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El hombre grande del cielo

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 9, 2009, 12:54 PM
I decided that it had been far too long since I had pulled out the ol’ camera and took some shots and splashed around on DA. I walked around this morning with my daughter and took a few experimentals. While editing them on my favorite editing software, the GIMP, I accidentally choose the Threshold option. This gives a very stark black and white image. I was impressed with how the stripes on the shirt contrasted the other elements in the composition.

I decided to use the threshold edit and layer it with an alpha mask and a circular gradiant. This pulled in color and gave me a great color and texture contrast. If all this sounds like goobledy gook and you wouldn’t know your GIMP from a lame Pimp, then check out the GMIP tutorials located on my personal site The second part of this tutorial explains the threshold tool and how to use it.
El hombre grande del cielo by littleredplanet

  • Reading: Blood Meridian

Displaying the Doodle

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 25, 2008, 5:18 AM
Well, since Doodle Week I've been seriously thinking about the multitude of doodles I do at work. I have begun to scan some of them and turn them into proper pieces of d'art (that sounds really fancy!). Here's a sample from my most recent doodle creations:
Catharsis by littleredplanet Brotherhood by littleredplanet

I scan them using Kooka, turn them into scalable vector images with InkScape and lay in the color and effect with the GIMP - These software packages are opensource and free software.

So, I'll throw down the gauntlet ... show me your doodle!

  • Listening to: the wind beat the crap outta the trees
  • Reading: My Girragandji
  • Watching: nuttin much
  • Playing: the matching game with a 3yo
  • Eating: nachos
  • Drinking: iced water

4 Out of 5 Cormorants Pleased with 2020 Summit

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 22, 2008, 5:44 AM
4 out of 5 Cormorants
Here I go mixing photos and politics. Australia’s new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, held his visionary 2020 summit over the weekend. For you non-aussies, the 2020 summit brought together some of the best and brightest brains from across the country to tackle the long term challenges confronting Australia’s future –challenges which require long-term responses from the nation beyond the usual three year political cycle.

1000 leading Australians met in the nations capital to debate and develop long-term options for the nation across 10 critical areas:

   1. The Productivity Agenda – education, skills, training, science and innovation
   2. The Future of the Australian Economy
   3. Population, sustainability, climate change and water
   4. Future directions for rural industries and rural communities
   5. A long-term national health strategy – including the challenges of preventative health, workforce planning and the ageing population
   6. Strengthening communities, supporting families and social inclusion
   7. Options for the future of indigenous Australia
   8. Towards a creative Australia: the future of the arts, film and design
   9. The future of Australian governance: renewed democracy, a more open government (including the role of the media), the structure of the Federation and the rights and responsibilities of citizens
  10. Australia’s future security and prosperity in a rapidly changing region and world.

The Summit will had the following objectives:

    * To harness the best ideas across the nation
    * To apply those ideas to the 10 core challenges that the Government has identified for Australia – to secure our long-term future through to 2020
    * To provide a forum for free and open public debate in which there are no predetermined right or wrong answers
    * For each of the Summit’s 10 areas to produce following the Summit options for consideration by government
    * For the Government to produce a public response to these options papers by the end of 2008 with a view to shaping the nation’s long-term direction from 2009 and beyond.

There have been those, mostly opposition party supporters, who believed the whole exercise a waste of time and a political showboat of Kevin Rudd. I viewed the summit as a straight forward and transparent way to proactively plan the future of the country as well as generating a synergy of ideas.

Oh, yeah … the photo was taken at Beaumaris Boat Club, Melbourne, Australia over the weekend.

Here's a personal invitation to call around to my personal site little red planet

  • Listening to: cats kicking around the study
  • Reading: The Hard-Boiled Wonderland ...
  • Watching: nada
  • Playing: lego
  • Eating: chillis
  • Drinking: iced tea

Makin' good pictures on the cheap

Journal Entry: Tue Apr 1, 2008, 4:03 AM
or Opensource Digital Photo Processing for Novice Photographers

UPDATE - This has been turned into a news item link. Let me feel the luv here:…

Any digital camera will work. I have used, and continue to use, a number of digital cameras(Canon A340 Powershot, Canon A640 Powershot and a Canon EOS 400D). I still play around with the first one I bought over four years ago. It's a boxy Canon Powershot (A360) that takes photos at 3 megapixels. It has a horrible zoom but takes a pretty good wide angle shot. My three year old has decided this is her camera now so it now gets a pretty good lickin'. She's very good at taking pictures of her feet while sitting in the car.

