Dandelion – Before they’re interesting

Dandelions are fairly nondescript, yellow weedy pests. Until you get up close.
When viewed through a 50mm lens attached to 36mm of Kenko Extention tubes, these common weeds can become objects of wonder and even beauty. From the patterned tips of the petals to the pollen laden stamen, the detail that nature puts into these nasty flowers is surreal.


For some reason, this one’s generated quite a lot of interest on Flickr as well (otherwise I very much doubt I would have posted it here).

High speed action

Had some fun in the garden this morning with some darts and 11 water filled balloons. Been dying to try this for ages so I hung a wet balloon from the tripod, in front of a navy blue slanket, draped over the washing line.
The kids took it in turns to kill the balloon, leaving me the east task of getting the timing right.

All three of these were taken at 1/8000 shutter speed, f2.8 125 ISO. Much fun was had by all.

Balloon and Dart High Speed fun

Balloon and Dart High Speed fun

Balloon and Dart High Speed fun

Quite pleased I managed to get the dart in all three shots.

Puppy Spam and a Nifty Fifty

Getting to be a bit on the spamtastic side now with the puppies. I’m not talking about mulching their hairless corpses up to make bland, greasy meat but the amount of photographs I’ve ended up taking of them. The Lord only knows what I’ll be snapping when they’ve all gone to their new homes (aside from miserable children and a sulking wife).
I could pretend that this was a re-kindling of the love I had for the nifty fifty (that’d be the canon 50mm 1.8mm Lens for you non-toggers) which has been neglected like a 10 year marriage since I bought the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 some 18 months ago, but I wont. I will say though that as the cheapest prime in Canon’s arsenal of lenses this little beauty is by far the most useful I own. You could (if you desired) use it for landscapes. Street photography suits it well. On the 30D crop sensor decent portraits are possible. All Pin sharp (if you focus properly !) with f1.8 Depth of Field loveliness if you’re one of those arty types. It’s also a good one to use with extension tubes for some in your face macro shots if you have the inclination. A great, cheap all rounder.

Me, I just lay on the floor with it and take photos of energetic puppies like these, but having re-discovered this lens I’ll try harder not to neglect it any more

5 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy

5 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy

5 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy

5 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy

5 Week Old Shih Tzu Puppy

Ash cloud not affecting views of the night sky in Canvey Island

Despite the blanket ban on flying, the panicked wheeze of chronic asthma sufferers and the cries of ‘we’re all doomed’ from the latter day god botherers, the ash cloud purportedly smothering the UK in it’s toxic arms hasn’t it seems spoilt the views of the skies over Essex. The wonderfully clear skies have remained so during the night allowing us mere mortals an unobstructed view of both stars and moon.
The tripod was in the car, so this one was taken hand-held with the 300mm at full stretch f5.6 @ 1/320 sec. A bit of cropping and a light dusting of unsharp mask in Photoshop complete the processing and voila.

1st Quarter moon

More puppy fun


Perhaps we should be feeding them more as they’ve now started to try and eat each other. They’re really amusing now as they’ve really got to grips with the play fighting. Each one has it’s own strengths and weaknesses with Number 4 being an expert houdini, coming up with ingenious and inventive ways of getting out of both the basket, and their fenced off area of the living room.

Safe Landing

Not too sure what everyone else will think of this one, but I like it. Unfortunately manged to cut the tail off. Breaks a few rules in that the subject has ‘no space to move into’, doesn’t fall on any of the mystical or magical ‘thirds’ and to a certain extent lacks any depth or point of focus.