Saturday, June 27, 2009
This was a big dude, over 2 feet long. When Zoey held up the snake for me to admire, I discovered the wound on its belly. He was a very handsome fellow. As Zoey held him, he flickered his red tongue at me. We carefully returned him to the pasture and wished him godspeed.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Simply put, it is a photographer’s aid, a plain box with the sides and top cut out and covered with a light-diffusing fabric or translucent paper. Objects (such as this chess piece) photographed inside the box will have a clean and professional appearance with virtually no shadows.
- Sturdy cardboard box
- Thin, white fabric (muslin, T-shirt, interfacing, old sheet, nylon) that allows light through
- Heavy white opaque paper (poster board, butcher paper, interfacing)
- Glue Stick
- Utility knife
- Marking pen
- Tape measure
- Swing-arm lamps
Obtain a sturdy box, preferably with a lid. The box used for this demo was a Banker’s Box, but you can use any size box. Don’t go too small.
Cut out all 4 sides of the box with a utility knife, leaving 1½” rims. If you use a regular cardboard box, you’ll need to cut off the top flaps. If you use a Banker’s Box, it won’t have top flaps.
Line 3 sides of the box on the inside (or outside, if you’re lazy) by gluing white fabric or light-duty paper to the box. Leave 4th side open. That’s the opening where you’ll place the camera lens to shoot your pictures.
Carefully cut out the bottom lip at the FRONT of the box. You'll be inserting a long piece of paper next, and this will allow the paper to stick out the front of the box.
Cut heavy paper to fit into the bottom and back side of the box, starting at the front, and CURVING UP AND OVER the rim at the back. This will create a seamless backdrop, so be very careful not to crease or wrinkle the paper. Secure paper to the back of the box on the outside.
If using a Banker’s Box, cut out the center of the lid, leaving a 1½” rim. Cut fabric or paper to fit lid and glue to inside of lid. For regular cardboard box, just glue fabric or paper directly to top of box
Finished box. To take pictures, shine lamp through top of the box. If you need more light, shine additional lamps through the sides.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The thing about Nova is she's a very quiet dog. She never whimpers or complains, even when she should. If I accidentally forget to bring her in after letting her outside in the rain to do her business, she will simply stand patiently at the door in a miserable huddle, waiting for me to remember her. She never utters a peep, even though she can see me through the slider, 5 feet away, sitting at the computer.
So when she got stuck under the steps, she never said a word, even though the slider was open and my desk is right by the slider. She was only 15 feet away. I could tell she'd been stuck for a long time, because you can see where she tried to dig her way out. Unfortunately, she had to dig while on her belly. There isn't room enough to stand up. Judging by how filthy she was, she'd been digging for a while!
The above picture is deceiving, because Nova is a lot larger than she looks in that shot. She has dug herself quite a deep hole, and most of her body is in it. There's also a big hole directly in front of the bottom step. I have no idea if she dug it trying to get under the step, or if the pup dug it after Nova got stuck. You can also see she knocked wood loose from the woodpile, probably while trying to get out.
All I can figure out is that somehow Nova got stuck between the gaps in the steps while trying to retrieve a tennis ball. I'd seen the bright pink ball days earlier. Should have removed it then!
The thing is, Nova is terrified of confined spaces and narrow gaps. She's lived in this house since a puppy, yet she still gets freaky about the hallway sometimes. Then she'll be stuck in the laundry room or bathroom or one of the bedrooms, because she's too afraid to come out into the hall. I have to snap the leash to her collar and lead her out. So it's a complete mystery to me how she ended up in such a wickedly confining space under the steps.
How did I get her out? I had to move the whisky tub on the left of the picture, so she could crawl out that way. Not an easy task, as the tub was full of dirt. I'll say one thing, though. That dog was mighty glad to be free of the steps! I'm still laughing over my first sight of her--me standing on the deck above the steps, and her forlorn head sticking out between the steps and looking up at me, with a pleading (and mortified) look on her face!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Yesterday at the monthly meeting of the South Sound Adobe Users Group I demonstrated how to make a light box, and then we raffled off three light boxes I'd made as give-aways. We had lots of fun, and several members had brought items to place inside the light boxes to practice photographing.
One of them, Larry Weakly, brought a most unique item: a skeletonized holly leaf that was utterly gorgeous. Being able to photograph it in a light box allowed for a nonintrusive background which highlighted the beauty of the leaf. In fact, I'm going to tromp down to the pasture later today to see if I can find any alder leaves that have been skeletonized over the past winter.
For those of you who aren't into photography, a light box is simply a box that has had the sides and top cut out, then covered with white, translucent fabric or paper (so as to allow light through). The inside is lined with white paper. Objects placed inside the box can be photographed without shadows and have a seamless background. Commercial photographers use this method to photograph jewelry, toys, etc., for advertisements.
I may be weird, but I think the skeletonized holly leaf is beautiful.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Here's a partial list of what she did:
- pulled a hanging planter off the deck table (where it was sitting, prior to being hung) and dismantled the planter and spread dirt and plants all over)
- chewed on the deck, the steps, the gate, the porch railing, the ivy covering the railing, and probably lots of other stuff I haven't found yet
- pulled an old rubber sink mat from the garbage and chewed it up
- ripped a pair of my socks off the clotheline
- shredded a blanket.
- knocked over a water bucket. Knowing her propensity for this, I'd put out two water buckets, since it was a hot day. The other bucket was fine
- climbed INTO a whiskey barrel planter and flung dirt at least 50 yards away. Dead plant bodies lie all over the yard
- got into my empty pots and planters that were neatly stacked on the deck table. She scattered them all over the yard
The bottom two pictures show the steps she chewed on, and the rubber sink mat she demolished. You know what, though? I'm just laughing. I see the humor in what she does. It's not malicious. It's just pure puppy fun. And if you can't have a little fun in life, then what's the use of living?