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Experience it On Black


Just got home from the best sunrise I have ever seen at Trillium Lake. 2 summers ago it took me almost 43 trips out here to get a decent sky and today, my first trip there this year, the sky just went was insane and lucky for me I was the only one there. I honestly thought there would have been lots of photographers lined up but when I arrived I was all alone!!!! :)


Camera:Nikon D300



Focal Length:15 mm


ISO Speed:100

Exposure Bias:0 EV

6 Stop B+W ND filter

3 Stop soft Hitech Grad filter

Assume a glass of water containing an ice cube, mark the water level, once it has melted, mark the new level. Will the new level be above, below or the same as the first mark?


Answer: The same, as a floating object displaces its own weight of fluid. Thank you Archimedes.


Assume the glass to be the oceans of the planet and the ice cube Earth's poles, glaciers etc. What will the impact of global warming be?




Prenons un verre d’eau contenant un glaçon et marquons le niveau de l’eau. Une fois le glaçon fondu, marquons de nouveau le niveau de l’eau. Le nouveau niveau sera-t-il supérieur, inferieur ou identique au précèdent ?


Réponse : Identique, car tout corps flottant déplace un volume en eau égal a son poids. Merci Archimède !


Supposons maintenant que ce verre d’eau soit les océans de la planète et ce cube de glace soit les pôles, les glaciers et toute la glace terrestre flottante ou non. Quel sera l’impact d’un réchauffement climatique ?



Check out the set as it grows:




- Iceland Set


What do you think?

Handheld Panorama on a boat !


"The lake was formed due to a massive landslide at Attabad village in Gilgit-Baltistan, 9 miles (14 km) upstream (east) of Karimabad that occurred on January 4, 2010. The landslide killed twenty people and blocked the flow of the Hunza River for five months. The lake flooding has displaced 6,000 people from upstream villages, stranded (from land transportation routes) a further 25,000, and inundated over 12 miles (19 km) of the Karakoram Highway." [Source: Wikipedia]

This is a re-working of an earlier composite image. The extensive use of textures and overlays has rendered a more graphic image. I used the "displace mapping" filter in GIMP to roughen-up the clean lines of the image and give the impression that it has been drawn or painted.

Hubble has snapped a spectacular view of M 66, the largest "player" of the Leo Triplet, and a galaxy with an unusual anatomy: it displays asymmetric spiral arms and an apparently displaced core. The peculiar anatomy is most likely caused by the gravitational pull of the other two members of the trio. The unusual spiral galaxy, Messier 66, is located at a distance of about 35 million light-years in the constellation of Leo. Together with Messier 65 and NGC 3628, Messier 66 is the member of the Leo Triplet, a trio of interacting spiral galaxies, part of the larger Messier 66 group. Messier 66 wins in size over its fellow triplets it is about 100 000 light-years across. This is a composite of images obtained through the following filters: 814W (near infrared), 555W (green) and H-alpha (showing the glowing of the hydrogen gas). They have been combined so to represent the real colours of the galaxy.

I tried to make Pinkz look like he was part of the background, warping the lines. (PSP doesn't have a displace filter like Photoshop and my Element 2.0 isn't working right with that filter....I know it used to work!!!)


for:Pop Art Challenge - The Award Tree


I doubt that anybody enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the enormous expanse of Bradfield Park on the north side of Sydney Harbour in the shadow of The Bridge would have spared a thought for the hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands of their occupants displaced eighty years ago, mostly without any compensation, to make way for what was, at the time, the largest civil engineering project in Australia's history.


Whenever I visit this place to shoot, and typically it will be a Sunday afternoon, I marvel at the "foresight" of the engineers to give the Sydney Harbour Bridge its space in the sun, unfettered by the clutter of buildings.


This panorama was created with an Infrared DSLR (a converted Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a 830nm equivalent B&W filter) and a Canon TS-E 24m f3.5L Tilt+Shift lens with Shift engaged for an effective focal length of 14.9mm.

This is my next picture for my theme 'Green'.


Just some green stuff for today.


Captured with a Nikon Df and an old, manual Nikkor AiS 135mm ƒ1:2.8, post processed in Lightroom using VSCO Film.


Please don't spam my photo thread! Comments with awards or photos will be removed immediately!

Olympus OM-D E-M5, M Zuiko 12-50mm lens, editing in GIMP.


This is a re-working of an earlier image, and to which I have applied a number of textures in order to achieve a "fine art" rendition. I also used the "displace" filter in GIMP to obtain a subtle distortion of the image, in order to give the impression that brush-strokes have been used to paint the scene.

Hurricane Sandy took quite a few lives and did untold damage to pretty much every area that had the misfortune of encountering her . I thought it was fitting at this time to post something of life- something colorful and vibrant- something that says, "Life WILL go on, and we WILL recover from this." Sadly, those who lost loved ones won't be feeling that way for some time, but for the rest, whose loss was material, it will be hard, but survivable.


My heart goes out to all of those in the northern United States, Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba, where the most damage was done. I've watched my own neighborhood look like a war zone after the 2004 series of storms that devastated the Daytona area. I know how you are suffering. It took years to see all of the blue tarps gone, and life getting back to normal.


We had horrible fires here in 1998, too. There was a time when we were actually cut off from leaving, because the brush fires would jump the roads and highways, and it was too dangerous to drive. My mother and I didn't have air conditioning back then. There was no escape from the smoke. During that time, I had to have emergency stomach surgery. Even the hospital would fill with smoke every night, and the best the hepa filters could do was to make it smell like the bottom of a pencil sharpener! I was already nauseous, and the smell made me even sicker. When I went home, I was actually relieved to smell REAL smoke- not the pencil sharpener smell. There was no place you could gp to escape. It was a nightmare.


Tragedy hits us all at some point in our lives, but then, so does goodness and joy and beauty. It passes and the memories are bearable over time. Eventually that joy and peace returns. Those of us who look at the world through lenses and filters and textures are used to making things better than they are. This time, maybe we can make things better for real.


Remember to give to those who need help. Most charitable organizations will be scrambling to mount massive help efforts. This includes helping the animals displaced by this storm, as well as the people. Please consider a gift to the Red Cross, The Humane Society, and others who do such a great job of getting in there and helping survivors get through the worst days of their lives. Life goes on, but the help must go on, too.

A building shot with a filter, rotated and displaced

Please Note: If you are interested in going on a Whale Watching trip in the Monterey Bay, I highly recommend contacting Kate at:

Did You Know?

Males sing complex songs on wintering grounds in Hawaii, that can last up to 20 minutes and be heard 20 miles (30 km) away!

In the Pacific, humpbacks migrate seasonally from Alaska to Hawaii--they can complete the 3,000-mile (4,830 km) trip in as few as 36 days!


Species Description:


Weight:25-40 tons (50,000-80,000 pounds; 22,000-36,000 kg);

newborns weigh about 1 ton (2,000 pounds; 900 kg)

Length:Up to 60 feet (18 m), with females larger than males;

newborns are about 15 feet (4.5 m) long

Appearance: Primarily dark grey, with some areas of white

Lifespan:About 50 years

Diet:Tiny crustaceans (mostly krill), plankton, and small fish; they can consume up to 3,000 pounds (1360 kg) of food per day

Behavior:Breaching (jumping out of the water), or slapping the surface

Humpback whales are well known for their long pectoral fins, which can be up to 15 feet (4.6 m) in length. Their scientific name, Megaptera novaeangliae, means "big-winged New Englander" as the New England population was the one best known to Europeans. These long fins give them increased maneuverability; they can be used to slow down or even go backwards.


Similar to all baleen whales, adult females are larger than adult males, reaching lengths of up to 60 feet (18 m). Their body coloration is primarily dark grey, but individuals have a variable amount of white on their pectoral fins and belly. This variation is so distinctive that the pigmentation pattern on the undersides of their "flukes" is used to identify individual whales, similar to a human fingerprint.

Humpback whales are the favorite of whale watchers, as they frequently perform aerial displays, such as breaching (jumping out of the water), or slapping the surface with their pectoral fins, tails, or heads.


In the summer, humpbacks are found in high latitude feeding grounds, such as the Gulf of Maine in the Atlantic and Gulf of Alaska in the Pacific. In the winter, they migrate to calving grounds in subtropical or tropical waters, such as the Dominican Republic in the Atlantic and the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific. The Arabian Sea humpback does not migrate, remaining in tropical waters all year.


Humpback whales travel great distances during their seasonal migration, the farthest migration of any mammal. The longest recorded migration was 5,160 miles (8,300 km); seven animals, including a calf, completed this trek from Costa Rica to Antarctica. One of the more closely studied routes is between Alaska and Hawaii, where humpbacks have been observed making the 3,000-mile (4,830 km) trip in as few as 36 days.


During the summer months, humpbacks spend the majority of their time feeding and building up fat stores (blubber) that they will live off of during the winter. Humpbacks filter feed on tiny crustaceans (mostly krill), plankton, and small fish and can consume up to 3,000 pounds (1,360 kg) of food per day. Several hunting methods involve using air bubbles to herd, corral, or disorient fish. One highly complex variant, called "bubble netting" is unique to humpbacks. This technique is often performed in groups with defined roles for distracting, scaring, and herding before whales lunge at prey corralled near the surface.


