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European Bee-eater is a beautiful and elegant bird similar to a rainbow when flying. They darts across the sky in a gaudy patchwork suit: a chestnut crown, black mask, turquoise breast, and throat feathers the hue of ripening wheat. The call of the European bee-eater sounds like a rolling ‘prrt’.

Size: Length: ±28 cm Steamers: Male: ±2,5 cm & Female ±1,8 cm Weight: ±44-78 g

Hope you will enjoy this photo.

Have a great weekend.

 

Please don't use this image on websites, blogs or other media without my explicit permission. :copyright: All rights reserved

 

We have a few hives in the back yard.

They get checked by Clive to make sure they are doing well.

He checks that there is still a queen, lots of bees and if any frames are filled with honey and capped.

The other hives are in the bush.

A texture seemed to suit this one.

I found a newly blooming bush in a neighbor's yard today that had some big, fat bees sniffing around it in the afternoon. I went back this evening sans kid but the bees were mostly gone. The mosquitoes, unfortunately, had not followed suit. Even though I hosed myself down with Off I still got all sorts of chewed up.

 

It was worth it, though -- I'm really pleased with the way this shot turned out, even though there's not a bee in sight.

Phenomenal Woman

 

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I'm telling lies.

I say,

It's in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It's the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can't touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can't see.

I say,

It's the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

Now you understand

Just why my head's not bowed.

I don't shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It's in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need of my care.

'Cause I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

--Maya Angelou

Today is my RL birthday, so I decided to pose in my Bee-Day suit. ;o) And what better place for a bee, then a gorgeous field of flowers.

 

Bee happy.

Bee kind.

Bee silly.

Bee flexible.

Bee naughty.

Bee a good friend.

 

Bee what ever you want to bee today. :o)

 

The Bee Costume is a freebie! You can find it at Dernier Cri.

Hair - "Hello Goodbye" from Gritty Kitty

"The moment you doubt whether you can fly... you cease forever to be able to do it "

honey bee wonders what kind of chickens these are.

they don't look like they'd be good 'layers'...

 

Bumblebee Girl: Wakey Sleepy Piggy, the weather's nice and warm...

Unicorn Girl: Hey hey, come out and play!

Bumblebee Girl: Let's break the ice!

Unicorn Girl: Bonne idée!

From my garden - my first photograph of a flower with my canon..:)

 

Educated by June - Tongues on Fire - so suits the flower..:) thanks June..

 

Nice Large On Black

While in the field, we came upon that little house and you kneel with your camera to take a picture while I stood nervously at your side. After a while you asked me what I was doing. I simply replied that's the house of the old catwoman and her husband always carry a loaded gage 10 shotgun. You stood up nervously and you followed me before noticing my shoulders were jumping up and down. You've asked me what was going on and I laughed that the old woman was as sweet as candy and her husband died 10 years ago.

 

//

Une fois au champs, nous tombons sur cette petite maison pitoresque et tu t'accoupies afin de prendre une image alors que je reste debout, nerveux, à côté de toi. Tu me demande alors ce que je fais et je répond que c'est la maison de la vieille femme-chat et que son mari transporte toujours une arme calibre 10 chargée. Puis tu te lèves nerveusement et me suit pendant un petit bout avant d'appercevoir mes épaules qui sautent légèrement. Tu me demandes alors ce qui se passe et je ris parce que la dame aux chats est gentille comme pas une et que son mari est mort depuis plus de 10 ans !

 

Strobist: Ab1600 in parabolic reflector with defuser 1/8 pwr camera top left. Wireless trigger.

honey bee on scabious flower

i felt a lot of rapport with this bumble bee. After days of rain we have a breathing space with a little gentle sunshine of the sort that suits me well. I took my little photo stool outside and sat gently watching the bees for a while, most of them not still for a moment for they were in such a hurry to collect food. But this one, after frisking about a little was content to sit still and savour the essences of the allium, quite undeterred by my camera.

 

I wish you all well in whatever way is most appropriate for you but cannot take on the extra work of writing it to you individually. Thankyou for your good wishes and to those who have made me their contact. Due to poor health, eye problems and low energy I regret I can't take on any new contacts but nearly always manage to reply to your comments. Please no more than 1 invite.

Is there more candy?

 

甘いものがある所にひとっ跳びʕ→ᴥ←ʔ

 

suit:*katat0nik* (yellow / L) Bee Costume@collabor88

hair:AMITOMO.HAIR 001 - Light Blond

Friend:MishMish - Love Bug @collabor88

fruit:[La Baguette] Fruit Brochette ~ Lemon@SaNaRae

[La Baguette] Candy Apple ~ Red@SaNaRae

pot:Intrigue Co. - Frantic Cactus@collabor88

 

[SaNaRae]

[collabor88]

I upgraded my old SAFS Bee onto my SAFS frame Mk. II.

 

I hope you like it!

 

Ma.Ktober 2014 ROOOOOCKS!

Another iffy bee-fly shot, but in this one I like the shapes made by the legs and proboscis.

this particular image was shot with Canon EOS6D in 2014

 

www.flickr.com/photos/izumiflowers/8191128946/

the linked image was shot with Olympus EM5 in 2012

 

now, I realize the OFC look of this Canon vs the old Olympus image is quite different, the Olympus seems to produce much warmer color tone than the Canon.

 

This image was shot with one hand since I had to hold my umbrella with my left hand.

 

Now amazing Capture One pro 10 is out, and for Sony users the express version is free.

The Capture One 9.4 before it was simply outstanding RAWC, much better than anything from Adobe or Raw Therapy.

 

Unfortunately, the free version of C1 does not handle Canon, Nikon or Olympus RAW, only Sony or DNG(Pentax and Leica).

 

So I guess It is another big reason for many of us to choose Sony over anything else. If you use Sony, you can get a full copy of Capture One pro 10 for just 50 USD.

AS far as I am concerned, this is an incredible deal, great Christmas gift for us from Phase One, the greatest company in Photography ever.

 

I think both Capture One 10 Pro and DXO 11 produce a bit better color than LR CC or LR6 for Sony, Canon,Olympus, or Nikon.

 

I suspect that Adobe programs are optimized for Canon but even for Canon CR2 files, LR6 and CC are not good enough, never produce the amazing amount details that Capture One 10 or DXO 11 does.

