Our Second Biannual Caption Contest

OK, so it’s actually been almost 27 months since our first caption contestprevious. The photograph this time is not part of our regular collection, nor will it ever be, most likely. Nancy took this picture on our trip with Natural Habitat Adventures to Uganda and Rwanda in 2015 to photograph mountain gorillasdetails. As you can see, we found some. We are just starting to process those pictures now.

Bruce and silverback
Your caption could be here

This shot was taken at Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. We were told that we weren’t supposed to get within seven meters (23 feet) of a gorilla on this hike. I’m as far off the trail (which goes off to your left) as I can get, unlike the other three gentlemen, and I’m wishing I had a wider lens. The other three managed to get out of the silverback’s way just after this photo was taken, and we all lived happily ever after.

The winner of this contest will get ten dollars off any print or service of Bee Happy Graphics. Here’s how the contest will work:

  • For at least the next three weeks, you can enter your caption idea into the comments of this article below.
  • I will announce the close of the competition and the beginning of the voting process in another comment to this blog post. I may have a plug-in for that by then and will explain the voting process in that same comment.
  • At least two weeks after that last announcement a winner will be announced. If any entry has three or more votes, the one with the most votes will be the winner. If no entry has that many votes, then I will take an informal survey among my closest family and friends, and pick the winner. The decision of the judges (as defined above) is final. This prize may be combined with other promotions.

Good luck, and let the contest begin!

Our Newest Teacher’s Poster, Pupating Monarch, Is Ready

Last updated on December 17th, 2018 at 11:35 am

Less than four months after creating our “Pupating Monarch” imageblog, the new posters are ready. We first mentioned these four years ago in Teacher’s Special – Laminated Poster Of “Emerging Monarch” Is Ready!. They are the same size, specifications, and price as our original poster ($15 for 17″ by 28″ signed poster, laminated on both sides).  Like the “Emerging Monarch” poster, they can’t be displayed in our booth during art festivals so you may have to ask for them (or you can contact us directly anytime and we will mail them).

My Answer To “What’s Wrong With This Picture”

Last updated on December 13th, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Background

Several days ago, I showed a photograph and asked: “What’s Wrong With This Picture”.  Here is more information.

Sideways Moon (overview)

Nancy took this overview a minute later. Both were taken in March 2016, while we were on a trip to Antarctica. The mountains (and snow) in the first picture should have told you “we’re not in Kansas (or Florida), anymore.”video The moon in both pictures is waxing (growing) gibbous (more than half full), meaning the full moon would be five days later. Those are Gentoo penguins you see in this picture. She took these photos on the way back to the ship after our morning excursion, as I remember.

My Answers

Although I was a bit surprised nobody mentioned that the moon, as the subject of the first picture, was too centered, thus violating the rule of thirds, one member of my camera club did think the image confusing because she wasn’t sure what the subject was.  That was a completely valid point and was probably why Nancy had to be coaxed into taking that picture.    The overview shown above might be better in that respect, but here is why I (the technical support guy) found the image interesting:

The moon and the sun follow similar paths across the sky and the lighted part of the moon always points directly toward the sun along that path.  Every time I’ve ever seen the moon just above the horizon, it was pointing almost straight up (or down).  The moon in these two pictures is pointing to the left, a difference of almost 90° from my normal.

The mountains give almost no locational clue, but the snow at sea level tells you that we are not that close to the equator and the penguins tell us which hemisphere we are in (the specific species will narrow down the possible locations even further).  The angle of the moon does the best job, however, of narrowing the geographical possibilities – showing that we were close to the (Ant)arctic Circle.

To get the same effect with Photoshop wouldn’t be that hard, but would take more than just cropping.  And this effect doesn’t fall in the impossible range, like a star between the tips of a crescent moon, or maybe either type of eclipse during the quarter moon, so it is unlikely to be found in a unicorn shot or the like.  It is just a very unusual perspective that I wanted to appreciate for what it was and share with my friends.

By the way, this is the third article (set) I’ve published in the last three weeks involving the moon.  But fear not, I’m ready to move on.  Thank you for listening.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Last updated on December 13th, 2019 at 12:21 pm

This barely retouched picture (not even cropped – only overcoming camera sensor limitations), which Nancy took a while back (at my request), shows something that most people never see.  Another good question might be “What aspect of this photograph gives the best clue about where it was taken?”

Sideways Moon (closeup)
There may be more than one correct answer to these questions.  I’ll have my answers in two weeks. Stay tuned!

