Thursday, November 29, 2007

Capture Cincinnati Release

Tonight Dianne and I went to Joseph Beth Books at Rookwood Pavilion for the release of the Capture Cincinnati book. I posted about the project a while ago. It was a local effort to make a coffee table book of the best Cincinnati area photos contributed by mostly local photographers.

The organizers had a release event to announce the winners of the various photo categories. The grand prize winner was Melissa Speelman -- very well deserved! She has a great photoblog where you can see her latest people photos. It was a event and I was able to meet several folks that participate in the "Living in Cincinnati" group in Flickr. That was fun.

The Capture Cincinnati book has a wonderful collection of photos from the area. I don't have any photos in the book, but I have several that made it on the accompanying DVD -- most of them in the "news" category. Everyone who participated was guaranteed one photo on the DVD, so it's cool that I have a few. Thanks to everyone who voted for my shots!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

B.B. King and Balluminaria

On Friday evening Dianne and I went to Music Hall in Cincinnati to hear B. B. King in concert. It was a wonderful evening and we had pretty good seats. I have to say I didn't care too much for the opening act, Joanna Cotten. She has a good voice, but I just wasn't in to her songs. B. B. King had a large group with him including four horn players, a rhythm guitar, a bass guitar, drums, and keyboards. The band was a great group of blues musicians that put out a full sound. And B. B. King has an amazing stage presence. Although he now plays sitting down (at 82 he said his knees are bad), he sings and plays with such emotion that he keeps everyone captivated. B. B. King shared some interesting stories about his life (he claimed he didn't see an electric light until he was 16) between songs. It was fun to see him play live. Oh...and to the annoying woman sitting right behind us talking on her cell phone in the middle of one of B. B. King's songs, get a life and show some respect to him and those around you.

Getting ReadyToday Dianne and I went to Eden Park in Cincinnati to see the Balluminaria. What's that? The Cincinnati Parks Commission organizes the event each year where hot air balloonist set up their balloons around one side of the perimeter of Mirror Lake in the park. The balloons don't take off. When it gets dark, they coordinate the lighting of their burners to get the balloons to glow. The colors are beautiful and the reflections off the lake enhances the effect. The photo here doesn't do it justice. It was nice to see...but it was cold!! It was about 40 degrees, but a little breeze really made it seem cold -- especially when you're standing and waiting for an hour and a half. The small photo shows them during the set-up stage while it was still light. The photo below shows the balloon glow. Hopefully it will be a little warmer next year.

Balloon Glow

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Love That Orb

When I have breakfast at home, I have something simple like cereal, toast, or a bagel. It's pretty rare that I'll have breakfast meats -- especially sausage. Given that, it's unusual that a TV commercial for breakfast sausage would catch my eye. I'm not in their target audience.

I love the ad campaign put out by Jimmy Dean for their breakfast offerings (sandwiches, skillet mixtures, etc.). The series is based on the Sun as the main character. I think it's a funny, cute, and well executed concept. You can watch most of the ads in the series on the Jimmy Dean website. An ad that is missing is the one where the wife cautions her husband the Sun not to burn the breakfast. My favorite is one of the early ads in the series with the title of 'Why'. The little girl is perfect with her persistent questioning.

I also found a series of six short videos (each 1.5 minutes) that are an interview of the Sun, the Moon, and the Cloud from the ad campaign. It's pretty funny. Here is episode one, episode two, episode three, episode four, episode five, and episode six. The title of this post comes from episode five.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Still More Leaves

SupportI've been taking more photos of autumn leaves. Many of the leaves are falling and there are lots of shapes and colors to choose from. I press some and let some dry and curl naturally.

Last year Dianne clued me in to looking at the back of leaves. The shot at the right is the back of a curled leaf taken with two flashes at grazing angles to emphasize the texture. The leaf structure really pops out in this shot.

There are two curled maple leaves below. The last shot is a close up of a leaf that was pressed flat while drying. The flashes were placed behind the leaf so most of the light is transmitted through the leaf. That really brings out the color, the imperfections, and the vein structure.

Click on any image to see a larger version in Flickr. They are all in my 2007 leaf set.

Curled 2



Thanksgiving Week at SIH

Happy Thanksgiving week to all!

We have a Thanksgiving theme going on at Songs in Haiku. Look for some related haiku over there through Thursday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pine Cone Macros

I picked up a bunch of pine cones around town from different varieties of pines. I'm the worlds worst at identifying trees, so I can't link a species to each cone. I did find the underside of the pine cones very interesting. The patterns on the bottom of the scales is very different from tree to tree. For those of you using the RSS feed, the slideshow below probably won't come through. You can see the whole set on Flickr here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

This is Hard to Believe

Anyone who knows me will find the results of this on-line quiz hard to believe, but it's true. Maybe I drink so much I just don't remember that I drink so much. Thanks to Erika Jean for pointing me to the quiz.


Flowers Old and New

The EndBeginning of the EndI'm behind in posting photos. Here are a couple pictures I took months ago and one I took just a week ago.