In their wintering grounds, humpback whales congregate and engage in mating activities. Humpbacks are generally polygynous "having multiple female mates" with males exhibiting competitive behavior on wintering grounds. Aggressive and antagonistic behaviors include chasing, vocal and bubble displays, horizontal tail thrashing, and rear body thrashing. Males within these groups also make physical contact, striking or surfacing on top of one another. These bouts can cause injuries ranging from bloody scrapes to, in one recorded instance, death. Also on wintering grounds, males sing complex songs that can last up to 20 minutes and be heard 20 miles (30 km) away. A male may sing for hours, repeating the song several times. All males in a population sing the same song, but that song continually evolves over time. Humpback whale singing has been studied for decades, but scientists still understand very little about its function.


Gestation lasts for about 11 months. Newborns are 13-16 feet (4-5 m) long and grow quickly from the highly nutritious milk of their mothers. Weaning occurs between 6-10 months after birth. Mothers are protective and affectionate towards their calves, swimming close and frequently touching them with their flippers. Males do not provide parental support for calves. Breeding usually occurs once every two years, but sometimes occurs twice in a three-year span.



During migration, humpbacks stay near the surface of the ocean.

While feeding and calving, humpbacks prefer shallow waters. During calving, humpbacks are usually found in the warmest waters available at that latitude. Calving grounds are commonly near offshore reef systems, islands, or continental shores.

Humpback feeding grounds are in cold, productive coastal waters.


Humpback whales live in all major oceans from the equator to sub-polar latitudes.


In the North Pacific, there are at least three separate populations:

California/Oregon/Washington stock that winters in coastal Central America and Mexico and migrates to areas ranging from the coast of California to southern British Columbia in summer/fall;

Central North Pacific stock that winters in the Hawaiian Islands and migrates to northern British Columbia/ Southeast Alaska and Prince William Sound west to Kodiak; and Western North Pacific stock that winters near Japan and probably migrates to waters west of the Kodiak Archipelago (the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands) in summer/fall. There is some mixing between these populations, though they are still considered distinct stocks.



Humpback whales face a series of threats including:

entanglement in fishing gear

Whale watch harassment

Habitat impacts


Humpbacks can become entangled in fishing gear, either swimming off with the gear or becoming anchored. We have observed incidental "take" of humpback whales in the California/ Oregon swordfish and thresher shark drift gillnet fishery. Potential entanglement from gear from several fisheries can occur on their long migration from Hawaii to Alaska. Humpbacks in Hawaii have been observed entangled in long line gear, crab pots, and other non-fishery-related lines.

Inadvertent ship strikes can injure or kill humpbacks. Whale watching vessels may stress or even strike whales. The central North Pacific stock is the focus of a whale-watching industry on their wintering grounds in the Hawaiian Islands. The feeding aggregation in southeast Alaska is also the focus of a developing whale-watching industry that may impact whales in localized areas.


Shipping channels, fisheries, and aquaculture may occupy or destroy humpback whale aggregation areas. Recreational use of marine areas, including resort development and increased boat traffic, may displace whales that would normally use that area. In Hawaii, acoustic impacts from vessel operation, oceanographic research using active sonar, and military operations are also of increasing concern.




This is another blend of layers with the main subject being my 10 year old poodle, La Lucy Rose. She used to be red, but alas...the gray hairs are moving in. I layered a solid color textured layer, a layer of shapes, a layer of flowers and plants and the layer of Lucy together. I used various blending methods to change the transparency of each layer. For the frame I used a Filter>Distort>Displace with textures on black.

Dunluce Castle on the North Coast of Northern Ireland.

The shot was taken from the cliffs looking back at the castle with the Whiterocks in the distance.


Taken with a Lee Big Stopper, and a 0.6 Soft Grad.

Exposure 60secs, F/11, and ISO 100.


Dunluce Castle (from Irish: Dún Libhse) is a now-ruined medieval castle in Northern Ireland. It is located on the edge of a basalt outcropping in County Antrim (between Portballintrae and Portrush), and is accessible via a bridge connecting it to the mainland. The castle is surrounded by extremely steep drops on either side, which may have been an important factor to the early Christians and Vikings who were drawn to this place where an early Irish fort once stood.


In the 13th century Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster, built the first castle at Dunluce.


It is first documented in the hands of the McQuillan family in 1513. The earliest features of the castle are two large drum towers about 9 metres (30 ft) in diameter on the eastern side, both relics of a stronghold built here by the McQuillans after they became lords of the Route.


The McQuillans were the Lords of Route from the late 13th century until they were displaced by the MacDonalds after losing two major battles against them during the mid and late-16th century.


The castle in the last decade of the 19th century

Later Dunluce Castle became the home of the chief of the Clan MacDonnell of Antrim and the Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg from Scotland. Chief John Mor MacDonald was the second son of Good John of Islay, Lord of the Isles, 6th chief of Clan Donald in Scotland. John Mor MacDonald was born through John of Islay's second marriage to Princess Margaret Stewart, daughter of King Robert II of Scotland. In 1584, on the death of James MacDonald the 6th chief of the Clan MacDonald of Antrim and Dunnyveg, the Antrim Glens were seized by Sorley Boy MacDonnell, one of his younger brothers. Sorley Boy took the castle, keeping it for himself and improving it in the Scottish style. Sorley Boy swore allegiance to Queen Elizabeth I and his son Randal was made 1st Earl of Antrim by King James I.


Four years later, the Girona, a galleass from the Spanish Armada was wrecked in a storm on the rocks nearby. The cannon from the ship were installed in the gatehouses and the rest of the cargo sold, the funds being used to restore the castle. MacDonnell's granddaughter Rose was born in the castle in 1613.


A local legend states that at one point, part of the kitchen next to the cliff face collapsed into the sea, after which the wife of the owner refused to live in the castle any longer. According to a legend, when the kitchen fell into the sea only a kitchen boy survived, as he was sitting in the corner of the kitchen which did not collapse. However, the kitchen is still intact and next to the manor house. You can still see the oven, fireplace and entry ways into it. It wasn't until some time in the 18th century that the north wall of the residence building collapsed into the sea. The east, west and south walls still stand.


Dunluce Castle served as the seat of the Earl of Antrim until the impoverishment of the MacDonnells in 1690, following the Battle of the Boyne. Since that time, the castle has deteriorated and parts were scavenged to serve as materials for nearby buildings.


Information from Wikipedia.


Spielerei mit dem Photoshop "Versetzen-Filter"


Experiments with the Photoshop "Displace filter"

St Blazey MPD in the heart of the Cornish clay country was unusual for a diesel era MPD in that it retained its roundhouse/turntable shed facilities from the earlier steam period. The “roundhouse” itself was of the less common type with the turntable external to the shed rather than the more common type with the turntable in the centre of the shed building. A lovely Cornish summer afternoon finds one of the local china clay pilots 25220 being turned on the turntable to allow access onto one of the shed roads, 2nd June 1976. At this time St Blazey had four class 25 duties, one locomotive covered trips to Bodmin Road/Wadebridge then clay trains between Liskeard and Moorswater, with an afternoon run to Hayle Wharf. Two locomotives worked clay trains between St Blazey and Drinnick Mill, including trips to Parkandillac, Pontsmill and Goonbarrow and Carbis and Meledor Mill.


Locomotive History

25220 was originally D7570 and its frame was laid down during the summer of 1963 at Derby works. In 1963 the class 25 design was undergoing two major changes. The first was electrical with the introduction of GEC series 2 control equipment, the second was a re-designed body which principally affected; the cab and the location of the air intakes. The gangway cab doors were removed to reduce complaints of noise and draughts in the cabs and t air filters were moved to the cantrail to provide a cleaner air supply to the engine compartment. These two changes did not occur at the same time and D7570 was part of a batch of ten class 25’s (D7568 - D7577) built at Derby with the new control equipment but the earlier bodystyle. They were also for some reason numbered out of sequence and given the almost random number series D7568 - D7577 instead of the more logical D5233 which was given to the first of the locomotives with both the new electrical equipment and new bodystyle. It entered traffic in October 1963 allocated to Toton MPD this was followed by spells at Saltley (1964), Birmingham Division (Bescot – 1966), Holbeck (1967), Springs Branch (1968), Manchester Division (Longsight – 1970), London Division (Willesden - 1972), Nottingham Division (Toton – 1973) and Bristol (1974). It transferred to Laira in July 1975 and it remained in the West Country for seventeen months until transferred to Cardiff in December 1976. Its final transfer was to Crewe in November 1977 where it was a regular on the Cardiff – Crewe workings (due to it being one of the class 25 fleet equipped with a steam heating boiler) until displaced by class 33 locomotives in May 1981. It was withdrawn in June 1982 and was towed to Derby works by August 1982 where it remained for the next two and half years. In February 1985 accompanied by 25050/62, 25129/33/46, 25233/74/94) it made its last journey to Swindon works where it was broken up two months later in the third week of April 1985.


Tskhaltubo is a former Soviet sanatorium, turned into a shelter for internally displaced people (IDP) from the short but intense 1992-93 Abkhaz war. Some 7000 IDP have been living here since 18 years in poor, cramped and unsanitary conditions, waiting for another future. Tskhaltubo’s dilapidating buildings used to be the Soviet holiday paradise, now they are haunted by the ghosts of the past and the broken promises of the present.