 

Seriously C Oen 10 pro for just 50 US is an amazing deal. nothing beats it for that price.

Capture One 10 is a much better more serious program than the LR crapware, and the biggest deal here is not need to deal with the Adobe subscription stuff. Many many Adobe users used the license and repaid it to re-activate it, it is really terribly unstable. I had one time could not use it when I was editing my images on site in a mountain area and they say my account is just trial although I paid it for full CC version.

So after coming back from the mountain, I decided to cancel all Adobe CC crap, and I just got Capture One express 8.32 for Sony free,then later in the same month (last April)I upgraded it to the pro version. I could not be happier.

Now, also DXO is offering me a copy FULL copy of DXO 11 Pro version for just 99 USD. I will get that too.

Honestly, there are still times we need Photoshop but I do have full copy of CS6, so I do not need CC anymore, and I've found life without Adobe CC crap is really much more relaxing and easier.

  

A few months after coming back from Hokkaido with my broken 6D, I realized was kind of missing it. It has technically no real advantage over any of my current cameras, but I kind of miss it.

So I have been checking through my old but not updated 6D images. I have also tested thorough them with some custom made software I bought a month ago from my old friend working as a Tsukuba university practical physicist.

 

I think I will re-measure it but as far as I remember the numbers I got from my test with the special made program, it was not even half as good as I thought it would be.......and I was deeply disappointed, in fact almost immediately depressed.

 

I just wish Canon to get its act together and makes a great sensor or even just buy off from Samsung or Renasus, whose sensor patents and designs are, imho, more advanced than that of Sony.

As long as we expose it to the right and or apply so-called ETTR it is fine, but a bit of under or over exposing makes it really bad. This is the reason why some call the Canon sensors like slide film in terms of exposure tolerance and the way we should use our Canons, and I guess I used to be able to some how manage it well to make my Canon look just fine.

 

But now, I am just too used to shooting my A7 A7R A7M2 A6300 and A7R2 other Sonys, with a couple of stops better dynamic range at ISO100, or more precisely better latitude. So now I tend to intentionally underexpose it to save the highlight, and in the post I lift the shadow up.

 

I think Sony sensors are like negative film, and Canons are like positive slide film, they are both good and bad , but for most of non-tripod handheld work, Sony has the edge since it allows us to underexpose intentionally to save the highlight and later on we can easily get the hidden shadow data back in PP.

 

With Sony A7 series I think we do seldom need CPL filters or ND filters, and it is hard to screw the exposure in normal use.

 

But I think Sony sensor quality is just plain overrated by DPR kind of sites, if any one challenge the assessment numbers or so called reviews they write, we must be labelled as naive fanboy or poor guy in short of cash and defending his old choice hard, or inane technically challenged morons.

 

Sony sensors are good in harsh day light high DR required scenes,but usually not great at high ISO.

I think many many people deliberately misguided by DPR DXO ,etc and without measuring the sensors in question themselves , just bashing one type of sensors that they dislike or reviews say bad, but in reality there is no such dramatic difference there.

 

Really, it is not that simple, the 5DS sensor is excellent in many regards, but it can not score well at DXO, and I am sure why the biased DPR guys rated it much lower than the Sony 36mp sensor ignoring the fact it is a very very different type of sensor than the Sony 36mp or 42mp chip, or even very different design than the Canon's own 6D sensor or 5DMK3 sensor.

 

The 5DS sensor is simply optimized for the best skin tone in a studio or great out of the camera color for landscape, so it has very strong intense color filters. I think it is about 1.6 times stronger than that of the 5DMK3,whose sensor design focus was high ISO or low noise throughout the ISO range, thus used weak thin CFA design.....So the 5DS sensor tends to produce better stronger punchier colors out of the camera compared to the previous Canon with weaker CFA design but at the cost of a tiny bit more shot noise at the base ISO.

 

I think Sony and its Alpha community is becoming like a fanatic religious group(like young earth creationist group let by Kent Hovind), never even accept or listen to any kind of different voice, opinion and preference, and it seems to be all review communities are misled by them or their excessively loud voice.

 

If you even mildly pan or hard on any Sony Alpha line camera, they will attack on you, or if you prefer something other than their preferred ones, they call you a troll or a fanboy, to turn the debate into a name calling contest.

 

It always happens at DPR fora ,especially in the Canon and the Open talk forums, Sony E mount fanboys really act like some sort of cult-worshipers intrude into other forums and bash others choice or force others to believe in Sony cult. If any one says anything good about Nikon, Canon, Fuji or Samsung compared to Alpha 7 line cameras, then they freak out and turn it into a name calling contest(it is always their tech to win any debate there), so it is impossible to logically argue or even talk anything about the A7X with presence of some die-hard Sony fanatics there. It is really that ridiculous.

 

It is like being in a Catholic church, these real die-hard Sony Alpha 7 fanboys in camera fora never accept any different belief, value or different opinion on any camera. If someone prefer the other sensor manufacture than Sony then they insult his or her technical knowledge or sometimes even his or her personality that they don't even know...........For example a few days ago, some one (obviously a wedding guy) mildly criticized(not even seriously bashed or panned) about terrible battery life of the A7S and he said the real issue for "HIM" was not the terrible battery life itself or having to carry many of tiny, lousy batteries for the Sony, but it was difficult to change it over and over many times without missing many important decisive moments.......I think it is very correct and I experienced it myself many many times, too, as a long time A7 user. But they(A7 fans)got obviously hurt by his comment because it is a fact, and they have to gather to attack on his personally. A few hours later the thread was closed as usual, and it was sad.. Well, I sometimes wonder if there are many kindergarten kids in the camera forums, they are seriously thin-skinned and easily hurt, maybe their self-esteem or pride (more like ego)is totally dependent on their so-called FF cameras? or winning the debate at DPR or some moronic rumor sites like SAR or CR really important for them to keep themselves calm and sane or just alive?

 

I have now several people asking me about my opinion on A7M2 vs 6D vs D750 issue, and I told them it is a personal choice, and there is no objectively or absolutely better one for every one, and I don't even believe there is any absolutely objective review at all. Then they said I have been intentionally closing my eyes, trying hard not to see the fact Sony is taking over the industry.........if I do not admit it then I have to be called a Canon or a Nikon or a Samsung or a Fuji fanboy, silly to say the least........... A few days ago I criticized about A7RMK2 pricing a bit, and I also said I began to realize how reasonably priced D810 was, and comparing the price of the D810 to the price of my own A7RMK2 or the5DS shows it very glaringly.

