Saturday, August 27, 2011

Portrait Studio - Sitka & Sake

Today I wanted to get a good photo of our houseguests before they go home. Trying to take pictures with five dogs milling around was complete chaos!

Sitka in the chair, everyone else wondering how to get in on the treat action...

Navi in the chair, Sake peeking in...

My assistant bravely risked his fingertips to try and help get them in position.

Hmm, not bad, if they weren't both so white. Can't tell where one dog ends and the other begins...

Looking everywhere except the camera...

Blurry! Sit still!

Perfect!

And then Barclay snuck up for a shot.
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Friday, August 26, 2011

Playing in the water

It was a hot day, so this afternoon I pulled out the little water fountain and set it on low. Navi sat with the fountain between her paws and growled at anyone who got too close :)


Eventually she let Sake come play too...




 Sake got good and wet

Barclay stayed dry far away from the fountain

Sitka only got a little wet, mostly from wrestling with the wet dogs!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Urban photography

I love looking at urban photography, but I'm not sure what I'm looking for yet so it's hard to do myself. Whenever we go into town I like to sneak in a little photography if I can.

Don't see many like this in downtown Vancouver.


While wandering down the path between two condos I spotted a cloud reflected in this bench and thought it would make a nice picture of Smith Tower. I wish there wasn't all that junk in the middle though.


I liked the shadow thrown by this bike rack.


Back at the theater, I set the camera up on the light booth and took a long exposure of the empty auditorium. I particularly liked the diffraction spikes coming off the ghost light.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dave's Leverage episode

Dave has been doing some work as an extra on Leverage, which is filmed over in Portland. He put together a bunch of screenshots of the episode he was in,  '"The Boiler Room" Job'. He's in a blue jacket, in the backgrounds. It's fun to play 'spot the Dave' when the episode first airs! He's got a good extra part in another episode coming up later this year.


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Eskimo Games

We have houseguests staying with us for the next week...

 Navi, Sitka, Barclay, Sake & Jack (love that look on Jack)



I love having these guys over, even if it is a little extra work. They all have so much fun together!

Sake & Barclay

Navi & Jack

Jack about to bite Barclay (I think) in the pantaloons!


Sake, Barclay and Navi - I think!

Navi & Barclay

Sake & Sitka watch while Barclay holds Navi down!

They're so much fun to take pictures of!

And they're so graceful looking with their fluff blowing as they run...

 Navi

 Barclay

Sake

Glad we got all this out of the way early, it's going to be hot today! I think they'll be inside with the AC on until this afternoon when it cools off again.

Barclay stays cool in the shade...

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Doubt

Our theater company is doing a one-night-only staged reading o the play Doubt, and they asked me to come photograph it. This turned out to be more challenging than I expected, because the lighting wasn't particularly bright, and everyone was wearing black against a black background (it was a minimalist set). But my new understanding of camera settings allowed me to compensate pretty well. The only thing I didn't understand was why the black robes came out looking red/brown.


I am usually pretty reluctant to move around too much because I don't want to disturb the actors (this was a final dress rehearsal), but I moved around the theater during the performance and tried getting shots from different angles, just for fun and visual interest.

I took almost all the pictures at 1/25 sec exposure, f8 for good depth of field, and ISO 1600. This allowed me to get many good shots, with a few discarded for being blurry. I took about 450 shots! Trying to make sure I got a few good ones in there.

Of course my favorite shots were ones that weren't part of the play. Like the Director, Matt, onstage before the play while they were practicing lighting cues.


And one of the actors, Tony, came out and found himself left hanging because the actress who was supposed to be out there was having a costume problem off stage, so he was stuck waiting a few minutes while trying to stay in character.


I like this shot with the lights above.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yard work

I should have taken a before picture, but once I get it in my head to get to work, I dive right in! Today we spent about three hours working in the yard. Dave used the string trimmer to knock down the weeds around the chicken run, I took the loppers and the sawzall and trimmed low hanging branches off the cherry tree and cut down all the volunteer saplings coming up in that area. We went and pulled up tansy that was coming up around the hidden areas of the yard. Then Dave went and sprayed round-up on the blackberry bushes. This is supposed to be the perfect time of year to spray them, and they will take it into the ground and kill the stuff underground - we'll see, I'm a bit skeptical about it! The blackberries are so hard to kill, and they come up all over the place, I sure would like to see them gone. I'm trying so hard to catch up all around the yard, and this year I feel like I'm winning!

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

First canning session of the year

I pulled out the turkey fryer (electric water-bath canner) and got ready for a marathon canning session today. I found a bucket of pickles out in the garden!


Some were really big, and some were just in the 3-4 inch size. I decided to slice up the little ones into spears for dills, and slice up the big ones into chips for sweet pickles.

8 pints of quick pack kosher dills...


And 8 pints of sweet pickle chips - yum! I was down to just one jar left from last year, so the timing was perfect!


Then we went to visit a friend who has a blueberry farm! We all chatted and picked a bush clean, and came back with a bucket-full of delicious blueberries. 12 quarts! I cleaned some and put them in the freezer, and more went in the fridge, and then I mashed some up for jam.


This may have been the most work I did all day!


 Ah, the fruits of my labor - filling the pantry until next season!

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Garden Update

Well, it's been a long cool summer here, with frequent cloudy days and surprise rain showers. That has led to a late planting window, followed by an invasion of slugs like I have never seen before. Every year I learn something new about gardening, and I think this year I learned to just relax and let it go, because whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and there's only so much you can do when you're fighting mother nature!


In the background you can see the neighbor's humongous shop, still in progress! This view shows the stuff that's doing most of the growing this year. Big healthy cucumber plants, and tomato plants, and some good sized herbs and onions.

This row is mostly onions and leeks, and a couple broccoli plants hanging in there. Mostly invasive grass and weeds I've been fighting all summer.

Big squash plant, but I'm having a hard time getting any squash off it because the slugs start munching on them before they are ready. I need to get out there and prune it back. In front you can see my very yellow parsley plant. I was puzzled, because just last week I went out and clipped some parsley off it for dinner, and I was really happy with how it looked. Looking closer, I see there are holes under it and some critter has clearly burrowed under it and killed it! Give me a break!

This row has two pickling cucumber plants, and a volunteer chives in the very front. I found a lot of cucumbers under those leaves, but I'll save that for another post.

I stepped past the next two rows to shoot them from the other side, because those are my 7 tomato plants. They are pretty large, and seem to be growing fine, but they are loaded with green tomatoes. No telling if they'll turn red (or yellow), but we'll wait and see. I have a feeling I'll be canning green tomato salsa again this year.

The only tomatoes turning ripe are these black cherry tomatoes, and only a few of them.

Although this isn't garden, it's my pasture, and it looks beautiful. We had a neighbor come spray it with WeedMaster this year to kill the invasive weeds, and it looks like it did the trick. Dave mowed it last week and found more grass growing where there used to be lots of weeds. They aren't gone, but their numbers are down!

The hill looks really good. It usually is very scrubby and covered with daisy, but it looks very grassy now.

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