Monkey Business

Another shot from my trip to Trang, Thailand.  On returning from a boat trip to Koh Libong my friends and I were greeted by the resort owner who was shouting "quick, quick come and see the coconut show!".  Intrigued to know what a "coconut show" was (I've witnessed fire shows, king-cobra shows and others here in Thailand, but never a coconut show) we quickly followed to find three men with three monkeys on long leashes.  The monkeys were climbing to the top of the palms and, with their hands, twisting the coconuts until they fell to the ground.  I guess they had been working for about an hour as the ground was littered with coconuts.  After the last coconut had fallen the resort owner gave a few hundred baht (~$6) to the handlers and that was that.

It was getting late and the light was failing, so the only shot I was able to get was this one.  The expression of the monkey looking-up at his "handler" is rather sad.  I'm not going to comment on animal welfare here in Thailand, not right now at least.

Pelicans at Noosa

Taken around the same time as yesterdays shot, here are some of the many resident Pelicans staying around our campsite in Noosa.

Mellow Yellow

I managed to get out on my bike today and headed down towards Henley.  Great cycling weather; sunny with a few clouds to break-it-up and a nice breeze.  My standard route to Henley follows one of the many Sustrans cycle routes and passes through a vast rapeseed field.  I stopped and took a few shots, this being one of a few I shall post here.

Birds in Flight

I was cycling along the towpath and could see about 100 gulls ahead all waiting on the River bank (are these gulls? I've never been much of an ornithologist).  There was no-one else around and an idea quickly hatched that I would run up to the birds, scare them all into flight and get some dramatic national geographic-esque shots of Birds in Flight

Easier said than done, plus I hadn't really thought it through.  I ditched my bike, got out the camera and started briskly walking towards the gulls, sure enough the first few started to fly-off but by the time I had sorted the camera they were already settled on the opposite bank.  No problem, still quite a few left to get those shots I was hoping for.  I started walking forward now with my camera in position, this meant I wasn't quite so brisk and the gulls just casually flew-off one-by-one to the opposite bank.  Not at all the mass hysteria I had planned wished to create…  this continued until the last of the gulls was on the opposite bank.

On returning home and loading my shots the my computer the best I had is this shot; it's a quarter crop from the original and not really what I was after, but on turning it into a black & white and toying with a few of the adjustment bars in Photoshop I've decided to post it here.

I've been thinking about this, and in hindsight I think you would need another person to run-up fast behind the gulls to scare them all at once while you were all set-up ready to shoot – it's a two man job.

Finally, if you are interested, Time magazine has just released their Best Photographs of 2006 – they are all a bit bleak IMO.

Sacred Goat

One morning while staying at Kovalam beach I woke early and went for a cliff-top walk.  Goats, cows and chickens all run around freely and this one chose the best place to chillout in the morning sun.  You can see the lighthouse from Lighthouse Beach (aptly named) – the same place as yesterdays shot.

Dandy Lion

Adding to my Nature category, here’s a shot from Ockwells Park (again) while walking the dog (again).

Pink rose

Running low on shots to post again, this one was taken about a month ago in my front garden. Will try and get out tomorrow for a small session.

Scary looking tree

Another shot taken while walking the dog in our local park. Had a bit of a nightmare with Photoshop and this one; the colours looked great in Photoshop but when saved and viewed in a browser they were way off. After a little Googling I discoved that Photoshop uses extra information about your monitor that other programs don’t. After turning off the ‘monitor profile’ and using a more generic ‘web profile’ all was good.

Back in the UK

I haven’t posted in a long while for a couple of reasons…

1. Back in March, when I was visiting my family in the UK, I offered to take the dog for a walk and thought it an ideal opportunity to take some photos around the picturesque village of Cookham. I put the dog in the car, picked out some sturdy walking boots and drove off leaving my camera bag on the roof. Ouch! An expensive day (note to self: get camera insurance). It took me a couple of months of grieving before I re-purchased another 20D + lens +++.

2. As well as being camera-less I have also been unwell. And as well as being unwell I have also relocated back to the UK. All of which hasn’t helped me keep my photoblog up-to-date.

Anyhow… This photo was taken with my new 20D in Cookham while walking the dog having relocated back to the UK. I hope to post entries on a more regular basis from now on.