Then, a couple of usual Sony fanboys criticized me of being super ignorant about the A7RMK2, and told me that the Sony camera would be like having a great pro 4k cinema camera and a high resolution stills camera in one tiny body, so it is a historic game changer and nothing on the market compete well with it. And according to them the A7RMK2 sensor is really great at high ISO, even slightly better than the A7S or the Pentax 645Z........although all lab test results say otherwise.....I am sure they never used the 645Z if they think the A7R2 beats it.

  

Well I partly agree with them, but I say it is not a pro video camera, or it is not really innovative cinema camera that replaces real super 35mm pro cinema cameras; the battery life is too short, the heat dissipation issue is really bad, the FF is not suited for serious video, especially for running gun type of event or documentary work, etc. The bigger the sensor the more battery power consuming, and therefore, many of us do not want a FF video camera. In addition to all the above issues, it does not even have dual card slots, and it is a big issue for me and any one using it for serious video work.

 

But according to them the Red dragon, BMCC , Canon cinema EOS,etc are all immediately thrown into camera coffins by the advent of the Sony A7RMK2 and the A6300.

 

I think it is getting a bit too ridiculous although I admit it is an amazing camera mostly for stills landscape and studio work, it may or may not replace all, or it may even change the history of hybrid camera world.

 

But do not forget we all have preferences and different needs, different views on cameras, and sometimes technical numbers or feature set does not matter, sometimes we simply prefer one even if it is just technically a inferior camera or tool, we cannot measure usability and practicality of each system to each of us but it is very important to consider when we choose a new camera system.

 

That all said though, I think Sony has been right , it is really shaking the conservative camera world, just slowly but surely increasing its market share by introducing a great compact FF hybrid camera system.

 

Do not forget the biggest sales point of the A7 series is not any specific camera feature or the BSI sensor,etc, but it is being the only one hybrid open mount camera system that takes all mounts lenses,including the A mount lenses,the EF lenses, the F mount lenses with several times more accurate AF than any D-SLR type of cameras.

 

I think something like below is always happening now:

Some Canon guys buy an A7R2 or an A7M2, with use of adapted Canon lens line in mind and use it for a while with their adapted EF lenses or A mount lenses..

But in a few months, they'd realize they need some native FE mount lenses and buy some Zeiss Batis and Sony Z, G and GM series lenses, then they'd be like fragile insects trapped into a big spider nest. At this point, there is no more way back to Canon or Nikon even if either of these 2 makes something similar to the A7RMK2 in the near future because selling used FE mount lenses is very difficult because the FE lenses cannot be adapted to any other mount system as they have the shortest flange back design.

 

So, while I think Sony has succeeded converting many Canon guys into FE mount users, I am not sure if it will take over the market entirely so soon. The A7 system is just a temporal stop gap solution for many of us. After a few years it may be completely abandoned just like most of so-called Sony's great innovative products. Remember Mini disc or Memory Stick Duo?

I just think the future is open mount system but it is not the A7 or any Sony or Samsung.

The A7 system prevails for a short time but it will not be able to replace all Canon Nikon fast enough, and the Sony will be overlooking or dismissing minor brand but truly innovative small players emerging out to rival against Sony.

 

I think something like BMCC or Red of stills will take over the market.....I think the open mount is a dual-edged-sword for Sony it will help Sony to get many many Canon Nikon users temporarily coming to their mount but at the same time give a serious opportunity for a Red-like company to truly invent(not just innovate) something really new to take over the entire industry.....

 

But in any case I am sure the D-SLRs are dying, I re-confirmed this again in Thailand and Malaysia last year:

I went to Malaysia for work for a few hours(wished I had had more time to spend there shooting around Penang) in last December and then visited Thailand for about several hours(very sad to have just 2 hours there), and I saw the camera industry of SE Asia changed a lot like below.

It changed a lot there these 2 countries. I spent a lot of time in Thailand in 2011 and 2010. Back then, Canon and Nikon were the definite dominant players for sure. Now? I passed several of the chain stores in a few malls in Pinklao, Skumvitt and Platunam area that did not even carry Canon in the windows. Nikon, yes but not many were displayed there either.

Went to a photography trade show in Georgetown, Malaysia, the Nikon and Canon booths were there without any people. The mirrorless cameras, Sony, Fuji(especially popular), Olympus were packed with folks trying and buying.

For now, Canon and Nikon have lost their momentum over here for sure. Let's hope they can come back strong, but I feel it is too late now already.

 

Everything changes very fast in Asia and anything considered to be uncool cannot sell well there, it is even more drastic in Japan and South Korea, so I believe the sales numbers for CN are even worse there.

  

UPdate : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

  

UPDATE2: Nikon has just announced a new sensor fab development with Toshiba and it seems like their new sensor design uses very similar AF tech to the DP AF of the Canon EOS M5 sensor without losing almost no amount of light getting into the sensor.

 

Canon also patented a few new curved sensor designs with Toshiba. Toshiba seems to work as a special sensor designer for many companies rather than producing it themselves now.

 

And it found out that the Sony's old curved sensor patent is no longer effective, and it was originally a Toshiba patent.

So if Sony really lost the patent to Toshiba , then Sony would have a big problem since Sony would not be able to use the curved sensor tech for their FF camera lines that helps them to design smaller and sharper lenses for the FE system.

  

UPDATE3: Now, I've just confirmed that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D5600 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

  

UPDATE 4: as I said A7M3 will not come until next year..........

However, Sony will announce FS8 or FS7MK2 at Inter Bee 2016......not at Photo Plus NY. So SAR was wrong again.

The FS7 successor will have APS-C sized sensor multi aspect sensor for super 35 output. It has the new processor Sony calls "Front side LSI", which was recently introduced in A99MK2 and A6500. And all of those may just be well specified but never work well as promised by Sony or many moronic Sony shill sites..........

 

UPDATE5: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their mediocre so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their imaging division and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. None one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features...

 

Now even Tamron has sensor division in house and actually they designed the best sensor in the CMOS history and announced it recently. So sensor is becoming a large part of commodity kit. Now any one has the knowledge can design it.

