Tag: macro photography

Purple Macro

There is a flower that has recently caught my imagination: a flower that glows a pastel purple. When scrutinized under a macro lens, we can see the world of this flower up close and personal – a flower that is composed of many tiny flowers. When we add up these many tiny flowers, it is with conviction that we can say that the sum of these flower’s parts is greater than its whole.

Lavender
Lavender

War & Arachnids

The eight legged creature with the many eyes staring constantly.

Just as a dull day of studying grinded away, a tiny spider the size of almost a quarter of the Apple logo on my ipod shuffle scurried across my bed. The nimble ‘dwarf’ arachnid could also jump many spider-strides as I tried to gauge its awareness and reaction. I don’t know what kind of spider it is, but it seems placid yet wary. It just sat there on the bed for most of the day, not really doing anything in particular except looking straight ahead (at me?). I managed to get a few shots of the tiny creature and was glad to use my macro lens for the first time in a few weeks.

On a completely unrelated topic my facebook news feed has entertained me quite a lot recently. A innocent status attracted a fury of debate about religion and fireworks and animals (we all know that these three are a bad combination. It is like taking a shot consisting of stroh rum, tequila and absinthe. People will get rowdy, loud and drunk with emotions). At one point there was stated that religion is a major cause of conflict in society (we all know about holy wars and the Crusade and so on), and it got me thinking. The statements and insults flying around in cyberspace only reinforced my opinion that the following human factors are a major cause of conflict in society:

–          Ignorance

–          Stubbornness

–          Intolerance

Most of the people just carried on arguing and emphasizing their point of view and gave reasons why the other persons were wrong. No one really attempted to see through the eyes of the others. It may be that they felt they were on a moral high ground or that they had intellectually superior arguments. All I know is that it was a pointless argument (yet highly entertaining) and would never have taken place if they were tolerant of other people’s opinions. Conceited people are often the catalysts for mudslinging.

Just my 2 cents.

A New Year

A new year has come and landed on our shoulders. So much anticipation and hope fills my heart. There is an abundance of projects to take on, new things to try out and goals to aim at. A new year is a new start to many of us; a way to wipe that filthy and inadequate slate clean. It’s a new year where we discard habits that aren’t beneficial, we want to experience more and to drink of the wine of life.

May your 2012 offer you life-changing opportunities, through hard work or chance.

May you pick the fruit of life and discard the rotten ones.

May you expand your capacity for compassion and empathy this year: may you learn to walk in others’ boots and not to lash out at others in ignorance.

May you indulge in all the beautiful things that life has given you, but without turning a blind eye to all the evil and injustice in the world.

May you appreciate every second that you have been granted on this earth.

May you appreciate every hot meal you can enjoy in the comfort of your home, surrounded by irreplaceable family and friends.

May you avoid frivolous quarrels and rebuild bridges unceremoniously burnt.

May you mean more and more to those around you, may you be a shoulder to cry on, or a source of laughter.

May you strengthen the foundation of existing friendships, through leisurely times shared.

May you live without restraint and drink Life to the lees.

Location: Game farm near Rustenburg

Canon 350D – f/6.3 – 1/640 sec – 300mm

Point of View

Everyone has a different point of view; an opinion.

People have their own unique experiences to certain events, as well as different weights they attach to each of them. One man’s treasure is another man’s trash. You are unique, built out of a pool of many genes. People are very subjective most of the times and it’s sometimes hard for people to act with empathy, because you don’t know exactly how another person feels, or how much that feeling weighs in that specific person’s heart or mind.

Sometimes we just have to stop judging people and climb into their shoes for just a brief moment.  Sometimes it does not help to get angry or annoyed with someone, and sometimes you just have to accept that you cannot feel exactly, or understand exactly what it is that the other person is going through.

We live in a world where it is every man for himself; we’re in our own little bubbles, cordoned off from empathy or compassion. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, where you sell your soul for a brief moment in the impure light that is ‘success’ or ‘wealth’. Sometimes it’s just outrageous and outright sad to see the apathy slowly spreading through people, and the moral decay chewing through moral bones.

People are inherently selfish and often we find ourselves uttering: ‘So, what’s in it for me?’. We just want to take and take, until there is nothing left.

We also neglect all the beautiful things in life. To me the purest beauty that lives is nature. A simple bird that sits on a branch and shares his song with the world is more beautiful than any material thing the world can ‘create’. Budgie 1 Porsche 0.

