Friday, January 30, 2009

Now, for something completely different...

So the baby iguana and the kitten have acclimated to each other quite well in the house. The kitten knows to stay away from the iguana's tail and venomous spit up (which has been known to melt every material known to man) and the baby iguana just does her thing.

Recently, the baby iguana started picking up some of Kanu's toys. Well, Kanu didn't take too well to this, so he started showing his contempt with the iguana. The iguana, of course won this battle.

Just to prove that I'm taking some pictures other than that of the cat and baby, here are two of the paper whites I had growing in the kitchen for a while.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I apologize to my faithful 1/3 of a reader for not having anything new to say lately. Iguana hatched and is taking up most of our time at the moment. Kanu hasn't had the time to model anything else for the baby just yet; he's been too busy staying clear of her tail and claws.

Hopefully in a few months I'll be able to start posting more once the world calms down a little bit more.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shooting flowers

Kanu decided to take the week off from modeling and reviewing items for the baby iguana. I decided that it's time to actually show some of my "artistic" abilities. Yes people, I can actually use a camera for something other than photographing the cat in iguana attire.

I grabbed the 40D and the not-so-often used EF 85mm f/1.8 rather than my macro lens for these photos.

I started out with the black eyed Susans we have on the side yard. I was just trying to mainly get the sky in the shot.

The only other thing that was blooming and looked decent were the sunflowers beneath my neighbor's birdfeeder.

I'm not completely happy with these photos, but I was just playing around this morning. Nothing really special, just something different for the masses to look at other than a cat in baby clothing.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Getting ready for bed

It's been a while since Kanu did his last review of equipment for the iguana. We've both received a flood of e-mails from almost one person requesting a new review.

For this edition, Kanu reviewed the changing table, changing pad, sleep sack, swaddling blanket/bag, and the crib. He also tried to review the infant diapers we received. However, due to the size of his rear the lack of hole for his tail, we were unable to complete that part of the review.

First, Kanu was put onto the changing pad and strapped in. Safety first. We don't want the iguana falling off the changing table while it's having it's diaper or clothes changed. Kanu thinks that the changing pad was very comfortable and the cover was soft. The strap, he felt wasn't all that helpful as he was able to wiggle out if it fairly easily. I had to remind Kanu that the baby iguana will be a little bit bigger than he is (and the iguana won't be able to roll over at first either).

Kanu was then placed into a sleep sack to get him ready for bed. This is the first item he's worked with that the lack of a tail hole wasn't a big deal. There was plenty of room in the sack for his tail to flap around. The sleep sack was comfortable for him. and he felt that the baby iguana won't be able wiggle out of the sack.

Kanu was next placed into the crib for a good night's sleep.

In an attempt to act as much like a newborn iguana as possible, Kanu started crying and screaming when he was supposed to be sleeping. He was wiggling around and managed to get his front paws out of the sleep sack, so the next option was to swaddle him so he couldn't move very much.

Here, we see Kanu observing his surroundings after calming down. The swaddling did the trick and stopped his crying and screaming. In fact, to imitate the gentle cooing that a baby does, he started purring to show his approval of being swaddled.

This last photo shows Kanu bidding all of us a good night as he is ready to go to sleep.

Kanu felt that all the items reviewed tonight will be very helpful for the baby iguana's early life. The only thing he was worried about was how warm he got in the swaddling bag. Since the iguana is cold blooded, I think that it'll be just fine in the sleep sack. It'll need all the warmth possible in the cold Michigan winters.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


While in Harrisville, I was able to take some time to walk around and shoot in the land surrounds my father-in-law's house. It's a fairly sizable bit of land with quite a few areas to shoot around in. Along with wild flowers and grasses, there were plenty of opportunities to shoot textures to use in images later on. I'll start with one image that didn't really require much development work.

I found many trees on the property that produced some really neat textures that I used in some other images taken around the same time. Two of my favorites are below.

The bark on a birch (I think). I love how the outer layers just peel away from the inner layers.

There was also some moss on the ground that looked to be good for use as a texture file.

Moving right along to actually using the texture files. I must thank Jared Carpenter from POTN for providing a basic tutorial that got me started working the textures. For brevity's sake, I won't show the original images. What I briefly did was to open both the background and texture images in Photoshop and drag the texture image onto the background image. To get more of a transparent effect, I selected "Color Dodge" and then set the transparancy to around 43%. I then desaturated the texture image a little bit. I'm being vague in the description because each image required a little different approach.

This last image was one of my favorites. I really liked it before applying the texture image. However, after adding the texture of the birch bark, it became an image I think will be printed and hung in the house.

Firecrackers at the Breitmeyer's

Since Harrisville had it's fireworks show on the 5th of July (see previous post), we had to shoot something of a pyrotechnic nature off to celebrate the founding of this country. My wife's little brother was the master of ceremonies lighting the majority of the firecrackers. Below are the results of the explosive display.

This last image was a long exposure (3.2 seconds at f/10). My sister-in-law was playing with some sparklers. Really neat effect.

Stay tuned, artsy-fartsy photos coming up next.

Fireworks in Harrisville, MI

The fourth of July was spent visiting my father-in-law and his family in Harrisville, MI. The fireworks, which took place on the fifth was a very nice and surprising event, given the length and amount of fireworks that were shot off. Below are a few images with a collage of some others. All of these images were taken at ISO 100 or 200 with an aperture of f/11 and shutter speed of 0.6-2 sec with the camera mounted on a tripod. I used an EF 17-55 f/2.8 IS with the stabilization turned off. There were other images taken over the weekend, which I will chronical later on.

The collage of fireworks. It's small, but I think it gets the point across of how many fireworks there were on Saturday (click to see a larger image).
This last image was caught by sheer luck on my part. I just happened to press the trigger button when I started to see what the firework started to look like. It's one of my favoites from the weekend.
Kanu is also eager to get back to reviewing baby stuff after his weekend off. Look for the return of the reviews soon, too.