Seriously, anything from your mobile phone to the best digital SLRs will work here.


I have no delusions about my own computer equipment - basically it sucks. The point here is that you don't need a you beaut computer system to create good images. I still work on a PIII 633 Gateway machine that I bought around 7 years ago. It is a dinosaur but I manage to make it work by NOT using memory and processor intensive programs like those made by Microsoft. I run the old machine on Linux, specifically Zenwalk Linux. If I have you intrigued and you want to know more about Linux go check out

The biggest investment you can make in your computer is to ensure you've got a healthy supply or RAM and decent hard drive space. If you're unsure about these characteristics of your computer, seek the advice of your nearest geek (or give me a shout).


Many people do one of two things to their images after they download them to the computer. 1. Nothing - they leave them as they are or 2. They use Adobe Photoshop to edit them. I'm not going to cover editing your photos with Photoshop cause it costs way too much cash for me to legally afford and, this tutorial is about getting good picts with little money. So, if you don't already have a working copy of the GIMP on your computer, rush over here and download a copy - it's free :-)

GIMP runs on just about any operating system (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).

Now We're Ready to Go
OK, I'll assume you have the GIMP correctly installed on your computer, that you are able to download your photos from your camera or phone and you have made yourself a nice cup of tea before we begin.

Let's Open a Photo

Fire up the GIMP and select File>Open. Navigate to an image you want to play with. I'll work on one I took earlier this year. I was chasing my three year old around the house when I quickly stopped and snapped this picture of an aloe vera plant.


You may look at your photo and think that you'd like to trim it just a bit to center your subject or create better 'framing'. The GIMP has a nice crop tool in the tool bar. It's the one that looks like a scalpel. If your unsure, just hover your mouse over the GIMP tool icons until one of the labels identifies it as the Crop Tool.

I love the Crop Tool. One thing to keep in mind when using Crop - if you're planning on printing your photos, be sure and keep the photo ratio in tact. The ratio is the width/height ratio. After you select the Crop Tool, you'll notice a small check box labeled Fixed : with a drop down menu afterwards. Check the box next to fixed and I'd recommend you select Aspect ratio from the adjacent drop down box.

That'll allow you to crop your photo and retain it's ratio or shape. Remember, if you accidentally make a mistake or do something you don't like with the GIMP, there's always the Edit>Undo option.

Basic Adjustments

Now we'll move on to some of the basic adjustments you can make that can enhance your photo quickly. Under the Color menu above your GIMP image, you'll find lots of handy tools. For the examples, I'll start with the basic aloe.jpg photo then add the the tool under discussion for a demonstrated effect. Often you will want to combine several of these photo tweeks but for my examples, I'll keep adjustments simple. I'd encourage you to explore all of the options and variations and be sure and check out the GIMP manual. Let's try the Level adjustment first.


The Level tool can change the intensity range of the photo. This tool is used to make an image lighter or darker, to change contrast or to correct a predominant color cast. When you select the Colors>Level tool, a histogram box will pop up. You'll notice a small slider just under the histogram. Grab the slider and move to the right and left and notice the difference it makes to your photo. Here's my photo where I've adjusted the slider to the right. It has given the aloe photo a darker, richer look.

aloe with levels


The Curves tool is the most sophisticated tool for changing the color, brightness, contrast or transparency of the active layer or a selection in your photo. If you're unsure what that means, no worries, I'll walk you through using the tool in a minute. While the Levels tool allows you to work on Shadows and Highlights, the Curves tool allows you to work on any tonal range.

OK, now select Color>Curves on your photo. You'll get a neato grid with a grey histogram and a line going from the lower left to the upper right. Again, it all looks complicated but let's make an easy adjustment and see what it does to the image.

curves    aloe curvescurves again

First, click in the middle of the angular line and pull the line down slights with your mouse. You'll notice your photo is looking alot like it did when we used the levels tool. Now comes the fun bit ... hang on ... click on an area of the line you have just pulled down (it's now more of an arc than an angled line) to the right of the mid point. Pull this part of the curved line up just a little.

curves 2    aloe curves 2

Watch what happens to your photo. Click below the mid point of your arc and pull the line down a little. See the changes?


