Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The lady slipper

This lady slipper is in bloom now.  It is a pale yellow and the walls are also yellow.  I made this photo with my new camera and the 50mm lens in RAW and processed it with the Canon software.  Cropped it square and took it to adobe photoshop to add borders and a bit more sharpening when I downsized it..  I don't have the focus exactly where I want it, but I quite like this photo, anyway.  The orchid is a superb plant and has been blooming every year since I got it about 13 - 15 years ago.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


I spent the morning seeing the doctor, getting prescription, shopping the mall, and walking home.  Its about a mile walk.  It was coolish, but I was dressed warmly.

In the afternoon I managed to up date my Photography page on my web site, with the new camera .  The new page  After I completed this update, I got trapped on my Go.daddy blog, trying to figure it out and how to add things. This is a free "quick blog' that comes with my registration of domain and hosting space, with them.  There is nothing quick about this thing.  I finally got it to let me upload photos, but I could not do it again if I tried.

We had a fine supper tonite...salad, perogies, ham sausage, broccoli, picked peppers, and a fine cheese sauce that I made from scratch and what I thought would taste good.  It was delicious. 

While I was making dinner there was a lovely sunset at about 5.15.  I shot it in RAW and converted it, cropped a bit and resized. 

Monday, February 07, 2011

The 2010 Bay Bear

This is Morgan, the 2010 Bay Bear.  When we purchase a bear we are giving to a portion to charity.  I like to collect these teddy bears.  There were so many lovely bears in the stores this Christmas, but I only brought this one home with me.  This is another practice shot with the 50mm lens, processed in the Canon RAW converter. 
I spent most of the morning at the Mall, looking at camera bags, etc.  As I become more comfortable with this camera I am enjoying it more and more.  I am working on the update for the photography page of my web page.   This page is 5 years behind in making travel albums, as well as other albums.  

In the afternoon I managed to get some gardening done, before it started to rain lightly.  I pruned the apple tree and some of the fig tree.  Cut back both Jackamani clematis, and clipped two of the heathers.  There is still more perennial clean up to do.  I cleaned the filter on the pond pump and have the waterfall running again. 

Sunday, February 06, 2011

the new Canon camera

I spent most of the day learning about my new Canon Rebel 500d and learning to use its RAW converter software.  As I look at the RAW thumbnails beside the large Jpeg in this program I can see the difference. The jpegs look washed out beside the RAW.  Apparently the jpegs are compressed  RAW files.  The compression  is done in the camera, of course.  So, yes there is a huge advantage to shooting RAW.  The files are larger and have far more data. So, finally I understand that.
Something I cannot understand is this: 
Live View mode is only available, surprisingly, in the Rebel T1i's Creative zone modes, namely Program, Shutter, Aperture, Manual, and A-DEP. The order of these modes has been inverted on the Rebel T1i, starting with Live Mode, then Live Face Detect, and finally Quick mode. 
Also in the movie mode of course.

Otherwise, in the basic modes I need to use the view finder.  That is totally odd.  Its a good thing I hardly ever use the basic modes.  But I am going to take the camera down to London Drugs where I bought it, in the morning and just ask about it, to be sure, I have it right.  I would be happy to find that I am wrong! 

I need to learn how to add the extra ISO speeds and get more familiar with how to navigate.  Right now its just punch the buttons until I get to the thing I want to change.   I was shooting with the 50mm which is not IS.  But it works pretty good without IS. 

I have the above phalenopsis in bloom, as well as two more of my $12.00 orchids that I buy from the grocery store when they are on for half price.  My little ladyslipper is in bloom also.  There are a few violets in bloom also.

Today I made a beef tongue in the pressure cooker.  I added about a tablespoon of pickling spice, and cinnamon, a bay leaf, some celery seed, half a cup of chopped onion, a garlic clove, 2 cups of water, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup of sugar, salt and pepper.  The house was smelling wonderful from this combination of spices.  The tongue is delicious.  I should have taken it out of the cooker, sooner, though.  Its is very very soft... almost like butter. 

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy

A couple of days ago it was Chinese New Year.  Happy New Year!  The year of the rabbit is upon us!  The above photo is a cement rabbit in my garden.  All of the photos are from Feb. 15 last year.  I have not been able to find the time to get out and shoot just yet.  But, the first crocuses are up; the hellebores are starting, and the snowdrops are in bloom, too.  The best little cyclamen along the old cement path by the garage as above is blooming beautifully too.  The magnolia has buds and the first few camillias are open.  I really need to get out and clean up the perennials and prune the roses.  We have had warm weather and some rain.  We are so fortunate compared to all the 'weather' other countries, even other parts of our country, are experiencing. 

The Vancouver Island Rock and Alpine gardening group are holding a Study weekend at Sidney, on Feb. 25, 26 and 27.  There are workshops, talks, open gardens, and more.  If you wish to attend please see the registration form here:  
This looks like it is going to be very interesting. 
I have been so busy lately, it seems.  I am trying to learn the settings on my new camera.  Trying to keep up with Megashot, but am falling terribly behind.  Our membership is growing, there are photoshop classes, questions in the forums, and so much to do.  I have not had time to even look at the critique forum.  ah well... it will all be there tomorrow.  Cyrus is making videos of the Megashot / Facebook challenges, and the Megashot Contests and putting them up on You Tube.  He has 39 of them done, including the help for getting started for  new accounts.  This link should get you to his You Tube account with all the videos listed. Enjoy.
There has been some good eating around our house lately, as well.  I make soup every second day, or so.  I am making interesting and good meals for our dinner.  I have also been reading a few of Phillipa Gregory's books on the time of Henry the VIII.  Nasty times in England.  And there are equally nasty times in Egypt and northern Africa, right now too.... much like the political troubles in Iran.  There seems to be a huge power struggle happening in the Muslim world right now.