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Porcelain Dolphin Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

3 June 2019

This graceful figure is only an inch and a quarter tall. For years it has leaped on the shelf above our computer table, which in the 1980s held small monitors before being raised to accommodate larger ones in the 1990s.

Porcelain Dolphin. Nikon D200 with Vivitar Series I 70-210mm lens in macro mode at f4, 1/30 second and ISO 1100. Processed in Adobe Camera Raw.

Today we're doing a lot of waiting. Sort of like being on call.

Humans don't do waiting very well. We fidget. We obsess. We get nervous. A few are able to nap but that's not generally a sign of intelligence.

Dolphins "are extraordinarily intelligent animals who also display culture, something which was long-believed to be unique to humans (although now recognized in various species)," according to our impeccable sources. They're also "altruistic animals. They are known to stay and help injured individuals, even helping them to the surface to breath."

The big problem with this shot was finding a background.

But they don't wait around. They cavort.

Which is what we are doing as we wait. We're cavorting with an old Nikon D200 from the days when cameras had CCDs instead of CMOS sensors and a Vivitar Series I 70-210mm Macro lens from the days when cameras didn't have sensors at all.

We liked the shiny finish on the dolphin. It suggested the wet skin of a creature leaping from the sea.

The big problem with this shot was finding a background.

Yeah, we could have dropped in a shot of some breakers (we've got plenty of them) but it would have been jarring to see a realistic seascape behind the obviously unrealistic figurine.

Abstraction was called for.

But the color had to be right. We settled on the only thing in our 50-year-old packet of Académie Book of Colors that seemed appropriate. Sea green. We bent it up to make an infinite background and lined-up our hand-held shot.

It may seem like a lot of work for such a silly image. But it beats waiting.

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