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A collection of posts from Facebook site Peter Van Rhijn Photography.

Growing On Me

Growing On Me

My guide Barbara showed me the blue holes of Andros Island in the Bahamas.

Besides this blue hole, deep in the jungle, was a cave, featuring razor sharp spiky limestone and cute little bats. Like a sentinel at the cave’s entrance there was this huge gnarly root of an ancient horse-flesh tree.

To better feel the root’s vibe I asked Barbara to leave me alone with it for a while, which – reluctantly - she did. She was quite worried about me. This is the image I ended up taking.

Over the weeks, the more I look at this image, the more I like it.

This root, pardon the pun, is growing on me. There is a nice left-to-right leading line and the piles of leaves magically occupy the strong points.

Sony @7R, 24-70 mm Zeiss Vario-Tessar, at ISO 50, f22, 0.3 sec exposure. Tripod. Electronic viewfinder: therefore no mirror-shake to worry about.

Fake News Sandstorm

Fake News Sandstorm

On the Andros Island beach the weather was actually calm, the wind had died down after a week of very stormy weather.

The sandstorm before your eyes is fake. It was a very quiet morning and there was hardly any wave action.

In this time of fake news we can’t blindly trust what we read, nor can we blindly trust the images we see. But you’ve suspected this for a long while.

Sand storms are very hard on camera equipment so it’s safer to create sandstorms digitally. The good news folks - believe me - naturephotos.com will tell you what’s fake and what’s real.

This effect was achieved by applying a fractalius digital filter. These filters can be ‘dialed in’ from 100% down to 1%. The best effect varies from image to image. Here this filter applied at about 10%.

Firedancer 2

Fire Dancer from Afar

See blog entry immediately below.

Firedancer 1

Fire Dancer

Here's my ‘Fire Dancer’. He was carved in the stone of the Canadian Shield thousands of years ago. His birth had more to do with an ice age rather than with fire.

My previous post, ‘The Alien’, was an image taken in the same location, a few meters away, on top of the rock where this image was made.

Both are 100% Fractalius derivations but the exact settings of the Fractalius software are unrecorded.

The image above reveals the location on the rock (ciricled) where the ‘Firedancer’ was captured, shot about an hour earlier. I took that image to show the scale and the typical pattern of the glacier action on the rocks here in relation to a reference object: my kayak. The kayak is a Klepper which has proven to be the ideal vessel for photo shoots of several weeks in pretty wild places like this.

The Alien

The Alien

The rocks of Phillip Edward Island (Georgian Bay) are a popular hang out for aliens.

You may think this is fake news again, but here is the evidence. You can’t argue with this.

There have been of course quite a few other intriguing apparitions and over the years I have shown you several…there was the petrified fire dancer, various birds and dogs, and a frisky couple between the blankets. May be I’ll post the fire dancer again next week. He’s a hottie.

As you can see my head has moved from Andros to Georgian Bay where my next trip will take me if it ever stops raining.

The Alien was shot with Canon EOS Mark ll, at f20, Lens: EF17-40mm f/4L USM. Model release on file.

Champagne Pool 1

The Thermal Wonderland at Wai-O-Tapu near Rotarua NZ

The North Island of New Zealand is, to a large extent, situated on top of a super volcano, the size and the threat of which is similar to Yellowstone. As a result there are many similar features such as bubbling mud, geysers, and thermal pools, some with striking colours.

Besides this, there are many fumaroles releasing hydrogen sulfide and there are several good-size volcanoes, such as Mount Taranaki, Mount Tongariro and Mount Doom.

The vibrant orange in this image is due to the minerals antimony and arsenic. The colour is not enhanced in Photoshop. The Ingredients that help this image are the clear leading line, the high impact colour and the very unusual nature of the subject matter.

Camera on tripod; Sony @7R with Zeiss Vario-Tessar 24-70 mm zoom. At f22.

Tree Bark Enhanced

"Necessity is the mother of invention" Plato

In some winters there is a shortage of subject matter. This Toronto winter hasn’t given us any significant winter scenery. One way to deal with “subject drought” is to: try new creative approaches, way outside the old box.

This may not be as productive but we stay sharp and we prevent the shutter from rusting. We may actually invent something new, something we might not notice when things are green and in bloom.

Tree bark? Sure, why not. This image was made in Lambton Woods, Toronto.

Camera: Sony ILCE-7R, f22, 0.3 sec, 200 ISO, tripod.

In post-production the image was first flipped vertically, then horizontally. The dominant green discolouration now led from left bottom towards right top. Then the saturation was increased across the board by 15. Then a Fractalius 2 filter was applied, pre-set: ‘Lines’ 1, then this was reduced to 10 % of the final image. Finally the image was sharpened.

Grasses in Lake Kejimkujik

Blue Mind

Here is a relaxing image … of water.

The grasses take the eye and gently show it around the water.

Human beings have a deep emotional connection with water. “Being at the water’s edge, looking at water, makes us healthier, happier, reduces stress and brings us peace.”

It is probably not the grasses that are important in this image. It’s the calming water. It is nourishing our minds and bodies on the Pale Blue Dot.

Mamiya RZ 67, 50 mm at f16

(Quotes from ‘Blue Mind’ by Walter J. Nichols)

I love beaches!

I love beaches!

I love beaches. I grew up on the beach. Big wide Dutch beach.

So I still love playing with sand. But with camera.

Here is another abstract from Andros’ beach, Bahamas.

Every day, at low tide, I’d head out with camera on tripod, aperture at f22 and exposure compensation at minus 1 stop. (For close-ups of backlit ripples mainly)

The Andros beach had many flat areas where water would stand and very slowly drain away during low tide. This created an endless variety of sand ripples to play with… arranged in every imaginable way.

Life’s a rippled beach. With ups and downs.

Sea Shell

Beach Blooper?

A pic of Andros’ Beach on a rainy day with the previous day’s camera setting: ‘Daylight’. Big mistake…

I was not quite awake that morning.

I conformed to the rules and changed to the ‘Cloudy’ camera setting.

Reviewing my stuff later I realised I liked this image more than any of the later images with yellow sand. The colour of the sand in this shot was in harmony with the nice colours of the sea shell. (Ingredients!) Somehow the yellow sand on a rainy day (the later images that day) looked wrong.

And there lies the problem: on a rainy day the beach just has a different colour… live and learn…

Rope Pattern

Andros Beach

This bit of beach at Andros Island was different. Something about the pattern of ripples was appealing but I cannot explain why.

I could not get myself to sign inside the image, fearing it might disturb the natural chaos.

Sony ILCE 7R ISO 200, f-22, 1/50 sec. (On tripod)

Beach Impression

Andros Island

We were on Andros Island (Bahamas) and stayed with Jesse and Chelsea Leopold, our hosts at Andros Beach Club.

Andros is a photographer’s paradise. The beach in front of the resort was an infinite source of inspiration at low tide.

We sailed, paddled our kayak, did some scuba, and snorkeled around blue holes. We explored the inland paradise on foot and already plan a return trip to see the countless air plants: the bromeliads and orchids bloom in a couple of months.

Here is your ‘amuse bouche’: the beach, close to sunset. Sony ILCE 7R, ISO 100, F-22, at 1/15th sec.