Saturday, 30 April 2016

Cloudy Panorama

Taken a couple of days ago between heavy rain showers.
Three stitched photos using Autostitch (Mac) to make a panoramic view.

Enhanced slightly to show more detail in the shadows using Elements 10:

pano clouds 1e

Almost sepia with just a bit of colour left in:

pano clouds 2e

As always clicking on a photo takes you to Flickr where larger views can be seen.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Breakfast Time

The daily bundle of mischief:






Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

A Bit of Filtering

Quite a nice cloud formation to the human eye but disappointing when photographed:


Popped it in Elements 10 with the NIK Collection filters.
Silver Efex Pro 2 - filter 010 LowKey2
Green filter
Film choice - Agfa APX 400


Monday, 25 April 2016

Monday Mystery - Guess What



Things went a bit better with last week's mystery photo. My congratulations and the virtual Midmarsh Gold Star go to Adrian, Roy and Wilma who all recognised the close view of some bubble wrap:

DSCN6158    DSCN6161

I wonder how you will get on with this close view.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
No prizes. Just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Apple Time Lapse Experiment

Well, my first experiment at long term time lapse photography has been running for about five weeks. Today I stopped the experiment. Instead of rotting away the half apple just dried out, shrank somewhat and became mummified. This is just the final 500 shots, one taken every hour, converted to a video. I will have to try to find out why the lighting flickers so much. There are several possibilities. Maybe the flash gun doesn't give exactly the same light output every shot. Maybe the camera doesn't give exactly the same exposure every shot. It is set for 1/25 sec at f18.

I have started a new one with a tomato which is already showing signs of mould growing so that may give a more interesting video. I had to stand it on something to stop it from rolling around. The blue object is an upturned measuring cup for the liquid I use in the washing machine:

 DSCN6201    DSCN6199

One thing which is working as it should is my program on the Arduino. Even after a week or so the timing is within a second or two of the 60 minute wait between shots I set it for.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Friday at the Flicks - Tiger Worms


Having moved the base and stand belonging to an old bird bath I saw that many worms had made the damp earth their home. By the colour and banding on their bodies these look to be some tiger worms which escaped from my wormery:

There seemed to be several different sizes so they must be breeding OK.
Filmed hand held using the little Nikon.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Stacking Oliver

It's just a year since I last photographed Oliver's catkins.
What is Oliver? See HERE.

This time I took 21 focus stacked photos to process using Zerine Stacker.
Why focus stacked?  Close, macro, shots have very little depth of focus so each photo has a slightly different part of the plant which is in focus. Zerene Stacker does a fantastic job of picking out and putting together just those in focus parts to make one resulting photo.

Here are the photos from each end of the stack:



And the finished result using all 21 photos:

2016-04-21-13.09.15 ZS PMax copy

I also used Photoshop Elements 10 to darken some of the lighter background patches.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Heavy Rain is Good for Some

At least the Blackbirds are happy when there is enough heavy rain to flood part of the back garden. This female spent ages paddling to collect worms, grubs and larvae driven to the surface. Some babies were going to be well fed:




I would guess that they were mostly Leatherjackets, the larvae of the Crane Fly.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Monday Mystery - Guess What



Last week's mystery photo was a bit difficult to guess exactly what it was. The virtual Midmarsh Silver Star goes to Adrian, Ragged Robin, Wilma and the Weaver of Grass who were on the right lines with saying it was some sort of stone statue. To be exact is was a photograph of one of the grotesques on the village church:



I wonder how you will get on with the new mystery photo.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
Just for fun.
No prizes except possibly a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Neither Bird Nor Beast

A flying rainbow:



Not often I see anyone kite flying these days.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Wet and White

The usual result after 30mm, so far, of rain since it started last night:


During the afternoon I had spotted a flash of white on this Collared Dove. At first it seemed to be at the end of one tail feather and I wondered whether it had been perched under a Wood Pigeon:


After a good long look I think it is actually a white feather:



Not sure whether it had had the other tail feathers plucked or maybe it was in the process of moulting.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Friday at the Flicks - Bird Table Visitors

Enjoying the remains of a suet cake:

Starling, a pair of Great Tits and a Robin.

It shouldn't be too long before the first youngsters arrive. Recently I have noticed a male Blackbird with a beak full of Sunflower hearts and a female Blackbird collecting spiders from the lawn.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Spotted at Dusk

Spotted in more ways than one:


 It was very nearly 8 p.m. when I spotted this spotty Song Thrush hunting round the back garden.


On occasion I have noticed a pair under the seed feeders but it has always been too dark for photography.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Monday Mystery - Guess What


Well, I've done it again. I though last week's mystery photo would be relatively easy, especially for computer operators though maybe not for laptop users. It was a close view of a computer mouse - easy now you can see the whole thing:

DSCN6105    DSCN6111

Right, let us see how you get on with this object photographed on a walkabout yesterday which I processed as a tiny planet to disguise it.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
No prizes except maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Some You Win, Some You Lose

I tried converting about 500 of the time lapse still photos of the apple to video. Unfortunately the lighting is very variable. I'm not sure yet what the cause is but am working towards having external power to one of my Speedlight type flash guns to see whether that will give better results. The Speedlights do have a socket for an external power input but it only charges the lighting circuit. They still needs batteries in place to power the electronics. The only way to have everything powered externally is to route the voltage through the battery compartment. Theoretically an easy task by making a couple of dummy batteries to carry the wiring to the bottom of the compartment. Another job for the Round Tuit pile.

On a brighter note it is 13 years since I had a major cancer op. I don't think I will ever forget the night before the op. Although I went through all the extensive pre op preparations there was no certainty it would go ahead the next day unless a bed space could be guaranteed in the intensive care ward as I would have to spend three days there before being returned to the normal ward. Since then I have had regular check-ups at the local hospital. Last Thursday was the latest. It was really great to told I was being discharged from their care as after 13 years being clear it was very unlikely to return.

For about a fortnight I have been receiving bounce emails when I comment on other blogs. This seems to be a change in the way Gmail and Yahoo pass mail to each other. Originally I signed up to Blogger with a Yahoo address so I have changed that to a Gmail one hoping that things will revert back to normal. The comments I made were published OK but it stopped people receiving a copy by Gmail if that was the way they kept a track on comments being made.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Friday at the Flicks - Blackbird Singing at Dusk

As mentioned yesterday this was the first time I tried out a more effective wind shield and even on the couple of occasions when the breeze turned blustery it was hardly picked up by the microphone. Unfortunately no shield can cut out the sound of traffic and local lawn mowers.

I have yet to see how it behaves in stronger windy conditions.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Silencing the Wind

When filming outdoors I use a small shotgun type microphone on the 70D.
This one I bought from China:


It is supplied with a foam wind shield which doesn't work very effectively, if at all, to suppress wind noise in blustery conditions:


The best type of wind shield is a fluffy one which breaks up the wind but still allows the sounds you want to reach the microphone. I bought a cheap one to try out and fitted it over the foam:


A couple of days ago I was filming a Blackbird singing at dusk. There wasn't much wind but  a couple of times there was a short blustery outburst. The fluffy shield coped well with that as you can hear, or not hear, on the video tomorrow.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Wordless Wednesday

phalaenopsis orchid

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Tadpoles by the Score

The great majority of the frog spawn in the garden pond has now disappeared and in its place are scores of tiny tadpoles:



I wonder just how many of these will grow and mature to join the other frogs in the garden.
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