The small photos above are a couple of cone flower blossom photos I took back in mid-September. I guess it was near the end of the season for those plants as many flowers had lost petals and were starting to dry out. I was able to find a couple flowers at different stages in the bed. I think the spike-like center makes an interesting subject. Click on the thumbnails to see larger versions in Flickr.

Down below is a close up of a flower on an anemone (the plant, not the sea version). I can see where the name comes from. I took this last weekend.

Thanks to Michele for supplying the subjects and identifying them in the photos.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Prawns with Lemon for Superantioxidants

We all hear news stories and read articles about the benefits of antioxidants -- whether by eating certain foods or taking through dietary supplements. I ran across this article today that describes researchers have come up with a commercially viable means of extracting a powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin, from prawn heads. It claims to be about 10 times stronger than antioxidants in other foods. The article is light on detail, but it sounds like they do a supercritical fluid extraction from the shells of prawn heads.

This is good news for my father-in-law who enjoys the shell on prawns with the heads. He's getting plenty of antioxidants. That's one dish we've had at Pah Ke's Chinese Restaurant and maybe we'll be able to get some in a few weeks. I like it, but can't do the heads. I might have to change my mind.

I also saw this article today that talks about a study that found citrus or vitamin C enhances the absorbtion of antioxidants from green tea or green tea extract by 13 times. Pretty significant. I guess that's why you always get tea with lemon for a sore throat.

So putting these two findings together, I'm guessing that eating prawn heads with the shell on that are covered in lemon juice would give enough antioxidant power to produce a fountain of youth effect. I'm sure someone is already running this research study.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fungus Among Us

According to Michele, she has polypores growing on an old tree stump in her backyard. To the chemist, it's a neat looking relatively flat mushroom in a partially shaded area. Here is a little article about them. Here are a couple of the shots I added to the garden set.

Polypores 4

Polypores 2

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Fall Flowers

On Saturday morning Dianne and I made a quick stop at Michele's garden before Dianne went to Tresha's baby shower (and I went flying). We've had some pretty cold mornings and a couple light frosts. The garden is winding down, but I was surprised to see some beautiful flowers still blooming. The light wasn't the best as some clouds were moving in and filtering the sun. I used a flash to get these shots. The first one is a toad lily -- a small (about an inch diameter) flower. The second is a knockout rose. I got other shots of these flowers that you can see at the end of the whole set from the garden.

Toad Lily 1

A Knockout

I Heart Target

On Friday, Dianne and I went shopping for a baby shower gift for Tresha and Kyle. The soon to be (again) parents had registered at Target -- which is great for the non-baby knowledgeable couple. I'm not a big Target shopper, so I didn't realize they carried such a large variety of baby stuff. But the neatest thing about the trip was the shopping experience Target has created for gift registeries (and no, this isn't a paid or sponsored post).

Target has touch screen kiosks just inside the door. With a couple entries, Dianne had pulled up and printed the items that Tresha & Kyle had selected. Each item had the number desired and already purchased, as well as the cost. But the best is yet to come. The printout also showed whether or not the individual item was stocked in this particular store. If it was, it gave the aisle location of the product. It took us all of 5 minutes to find what we wanted to get. Pretty cool!

The printout also had a bar code on it. At the checkout, the clerk scanned the bar code and our purchases were automatically updated in the registery. We had picked up a bunch of other stuff and wanted a separate gift receipt. "No problem," said the clerk. "I'll ring up everything and the baby items will be split out from the rest and printed separately." Now that's a well thought out system. A time savings for Target clerk and painless for the shopper. Thank you, Target!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Stinky Passport

Saw this on the swissmiss site. It's an alternative to a money belt for safely hiding your passport or other valuables while traveling...that is as long as you don't mind having a passport that smells like stinky feet. Check out the socks here.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More Leaf Macros

I uploaded a couple more Autumn leaf macros. Check out the whole collection here. On the maple leaf close-up, I used a flash located behind the leaf and pointed right at the camera to bring out the colors and contrast of the leaf. On the underside of the leaf I used two flashes, both grazing the surface, to bring out the ridges in the leaf.


Losing Green

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Paper Macros

Charred NotebookThis week the Macro Mondays group on Flickr has a theme of paper. As usual, I consulted with Dianne to get some ideas for the theme. She thought a burned or charred piece of paper would be interesting. The photo to the right is a couple of charred pages from a pad of paper. A bunsen burner really makes quick work of this job. There are a couple other photos of charred paper in my set of paper macro photos.

Dianne also thought a photo of pages flipping would be interesting. The trick was trying to catch the motion. I used a set of charts printed on telephone book type of paper -- instrument approach charts used when flying into an airport under poor visibility conditions. They are replaced every couple of months, so I had plenty around. I used a slow, rear sync flash to catch both the pages themselves as well as the motion blur of the pages as they fell. I took about 30 shots to get a couple that showed good page movement. I thought it turned out well and, of course, I like the aviation connection.

Flipping the Charts 2

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wilkinson Promotion

I haven't tried the game itself, but I think the trailer associated with the "Fight for Kisses" promotion on this Wilkinson site is too funny. Don't mess with that baby!