I often find the queries from search engines on how people stumble across my blog humorous. Today’s was one worth sharing.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s reading. We’ll be celebrating with a nice brunch and then keeping the kids away from the house so mom can relax in peace.
This was a rushed shot as we were heading out today. I could have spent another 30 minutes on it, but what are you going to do if you have places to be? This ant, and one other were climbing around in the Gazania flower. Once again, using the reverse-lens macro, this time dropped down to 28mm, I was able to get quite close. There are still focus issues since it was breezy and everything was handheld. I do however, like this little guy, especially since he’s just a tiny black ant and shows up decently here.
Today I bought a circular polarizing filter. So naturally, what is the first thing I do to break it in? Take it off the camera and do some reverse-lens macro shots. It’s what you would have done, right? That’s what I thought.
What we’re looking at here is a little daisy that was growing in the grass field of a local school. This was taken at 135mm focal length. Isn’t this shot one that is required of anyone taking flower photos? I thought it was, so I made my attempt at it.
I haven’t been out shooting recently since my schedule has been pretty impacted. You know, late nights at work and all. I have a couple of images that I have been sitting on. Both of which I was happy with while I was shooting, and neither of which did anything for me once I got them on the computer. They made my “don’t delete” cut, but I didn’t post them. Since I haven posted in a couple days, and I’m not really doing a 365 project, I wonder, is it better to post something than nothing? Probably.
The first image is from my last time shooting which was last Sunday. In the same little flower garden that the last posts have come from. The second image is from my outing a few weeks ago in San Francisco.
This is not my photograph. It’s my six-year-old daughter’s! On Sunday, during our walk to farmer’s market, she was very interested in shooting her flowers. This is one of the images. I think she chose a great subject and a killer background for it. It almost looks like a studio setup. Rather, it was in someone’s yard. I better look out, that kid will be passing me up soon enough.
I love being close enough to walk to farmer’s market. When the weather is nice it makes for a good Sunday morning event. One house along the way has a wonderful flower garden in the front yard. I stopped to take a few shots, and let my girls try their hand at some as well.
These Alyssum Flowers are my work but it won’t be long until I’m featuring the kids stuff. They love taking flower pictures. But the rule apparently is, one photo per flower please. No more. No duplicates, no matter if it is from one location or another. That means one poppy photo, one daisy photo. I guess this means we either need a bigger garden or we’ll have to start traveling soon.
I love dark, gritty images, so lets go dark again and keep up the variety. I’ll opt-out of telling the story behind this one to let your imagination kick in.
The “other” decent image from my photo-walk last night. I’m a fan of the translucent petals and reflective tips. While I was taking these, the ower of the the house was leaving in the car. I always wonder how people feel when I’m camped out shooting their flowers. They never said a word before they drove off into the sunset (and cast a brief shadow on the roses).
I had time to do a photo-walk this evening. Go figure! Walking over the bridge crossing the freeway, I noticed the chain-link-fence was casting this awesome shadow on the handrail. It created this snake-skin like effect that looks painted-on. If you look, you can make out a car just under the rail.
#ds167 – Make two photos today of the same subject: one with deep depth of field, one with shallow. Post your favorite of the two.
I took several of these with several depths of field. So yeah, I think I completed today’s assignment.
The title says it all. This was taken back in February while taking a weekend break to South Lake Tahoe. This shot hasn’t sat well with me (why it hasn’t gone on the site until May), but has gone over well with the family (which is why it’s here at all). Usually it is the opposite, they don’t like it and I do. Let me know what works and what doesn’t. Maybe I’m missing something.
This is lavender in the foreground and broom bush providing the nice backdrop in the background. I love the contrast here, and the evening light added just that little bit more. The little spider web in the top completes the overall look for me.
I am finding that I enjoy taking photos of the bees in the front yard. They don’t mind me being there and they are great subjects. This little guy was hanging on to the lavender with just his hind legs while cleaning his tongue.
Encouraged by Tracy and Michaela discussing lens extensions, I thought I’d give it a go. Only, I don’t have any, and I don’t have a macro lens. To top things off, I want to experiment with light leaks. So why not make the best of the situation? Reverse lens macro on the 135mm lens, hand-held, about 3/4″ away from the body. Perfect!
This is a white clover flower. You know, the little white flowers in the grass at the park. For this shot I laid down in the grass on my stomach and used the ground to place my elbows on while holding the lens and the camera body. I love the light leak colors from this technique. The challenges here are the razor thin DOF and the moving parts — The lens, the flower, the body. Sharp focus is something I haven’t quite mastered yet, but this one is pretty good.
Some attitude today for y’all. Another shot from last night’s dinner. Can’t beat the lighting!
Tonight, while out to dinner, the light coming in through the mesh window shades was wonderful. I snapped a few photos of the kids that were really wonderful. The light really brought out the detail in their eyes. I’ll post a some of these over the next few days.
I also used this for my Daily Shoot Entry today. #ds160 – Experiment in the digital darkroom today. Make a photo and post-process it any way you like to unleash your creativity.
Here is the creative version of Endless Pier. It was more challenging of a project than I originally anticipated when I started it. I’ll just leave it at that for now so you can figure it out.
