Archive | January, 2015

Antz

21 Jan

The sky is looking pretty amazing this afternoon.  It’s not quite sunset – yet, but the clouds and sun are looking pretty.  I actually headed out with my macro lens on and a dandelion as my target.  I got distracted.

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Because I can I added the dramatic tone art filter

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I have a lovely clump of Agapanthus growing.  This started from one teeny little pot bought at our local church fair probably 20 years ago.

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I love playing with my macro lens though.  It certainly gives a whole different perspective on flowers

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Finally, these little blighters are not our friends.  They leave a nasty bite, some in this household suffer worse side effects than others.  By the look of the nest we have rain on the way.  Yep, call it an old wives tale, but when these critters start building their nest up into a mound we are in for rain.

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River Dreaming

20 Jan

I had the opportunity to spend some quiet alone time today at a local dog beach watching the world go by.  I took the opportunity to try some ‘action’ shots of seagulls flying and dogs romping.  81 shots and I’ve narrowed it down to 4 to share.  These have all been cropped to show the detail.  My attempts at blurred motion action were all a failure, just lucky this is a digital experiment 🙂

First we have a seagull who dropped by to say hello.  Nothing special happening, just a curious bird.

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Then all of a sudden out of no where a flock of gulls descended on the water making all sorts of noise.  I couldn’t see what they were so happy about, the tide was heading out and the water depth was about 3 inches.

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Next, one of the gulls ‘in action’.  It’s actually quite difficult to zoom in on a flying bird.

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I don’t know who the dogs belonged to, but they were having a wow of a time.  No fighting over the ball, no barking or growling at each other, just pure joy at running in the water. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wildlife

19 Jan

Today I had a visit from a local echidna.  This one was busy digging around for ants and was upset by the family pet yapping creature.  It took a while but eventually he poked his nose out enough for me to get a shot.  He was investigating the stack of tomato stakes I have lying on the ground and when I checked back an hour later he had wandered off.

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The other backyard ornament today was Velcro, our pet cat.  Current guesstimates put her at 15.  She still regularly brings us ‘presents’ mostly field mice and rabbits, which I don’t mind as they are pests.

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I also have a number of shots of Baby Bear posing and generally being silly, but I won’t share those in the public domain…….. but she best beware, her 21st is not far away 🙂

A Day at Home

18 Jan

It’s been a quiet Sunday spent pottering at home.  I played domestic goddess – baked a loaf of bread, made pizza dough for lunch, stewed the leftover apricots and then made white choc, apricot and coconut muffins.  The muffin recipe was a new one, the finished product tastes nice, but doesn’t look as good as the uncooked muffins.  Luckily I took a photo before the oven 🙂

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As I was pottering I realised that I haven’t taken any shots of my orchid.  Baby Bear bought it for me for Christmas.  I love orchids but have never attempted to grow one before.  So far so good.  I lost the unopened buds at the start due to over watering.  😦  Just hope that I didn’t do any permanent damage.  Luckily I have a couple of friends that grow lots and lots of orchids, so I have access to plenty of hints and tips.

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Knitting

17 Jan

I’ve been working on a project using a lovely yarn by MadelineTosh called Pashmina. It is a luxurious blend of Merino/Silk/Cashmere that is so soft to knit. I’m rather looking forward to wearing the finished product. So today’s photo is a progress shot of my garment. I’ve been playing with manual focus and my macro lens.

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Delving the menus

16 Jan

Ok, so far I have basically played with my camera’s iAuto setting.  On the dial are a number of other settings that I’ve attempted to use but suffice to say there haven’t been many photos worth keeping.  I still have a long way to go.  Yesterday’s trip hi-lighted how much more I need to learn about how to use my camera.  I need to understand what the myriad of menus can do.  So far it has been a case of press the menu button and then get lost.  What applies to what, how it affects what I’m doing, oh, forget it, it’s all too hard.