The photo was taken during a photo project for the Danish Refugee Council.


LFI Master Shot.


Leica M6, Zeiss Sonnar C 1.5/50, B+W yellow filter and Ilford HP5+ pushed to ISO 1600 (in HC-110B). Scanned with Hasselblad X1.

© Peter Schön/DRC

On May 25th, 2013, a friend and I drove a 12 ft box truck to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to deliver supplies to those who were displaced from the F-5 tornado that leveled the town of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013 between 2:45–3:35 p.m.

Image Release April 8, 2010


Hubble has snapped a spectacular view of M 66, the largest "player" of the Leo Triplet, and a galaxy with an unusual anatomy: it displays asymmetric spiral arms and an apparently displaced core. The peculiar anatomy is most likely caused by the gravitational pull of the other two members of the trio.


The unusual spiral galaxy, Messier 66, is located at a distance of about 35 million light-years in the constellation of Leo. Together with Messier 65 and NGC 3628, Messier 66 is the member of the Leo Triplet, a trio of interacting spiral galaxies, part of the larger Messier 66 group. Messier 66 wins in size over its fellow triplets — it is about 100 000 light-years across.


This is a composite of images obtained through the following filters: 814W (near infrared), 555W (green) and H-alpha (showing the glowing of the hydrogen gas). They have been combined so to represent the real colours of the galaxy.


Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin and Robert Gendler


To learn more about this image go to:


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.



L click to enlarge the image


I was in Cambodia to take some photos in the countryside near Battambang and I was attracted by the facial features of this sweet little girl.

"The Khmers are one of the oldest ethnic groups in the area, having filtered into Southeast Asia shortly after the Mon, displacing earlier Mon–Khmer arrivals and various Austronesian groups. They were the builders of the Khmer Empire, and now form the mainstream of political, cultural, and economic Cambodia.

The Khmers divided into three subgroups based on national origin and language. The Khmer of Cambodia speak the Khmer language. Khmer Surin are ethnic Khmers whose lands once belonged to the Khmer Empire but have since become part of Thailand. They have their own dialect but also speak fluent Isan Thai. Maintaining close relations with the Khmer of Cambodia, some now reside in Cambodia as a result of marriage. Similarly, the Khmer Krom are Khmers living in the regions of the former Khmer Empire that are now part of Vietnam."(Wikipedia)

Here is a quick tutorial:


1) Start with a picture of your face (or whatever you want to apply a texture to)


2) Duplicate the layer of your face and desaturate the new layer. Put this new layer above the first layer.


3) Paste or drag in the texture layer you want to use. Set the blend mode to Linear Burn. Make sure it is above the other two layers. Adjust the blending options in the layer dialog for this layer so that a little bit of specular highlights show through from the underlying layer, and so that the brightest tones of this layer are transparent. To do this, double-click on the layer in the layer palette, alt+click on the left half of the white slider on the first gradient in the blend if section and drag it towards black about halfway. Repeat for the second gradient, but only drag about 10% towards black.


3a) If you want to displace the texture with the face, here you need to copy the desaturated face layer to a new document, save that document as a PSD file, then select all and apply the displace filter to the texture layer and load the PSD that you saved of the face as the image to use for displacement.


4) Duplicate the texture layer and set the blend mode to Overlay. Again, make sure it is above the previous layer.


5) Duplicate the original face layer and move it to the top of the layer stack. Set the blend mode to multiply. Set the opacity to something like 30%. You can optionally apply a threshold adjustment to this layer and then gaussian blur it if you need more oomph from the shadows.


6) Combine all of the layers except for the original face layer into a group.


7) Add a layer mask to the group and paint out anything you want to show through from the bottom layer, for example, the eyes and or background.


8) Adjust the opacity of the desaturated face and the two texture layers to get the blend just right.


That pretty much covers it.


Have fun.


UPDATE: I'm hijacking my own post in order to make a few comments re the new Flickr UI update...


OK people.... WTF do you think you're doing?! The old Flickr may have been a bit clunky, and a bit out of date, but I was pretty happy with the slow evolution of the UI and features. It used to be a community, first and foremost, but the new UI and account T+Cs seem to have killed that at a stroke.


I am NOT happy, and I'm currently backing up my posts and looking at alternatives to my beloved Flickr.


I'd be very interested to hear if anyone else is considering abandoning ship and where we, the displaced, might go... what are YOUR thoughts on all of this?




The last seven days have been a bit of a whirl, and my youngest daughter is here for a sleepover tonight.


Lost a long-time customer, sadly, but possibly gained another... if I get the proposal right.


Got 98% for my university essay on Plato (yes, I'm feeling smug :-)). Overall score for the submission (two essays) was 83%... clearly I'm better with philosophy than with operatic divas!


Heard from someone I love dearly, but didn't ever expect to speak to again.

A couple of airport baggage trolleys in a place far from the beaten, outside the carpark.

Two internally displaced people (IDP) at Tskhaltubo IDP Collective Center.


Tskhaltubo is a former Soviet sanatorium, turned into a shelter for internally displaced people (IDP) from the short but intense 1992-93 Abkhaz war. Some 7000 IDP have been living here since 18 years in poor, cramped and unsanitary conditions, waiting for another future, seemingly forgotten by the rest of the world.

The photo was taken during a photo project for the Danish Refugee Council.


More photos: PS-Photo - Tskhaltubo.


Contax T3, B+W orange filter and Ilford FP4+ (in DD-X). Scanned with Hasselblad X1.

A transformation, such as that of magic or by sorcery; A noticeable change in character, appearance, function or condition.


I was hoping to provoke a response with the image, there are a lot of great shots out there, but what makes you look again? The image is no way a slight on the subject, just the concept of change and metamorphosis in action.


With learning some new techniques, this took about 7 hours.


View Large On Black


View Medium On Black


A big thanks to Ekler too, see photostream here


I've been asked how I did this.


Basically, I got a copy of an image of snake skin and used the displace filter to map the snake skin to the contours of the face (well the grey scale of the image). Also created new layers for the eyes with selective colour to change them to yellow and changed the iris to a slit.


In Photoshop this was about 35 layers all told, with the isolation and processing for each eye being about 5 and the skin changes about 5 layers. Then the rest of the layers where for skin smoothing, and finally over all image toning such as curves, levels and so on. As this was a first attempt at texture mapping to contours, took a while to get it right. All in all about 7 hours of work went into the finished image. In the future, I think it would take a couple fo hours, maybe less.

On May 25th, 2013, a friend and I drove a 12 ft box truck to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to deliver supplies to those who were displaced from the F-5 tornado that leveled the town of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013 between 2:45–3:35 p.m.

Here's my first upload from the Grand Canyon trip from a week or so ago. I think I was very lucky on this, for these were the sunset conditions I was greeted with my first night there. I had some nice clouds and the sun was still able to get through on the western horizon. I was actually really lucky because I had very similar conditions days later.


Shooting in the Grand Canyon is tricky and has been a learning experience for me. While it is true that the canyon is generous to and lenient with photographers, there are some habits I've picked up shooting beaches in New England that don't work so well here. For example, there were very few times I had any luck actually shooting in the direction of the sunset or sunrise. On the other hand, I found that you can get good results shooting considerably earlier than sunset, at least 2 hours before. The shaded part of the canyon goes gray and featureless towards those directions. It's much better to face the opposite way and catch the light hitting the canyon walls. This also means that "golden hour" is a bit displaced; I did not have any luck shooting once the sun went below the horizon. Also, on a beach you get used to grad filters working very routinely: the upper part is light and the bottom part is dark, so you adjust the filters to compensate for that. In the canyon, some of the brightest areas are on the sandstone walls just below the rim, and even the lower walls can be brighter than the sky. So you get a patchwork of light and dark areas. It was not long into the first day before I made the decision to bracket every shot I was going to take here. This also resulted in me improving my blending techniques when I got home.


One thing I did with most shots from here was attempt to post-process in favor of Velvia-like colors, with strong reds and blues dominating the images.


I have two other shots from the canyon up on my website with this one as "Part 1" (of 4).

A family of Internally Displaced People (IDP) from South Ossetia, who had to flee during the 199-92 war between South Ossetian separatist forces and Georgia. They now live in the village of Ergneti on the Georgian side of the border. The husband/father was disabled during that war, and died from emotional pressure during the 2008 South Ossetia war. Ergneti itself was largely destroyed during the war in 2008.


Photo taken during a photo project for the Danish Refugee Council, which supports the rehabilitation of the village and its infrastructure.


LFI M Analogue Mastershot.


Leica M6, ZM Sonnar C 1.50/50, B+W yellow filter and Ilford FP4+ film (in DD-X).

© Peter Schön/DRC


. . . . sometimes like talking to a brick wall . . .


My son, George (a good sport). A "texture wrap" via the displace filter in photoshop.

4 of 5 images made while experimenting with Photoshop 6 on 2000.05.26.


