Photo Friday: And Now, Something Completely Different

Shoot me, but I’ve not been keeping up with the Olympics. Though I can’t exactly escape it – Yahoo loudly screams the medal counts at me every time I go to check email. I try not to look, but it’s tough to avoid. Monte Python fans (you know who you are!) should recognize the familiar catch-phrase as I say “and now for something completely different” from the Olympics…..some also-ran photos. These are the ones that got left on the cutting room floor. And these are all unedited, straight from the camera images, only resized to fit the computer screen. Some are recent, some not, and most (but not all) were left behind with good reason!

I don’t know what made me think one dried tomato would be photogenic, and here’s proof. You can catch the better photo here. Just one looks lonely, doesn’t it? At least my hand was clean!

one lonely dried tomato (click on any image to enlarge)

Busy cooks and gardeners will appreciate it’s sometime tough to find a spot to photograph things without background clutter. I finally had to clear the counter to get a good shot for a recent recipe for Green Bean and Bulgur Salad with Walnuts. You can see a better shot here. So now you know what it really looked like, before I cleaned it up. Decluttering doesn’t seem to last long around here though!

too much clutter

Background clutter isn’t always bad. In the below photo, I use a shallow depth of field (low F stop number) to blur the clutter in the background. I cropped the photo just a bit for the finished product, but decided to leave most of the clutter in. Maybe I was in too big a hurry to eat, and didn’t want to clear the counter!

clutter isn’t always bad

Folks with pets can probably appreciate how difficult it can be to catch that perfect image of our furry friends. Our cats will sleep for hours on end, but just walk in the room with a camera and sometimes they won’t sit still! I wish I had a nickel for every blurry pet photo I have ever taken. Other times, they actually seem to be mugging for the camera. Dusty hadn’t been here for very long when I got a great photo of him in the recliner in my office/man cave. When I went back about a half an hour later he was fast asleep, and I quietly captured a few more images of him. The one below isn’t too bad, with the shallow depth of field keeping his face sharp and everything else burred.

Dusty snoozing in my recliner

Patience definitely pays off in photography. One day I caught Dusty checking out some printed photos of bamboo my wife had laid out on the floor. That shot was ok, but I got a better one later when Puddin decided to get in on the act. In that one a slight blur helps give motion to the photo. I just got lucky there – take lots of photos and occasionally that will happen!

Dusty with bamboo photos

Wildlife is always fun to photograph. Most of the time I am chasing living things around the yard, trying to get close enough, for long enough, to get a good photo. And often times I get nothing usable. But sometimes I have a captive audience. I guess I started off being peeved at these two little bandits who wandered into my Havahart trap last July. I knew I was going to have to haul them off someplace far, far away, and then clean out a stinky cage. But how can you stay upset with two faces like that looking up at you? I chose another photo for the blog post, but this one might have been a better shot. They were sure happy to be out of that cage when the time came – far away from the strange paparazzi!

this double trouble was hard to resist

Lighting is another frequent problem, and I know I’m not the only blogger that struggles with this. I wound up using the photo tent to get a decent shot of the pickled garlic recipe I posted recently. How hard can it be to get a decent shot of a jar of garlic? As it turned out, I tried several different angles and looks before I got one I liked. The photo below didn’t make the cut. Taking the top off helped for the final photo. The photo tent helps with lighting, if you don’t mind the ‘staged’ look.

pickled garlic

Sometimes it’s hard to get the photo that really conveys what you are trying to illustrate. I was trying to show how to tell if your pita dough had risen enough in this photo, but it wound up looking like a two-hole bowling ball to me! A slightly better shot can be found here. The difference is subtle. And quite subjective! It’s the same dough, same two indentations, but a slightly different look.

pita dough, or bowling ball?

Sometimes a good photo just gets buried in the bit bucket (lost in your computer files). There’s nothing for me not to like of this shot of Puddin trying to sleep in my wife’s fabric storage cabinet. I don’t think we could even bring ourselves to shoo her out – we both grabbed our cameras instead! You can’t make this stuff happen, but you can be ready when it does. She was in no hurry to leave her spot!

Puddin hanging out in fabric cabinet

With people you get ‘red eye’ shots, with cats and dogs you get the dreaded ‘green eye’. Puddin looks like a monster in the below photo. She’s really not – most of the time! It’s a little blurry too, no doubt because of a slow shutter speed due to not enough light.

green-eyed Puddin

I’ll close with some photos that just never made to a blog post – until now! I hope you enjoyed this little diversion from the medal counts. And for the record, all these images were captured on my Canon Rebel T1i with the kit EF-S 18-55 zoom lens. Now I’m off to watch some of the Olympics – NOT!

me enjoying an ‘age appropriate’ ride at Lincoln State Park


Dusty snoozing on dryer


swarm of bees from our hive


hot dog on homemade bun


sleeping kitty in front of hosta


lizard on tree at Huelo Point, Maui


green sea turtle in ocean at Kona, HI

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6 Responses to Photo Friday: And Now, Something Completely Different

  1. Daphne says:

    I so love the Olympics. But in photography my medals are very hit or miss. I just snap the picture and hope it comes out. And often only one. I do post process them though, so I can cut out the clutter if necessary and fix some of the exposure problems. But if it is out of focus too badly, I have to toss it. Some come out great, some are just OK but since they tell the story I post them anyway.

  2. LynnS says:

    Dave sliding into retirement….definitely worth sending back to the work crew. Rub it in real good, Dave! πŸ˜‰

    The coons are just so adorable. Double trouble, indeed. Keep them at your place!

    Super fun photos to look through. People who have pets that coordinate with their furniture have their act so together. lol Thanks for sharing.

    (Gonna make that bulgar salad!)

    • Dave says:

      What a great caption – “sliding into retirement”! I’ll have to send that off to my old buddies.

      It’s good to see you ‘out and about’ again. πŸ™‚

  3. Mimzy says:

    Like you, I’m tired of the Olympics, but feel compelled to watch some of it.
    However, that dried-up pathetic little tomato deserves a GOLD medal!

  4. kitsapFG says:

    I am totally enjoying the Olympics – but welcome an opportunity to refresh with something completely different. I love Monty Python so I was there with you from the start! πŸ˜€

    My counters are absolutely the worst place for me to photograph things – always stuff to move and the lighting is all bad in the kitchen. Unlike you, I don’t go into solving mode – as my camera functions pretty much point and shoot – no adjusting done by me (even though it is capable of much more). I tend to actually delete the images that don’t make the grade, so I could never mimic your phone “outtakes” idea on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing some of the behind the scenes in your blog world.

  5. bonnie says:

    I haven’t been watching the Olympics – too many other things to do.

    I enjoyed the pictures. A very creative blog post.

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