You should experiment with this tool for awhile and get get the general feel for manipulating the 'curve' to produce results.


Let's move on to playing with color.


Select Color>Hue-Saturation on your photo. Here's more configuration razzle dazzle. What's worth playing with are the three sliders sitting under the bold heading Adjust Selected Color. I'll grab the Saturation slider and give it a good yank to the right ... oh ahhhh .... my aloe becomes very green. But I won't stop there. I'll now push the Hue slider around. Well, maybe I went too far, here's the aloe very Saturated and over Hued!

aloe saturation

I'll give it another go because I noticed that while playing with the sliders I could bring out a nice red color on the spines of the aloe. I like that.

aloe saturation 2

Speaking of color, let's do more.


Colorize is a great way to put a color tone or wash over the photo. Sometimes it has a great effect, other times, no so much. Select Color>Colorize on your photo. You've got a selection of sliders again. Go like mad and see what effect they produce. For the aloe.jpg, I've selected a nice blue tone with a slight twist of saturation. Do you like it?

aloe colorize

The final tool in our down and dirty Color menu that I'll demonstrate is the Color Balance.

Color Balance

Go for Color>Color Balance. Wow, surprise, you get some more sliders. Three in fact. On top of the sliders you even get a selection of radio buttons. I hope that by this stage you have overcome some of the hesitation and fear about jumping in and experimenting with your photos. Jump in with reckless abandon and work some color magic. I ended up with this lovely fire aloe.

aloe color balance

So that's it for the quick tweeks in the Color Menu. I want to show you one final essential trick in my arsenal before moving off these photo enhancements. Let's have a crack at sharpening your photo.


In GIMP you have a couple of options if you want to sharpen your image. The first is a straight forward Filters>Enhance>Sharpen move. It'll do an auto sharpen on your image. But, hey, who wants to do anything automatically when we can play with sliders? Ditch the auto crap and let's pull out the big one Filters>Enhance>Unsharp Mask. Like all the other tools, I'm sure you'd benefit from carefully reading the GIMP manual to grasp all of the idiosyncrasies of the Unsharp Mask - I'm sure I would. But, if your like me, you'll just start pushing things around and rely on the preview to guide you.

I've kept the fire aloe from the previous tool and went straight to the Unsharp Mask. Here's the stark results.

aloe sharpening

This is a little over kill but you get the general idea. Right? Just for Kicks, here's the original aloe.jpg using Unsharp Mask.

aloe sharpening 2

That's all of the enhancements that'll I'll show you this go around. There's heaps more you can do like using image burn, alpha masks, spot colorizations and more that I'll run down in later tutorials.

Now that you have played around with your photo, you should be able to put together a combination of some of the above techniques to feel quiet satisfied with the result. Here's my aloe.jpg.

aloe end

If I remember correctly, I used Level, Hue-Saturation, and Unsharp Mask to get the final.

So now what are you going to do with your image? If you're gong to print it ... then your basically done. If you are posting it to the internet or you want to add a frame to it. Here's a simple frame technique.


Here we go. First create a new layer. You can find the new layer button in the Layers Dialog Box. If you don't have a Layers Dialog box floating around your screen click on the GIMP tool panel. Select File>Dialogs>Layers or you can try pressing CTRL + L (works on my machine). OK, now you have the Layer Dialog box in front of you, run your mouse along the little icons at the bottom. The first one should say something like 'create a new layer ....' when you hover over it with the mouse. Click Create a New Layer.

Go back to your photo and select all. You can either go to the menu Select>All or just press CTRL + A. Have a look back at you GIMP tool panel. See the color boxes below the other tools. It is probably showing a black and white box. Click the top box and select what ever color you want your border or frame to be. I'll use white for the aloe.

Now go to menu Edit>Stroke Selection. In the dialog box give your photo a healthy line width. Remember you can have a few goes to get the right width. I usually use something between 70 to 120 on full sized images. Of course, with smaller images, you'll use much smaller widths. When you've added a value in the width department, hit stroke selection. Do you like the look? If not, use your undo command (Edit>Undo).