  

UPDATE6: Now my first 2 copies of FE16-35mm f4 suddenly died and I just bought my 3rd copy of it.........and sadly found it terrible this time.

It is obvious buying any Sony Zeiss FE lens is like picking up an extremely difficult to win lottery ticket..........it might be great but most of times you get mediocre copies of it.

My first 16-35mm f4 was excellent , the second one was even better-almost outstanding, then this third one is literally lousy. I am returning it and get a new copy but I am not expecting to get a better one, I guess I was extremely lucky with my first two copies of this lens........I guess I will force the dealer to exchange my FE16-35mm f4 for the Voiklander 15mm f4.

 

Sony QC is just terrible, and it is not worth any premium over other cheap off-brand lens maker like Samyang, Tamron and Sigma. In fact, Sony is even worse than Tamron and much worse than Sigma Art series with respect to QC. I have had 4 Tamron VC lenses in EF and F mount and they performed fairly consistent....

I really miss Tamron 90mm macro, now I guess a brand name means nothing when it comes to QC and general after sales support. In fact, Tamron and Voiklander provided me the best service of any lens maker I have ever dealt with. It is extremely frustrating every time I spend more than 110000 yen or 1075 USD, I still have to worry about terrible sample variations.

I think we have to appreciate Roger Cicala's excellent site. He is the only one guy testing more than 5 copies of any given lens. All other reviewers just merely test one copy of each lens.........useless.

 

Strobist: SB900 1/4 power in shoot through umbrella upper camera right, AB ring light rear camera left 1/16 power, optical trigger.

Hit "L"

 

www.dylanrazophoto.com

 

Facebook | Vimeo | Tumblr | 500px | Instagram

 

Gear:

Canon 60D

Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6

Alien Bee B800

 

©Dylan Razo 2013

All rights reserved.

WEBSITE: www.willbphoto.com

BlOG: www.willbremridge.tumblr.com

 

strobist: AB800 into triple diffused octobank at ceiling. speedlight with 1/4 CTO aimed at back of jonty's head

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

 

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Maya Angelou

A long exposure of the West Pier using the Firecrest 16 Stop filter. Unfortunately the file does not stand up to scrutiny when viewed large as there is a lot of digital noise and I have come to the conclusion that the E-M1 is not best suited for ultra long exposures, 348 s in this instance. I've bee experimenting with the live composite feature on the camera and I think that this will be the way to go in the future.

Hey guys so I need help naming this gorgeous ghoul even though I already had a name for her which was "Jazzy Bee",but I'm not so sure if the name suits her now.So if you have any name suggestions for her feel free to comment them down.

Along a winding road

 

If no one paints the land, will we still have bees, if the flowers don't fix us with delight, will the stars still shine so bright, if no one mends the trees, will we still have leaves and breeze, if fruit went sour, within the hour, would tides stand still, would the clouds want payment for the rain, would ideas and tears and fears fall in vain.

 

If the land can't hold back the sea, and fish could fly with ease, would flowers swim, and oceans brim, with pesticides and flowers. If dogs could talk, and cats could walk, would mice get jobs, and chimps turn knobs, to bring us news and music on the hour.

 

If the sky should fall, would forests rust and deserts bloom with icy crust. Would life recoil till the small and meek came from the soil. If bacteria got big, would they put on suits and wigs, then make us dance their merry jig.

 

If I bought a dream on faith and trust, would water turn to dust. Would everything I believe dissolve into uncertainty, would I be shaken and stirred, would my fists fly in rage, or celebrate a brand new day. Will change make free, the chains in you and me.

 

I feel the sting of love, when all I want is peace, a piece of you and me. Stay well and love, constant, all else can shift and change and re-arrange.

 

From "The Book That Dreams"

  

www.flickr.com/photos/grantpf/sets/72157645858718951

   

:copyright: G P F for All images and text, please do not use without my express permission.

For some reason someone got a Blind Melon song No Rain stuck in my head. I had to watch the video.. AND if you have seen it it has a cute little fat girl in a bee suit :3

 

Stock images used

 

night-fate-stock.deviantart.com/art/poppy-field-03-89441749

stock-devil-breath.deviantart.com/art/clouds-and-meadow-2...

 

Pose my LAP

Outfit by... It was a halloween freebie from last year

One of my favorite plants. Pleasant in all season with little tiny pink flowers and gorgeous colored leaves. From the original (below) I enlarged and cropped a little. This tiny bee suits the flower. They are made for each other. lol...

 

(I learned the ID of the bee from my friend Celeste, that it is a hover fly)

Taken at Temple city, CA.

 

Beautiful on black too. Please see it in large also. The wings of the bee looks fantastic.

Now amazing Capture One pro 10 is out, and for Sony users the express version is free.

The Capture One 9.4 before it was simply outstanding RAWC, much better than anything from Adobe or Raw Therapy.

 

Unfortunately, the free version of C1 does not handle Canon, Nikon or Olympus RAW, only Sony or DNG(Pentax and Leica).

 

So I guess It is another big reason for many of us to choose Sony over anything else. If you use Sony, you can get a full copy of Capture One pro 10 for just 50 USD.

AS far as I am concerned, this is an incredible deal, great Christmas gift for us from Phase One, the greatest company in Photography ever.

 

I think both Capture One 10 Pro and DXO 11 produce a bit better color than LR CC or LR6 for Sony, Canon,Olympus, or Nikon.

 

I suspect that Adobe programs are optimized for Canon but even for Canon CR2 files, LR6 and CC are not good enough, never produce the amazing amount details that Capture One 10 or DXO 11 does.

 

Seriously C Oen 10 pro for just 50 US is an amazing deal. nothing beats it for that price.

Capture One 10 is a much better more serious program than the LR crapware, and the biggest deal here is not need to deal with the Adobe subscription stuff. Many many Adobe users used the license and repaid it to re-activate it, it is really terribly unstable. I had one time could not use it when I was editing my images on site in a mountain area and they say my account is just trial although I paid it for full CC version.

So after coming back from the mountain, I decided to cancel all Adobe CC crap, and I just got Capture One express 8.32 for Sony free,then later in the same month (last April)I upgraded it to the pro version. I could not be happier.

Now, also DXO is offering me a copy FULL copy of DXO 11 Pro version for just 99 USD. I will get that too.

Honestly, there are still times we need Photoshop but I do have full copy of CS6, so I do not need CC anymore, and I've found life without Adobe CC crap is really much more relaxing and easier.

