Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Black and White

I don't know if digital cameras come in black and white, but they might as well, considering these images. I told you I was in Yellowknife for a week but I haven't had time to tell you about it yet.

A snowflake on a black parka. Where I grew up it was so wet that the snow usually fell in moist clumps, making snowflakes like these something I saw only in cartoons. I thought the sixfold geometry existed only at the microscale. I still smile when I see big snowflakes like this for real.

I took this picture lying on my back inside an igloo. You are looking up through the ventilation hole at the top, and light comes through the not-very-thoroughly packed spaces between the snow blocks.

It is hard to digitally capture the depth you can see looking down through the clear lake ice of an ice road. In three dimensions, the imperfections in the ice show how deep it is, because you can see the fissure lines reaching away into the darkness below.

Ptarmigan are white in the winter and dark in the summer. It seems that they don't like to fly much. This one kept sinking neck-deep into the snow and still walking.


Anonymous said...

Nice boots. I always have a problem with winter boots, I wear the liners out way too quickly. It gets pretty annoying. Get a new camera? Or just had time to play with it?

Anonymous said...

Ptarmigan! How can you not love a bird with such a fun name. It just rolls off the tongue - silent P and all. I love the image of a big rolly-polly white bird sluffing along in snow up to it's neck. So typically Canadian! My kind of bird.

Anonymous said...

Those were exquisite! Thank you very much for sharing those photos.

zb said...

I would like to ask whether you might want to consider removing Pitchbull from your blogroll. Having been pointed to this post has not been a pleasure.

I have followed much of the discussion about the video his post points to and I do not want to repeat all the background information available on it. In short, though, this video will not help solve any problem -- and I think it is safe to say that it is a work of fundamentalism; western fundamentalism in this case, but in such not any better that what it claims to criticise.

The only, and really the only good thing about the video is that it shows that we live in countries sticking to the principle of freedom of speech. This, however does not mean that we should agree to all the opinons stated within our culture of freedom of speech or even point to them.

If this was the pig war, I might just have a good laugh and go along, but in this case, the level of escalation is far beyond a point where occasional insults are the only things happening. Further insults will not help.

Pitchbull/Greybeard writes in his post "Bloggers- If you agree with Wilders views, show your support by posting the film. Numbers may help save his life." May I add: Films like this one will put fuel on the fire and take more lives. If the aim really is to bring democracy to other parts of the world, this film is a very drastic and anti-democratic example about how not to "get the job done", to quote somebody else.


I did enjoy your great pictures!

Aviatrix said...

Greybeard, who writes Pitchpull (it's a helicopter thing), and I don't always agree on things. Sometimes his point of view is so far from mine that I literally can't understand what he is exhorting, and we've had a few e-mail exchanges that had to be terminated to allow us to both cool off. But one of the things he fought in a war to defend was freedom of speech, and that's all he is doing: speaking about what he does passionately believe. In the end he wants the people he loves to have the best opportunity to live happy productive lives.

I'm very pleased that aviation and blogging has brought me together with some very diverse people, and I try to keep my blog entries neutral--or at least open-minded--enough that they don't alienate anyone. It's true, zb, that the same cannot be said for everyone I link to, and I regret that that one offended you.

For anyone who wants to discuss the issue raised on Pitchpull, please go over to his comments section to do so.

zb said...

The beauty of the pictures in your post above arises from the fact that they feature all possible shadows from light to darkness.

If they really were nothing but black and white, like the title suggests, they would not be beautiful at all. The beauty lies within the shades and textures of grey of which there are so many no one will be able to count or even understand all of them.

I do embrace the minds that see beauty in all the different shades.

Those who can't recognize the shades will often get alienated.

I do not claim to be able to always see all the shades myself, but I do claim that I try to.

bjh21 said...

Black-and-white digital cameras do exist, though they're rather rare, high-end beasts. An acquaintance of mine uses one.

Lord Hutton said...

Lovely pictures. I want a Ptarmigan!

Sarah said...

Nice pix. I especially like the ice road one - makes me want to see it more clearly to see how far down I can see.

EVEN THOUGH I am completely tired of winter. We had a late-dump of snow here that coated trees photogenically and all I can think of is "how soon it will melt..."

nec Timide said...

Well done. Black and white is really a test of a photographer's soul.

Igloos are amazing.

Andy said...

Count this as a vote for more photos from Aviatrix!

Anonymous said...

Excellant post and excellant response to the Graybeard comment. I read his blog regularly but, like you, don't always agree with him. He does post very interesting aviation stories and the more political posts sometimes cause me to rethink (or sometimes retrench) my own views. Closing eyes and ears to the opinions of those that conflict with our own only leads to a dark and silent place.

Ptarmigan! There, I just had to say it... what a great name. Being for too far south I've never seen one. Are they wild or domesticated?

Aviatrix said...

Ptarmigan are wild birds, but despite being hunted for food, they don't flee humans as readily as some wild birds. This episode of Hinterland Who's Who even refers to them as providing companionship.

majroj said...

Thanks for your continued evenhanded blog stewardship, Ms A.

Now we can start saving your pictures of various parts of you, and eventually we'll get a collage.
(So is that your real hair color or does "only your hardresser know for sure"?).

Aviatrix said...

Yeah, I'm a natural "greenette."

michaeldcassidy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aviatrix said...

I said this was not the place to discuss it.

Sue said...

Lovely photos, especially the snowflake and the ptarmigan.

P.S. I abhor Internet flame wars. People need not read the blogs of people whose opinions they find offensive.

Haven said...

thank you for the wonderful post..