Filters used: Render Noise, Render Clouds, Duotone, Displace Map, Polar Coordinates, Spherize


Created on 2000.05.26

Arriva Kent & Surrey 3910 (BD12 DHL) , a recent transfer from Arriva The Shires at Watford , after being displaced from route 321 by new "SAPPHIRE" spec Wright Streetlite Max single decks.

Mercedes Benz 0530 Citaro , based at Maidstone depot.

New as Arriva The Shires 3933.

On May 25th, 2013, a friend and I drove a 12 ft box truck to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to deliver supplies to those who were displaced from the F-5 tornado that leveled the town of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013 between 2:45–3:35 p.m.

Getting love to use photoshop filter feature to add on special effect that in my mind. For this photo, I used displace distort filter to wrap a "rainbow" around the face.

Oman is home to an impressive number of species of birds that vary from residents, that stay all year around, to breeding birds, that spend a good part of the growing season in Oman to raise their young, migrants who pass through Oman with the seasons, to wintering birds who like to spend a good part of the winter in Oman to escape colder conditions up north. While many species of birds are relatively common as they are part of the ecosystems of the state, it is always a thrill to stumble upon a rare bird or vagrant, that does not really form part of any the Oman ecosystems. Maybe it got lost during its travels between its summer and winter residence or it got displaced by bad weather

On May 25th, 2013, a friend and I drove a 12 ft box truck to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to deliver supplies to those who were displaced from the F-5 tornado that leveled the town of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013 between 2:45–3:35 p.m.

Pedro - an "internally-displaced" Georgian man from Abkhazia, who now, after the 1992-93 war, is living and working in Mestia (Svaneti, Georgia) - is watching a an Ukrainian alpinist tries to perfect his gras scything technique.



Juli 2010.


Contax G2, Sonnar 90mm, orange filter and Tri-X.



This is my attempt of using the Displacement Map filter in Photoshop.

Inspired by a shot by Kevin Lowe --- "You ain't seen me, right ?"

Created following a tutorial shared by him :


My original shot can be viewed HERE and was taken back in March 2012

What type of people even contemplate starting a new private school one month before school is supposed to start? Well, say hello to The River Rock School on the Haw, located next to the Haw River in Saxapahaw, NC. Of course, you can't start a new school without some cool graphics, so I waded out into the middle of the Haw on Friday at dusk with a canoe and a rented lens and tried to get some pictures to fit in with the school's river theme. Since school starts this week, every parent and student spent all day Sunday painting, sanding, cleaning, and getting everything ready for the first day of school on Thursday.


Here's how we're describing the focus of the new school:


The River Rock School on the Haw will open August 28th in Saxapahaw, NC for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th & 5th graders with a focus on environmental and community stewardship, collaboration, creativity, adventure, and rigorous academics. The school is an indepedent private school with mixed age groups and an integrated curriculum allowing for extensive, project oriented explorations in the sciences, arts, history, social studies, problem-solving, math, languages and literature.The teaching staff includes a lead teacher who has previously taught at The Community Independent School, Carolina Friends School, The Duke School, and Chapel Hill Public Schools. The resource staff includes seasoned teachers in Music, Art, Spanish, and Natural and Physical Science. There are still a few spaces available and limited full scholarships for minority students.


My new full frame Nikon D700 arrived the day after this shot was taken, and I'd already sold my wide angle DX lenses in anticipation. (DX lenses only work on the DX format, not FX format, or full frame like the Nikon D3 and D700.) Instead, Southeastern Camera in Raleigh and Carrboro rented me a Nikon 17-35mm f2.8 lens for only $20! That's got to be the camera rental bargain of the century, especially compared to online rental prices. The lens itself is incredible sharp, as you can see here. At f2.8 the transition from sharp to blur is quite pleasing, and this is now at the top of my list to acquire as a wide angle lens for my new D700.


Yes, the text is fake, and of course was done in photoshop using a variation of the classic techniques. First the text was converted to a path and the rotate and perspective transformations used to get the general angle right. The tricky bit there is the perspective doesn't work on regular text so you first have to convert it to a path. I then used a clipping mask against the text using a b&w white version of the canoe to make sure the text had all of the scratches and defects of the side of the canoe. Typically used use overlay mode for that, but it wasn't give me the text color I wanted. To fit the text better to the undulating nature of the side of the canoe the standard displacement map is used, (Filter->Distort->Displace), and finally a blur map was applied so that the text got blurrier as the canoe got blurrier. Its a lot more complicated than that, but you get the drift, I hope. One one question is why overlay mode wouldn't work like all of the tutorials show.

Coming home from Christmas shopping, I pulled over to snap this photo of the sun peaking out from the clouds. This is north of Parker, just south of Lake Havasu City where the London Bridge is now located (for those you you who don't know where Parker or Lake Havasu is...Western Arizona). I used a Topaz adjustment on this. Then I used the Distort, displace filter in Photoshop CS3 to create the textured frame. I shadowed that and placed it on another textured layer that I beveled.

Messing about with the Displace filter

Taken at a cotton gin in the farming valley south of my home. I put a Topaz adjustment on the picture of the tractor. Then I took another photo from the same cotton gin...only this was of a new John Deer and other farming equipment, and I used a soft light blend to put that picture on to the building part of my tractor picture. Then I made a black template and used a Filter>Distort>Displace texture to make the edge of the frame that I also beveled. All done in Photoshop CS3.

Image Release April 8, 2010


Hubble has snapped a spectacular view of M 66, the largest "player" of the Leo Triplet, and a galaxy with an unusual anatomy: it displays asymmetric spiral arms and an apparently displaced core. The peculiar anatomy is most likely caused by the gravitational pull of the other two members of the trio.


The unusual spiral galaxy, Messier 66, is located at a distance of about 35 million light-years in the constellation of Leo. Together with Messier 65 and NGC 3628, Messier 66 is the member of the Leo Triplet, a trio of interacting spiral galaxies, part of the larger Messier 66 group. Messier 66 wins in size over its fellow triplets — it is about 100 000 light-years across.


This is a composite of images obtained through the following filters: 814W (near infrared), 555W (green) and H-alpha (showing the glowing of the hydrogen gas). They have been combined so to represent the real colours of the galaxy.


Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin and Robert Gendler


To learn more about this image go to:


NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.



Well, just about, I'm a tad knackered at the moment!


G’day, I’ve been a wee bit quiet for the past few weeks as I reviewed movies at this year’s 2007 Melbourne (Australia) International Film Festival. I broadcast the reviews over about two and a half hours all up on my show, Zero-G: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Historical Radio, on 3RRR FM. (


The above picture is the sign on the Erwin Rado Theatre at 211 Johnson Street, Fitzroy, where the MIFF has its headquarters. The building's nothing much to look at from outside, really! But the sign...well, THAT has character!


Below the MIFF offices, the theatre, named after the director of the Film Festival from 1957 - 1983, has a charming old 69 seat cinema that can screen 16mm and 35mm film as well as DVD, LaserDisc, VHS, Data and MiniDV.


The MIFF’s access to the theatre expired at the end of 2007 and, ideally, it really should have its own dedicated screening facility, as other major city’s film festivals have. Still, the office itself has now moved to a more central location in Melbourne, which is handy!


To find out more about the MIFF go here:


Anyway, I thought I’d post some of reviews here, inspired by films that I particularly enjoyed at this year’s event.


The full transcripts can be found at:





This continuously violent South Korean animated adult feature presents a future where human excrement is an energy source. Citizens have a monitoring chip attached to their arses and particularly productive individuals are rewarded with addictive drug laced munchies called Juicy Bars.


I shit you not.


The story begins with a roadwarrior highway battle as the swarming blue mutant Diaper Gang (!) attempts to truckjack a cargo of Juicy Bars, only to encounter a devastatingly lethal cyborg enforcer who makes Judge Dredd look like a human rights campaigner.


Headshot bodies fall at a rate that would impress Aeon Flux and Samurai Jack combined as the repressive government, assorted roving bands of bandits and con men, including the title characters Aachi and Ssipak (pronounced ‘she-pock’) along with a feisty would-be actress, all compete for the Juicy Bars.


Given the outrageous level of mayhem and the giggling concept that lies at the, er, bottom of the plot, it’s hardly worth noting that the animators cheerfully raid pop culture for many sequences, including the films Aliens and Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom. The latter is extensively overmined for one tunnel chase set up.


The animation is quite stylistically vigorous while the off the wall social commentary reminds me a little of the kind of thing that animator Ralph Bakshi attempted in his Fritz The Cat days, well before the likes of South Park and its shock-anime kin. There’s also something to be said for the biting political satire that runs through the narrative, which results in the government and gang leader being merely two opposite sides of the same ruthless coin.


People with kids could have pointless fun banning them from seeing this film, but apparently MTV’s thinking of doing a telly series based on it anyway, so, futile or what?


Subtle it isn’t, but it is a species of wicked fun that will gather bums on seats!


Director Joe Bum-jin






The first film directed by screenwriter Santiago Amigorena, A Few Days In September

(Quelques Jours en Septembre), is a laid back but quite charming French spy thriller that makes espionage a family affair...and a realistically bickering family at that.


Elliot, mostly alluded to or played as an off screen voiceover by Nick Nolte until near the film’s conclusion, is an ex-CIA agent with knowledge about the upcoming 911 attacks. He hopes to trade the information for a stake that will enable him to reunite and live with his biological daughter and step-son, legacies of two seperate cover identity marriages in France and the U.S.


