Archive September 2012

Stepping Out Brendan Moyle Sep 25


Next Tuesday I'm stepping out…to be a speaker at a local Nerdnite. This probably isn't a big deal for some. Or most.

It's already caused moments of near panic and anxiety for me. I've never elaborated the psychological effects of being stalked- other than stating it is going to seriously mess you up. There are some common consequences that most victims will experience. I think I've mentioned those. I've also tried to emphasise that there's no difference between men and women. The effects are shared.

One of the most isolating features I've found has been the total loss of trust. I struggle a lot with trusting people. Especially strangers and especially in places outside my safe zones. Which really means that I don't trust anyone I don't know. I'm not prepared to let anyone get close enough that this stalking could happen again. It's utterly irrational. But hardly surprising.

So I haven't been to a social event (where there wasn't a safe core of people I knew) in nearly two years. I missed the Massey graduation this year for the first time since 1995. There were just going to be too many people I didn't know. I missed out on seeing many of my students capped.

Next Tuesday…I won't know anyone. Hence the anxiety. The distress, the flashes of panic. On the other side, I hate the isolation. The cloud it generates. So time to move on. I'm stepping out.

Wednesday #Wildlife: Fluffy! Brendan Moyle Sep 19


I took my daughter to Lake Pupuke recently for a session on bird-photography. The weather was of curse, atrocious. It was a weekend in NZ afterall :/

The Lake is home to a number of bird species and this includes the Australian swan. The adult swans are I confess, one of the least endearing birds I've encountered. Large aggressive birds are a tad lacking in charisma.

Still, its hard to deny that juvenile birds, clothed in down, have a much greater appeal. The weather conditions were keeping this group of cygnets close to their mother. Enjoy :)

Tuesday #Travel: Auckland City Brendan Moyle Sep 18


This is a panoramic shot of Auckland city taken from the Waitakere Ranges. The clear air reveals a number of landmarks, including the skytower, the harbour bridge and Rangitoto Island. Remember folks, this is our biggest city :)

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Monday #Macro: Under the Cover of the Night Brendan Moyle Sep 17

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One of the reasons to attempt photography at night time is you get the chance to see behaviours that don't occur during the day. This means nocturnal creatures come out, spiders repair their webs and other high-risk activities occur. One of these is mating. For arthropods, mating is a high-risk activity. It means you have to abandon the usual routines that protect you from predation. You have to search for a potential mate, succeed with the liaison and avoid predators while exposed. One solution is to attempt this at night time because many avian predators will be fast asleep- or have difficulty locating you.

This led to the spotting of two crane-flies locked in coitus

This shot used my new Macro twin Flash with the side-arm on the right extended and angled to give some side light and pick out more fine detail on the antenna and body hairs. I also had a 6x Raynox adapter attached to the macro lens.

Wednesday #Wildlife: Birdlife Brendan Moyle Sep 12

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A local visitor, foraging for nectar. This is the Tauhou or silvereye. They kind of appeal to me with their bright white-ringed eyes, and bold attitudes. This one has a nice dusting of pollen on its lower face.

Tuesday #Travel: Watching You Brendan Moyle Sep 11

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International borders are one of those fun spots in the world, where contraband items try to make it across. The province of Jilin is one 'hot spot' of smuggling activity of tiger parts.

Now, not everybody who watches border areas are interested in wildlife. It seems military forces also take an interest in what their neighbours are doing. This Chinese mobile unit (radar?) is positioned facing North Korea.

Monday #Macro: down low Brendan Moyle Sep 10

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This is (surprise surprise) another fungus shot, aided with the assistance of my Macro Twin Flash. The diffused side light from the right helps to show up the relief on the gills, without dark shadows concealing features.

Of course, if any local mushroom experts want to help me with an ID, I'd be very appreciative.

Scenic photos from Mokoroa #Stream Brendan Moyle Sep 08

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This is definitely one of the most picturesque nature reserves I've visited in the West Auckland area. It's sometimes hard to believe what can be found in a 30-45 minute drive from home. Well, there's also the hiking, but that adds to the pleasure.

The minor issue was cutting my fingers out in the bush, so bleeding was an added hassle. Some of my gear has a new patina of red :/

#1 A momentary respite

#2 Rush

#3 Steps

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Take me to the river: Mokoroa #Waterfall Brendan Moyle Sep 06

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The Mokoroa Stream includes a waterfall. In fact, it consists of twin falls as two streams feed into it.

This fall is quite spectacular, but the constant water spray ruined many of my shots

The other fall is more picturesque than powerful. The mature trees at the top of the falls gives some idea of the scale.

The flow of water over the rock faces is appealing.

Larger versions of these Mokoroa photos can be viewed at:
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Relax- Mokoroa #Stream Brendan Moyle Sep 05

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While the earlier post showed some more dynamic sections of the Mokoroa Stream, there are also much more placid sections. From the technical perspective, these shots required the use of a stable tripod (the legs have to be placed on slippery rocks or under water) and a polariser filter. The filter slows the exposure down, and by cutting through the surface reflections of the water, deepens the green hues and reveals detail.

#1 Liquid Green

#2 Marooned

Larger versions of these photos can be viewed at:
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