Not about everything

January 3, 2010

Flickr: my top 10 most interesting photos of 2009

Filed under: flickr,photography — takaita @ 08:21
Tags: , , , ,

Here it is again: what flickr thinks are my most interesting photos of last year (2009). This year there were no obviously popular photos in terms of favorites and comments. Nevertheless, flickr has succeeded in creating an order in the photos I uploaded.

#1. In the winter
In the winter
Taken in January 2009, this photo had lots of time to gain interestingness. Personally I am not particuarly impressed by this photo, but it is okay.

#2. Calopteryx splendens
Calopteryx splendens
I like this one. From the population in Utrecht city.

#3. The emperors clothes
The emperors clothes
An exuvia from Anax imperator, the Emperor Dragonfly.

#4. Wren, singing
Wren, singing
Taken with a 70-200mm lens + 1.4 converter. The converter was new in 2009 and it allowed me to do some more things with bird photography.

#5. Sneeuwkapjes
December snow on trees in the city.

#6. Coenagrion pulchellum
Coenagrion pulchellum
One of my first damselfly photos this year. It is not really in focus, but hey, who cares on flickr?

#7. Winterkoning
Another Wren with the 1.4 extender, in my garden this time.

#8. Butomus umbellatus
Butomus umbellatus
Flower with bokeh….

#9. Bittersweet

#10. Sympecma fusca
Sympecma fusca
This photo is probably the only one I would have selected myself. A frosted Winter Damselfly.


January 2, 2009

Flickr: my top 10 most interesting photos of 2008

For what it is worth, because flickr’s interestingness rating usually does not agree with my personal choice. Nevertheless, except for one I do understand that these photos did get a certain interestingness rating.

#10.Viola arvensis
Viola arvensis
This photo is taken with multiple extension tubes in a cleared part of a forest. The background is a cloudy sky, nothing artificial. Indeed the flower itself is sort of tiny – there are very big pansies growing in gardens, but wild ones aren’t that big where I live.

#9. untitled

Well, people on flickr love this kind of photos. It’s fun and quite easy to make, but I do not regard it as anything special.

#8. Sturnus vulgaris
Sturnus vulgaris
Portrait of the European Starling. Taken in my garden. In the days I made this, I was happy with it, because it was showing that my plans for backyard bird photography were working. Although there is not much wrong with it, this photo would not be on my personal list of 2008.

#7. Aegithalos caudatus
Aegithalos caudatus
Long-tailed Tit. Taken from inside my car. While spending a weekend somewhere nice, I noticed that some birds were really interested in their reflection in the car mirrors. I wanted to make a photo of that. To do that, I sort of hid myself under a blanket on the back seat of the car and made this photo. It belongs to my personal 2008 favorites, so much bokeh and I like it that the bird is undisturbed by my presence.

#7. Coot vs Great Crested Grebes
Coot vs Great Crested Grebes
The fight for a nesting place between two species of birds. I witnessed this fight and took a number of photos of it. The nice thing is the expression of the Grebe in the middle of the photo.

#6. IMG_4441
Not sure why flickr thinks that this photo is so interesting. It has been viewed twice and one of the viewers made it a favorite. Personally I never bothered to change the title of the image. Just an average damselfly photo.

#5. Sympetrum danae
Sympetrum danae

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae). This photo made me happy. The first time I could photography this species from close by. I even had the time to use my extension tubes.

#4. Mushroom


The autumn, when most dragonflies have died, always brings me to photograph mushrooms. This photo has an emphasis on “atmosphere”, and that probably is a result of the course in Landscape Photography which I followed earlier in 2008.

#3. Aeshna viridis
Aeshna viridis

The Green Hawker, a rare species of dragonfly in the Netherlands. I was excited to find it close to where I live. Not a groundbreaking photo, but it made me happy to have it.

#2. Aeshna isoceles

Aeshna isoceles
This year I took the time to make flight photos of dragonflies. I agree with the masses that this one is the best of my efforts this year.

#1. Hello!
This is all about cuteness, one of the things which do so very well on flickr.

December 14, 2007

Group sex and prostitution on Flickr

Rode Brug
Rode brug

Dear internet user,

My photos on flickr must be a disappointing experience for you. They often are just not exactly what you were looking for. I apologize, but I have to say that I was not aware of the problem. Until yesterday. Flickr opened up the referrer statistics for views on photos. Now I can see what you were looking for when you opened one of my photo pages.