Much sought after by various factions, Elliot entrusts his grown up children, Orlando (Sara Forestier) and David (British actor Tom Riley) to the capable care of Irène, a cool, experienced French secret agent who used to be Elliot’s colleague. The potentially overwhelming meta-story takes a back seat to the character relationships, which makes a nice change to the usual breathless adventures that would normally puff up this kind of story into a by-the-numbers action thriller.


Juliette Binoche brings marvelous, stylish depth to her role as world wise spy Irène, providing a wryly sophisticated setting for her charges’ inevitable romance. (What IS it with the French anyway? After Irène’s arm is injured she turns up wearing a chic scarf as a sling, but of course!) Always gorgeous, the actress pitches the character as being adept enough at her deadly trade so that she can afford to enjoy herself while she works. Forestier is all sharp edged, angry eyed angst as she works through father/daughter issues while Riley nervously cooks (his character worked in a restaurant) for the two formidable women who have abruptly complicated his life with their Amazonian expertise with firearms. I also very much enjoyed the arch Franco/American banter between Orlando and David.


Seeking Elliot through the medium of his children is William Pound, a whacko ‘wet work’ assassin who has a penchant for poetry, drives a florist’s delivery van and has a mobile phone plagued by the world’s most annoying ringtone. Pound’s character is tightly wound by John Turturro, who played one of the convicts in O Brother, Where Art Thou? and also an equally obsessive relative of the title character in the television series Monk.


A Few Days In September benefits from first rate cinematography, including some playful soft focus shots that whimsically render Venice and Paris, cheekily explained by Irène’s habit of removing her glasses to ‘see things differently’. There’s also a cracking good shot through the dark framed doorway of a Venetian Chapel which reminded me of a signature frame from a John Ford Western, only instead of Mesas and sagebrush we get the Venice Lagoon and a passing ocean liner.


Although this film lingers perhaps a little too lovingly on the wrangling entanglements of its main characters I still found it pleasant and rewardable viewing. Amigorena certainly knows how to inject off-beat life into his characters.


Director/Screenwriter Santiago Amigorena

2006/115 mins





When down on her luck small town waitress Agnes White (played by Ashley Judd) invites eccentric drifter Peter Evans into her seedy motel room she receives much more than she bug-aned for!


Director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, & The French Connection) gets almost unbearably psychological in this cross genre movie that wisely adds no excess fat to the one set, pressure cooker Tracy Lett’s play that it’s adapted from. As the two main characters’ relationship slowly emerges from a far too tightly spun chrysalis the film builds to one of the most intensely wound paranoic conclusions seen on screen.


Michael Shannon is gauntly convincing as Evans, a role that he pioneered in the original stage play and intially at least, reminds me a little of a young Steve McQueen or perhaps, Joachim Phoenix. Harry Connick Junior has a supporting part in the film as Agne’s ex-convict, ex-husband.


Bug’s maddeningly paced escalating tension is supported by an appropriately chittering score, composed by Brian Tyler, who also gave us soundtracks for the films Constantine, Bubba Ho-Tep, the Children of Dune miniseries, as well as episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise and the upcoming Aliens Versus Predator 2: Survival Of The Fittest. Speaking of Star Trek, Ashley Judd also played Ensign Robin Lefler in Star Trek: Next Generation.


Bug is a film that creeps up on you and by its final scuttling rush will definitely get under your way or another.


Director- William Friedkin

Screenwriter-Tracy Letts






El Topo (“The Mole”) was director Alejandro Jodorowsky's third film. The infamous Mexican allergorically surreal Eastern/Western is presented at the festival in a very fine new restoration (a bit of a shock for those used to seeing it in its customary raddled grindhouse/cult prints!) along with its natural companion piece, The Holy Mountain.


This comprehensively startling but compelling film begins, not unlike the Lone Wolf And Cub Samurai series, with the black clad, flute playing gunslinger El Topo (played by the director himself) riding across the wastelands in company with a taciturn child companion. After a blood drenched encounter with drunkenly bestial bandits El Topo replaces the boy with a seductively manipulative woman who urges him to become the greatest shootist in the world by seeking out and defeating four master gunfighters.


As with the wuxia martial arts films that this story frequently references the quest for the masters proves dangerous, difficult, baffling and wonderous.


The gunslinger’s odyssey to achieve enlightment and mastery is populated with exotic encounters and inventive, symbolically charged imagery. Deflating balloons signal the start of duels, capering outlaws with shoe fetishes rape feminised sand paintings and carve bananas with sabres, civilised townsfolk prove more depraved and debauched than the wasteland bandits, herds of rabbits mysteriously die at El Topo’s feet, incestuously deformed trogalytes living in oil drums tunnel to escape their underground prison, and live bullets are caught and deflected by butterfly nets.


This visual melange is supported by Jodorowskys and Nacho Méndezs evocative music which, by turns soothing or jarring, echoes across the many desert based sequences and permeates the locations, which frequently read more like artistic installations than sets grounded in any kind of mundane reality. In fact, there is a timeless anachronistic feel to the desert that makes you question whether this is nominally a period Western or indeed set in some kind of post-apocalyptic Stephen King future.


El Topo is rendered even stranger by its renowned mid-film gear change, one of several enigmatic transformations that can be interpreted as Buddhist inspired reincarnations of the title character.


Just imagine what might have been if Jodorowsky had pulled off his mid-70s adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune, with its intended cast of Salvidor Dali as the Emperor, Mick Jagger playing Feyd Rautha and Orson Welles as Baron Harkonnen? As it is the Acid Western tradition at least got another outing in Jim Jarmusch's more recent film, Dead Man, which, for all its many remarkable charms, by comparison to El Topo is cast into monochrome shade.


A bizarre chimera even by Zero-G's notoriously unhinged standards El Topo is a cult classic given gloriously grotesque new life by its own recent transfiguring restoration.


Director/Screenwriter Alejandro Jodorowsky






Fido fiendishly expands upon the gag featured in Shaun of the Dead (amongst other films) that zombies could be domesticated to perform simple tasks. Zombies helping in the kitchen? Uh-oh, better make sure they keep those rotting fingers are kept hygenically away from food preparation surfaces with a pair of crisp, clean white cotton gloves....


In an alternate 1950s the all encompassing ZomCom, which apparently helped win the Zombie War, protects and serves the walled small towns of America. Now, we all know that the only reason to provide zombies with clever electronic control collars is so that the gadgets can malfunction; cue zombie outbreak! It’s the slyly subversive juxtaposition of wholesome mom and apple-pie Leave It To Beaver sitcom with Zombie killing procedural that lends this consistently bemusing film a wicked Addams Family style where Pop naturally reads Death Magazine and scenes shot in cars are filmed using good old fashioned rear screen projection.


Not that we’re talking Black and White telly, nosirree Bob! Fido is filmed in full, glorious technicolour, complete with ginormous finned automobiles, two toned shoes and compliant Stepford housewives who wait at the front door for their patriarchal hubbies to take the martini from their submissive, manicured hands. Happily, Carrie Anne-Moss in one of the main roles, as Helen Robinson, is more of a buddingly feisty Desperate Housewife after the armed and dangerous example of Bree Hodge. (From The Matrix to a zombie packed Pleasantville is indeed an ironic career path!) It’s not long before Helen kicks over the domestic traces following the example of her young son, Timmy (knowingly played by the intriguingly named K’Sun Ray) and his new pet zombie, the Fido of the title, embodied by Billy Connolly. Connolly plays the long suffering Fido with toothy glee, moaning and groaning and lurching in the throes of what could easily double as a hangover of fatally heroic proportions.


Keep an eye out (easy to do in a zombie film) for Dylan Baker, as the nervously cheerful Bill Robinson. Baker has had the sleeper part of Doctor Curt Connors in the Spider-Man films and, as comic book fans anticipate, should eventually get to mutate into the super-villain, The Lizard.


Fido is my genre pic of the Festival, in the tradition of another year’s shambling B-schlock spoof, The Lost Skeleton Of Cadavra. I ask you, how can I not enjoy sinking my teeth into a film where a pet zombie is addressed with a line like: “What’s that Fido? Timmy’s in trouble?”


It’s enough to make Lassie dig her way out of her grave!


Director- Andrew Currie

Screenwriters- Robert Chomiak, Andrew Currie, Dennis Heaton






If you go down to the woods’d better take your copy of the Brothers Grimm Cookbook For Baking Independent Elderly Female Cannibal Sorceresses.


German director Anne Wild and screenwriter Peter Schwindt settle for a straightforward retelling of the classic rural ‘stranger danger’ story wherein the devious Gretel proves the most resourceful of two deliberately lost children who end up on the menu of the obligatory member of the local Guild of Almagamated Wicked Witches & Confectioners.


Deliberately lost? How do you think the kids got to be wandering around in Blair Witchburg in the first place? Sometimes tactfully omitted from modern retellings of this familiar story is the neglected element of child abandonment, a practice forced upon starving families in situations of plague, famine, wars and other social upheavals. In this case, it’s the pragmatic step-mother who pushes her more sentimental but nontheless compliant woodcutter husband into cutting loose the kids.