  

A few months after coming back from Hokkaido with my broken 6D, I realized was kind of missing it. It has technically no real advantage over any of my current cameras, but I kind of miss it.

So I have been checking through my old but not updated 6D images. I have also tested thorough them with some custom made software I bought a month ago from my old friend working as a Tsukuba university practical physicist.

 

I think I will re-measure it but as far as I remember the numbers I got from my test with the special made program, it was not even half as good as I thought it would be.......and I was deeply disappointed, in fact almost immediately depressed.

 

I just wish Canon to get its act together and makes a great sensor or even just buy off from Samsung or Renasus, whose sensor patents and designs are, imho, more advanced than that of Sony.

As long as we expose it to the right and or apply so-called ETTR it is fine, but a bit of under or over exposing makes it really bad. This is the reason why some call the Canon sensors like slide film in terms of exposure tolerance and the way we should use our Canons, and I guess I used to be able to some how manage it well to make my Canon look just fine.

 

But now, I am just too used to shooting my A7 A7R A7M2 A6300 and A7R2 other Sonys, with a couple of stops better dynamic range at ISO100, or more precisely better latitude. So now I tend to intentionally underexpose it to save the highlight, and in the post I lift the shadow up.

 

I think Sony sensors are like negative film, and Canons are like positive slide film, they are both good and bad , but for most of non-tripod handheld work, Sony has the edge since it allows us to underexpose intentionally to save the highlight and later on we can easily get the hidden shadow data back in PP.

 

With Sony A7 series I think we do seldom need CPL filters or ND filters, and it is hard to screw the exposure in normal use.

 

But I think Sony sensor quality is just plain overrated by DPR kind of sites, if any one challenge the assessment numbers or so called reviews they write, we must be labelled as naive fanboy or poor guy in short of cash and defending his old choice hard, or inane technically challenged morons.

 

Sony sensors are good in harsh day light high DR required scenes,but usually not great at high ISO.

I think many many people deliberately misguided by DPR DXO ,etc and without measuring the sensors in question themselves , just bashing one type of sensors that they dislike or reviews say bad, but in reality there is no such dramatic difference there.

 

Really, it is not that simple, the 5DS sensor is excellent in many regards, but it can not score well at DXO, and I am sure why the biased DPR guys rated it much lower than the Sony 36mp sensor ignoring the fact it is a very very different type of sensor than the Sony 36mp or 42mp chip, or even very different design than the Canon's own 6D sensor or 5DMK3 sensor.

 

The 5DS sensor is simply optimized for the best skin tone in a studio or great out of the camera color for landscape, so it has very strong intense color filters. I think it is about 1.6 times stronger than that of the 5DMK3,whose sensor design focus was high ISO or low noise throughout the ISO range, thus used weak thin CFA design.....So the 5DS sensor tends to produce better stronger punchier colors out of the camera compared to the previous Canon with weaker CFA design but at the cost of a tiny bit more shot noise at the base ISO.

 

I think Sony and its Alpha community is becoming like a fanatic religious group(like young earth creationist group let by Kent Hovind), never even accept or listen to any kind of different voice, opinion and preference, and it seems to be all review communities are misled by them or their excessively loud voice.

 

If you even mildly pan or hard on any Sony Alpha line camera, they will attack on you, or if you prefer something other than their preferred ones, they call you a troll or a fanboy, to turn the debate into a name calling contest.

 

It always happens at DPR fora ,especially in the Canon and the Open talk forums, Sony E mount fanboys really act like some sort of cult-worshipers intrude into other forums and bash others choice or force others to believe in Sony cult. If any one says anything good about Nikon, Canon, Fuji or Samsung compared to Alpha 7 line cameras, then they freak out and turn it into a name calling contest(it is always their tech to win any debate there), so it is impossible to logically argue or even talk anything about the A7X with presence of some die-hard Sony fanatics there. It is really that ridiculous.

 

It is like being in a Catholic church, these real die-hard Sony Alpha 7 fanboys in camera fora never accept any different belief, value or different opinion on any camera. If someone prefer the other sensor manufacture than Sony then they insult his or her technical knowledge or sometimes even his or her personality that they don't even know...........For example a few days ago, some one (obviously a wedding guy) mildly criticized(not even seriously bashed or panned) about terrible battery life of the A7S and he said the real issue for "HIM" was not the terrible battery life itself or having to carry many of tiny, lousy batteries for the Sony, but it was difficult to change it over and over many times without missing many important decisive moments.......I think it is very correct and I experienced it myself many many times, too, as a long time A7 user. But they(A7 fans)got obviously hurt by his comment because it is a fact, and they have to gather to attack on his personally. A few hours later the thread was closed as usual, and it was sad.. Well, I sometimes wonder if there are many kindergarten kids in the camera forums, they are seriously thin-skinned and easily hurt, maybe their self-esteem or pride (more like ego)is totally dependent on their so-called FF cameras? or winning the debate at DPR or some moronic rumor sites like SAR or CR really important for them to keep themselves calm and sane or just alive?

 

I have now several people asking me about my opinion on A7M2 vs 6D vs D750 issue, and I told them it is a personal choice, and there is no objectively or absolutely better one for every one, and I don't even believe there is any absolutely objective review at all. Then they said I have been intentionally closing my eyes, trying hard not to see the fact Sony is taking over the industry.........if I do not admit it then I have to be called a Canon or a Nikon or a Samsung or a Fuji fanboy, silly to say the least........... A few days ago I criticized about A7RMK2 pricing a bit, and I also said I began to realize how reasonably priced D810 was, and comparing the price of the D810 to the price of my own A7RMK2 or the5DS shows it very glaringly.

Then, a couple of usual Sony fanboys criticized me of being super ignorant about the A7RMK2, and told me that the Sony camera would be like having a great pro 4k cinema camera and a high resolution stills camera in one tiny body, so it is a historic game changer and nothing on the market compete well with it. And according to them the A7RMK2 sensor is really great at high ISO, even slightly better than the A7S or the Pentax 645Z........although all lab test results say otherwise.....I am sure they never used the 645Z if they think the A7R2 beats it.

