Saturday Evening Post #167: Togetherness

“You can do all sorts of things that are fiendishly clever, then fall in love with them because they’re fiendishly clever, while overlooking the fact that they take a great deal more work to obtain results that stupid people get in half the time. As someone who has created a lot of fiendishly clever but ultimately useless techniques in his day, I’d say this sounds like an example.”

Bruce Fraser

I published a similar photo on Flickr the other day, and of the same pair.

What is interesting is that they resting between remaking a nest and laying eggs.

Unless my calculations are off, this will be her ninth nesting in the past two years.  I think she changed mate, about 6 nests back. Perhaps they fell out, or perhaps he met with an accident.  The next male was probably a younger bird as he was much smaller than she, but over the past 18 months or so, he has bulked up and is now much better proportioned.
I think she is the largest across-the-chest Black-shouldered Kite we’ve worked with. When she stretches for take off it’s quite noticeable.

They are an interesting pair in that they have remained faithful to the little area that was once a main road, but now lies abandoned as the traffic rushes by on the new road about 500 metres away.  Yet the paddocks are essentially untouched and provide a ready source of food for these excellent hunters.

As Bruce Fraser pointed out, the basics just work.
Many will know of Bruce as the genius behind some very clever digital photography Sharpening techniques.  Adobe hired Bruce to work on the multi-pass sharpening techniques used in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). Unfortunately we lost Bruce long before he had a chance to complete  his work.
Those new to digital photography may not have heard of him, but each time they open Photoshop and work the Sharpening Slider, they are benefiting from Bruce’s dedication.

And his point remains valid.
A quick search of most hard drives will reveal megabytes of downloaded Photoshop actions or Presets to make this or that change. Sunset glows, or Mountain mists or Ancient-Bygone-Era feels.  Dark Moody Street, or the Glow of a New Bride.
We’ve downloaded them, paid for some of them, and after a few clicks, …. well it didn’t turn the proverbial sow’s ear into the prize winner we’d hoped for.

As the year draws to a close, I’ve been looking back at the few “Five Star” images in my library for this year, and wondering was the fiendishly clever technique worth all the effort.
Also beginning to spend a bit of time on some of the all time classic images from the world’s great photographers.   No no, not the one’s currently gleaning ‘Likes’ on Instagram.  But the truly great ones.

How about Frank Hurley’s famous “Endurance Trapped In Ice.”

or Imogene Cunningham  Portrait

Dorothea Lange, The Photographer of People

Eric Hosking, Heraldic barn owl

Or Dr. Julian Smith You Called Me Dog   and Micawber

But,  I’m sure you’ll have your own list.   What to put in, what to leave out.

I wonder what fiendishly clever technique I’ll fall in love with in 2022?

All the best for the season, hope that 2022 brings some cheer




10 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #167: Togetherness

  1. A fine image of this amazing pair, David! They just keep nesting!
    Yes, we all like to try the new tech, sometimes it works, sometimes I wonder why I bothered!
    Fraser did some amazing work, and others have built on his base!
    A great list of classic images too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G’day,
      She certainly is intent on doing her part to keep the species viable.
      I sometimes think I’d be better off using the tech I already have rather than searching for the ‘special’.
      It was only a short list. There is so many more that I miss these days. And so many that are bound to be classic in the future.
      Trouble is now that a lot is simply an application of the technologies above mentioned. Not exactly new approaches to subjects.


  2. A great photo David, and how amazing that she has nested so many times in the last two years, an amazing bird. All the best for 2022 and discovery of new things to enjoy and try, hoping we can stay safe and free..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ashley. I had to look back to be certain, but it does seem that 2 years is close to right. She might also have managed a clutch during one or more of our lockdowns as the area was beyond our travel limit.
      It is indeed a challenging time. I see you Mr Hazzard (what a great name for a Health Minister 🙂 ) thinks that its likely that everyone will get infected at some stage. Not very encouraging, but, also quite possible.
      Stay Safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful portrait of the pair, and what a nesting record! She is really doing her bit to keep the population numbers up.

    An interesting list of photographers and images too. I’m an admirer of Margaret Bourke-White – no fancy twiddles but so much meaning in each image.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Eleanor, I was hoping that some might at a photographer or two to my list.
    MB-W certainly deserves her place.
    The shot on the Chrysler Building is interesting as the amazing Joe McNally did a similar shot years later, but with a plethora of security gear for OHS reasons.
    I can’t find it, but I think she also had a most intimate shot of Mahatma Ghandi as well

    Her work also says something about the emotive power of Black and White.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Sandra, We work with a number of Black-shouldered Kites in our area so you’ll see them featured from time to time. This pair have just begun their 9th nesting (that I know of), so should see some young in about 5-6 weeks.

      The title is a a bit of a nod to the poem or riddle from Tolkien’s “Fellowship of the Rings”
      Here tis
      “All that is gold does not glitter,
      Not all those who wander are lost;
      The old that is strong does not wither,
      Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

      From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
      A light from the shadows shall spring;
      Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
      The crownless again shall be king.”

      I used to leave my shortened version on those chalkboads that pop up around travel locations. 🙂


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