In early versions of the story it’s usually just the natural mother who suggests jettisoning the offspring...a much more useful cautionary tale for parents to use as and Awful Threat when disciplining naughty anklebiters.


Leaving aside observations about how Hansel and Gretel underlines the historical distrust of skilled single women of independent means this is actually a moderately creepily staged film. The woods are suitably threatening, and the witch herself, though certainly not up to Buffy The Vampire Slayer standards is a reasonably nasty albeit dimwitted piece of work...


I never can figure out quite why witchy poo needed to go Hannibal Lector on kiddies when she was capable of whipping up enough food to fatten a small army, not to mention all that square footage of gingerbread real estate. Let’s just assume it’s an alternative lifestyle choice, along the lines of supergenius Wile. E. Coyote yearning after Roadrunner drumsticks in spite of the fact that he had enough credit to order truckloads of expensive gadgets from the ACME Corporation.


(On the subject of ghoulish folks developing a fondness for ‘long pig’ just what DID those darling children do with the oven fired witch after they fried her arse?)


We all know how this ends, after making off with the witch’s portable property the kids, in a remarkable act of forgiveness, share their taxfree windfall with their deadbeat dad...though their step mother has obligingly dropped dead in the meanwhile.


Hmm, did anyone actually see step-mama and Ms Witch in the same room at the same time?


Don’t expect a Post-Modern fractured fairytale from Hansel and Gretel and you won’t be led astray by what’s essentially a traditionally told, moderately unsettling film.


Director- Anne Wild

Screenwriter- Peter Schwindt






If you thought Alejandro Jodorowsky’s third film, El Topo, was weird...well, no caca Sherlock!


Wait until you get a load of this....


His next surreally allegorical outing, 1973’s The Holy Mountain, scales even more whackily experimental heights. Like El Topo, The Holy Mountain has also been recently, lovingly restored, all the better to trip out on the eye bulging psychedelic imagery!


Again, as with El Topo, the nominal protagonist is on a messianic quest to achieve enlightment. Even more ironically symbolic in this case since the central thief character bears a strong and exploitable resemblance to the traditional representation of Jesus Christ.


Horácio Salinas plays the hapless thief, leaving Jodorowsky himself the catalytic role of a tower dwelling alchemist who charges him to accompany seven influential but materialistic powerbrokers to Lotus Island where they will achieve eternal life once they have climbed the eponymous Holy Mountain.


Initially the dialogue is thin on the ground but soon ramps up to cheerfully inexplicable levels where a line like “hypersexed brown native vampires” can pass without comment or indeed comprehension. Politics, art, sexuality, and filmmaking, amongst many other subjects, all cop a satirical hiding in this extraordinary film which relies heavily upon fantasy imagery drawn from tarot cards, astrology and religion.


Just listing a few of the oddball ideas gives you an idea of the unique scope of Jorodowsky’s fevered imagination.


Two women are ‘cleansed’ of clothing, make-up, jewellery, false nails, and hair by a black robed priest who himself has ebony varnished fingernails. A screaming man lies covered in big acting stretch there! The Invasion of Mexico is renacted by lizards dressed in Mezoamerican costumes battling frogs wearing Conquistador armour and missionary robes. (I have my doubts about this sequence, it sure looks like the poor frogs are really being blown up by explosives?) A mulitple amputee writes cryptic messages in the dirt with a severed animal leg. Parading prostitutes turn out to be just as holy as priests. Roman soldiers cast the thief in plaster and create a line of life-sized crucifiction merchandise. Art factory paint coated nude backsides stamp out images on a production line while live body painted nudes are built into installations so they can be fondled by gallery patrons. Gas masked soldiers attend dances and machine guns and hand grenades are painted in rainbow colours. Spartan like warriors pursue a cunning plan to emasculate 1000 heroes to create a shrine of 1000 testicles....and nevermind what they did with the other 1000! Eviscerated victims spill chicken guts....and I mean they literally pull chickens from their wounds’ while Liederhosen wearing Teutonics trip on drugs and strongmen are able to turn intangible and teleport through entire mountains.


Distantly reminiscent of Fellini’s Satyricon, and to some extent Roma, The Holy Mountain also boasts the most startling Orgasmatron machine since the erotic cult film Barbarella, in the form of a Giant mechanical vagina that’s manipulated like a theramin.... well, if a theramin was played by a giant dildo!


Is it any surprise, really, in the wake of the cult success of El Topo, that The Holy Mountain’s producer Allen Klein also managed The Beatles and that those fans of all things psychedelic, John Lennon and Yoko Ono helped fund the movie?


Landmark or landfill experimental film? The Holy Mountain remains an obvious precursor to movies like Eraserhead, The Cremaster Cycle, and The Qatsi Trilogy.


Climb it at your own peril. (You know you want to!)


Director/Screenwriter Alejandro Jodorowsky






Clementine (Olivia Bonamy) and Lucas (Michael Cohen) live happily in pastoral rural isolation in a rundown chalet in the Romanian woods, until one night they are attacked by....THEM! No, not by lurching giant ants from a 1950s horror film but by...well, that would be telling. Some horror films take their time building suspense but Moreau and Palud’s shiversome first feature nails you straight to the wall and keeps you hanging there for the economical just-over-an-hour’s running time. And I do mean ‘running’.


The adept direction and unrelating pace set within the atmospheric confines of the old chalet (a dream of a location to create nightmares in) is ramped up by genuinely unnerving sound effects design, an evocatively tense soundtrack, solid if necessarilly Spartan performances by the two leads, and the teasing revelation of the nature of the besiegers.


There’s nothing particularly new about the ingredients stirred into this terrifying mix. In fact, you could, after the credits have rolled and the lights come up again, sit back and tick off the horror cliches one by one, starting with the usually tiresome pronouncement, “Based On A True Story”. Commentators seem uncertain about the veracity of that, but in this case it adds to the overall feel of unease that permeates the ending of this film. I found myself thinking, “Y’know, I can see how that could actually happen....brrrr!” took me a while to realise that the title is merely the French word for “Them”... is one of the most disturbing horror films I’ve seen in some time, and all without buckets of blood or lashings of sickly inventive torture porn. With its efficient minimalist approach it’s very close in tone to the best of the New Wave of Japanese horror that burst upon the West several years ago now.


Directors/ Screenwriters- David Moreau and Xavier Palud

2006/70 mins





A big budget supernatural fantasy for young adults that's part Spielberg, part Lucas, with an added dash of Harry Potter, but which ultimately wears its ample CGI well to create an enjoyable and in a few places reasonably scary film.


When two children move to a quiet country town the last thing they expect to find is a haunted island plagued by a supernatural confluence of kidnapped souls. When a young girl taps into the mystic mayhem it results in her brother being possessed by the spirit of a centuries dead member of an ancient order of sorcerous crimefighters.


The film's young actors are capable and ‘self possessed’ in the face of some quite formidable magical opposition, including a new and nasty take on that familiar player from Central Horror Casting, the living Scarecrow, along with a necromancer who could be brother to both Nosferatu and the Star Wars Emperor, right down to the cadaverous features and handy ability to cast Sith lightning from his fingies! I especialy liked the offbeat character of the trainspotting psychic investigator who inevitably comes to the kid’s aid in their hour of dire peril.


A fun little romp that’s no longer than it should be at an economical 100 minutes.


Director- Nikolaj Arcel

Screenwriter- Ramsus Heisterberg




Sun, 12th of August, 1:00 PM




Belgium/Germany/The Netherlands


Bagi, played by Batzul Khayankhyarvaa, is a young nomad, who, along with his family are wrenched from their nomadic existence by the Mongolian government who want to consolidate people in towns, villages and cities as the fledgling democracy gears up to enter the 21st century’s global economy. After rescuing Zolzaya (Tsetsegee Byamba), a beautiful female coal thief, Bagi boldly goes where nomad has gone before on a shamanistic quest that culminates in fantastical revelations about Mongolia’s future relation with the environment.


Khadak is underpinned by a hypnotically compelling narrative fascination with magic realism that often contrasts the shabby reality of the concrete high rises with the colourfully organic traditional nomadic traditional yurt dwellings.


The film overflows with powerful imagery, including a simple but effective camera roll that causes an iconistic prayer-scarf draped tree to turn upside down as the land itself is inverted by mineral exploitation and pollution. A deserted town, in reality an abandoned former Soviet barracks, stands in for one potential future. Tractors, used to haul the disassembled yurts, are started and allowed to run aimlessly free across the steppes as the government agents burn the nomads’ links to their former lifestyle behind them.


Khadak doesn’t always offer too nostalgic a view of the nomadic struggle; many of the former rural folk cheerfully adapt to their new circumstances and some seem to pragmatically thrive, especially Bagi’s mother, who ends up running heavy machinery at the coal mine where immense draglines swing with saurian grace across the screen.


The film’s reverberating score resonates across the wind blown, echoing steppes, giving way to some moments of pure musical bliss, especially when some of the newly urbanised young people get together for astonishing ‘jam’ sessions.


Both lyrical and hard edged Khadak is a film, like Martin Scorsese’s Kundan, whose exotic sights and sounds will be welcome guests in my yurt for as long as they choose to stay.