Now you have a nice frame around your photo.

aloe framed

I recommend that you upload your photo to deviantart. I found that by pitching my photos out there for others to see and comment upon, I learned and gained more confidence. I also recommend that you seek out photographers that you admire and you 'watch' them. A lot can be learned from just watching what a good photographer produces as well as having the opportunity to interact and seek advice from them.

Be sure to look me up and give me a yell. I'd love to see what you can do :-)

It's that simple ... and better yet, it costs next to nuthin!

  • Listening to: my cat growl like a tiger
  • Reading: The Hard-Boiled Wonderland ...
  • Watching: Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares
  • Playing: on the computer
  • Eating: raisons and cheese
  • Drinking: iced tea

Journal CSS Blues No More (thanks PsyPing)

Journal Entry: Sat Mar 15, 2008, 2:33 PM
Well Bummer! I just realized that if you let your subscription lapse, you lose your custom journal css. Looks like I'll be recoding a new one from scratch!

NO More Blues ... It's all red now! Thanks to PsyPing for the great suggestion :D

  • Listening to: The whir of an old computer fan
  • Reading: The Deerslayer
  • Watching: nada
  • Playing: nada
  • Eating: subway
  • Drinking: iced tea
I've been overwhelmed with work and family issues since around Christmas and have had little time to concentrate on my photography. The past couple of weeks I've dusted the camera off but found myself lacking in inspiration.

Without a doubt, I have learned and found overwhelming inspiration from your comments and your works. I've recommitted to myself to DA and the community.

I look forward to seeing your works again.

  • Listening to: The whir of an old computer fan
  • Reading: The Deerslayer
  • Watching: Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares
  • Playing: Some stupid flash based game
  • Eating: curry rice dish
  • Drinking: iced tea

Back from the Holidays!

Journal Entry: Tue Jan 1, 2008, 4:07 AM
G-Day all,
We returned from the holiday trip to Sydney. Sorry for being so tardy in responding to those who have commented or noted. I'll try and catch up over the next week or two ;-)

We had a blast in Sydney. We spent quiet a bit of time on the beaches and doing some post Xmas shopping. I love the computers sales at this time of year. We bought 2 laptops and I splurged and got a 22" monitor.

I hope you have all had a fantastic holiday season. I look forward to seeing your work in the New Year!

BTW - Any resolutions you want to share??

Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: David Lee Roth - Just a Giggalo
  • Reading: Northern LIghts
  • Watching: Aliens v Predator (blah!)
  • Playing: puzzles with my 3yo
  • Eating: anything cold
  • Drinking: iced tea

Gallery v2 and general update

Journal Entry: Sat Nov 17, 2007, 7:29 PM
WOW, I love the enhancements to the gallery! I've just spent the better part of an hour configuring it. I still have alot to do. I basically just dumped images into various folders without doing much organizing. If you haven't had the opportunity, I'd encourage you to check out the enhancements.

As for my photos, I've been incredibly bust for the past month. All of my recent images were taken while out with willow and juniper on Saturday and Sunday mornings (this is when my better half gets some time to herself). Therefore, most of the picts are of the gals :-) We usually go bird watching/feeding and to the park. Yesterday we went yabbie hunting (crayfish) and willow took a headfirst nosedive into the mud and stream. We got lots of mud and all got wet ... but no yabbies.


Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: a magpie chick beg for food from his momma
  • Reading: There were other council fires here ...
  • Watching: The Farmer Wants A Wife
  • Playing: Uno
  • Eating: Noodles
  • Drinking: iced tea

MarsDrive Prints

Journal Entry: Fri Sep 21, 2007, 4:20 AM
I have created a few prints to sell in hopes of raising some small change for an organization I do quiet a bit of volunteer work for,  marsdrive -

MarsDrive is an international non profit space foundation with a world-wide membership and branches across North America, Europe and Australasia. MarsDrive is about helping get YOU directly, and actively, involved in the colonisation and exploration of space!

Our Vision is: Of a space faring civilization spreading life throughout the cosmos: filling the barren void with a multitude of vibrant new worlds where humanity can thrive and prosper.

Our Mission is: To enable the rapid expansion of humanity into space by providing funds to develop and construct the necessary infrastructure including orbital facilities and colonies/research facilities on the Moon, Mars - and beyond.