  

Well I partly agree with them, but I say it is not a pro video camera, or it is not really innovative cinema camera that replaces real super 35mm pro cinema cameras; the battery life is too short, the heat dissipation issue is really bad, the FF is not suited for serious video, especially for running gun type of event or documentary work, etc. The bigger the sensor the more battery power consuming, and therefore, many of us do not want a FF video camera. In addition to all the above issues, it does not even have dual card slots, and it is a big issue for me and any one using it for serious video work.

 

But according to them the Red dragon, BMCC , Canon cinema EOS,etc are all immediately thrown into camera coffins by the advent of the Sony A7RMK2 and the A6300.

 

I think it is getting a bit too ridiculous although I admit it is an amazing camera mostly for stills landscape and studio work, it may or may not replace all, or it may even change the history of hybrid camera world.

 

But do not forget we all have preferences and different needs, different views on cameras, and sometimes technical numbers or feature set does not matter, sometimes we simply prefer one even if it is just technically a inferior camera or tool, we cannot measure usability and practicality of each system to each of us but it is very important to consider when we choose a new camera system.

 

That all said though, I think Sony has been right , it is really shaking the conservative camera world, just slowly but surely increasing its market share by introducing a great compact FF hybrid camera system.

 

Do not forget the biggest sales point of the A7 series is not any specific camera feature or the BSI sensor,etc, but it is being the only one hybrid open mount camera system that takes all mounts lenses,including the A mount lenses,the EF lenses, the F mount lenses with several times more accurate AF than any D-SLR type of cameras.

 

I think something like below is always happening now:

Some Canon guys buy an A7R2 or an A7M2, with use of adapted Canon lens line in mind and use it for a while with their adapted EF lenses or A mount lenses..

But in a few months, they'd realize they need some native FE mount lenses and buy some Zeiss Batis and Sony Z, G and GM series lenses, then they'd be like fragile insects trapped into a big spider nest. At this point, there is no more way back to Canon or Nikon even if either of these 2 makes something similar to the A7RMK2 in the near future because selling used FE mount lenses is very difficult because the FE lenses cannot be adapted to any other mount system as they have the shortest flange back design.

 

So, while I think Sony has succeeded converting many Canon guys into FE mount users, I am not sure if it will take over the market entirely so soon. The A7 system is just a temporal stop gap solution for many of us. After a few years it may be completely abandoned just like most of so-called Sony's great innovative products. Remember Mini disc or Memory Stick Duo?

I just think the future is open mount system but it is not the A7 or any Sony or Samsung.

The A7 system prevails for a short time but it will not be able to replace all Canon Nikon fast enough, and the Sony will be overlooking or dismissing minor brand but truly innovative small players emerging out to rival against Sony.

 

I think something like BMCC or Red of stills will take over the market.....I think the open mount is a dual-edged-sword for Sony it will help Sony to get many many Canon Nikon users temporarily coming to their mount but at the same time give a serious opportunity for a Red-like company to truly invent(not just innovate) something really new to take over the entire industry.....

 

But in any case I am sure the D-SLRs are dying, I re-confirmed this again in Thailand and Malaysia last year:

I went to Malaysia for work for a few hours(wished I had had more time to spend there shooting around Penang) in last December and then visited Thailand for about several hours(very sad to have just 2 hours there), and I saw the camera industry of SE Asia changed a lot like below.

It changed a lot there these 2 countries. I spent a lot of time in Thailand in 2011 and 2010. Back then, Canon and Nikon were the definite dominant players for sure. Now? I passed several of the chain stores in a few malls in Pinklao, Skumvitt and Platunam area that did not even carry Canon in the windows. Nikon, yes but not many were displayed there either.

Went to a photography trade show in Georgetown, Malaysia, the Nikon and Canon booths were there without any people. The mirrorless cameras, Sony, Fuji(especially popular), Olympus were packed with folks trying and buying.

For now, Canon and Nikon have lost their momentum over here for sure. Let's hope they can come back strong, but I feel it is too late now already.

 

Everything changes very fast in Asia and anything considered to be uncool cannot sell well there, it is even more drastic in Japan and South Korea, so I believe the sales numbers for CN are even worse there.

  

UPdate : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

  

UPDATE2: Nikon has just announced a new sensor fab development with Toshiba and it seems like their new sensor design uses very similar AF tech to the DP AF of the Canon EOS M5 sensor without losing almost no amount of light getting into the sensor.

 

Canon also patented a few new curved sensor designs with Toshiba. Toshiba seems to work as a special sensor designer for many companies rather than producing it themselves now.

 

And it found out that the Sony's old curved sensor patent is no longer effective, and it was originally a Toshiba patent.

So if Sony really lost the patent to Toshiba , then Sony would have a big problem since Sony would not be able to use the curved sensor tech for their FF camera lines that helps them to design smaller and sharper lenses for the FE system.

  

UPDATE3: Now, I've just confirmed that Nikon DL series actual shipment date would be next January 17th as planned in last Nikon conference at Nikon D5600 launch. But it may delay even further to next CP+ show in Yokohama Japan(in Feb 2017).

 

So it is already promised to be a failed product line before the actual launch. I think Nikon is really stupid, I mean I don't think phones or mirrorless killing Nikon but itself, it obtuse marketing killing it.

  

UPDATE 4: as I said A7M3 will not come until next year..........

However, Sony will announce FS8 or FS7MK2 at Inter Bee 2016......not at Photo Plus NY. So SAR was wrong again.

The FS7 successor will have APS-C sized sensor multi aspect sensor for super 35 output. It has the new processor Sony calls "Front side LSI", which was recently introduced in A99MK2 and A6500. And all of those may just be well specified but never work well as promised by Sony or many moronic Sony shill sites..........

 

UPDATE5: Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their mediocre so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their imaging division and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.......but Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many Sony fanboys think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. None one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features...

 

Now even Tamron has sensor division in house and actually they designed the best sensor in the CMOS history and announced it recently. So sensor is becoming a large part of commodity kit. Now any one has the knowledge can design it.

  

UPDATE6: Now my first 2 copies of FE16-35mm f4 suddenly died and I just bought my 3rd copy of it.........and sadly found it terrible this time.

It is obvious buying any Sony Zeiss FE lens is like picking up an extremely difficult to win lottery ticket..........it might be great but most of times you get mediocre copies of it.

My first 16-35mm f4 was excellent , the second one was even better-almost outstanding, then this third one is literally lousy. I am returning it and get a new copy but I am not expecting to get a better one, I guess I was extremely lucky with my first two copies of this lens........I guess I will force the dealer to exchange my FE16-35mm f4 for the Voiklander 15mm f4.

