Kitchen implements

20120904-162050.jpg There are some days when your intrepid iPhoneographer is so wrapped up with software development, studying, running, or sometimes even sleeping, that she scarcely has time to take pictures.  But this does not mean that I can abandon my responsibilities to you, my faithful readers.  So if my only chance to take a picture during the day necessarily coincides with a trip to Williams-Sonoma for a spatula, then so be it.  Although a mundane subject, these were actually fun to work on.  Which shows you, any subject can provide opportunities.  Do not overlook the mundane, not all your pictures are going to be of the Eiffel Tower, or truly you will never be able to keep up with a DAILY blog!


– the Daily Grunge


20120901-125156.jpg My guide at the now-infamous (on this blog, at any rate) Carolina Tiger Rescue.  The tour had such a big impact on me that I took at least a hundred pictures while hiking up and down and around, avoiding fire ants and trying to see EVERYTHING there was to see of the mountain lions, Bengal tigers, bear cats, servals, and many more types of wild cats.

Ruth has been working at the tiger rescue for many years, and at one point “adopted” a newborn cub named Eliza, who she said would suck on her finger.  When Eliza reached a certain age she was put into her enclosure and Ruth would never touch her again, although whenever she was near, Eliza would sense her presence and start to roar.  When Eliza died, she was cremated and her ashes sit in an urn in Ruth’s living room.

Ruth is a remarkable woman with an enormous heart and radiant inner strength.  When I first saw her she looked very slight, frail almost, but that impression quickly evaporated as I saw her command of the environment.  Because of people like Ruth, the magnificent animals at Carolina Tiger Rescue now have a decent life, with a large enclosure to roam in, good food, medical care, and no danger of being exploited or outright killed.

– the Daily Grunge


20120901-125751.jpg Raj the Bengal tiger.  His full name is something like “Rajendran”.  A completely regal animal.  On a recent visit to the Carolina Tiger Rescue, I got within 3 feet of this magnificent beast.  He is orange and black, but the black and white image of him is more striking.  There was nothing but a chain link fence and a few week of air between me and these jaws, which could kill you in one bite.  He seemed like a friendly sort, but the guide (upon my asking) said that NO ONE there is allowed to touch the tigers, to pat them or anything else, except for vet care.

It turns out to be a challenge to take pictures of tigers.  The ones that are willing to get close still keep moving constantly.  And a bigger concern is that they will pee on you, and they have a range of 15 feet with the spray, which I’m told smells like movie popcorn.  He did turn around and spray once while I was standing there but I sprinted out of harm’s way in the nick of time.  But every time he turned away the entire tour group would form a tight scrum and dash away, just in case of a sudden wash of popcorn-scented urine.

Image was edited in PaintFX for B&W, contrast and blurring of the background.  With the chain link in the foreground, there was no other way to emphasize the face.

– the Daily Grunge


Tiger skull

20120901-125104.jpg Another couple of shots from Carolina Tiger Resuce (  See yesterday’s post (and tomorrow’s as well).  This tiger died of bone cancer, and his suffering in silence is more than I can bear to think of.  Big cats (and their smaller cousins) do not show any signs of weakness or infirmity until they can no longer hold themselves up.  It’s a defense mechanism from millenia living in the wild: if others sense physical weakness, it puts the sick animal at great risk.  However, in today’s settings, where there would have been time for treatment to save this animal’s life or alleviate his suffering, it is sad to think that his handlers could not detect a problem until it was too late.  These stories move me to tears; if you live in the area, you should go take the tour at CTR and learn more about the amazing lives that the big cats there have lived, what they have endured, and what you can do to help.20120901-130417.jpg

– the Daily Grunge

Tiger skeleton

20120901-130446.jpg An amazing sight at the Carolina tiger Rescue (  The CTR is an amazing place, staffed with smart, compassionate people whose mission is to protect the magnificent big cats whose lives have nearly been destroyed by zoos, circuses, photo opps, and mishandling.  Through their care and dedication, many animals have been given the chance to live an unimpeded life with good food, medical care, and no dangers from predatory humans.

Sadly, the tigers (and lions, and servals, etc.) do not live forever.  Usually they are cremated and their ashes spread in a special memorial garden on the grounds; this one above is used for educational purposes.  The skeleton is amazing but also sad — I can hardly bare to think of this royal creature being reduced in this way.  But without training for vets who minister to big cats, they wouldn’t get the treatment they deserve.

And as always, your intrepid iPhoneographer is on the lookout for catchy subjects.  Which this is.  RIP.

– the Daily Grunge

The angel Marconi

20120829-155503.jpg Outside my favorite running store (Fleet Feet).  I was running around trying out my new running shoes (New Balance) and caught sight of this angel on top of a building, perfectly flanked by an antenna of some kind.

I just moved down here from Arlington, MA, almost right across Route 2 from the new Mormon temple.  There is a huge statue of the angel Moroni, plated in gold, which I watched being installed.  Moroni was flying around by a chain attached to a crane, which was whipping him around back and forth attempting to settle him on his perch, trumpet blaring up Route 2 to summon the faithful. This might just be a trick of memory, but I’ve always remembered this event to be on the Friday immediately after 9/11/2001, and it seemed like a hopeful, resurrectionary metaphor.

This statue is nothing like that one, but I like the juxtaposition of radio antenna and angel.  Both pulling mysterious signals out of the air, communicating with the heavens. Or else, someone’s idea of a joke, which I totally get.

the Daily Grunge


20120829-155423.jpg This was actually harder to do than it looks.  It was taken looking directly UP at a bright sky, which left the transformers almost black, and no detail on the poles and lines either.

Working very carefully in PaintFX, I lightened just the transformers and poles, and then applied HD effects to enhance the details.  This is an amazing trick that should covert photographers who use cameras to iPhoneography.  Not only are there apps that bring out the best in your picture (as I like to say, reveal pixels you didn’t know you had), but allow pinpoint control.  Sure, it takes practice, but the great thing is that iPhoneography is so much FUN that the practice is not painful, and is almost always rewarding.

– the Daily Grunge

Wow, what are those

20120821-141203.jpg These look as though they might have been cut off a body, but in fact they’re just plain old mushrooms.  Slightly unusual mushrooms, they probably have a latin name like Matriarchia Melitus or something (I just made that up).

PaintFX for this one, with glow, B&W, contrast, and HD effects.  One of about 20 versions of this shot.

– the Daily Grunge

Mushrooms are the new spirals

20120821-141032.jpg Just can’t lay off the mushrooms!  Endlessly fascinating to me.  I don’t even notice spirals any more, I’m so busy snuffling around the base of trees looking for mushrooms.  Look at the caps on these babies, woo hoo.

Enhanced with Jazz, which I let do it’s random thing about 80 times just for the sheer fun of it.  Liked this one, so, here it is.

– the Daily Grunge