Our Aims:

MarsDrive allows YOU to get actively, and directly, involved in the colonisation and exploration of space! By joining with us you can ensure that we advance our Mission and realise our Vision by:

1. Financially supporting the activities of the public, private and non profit space sectors via the targeted provision of:

    * * Scholarships
    * * Small Grants Program (R & D and Projects)
    * * Infrastructure Development Fund (Capital Grants)

2. Developing and implementing the 25-year MarsDrive Plan involving assisting efforts for the funding and construction of all necessary surface and orbital facilities including:

* Lagrange point Space Station, Shipyards and associated fleet
* Industrial Complexes and asteroid mining
* Solar Arrays and transmitters
* Lunar Research Base
* Mars Colony

Where Marsdrive is significantly different to the myriad of other space advocacy groups can be summed up in the words of CEO and Founder Frank Stratford: "The future of our expansion into space and onto Mars is really up to each of us. If no generation steps up to make the decision to go, who will?"

A representative of The MarsDrive Consortium recently stated that its members had 'stepped up' adding "Governments have their own agenda for space, and that agenda doesn't include the vast majority of mankind. If we want to go - then we have to find ways to fund our own passage. No ifs no buts ... 'No bucks, no Buck Rogers'. Pure and simple."

MARSDRIVE IS A REGISTERED 501 c 3 Non Profit Organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: footie
  • Watching: Geelong v Collingwood

Perfect Works

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 9, 2007, 3:35 PM
  Perfect works are rare, because they must be produced at the happy
  moment when taste and genius unite; and this rare conjuncture, like
  that of certain planets, appears to occur only after the revolution of
  several cycles, and only lasts for an instant.  -- François-René de

Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: The workplace coming alive on a Monday morn
  • Reading: Minutes of a past meeting
  • Watching: work emails roll in
  • Playing: on DA
  • Eating: nothing at the moment
  • Drinking: coffee

Slow as a Cold Snail on fly paper ...

Journal Entry: Tue Aug 28, 2007, 6:19 AM
Tagged by :iconaussiemum: some time ago and I have been slow as a cold snail in responding :-)

1.Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4.
"Please be so good as to lend me that little knife to sharpen my quills"
Gogol - Diary if a Mad Man and Other Stories

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.
OK, so how long do I leave it hear ... it's a bitch to type with one hand????

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Aussi Idol (I hate to admit that)

4. Without looking, guess what time it is:
10:45 pm

5. Now look at the clock. What is the actual time?
10:56 ... so what if I'm living in the recent past ...

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Cockatiels screeching

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
I just stepped outside a little while ago to take a couple of pictures of the lunar eclipse. Bummer that my batteries died in the camera after the second attempt to catch the half red, half white moon.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
The last journal entry from :iconagent-angel:

9. What are you wearing?
light grey dress shit and ma tracky daxs (that's Aussi for track suit pants)

10. Did you dream last night?
OH boy, I had a weird dream. Suffice it to say that it contained trains (an overhead monorail type of train) in peru and a taxi/bus in china that drove up the steps of a ziggaat pyramid at high speed.

11. When did you last laugh?
Last night when I realised my 2.5 year old daughter can easily boss around my 9 year old daughter.

12. What are on the walls you are in?
uh ... paint. I have great plans to do something on these walls but they are a blank canvass at the moment. Any ideas???

13. Seen anything weird lately?
Does things you see in your dreams count?

14. What do you think of this quiz?
Mildly amusing

15. What is the last film you saw?
Ah, just got a premier showing of Mars Rovers at the IMAX tonight. If your interested in space and making space travel in the near future more affordable to the average joe ... check out marsdrive

16. If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
A second home near my family in Texas, educations for my girls, a nice diamond ring for my better half and investment stocks for a charity working with disadvantaged teenagers.

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know.
I have 11 toes ;-) Seriously, I secretly wish to be a writer and illustrator.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Stop child abuse.

19. Do you like to dance?
yah ... but no one around me likes my dancing :X

20. George Bush:
Didn't vote for him as Guv of Texas ... be glad when he's gone. He makes being Texan embarrassing when living outside the US.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
how about Juniper. Of course when my second came along, the first demanded that the new one get a tree name too so she was called Willow.