 

Sony QC is just terrible, and it is not worth any premium over other cheap off-brand lens maker like Samyang, Tamron and Sigma. In fact, Sony is even worse than Tamron and much worse than Sigma Art series with respect to QC. I have had 4 Tamron VC lenses in EF and F mount and they performed fairly consistent....

I really miss Tamron 90mm macro, now I guess a brand name means nothing when it comes to QC and general after sales support. In fact, Tamron and Voiklander provided me the best service of any lens maker I have ever dealt with. It is extremely frustrating every time I spend more than 110000 yen or 1075 USD, I still have to worry about terrible sample variations.

I think we have to appreciate Roger Cicala's excellent site. He is the only one guy testing more than 5 copies of any given lens. All other reviewers just merely test one copy of each lens.........useless.

  

a suiting capture for one of my favorite bands.. this bee in in Nirvana.. floating in the air and enjoying life Ü

 

Camera: Nikon D700

Exposure: 0.004 sec (1/250)

Aperture: f/6.3

Focal Length: 60 mm

ISO Speed: 200

Crop: True

Tripod: None

Filter: None

Software: Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows

 

processed PS RAW

did little cropping on this after raw edit. .. thank you All!

 

e x p l o r e d

   

Saturday November 6th 2010

 

Did some studio shooting today, and was very thankful for Tim, his creativity and bees. I Found this hat in my room and remembered that my musical director back home gave it to me an while back, I miss musical. I thought id dress up and shoot some with the hat. I am a bit of a sucker for hat shots like this and it turned out. Twas a fine evening in the studio with everyone.

 

Strobist:

AB800 above into beauty dish

AB1600 back left into soft box

Silver reflector below

Cybersyncs

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Tunage- | Green Eyed Love (Classixx Remix)

 

Full Set---| Click Here

 

Info---| Vero Beach, FL

Info---| Canon 5d MK II

Info---| Canon 50mm F1.4

Info---| AB1600 into 22" beauty dish cam right

Info---| Pocket Wizard TT5 for trigger Vagabond II for power

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

 

Self-portrait. Photography, Post-processing, hair, makeup, styling, and modeling = all by me. :)

 

Hey guys I entered a contest to win an an editorial shoot for FACEON magazine! Need all the support I can get! Vote for me pretty please? www.exploremodeling.com/Casting/FACEON/61225/Evelyn_Rodri...

Reference Photos (5) (8" X 10").The next three shots show a progression of pre-production planning with toy models through to the integrated shot using actual wrecked cars and a background overlay of the mantis.

This unique set of "reference photos" displays some very interesting insights as to how small models were used in the creation of this fun big-bug classic sci-fi from the late 1950s.

Starring Craig Stevens, William Hopper, Alix Talton, Donald Randolph, Pat Conway, Florenz Ames, Paul Smith, Phil Harvey, Floyd Simmons, Paul Campbell, Helen Jay, Keith Aldrich, William A. Forester, and Paul Frees. Directed by Nathan Juran.

youtu.be/D6CizPhHDUE

 

This movie is more in line with the stereotype of low-budget 50s sci-fi. It has a good deal of stock footage, modest special effects for a rampaging monster, mediocre acting and a formulaic plot. Universal, which usually produced above-average sci-fi movies, had a less impressive offering in The Deadly Mantis (DM). Nonetheless, DM is the next in line in the notorious "big bug" sub-genre begun by Them! and the giant ants in 1954.

Plot Synopsis

Seismic activity dislodges a giant praying mantis, frozen in arctic ice since pre-historic times. A mystery builds (though the viewer knows) as to what could have destroyed an arctic radar outpost, crashes a cargo plane and terrorizes an eskimo village. A paleontologist is called in by the Air Force to explain a 5 foot long claw tip found at a wreck site. He eventually identifies it as coming from a gigantic praying mantis which he theorizes was prehistoric -- like the mammoth -- which got quick frozen. The mantis is flying south to find the tropics. Along the way it leaves destruction as it eats people. It arrives in Washington DC. I proves invulnerable to ordinary weapons fire, but flies away to the north east. Before it can reach New York City, a jet fighter collides with it in flight. The pilot bails out. The mantis, hurt, flies down and crawls into the Manhattan Tunnel on the Newark side. The army fills the tunnel with smoke to, perhaps, sedate the monster (like bees) and as visual cover for the team going in. Colonel Parkman leads a team in, wearing full body gas suits. They have small arms and three nerve gas grenades. The find the mantis, still plenty strong. The first grenade doesn't stop it. The second slows it down, and eventually causes it to collapse onto the wrecked cars. It's dead. A closing of it's giant arms towards the female lead provides a last bit of suspense, but it's still dead. Cue trite romantic ending. The End.

Despite it's low budget and almost oppressive documentary overlays, DM is a good example of the classic "big bug" sub-genre. See more in the Notes Section. Another small joy is hearing Paul Frees as the uncredited narrator of the documentary sections. Such a great classic narrator voice.

 

For a change, the big bug is not the result of careless nuclear tests. Instead, the giant mantis is a surrogate for soviet bombers. You'll even hear the General telling the public that the Mantis's flight sounds like a group of bombers. Note how much of the film trumpets America's three lines of radar defenses in the north, all the scrambled jet fighters and in-flight footage. Note too, the lauding of the Civilian Observer Corps with private citizens manning their rooftops to scan the skies for enemy planes. Almost the whole movie is a big pep rally for how ready America is to detect and intercept any hostile bombers coming from over the north pole (i.e. the U.S.S.R.) Whether the film was intended to make Americans feel safe, or to impress the Soviets, it still amounts to a long infomercial on American air defense.

The giant mantis is fourth in the line of the big bug sub-genre. First were the giant ants of Them! ('54). Second was the giant spider in Tarantula ('55). Third were the giant grasshoppers in Beginning of the End ('57). Our giant mantis was definitely more suited to villainy than the grasshoppers. She would be followed by scorpions, another spider, slugs and leeches -- not technically insects, but in the same vein.