Today I found a YouTube video  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRYUEgp23iY that helped me play with the menus and discover some of the tools to take better or more interesting photos or how to use some special effects. 🙂

The first thing I played with were the SCN or scene settings.  This is where you set the camera to best adjust itself for Landscape, Portrait, Fireworks etc.  I found a setting to help with wobbly camera or moving objects.  It was rather breezy outside at the time.  Actually it was windy!  So I tested this mode to get a shot of one of the capsicum flower buds.

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Then I tried the ART settings and a function called BRACKETING.  So I take a shot and then using bracketing it applies the selected ART settings to the photo.  I had 11 ART settings chosen….. most were just awful, but I found one that was interesting.  The first is the original shot not ART settings, the second has Dramatic Tone applied.

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Finally, I found a rather exciting feature called PANORAMA.  Hmmm, wonder how that works?  The instructions were that it allowed a series to be ‘stitched’ together on the computer.  How hard can that be?  Well as I found out, it is directional.  I didn’t save the failed image 🙂  Here is a pic that is the view from my front door.  As you can see the storm is coming from the west, and the wind played a bit of havoc with the sun and cloud cover but as a first attempt I am rather proud.

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Russell Falls

15 Jan

After yesterday’s rain I headed to Mt Field National Park to see what the waterfalls were like.  Suffice to say, there was plenty of water around.  What did I learn?  Seeing a Platypus in the wild is just awesome, I need a tripod and I can commune with Paddy Melons.  As I took nearly 200 shots, I have a few that I like, so I’m just going to share them.

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Brewing Storm

14 Jan

We have had record rainfalls over the last 24 hours.   This means waterfalls will be gushing.  There might be a trip planned tomorrow to attempt to shoot some amazing falls tomorrow.  Meanwhile, tonight I was heading out to dinner with some friends and this brewing storm caught my eye.

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Looking at the photo now, I wish I had taken more time to take more shots with different angles but I was running perfectly on time for a delicious Indian feast, and I don’t like to be late.  Dinner was lovely and dessert was so good we all cleaned our bowls 🙂

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Fairy Lights

13 Jan

It’s a dark and rainy night.  My inspiration for photos are the fairy lights that decorate the balcony railing outside our bedroom.  I experimented with different angles and setups.  What I needed was a tripod.  In the end this is the one that I liked the most.

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This is our west facing lounge windows ‘lit up like a christmas tree’.  When we first replaced the 100% Blockout Blinds with mini-venetions an acquaintance at Pontville (some 10kms as the crow flies) told me how I haven’t been closing my blinds at night as she could see my house ‘lit up like a christmas tree’.   The things that happen when you change your window furnishings.

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Fibre Art

12 Jan

I was 7 when I learnt to knit.  I was staying with my Nan at the time.  During school holidays we used to go and stay with Nan and Pop for a week for a ‘holiday’.  Looking back with parental eyes I see it was more a break for Mum 🙂  I remember it was my Aunt who first showed me how to knit.  I can still remember the steps as through, around, back and off.  I know I chanted that for too long, because I can remember Nan telling me to ‘say it in my head’.  I was a keen student that had to be persuaded to put my work down while I ate tea.  Unfortunately, after dinner I had a mild panic…… that final step of off would mean a dropped stitch.  I can still hear Nan telling me off, she didn’t really have a lot of patience some times 🙂    I don’t have any trouble remembering the knitting steps now.  Now I merrily work all sorts of patterns and fancy stitches.  This is my latest project.

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The other project I’ve started this week is a crochet project.  Now I haven’t crocheted since I was about 10.  I made a blanket from 2 huge grannie squares.  I can remember pestering Mum regularly for more wool.  I gave that blanket to Nan and Pop, they used it on the parcel shelf of their car.  It is much the worse for wear now.  In fact it needs some urgent repairs.  But it is something I treasure.

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As for my crochet project – well here is the start.  They are called African Flowers and I need to make Octagons, Pentagons, Hexagons and more.  It’s a secret not so secret project with a midyear deadline.  I wonder if I should commit to monthly progress shots?

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