Bignose Unicornfish

The Unicornfish is one of the larger fish (Maximum length of 21.5 inches) in the Pacific Barrier Reef exhibit of the Tropical Diver gallery at the Georgia Aquarium.  These fish are native to the Indian and Pacific oceans.  They display a large blue marking on the nose and blue spots and stripes across the body but often change color based on the environment or when threatened.

Unicornfish are also known as Surgeonfish or Lancetfish because of a blade like spine in and two hook-like plates along the tail, which are used for defense and are as sharp as a surgeons scalpel.

BIGNOSE UNICORNFISH
(Naso vlamingii)

Georgia Aquarium Tropical Diver Exhibit
Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/8 –  1/50 sec – ISO 320

BLACK SPOT PIRANHA

The piranha exhibit always seems to be popular at the aquarium.  I think people like to flirt with danger.  We are drawn toward the things that we would not approach in the wild as long as there is a secure barrier between us.

For the most part, these fish were easily startled and didn’t stay still for long.  In a few cases one like this, would remain stationary for a while.  Maybe they were checking out the lunch menu?

Georgia Aquarium River Scout Exhibit
Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/2.2 –  1/20 sec – ISO 250

Red Lionfish

It looks pretty but the fins on their backs are dangerous.  The Red Lionfish is one of the most venomous of all fishes.  Its venom causes a severe reaction in humans including intense pain, inflammation and, occasionally, serious systemic symptoms such as respiratory distress. A lionfish “sting” is rarely fatal.

Native to the Eastern Indian and Pacific Oceans, the lionfish has been introduced into the Atlantic. The first documented release of red lionfish into the Atlantic occurred in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew destroyed a large private aquarium in a house in South Florida and six lionfish escaped into Biscayne Bay.  The fish have been reported to be living from as far north as New York, down to Florida and even into the Caribbean.

Lionfish are considered an invasive species and methods to control and remove them from Atlantic waters are underway.  With no natural enemies and a huge appetite, the lionfish have made life difficult for native fish in Florida and Caribbean waters.  They are beautiful in an aquarium but in the waters of the Atlantic, they are a big problem.

Georgia Aquarium Tropical Diver Exhibit
Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/4 –  1/20 sec – ISO 400

Teeth

I went down to the Georgia Aquarium to join up with the North Georgia Photo Club.  One thing I have to say is: Go to the Aquarium sometime other than the weekend!  There are lots of amazing things to see but when the place is crowded, it’s a zoo.  (You know what I mean.)

I saw this African Tigerfish in the River Scout section.  Those teeth are pretty serious looking.  I don’t think this one will be in the petting section.

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/7.1 –  1/60 sec – ISO 200

Made in Japan

It’s funny how things that you might think are plain and uninteresting seem to have the best stories.  This little donkey cart is a ceramic piece that I remember seeing in my grandmother’s kitchen when I was growing up. It always struck me as just a little knick-knack that she must have picked up somewhere and I never gave it much thought.

donkey-6980In my ongoing search for small stuff to photograph, I found this again and turned it over.  On the underside there is a stamp that says: Made in Occupied Japan.  This I found to be interesting so, I set it up to take a macro shot and started doing some internet research.

After World War II, from 1947-1952, Japan was occupied by American troops.  During this period, there were many items made in Japan for export.  Many of these were inexpensive novelties for dime stores like this donkey cart planter, while others were copies of European ceramic favorites.

While these items are considered collectible now, I’m sure that this one is not worth much except in terms of memories from my childhood.  Those, as I am sure you would agree, are priceless.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  5.0 sec – ISO 200

Who remembers film cameras?

It is neat sometimes to go back and look at what things were like in the past.  We are so used to having cameras of some type at hand all the time now.  Our PCs and tablets and cell phones all have them.  If you have a dedicated camera that is not part of one of your electronic devices, it is more computer than mechanical device.

This image is part of a Canon L1 range-finder camera circa 1957.  My daughter picked this up at a shop nearby and I just started looking at it when searching for macro subjects.  This is what a decent camera was like in the day.  It is modeled after the Leica range-finders that were then and continue to be the high-end of the market.  The body is heavy duty and nearly all metal.  All the controls are manual – no auto-focus, no built in light metering, advance and rewind of the film is manual.  This is when cameras were more machine and less computer.

