Saturday, December 31, 2011

The last post.... of 2011

 Playing with the 50mm lens and the tulip boquet.  Nancy brought a lovely boquet of tulips over Wednesday to our dinner party.  Lovely, thanks so much.  I think the dinner went well enough.
 More playing with the 50mm lens and the foot of my new teddy bear.  Loaded it to Megashot on JB
 This is something from 2006 shot in RAW on my old Canon Powershot A50.  Tweaked in Photoshop, RAW converter.  I kinda like how it turned out.  I tweaked it some more to get the background less dull and blurry.  Shall loaded to my megashot for the Deserts Community.
 This is a panorama from my new little Sony, downsized, of course... pretty much right out of the camera. 

I walked a couple of days ago, into the Park, with the intention of using my new little Sony, with the Carl Zeiss lens.  It seems to have pretty good color and sharpness.  I am learning how to set the functions on it, slowly.  Its a very fun new toy, and so light and easy to carry.
Our weather has been very mild.  We have had some rain and a bit of gusting wind, but that is to be expected this time of year.  The garden does not need much attention, now.  I should get out and add lime to the veggie garden and the grass.  Should put fertilizer spikes in for the fruit trees too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in the Park and garden

About the middle of the month I went to Walmart and purchased a Sony DSC W560 very compact digital.  It does sweep panoramas and stitches them in the camera.  I am just learning to use it, and have not found the time to do a panorama yet.  This is my new teddy bear shot at night.  This little camera has a Carl Zeiss lens.  I can set some high ISO with it.  Mostly, I wanted the panorama, but I think I am going to like some of the functions that allow me to shoot in different situations.  I need more time with this little goodie. 
This little tree along the walking trail in Panama Hills park has been decorated for Christmas the last few years.
The little holly tree is slowly growing.  It must be about 18 feet tall now.  It is loaded with berries this year.  In the front the tree has finally lost its leaves.  I have a bit of raking to do yet.

In the house the Tibochina shrub has decided to go into bloom.  The second photo seems to have a ghosting effect where the flower seems to be superimposed on its shadow... I have no idea what happened here.  I think I was using my 50 mm lens on the Canon Rebel.  The 50 mm would have had the UV filter on it for protection.  Whatever caused this.. I like it.  Would be nice to figure out how to duplicate it.  The African violets are blooming and only one orchid is now left in bloom.

I was working with the RAW converter on these photos from our trip down the Oregon coast and to the Grand Canyon.  At this time I was using my old Canon Powershot A50 that shoots in RAW format.  That RAW converter is really interesting to use.

We have been busy with house guests and the usual Christmas calls and cooking.  Although, we had a quiet Christmas day with the two of us for the Christmas duck dinner.  Tomorrow I make dinner for 6 . . it should be fun.  I think I have everything ready and can stop being antsy and enjoy it all.
We were to Art and Marlens's new home.  Its really very nice.  They are still unpacking and had their family and us over to brunch.  Was good to see Leslie and David, and the newest grandchild, Hannes.  Lily is her usual delightful self.  I can just imagine her grandmother being much the same sort of charming child.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Putting the garden to bed for the winter

These photos are from December 3.  The top one is a geranium leaf in its autumn colors.  I need to propagate  this plant.  It is a blue geranium and has this lovely autumn color.  The second photo is the moss garden.  I have all the leaves picked off it and it is growing nicely.  The last photo is the vegetable garden.  I have been raking the leaves in the front garden off of the hedges and small rock plants, putting them on the grass path and running over them with the lawn mower.  I put the mulched leaves on the vegetable garden and have added some fertilizer to the mix.  I should have some good leaf mold to dig into the garden in the spring.  You can see my few swiss chard plants that I hope will be producing good greens early in the spring.  I have no other winter vegetables this year. 
I got so much done today.  I finished the house cleaning.  Tom and Diane popped in for a visit and we had denver omelettes for lunch followed by tea and shortbread.  Was good to see them, if only for a couple of hours.
Later I raked the front leaves again.  This time I put the mulched leaves on the woodland garden area.  I clipped back some of the front perennials and the garden looks cleaner.  We have been having a very nice autumn, with only a few nights with light frost.  I hope the winter continues the same way.
Yesterday I spent a few hours looking back over my photos from a trip down the Oregon Coast and south, in February of 2006.  I was shooting with my old Canon Powershot A50 in RAW mode.  I have not really taken the time to look at these photos before because I could not easily see them.  Now I can more easily take each one to the RAW converter in Photoshop.  There are a few keepers.  Its great fun playing in the RAW converter, too. 
I have a few more photos of Dan's stuff to tweak for Bruce.  I am loading them to a Megashot gallery.  The day I was shooting was overcast and not very good for shooting.  Ah well, I got snaps of the way it all really looks and I guess that is what they want to see.  Used my dslr and the S3 IS.   Was good practice for me.
Last week I picked up a little Sony DSC W560 for $128.00 at Walmart.   This little camera does panoramas stitched in the camera.  Dan and Irene got a Nikon last week end that does a 360 panorama... more money.  Its going to be Irene's carry around camera.  I have yet to get my Sony operating... have been too busy with other stuff ... and so it goes.  'tis the season!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December - a very busy month