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
If I had a boy ... maybe Jasper or Ash (keep gong with the tree thang)

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
lol ... I am

24. What do you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
I believed in you even though you didn't believe in me ... that's the power of love :-)

25. Tag a person to complete this quiz:
Bummer ... if you read this in it's entirety ... consider yourself tagged (but let me know you have sompleted the tag too).


Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: live stream of KSCS County Music Radio
  • Reading: City of the Beasts - Isabel Allende
  • Watching: Mars Rover - IMAX
  • Playing: Uno with my gals
  • Eating: chocolate with crunchy peanut better
  • Drinking: iced tea

Back from Texas!

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 11, 2007, 2:45 PM
We've finally made it back from our trip back home to Texas. We had a great time but it was all too short. Strangely enough, Texas hasdbeen in drought for the past couple of years and the first day we were there, it flooded then rained every day. When we arrived back in Melbourne (also in severe drought) we learned that it had been flooding here too.  Must be some weird El Nino or global warming thing!

I apologies to those who have left messages for me. In Texas I had little opportunity to keep up with my cyber endeavors. I think there were close to a thousand new deviations to view as well!

I didn't take too many pictures while away. We were kept pretty busy by family.

I look forward to catching up with you guys again.

See ya round!


Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: silence
  • Reading: Education of Little Tree
  • Watching: James Bond - Die Another Day
  • Eating: raison bran
  • Drinking: coffee

On Holidays!

Journal Entry: Wed Jun 13, 2007, 4:33 PM
Just a quick note to say I've gone on holidays for a fwe weeks. I'll be in Texas during the time. Hopefully I'll return with vigor and heaps of new images.


Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: Jet
  • Reading: Hyperion - Dan Simmons
  • Watching: AFL footie - go Bombers!
  • Playing: uno
  • Eating: museli
  • Drinking: coffee

Space - New Frontiers

Journal Entry: Thu May 3, 2007, 2:58 PM
High resolution images taken of Space are grand and majestic. However, few people have exposure to them. Occasionally I'll develop a concept to utilize these powerful images in my work. I do this for my own gratification but also to hopefully encourage more people to develop an appreciation and desire to learn more about objects in our heavens.

Reaching NGC 2264 by littleredplanet Star Maker by littleredplanet Nebula in My Backyard by littleredplanet One Small Step by littleredplanet Blacktree Orion by littleredplanet Miss Universe on Phobos by littleredplanet pull my finger by littleredplanet

Take the time to check out high quality sites like the Astronomy Picture of the Day (I use this as my home page).

I am also a founding member of Marsdrive , a non-profit organization registered in Australia and the USA. I firmly believe that we all have an obligation to advocate with our peers and with the governments of the day to aggressively pursue space exploration and alternative living environments.

What is MarsDrive? MarsDrive is a unique group dedicated to building large scale public support by bringing together all of the required individuals, groups and resources to enable near term human missions to Mars. We see our role as one of being a leverage force working with and among all of the diverse players who may at some point fund and commit to sending humans to Mars. Going to Mars is already proving to be one of the most complex and near impossible feats that humanity has ever engaged in.

That is why there is a need for a central organizing force that also has a focus on raising public support and awareness. Without wide scale public support current and future space missions will continue to rely upon government agencies and wealthy investors and as we have seen government programs can and do get cancelled and wealthy investors are hard to find, especially considering the level of risk involved in space missions. We want to see a future where space missions and eventual settlement of new worlds like Mars are the result of wide scale public support and involvement not just limited to government agencies or underfunded private space companies.

Unless our political and financial leaders see robust levels of interest and support for such ideas as sending people to Mars they will always be reluctant to commit their own resources and the human drive into space will continue to move at a snails pace. MarsDrive is therefore dedicated to reaching the public in fresh and original ways that work as opposed to trying old  methods that only appeal to a small demographic or current space advocates. We also advocate that the first and most logical priority for advancing the cause of humans to Mars is for us to engage in activities focused on overcoming the transport barriers that currently exist.

Even if we solved all of the technical problems and could bring the costs down to an acceptable level and even if the risks were minimal, without wide public support human missions to Mars will be very slow in coming, if at all. At MarsDrive we mean it when we say that we want to see near term human Mars missions, and for us that means within the next 20 years. If we wait for a government mission that 20 years could become 30, 40 or more. Plus if all we do is rely upon government missions this will exclude the public from being involved in Mars exploration and settlement beyond being mere spectators, and as we have seen public interest is already in decline. The benefits of such missions will bypass our generation if we do nothing about it.