Directors/Screenwriters- Peter Brosens, Jessica Hope Woodworth






It’s damn cold in Northern Alaska but not cold enough, as tough but soft centered Ron Perlman’s advance oil drilling preparation crew discover when they set out to re-open an isolated test drilling site that may be viable in the face of looming energy shortages. The arctic circle tundra is thawing rapidly, unleashing the kind of environmental horror movie that used to be in vogue back in the 1970s and which is all too timely now as global warming makes its presence felt in the real world.


Perlman, as usual, is excellent, giving the kind of inflected performance that graced Hellboy, Cronos, City Of Lost Children and his impressive work in the television fantasy series Beauty & The Beast. The ensemble players are also deftly sketched in, often in a low key fashion that adds realism.


Director Larry Fessenden successfully follows up and even references in one brief bit of dialogue, Wendigo, one of his earlier, not entirely disimilar horror outings. As with some other genre films in this year’s festival the horror elements are timeless; from the simmering sexual and tensions and hostility between the boffins and the bluecollars to the classic scenario of the besieged ice station. The latter is a character in itself, in the ‘Thingy’ tradition of both Howard Hawks and John Carpenter’s seperate adaptations of John W. Campbell’s seminal very Cold War science fiction novella, Who Goes There? Best possible use is made of this stunning location, as the screen often becomes an overwhelmingly vast white or dark canvas to trap and diminish the hapless blue collar workers.


Crystal clear sound design helps ‘sell’ the visuals and the impressive CGI special effects are first rate, without ever detracting from the practical drama of the sheer dangers of living and working in such an extreme environment.


The Last Winter is a cunningly ambiguous chiller that cleverly maintains a plausible alternative explanation for the film’s lethal events up to and possibly including the final admirably restrained frame which begs teasingly to be opened out into a wider shot but leaves the audience wanting more, leaving room for a possible but unecessary sequel.


Oil be back!


Director- Larry Fessenden

Screenwriters- Larry Fessenden, Robert Leaver






A carload of Iranian buddies on their way down the mountains from a skiing holiday stop for a toilet break at a precipitous roadside layover and discover a monolithic rock

that just HAS to be tumbled down the slopes.


If you’re a bloke, you automatically know how it is.


If you’re a woman, equally, you KNOW how we are!


An amusing exploration of male bonding and stubborness this happily crazy film is guaranteed to contain no sociopolitical allegory whatsoever (really!) and the Iranian writer/director has asked that the U.S please refrain from invading his leg of the Axis of Evil until he has finished his next project.


Director/Screenwriter- Mani Haghighi






When completely politically incorrect arms merchant Palisade Defence rewards its crack Euro Sales division with a team-building weeked in the woods of Eastern Europe the mismatched but archtypal bickering office workers soon find that they’re not quite the ‘gun’ group that they thought they were.


Yes, the comparison of choice is The Office meets Deliverance and that’s fair enough because what makes this movie so gormlessly funny is the inept Brits Abroad schtick combined with an equally knowing, wickedly timed take on the horror slasher genre that puts most inept Hollywood fun with fear spoofs to more shame than ever. The only time this film ever really fumbles is when it takes the horror too seriously, which is not all that frequently, though more noticably and perhaps inevitably, in the apocalyptic last reel.


Oddly, Severence’s particularly grungy baddies who get to fold, spindle and mutilate our heroic twonks remind me very much of the “Stalkers” from the recent popular video game, which itself references the Tarkovsky film and the less well known science fiction novel that classic is itself based on, Boris and Arkady Strugatsky’s Roadside Picnic.


The heavyweight British ensemble cast is a real corker here, and one of the most enjoyable in the festival films I’ve seen this year, including at least one former Bond villain (Toby Stephens who was Gustav Graves in Die Another Day) and the always wetly amusing Tim McInnerny who plays to his well known Blackadder type (He was both Lord Percy and Captain Darling) as the incompetent boss of the Palisade’s party.


I won’t be the last reviewer to note that Eastern Europe has become destination of choice for horror filmmakers of late. Attracted by threatening woodlands, abandoned buildings and low cost production facilities the exotic locales also perhaps wallow in a degree of smug and possibly premature Western superiority in the wake of the economic collapse of former Eastern Bloc foes. For the moment, these once hard to access countries are providing filmmakers with a place to set their stories ‘beyond the glow of the streetlights’. Again, as with other festival genre films, Severence does benefit from a marvelously decrepit Old Dark house of a location.


Severence is laced with joyfully understated sight gags, dialogue to listen for, and a good deal of well meaning irony regarding corporate responsibility. The icing on the cake is a musical score that fiddles with both ominous gypsy curses, pop tunes and even riffs off We’ll Meet Again as featured in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove, to which black comedy there’s more than one reference.


Severance gives awful new meaning to the term, “You’e fired!”


Director- Christopher Smith

Screenwriters- James Moran, Christopher Smith






An intimate but involving look at the disapora of displaced persons produced by China's Three Gorges Dam mega-engineering project as seen through the eyes of two people.


In the first part of the film coal miner Han Sanming (played by Sanming Han) returns after 16 years absence to his former home town of Fengjie, only to find its 2000 years of history submerged beneath the waters of the dam. Taking a temporary job in demolition, he searches for news of his ex wife, whom he hasn’t seen for 16 years.


Still Life never wanders far from the dominating horizontal visuals of the mighty Yangtze River and the monolithic concrete and steel dam. The apocalyptic rubble of the yet-to-be flooded part of the town forms another powerful metaphor, a full stop to the flow of linear time represented by the River, which itself has been given pause by the immense project.


It’s a hard life for Han, though undoubtedly far less dangerous than the notoriously hazardous Chinese coal mining industry, and it provides some extraordinary imagery.

Men in supposedly protective suits with sanitising back pack sprayers wander through gutted homes. Friends are made amongst workmates to the jaunty ringtones of their mobile phones as they exchange numbers...a socialising ritual that later prompts one of the film’s most poignant moments when a mobile ‘s unanswered ringing signals a tragic accident. Condemned buildings collapse with tired grace in the distant background as they receive explosive coup de grâces.


The second half of the film segues into another quest for closure, as Nurse Shen Hong (Tao Zhao) journeys to the town looking for her own estranged husband.

Again, the dam is another defining presence in the story, providing a backdrop for the final resolution of Shen Hong’s search.


One baffling scene (and I’d welcome any light that anyone can shed on this!) sees Shen staring at a large monument in the distance. It appears to be a Chinese alphabetical character, rendered in concrete. As she turns away, rocket motors ignite at its base and the whole giant structure lifts off into the skies. I assume this is some kind of reference to the recent successes of the Chinese manned space programme but am not sure as to why it’s relevant to the story? Unless it’s just a bit of triumphalism? Or indeed, because Shen does ignore the startling sight, perhaps it’s meant to be ironic? Enquiring minds need to know!


Actually, the overall philosophical conclusion drawn at the end of Still Life does read a little bit like some kind of inspirational tract to me....but that may just reflect my own bias, or again it could be ironic, and I won’t spoil the ending by going further into detail. (Well, cross cultural puzzles have always attracted me to World Cinema!)


Still Life is a beautifully visualised, thoughtful film with a measured pace that aptly reflects the larger elements that form the canvas that its smaller, but no less important, human dramas are played out against.


Director/Screenwriter- Jia Zhang-ke






Rather than be 'embedded' in a U.S military unit in Iraq filmmaker Deborah Scranton chose to give cameras to three National Guardsmen to record their own experiences deployed with Charlie Company, 3rd of the 172nd New Hampshire Mountain Infantry. Scranton provided additional remote directorial aid via text messaging and email to the three soldiers, Sgts. Stephen Pink and Zack Bazzi, and Specialist Michael Moriarty, whose stories were chosen from an overall pool of 1000 hours of footage.


The soldiers’ personal and professional accounts are sobering and revelatory and never less than enlightening.


Though it does this remarkably cohesive documentary something of a disservice to cherry pick material out of its sturdily engineered overall context it’s necessary to give some idea of the range of material included in the film.


We see several ambush eye views of the destructive force of roadside Improvised Explosive Devices which, though initiated and responded to with varying degrees of control by both combatant forces, usually result in chaos and confusion, death and destruction, for bystanders. One soldier matter-of-factly tours a vast graveyard of combat lossed vehicles, shattered and gutted by I.E.Ds, casting in an increasingly ironic light President Bush’s triumphantly naive 2003 announcement that “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended...”


The complexity of night operations are mirrored in the silvered eyed stare of soldiers seen through the eerie but tactically invaluable lenses of night vision equipment , rendering one formation of troops strikingly like a formation of stolid Terracotta Warriors. The detached professionalism of the soldiers understandably falters when a night time convoy kills a woman who was then struck repeatedly by each truck in turn.


The irony of soldiers and hired civilians (drivers and security guards) risking and losing their lives to protect re-supply cargos of, for example, cheese for hamburgers, is not lost on the troopers who wonder loudly if the complex and highly profitable logistical tail is wagging the policy dog? In fact, they’re refreshingly unguarded in their speculations about what they see, from their perspective as boots on the ground, as the reasons behind the ongoing war. Their observations are pithy, and to the point...or, rather, multiple points, as the individual opinions cover the entire spectrum of current controversy, from oil driven conspiracy to patriotic war on terror.