On Friday, the 9th, we walked on to the Coho to go to Port Angeles and on to visit Dan and Irene.  They have been back home for about a month, after their four month trip in their Airstream motorhome.  This is the inner harbour as we left at about 4:00 pm.
 This photo was taken with flash and looked terrible, until I took it to the RAW converter in photoshop.
Bruce asked Pat for a few photos of Dan's stuff.  So, I had a good excuse to spend a lot of time practicing with my dslr-- that is fairly new to me.  I am loading them to a gallery on my Megashot account that is for Pat's car stuff.  I cannot seem to make the galleries password protected yet.  Oh well, not many people go to that account.  I just send them the link to the gallery or photostream and it saves all the download time in their email.  I can send them individual photos or even prints if they want them.  Irene was speaking of making her photos into hard copy albums.  She is very creative and I am sure these photo albums, when she starts making them, will be treasures for them to keep.  She will be welcome to any of mine she wants.  Thanks Dan and Irene for a lovely week end.

On Thursday, before we left, I raked and mowed the leaves in the front; to get a lawn mower bag of mulched leaves that I put onto woodland area.  The vegetable garden has a good cover of leaf mulch for the winter with fertilizer added to it.

Last night we were out to the Casino.  The dining area does not have an extensive menu.  I had an ok cheff's salad.  After all the fine dining on the week end, I seem to have gained one pound.  I shall have to fast for days, if I am going to lose those three pounds this month!  We actually came home with about a hundred more dollars than we took into the casino, so that was rewarding.  :)

We had Wayne the handyman guy fix the peeling paint in the small bathroom.  Pat put up the new shower rod and stuff yesterday.  So, that is finished.  Next thing on my agenda is to do a good cleaning of the house and get some baking done for Christmas.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The light garden

This phalenopsis has been in bloom for at least a month.  It is too tall to fit on the light garden shelf and so sits beside the light garden.  Maybe this is why it is lasting so long... it might be cooler when it is not directly under the lights.
This one has opened into two fairly simple little flowers. 

This is the miniature cattalaya "Pixie".  It has 3 blooms this time.  Very showy,.  I am not getting good color under these lights.  I am shooting in RAW and the right white balance.   The African Violets were just too messy to add, but most of them are in bloom too.
One of the cactus.  It's color turned out not too bad.  All of the backgrounds are messy too.
More practice! 
On Saturday, we were out to the 6 mile pub with the Model T group.  The truck parade went right past the pub.  They were late and were going very fast.  I didn't get any photos of them that are worth saving.  I should have taken my camera with me on Sunday when we were out to lunch at the Cedar Hill Golf Club.  There were some nice views out over the Golf Course.
It is not winter, yet, but we have been having a rather nice bit of late Autumn weather.  There were a couple of over night freezes when I brought the humming bird feeder in and put out the feeder with the warm food.  We seem to have at least two Anna's humming birds that are visiting most of the day.  The front tree still has at least a third of its leaves attached.  So, it seems I will still be raking leaves at Christmas time. 
I am trying to do a walk every day.  So, between Megashot, walking, cooking, gardening, and reading, I don't seem to be getting much time with my photos.  I have made no progress on my old web page this year.  And have accomplished nothing in sorting out our travel bags into folders of pertinent stuff.  Some day we will downsize and everything will just get trashed and shredded, I suppose.