That bird sits there and sings his heart out and does not expect that it will start raining worms or seeds. Isn’t that beauty – sharing your gift with someone without expecting anything in return? The altruist treads the line of beauty. Here’s a sobering thought: the world will have eternity to heal itself after we’ve gone.

I touched many issues today, and I want to conclude this blog with an Afrikaans song written by Koos de Plessis:

Elke nuwe plan le hopeloos verfrommel
want iets sê: “stomme drommel,
die ruimte lê vol rommel”
en ek begin verstaan:
daar is geen nuwe oord om heen te gaan
want kyk, daar lê reeds spore op die maan

Want die stad blom elke nag
strooi sy saad en skemerdag
breek staalspruite teen die aardkors waar jy gaan
rommelberge groei omheen
en daar’s swaelsuur in die reen
en kyk, daar lê reeds spore op die maan

Waarheen sou ek gaan?
ontvlug is onbegonne
selfs droom is onbesonne
want die wêreld is oorwonne
en ek begin verstaan:
daar’s geen nuwe paaie om te baan
want kyk, daar lê reeds spore op die maan

Elke hektaar is verkoop
elke opstal lê gesloop
en die wêreld wag verwese, in die waan
dat ‘n wonder sal gebeur
om sy rusperleers te keer
maar kyk, daar lê reeds spore op die maan

Vlug na berg of woud..
meen jy dat daar geeneen is
dat jy eindelik alleen is?
ag, verspieders loer op Venus
en ek begin verstaan:
daar is geen nuwe oord om heen te gaan
want kyk, daar lê reeds spore op die maan

Elke woord is retoriek
elke droom is bloot plastiek
en atoom’s die idioom van wie verstaan
iewers moet ‘n rusplek wees
vir die afgematte gees –
maar kyk, daar lê reeds spore op die maan
duisend donker spore op die maan
kyk, daar lê reeds spore op die maan

Human Capital

People can take almost everything from you. They can take away your right to vote, they can take your clothes, your house, hell even your pride. People can break you down and grind you to powder. However, one thing people can’t take away from you – is your knowledge.

Human capital is the true answer to a poverty-stricken country like ours. People with various skills and high levels of education are what we need. You can teach people how to fish, but what about teaching people how to make these fishing nets?

The other day some political figure from some youth league (oops did I give it away? No? Okay let’s continue then…) said: “Nationalisation of mines and expropriation of land without compensation should be attained as the means to an end of poverty…”

Moving millions of people onto farms will not end poverty. Relocation is NOT the end of poverty #Facepalm.  What will they do with those lands – I don’t really see the poor using farms as a tool for agricultural production. I think expropriation will only lead to many informal settlements with 5-star vistas, a horde of pissed-off farmers, less foreign direct investment (probably the most important) and an even bigger brain drain. Maybe education can end poverty, I don’t know, just putting it out there. Maybe less Mercedes Benzes and more primary education facilities can end poverty. Maybe better salaries for teachers and better discipline in schools can end poverty. Maybe less nepotism and more competent people are needed in important positions (put all synonyms for ‘important’ in this bracket, because it can’t be stressed enough how bloody important it is to have competent people doing the right job). Maybe we need fewer family trusts and more education trusts. To me it feels that we are stuck in a phase of ‘liberation before education’.

When you frog leap to the top of the mountain, you don’t know how to actually get there (you don’t know the paths leading up the mountain side), and thus you leave people at the base of the mountain (and you can’t explain to them how to reach the top) while you sip champagne out of glasses made through the efforts of broken bodies, blood, sweat and tears.

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely…” – John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton.

 

Champagne

 

This sweet nectar, we slowly sip

   After bloody battles, sweat, tears

Oppression is gone, and the fears

   Our spoons in diamonds we now dip

 

On our mountain, glorious vista!

   Where are our people, though?

Our lawn, somebody must mow:

   To pour more drink in this crystal

 

The trails we forgot to the base

   We have more pressing matters:

We need to keep sweet this batter

   Can you remember a forlorn face?

 

The face of an exploited man

   Becomes vague with this nectar

The memory seems to grow dull, far

   We like to talk; the new breed of artisan

 

This sweet nectar, we slowly sip

   Where are the warriors of yesterday:

This mountain of peace won in the fray

   Alas, blind avarice: our wings clipped

 

Francois Hermanus Steyn – August 2011