Archive for the Nature category
by illogical42 on January 15th, 2012
To my delight there are still museums in the Netherlands where one can take a camera, even if it is without tripod or flash. The Kröller-Müller museum is one of those museums. Apart from a beautiful collection of personal favorites, spanning from Picasso, Van Gogh to Mondriaan, they have a beautiful garden with sculptures. Too bad my youngest daughter has the patience and focus of a butterfly when art is concerned. In the end I felt I was “doing” Kröller-Müller in an hour.
Today I had another reason to visit: I wanted to see the performance by Anneke van Giersbergen and Martijn Bosman. They created a Dutch version of the kids story “The bear that wasn’t” by Frank Tashlin (1946). I already saw the following videos:
The show is aimed at kids, but as a parent I enjoyed myself too. The story is nice and circular, and has a good ending. Even my 6 yo daughter understood everything that happened to the bear and got the message that you have to stay true to yourself.
Before the performance, we had to wait a little longer than expected. The kids became a somewhat unruly, but fortunately they didn’t tear the place down. During the performance, there was a lot of movement in animations, by the performers, and the interaction between the animation and performers. I especially liked the projection on the inside of Anneke’s jacket. By the way, the animations are great! I hope the kids realise that a flipbook can tell the same story as a high definition 3D glossy animation. Also, they can create flipbooks themselves.
Anneke and Martijn seemed to enjoy themself. Especially Martijn excelled in his “evil” roles as factory, supervisor and CEO. The best compliment they could get from the young audience is that all kids were watching silently all the time.
The tunes of the songs easily sticks in the kids’ minds (just follow the links above). I heard a lot of the kids sing them afterwards. To my surprise the kids didn’t respond negatively to the hard industrial sounds that returned a couple of times throughout the story. The only thing my daughter said about the sounds was that she thought they were loud.
My only negative remark was that Anneke had a hard time starting off, which caused her to use a swear word. Personally, I prefer said word not to be uttered in front of kids.
by illogical42 on December 24th, 2010
Amazing colors thanks to dust during a sunset filtering the light, and reflecting on ultra-high clouds.
by illogical42 on November 19th, 2010
Do you remember the first time you saw a rainbow as a kid? Something new in the sky, after the rain. And the colors were amazing. I still stop and look whenever I see a rainbow.
Once in a while you can see one or two fainter siblings. But this summer I saw a rainbow without the obligatory rain. And it was beautiful! And instead of touching the horizon, it was all overhead. After a little research it turns out to be a halo, created by light reflecting on ice crystals high up in the sky. Following the descriptions in the wiki I haven’t been able to establish what kind of halo it was, but I’m assuming it is a circumscribed halo.
by illogical42 on August 28th, 2010
Today I took a trip down memory lane during a walk with my daughters. After the rain stopped and the sun came back again, we went for a walk. During the walk we played games like “I spy with my little eye” and other guessing games.
Then I remembered a game I used to play with my parents a lot when I was my kids’ age: watching the clouds and imagining which shapes they had. I had continued to play that game during my adolescence when I practiced my cartoon drawing skills by drawing the shapes I saw.
Suffice to say, we had a great time. We saw a wide range of shapes and explained what we saw to each other. We saw things like bunnies, a bed with a heart-shaped pillow, waving hands, fire-breathing dragons, fairy castle towers (I told you they are girls) and much, much more.
We’ve had the best time feeding on each others’ imagination, and I am glad to see my kids are not holding back on their creativity. I am itching to go for another walk again. I’m pretty sure my parents want to join us too
by illogical42 on August 7th, 2010
When I started out shooting snapshots, I always thought was “writing” in color. Learning about the camera obscura, I learned that it was more about capturing light than actually writing. Later on I even learned that light can be used to sculpt.
Now why should I start about my early misconception? I recently encountered a natural phenomenon I hadn’t paid attention to in a long while. It’s called chromatography, which literally means “color writing”. It’s an analysis technique primarily used for the separation of plant pigments such as chlorophyll. It is the collective term for a set of laboratory techniques for the separation of mixtures.
The example I saw in the wild was made with a freshly used (and wet) coffee pad. It was accidentally placed on an home-printed invitation. The result you can see above.
And if you want to try something like this yourself, please do not use the same materials. Take a felt marker and put a dot on the middle of a strip of paper. Put the piece of paper in a liquid, like water, leaving the dot above the liquid. Putting the dot in the liquid just dissolves it. Now wait and see how the different colors get separated…