Friday, January 30, 2009

Furry PhotoHunt

Find other PhotoHunters at TnChick's place. Stop by there and tell TnChick thanks for the fun.

Squirrels always seem to be having so much fun, waving their furry tails as they go about their business.

These guys were found in various trees at various parks at home and on trips.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hopline Sky View

After the hop harvest was completed a few months ago, there were lots of bits of twine remaining on the trellises.
The weather is so changeable these last few weeks. From frozen fog and snow to glorious days like this one, no two days in a row are the same.

Skywatch homepage is here.

What I found at my feet on that walk is here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Instructor's comments

Well, when I got my disc back I found out that he does not put any written comments--only a number between one and ten, which is his grading scale. So I will try to remember the comments made in class when we looked at the photos together. (The photos will enlarge if you click them--some more than others, and they are also located in larger form at these posts--scenic and macro.)

On the ski lift picture, he liked the way it faded into the fog, and the fact that I included what others might avoid--the snow piled up from plowing. He did think I might have gotten a better shot if I had moved further to th right. I remeber why I hadn't--other than the lame excuse that I didn't have the right shoes for it. There was a big truck unloading kegs of beer onto a snowcat to go up to the lodge. Of course, that might have been a good picture in itself. He gave this photo a 9.

A picture from the student before me had a wide expanse of empty sky, and the instructor suggested cropping it out since there wasn't anything interesting going on there. His remark, similar to others he has made, "Now if an eagle had flown by...). So when this one opened up on the screen I said, "Didn't find any eagles to fly through the frame...".

He sstill suggested that I could crop a bit off the left top corner. I had tried and didn't like it. He had some other suggestions about moving in closer and repositioning. Some of these aI had actually done, but did not like the light poles and didn't want to get run over. He gave this one a 7.
Or maybe this was the one he gave a 9--he graded two of the three, and I'm not totally positive which he called #1 and which #2. Again the way the lift fades out was a positive about this one. I rather like it better than the first.


No for the macros--I will probably remember better since it was only yesterday afternoon. Most of the students did things like a ring or toy car. I had tried to set some things up, but they just seemed forced. I like photos to happen--and of course, they are happening all the time. Just not necessarily the ones you need for a particular assignment when the assignment is made.

He liked how well the arbed wire contrasts agains the background. He commented that this is how a macros should be--the focus on the item and the background out of focus. He commented on how the ice crystals stood out jsut clearly enough.
He was somewhat intrigued by this one, especially when I told him the size of the mushrooms. He suggested that I crop some off of the right side. I had already cropped it quite a bit, which contributed to the visual "noise" in the dark shadow. It is not as apparent in the small version here, but is pretty obvious when on the screen in front of the class. He had some suggestions for compensating for that if it were printed.
My friend here got quite a rise--almost as much as one girl's brother's tarantula. I had focus problems when I took this, and I knew it. I took several at the time--I think that is a key in the circumstances. The comment was that he looks like he is coming right into your camera. Everyone liked this.

I forget what was said about this, other than that it looked like something out of Dr. Seuss. Oh, there was something about underexposing it a bit to get more definition in the snow crystals. I may go back and take another look at the original. I had brightened it a bit, and that seems like the opposite of his suggestion.

No scores on these as this was jsut the class discussion.

The next assignment will be action. Oh, dear.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

ABC Wednesday--B is for ...

I was looking into my travel folders for some Bs, but then got sidetracked by my Dad's album.

B is for BEARS
These pictures were taken at Yellowstone in 1929. They had such a casual attitude toward the bears. I can't even imagine.

In the 1960s, I rode through Yellowstone with my folks. We came upon a traffic jam, and what causes traffic jams in Yellowstone? Bearwatching. In this case it was a mama bear with two cubs. And, oh-oh, the cubs were on one side of the road and mama was on the other.
Now one of the biggest warnings about encountering bears or any wild animal is "Do not get between a mother and its young!" And here were a whole stream of cars in that very position.
Mama Bear gave the kids a signal, and they were very well trained. Up the nearest tree they went. Cub One scooted up his tree, a sturdy pine with a trunk about a foot in diameter. He made it to safety twenty or thirty feet up and waited. He was the smarter brother.
Cub Two headed quickly for the nearest tree and scooted right up.
To the top.
Since this was a very young sapling, the top was about twelve or fifteen feet above the ground.
At least it was until it had a young bear in it.
Once Cub Two made it to the top, the top made it in a nice arch to the ground.
How have you interpreted the letter B? To see others, go check out the ABC site, and be sure to give Mrs. Nesbitt a "Hi and thanks." She started us out on the ABC Wednesday trail a year and a half ago.
Those travel Bs will find their way into another ABC post some time. And for our more recent encounter with a Bear, have a look back here last summer.

Macro Assignment

These are the photos that I will probably submit for my macro assignment in the photography class today. I invite critique.

The assignment is two photos, but last time I turned in three. This time was even harder to decide.

( These mushrooms were the size of a pin-head. On some of them you can actually see the stem.)

I should have the instructor's comments on last week's assignment later.
Since this could qualify as Twofer Tuesday, I will link you here to Jonna's site where she promotes pairs of photos on Tuesdays.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Odd Shots on Monday

Click the Odd Shots Camera Logo in my sidebar for all the details of what Odd Shots is about. Tell us here in a comment if you have an Odd Shot posted, so that we can find it and see what is odd in your neighborhood.

This is my odd shadow on our hike yesterday.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Winter Hike

Sunday's Psalm--Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice
and teaches the humble his way.
Teach me your ways, O Lord.