I’m not going back to film but, it is pretty neat to look at!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1.0 sec – ISO 200

Wetlands

It is amazing how a bit of water can make an area so attractive.  This is a scene you see often when walking across the new board walk along the Chattahoochee River in Roswell.  The wild life is always around in this marshy area that borders the river and separates the roadway from the main waterway.  Birds like these geese feed here and seem to be pretty much at ease with all the human activity nearby.

It is sad however, that there have to be signs all over this area to tell people not to feed the animals.  During the summer you often see people with their kids out giving bread to the ducks and geese.  Of course, this makes them dependent on humans and causes incidents where wild animals react the way they are meant to which scares people who interact with them.  Then you have trouble and it is our fault, not theirs.  Just remember to enjoy nature from a distance and keep the wild things (and the people) away from harm by not trying to turn them into pets.

Roswell River Walk
Nikon D7100
Tamron 16-300 Di II VC PZD Macro
300mm @ f/6.3 –  1/100 sec – ISO 400

The one day of Winter

I pulled up some of the shots I took from the one weekend that we actually had something resembling January weather this year and found this.  A dogwood tree with one leaf still hanging from the tip of a branch encased in ice.

I can’t say that I am sad that this has been a very mild winter but it is nice to have a change of seasons so we can appreciate what is different in each.  I was just talking to some friends at choir about how the seasons in Atlanta are somehow harder on people’s health than in places where it gets really cold in the winter.

In climates where you get a deep-freeze winter, the weather changes and stays fairly constant.  Your body adjusts and you don’t get a shock to the system with temperatures changing.  In Atlanta, even though the temperatures don’t drop below freezing all too often, you can get 30-40 degree swings during a day.  Sadly, that means cold, flu and allergies.  Oh well, I guess everything has its pluses and minuses.  I’ll just try to stick to the positive and enjoy what I can!

Nikon D7100
Sirui P-204S Monopod
Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G
35mm @ f/7.1 –  1/60 sec – ISO 200

OK, spoons can be cool

Yesterday, I posted a shot of some of my wife’s spoon collection and wondered how people started spoon collecting.  After we looked at these for a while, a set of commemorative spoons from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair were found.  It is a neat set with different buildings from the World’s Fair on each spoon.

I had learned some history about this when visiting with the family in Chicago.  There were two worlds fairs in Chicago.  The first in 1893 followed 40 years later by the one these spoons are from.  The Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is the last major building from the 1893 World’s Fair that is still standing.

The 1933 fair did not leave any permanent structures. The fairgrounds on Northerly Island, became Meigs Field, the lake-front airport which is now gone, and McCormick Place. Since almost all of the Worlds Fair presence is gone from the “White City” now, it is neat to still have a piece of this history.

spoons-6947

Though you can’t see much of it, the background for these images is a vintage Chicago post card which we think is also from the World’s Fair.  The theme “A Century of Progress” also reminds me of the “Carousel of Progress” at Disney World.  I believe that was originally from a World’s Fair exhibition.  It is fun to see what was considered futuristic in the past and to see what has come to be and what is still science fiction.

All that from some spoons.  Pretty cool.

1939 Chicago World’s Fair Commemerative Spoons
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
(1) 105mm @ f/22 –  3.0 sec – ISO 200
(2) 105mm @ f/22 –  1.3 sec – ISO 200

It’s a Small World

Just a few of the many souvenir spoons that have been collected by Joyce and members of her family.  This is one of those things that kind of makes me say – “What were they thinking?”.  So, what exactly was the idea when people started making tiny spoons as something to sell as a remembrance of a visit to someplace different?  Why exactly do I want a little spoon?  Then again, other options like plates, shot glasses, beer mugs, etc. I suppose are no less practical but how did they get started with spoons?

I found an article on the Georgia Public Broadcasting website from a show they did on these spoons – History Of Souvenir Spoons.  It explains that commemorative spoons date back to the 1800’s and became very popular around 1890 but it doesn’t really explain the why of spoons.  It did say that this started with wealthy silversmiths using the spoons to create an image of some location they visited on their travels.  I suppose the large surface of the handle and the spoon gave them more space to work with as opposed to a knife or fork.

Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF Micro-Nikkor
105mm @ f/22 –  1/3 sec – ISO 200