I have slowly been getting through my Midway images. I know, it is now nearly three months since I was there! There is no particular theme or linkage between the following images but the first two have a moody feel to them.
As you will know by now, I love to show animals in the context of their environment so here are two such images. The first shows a Laysan Albatross silhouetted in flight against an orange coloured sunset sky with swirling dark clouds on the top and bottom of the frame.
The second shows tree branches that had become embedded in the sand on the beach of the main island – probably during the tsunami that washed over large parts of Midway on March 12 (more on this in an upcoming blog), a month before I visited. To take this image, I placed a camera with a wide-angled lens in the sand, close to the branches. I attached a cable release to the camera and an angle finder to the view finder. I then waited for an Albatross to fly into the frame. In this particular image, a slightly blurry, Red-Tailed Tropic bird can also be seen. You will also notice that the clouds on the right hand side of the image have a distinct green cast. This has nothing to do with poor image processing. Rather it is the result of the aqua-emerald green (I think I’ve just invented a new colour) lagoon water reflecting onto the clouds.
I’m always fascinated by the interaction between the adult Albatrosses and their chicks on Midway. One or both of the parents will disappear for up to three weeks, often flying thousands of miles to forage and feed on squid in the vast expanses of the North-East Pacific. The chicks are often left alone during these periods without food or liquid and many are precariously positioned in areas of the atoll where they must bear the full force of the elements. When the parent(s) does return, the chicks are usually ravenously hungry and desperate for their parent to regurgitate the digested squid that they have consumed over the previous days and weeks. In an effort to regurgitate, the parents will sometimes attack a neighboring, unguarded chick belonging to another adult Albatross. This merciless pecking looks exceedingly cruel but the victims do not seem to be physically any the worse for wear after their ordeal while it seems that the activity and adrenaline created by the attack makes it easier for the parent to regurgitate.
Moving away from Midway, I have spent a bit of time playing around with montages, ie blending images together using various blending modes and then running the images through one or more of the filters found in Nik’s Colour Efex Pro. The following is my favourite to date. This is a blend of two images. The first, a blue coloured wall shot in Valparaiso, Chile and the second, a group of three Andean Flamingos feeding on Lake Chaxa in Northern Chile. With apologies to Artie Morris, I guess you can call this birds as art or in this case, Flamingos as art.