Psalm 25: 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

--Paradise snow, Mt. Rainier, May 6, 2007
--crossing White River, Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park
--old water tower, Rubel's Castle, Glendora CA
--fall leaf
--trail, Mt. Rainier
--sparrows, patio of Mission Inn, Riverside CA

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I didn't think I had a photo for today's PhotoHunt theme of chipped, but I remembered that the other day I was practicing taking macros shots and realized that one of these old old coins was chipped. You wouldn't think a coin would get chipped, would you? But these are very old.
These were gifts from a friend we visited in another country. They were found by him when he was a boy and would look for things when hiking along the river near where he lived. The large one is dated 1809 and the smaller one 1731 or 1781. The chipped one does not have a readable date.
TnChick's site at is where to go to find the Photo Hunters for the day.


It's Sunday already in Australia and guess who got interviewed for David's Sunday Roast post.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Bluest Skywatches You've Ever Seen are in Seattle

We went to the top of the hill and looked one direction...
...then we looked the other way.
Find other Skywatchers here.

Photos for class

So here are the three photos I submitted for the first assignment in my photography class--outdoor scenic.
I invite you to critique them. It will be interesting to see what others think and compare to the instructor's comments.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Benefits of being older

I think I have children older or at least nearly as old as the instructor.

I know I have a grandchild older than most of my classmates.

If you are 60 or older, the next time you get a copy of the quarter's class schedule from your local community college, check the index for "seniors."

The way it works at ours is that a senior citizen can get a Gold Card which entitles them to audit up to two classes in any quarter for $5 plus $1 per credit and lab fees. My photography class is costing me $21.50 ($13.50 of that is apparently lab fees for access to the computer lab.)

Being an auditor means that I can participate in everything, but do not have to take exams and I don't get credits. At my age and circumstances, what do I need with credits?

Next quarter I am thinking of taking drama.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ABC Wednesday--Beginning again with A is for...

without which we would not be starting a fourth round of ABC Wednesday .
Visit Denise and the dedicated site to find the details. There is no Mr. Linky this week as Mr. Linky is undergoing some renovations.
Did you learn as a child that the alphabet had both "Upper Case" letters and "Lower Case" letters? Did you ever wonder what that was all about?
Well, have a look here at the "case" in which a printer would keep the bits of type in little sections. The capital letters were in the upper cases, the small letters were kept in the lower cases. Hence--upper and lower case. (Sorry for the burn-out in this picture. The sun was shining very brightly in that spot.)
This type case went with this antique but still functioning printing press which we saw at Rubel's Castle last summer...
...which bears some resemblance to this antique printing press we saw in a museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, ten years ago....
...which might have used type similar to this (which was probably kept in a type case) which printed a few lines of a small town Siberian newspaper in the Cyrillic alphabet.
The story behind the Cyrillic alphabet newspaper type: In the remote town we visited, we were the first American tourists. Our hosts, whom we had met online, took us to visit all the sites of their town, and in each place we were given a gift. This was the gift of the newspaper, where we were interviewed about our trip. It later became a bit of a liability, as every time I went through the X-ray at an airport, I had to explain it to someone with whom I had no common language.
Here is a sign in Russian--in the Cyrillic alphabet. It is at the gateway to the Stolby National Park. The C = an English S, the Л sounds like an L, the Б is a B, the bl is one letter and sounds like a final Y. So: Stolby. The language is very phonetic. Each of the 31 letters has only one sound, and you can sound words out easily if you know the code.

Here are some other souvenirs with the Cyrillic alphabet on them:
Salt, pepper, and sugar from the airlines:

and plastic shopping bags.

During the four weeks we were in Russia, I mastered enough of the Cyrillic alphabet that we were able to find our destination on a timetable, choose a bus or subway line and find our stop, identify certain kinds of stores, and choose a few simple things from a menu.
Two summers later, I traveled to India for four weeks with a group of teachers. English is one of the official languages of India, but in the area where we were, there were many more people who spoke Hindi and Tamil.

You can see an example of the alphabet used there in this Pepsi sign.
I asked one of the Christian Brothers with whom we were working how many letters there were in this alphabet. He thought a moment and then replied "256." That was when I knew that I would not be sounding out any words in Tamil or Hindi.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Odd Shots goes to play

...and early, at that. Well, since it is here, I will leave it. Unpublishing is so complicated.
For those who favor Mr. Linky, my apologies. Mr. Linky has forbidden me from accessing his site. I presume it is a general snafu that is happening to others. If it is not, is it something I said? I honestly apologize, Mr. Linky. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.


In the meantime, If you want to play Odd Shots this week, just leave a comment on this post so others can find you. (If you have multiple blogs, please direct us to the right one. It really is exasperating to come to a profile and find a dozen blogs listed and not know where to go to see your Odd Shot.) Beyond that, the Odd Shot details are linked in my sidebar.


And now, your feature presentation:

If you want some fun shots, just go climb around on the playground sometime. Snow is optional, but adds a special touch, don't you think? Our snow is gone though, and frigid fog and my back have kept me mostly indoors this last week, so this shot is a leftover from last month. If it looks familiar, I did use it in my Yakima Valley Daily Photo blog.

If you are having trouble figuring it out, here is a side view.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sunday's Psalm--Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.

Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears ope to pbedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, "Behold I come."
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

"In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!"
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announce your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Psalm 40: 2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

--The Castle Crags, California
--bell, Mission Inn, Riverside California
--Tonto Bridge State Park, Arizona
--summer campfire
--Newspaper Rock, Utah
--waterfowl, Gastineau Sound, Alaska