We Have A Winner!

Last updated on November 15th, 2019 at 09:22 pm

Three months ago, I invited you to critique my new homepage and offered a rewardblog. The offer has closed and the results are in. But first, a recap. We received twenty suggestions from six people. Each suggestion received three virtual tickets. We received no votes of preference between the new and the old homepage. Each of those would have received one ticket. While some of the questions in the original post were not addressed, and some of the suggestions apply to the other parts of our website beyond the scope of this contest (which will still be considered in my next round of changes), half of our commenters thought the slideshow needed to be larger and more prominent, with more features. While two commenters didn’t like the black background and bright fonts, one (with vision problems) did, so now I need to explore how to make the site more appealing to all viewers. The suggested larger font might help. Some viewers wanted an easier but more comprehensive menu system. These were the suggestions that received multiple votes. The other suggestions were no less valid, but this is only a summary, so feel free to check them out in the comment section of the original post referenced above. While I may not be able to make all the changes, I will be working on this project over the summer. Stay tuned.

Not surprisingly, the winner was the one who made the most suggestions. Robert Sullivan received ten dollars off any print, either one of Nancy’s or his own (you can see his work at www.robertsullivanphotography.com). This award is transferable and may be combined with any other awards and promotions. There is no time limit. Congratulations, Robert, and thanks for your help. I would also like to thank our other contributors.

For the fishermen or naturalists among you, the next contest is already underway. Check out our last blog post, Name This Fish. And I still have a math question which I may get to by the end of the summer. Don’t go away.

Name This Fish

Last updated on June 6th, 2018 at 06:03 pm

We mention on our webpage Sandhills On A Stroll (and possibly other places) how we learn from our visitors. We also have in our booth a 37″ by 68″ canvas print of our Osprey Family image. At the latest Melbourne Art Festival a controversy about the identity of the fish in that Osprey image was renewed.

Identify fish in "Osprey Family" image
The fish in “Osprey Family” image.

When she got the image, Nancy knew the fish wasn’t a mullet, which is a common osprey meal, but thought it was a yellow-tailed snapper (and may have been a bit envious). The problem with having an image that is so good (and detailed) is that your story has to be just as good. Shortly after hanging the large canvas version in our booth a ‘real fisherman’ (we consider ourselves amateurs) pointed to the faint yellow stripes on the tail and said the fish was not a snapper, but a grunt. I remembered that grunts had stripes and thought the issue was settled.

In Melbourne just recently, I was recounting this history as another example of how we learn from our guests, and another gentleman told us that wasn’t a grunt; it was a menhaden. Several other identifications followed for the rest of the weekend.

So now I want to use one of my “lifelines” and “ask the audience” (as on the game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”). Here are your choices (in the order we received them):

  1. mullet
  2. yellow-tailed snapper
  3. grunt (give the specific species)
  4. menhaden
  5. lane snapper
  6. pinfish
  7. Bermuda chub
  8. other (must tell species to receive credit)

Vote with a comment to this post before June 1, 2018. Up to three winners will be randomly selected from the entries with the correct answer.

To see the Note click here.To hide the Note click here.
The correct answer will be determined with insight from contributors and scientific evidence available from the image. If a definitive answer cannot be found by June 1st, the answer with the greatest number of votes will prevail.

Winners will receive ten dollars off of any print (either Nancy’s or your own). Prizes may be combined with other promotions or coupons. Entrants need not be present to win.  Good luck!

Check Out A New Home Page (And Win A Prize)

Last updated on November 15th, 2019 at 09:24 pm

I started a live test of a new Bee Happy Graphics home page, and I’d like your comments. Comments on such things as “Is the slide show at the bottom much help?” or “Is there some other criterion besides subject, location, and primary color that one might use to find images?”. Are the priorities correct? Is it effective? Is there something else that should be here or is important information missing? Can you get to the good pages quick enough from here? Of course, there are still other corrections and possible improvements to the whole website pending, like fixing the menu system for smartphones, etc, but I hope those will come soon enough; they are not part of this test.

All of the comments with viable suggestions for improvement will receive three (virtual) tickets to a drawing for ten dollars off any print (either Nancy’s image or your own). All other comments stating a preference for either the old or new page will receive one ticket. For comparison purposes (and possible reinstatement), the old page can be found here. The drawing will be held sometime after March 11, 2018. You need not be present to win.  This reward may be combined with other promotions.