To bring forward these missions and to remove the roadblocks of technical, financial and public support solutions we and others have embarked upon this journey now.  

How can any small group realistically hope to achieve Mars? No small group could ever accomplish such a task on their own. We all know that this sort of project is on a massive scale and will require thousands of skilled individuals, cutting edge technologies and billions of dollars. Such projects are usually led by government agencies but with Mars we have a unique opportunity to speed up the process.

MarsDrive does not itself need to raise billions through unrealistic schemes but instead to build ourselves into an efficient, streamlined and unifying body so that we can fulfill the aims we are striving for. So when you support us you are not supporting a group with unrealistic or impractical goals.

Our aim is for Mars, but our eyes are firmly set on being practical, realistic and doing what is achievable NOW.  You can check out the FAQ on the website for more details or note me ;-)

Welcome to the New Drive to Mars!

Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: Thirty Seconds to Mars
  • Reading: The Odyssey
  • Watching: no time ;-)
  • Playing: here
  • Eating: cereal
  • Drinking: coffee

DeviantArt ID Feature

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 13, 2007, 5:14 AM
Hey Guys,
Don't you enjoy looking at how fellow Deviants portray themselves in their ID? This has fascinated me since joining DA. Here's a small collection of a few that I have found particularly interesting. You know, if their ID's are this interesting ... so must be their galleries! Please check them out!

Self Assessment by Antonina:thumb52730109: id by speechlessphoto specialties by CapnDeek373:thumb37063686: Balanced Meds Make Me Happy by Patches67 Deviant rsandberg by rsandberg:thumb50252234: my focus by aznb0i1049 Through the Looking Glass by mommaphant:thumb51751353: Spring ID by SlinkyJynx

and, of course my own two attempts at IDdom
DeviantArt ID by littleredplanet littleredplanet deviantID by littleredplanet

So, if I missed your uniquely cool ID, let me know! If you haven't expressed yourself personally on DeviantArt ... get crackin and show us the creative U.

cheers all!

Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: El Condor Pasa
  • Reading: Peotic Retribution from Mars
  • Watching: Aussi Rules - Tigers v the 'Pies (go T's!)
  • Playing: hand shadows on the wall
  • Eating: mango and cream Weiss Bar
  • Drinking: iced tea

Red Feature has arrived!

Journal Entry: Wed Mar 28, 2007, 3:02 PM
I finally had time to go through the submission for my Red Feature. Red is my fav color (obviously) and here are a few artists that I thought used red for maximum impace.

Please visit these artists and drop them a comment if you see something you like!

:thumb41119400: Red Overcoming by siztem:thumb47974815:
MOTHER and CHILD 03 by natesanmohan:thumb41734344: mudbugs by CapnDeek373
Tongue by deliriousoracle scream for me. by perfectskylines:thumb41659796:
why so silent? by stellenero Bunnys revenge by mjdaluz:thumb45295613:

and my own personal RED favorite
His Hour by littleredplanet


Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: Rosemary Clooney
  • Reading: Writing for Dummies
  • Watching: Heros
  • Playing: nada
  • Eating: pasta
  • Drinking: iced tea


Journal Entry: Tue Mar 20, 2007, 10:53 PM

Develop a coffee table style book containing illustrations and photos alongside classical poems. The project endeavours to convey the vast interpretative power of art and word, combining the two for a synergistic and dynamic result.

I am looking to illustrate and produce a book of carefully selected classical poems. This is an attempt to provide interesting, provocative and personal interpretations of classics. Early contemplation of poems include:

Edgar Allan Poe, the Raven
Edgar Allan Poe, Dreamland
Samuel Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Charge of the Light Brigade
Rudyard Kipling, The Last of the Light Brigade (in response to Tennyson)
(looking for more suggestions with rationale on their appropriateness)

Each poem will be naturally subdivided along lines, stanzas or paragraphs accompanied by an illustration/photo. The illustrations and photos should be from various artists so that a myriad of style, media, interpretations and emotion are displayed. I noticed that many DeviantArt members have taken on the 100 photo challenge. This could be a similar challenge to stretch our artistic creation but with extrinsic benefit to all involved.

When completed the book will be submitted for publication to major publishers. If this not successful, independent publishers or self-publishing will be explored.

