I posted on ‘spooky’ photos recently: CLICK HERE (or not)

And then, a couple of days ago in Queens Park in town I saw a lighting effect at quite a distance through trees—captivating, and worth a try, the old  “If only I can get what I see” sort of thing.

I shot, and got, this—

Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 08.25.42.png

—and failed miserably in catching what I saw—the lovely magical lighting effect (this above is just a zoomed-in snippet).

But what I unknowingly caught was the whitey blob in the middle.

Which I’ve now blown up further for you (below) —

Screen Shot 2017-02-25 at 08.28.22.png

—which briefly invalidated my previous post.


Or, did it?

Although at the time I saw nobody, just a minute or so later some obvious tourists one in white (a damsel of Battle-maiden build and male consort of the same vintage) appeared in almost the same location. It’s easy to see where at least some spook-shots come from.

But just briefly it was fun feeling the hairs on the back of my neck challenging my presumptions and assumptions.

Furthermore: eeek~!





Server seems to be reliably running in fits and starts (thanks a whole heap, Spark!) so on with the show—which this time is ghosts. You know, spooky things … brrrrr~!


the ghostly. And the more convincing, the more I love it. Them. So when offered a bunch of ‘ghostly’ images I bite like a rabid shoal of shavage sharksh.


if there’s no such things as ghosts, then there ain’t. But there are such things as

  • honest mistakes
  • innocent tweaks
  • deliberate fraud
  • other (showmanship?) (Boom boom!)


an intriguing link I snaffled just a couple of its images to use here—make of ’em what you will (and stay out of dark places at night):

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 13.06.06.png

—one gathers from context that wee cutie in the big red ring isn’t really there … but I still think it’s a delightful touch, ghosts are allowed teddy bears. Sweet.

This next you have to look at long and hard—

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—and no matter how much I blow it up I just cannot resolve to that insert. Bugger …

At least this next sort of makes sense. Sort of—

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 13.15.05.png

Honestly, do some people have nothing better to do than to intensely scrutinise their photos, zooming in to the nth degree, searching for ooppeeps*?

But I do like this next—

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—she’s kind of … foxy~!

“Mr Argus! Sir!”

“Yes, Little Virginia?”

“Keep it seemly!”


Moving along in the bus—

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—I love this one. Impossible to fake (unless you can fog a mirror) but still fairly well done. Five stars for effort, less two for the smug expression, plus two for the damsel’s cheery smile.


demand explanation, like—

Screen Shot 2017-02-21 at 13.04.33.png

—why are these children holding their hands out in such an ‘other worldly’ manner? Are they testing for precipitation? Inviting the unseen to take a running jump over their improvised hurdle? Forbidding passage unless the grips are filled with ice creams?

Who knows … but if you want the whole series CLICK HERE


And beware of things that lurk in Christmas trees in the Southland Museum (see? I can do it too …)

boom-boom* Ooppeeps – Out Of Place PEople …

WPC: Ambience

A subjective word meaning ‘atmosphere’. Not as in gaseous envelope, but more yer perceptions of what a place ‘feels like‘*.

At sea I tried often to catch the ambience of a sunset. In those days of film every shot had to work and every shot had to count—short of facilities I never had there would be no post-snapping tweaking.

I strolled onto the upper-deck with camera in one hand and coffee in the other and caught this moment—

RAN ship.png

—HMAS Parramatta lolloping quietly along with us. A pity they had their guns all droopy but that’s a very good way to have your gun sometimes, especially when there’s nobody around to impress. You can only imagine the ambience—warm, salty, sea tang, gentle lap lap splap of waves … and the promise of an icy cold beer when I went back below. You just don’t get ambience like that ashore.


of recent yesteryear. I love to try to capture it by snapping forgotten artefacts like this sign, painted on the side of the old once-was-a-cinema in Winton—

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 17.15.22.png

—hell, we lived with stuff like that! All very modern mod-connish it were too (ya don’t get washing machines like them these days, I tells ya!).

