Sometimes when you go for a six mile hike in the mountains, Mother Nature blesses you with perfect light and subject matter for photography. Sometimes she gives you overcast skies, boring vegetation, and no wildlife to speak of. Today was one of those days, so I busted out the Moment macro lens for the iPhone and went small photographing all sorts of tiny objects of nature. Using the Moment macro is tricky. Depth of field is razor thin, and it requires you to move the iPhone in and out from the subject, with a lot of room for trial and error. Also wind will mess with your shots, since it jacks with focus. None the less using it was fun, and added to the walk.
This morning while drinking my coffee I read interesting article on the Huffington Post site about how humans are close to killing off two-thirds of the wildlife on the planet within the next fifty years. Kind of a depressing way to start my morning, but still an interesting read. Then this afternoon while cruising around on Vimeo I came across the video below, which is kind of a depressing way to end the afternoon. None the less it is a beautiful animated short for the WWF and it ties directly to what I read this morning. Produced by Zombie Studio “Dream” was featured in the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, showing four animals that are facing extinction. They tell their stories through the words of “I Dreamed a Dream” a song you might recognize from the musical Les Misérables. The animation and styling of the short has a great look and feel to it, and while at times it can get a little heavy-handed, the message is still very powerful. If you have a large monitor and a powerful enough system, run it full screen or watch it on your large TV.
In 48 hours I’ll be heading to Colorado for 5 days of hiking and taking photos in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is an annual trip, but this year is a bit special since we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park system in the United States. While noodling around on the internet over lunch I did a search on “National Park Posters” and found that the park service has a site dedicated to the posters that have been created for each of our National Parks so I decided to have a look. What I found is series of new posters that have been produced in the famous WPA style of the 1930’s and 40’s but with an updated look. The posters capture the spirit of the originals, and have a specific style guide that has obviously been applied to each, help to create a consistent look across the grouping. The look of the imagery varies slightly from poster to poster, with some that are obviously manipulated photos, or a digital painting that used a photo as a guide layer, but I have to say they are well done and work. The Park Service is selling the posters to help fund the National Park system and what you get for the money is a 13 by 19 inch poster printed on recycled paper that is signed, numbered, and dated. Below is a small sampling of the collection.
Now that I have a yard again, and I can enjoy things like song birds on my back porch I’ve become interested in birdhouses and feeders. Like before when I owned the Modular 4 house on Lloyd, I have begun searching for something that doesn’t look like the standard stuff you see at Home Depot or Lowes. Unfortunately most feeders and houses look like the same stuff that has been around for decades. Fortunately though, Dutch designer Vincent Bos has created a new birdhouse has a wonderful modern look to it.
The collection is an environmentally conscious series constructed of oak, porcelain, and powder coated steel. They are hand made and designed specifically for outdoor use. “Wall Elements” was designed with durability and versatility in mind. It is a modular system that can be assembled to work in any garden space. The mount for each house can be attached to a wall, fence post or any vertical surface.
I love the clean look, the playful nature and the use of environmentally friendly materials. I will say this, they aren’t cheap. The average price is about $250.00 dollars. If you want a Wall Elements Birdhouse you can pick one up – here. I love the look but I think I am going to continue to search for something just as stylish and more on budget.