Category: Lancaster Pennsylvania

Pushing Up Daisies

Daisy
Daisy

“Death. To die. To expire. To pass on. To perish. To peg out. To push up daisies. To push up posies. To become extinct. Curtains, deceased, demised, departed and defunct. Dead as a doornail. Dead as a herring. Dead as a mutton. Dead as nits. God’s way of saying, slow down.” Patch Adams

The Problem with Euphorbia

Euphorbia
Euphorbia

Euphorbia myrsinites, also known as myrtle Euphorbia or donkeytail spurge, is one of the most useful and highly ornamental plants to grow in the garden.

Now for the bad news: the milky white sap has been known to cause extreme allergic reactions that in some cases can lead to anaphylactic shock, and visits to the emergency room are frequently reported.

Charles Bukowski wrote a book called The People Look Like Flowers At Last (see last post). This one looks like the pretty college girl next door who works as an escort on weekends. Approach both with caution and use protection.

The Flowers Look like People at Last

Kim Kardashian Flower?
Kim Kardashian Flower?

Charles Bukowski wrote a book called the people look like flowers at last, but today it seemed that the flowers look like people at last. Maybe it’s me, but if you look closely at these beautiful little flowers, the one of the right looks like Kim Kardashian wearing a white skirt.

The flower on the left may look like one of her sisters, but the last thing I need is a Kardashian tweeting that I’m body/flower shaming. I’m just trying to keep up with the flora.

But is it Art?

Grand Opening
Grand Opening

It might be art, but in this case it’s a photo of a sunflower that just opened up today. I used the crosshatch filter in Photoshop adjusting the stroke length, sharpness and strength.

There are dozens of filters to choose from, each with several different options and you can add other effects in literally thousands of different ways, maybe even hundreds of thousands.

People say that you can learn Photoshop in 50-100 hours, but it really takes years to get anywhere close to mastering it. It would probably be faster to learn to paint with oil on canvas, but it would definitely not be easier.

Horse Photography Tips and Techniques

Bicycles, buggies and horses
Bicycles, buggies and horses

When you think about photographing horses, you probably picture a naked woman riding an Arabian stallion on a sandy beach at sunset. It’s a good plan if you can manage to put it all together, but until then you may want to practice locally.

Living in Pennsylvania it’s easier to find horses than it is to find good lobster and they all love to pose. If you have trouble finding horses where you live consider going to a riding stable or school.

Tip 1: They usually have crud in their eyes. You don’t have to point this out to them but see if you can find one that has less. Another option is to get further away and avoid head shots.

Tip 2: As soon as it gets really hot they’re often covered with flies. While this may not seem like a big deal it really does take away from the beautiful animal that you’re trying to capture.

Tip 3: Horses are very friendly and will come up to you to see what you want. Despite the warnings, I always pet them and have never had my fingers bitten off. Your results may vary.

Tip 4: Consider converting to black and white. Unless you’re lucky enough to capture the perfect light, choose one of the many ways to do this then lie like a professional. Tell everyone how color is distracting, that black and white forces you to focus on the image, and that you were going for that aesthetic, artistic look.

Tip 5: This is the big one: you want to get a good composition, an interesting pose and ideally something in the background. Most horses have very little to do during the day so they just sort of stand there, which is good because you’ll have plenty of time to think about the shot.

Finally, don’t ask them why the long face, I’ve never met once that thinks that’s funny.

Is Power Napping Right For You?

Al takes a power nap
Al takes a power nap

There’s a whole science behind power napping and several books have been written about it outlining the basic principles and benefits. A power nap is a sleep session during the day that lasts for between ten and thirty minutes.

Stefanie Weisman wrote: “A lot of high-profile companies are recognizing the benefits of power napping, it’s like kindergarten all over again.” It may not be exactly like kindergarten because life will never be that good again, but after a quality nap you’ll probably play nicer with the other kids.