And behind me as I took the above, but closer to the ratty little alleyway that leads to the main north-south highway—


—that doorless doorway being the entry to the underworld alley; you can imagine the ambience felt by punters as they came through for their whatever it was that Reflections traded in. Beauty Parlour, I think … shut for a wee while now, hence all the spiders. Spiders too add to ambience. Brrr.


carried on walking. Having passed through the graveyard (saying ‘Hi’ to the deceased—dunno why I bother, they never answer, never call, never write) I moved into terra incognita exploring a gravel road that I’d not footed before. I remember such roads from the days when they were all we had in NZ, once outside of city limits. For reasons I never figured they always developed oodles of parallel ridges that if hit at the right speed would make your passengers’ teeths rattle—


—and the more you tried to avoid them the worse things got. All good clean fun—I remember having to release a spare wheel from under the car once, and when I finally got it to drop there came a cascading avalanche with it. Aaaah, those were the days, Jim Lad~!


for POE and GW to all men has now passed, but I managed to try to capture the ambience of the Winton Christmas nativity scene by night—

JC 1.png

—which from across the road on a tripod looked much like this. A nice capture of the miracle of Christmas lighting, and a shot that is the very proof of Murphy’s Law (as applied to Argus and tripods at night).

So now we’ll duck back to the park for the ambience of motherhood, fatherhood, and soggy baby feathers cruising an aromatic world—

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 17.25.20.png

—and to appreciate the ambience of the Queens Park pond you have to be there breathing deeply (not an adventure an intelligent punter would care to repeat).

I go there often in the vain hope that one day I’ll find a duckling who stays in focus … and to hell with the ambience; live for the thrill of the chase, I always say. (It’s all you can say after the ambience of that pond, I tell you—quite a challenge).

boom-boom* Sort of.


and with a clear conscience, boom boom!

Taken yesterday whilst out hoofing the roads and keeping out of The Spouse’s way …

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—I can never resist a bit of natural framing. And now, social comment—

I mentioned recently in my ‘Cassandric’ blog that the Christmas commercial nausea began being cranked up here back in September.

Then last week in a Countdown supermarket in town, this—

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—attempting to crank up for the commercial nausea of Easter. Small wonder I take so little interest in these things—although I’ll admit that I do enjoy those spicy buns, split and lightly toasted and absolutely slabbled in butter whilst still hot. Boom boom!


I’d bring out a new law to the effect that no use of My Name could be applied to any commercial activities until just three weeks short of The Day. (Thank God I’m not God, then.)

Christmas should be a time of rejoicing, or celebrated as the Winter Solstice, or whatever … but please, not a blatant blasted both barrels full bore bloody commercial bunfest~!






True art has the power to challenge the spirit, disturb the soul and move Heaven and Earth alike. I’ve just partly watched one of my movie collection; one which at first I thought over-lauded and over stuffed with big name actors and actresses—Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 18.26.31.pngbut as far as I’m into it already, I can say that it is the most powerful rendering of the play that I’ve ever had the fortune to view. The name? What’s in a name … a smelly old sock by any other name would honk as much … but it’s Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh version).   ——>


show. “Names” … some of which we’ve seen before. Big names, little names, notorious names and the anonymous little riff-raff that history is made of.


Here’s a damsel who lived, and presumably died, about two thousand years ago.

Sadly I didn’t get the source so can’t give it a credit; and neither can I give her a name. Bummer. But she rang my bell and rolled away the wall of years (something art can do) — and from memory she may be one of the many who went under the mallet in Pompeii when Vesuvius erupted.

Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 13.53.42.png


is a wee plaque that carries the name of the only woman ever legally murdered in New Zealand. In retrospect she’d have gotten off the charges today as the evidence against her was all conjecture, circumstantial, suppositions, guesswork and so forth—

Minnie D.png

—the name of Minnie Dean was used for many years to terrify infants, little children and bigger kids into obedience. Words to the effect of “You shut up and go to sleep, right now, or Minnie will come and get ya!”  Yeah, sure, that’ll work …

Q's Park, May 2013.png

From memory, late autumn.

The name? Queens Park.

In Invercargill (home of the world’s southernmost Starbucks).


