After a night spent in our dank and musty subterranean AirB&B we emerged rested and reset to the new time zone. The day holds visits to the Van Gogh Museum, the Microb Museum, the Botanical Gardens and stops for all sorts of tasty treats. In the evening we found a tall building with a rooftop bar to watch the sun set over the city.
The vacation is over and I’m back home again. Its time to get back to my normal routines as I fight the jet lag. I still get to re-live the fun from the vacation with the chocolates and cheeses I’ve brought with me as I curate and edit all the photos I took.
I previously posted some pictures of a spider I found which had apprehended a wasp in its web. I also took the opportunity to take some video. It was very up close with a very small depth of field, making the video a little shaky and blurry. I have tried a little to correct for this with some post processing.
Outside of the shoddy camera work its still rather impressive, if you are not arachnophobic.
The previous post was Lucky Spiders
In photography there is a concept called subject isolation, which simply means make sure what you want people to see in your photo stand out. This is commonly done by using a narrow depth of field to cause an intentional blur of everything that is not the subject. This effect is often called bokeh, and its popularity is the reason that so many wide aperture lenses are being made to day.
I recently got the ‘thrifty 50’ 50mm 1.8 prime from Sony. With the aperture open to 1.8 this lens should have a very narrow focal plane and lots of background blurring. Throwing on a tube extender for some ‘macro’ shots narrows the depth of field even further. I went for a walk to the local rose garden, self assigned to practice some subject isolation and try out the new lens.
My find this weekend while out for a walk is two new insects I’d not seen before. Unable to identify them on the spot I took some pictures and looked them up later. One was a Bald-Faced Hornet, walking along the ground. The other was a Mud Dauber, perched on a flower.
More macro pictures of bees collecting pollen and nectar. I also found a wasps nest while out taking pictures, but I thought it was best to leave them alone. Taking these pictures often means getting within inches of the subject, the bees are too preoccupied to care, but the yellow jackets seemed a little more aggressive.
Mailbox peak is a famous hike in the Seattle area, know for very steep elevation gain and beautiful views. Mailbox peak has been so popular there are now two trails up the mountain. We hiked the new trail which is better maintained and takes a gentler path up to the summit, though going back and trying the old trail is still a possibility.
The hike was challenging, but it was not as hot as the week before and most of the trail was under a protective canopy of trees. The last mile climbing in the sun was hard, but by that point the end is so close.