Missed out

Much fanfare around the revealing of the  Dronestagram Top 20 Drone Photos Of 2017:

It has become a must-attend event for this period of the year. The Dronestagram drone imaging platform unveils today its top 20 of the most beautiful and amazing, even stunning drons [sic] photos published on the site during 2017.

Admission: I’d not even heard of Dronestagram before this. Sorry.

I’ve checked and it appears that I have missed out once again on being given any sort of award here. Which, given that I only heard of their existence last night, is hardly surprising really.

What follows is going to sound a bit like sour grapes, but it’s really not. It’s just that… I’m not very impressed with the Top 20. I’m not saying that I could do any better. I’m just saying that as a Top 20 (or Top 22 if you follow the link through), they’re actually a bit disappointing. Is this really the crème de la crème of the drone photography world?

There’s nothing specifically wrong with them. They’re all very nice. But as an example of the best you can do with a drone? Meh. There seems to be a lack of inventiveness; a lot of point and shoot. This one, for example:

just shows that merely having an interesting subject (which this undoubtedly is) isn’t enough to make a great photograph.

And I don’t think I’m being too harsh when I say that this image, of a woman harvesting water lilies in a pond in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is the only one that shows any real creativity for me:

Drones give the opportunity for people to get a completely different perspective on an otherwise ordinary scene. But this opportunity won’t last forever. Familiarity breeds contempt. With more and more (and more) drones around, there is a need to do something more to make your drone photography special. These sort of allegedly prestigious awards should be leading this kind of thinking, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t see any evidence of that happening here.

OK, the polar bear one is pretty good too.

I have high hopes of my mediocre efforts being recognised in next year’s awards. I guess I’ll have to sort out a Dronestagram account to get them to notice me. Don’t watch this space.

Popular photo

There will always be new uploads for you to view on my Flickr page. Some are more popular than others. The addition of a drone to my camera armoury has been a big boon to my paltry stats (not that I got it for that).

Two of my most viewed shots this year were taken with the Mavic. And the winner(?) with 1,300 views on the site was this one:

Suiderstand, Rasperpunt and along the coast towards the Southernmost tip of Africa from 100m up.

I don’t think it was my best shot, but since life seems to be just one big popularity contest these days, maybe by some metric or other, it actually was.

BestNine

My #2017BestNine Instagram pictures include:

Four drone shots, three beagle shots, one drone and beagle shot, one of that storm and one of that sunset.

Go here to follow me on Instagram (although presumably, this means that I’m not going to post anything remarkable for the rest of the year (at least)) and go here to find your #2017bestnine.

Aquarium blog inclusion (part II)

After my Pink Meanie photos illustrated the Aquarium’s Pink Meanie blog post a couple of months ago, some of my Yoshi photos (and a bit of my blog) (the bit mentioning a beagle) have made it onto their Yoshi memories blog post.

All of which is… you know… turtley brilliant.

Goodbye Yoshi

Last Saturday morning, we headed down to the 2 Oceans Aquarium for an exclusive members only event to say goodbye to The Queen Of The Aquarium.

After more than 20 years wowing visitors to the Aquarium since arriving in Cape Town as by catch on a Japanese trawler, Yoshi the Loggerhead Turtle is about to be released. She’s grown from the size of a dinner plate when she arrived to a 187kg behemoth today. She’s 25 years old now and ready to go and see the big wide world, meet a handsome Mr Turtle and hopefully contribute to the numbers of Loggerhead Turtles worldwide. She’ll be satellite tracked for up to 3 years, so we’ll still know where she is and what she’s up to for a while yet.

The first thing I noticed when we arrived was that the training that the aquarium guys have been doing to build Yoshi up for her big day has definitely had an effect. Her behaviour was very different from usual: she was very active, very busy. Usually, when we’re there, she’s dozing like a beagle in her favourite corner. Not today.

The kids had a great time making Yoshi souvenirs at the craft tables before Communications & Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart and Turtle Conservation Coordinator Talitha Noble gave us a great presentation all about turtles and Yoshi’s time at the aquarium, and then there was a pretty decent breakfast as well.

We had a great time.

I was waiting for tears as we left – I’d even brought tissues in preparation – but no-one seemed very sad to see us go Scoop was remarkably stoic and we made it out with no huge issues.

Obviously, we’ll miss Yoshi, but she’s definitely off to a better place (no, not like that). For all that she has been a great ambassador for the Aquarium and for turtlekind, Yoshi’s true home is the ocean.

Godspeed, Yoshi!

Some few photos here.