Burma the Elephant

ZooLooking back to my first post on MikeHawkey.com, I thought I would post up one of the images used in the post, and my cover art for the site. Hunting through my folders of images, I found it, Burma the Elephant.

Burma is Auckland Zoo’s only current elephant, sadly after its other, Kashin, died at a youthful 40 years old in 2009. An ‘Asian elephant’, Burma was born in 1982, and thanks to a dedicated team of helpers, although currently alone, Burma is in good health and doing well. Described as being much like a cheeky teen, she is energetic and mischievous. Sweet fruits, painting (which can be brought) and visiting other animals on daily walks around the zoo are amongst Burma’s fun-to-do things. I have read the Zoo is working hard to try and get some more elephant friends for Burma. No doubt its a slow process, but fingers crossed it comes together!

Image wise, this was shot last year on my Sony Nex 5N. I dont have any lens data, so I suspect it was on my Jupiter-11 lens. Editing wise, I cropped the foot of the rider off and lifted the saturation a little.


Swallow Dogfight

On the same day I caught ‘Air Brakes‘ I also just managed to catch a few swallows darting around. Cool little birds, unless they are perched, they seem to travel at lightening speed and zig zagging all around, hence todays title ‘Swallow Dogfight’.

Captured on the Nex 5N and Jupiter-11 lens, I was quite happy I managed to get one as the Jupiter is not the fastest to focus manual lens! Cropped to get the loosing dog fighter (well – other swallow), the long narrow format reminds me of some of the skinny long portrait Japanese paintings – something I might have more of a go at some time.

Oh – and just in case there is confusion in my title, I mean dogfight as in two planes in close combat – not the bad (other bad?) kind…

Beyond the Mangroves

Walking down some lesser known streets (to me) on the North Shore, I came to a dead end at Charles Street. It had a great view looking over at the Harbour Bridge (almost directly to where I took my night shots of the Bridge several weeks back). Armed with the Sony Nex and Jupiter-11 at f4 I got down to the height of the small mangroves and followed the water track to the view of the bridge. Aside from being straightened and cropped slightly, no other post processing.

Afternoon Warmth

I went for a stroll around part of Tuff Crater, in Northcote on Auckland’s North Shore this afternoon. There was a blustery cold wind coming from the harbor into the crater area. As I walked around I found a sheltered spot where the afternoon sun’s rays  warmed a patch of grass with fallen leaves.

Sony in hand today, I had fitted it with one of my old legacy lenses, the 135mm (35mm equ) Juipter 11. Looking for a semi retro feeling image, I got down low and limited the depth of field (f4), allowing the golden sun to haze the image. The final result gives an impression it was a little warmer then it actually was.

Post photo I reduced the image for web and rounded the corners in Gimp.

Monkey Business

I read with interest this morning that Leica has just announced its new camera, the Leica M-Monochrom. Well beyond my camera spending budget, it comes with a B&W sensor – something people in the photography world online have been calling out for, regardless of their brand of choice. I am a bit nostalgic at times, and do love my 35mm film cameras & shooting 35mm B&W film (something I will need to post up some time), but I’m not convinced I would like to be locked into B&W digital. Much like my film cameras, I like to have the choice!

After the color of yesterday, todays image switches to monochrome. Taken at the Auckland Zoo with my Sony Nex 5N and an old Russian Jupiter-11 lens. I shot the image in color, but converted to B&W as for me it feels like it invokes more emotion to me. In color the monkey was not as bright as its surroundings & the image just didn’t seem to work as well.

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