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Feb 10, 2010

Catch of the day!

This was a bonus for me, right place, nearly right time as my camera was but mere meters away from the action that started to unfold. I was just coming back indoors when this “commotion” caught my eye. Lo and behold, in the corner of the dog box, this fly had made its way into a spider’s web. A Feather Legged Spider had set up office in this little spot and as usually just gathering dust, until this fortunate moment. When I first saw this, the spider was still trailing its way down to the ever wriggling fly. By the time I had gotten back to the scene of the crime, the fly was already in the process of getting wrapped up. Below is a series of snaps that I got of this bad boy in action as he wastes no time wrapping his meal up for take-away. I wonder if it had a family to feed as that looks quite a bit bigger than him… or is it her? Hmm… curious.
The wind had picked up and drizzle had started to fall so I think both me and the spider had to act quickly...
Unfortunately, I missed the initial paralasis stage where the spider gives the fly the insuing sting while running for my camera.
These photos were taken in quick succession of each other so you can imagine this all went down quite quickly.
Now to tuck the wings back in.
Say your prayers little one...
Final stages of the process.
You can almost see the thorax movement as it works that web at a rapid pace.
Last inspection and closing of any open gaps...
Then all that's left is to grab it and haul it up to safety.
Safely home and into storage. by this time the rain was pounding down and the wind howling so in fear of equipment safety, I retired the camera for a cup of coffee.
I can now only still imagine what Frodo must have gone through when he was in the fly's position...

Among Giants

Living among us giants, faeries still do exist. But, it is the rare few that see them, or at least where and how they live in these modern times... I don't know if any live here anymore as this old house seems quite abandoned. I wonder if they had to move because of all the development that has taken place around them over the last 6 or 7 decades. Sad actually, to think that once there lived the most magical of creatures and we as human beings have forced them out of their habitats...
Okay, not really, this was just me getting creative and adding to my artistic editing. You see, the image below is the original 30 second exposure that I took a few days ago. Note the skew horizon, the very dark foreground and all round poor detail.
While I was looking at this in my photo viewer, ACDSee Pro 2, I wondered what it would look like with lifted shadows and straightened horizon, it brought an intriguing look and feel to it and I wondered about the its potential. Hmmm... PhotoShop!
Okay, so I never did very much in PhotoShop besides a pinch more lighting and a colour boost to give it a bit more life... but I felt it had a void, something was missing, it seemed interestingly boring...
So, now I got creative. First thing I did was go into my archives of photos taken, I rememberd having the perfect picture of an old house that would work, cut and trimmed it to fit. I then had the task of making sure that the old house fits the colour tone and mood of the rest of the image, so some time later, I was happy. Gave the over-all image a complete boost of colour and contrasted brightness.
Threw in another image layer, a high-contrast B&W version which I filtered down to be barely noticeable but to add some more shadow.
Once I'd gotten it to look a little more intersting I decided to give it a more interesting and mystical look... by adding another layer, but this time with a gaussian blur (set to 12.5% blur) and filtered that layer over the others. It, of course, made the foreground a bit too blurry so I erased some (with a 25% eraser) just to add some sharpness back. The end result is quite impressive if I do say so myself. Let's take a look at that one again...
Well, not being completely satisfied (and a little curious), I went forth and converted... to black and white... just to see what it would look like. Well, that's it... another installment done... hope you all liked and enjoyed... take care... take pictures... and have fun!