realised that there was an opportunity to express the rugged beauty of this area emphasising the wild the untamed the unpredictable The exact opposite of the paved the developed the subjugated After that morning I went back two more times Once late at night to photograph the same beach by moonlight Fushigoe no hana beach

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/photographing-rocky-coastline-kochi-prefecture-shikoku-japan (2016-04-26)
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  • Underwater Photography Blog | Tony Wu
    2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2013 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January 2012 December 2012 November 2012 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2011 December 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 July 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2010 December 2010 November 2010 October 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2009 December 2009 November 2009 October 2009 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 February 2009 January 2008 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2007 December 2007 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2006 December 2006 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June Posts in Wildlife and Landscapes Friday Mar 28 2014 Quiet Reflection Photograph

    Original URL path: http://www.tonywublog.com/journal/category/wildlife-and-landscapes/P10 (2016-04-26)
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