by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Random Photographs”

Playing With iPhoto

Posted 19 September 2008 in by Catriona

This is the original image:

iPhoto has a range (a small range) of “effects” options, so I ran a cropped version of this image through some of them.

Fading colour:

Boosting colour:

Something called “Antique”:

It’s all just for fun, really—but looking at these, maybe I should start my own range of saccharine greeting cards? I could just run everything through the “antiquing” function, maybe Photoshop an image of a baby into the photo somehow, and Bob’s your uncle!

Actually, I do like the result of boosting the colour. Bougainvilleas are a good subject for that, since their colour is fairly saturated in the first place.

Another Lizard Picture; Or, I Still Love My Camera

Posted 16 September 2008 in by Catriona

Sometimes, when they want to catch the breezes as well as the sun—and who wouldn’t, on a horrible, hot day like today?—the water dragons scramble up into the cat’s claw that covers what used to be a yukka, until it flowered:

These vines aren’t actually resting on anything but themselves, and it amazes me that the dragons are willing to rest their weight on something that must rock alarmingly under them.

I think the advantage for this one, which is the smaller of the the two current dragons, is that while he’s up here, the bigger one can’t chase him around the garden.

(Also? I love the zoom function on this camera.)

Yet More Random Photographs from the Back Garden

Posted 12 September 2008 in by Catriona

But there’s a different reason this time. Nick arrived home this afternoon—where I was lying on the sofa finishing off Diana Wynne Jones’s Conrad’s Fate, which I’ve owned for three years but hadn’t read before, and generally feeling sorry for myself, with this cold—with a shiny new camera.

He’s been dropping hints about this for weeks; it’s a gift for completing my Ph.D. successfully. (I have a nagging sense of guilt that I’d bullied him into a present by being rather cranky when I found out he hadn’t even told his parents about the thesis reports coming in.)

But it’s an awesome camera:

Significantly better than my old one, as the macro shots of flowers show most effectively:

So I spent the evening, before the unexpected storm came roaring in, anyway, running around the garden photographing as many flowers as I could find. I used to love taking macro photographs of flowers, and this macro function is a thousand times better than the one on the old camera.

So I’m rather afraid there are going be more photographs on the blog from now on. But at least they’ll mostly be photographs of flowers and other interesting objects, and not self-portraits.

That’s one thing I can promise: it’s highly unlikely there’ll ever be a self-portrait on this blog.

More Random Wildlife Photographs

Posted 10 September 2008 in by Catriona

In the absence of a proper update, I’m offering some photographs of the larger of the two water dragons we currently have in the garden:

Nick and I love the water dragons: in fact, with the water dragons, the bearded dragon who wanders around occasionally, the blue tongue, and the geckos, we have a thoroughly lizardy house.

Sometimes the water dragons wander into the house, and perch themselves on the living-room windowsill looking for insects. Chasing them out is one of my main summer activities. On one occasion, I was working quite innocently in the study, heard a mysterious scrabbling, and thought, “Hmm, that sounds rather like a water dragon becoming stuck in the box of fresh vegetables that was delivered this morning.” Which it was.

My favourite, though, was the enormous dragon who was completely unafraid of people and used to come and lie on the verandah in the sun even when I was sitting out there having a cigarette. During the summer storms, he used to saunter over to the far corner of the back verandah, the bit that gets sun all day, and flatten himself out as far as possible: he’d lie there with his legs stretched out and his belly pressed to the hot concrete and let the rain pour down on him.

That always looked fun.

Then there was the one who used to climb up into the frangipani, stretch himself out at full length, and pretend to be a dragon. At least I assume that’s what he was doing: he used to adopt a sort of noble, far-away look.

And the one that used to climb up the mulberry, scrabble along the guttering, and then throw himself down onto the concrete path, with no apparent ill effects.

This one’s not so tame. But he’s a feisty lizard, and won’t let the smaller dragon come near him. All day, we can hear the scrabbling that means he’s chasing the little one away from the insects.

But he also likes the sun on the back verandah.

And he’s a beauty.

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