Monday, March 2, 2015

Macro on Monday - Guess What


Last week's mystery photo had everyone fooled or just plain puzzled. The truth is it was a photograph of an Altoids peppermint:

 IMG_7852   DSCN3801

Many thanks to all who were brave enough to have a guess.

Will this week's puzzle photo be any easier. I think so.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday
No prizes except a possible virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

About the new Macro Title:
The M is a photograph of a calculator button. The rest of the lettering was made using the Art Text Tool in the free beta version of Serif's Affinity Photo for Mac. Since I first downloaded it there have been two updates to the beta trial.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Solar Eclipse, advance notice


For those of us who live in Europe there is a chance to see a partial eclipse of the Sun on the morning of 20th March. The further north you are the better the effect. For those across the pond only the far Eastern part of Canada will see any effect.

There is a map and explanation on the timeanddate site HERE.

The main thing for us is - what will be the chance of clear skies?

The Americas, Asia and Australia get a chance to see a partial Lunar eclipse on 4th April.
South Africa gets a chance to see a partial Solar eclipse on 13th September.
The Americas, Europe and Africa will have a total or partial Lunar eclipse on 28th September.

For more detail follow the links on the timeanddate site.

I seem to remember I was at still at school when I last experienced a partial eclipse and now I have a solar filter for the Canon I really hope to get a clear view to photograph and possibly video the event.

Friday, February 27, 2015

More Awakenings

Sorry, no new videos at the moment.

Early morning walks are now regularly accompanied by various bird song. This morning I was very pleased to hear a Mistle Thrush for the first time this year. At one time it was so loud it must have been in one of the trees surrounding my garden but I couldn't see it.

A few days ago I spotted this insect resting on the waste pipe from the kitchen sink.
Not sure whether it was a bee or a hairy fly:



This morning I spotted the second Small Tortoiseshell butterfly of the season. It was looking somewhat ragged so I guess it was had overwintered and was now warming itself in the sunlight falling on the front door. It was 'shivering' just as bumble bees do when they are warming up the flight muscles:

Small Tortoiseshell

Have a great weekend observing the wildlife around you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pop Goes the Photo

 Colour Popping

Following yesterday's download of Color Accent Studio Pro (Mac app) I had a popping session last night, partly to give it a more thorough try out and also to practice with the Huion H610Pro 10 inch graphic tablet I bought a few days ago.









With a little practice it became fast and easy to zoom the photos, change the size of the brush and alternate between showing coloured sections and erasing any slight mistakes around the edges.  I used to enjoy colour popping on the iPad but finger or stylus would often get in the way of seeing exactly what was being changed. The graphics tablet gave much finer control and was a lot easier to use than the MacBook track pad, good and sensitive as it is.

Any fancy borders in the photos were put in with other programs some time ago.
As always, the title was produced using Art Text 2.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Color Accent Studio Pro (Mac)

The Color Accent Studio Pro app for the Mac has been on sale in the Mac App Store at £7.99 but at the time of writing and for a short while it is a free download. This app just does one job - colour popping. On loading an image it is presented as a greyscale picture. Then it is a question of going over the area where you want the original colour to appear. Besides that you can select your own colours to add to the picture. The result is saved as a png file. I haven't found a list of which import file formats it can handle. My test photo was a jpg.

One quick example which must have taken me all of 20 seconds to produce:

7 spot ladybird DSCN2444
Ladybird Splash

This app is at v1.0 and for me there needs to be at least three additions to make it worth anything like the original asking price:
1) ability to crop
2) adjustment for brightness & contrast
2) choice of saved formats

Monday, February 23, 2015

Macro on Monday - Guess What



A full  house with congratulations and virtual Midmarsh Gold Stars to Adrian, Glo, Wilma, TexWisGirl, Ragged Robin and ImaBurdie who all correctly identified the close shot of an orchid - one of my phalaenopsis plants which has started flowering again.

DSCN3875c    phalaenopsis

Let's see how many can puzzle out this one.
Guess What:

Please leave any guesses in the comments.
They will be revealed, along with the answer, next Monday.
No prizes. Just for fun and maybe a virtual Midmarsh Gold or Silver Star.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spring is on its Way

Although the temp was about 3C with hazy sunlight I decided we would wend our way through the back of the village churchyard. Hopefully the Snowdrops and Winter Aconite would be in bloom and easier to photograph. I usually go on really sunny days but that tends to wash out the colours.

We were both well wrapped up as the gentle breeze made it feel more like 1C. As soon as we reached the back of the churchyard there were plenty of clumps of Snowdrops to be seen:



DSCN3887 Snowdrops

DSCN3889 Snowdrops

When we neared the front path the Winter Aconite patch came in to view:


Unfortunately they were already past their best:

DSCN3897 Winter Aconite

But still great to see signs of plant life emerging as we near Spring.

All photos taken with the Nikon Coolpix S9050 and processed in iPhoto.
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