I am seeking expressions of interest in those in the community who wish to contribute and those who wish to assist in the production and financial aspect of the project. All artists will be gratefully acknowledged for their work and be offered a small space for a bio and a link to their prints and contact details. Those who assist in the production of the book will be renumerated according to their investment when and if profits are generated.

I'm looking for feedback on this as a project as well as those who have some interest in assisting. This may result in a DeviantArt group or club to advocate and spearhead the project. If this gains more momentum, I would like to craft a news item for DeviantArt.

If you want to contribute as an artist or have a more comprehensive role, please reply below or send me a note.

I have just been informed that I am in the running for the Thought Provoking image contest. I submitted His Hour because I created this piece from inspiration after reading a short poem by Whitman.
His Hour by littleredplanet
You can vote for my pict by going to the Thought Provoking news item… and leaving a message stating which one you choose (#63a)!


Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: Lynard Skynard - Gimme THree Steps
  • Reading: A mountain of emails
  • Watching: more emails come into my box
  • Playing: nada
  • Eating: subway
  • Drinking: H2O

IF ... (edited to include a request ,-) )

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 20, 2007, 2:06 PM
I have just been informed that I am in the running for the Thought Provoking image contest. I submitted His Hour because I created this piece from inspiration after reading a short poem by Whitman.
His Hour by littleredplanet
You can vote for my pict by going to the Thought Provoking news item… and leaving a message stating which one you choose (#63a)!



If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling

I finished the novel I was reading yesterday. Tonight I picked up a few of the classic poetry books we have in our library. This one struck me. I am giving some thought to a new endeavor but I'll ruminate on it awhile before disclosing or progressing it in public. Hope you enjoyed the little ditty by Kipling ;-)

Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: Jimmy Buffet
  • Reading: Wordswrth
  • Watching: Just watched 'Kenny'
  • Playing: nada
  • Eating: bacon, egg and cheese sandwich
  • Drinking: H2O

Featured Deviants

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 6, 2007, 4:11 AM
Featured Deviants!
Here's the first two who responded to my journal post from yesterday. Be sure you pay them a visit and give 'em lots 'o love :w00t:

I've tried those fractal engines and can only come up with pretty boring looking stuff. It may have something to do with it taking my computer 30 minutes to generate one fractal (I should really feed those hamsters better). I have a new found appreciation for artistic expression through fractals.

I really like color and it looks like Christy really splashes it around.

I'm pretty nature groovy at heart and I am a sucker for a nice shot like this one. Good color/contrast and composition. You just can't beat what Mother Nature give ya!


Hawk by Ice-Teague
This is one of my all time fav picts here at Deviantart. I have a special affinity with hawks and Jess captured this ones expression very well.

Pantera II by Ice-Teague
Seems we all have attempted to get shots of cats. The simplicity of the shot, the desaturation and the pure relaxation of the cat make this one memorable.

Lizard I by Ice-Teague
And I couldn't pass up this old guy. Be sure and go to the full view on this one to get the detail captured in the shot.


Clubs I Frequent

:iconcrikey: :iconunframed-nature: :iconnaturephotographer: :iconnature-club: :iconrobotinvasionproject: :icongimptacular:
  • Listening to: Stevie Ray Vaughn
  • Reading: yikes ... I need a new book!
  • Watching: Barney (for the 1 millionth time) :(
  • Playing: nuthin
  • Eating: nuthin
  • Drinking: mango tang

Get Featured!

Journal Entry: Mon Mar 5, 2007, 1:10 PM
This idea came from :iconweazler:

The first couple people who reply to this journal get featured, I'll post three of my favorite deviations by you and also say why.

The catch is: You have to put this in your journal as well.

Please have something in your gallery (more than a dozen deviations), or else I'll disregard the comment.

I'll put up the features when all the slots are filled.
A few favs of mine that I feel the need to share, please check out these artist's galleries too:
Itsy Bitsy by Ice-Teague Korkunc Agac by Lu-sian by naturephotographer:thumb42557779:

  • Listening to: Willie Nelson, Toby Keith, and Merle
  • Reading: IIlium (still)
  • Watching: Sunrise (news)
  • Playing: with the computer wasting time before work
  • Eating: english muffin
  • Drinking: coffee