Much of DM reads as in infomercial for the Strategic Air Command. They brag for many long minutes of stock footage about the three lines of defensive radar and all the work men and women went through to build it. They're clearly selling the radar defense lines. DM is almost more about how great our radar is, than it is about a giant bug. (see next item too)

Much is made of the COC and even more stock footage was supplied showing the noble citizens scanning the skies from the beaches (very Churchillian), and rooftop balconies. One shot clearly shows WWII aircraft profiles on the wall. This was the origin of the COC. In the years before radar, human eyes and ears were needed to form the defensive sensory network. The COC remained active after WWII, as the Cold War geared up. But, truth be told, human eyes were not as much help with high flying jets. DM may be the last hurrah for the COC. A chance to spot the surrogate commie bomber (the Mantis) and help save the nation.

The actual monster in DM is reasonably well done for a low budget movie. You'll note that most of the shots of the articulated model are in so close that you can't see the whole thing. Actuators and strings are out of sight. This works well. The articulated head, with it's pointed mouth is kept on camera for only short bursts. This helps too.

As with many sci-fi monster movies, the producers interject a story thread of romance between two main characters. Perhaps the rule in movie-making back then was that audiences demanded some romantic flavor, no matter what the story. "The End of the World: A love story." Predictably, there is a beautiful unattached woman (Ned's photographer) and the brave Colonel Parkman who commanded the arctic radar base, and then gets to command a squadron of Saber Jets to attack the mantis, then gets to lead the gas grenade squad into the tunnel. That guy had obvious pull with the brass. He was everywhere. As usual, the romantic thread got in the way more than anything.

 

Bottom line? If you're marathoning big-bug movies, you must watch DM. If you'd like to see a Cold War era movie about soviet bomber metaphor played out, you must watch DM. If you're looking for great acting, or good romance, DM is not for you.

Some of the Arctic scenes in The Deadly Mantis were clumsily culled from the 1933 drama SOS Iceberg and a handful of Air Force training films.

  

An image from Bee Suit Girl's boudoir photo shoot.

 

Posted in ODC - Strike a Pose.

If you are interested in seeing other photos from this session, please go to www.facebook.com/jonathanrayphotography and then click on "Like"!

 

Techy Info: B800 shot through umbrella at camera right

Just thought I'd upload a more artistic take on the Bee Orchid, this one is a single frame natural light shot of the entire Orchid, I liked the soft pastel colours and the bokeh. I had an F/7.1 aperture and a 1/320 shutter speed at ISO 500. I have noticed this kind of crop is well suited to the iPad, not so effective on a laptop :0)

 

Some Wiki info :-

 

Ophrys apifera grows to a height of 15–50 centimetres (6–20 in). This hardy orchid develops small rosettes of leaves in autumn. They slowly continue to grow during winter. Basal leaves are ovate or oblong-lanceolate, upper leaves and bracts are ovate-lanceolate and sheathing. The plant blooms from mid-April to July producing a spike composed from one to twelve flowers. The flowers have large sepals, with a central green rib and their colour varies from white to pink, while petals are short, pubescent, yellow to greenish. The labellum is trilobed, with two pronounced humps on the hairy lateral lobes, the median lobe is hairy and similar to the abdomen of a bee. It is quite variable in the pattern of coloration, but usually brownish-red with yellow markings. The gynostegium is at right angles, with an elongated apex.

 

It is the only species of the genus Ophrys which preferentially practice the self-pollination. The flowers are almost exclusively self-pollinating in the northern ranges of the plant's distribution, but pollination by the solitary bee Eucera occurs in the Mediterranean area. In this case the plant attracts these insects by producing a scent that mimics the scent of the female bee. In addition, the lip acts as a decoy as the male bee confuse it with a female. Pollen transfer occurs during the ensuing pseudocopulation.

 

Bees in the past have promoted the evolution of bee orchids. Male bees, over many generations of cumulative orchid evolution, have built up the bee-like shape through trying to copulate with flowers, and hence carrying pollen.

 

VIEW LARGE

 

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

 

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

 

It’s the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

 

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

 

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

 

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

 

It’s in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

’Cause I’m a woman

 

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

 

~~ Maya Angelou

Facebook.com/EmilySotoFashionPhotographer

 

Model: Katriana

Hair/MU: Ty Marie Combe

Stylist: Ian Grove

Assistant Stylist: David Gootee

Photographer: Emily Soto

 

Facebook | Website | Blog | Twitter | YouTube | Vimeo | Tumblr | Google+

Model: Michèle

MUA: Geordie for Egomechanix

Hair: Paulo for Egomechanix

Tuxedo Jacket by Hepworth's

Bow Tie by Robert Talbot

Shoes by Nine West

Location: The Attic @ Twelve South First

 

The dinner jacket is over thirty years old. I had it made when I was a young man and I haven't worn it in many years. But I think it looks pretty good on Michèle.

 

Alien Bee B800 in a 48-inch Paul C Buff Octabox high to camera left. Another B800 in a 12x80 gridded stripbox camera right. Essentially this lighting setup is used for each shot in this set.

ABR800 front, 4 AB800 R,L,Top,Umbrella

Model: Michèle

MUA: Geordie for Egomechanix

Hair: Paulo for Egomechanix

Tuxedo Jacket by Hepworth's

Bow Tie by Robert Talbot

Shoes by Nine West

Location: The Attic @ Twelve South First

 

The dinner jacket is over thirty years old. I had it made when I was a young man and I haven't worn it in many years. But I think it looks pretty good on Michèle.

 

Alien Bee B800 in a 48-inch Paul C Buff Octabox high to camera left. Another B800 in a 12x80 gridded stripbox camera right. Essentially this lighting setup is used for each shot in this set.

this set was ordered together with the cupcake bouquet by the same person. In his email he mentioned that his girlfriend name is Bee, so i thought that this design would suit her name. I was short of ideas at first, but glad that i managed to pull it off.

Phenomenal Woman

 

by Maya Angelou

 

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I'm telling lies.

I say,

It's in the reach of my arms

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

I walk into a room

Just as cool as you please,

And to a man,

The fellows stand or

Fall down on their knees.

Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.

I say,

It's the fire in my eyes,

And the flash of my teeth,

The swing in my waist,

And the joy in my feet.

I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can't touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them

They say they still can't see.

I say,

It's in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I'm a woman

 

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

Now you understand

Just why my head's not bowed.

I don't shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It's in the click of my heels,

The bend of my hair,

the palm of my hand,

The need of my care,

'Cause I'm a woman

Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That's me.

 

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