Today I took the kids out into Sanborn Park in the Santa Cruz mountains. The redwood forest is always a spectacular place to visit. This was my first time in this particular area. Below is small collection of photos from the morning, starting with the log cabin type hostel.
I love the look of this building. The fact that moss grows absolutely everywhere out here adds tons of character to everything. It was a challenge to capture things with just the right amount of light since the most mossy structures were also in the shade. This collection is comprised of both single-shot and HDR images to bring out the looks I was going for. With most of my HDR images, I prefer the more natural look.
Towering Redwood Trees
Creek in Sanborn Park
The first image I used for the Daily Shoot assignment: #ds103 – Novelty can help goose creativity. Go somewhere today you’ve never been, even just a different street, and make a photo.
#DS53 – “It’s winter time here in the northern hemisphere. Make a photo with snow, frost, or ice as the theme today. (@remilongva)“
I am a fan of Mt. Umunhum. It is visible from almost everywhere in San Jose. The dilapidated radar tower at the top, bad roads, and large stretch of private property add to its mystique. Cloud formations over the top are always a treat, especially as storms are just rolling in or leaving. This is my submission for #ds46: “Time for a change in perspective! Look up today and make a photo that favors what’s going on in the sky.”
Other recent clouds were captured in Palo Alto. This one captured the sun fabulously just as a jet was leaving a contrail that was cutting the sky like a knife.
ASP is not for me.
ASP is not for me. I do not like it. Can’t you see?
Keep it away.
Keep it far.
It cannot work in a JAR.
It cannot drive my car.
It is not good for me. I do not like ASP.
—- So I’ve been reading the kids some Dr. Seuss
I have been in the process of trying to replace a yard full of Bermuda Grass with Dwarf Enduro Fescue since I recently added new sod into my back yard, and I don’t want to chance the Bermuda Grass from hitching a ride on my lawnmower and ruining my back yard. Bermuda Grass is very hardy and has been proving itself difficult to get rid of. I think I may have just-about gotten rid of it all. Or at least I hope I have.
Since Bermuda Grass can propagate by seeds, rhizomes and stolons, simply pulling it out, or even mowing very short won’t get rid of it. After researching several resources on the web, I now have a yard full of dirt, a couple random weed seedlings and no grass. This week my new sod arrives, marking my point of no-return.
I have been very patient, and deliberate in my approach in getting rid of the Bermuda Grass, since making a mistake could be very expensive to correct later.
Here is what I did to get rid of the Bermuda Grass, hopefully permanently:
- Sprayed a grass killer on the entire lawn that would kill the roots. Bermuda Grass has a deep root system, and leaving any part of it behind alive in the soil will get you more growing back later.
- Watered the lawn as normal a couple days after the treatment
- Repeated the spray one more time.
- About a month after the lawn completely turned brown, I used a rented sod-cutter to remove the top two-inches of soil. This worked with mixed results as my soil was a bit hard and I hadn’t ever used a sod-cutter before.
- Removed all of the old sod and had it hauled off.
- Rented a tiller and tilled the entire yard
- Smoothed out the yard and installed a sprinkler system. (For anyone looking for a fantastic resource on this, I recommend Jess Stryker’s Irrigation Tutorials. )
- Watered the dirt as if I was trying to grow a new lawn from seed. My goal here was to get all of the seeds in the dirt to germinate.
- To my surprise, more Bermuda Grass started showing up again, and these weren’t tender seedlings. These were new shoots from the bits and pieces of rhizomes left in the dirt, sometimes 2 inches down!
- I sprayed more grass killer on the shoots for about a month
- They kept showing up
- Over the last several days, I began digging after them to pull out the entire root system, which wasn’t much, but enough to begin something ugly and expensive.
- I haven’t seen anything new show up in the last few days, so I ordered some topsoil and my new sod.
With any luck, I won’t have a blog post in a year complaining that the Bermuda Grass returned. I do have one last recourse out there, that I would rather not mess with. Apparently there is a product out there called Ornamec that is capable of selectively killing Bermuda Grass while leaving Fescue alone.
Please share your Bermuda Grass experiences. This is a popular search topic for folks out there.
It has been 2 1/2 years since I went through the procedures above. Other than a couple small appearances, I have not seen any Bermuda grass appear in the yard. The bit I did see was on the edges and was easily removed by digging up the roots with a screwdriver. The largest problem now is the normal weeds that appear periodically. The photo at the top of this post was taken today.
Today the New York Times is reporting that the Google execs have been cleared to land their wide-body 767-200 and two Gulf Stream Vs at Moffet Field in exchange for $1.3 million a year and allowing their planes to be instrumented for scientific research. Moffet Field is run by NASA and is typically closed to private aircraft. Things can get quite noisy in Mountain View and Sunnyvale during flight activity at Moffet. This seems like a slippery slope in the usage restrictions of Moffet.
What a great addition to Google Earth. It is still a very simple flight simulator, but flying around in very real looking terrain anywhere in the world is quite compelling. You can really challenge yourself by trying navigate between airports by terrain alone. I am looking forward to this getting more sophisticated over time. I haven’t used the Microsoft Flight Simulator since I used to have it back on my 8088, so I don’t know how the two compare terrain wise. But for a free, streaming flight simulator, the Google Earth one is definitely cool.