Soldiers will always enthusiastically relish the opportunity to grouse about their lot, reserving special venom for the shortcomings of their equipment, training, rations and orders. One complaint amongst many was that these soldiers received little or no cultural instruction to help prepare them for operating in the Iraq theatre, which ommission makes it hard to both know the enemy or understand your friends. Even a simple misunderstanding over a commonly used hand gesture for ‘Stop’ can, in the local environment, be fatally mistaken for ‘Hello!”


The fact that the Iraq conflict is, in reality, fought amongst peoples homes rather than some spiffily titled combat theatre, warzone or neutrally termed area of operations is thoughtfully underlined by frequent segues to the soldiers’ American homes, either when the troops have returned or during their absence. Surface impressions notwithstanding there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of difference between U.S and Iraqi civilians; folks, it seems, are alike all over. Stateside sequences touch upon the complicated effects that the deployment had on civilian family members, the problems of post traumatic stress disorder suffered by the veterans, and the more obvious physical injuries. For example, one of the soldiers has carpal tunnel syndrome in his hands, the result of vibration transmitted through the grips of his vehicle mounted machine gun on patrol. He also has to cope with back pain from wearing body armour in a confined space.


Crammed with ‘real time’ feedback from ongoing conflict The War Tapes makes a provocative companion piece with the 2005 documentary Gunner Palace. For balance I would also add to the recommended viewing list: Control Room (2004), Baghdad ER (2006), and My Country, My Country (2006)


Director- Deborah Scranton






Never heard of the Nigerian film industry? This inspiringly cheeky doco will rectify that and should be seen by all budding filmmakers seeking new ways to practice their art.


Something like 2400 movies per year are produced in Nigeria, making it the third most prolific film industry in the world. Film? Well, that’s a nostalgically generic term to describe the Nigerians’ enthusiastic bypassing of conventional film stock and its complex and expensive infrastructure in favour of digital video distributed directly and cheaply at local marketplaces on DVD or VCD.


The 300 or so Nigerian directors have an already rich tradition of oral storytelling to draw upon, and have embraced multiple genres usually lensing them through an action adventure filter, which has fostered a support industry of movie fight Action Camps where actors can learn the stunt fight business. Although one director claims “We don’t do science fiction” Nollywood nevertheless loves fantasy, especially religious based melodramas with plenty of demons and angels, sorcererors and witches.


Period films set in Nigeria often have a luridly portrayed but understandably anti-slavery element, which alongside with the witchcraft angle concerns some commentators who argue that focusing on these aspects promotes stereotypes.


A visit to the set of a film grounded in the recent Liberian war shows the Nigerian director, who at least partly funded the movie himself, putting his actors through boot camps to learn how to fill out their soldierly roles, including veteran advisors from both sides of the original conflict. The actors go through production hell but ironically are brought low by a botched contract with the caterers...


Nollywood; not entirely different from Hollywood!


Director- Jamie Meltzer






A lyrical French animated feature with fluidly drawn artwork and an equally languid, but elegant plot as a Princess Mona is faced with choosing between new love and a beloved friend, who happens to be a unicorn. The charming, anthropomorphic animal cast could have been drawn by Dr Seuss, and the story is a souffle of flirtatious love with a playful musical topping.


Directors- Grégoire Solotareff, Serge Elissalde

Screenwriter- Grégoire Solotareff



This photo was taken back in April and I just now got around to working on it. I think I bypassed it a few hundred times when looking through old photo's to work on and finally decided to work on it or get rid of it.

I have been doing a lot of reading on some new HDR techniques and I have applied them here with masking and such. Hope you like it and your comments are greatly appreciated.


The Shot:

Standard 3 shot HDR -2,0,+2


Photomatix 4.0 (Detail Enhancer)


Post Processing:

ACR slight adjustments in Black, Vibrance and Color Balance



Quick selection tool selected cityscape and background mountains, Inverted and Masked -2 Raw shot to even out sky.

Rectangle Marquee Tool selected cityscape-New Layer-Flipped Vertical-Used for reflection-Slight motion blur added-filter (Displace) DSLR reflection used and adjusted.

1 Adjustment Layer-Curves -for overall contrast

1 Adjustment Layer-Levels- to bring out white in Space Needle

1 Adjustment Layer-Hue/Sat -Yellows selective tone down street lights

1 Adjustment Layer-Hue/Sat- Blue enhance selective city colors

1 Adjustment Layer-Hue/Sat- Purples enhance selective city colors

1 Layer Noise Ninja selective sky noise only

Overall High Pass sharpening technique


I went through several different crops until I found one I liked, eventually going with a 5/7 cropping placing shoreline in bottom half of comp for a more 2/3rds cropping deciding to chop off the space needle reflection. (While working on the photo I had a 4/5 cropping that placed the shoreline in the middle of the photo along with the full Space Needle in the reflection.




This theme ‘Displacement’ investigated the theme of both rural and urban erosion. To demonstrate my ideas, people were displaced in these carefully selected run down environments, placement was not always the decision of the photographer; an array of figures scattered into the landscape made for a surreal experience. This displacement is to signify how the economy can change and reshape lives as simply as the wind changing direction. The impact throughout time of an economic down turn can dramatically impact on the lives of those who live in both urban and rural communities. As banks and creditors tighten their belts, more and more businesses both big and small face the consequences. As large supermarkets are eager to continue their capitalist profiteering decide to source products abroad at cheaper rates, local farms and small businesses face closure unable to meet such cheap supply and demand. It is paradoxical as ordinary people no longer able to afford the finest foods or luxuries of organic produce seek cheap fodder for their hungry brood driving down prices even more.


These beings in the landscape stand still, only their heads moving back and forth, up and down, like standing to attention; attention to what their minds exude, maybe this twenty second capture allows them to forget all the troubles in the world or maybe they are shaking their heads in annoyance at their current situation. The sequence of the head movement suggests hidden identity and emphasizes the subject’s vulnerability and instability. I have always allowed the viewer to perceive what they wish to perceive, the title stands purposely structured in brackets so that the viewer is open to other interpretations. To create the illusion of levitation I photographed the space twice from the same tripod position, first with the objects and figures and then without. In Photoshop The Buckets and ladders etc. where replaced with the same space of the empty Photograph. The sepia filter juxtaposes the old with modern times. Reminiscent of time long gone; capturing the uncertainty of the atmosphere.


The decision to represent my thoughts at night – with the stars above, illustrates the magnitude of the problem, and closure of everything at night adds to a sense of fear of it all. Nightmares and sleepless nights go hand in hand with anxieties and troubled minds. I appear in some of my photographs deliberately to show my concerns about the environment and indeed my own employment in the future. It also adds for a more spiritual and meaningful work for myself as an artist.

Sawyer Brown again. He's wearing one of his new Hawaiian shirts.


I was practicing making patterned backgrounds using my own pictures and cut out shapes. It's really simple. Take your picture, make it perfect, then take the marquee tool. Select the portion you want to save as a pattern. With that outlined, go up to (I believe) EDIT and select the menu option about SAVING PATTERN (or something like that). A box will pop up and you name your pattern. Then when you want to use it, do it like you'd pick any other pattern.


I used a picture of Sawyers nose to create this pattern. Then I put a texture border on it by utilizing the Filter>Distort>Displace options. I ended it with a golden orange (to match his toy) stroke outline. Placed on a dark brown background, I angled the photo and put a shadow behind it.

Played with borders in photoshop with the aid of a layer mask and and the displace filter(used a rust texture) under distort.


I've been playing with the Curves to get more contrastier picture. I like it; it adds a velivia film feel maybe..

On May 25th, 2013, a friend and I drove a 12 ft box truck to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to deliver supplies to those who were displaced from the F-5 tornado that leveled the town of Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013 between 2:45–3:35 p.m.

Internally Displaced People (IDP) collective centre in Tskhaltubo (Georgia). The centre used to be a beautiful Soviet sanatorium, and was turned into a shelter for displaced people from the 1992-93 Abkhaz war. People have been living here since 18 years, in poor conditions.

Taken during a photo project for the Danish Refugee Council.


Leica M6, Zeiss Sonnar C 1.5/50, B+W yellow filter and Ilford HP5+ pushed to ISO 800 (in HC-110B).

© Peter Schön/DRC

Hubble has snapped a spectacular view of M 66, the largest "player" of the Leo Triplet, and a galaxy with an unusual anatomy: it displays asymmetric spiral arms and an apparently displaced core. The peculiar anatomy is most likely caused by the gravitational pull of the other two members of the trio. The unusual spiral galaxy, Messier 66, is located at a distance of about 35 million light-years in the constellation of Leo. Together with Messier 65 and NGC 3628, Messier 66 is the member of the Leo Triplet, a trio of interacting spiral galaxies, part of the larger Messier 66 group. Messier 66 wins in size over its fellow triplets — it is about 100 000 light-years across. This is a composite of images obtained through the following filters: 814W (near infrared), 555W (green) and H-alpha (showing the glowing of the hydrogen gas). They have been combined so to represent the real colours of the galaxy.

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