2014—Dirty Chai

I was introduced to, and fell in love with, Dirty Chai Lattés at Famous Mo’s Coffeehouse & Theater. Because I now have my own espresso machine at home, I can indulge in my obsession with this wonderful libation any time I choose. A dirty chai latté, if you’re not familiar with it, is a chai (sweetened black tea infused with herbs and spices) latté (in my case made with nonfat milk) with a double shot of espresso added. It’s an afternoon pick me up with a double whammy, caffeine from the tea and from the espresso. Making them gives me a chance to practice pulling shots, frothing milk, and drawing designs in the froth.

When I decided to make one this afternoon, I thought I’d photograph the design made with the espresso in the froth, a simple leafy pattern which is about all I can manage for now. Since the macro lens was already on the camera from the prior day’s macro shots of the seashell, I decided to do macro shots. I processed this in Perfect Effects 8, adding a ghost border and intensifying the color of the espresso.

Day 150-7-Edit

2014—Bottoms Up

I decided to photograph my 3/4 inch sundial shell again to see if I had improved my macro focusing skills. I’m not sure my eye has improved any; I did better on my first try than I remembered, though. After taking a few shots, I looked at the underside of the shell and decided it was every bit as interesting as the top. But, after downloading the photos, I found them to be very mundane so I transferred to Perfect Effects Black and White and tried various filters and effects. Then I returned to Lightroom and moved sliders around. I ended up with a decidedly 3-D effect. I have absolutely no idea what I did and it is unlikely that I could duplicate my efforts today, but I like the end result.

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2014—The Bicycle Thief

The bicycle is gone; all that’s left is its shadow, and the shadow appears to be heading down hill in pursuit of its origin.

I was so taken by the morning shadow of this bicycle locked to a lamp post on the patio of my gym that I hopped off the treadmill, grabbed my camera, and ran out to photograph it. My original thought was that the bicycle and the shadow together made an interesting photograph but despite photographing it from several angles, not a single one of the shots I took was good…until I rotated the shot 90° to feature the shadow and cropped out the bicycle almost completely. I used one of the “film noir” filters in Silver Efex Pro to emphasize the stark contrasts, turning it to a grainy, black and white, high key photograph.

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2014—Mon Petit Chou

I was in the yard with my long lens and D7100 at mid afternoon because I saw a white butterfly flitting around the lavender…a different white butterfly than visited the lavender the other day. It was a Pieris rapae (thank you Google), or Small Cabbage White Butterfly. I got two shots, one blurry and one not, so I’m featuring the “one not.” The title of this post, “mon petit chou” is probably my one and only chance ever to use this phrase of affection that I learned in French Class in high school. It literally means “my little cabbage.”

Focal Length 180; ISO 100; f/5; 1/1000; rotated 90° because, as shot, it looks (and I guess, really is) upside down.

Day 146-2

2014—Urban Fragments

I spent the day sorting through clutter and papers that have accumulated so quickly that I really wonder if there ever could be a “paperless” society as was so optimistically predicted more than 30 years ago. At one point in my shredding, I knocked over the bin of paper shreds, spilling its contents onto the floor. When I looked at the pile I was surprised to see words and numbers that were actually meaningful. I realized I was shredding incorrectly. Who knew there was a right way and a wrong way to shred? Feed the paper in; the shredder cuts it up, right? Wrong. If the paper is fed with the information parallel to the blades, even with a cross-cut shredder, the information that I am trying to obliterate can, at some level and with some effort, still be read if anyone is predisposed to do so. I looked at the heap of paper shreds and decided there was a photograph in it somewhere. And, once again, what luck! A recent Flickr challenge was “urban fragments.” If my shredded papers aren’t urban fragments, nothing is!

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2014—Espresso Yourself

Since acquiring my incredibly wonderful espresso machine in January, I have been making mostly Americanos for myself—a double shot of espresso with hot water added. I drink strong black coffee so an Americano seemed perfect for me. But I have, after all, an expensive espresso machine, not a coffeemaker. So, after finding a set of espresso cups yesterday, this morning I finally took advantage of Vaneli’s truly remarkable Classic Cremosa flavor, described as a “sweet creamy body with dark chocolate notes and a cherry finish.” It is heavenly! The undiluted espresso is so much more intense and delicious. I can’t wait to try Vaneli’s Espresso Forte that pushes “the sweet dark chocolate notes to the foreground.”

Misc. Day 144-11

2014—Grilled

I continue to grill every day. Tonight’s dinner included three of my favorite things: grilled fresh wild caught King salmon, grilled asparagus, fresh from the Sacramento Delta, and mango, in this case, fresh from Haiti! Yum.

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2014—Red Tongue

I’m still working on the fly-tying pix and mid afternoon, I decided I needed a break from them. I went outside about 3PM with my D7100 and the 70-200mm lens and sat by the lavender. I decided I wanted to capture bees in flight and stop the motion of the wings. I can do it with hummingbirds but it’s not as easy with bees, I’m finding. The only shot I liked was one of a bee completely still on the lavender. But, I thought the red proboscis was fascinating. It’s kind of a different view of a honeybee.

ISO 320, f/4, 1/800

Bees Day 143-33

2014—Fishing On Lake George

I have spent the day editing about 1700 photos I took more than six weeks ago at the Northern California Fly Tying Expo held in Redding that was put on by the Shasta-Trinity Fly Fishers, of which my brother, Arthur, is a member. I stopped to take a break and decided to photograph a tiny fly, presented to me by Karl Jaeger, one of the fly tyers, at the expo. Since it is so small, I wanted to show some scale so I found a nickel in my wallet and set the fly on the nickel. As I set up the shot, I wondered whether Thomas Jefferson, whose face appears on the nickel, was a fly fisherman. A quick Google search (I love Google) revealed that he enjoyed fishing so that was good enough for me. This is a quote from a letter to his daughter found in the Papers of Thomas Jefferson about Lake George in the Adirondacks of New York, on May 31, 1791.

“An abundance of speckled trout, salmon trout, bass and other fish with which is stored, have added to our other amusements the sport of taking them.”

This is a macro shot, a 6 second exposure at f/51, ISO 100.

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