A fairy on a wee bronze fountain in Queens Park. No name given, but I call her the Kung Fu Fairy—at the top of the bronze column a completely naked wee lad (in bronze) getting well sopperated by endless jets of water. Brrr. The statue was unveiled by HM the Q Mother and I wonder if in the mores of the time the unnamed city fathers decked him out with swimming shorts or similar …


similar, a name that doesn’t need be named ‘cos we all know it—


—one Tinker Bell (Tinker Belle? She’s sweet enough …) sitting on the soggy shoulder of ol’ Wossisface after an evening shower.


a wee thingy Spouse and I found among the granite balls (roundish rocks) being swirled and tossed about in the surf of a Scottish beach (Findochty). It would fit and rattle inside a standard household matchbox,

Scots artefact.png

is made from white stone of some kind, and looks pretty much the same from the other side. If someone could give me a reasonable name for it I’d be fairly impressed and most grateful.


WPC: Path


of the week: ‘Path’.

Yeah, right.

Paths of glory? Morning glory? Happy and glorious? Happy, Dopey, Dave Dee Dozey Beaky Mick and— enough! Dammit, association of ideas in freefall doth not help with meeting the weekly photo challenge.

slap  slap  slap …

… ouch, and Thank You, I needed that. Brrrr. You’ll keep …

Where were we?

Oh, yes—


—yer classic path through the trees. Nothing new here, or even artistic—I just held the camera while it did all the work. Moving modestly on—

“Mr Argus! Sir!”

“Yes, Little Virginia?”

“Sir … you’re a Leo. Modesty and Leo are a contradiction in terms—”


Moving on anyway—

path overhead.png

Now just try to figure it out (SFX: insert manic cackle here, please. Make it good).

“Full fathom five thy marker lies, of his bo—”



“Sir …  … please just get on with it!”

Okay. It’s a road cone tossed in by some transient humourist hooligan. The path (which keeps us legal for this challenge) is overhead and only in the shot on reflection. By reflection. Whatever. The wee creek itself is also a path, albeit damp, for the local duck-life.


having just got back from town, to see if any of today’s snaps fit the bill. Foot the bill. Okay, meet the challenge.


WPC: Anticipation

I know …

… obvious, ennit?

You know, that ol’ “night before Christmas” stuff. Just as well, I no longer do subtle. Subtle stinks, think hammer~! Boom boom!! Hah harr, Jim Lad, bring aft the rum and—

“Mr Argus, Sir?”


It’s her.

Little Virginia. Bugger—

“Sir … you’re going maniac again.”

“Don’t you mean ‘manic’, Cutie?”

“Sir—I know what I mean …”

Bugger, again.

Take the helm, get the ship back under control. She relaxes and fades gently from sight. (MEMO to self: find out where she goes when she does that …)

So: can we anticipate? Do we have that much Free Will—

“Mr Argus!  Sir!”

Eek! I thought she’d gone … back to the snaps, then. Beginning with the latest folly of the Queens Park management, this time just behind the kiddies’ playground (great toys—they have a ‘hose your buddies’ cannon set up. Terrific range on it, I got drenched.)


Not real moonlight …

I bimbled around that way one morning and found them constructing this thing, which I think is a Stonehenge semi-lookalike in miniature. Took ’em weeks to finish.

Whimsy, or folly? I anticipate that many years in the future homesick foreign druids will congregate here to beat each other over the head during full moons with armfuls of pine leaves or something (we don’t do mistletoe in NZ).


that this one (below) should frustrate you as much as stumbling over it in my folder did me.

I put a lot of thought into it … along the lines of “What the hell did I shoot this for?” followed quickly by “What the heck is it anyway?”—

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—and no, no ‘trick photography’ was involved. To anticipate (and alleviate) your frustrations here’s something a bit more explanatory—

Screen Shot 2016-12-18 at 16.17.00.png

—and the park is full of little oddities like that. Anyway, the ducks love ’em~!catfiddle.gif

Mostly I shoot for the joy of the hunt, I rarely fiddle with my images; if anything a bit of colour boost sometimes. My histograms are often a total disaster but then, so are my subjects …


to rabbit about some more in the ol’ folders and see if there’s anything that might meet The Challenge. Don’t wait up …