Skip navigation

Category Archives: Miscellaneous

“Fissure” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/8, 1/80s, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Architecture’ Filter

Well, it’s time for another one of Scott’s Photo Assignments and for this go around¬†the challenge is Abstract Photography. I generally do not go out looking to take abstract photos but occasionally, they do find me. ūüôā

All but the last two photos were taken today. With not alot of color around these parts and very few flowers to be had, I looked for subject matter outside my norm and concentrated on form, light and texture. The last two images I pulled from the archives since otherwise, they probably would never have seen the light of day.

Can you guess what they are? (Answers will be posted tomorrow).
 

“Wired” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/200s, ISO 200, Selective Toning

 

“Rusted” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/8, 1/125s, ISO 200

 

“Grilled” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/80s, ISO 200, Colors Inverted

 

“Inprismed” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.2, 1/100s, ISO 100

 

“Rosebud” (??) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/7.1, 1/100s, ISO 200

 

“I.C.U” (??) Canon Powershot SX40 HS, 27.3mm, F/4.5, 1/15s, ISO 1600

 

“One Red, Two White, Three Black” (??) Nikon Coolpix P7100, 42.6mm, F/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 100

If you are looking for that fantastic¬†‘it’s almost spring’ craft project all your feathered friends are sure to love, then LOOK NO FURTHER! ūüėÄ

"Eat Close to Home" (Edible Birdhouses) Nikon D300, 52mm, F/7.1, 1/125s, -0.7EV, ISO 640, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong 'Puffer' Diffuser, -1.3EV

How adorable are these??! 

"I Heart Birdfeeding" (Edible Birdhouses) Nikon D300, 95mm, F/6.3, 1/200s, +0.3EV, ISO 640

Simple wooden birdhouses, coated with an easy-to-make, non-toxic, edible glue (see recipe below), then adorned with various seeds, cracked corn, nuts, dried fruit, leaves, sprigs, etc., become feasts for the eyes as well as the birds.

"Rise & Dine" (Edible Birdhouses) Nikon D300, 170mm, F/6.3, 1/160s, ISO 640

This was a really fun¬†and fairly quick project. Great¬†for kids, too. (Oh, and since I had a little glue left over I decided to coat some pinecones as well. Hey, every new cul-de-sac needs some landscaping, doesn’t it? ūüėČ )

Let’s take a look at some of the finer architectural details…

"Fruit & Nut Villa" (Edible Birdhouse) Nikon D300, 170mm, F/6.3, 1/200s, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong 'Puffer' Diffuser, -1.7EV

 
Our first house boasts clean lines and stuccoed walls embedded with a high-quality seed mix containing millet, cracked corn, sunflower hearts and white sunflower seeds.  

The wonderfully patterned roof provides just the perfect¬†touch of color certain to attract the yard’s most sophisticasted of songbirds. ūüėČ

A bit of peanut butter (the natural kind with as much oil taken out as possible Рyou want it on the dry side) mixed into the non-toxic glue ensures a solid hold for dried cranberries, blueberries, pistachios and hazelnuts.

"Skylight Villa" (Edible Birdhouse) Nikon D300, 135mm, F/6.3, 1/100s, ISO 640, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong 'Puffer' Diffuser, -1.7EV

 
Next up,¬†another¬†villa with similar features to the first but with pistachio nut roof trim and the addition of two pretzel skylights. Neat! ūüôā

 
Last, but not least, is our cozy, one-room cottage, sporting a picket fence, pretzel windows and black oil sunflower seed heart.

(To create details like the heart, I simply placed a metal cookie cutter on the house after it was smothered with a thick coat of glue. Next, I filled the area inside with black oil sunflower seeds then coated the area outside with a contrasting mix of cracked corn and sunflower hearts). 

"Sweetheart Cottage" (Edible Birdhouse) Nikon D300, L:(120mm, F/7.1, 1/160s, ISO 400), R:(130mm, F/5.6, 1/160s, ISO 640)

(Click to view larger)

The black oil sunflower detail is continued all along the roofline while a fresh juniper berry sprig tied off with a piece of red raffia provides the finishing touch.

So, there you have it folks. Yes, I do realize, this is the best these birdhouses will look once word gets out in the critter community. In a most likely feeble attempt to discourage the squirrels, we hung the houses from long strings on the outer edges of single, lighter-weight¬†branches. But, if I know our squirrels, they’ll figure out a way to get to these tasty treats. Doesn’t really matter to me…for one, Milkay’s Animal Kingdom¬†has always been¬†an ‘equal opportunity’ environment; and two, I can always construct more. ūüôā

"Tweet Treats" (Edible Birdhouses) Nikon D300, L:62mm, R:90mm, F/6.3, 1/125s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in Fill Flash w/Gary Fong 'Puffer' Diffuser, -1.3EV

(Click to view larger)

 
Non-toxic Edible Glue for Bird Seed Houses

Materials

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Small saucepan
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • Small bowl

 
Directions

  1. Mix water, corn syrup, and vinegar in saucepan.
  2. Bring to a full, rolling boil.
  3. In bowl, mix cornstarch with cold water.
  4. Add this mixture slowly to the hot mixture, stirring constantly until the mixture returns to a boil.
  5. Boil for 1 minute then remove from heat.
  6. When cooled, pour into an airtight container and let stand overnight. Stir well before using.

 
Store glue in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You might have to warm a bit in the microwave (20 second pulse) then stir to use.

Just kidding! ūüôā

Although¬†I’m definitely a fan of the mouse, I’m not so far gone as to think an animated character is qualified¬†to lead the free world. But,¬†if I think about the current list of presidential candidates, eh, we could do worse. ūüėČ

While perusing the shelves at “The Yankee Peddler” in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, I became fascinated with the rows of trinkets for sale and how the items appeared as little soldiers in some sort of bizarre¬†mouse army.

“Ice, Ice Mickey” (Mickey Mouse Pepper Mills, The Yankee Peddler, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World, Florida), Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 13.8mm, F/4, 1/20s, ISO 1000, Photoshop CS4 Inverted

Back home, I decided the resulting images could use a tiny bit of creative assistance which was easily achieved via Photoshop CS4. For the first photo, I simply inverted the colors to transform what were once rows of Mickey Mouse Pepper Mills into glowing glass sculptures in blue and white.

“Pop Art Mickey” (Best of Mickey Mouse Kitchen Timers, The Yankee Peddler, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World, Florida), Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 13.8mm, F/4, 1/25s, ISO 800, Photoshop CS4 Posterized, Level 2

Since the colors¬†and composition of the¬†Mickey Mouse Kitchen Timers were already reminiscent of pop art,¬†I decided to¬†simplify things even more by ‘posterizing’ – which essentially means, converting a normal photograph into an¬†image consisting of distinct, but flat, areas of different tones or colors.

Luckily, this effect isn’t as difficult as it sounds and only required¬†a single¬†click of the mouse ( ūüėČ ) and a slider adjustment to achieve.

Oh, why can’t selecting our next president be as¬†easy? ūüôā

 
One year today (and counting!!)

“I Heart Muscles” (Female Form with Fitness Equipment) Nikon D300, 20mm, F/6.3, 1/25s, ISO 640, Built-in iTTL Flash with Gary Fong ‘Puffer’, -0.3EV

Hooray! ūüėÄ

%d bloggers like this: