Archive for the ‘Daily Stuff’ Category
A bit of a take on a grungy garden turtle
Here’s some shot’s I took of my friend Chris Shaw at White Knuckle Ranch. They turned out better than I expected.
I set the flash on about half power (simply to decrease recycle time) and zoom it in as far as it will go. Remember, you are just trying to light the incense, not a whole scene. I also think it’s a good idea to put a snoot on the flash to really pinpoint the light.
You can improvise a gobo or a snoot with a rubber band and either two small black cards or a large sheet of black construction paper. With the cards, simply place a piece on each side of the flash (front to eliminate lens flare, on the back to keep the background dark) and attach them to the flash with the rubber band. With the paper, simply roll it around the flash and attach with a rubber band for the same effect. For this shoot, I didn’t even use black cards. I had to laminate passes laying around that worked great.
Now, make sure you have some sort of dark background. I use a black poster fold out. They are cheap and readily available at hobby stores and probably wal-mart. It’s like what a kid would use for a science fair display. You could also use a piece of black cloth. Position your incense at least a foot and a half in front of your black background. If you place it to close, you will end up lighting it and the effect of the smoke won’t be as nice.
I use very cheap wireless flash triggers for my flash, but you can use a cable to. I set the shutter speed to just under the flash sync speed of the camera. The reason I go just under is that every once and a while the wireless takes a split second longer to cause the flash to fire, so the lower speed is just insurance. I usually shoot these at ISO 200 anywhere from f8 – f11.
Ok…incense. You want a good quality incense. Not because it’s going to make a difference in the photograph, but you have to smell this stuff up close, so find something you like. Light the incense and turn the room light off. Also, no fans, and you may need to turn off the A/C , depending on the vent location.
With the desk lamp on, you should be able to hand hold and autofocus. (I used to use a tripod, but found it a bit limiting.) Use the single autofocus point in the center. If you have problems getting the autofocus to work, you can cheat a little and focus on the tip of the incense then recompose on the incense.
Now just watch for neat patterns to pop up in the incense. If there is no air movement, the patterns will be straight and boring. Simply lightly wave your hand or gently blow in the direction of the incense and you should get something interesting. Take tons of shots and don’t be disappointed if they aren’t all in perfect focus. Focusing on smoke is a tricky process.
You will end up with something like this:
That’s it for capturing the shot. Next we have to run it through some post processing which I’ll cover next time. Enjoy!
I have trapped the source of the strange sounds under my bathtub. This took me over a week as he is extremely smart. Now to figure out what to do with him.
“Hmmm…”, I thought. ”Lets give them another 5 minutes.” So I reset the timer and went back to the chair. When the timer went off I checked them again and still they weren’t even close to brown. I decided to give them yet another 5 minutes. I set the timer and sat down and then it dawned on me. I had reduced the oven temperature to 200 when the rolls were rising. They were never going to cook at this rate!
I raced into the kitchen and turned the temp up to 400, wondering what I was going to finally end up with out of this fiasco. I gave them about 8 minutes and they were browning on top so I pulled them out. I pulled out my wooden cutting board to place them on, turned the pan upside down and shook, waiting for the rolls to pop out. Oddly, the rolls gave no response. I shook again. Still no response. I banged the edge of the pan on the cutting board. Still nothing. Then it dawns on me. I didn’t grease the pan! I grabbed a spatula and tried to scrape the rolls out of the pan but ended up just ripping things apart.
I looked down at my failure with scorn, but decided I might as well see what the taste and texture is like. I gathered some of the mush up on a plate, grabbed some jelly and sat down at the table. They were not the best rolls I’ve had, but they were definitely edible. I discovered from the taste that to attempt to recreate Donna Blair’s rolls, I would need to add some more sugar (hers were definitely sweeter) and a bit more flour and salt.
All in all it was a worthwhile experiment and I will definitely try again, but probably not until the weather cools in October time frame.
Day 15 of the 31 Day Personal Photography Challenge
Like a lot of people, I’ve got several calendars tied into my Google Calendar (personal, work, holidays, birthdays, etc…). I also sync my Google Calendar to my iPhone. Since I had been syncing, it seemed that the Apple/Google tag team was only good for the top level calendar. When I linked the two on the iPhone, this was all that showed up. Since I really USE my iPhone, I grumbled and acquiesced and put almost everything on that top level calendar. Today, I decided that the company’s were too big to have overlooked this and that it must be me, so I started looking. It’s buried pretty deep in there, but, if you can find the page, it’s easy as pie. Google! Why do you have to bury this stuff!?
So here is the link to the page to selectively add all your calendars to the iPhone sync.
I went to go add Thanksgiving to this years google calendar. It seemed like common sense to just have it repeat every year on the 4th Thursday of the Novemeber so I checked the repeat box and selected yearly and was surprised there was no obvious way to set. After fiddling with it a little, I discovered that it, in fact, can be done. The setting is just a little odd so I thought I would pass it along for anyone else who might not know.
- Create the event then check the “Repeat…” box
- For repeat, choose repeat Monthly.
- Choose repeat Every 12 Months.
- Choose repeat By Day of Week.
Works like a champ! Also helpful for Labor Day!