Friday, July 29, 2011
We finally got ourselves to the California State Fair, and such lucky timing for us too. As we came into the livestock nursery this mama stood up to have her baby! Of course it wasn't as quick as all that. The whole process only took about an hour though. I think we stayed for about a half hour afterwards just to watch as she cleaned the calf (baby girl) and the calf tried repeatedly to stand up. Eventually mama lay down next to the cow, and that's the portrait that I caught here. Many photos taken of this event, but needless to say they're a little graphic! She did get some assistance from one of the vets, but only after the front legs were already out. A cow's gestational period is nine months, same as a human. And the mama isn't called a cow until after she's given birth. Before that she's a heffer. I don't know how much the little calf weighs, but we thought she was sligthly bigger than Clover, who weighs about 60 lbs. I wish we could have stayed longer and seen her finally stand, but I feel so lucky that we got to see her born!
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
So it seems that gardening and photography have converged for me this week, and I'm completely helpless to change this. I'd much rather put up a variety of photos, and yet here I am with another garden photo today. This photo has a lot of flaws for sure. I was just so fascinated with the light glowing through those pumpkin blossoms. I thought they looked like Japanese latterns. By the way, these are male blossoms :) Not that you'd guess it with the fancy up-does they're sporting. The female flowers are fatter at the base, where the pumpkin will form. Also the male flowers shoot up on long stems like these and the female flowers are at ground level. Speaking of ground level, I'm practically there with this shot! I had lots of trouble bumping into leaves. They're about 16 inches in diameter!
One other comment I'll make here: Summer 2011 is the time I got comfortable shooting in manual, and I'm very happy with the effects I can achieve. So now I'm almost always working in manual and spot-metering on my subject, then dialing my settings to get the best exposure. I actually can't remember what the meter showed here, but I think probably it was slightly over-exposed.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Our hike up the Old Stage Road at Mt. Tam. This was one of our sunny patches. From our view at the West Point Inn we saw fog roll through twice, and we had to travel through several different weather patterns, although you wouldn't guess it from this shot. It's supposed to be "the road less traveled." I took about five or six photos of this scene, but my favorite by far was the one with Anna above the horizon line. I think it's the most interesting, and now recall my teacher saying that if you're photographing people and a horizon line then it's best if the people break the horizon. I took the photo from more of a ground level perspective to make the road bigger. I was probably just kneeling. I'm not so hard corp as to lie on a dirt road for a photo...yet :) Anna thinks she looks like a hippy here, but I'm really happy with her choice of clothing today. It looks like Rainbow Girl heading to her job in the sky!
Friday, July 15, 2011
The thing I like about this shot is that he looks like Kokopelli. A whole mythology could be built around this giant who controls the moon...
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Ah Rd.96. My favorite country road around here. Last year there were watermelons growing in this field for seed. I cut through here today on my way home because we had a nice sky with clouds again and I thought it would work well with the sunflowers, but ended up using the windmill instead. I think this is f/14, and I had to move my ISO up to 400 with my polarizer on. Although I'm not seeing the polarizer here, so I think I didn't adjust that as I was changing angles, so it was wasted on light loss. I'm surprised by how blurry the windmill is still. I guess it's because I'm standing so close to the sunflowers (the photo was hardly composable as I imagined it...I'm already right at the edge of the field and I didn't want that redwood in the shot). The sunflowers should be up for a few more weeks, so I'll try again before they fade...
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
It's a Black-Crowned Night-Heron! Before today I didn't know it existed, and now I have another bird in my Pokedex. Always a good day :) I drove through the Yolo Basin this morning, and he was sitting in a pond right at the edge of the road, so I actually took this photo through the passenger window (rolled down). I've got plenty of him standing and also squawking. And some showing his demonic red eyes. I hardly ever catch a bird taking off like this. That's because I lack patience. I either give up waiting for them to take off, or I somehow miss the moment it happens because I'm not looking through the view finder at that second. This time I could tell he was about to take off and caught it...although with a little bit of lag time. This was as quickly as I could press the shutter release. Afterwards I remembered that I had my camera set so that if I kept the shutter release pressed, the camera would take multiple photos. That's a setting that I regrettably never remember to use. I also wish that he took off in a different direction. I guess this view shows his nice little jacket. And he's got this feather string coming off the crown of his head that you can sort of see too.
Monday, July 11, 2011
This one is from my garden though. It's my first harvest that's big enough to make a salad with :)
I've been harvesting herbs and some tomatoes for a while now, but all of a sudden things are really taking off. The tomatoes in the front are a Genovese heirloom. There are also some others in there that are more pear shaped; I've lost their tag so I don't know the variety. The pear shaped ones are tasteless and too meaty. I'm curious about how the Genovese ones will taste! I've been picking cherry tomatoes for a while now, but they never make it into the house; that's my gardening snack. They are the most flavorful. Also in the bowl is a little purple pepper, my second. It's called amethyst. It's thin like a poblano, but not hot. And in the back three varieties of basil. So that's the salad for tonight. I've got lots a squash growing too...my most prolific plants are butternut and spaghetti. No pumpkins yet. Some peperoncini and cayenne peppers, but no other bell peppers growing besides the purple ones. Three tomatillos, and a zucchini. No cucumbers yet either. Also plenty of blooms on my eggplant but no little plants. The blooms are pretty though, so I'm thinking of photogrpahing them soon.
As for the photography, it seems like most food photography in magazines has this slightly overexposed look, so that's what I went for. It's metered on the tomatoes, so they've got the best color. I think it's f/2.8 so it blurs pretty quickly deeper in the photo.
What is that speck in the lower left hand corner? A crumb? It drives me nuts; it's very distracting! But it's too late to redo...
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Happy 4th of July! This was shot at our local 4th of July celebration here in Davis at the field behind the high school. We arrived sort of late, so we ended up at this spot under a tree, which worked for viewing about half the fireworks. Too bad the rest opened behind the tree. I liked the idea that there would be some framing in the shot, but I don't think the tree really needed to be in that much! I definitely wanted the people viewing the fireworks to be part of the framing. We didn't realize it when we arrived, but we sat right under a street light, so I think that helped add light to the spectators. This particular fireworks was the one that sizzles and pops. I think it came out really nice in this photo. It sort of looks like a space ship just went into hyperspace mode. Or maybe like a swarm of fireflies. The other thing I like about this photo is the blue twilight glow in the sky. They did actually start the fireworks before it was totally dark, which I've never seen done before. It seemed dark at the point this was taken, but it's a 3 second shutter speed here, so it just brought in all the residual light, and made that deep blue color, which makes a really nice graphic night sky.