While you were looking to satisfy your sexual needs, I could not offer you the slightest release. You were looking for prostitution at the “rode brug”(red bridge) in Utrecht, I could only tell you that the prostitution is taking place one bridge further, at the Marnixbrug. My photo of this Red Bridge just shows you simply a red bridge. Oh yes, I have a photo of the boats of the prostitutes too, but – I apologize again – you have more trouble finding it, and what is worse, it just shows the backside of the boats. No flesh. Sorry.

And also you have been searching for “group sex”, and must be totally disappointed by my photo of four couples of damselflies, sitting on a branch. They are having sex. But I don’t think that damselfly sex will turn you on. However, maybe you find it interesting. Somewhere else I have written some explanation about Dragonfly Sex. Just read it, it is fascinating stuff.

Group sex
Damselfly group sex

One other thing I have vastly deceived you with, is the 10 million megapixel camera. Yes, you searched for a camera with millions of megapixels. That is about four or five orders of magnitude higher then the current digital cameras have. You see, one megapixel equals one million pixels. Current digital cameras have about 10 million pixels, which equals 10 megapixel. Some have a bit more But you do not have to be that ashamed of your ignorance. That photo that you were looking at, was of a poster hanging at the window of a professional photography shop. They made the same mistake.

What else should I write you.Well. Some of you have found what you searched for. You searched for “Evernia prunastri” or “Euphorbia cyparissias“. That gave me a good feeling.

Regards, Taka

Euphorbia cyparissias Evernia prunastri
Euphorbia cyparissias Evernia prunastri

October 11, 2007

August 12, 2007

The birth (and death) of a photographic style

Filed under: nature,photography — takaita @ 19:31
Tags: , , , ,

Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)The Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) is a dragonfly that is hard to miss when present. It is big, brown and flies around all the time.That, at the same time, is the trouble when you want to take a photo of it. To be honest I should say that it does sometimes rest and that at such moments it is possible to shoot it. There are plenty such photos and I even did one or two myself. Anyway, I have been trying to shoot it in flight. Shooting dragonflies in flight is something that I find very hard. I have seen photos of others which seem just perfect, and they are sometimes presented as if it had cost no effort to do. I am not one of those.

This is how I do it. First find a place where the dragonfly regularly flies along. They patrol their territory, so it is not hard to find such a place. Then set my camera to manual focus, and focus it to a distance at which the dragonfly approximately passes by. Then wait until it flies along. There is no time to refocus, because it moves too quickly and changes course very often. It is a matter of pointing the camera in the right direction and click, hoping that the dragonfly is in the frame and that the focus distance was right. Of course that usually goes wrong. But once in so many times it goes more or less right. I am sure that others have found better techniques (judging from their photos). Please let me know.

One of the photos that completely missed the dragonfly was actually quite nice. It showed some totally out-of-focus vegetation that was growing on the other side of the water. I put it through some processing with photomatix (which is mostly used to create dreadful-looking HDR photos, but it can be used to proces single RAW photo files too) and created some extra grain by sharpening it.

Vegetation Impression

I liked it. And at the same time I thought I could try to make such photos on purpose. All I had to do was to find a nice piece a vegetation, with some structure and some colors, set my camera to manual focus and make sure that the vegetation is quite out of focus.

Yes, I know. Maybe others have done this before. I haven’t seen it, but that means nothing. It is ok if you tell me who did this before. But this was my accident, not somebody else’s.

Anyway. I went for it. While hunting for dragonflies with my camera (which I do all the time these days), I sometimes took the time to look around for some vegetation that I could shoot out-of-focus. Coming home I’d process them as described and post them to my flickr account. Nothing special happened, a few views, a scarce comment.

In just a few days I created a dozen of such photos, and already now I am bored of it. Not because it is not nice, or that I don’t like it. But because it is too easy. Almost anywhere I stand in low vegetation I can see something that would produce a result like this. Or maybe I just lack the education (in arts) to define an idiom for this, some way to make it harder.

Maybe one day I’ll come back to this, or find a way to use it a bit differently. But for now you can look at the dozen Vegetation Impressions. And I’ll go back to pure dragonfly hunting.

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