a new toy

I like my little Panasonic point and shoot camera, but it does have its drawbacks. When R came home with a new camera I was about equal parts excited and intimidated. It’s a Nikon D3100, which puts it right on the edge of having more capabilities than we could ever learn to use. The main thing that I wanted in a new camera was a viewfinder. I found it nearly impossible to control the framing of a shot without one. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it will do, but remember how I was bemoaning my inability to capture the texture of the Kalanchloe belhariensis?

Kalankhloe belhariensis close-up

Well, I think this just about does it.

old callicarpa

And when I took this shot of the Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’ berries in front of the red foliage of the Nandina the colors left something to be desired.

new callicarpa

Now I can focus on the berries and let the flaming leaves act as background. This is going to be fun! The old camera will still be tucked into purse or pocket for those times when I want to snap photos unobtrusively, but I am looking forward to experimenting with this new tool. I’ll let you in on new discoveries as they arise.

my daily walk

I try to take this walk every day (with the emphasis on “try”…sometimes life, or pure laziness, intervenes) and I thought you might like to come along.

Morgan Rd going down

The picture I took going down the hill was taken shooting directly into the sunlight. I knew it was bad practice, but the atmosphere it captures is pleasing to me.

Morgan Road coming up

When I turned around to come back up the hill the sun was at my back, so when I got to roughly the same spot, I took another photo for the sake of comparison. I would love it if you would tell me what you think.

Morgan Road sky

This was yesterday, and it looks to be the last sunny day for a while. How about that sky? The transitional period when the clouds are beginning to gather is so much more interesting, visually, than vast expanses of blue.

Jack ‘O Lantern

Pardon me for dragging out the Halloween theme, but this guy was too good to pass by. Neighbors plow up a field each spring and plant a humungous type of squash. This year the crop was punier than usual, and I never could get a good shot of them growing in the field, obscured by foliage. That’s a five-gallon bucket, dwarfed by Mr Jack, but he is about half the size of Jacks past.

No matter how many times we walk this hill, there always seems to be something new to notice. This time of year the road is littered with those furry black and orange caterpillars, which we scoop up and throw back into the woods for their own protection (anyone know what they become?). On Tuesday, we spied a nice big clump of Shaggy Mane mushrooms. The ID book claimed that they are considered by many connoisseurs to be the most flavorful of all. When I took a taste of it raw, it was pure texture at first but then it began to bloom in my mouth into a subtle, haunting woodsiness. Gently sauteing these gems in butter robbed them of that ghostly quality and rendered them nearly tasteless. There must be a larger lesson in there somewhere, but I have yet to puzzle it out.

photography ??? answered

Mike, over at greenpix came through with the goods. If you have been waiting for some simple, down-to-earth advice for getting good shots in high contrast situations, you will find it by following the above link. I plan to do some experimenting, and will share my results here. I would be happy to link to yours, too. Just leave a comment here, so I know where to send the curious.