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Hopefully, I’ll soon have many wonderful images on my Madagascar website, but for the moment I’ll share a few in the upcoming newsletters.
An important note is that even though I took many of my pictures with my Canon 500mm IS lens, I also shot equally as many with my 70-200mm and my 28-135mm lenses. In today’s new world of technology, the ‘point and shoot’ cameras available make it possible for almost everyone to have wonderful images, especially if you are to travel with me to such places as Madagascar or Africa, the Pantanal, Galapagos, or Ecuador etc. with their wide diversity of subjects. Get into the rainforests, cloud forests or swamps with me and a short or macro lens, and you will be hard-pressed to get beyond 50 feet of your starting point!!!
Lady with Hat Ornament
I pride myself in foraging out the best of my guides and Madagascar was no exception. They are so accustomed to having people "hot" after the birds and lemurs, that they hesitate to even stop for a bug or lizard unless asked. I always started off the day with mentioning the fact that an interesting bug, frog, plant, lizard, flower or tree etc. would be a welcome subject too. Perhaps the image wasn’t a magazine cover shot due to the ‘kazillion’ reasons that mess up a photograph, but I was never disappointed with the experience. I wouldn’t humiliate myself by even trying to properly name the bugs, lizards, chameleons or frogs I encountered and welcome any and all help in that department. The mere realization of the ‘art of camouflage’ is fascinating in its own right, but then add the tiny sizes and diversification—well, just “WOW”!!
Take this leaf bug for instance; or this other lacey-looking bug (I’m told is a nymph), which upon closer examination looked like an ant dressed up in a piece of grandma’s old lace. Some of the chameleons, lizards and/or geckos ‘camo’ outfits are so incredibly good that I could barely define them even after being told their exact whereabouts. To insure our success in seeing all we could in a short time, I took the advice of a fellow tour leader who had visited Madagascar and visited a lizard farm or whatever one calls it. It was definitely the right decision as we saw many, many species in a short span of time that I’m sure we never would have encountered otherwise.
The Giraffe beetle hit one of the ‘Top Ten’ of my favorite discoveries in Madagascar. Whether one believes in evolution or not, one has to be fascinated by the mysteries behind the development of that elongated neck. What were the governing forces behind the need to adapt?---food I suspect, or the lack of. Whatever it was, the end result is awesome.
I’ve been asked many, many, many times “how would you describe Madagascar?” One single word describes the island best, yet leaves volumes unsaid, and that word is Diversity. Diversity in the land and its scenic vistas, diversity in all aspects of its flora & fauna, and most certainly diversity in its human inhabitants. I’m sure there are negatives tucked away somewhere, but what I saw was made by a Creator who took a little bit of everything mysterious, wild, wonderful, beautiful & diverse, placed it on a huge platter, shook it up & down, forwards and sideways, and then announced “here you are, the Island of Madagascar!!”.
Photo Researchers, Editors, and Publishers:
As stated in previous newsletters, at no obligation to you, send me a “want list” of images you are looking for that may coincide with a trip I’m about to take, or have recently taken, and I’ll do my very best to seek out that subject and shoot it with your request in mind. This may save you some expense, give me a specific mission and possibly a sale of that image. It’s a ‘win, win situation’!
A quick reminder that my library of 35mm original slides houses approximately 75,000 images, and my digital library presently holds over 41,000 (and growing-hourly)!