A Walk in the Park

Took the D70 for a little photo expedition today, after watching Alexander (more to say about that, but in another post). From the cinema, it was a short 15 minute walk to reach Fort Canning Park.

dragon teeth, originally uploaded by Wahj.

The underpass leading to the park is guarded by a fountain with 7 dragon heads as spouts - an odd design for that part of the city, and in a spot where it doesn't get the attention it deserves. On the other hand, its isolation makes it a nice peaceful spot.

banyan tree, originally uploaded by Wahj.

Fort Canning park itself is peaceful as ever. Walking up, I remembered there was a geocache on the side of the hill, and this banyan tree is probably it. I didn't bother to go and look for the cache, but the GPS pointed square at it. Banyans are a favourite of mine - there's something sinister yet beautful about them, looking at them you know that they are, or already have, strangled a tree to grow to that size, yet they look so organic and wild, like a miniature self-contained jungle in themselves. Spine-shiveringly primal.

caterpillar, originally uploaded by Wahj.

The Discovery channel mood followed me all the way back home: I discovered this fat caterpillar lurking on the lemon seedlings my mother had planted some time back. Now, these seedlings had been doing surprisingly well, given that most of our plants are languishing, and I'd already taken one smaller caterpillar off them earlier to protect them. I must've missed this one though, because it's grown huge (that photo's about life size). Couldn't bear to kill it, so I'll let it live until it pupates, and see what kind of butterfly emerges.

On a more technical note, I had a great deal of trouble getting the white balance on the D70 right. The photo of the banyan tree was taken on the ""bright shade" setting, which was the closest to what my eyes saw, but still too warm. This was alright because it made the scene look sunnier than it was (i.e. the banyan tree looked far more subdued and grey that it does in the photo), but unsatisfactory because it was still inaccurate. The automatic setting gave me too blue a cast, and trying to get a custom setting was pointless without something white to use as a reference mark. This is the first time the D70 has given me problems with white balance: the custom setting we used for the church wedding a few weeks ago was perfectly fine, so the lesson is always carry something white to set the white balance with.

Update: As of this morning, the caterpillar is gone - quite a shame, since I was really looking forward to seeing what kind of butterfly it would have become.


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