It snowed in Maple Grove, MN this last Saturday 11/19. Really nice that the snow held off this year because it gave me a chance to finish some outdoor projects. Two bigger projects were sanding and sealing our deck and building a large firewood rack. There were also many smaller projects: trimming the bushes, staking our Honey Crisp apple tree, driveway sealed and cracks filled and many other small outdoor projects. I’m also excited to report that I changed the transmission fluid on my car by myself; first time ever. The car also got a nice coat of wax, so it should be all ready for the winter.
I took a few photos with my film APS camera the last two months. Most of them were family photos, but I have a few to show below.
This photo is looking down the hiking and horse path in the northern section of Elm Creek Park Reserve, not too far east from the parking on French Lake Road.
Ash tree leaves in our backyard on the ground.
My Honey Crisp apple tree. Planted summer 2010. Early in the year it was full of apples on all the small branches and all the way up to the very top. I ended up cutting off all but four of the apples so it wouldn’t be overloaded.
Made the pictures a little wider this time to fill the entire space. Now to mess with the blog software to make the space even bigger.
September 25th 2011 was a great day. Weather was perfect. The clouds evenly distributed themselves over the entire sky. The wind carried the clouds briskly enough that the sun poked through every minute or so.
The leaves on the Sumac trees have changed colors already. I’m looking forward to all the Maple trees turning red and orange soon.
Welcome everyone to the New Year! I hope you were able to celebrate in your own way and have found successes last year and things to look forward to in the up and coming year.
I’m happy that I started exploring new opportunities with my camera last year, made it up to the North Shore with my home-made tent and just in general had a very busy but good time. There are many more excursions and adventures written down on my to do list for this year, and I’m super excited to start working on them. May we all have a wonderful 2011!
A few of my favorite pictures from 2010 that standout in my mind:
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a wonderful 2009, and are ready for 2010. 2010 should be an excellent year.
To make this post more complete, I’m going to give a few more details on why the background of this image looks the way it does. Out of focus areas on images turn blurry. This blurriness in the background is most apparent on consumer cameras if you focus on something really close to the camera – like a single item that fills most of the picture. If there is anything bright in the background like lamps, Christmas tree lights, or shiny objects reflecting the suns light, they will turn into bright round circles(called bokeh). The circle shape is due to the fact that the hole that the light passes through in the lens is roundish – on some lenses it may look like a pentagon. On consumer cameras this effect is very subtle and normally the background is visible and slightly softer than the item you focused on.
The bright Christmas lights in the background of this picture look the way they do because I’m using a special lens which lets in tons of light and produced very large round out of focus areas. I’m taking advantage of this large out of focus area by placing a shape cut out in-front of my camera lens that the camera must photograph through, and the out of focus area takes on the characteristics of the shape(in this case a star).
I cut a circle out of black paper that fit just inside the front of my lens and then cut a star shape out of it. The star cut-out makes the out of focus lights from the tree in the background change from the normal large circle(like above) to the star shape. I haven’t tried this on a normal consumer point and shoot camera, but I’d hazard a guess that it just won’t work(the physics of light just are not on our side).
This should be enough details for the inclined to try getting this effect in your pictures. Though I’ll have to make a dedicated how-to on this subject later. Pester me by using the contact form if you really need more details, and would like me to hurry up on the blog post.
More technical details:
-You’ll want an SLR camera.
-A prime lens with a fast aperture. For example 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4
-Black paper, or white paper and a black marker. If you leave the paper facing the lens white it’ll make your images have a white cast and or be too bright.
-Time to mess around with the cut shapes and the sizes. The star I cutout was pretty small.