Nature Notes

May 31, 2009

Rain

Filed under: Ontario — Tags: — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

Weather forecasting is a Fraud!

How can you take seriously a forecast like “A 50% chance of precipitation” 50% ?? That’s no better odds than a coin flip. My Great-aunt Buelah’s arthritis is more accurate than that.

Let me explain the reason for this rant. I have been planning a timelapse project but I need a dry sunset or sunrise. Since that happens twice a day, you would think it shouldn’t take long but it has been wet for 4 days. The weather forecast has said 30% chance or 50% or 100% and I guess that makes them right.

However today they said sunny all day and its been a great day.But  about two hours before sunset the weather forecast changes to “A 50% chance of precipitation” and its turned into a monsoon. These people are putting out ten day forecasts as if they are meaningful, but the truth is that they have no idea what it is in 6 hours. They should ask my Great-aunt Buelah.

Maybe tomorrow it will be dry. Maybe tomorrow I can finally get this project done. Hmmm.. I better check the weather report.


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May 28, 2009

American Bullfrog Croaking

Filed under: Animals,Video — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am


The American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

I can find no good reason for making a video of this except I thought it looked cool


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May 26, 2009

The Ring-billed Gulls have had chicks

Filed under: Birds,Ontario — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Ring-billed Gull chick

Ring-billed Gull chick

In Hamilton harbor, here in Ontario, there is a spit of land which hosts a breeding colony of Ring-billed Gulls Thousands of pairs of Ring-billed Gulls and they are very interesting.  I have been dropping by occasionally to take some video in hopes of putting together a feature on them.

Yesterday when I swung by, I found that there were chicks everywhere.  And here are some images. Tomorrow I’ll post a short clip of an adult feeding a pair of chicks.


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May 15, 2009

Photoshop Tutorial – Color Burn your Landscapes

Filed under: Photoshop Tutorial,Processing Tips — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Orchard (Before)

Orchard (Before)

One of the secrets photo editors have used for magazine images is saturating colors through Color Burn. It is especially effective for Landscapes. Of course not all landscapes benefit from this type of processing but a great many do.

It is a simple process:

Add a duplicate layer (Layer>Duplicate Layer)

Change the Blending Mode to Color Burn. This is easy to do with the Layers Menu open (Window>Layers), then clicking on the small window on the top left and choosing Color Burn. Make sure the top or duplicate layer is highlighted.

This will probably be too strong, so you will want to reduce the opacity by changing the top right window in the Layers menu. Often about 20-30% is a good choice.

Thats it!

Orchard (After)

Orchard (After)

Index to Photoshop Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of the Photoshop Workflow Series


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May 11, 2009

Three Birdlapses

Filed under: Birds,Ontario,Timelapse — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am


This video can be viewed in HD and full screen by  clicking on the Full screen icon on the bottom right.

This spit of land in the Hamilton harbor is a breeding area for three bird colonies, Ring-billed Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants and Black-crowned Night-Heron. I have been dropping by every week or so to take some video in the hopes of putting together a documentary on one season. It won’t be long until chicks will arrive which will be interesting.

I am able to shoot from my car from behind a concrete barrier and therefore they are not disturbed.

This is a series of three timelapse sequences of the area.

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May 7, 2009

Green Trilliums

Filed under: Flowers,Ontario — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
All Green Trillium

All Green Trillium

O.K. they are actually White Trillium that have been infected with mycoplasma-like organisms (whatever the heck they are). However they don’t look infected, they actually look very beautiful.

The infection gives the normally white flowers a varying degree of green including some that are entirely green like the one above. It also can cause distortion of the petals, in fact one example below show a flower with six petals instead of the usual three.

Green and White Trillium

Green and White Trillium

A six petaled Trillium

A six petaled Trillium

A beautiful example

A beautiful example

Distorted Petals

Distorted Petals

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May 2, 2009

Snail

Filed under: Animals — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am

I was interested in what could be done with the Canon 5D2 and a macro lens, the 180mm. This lens is notorious for having a very shallow depth of field but I feel the results were better with video than stills.

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