silverflight8: watercolour wash with white paper stars (stars in the sky)
I caught the cherry blossoms!
click to enlarge )

SNOW

Jan. 30th, 2015 05:51 pm
silverflight8: watercolour wash with white paper stars (stars in the sky)
I think I've forgotten how to keep a journal, argh. Haven't done it in weeks, feels like.

It snowed finally--it's been cold for ages but no snow, which is unfair--and I managed to get some pictures when I was walking home at night. The quality of the photos is kind of variable on my cellphone but I am pleased with this one!

extreme close up of field of snowflakes and blurred out background of streetlights, trees, etc

Snow in cities is mostly really disgusting because the cars churn and blacken it immediately, but in that magical moment while the snow is still falling it's gorgeous. Especially at night, when the streetlights make individual snowflakes sparkle (but not completely snow-blind you, like this morning.)
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
developing photos )

frustration )

However! To make myself feel better, and anyway the muddling about with categories isn't very interesting, here are two photos I did like, click through for full size.

Spring: cherry blossoms )


Fall: weather report said rain )
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
Q: How many cherry blossom photos do I have?
A: SO MANY

Three separate trips: one while coming home from the gallery (happy accident!), once just for the blossoms, third time when visiting the park with A. These flowers are so easy to photograph and so, so pretty. I love flowers so much, and the most magical ones are, I think, the ones that are on trees. I love trees in full flower. Apple blossom, cherry blossom, they're all perfect.

Just three cherry blossom pictures under the cut. I don't really have time right now to go through all them and edit, so I just converted them into jpeg.

flowers! )
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
Eurovision finals are tomorrow! I am going to watch and if anyone wants to join me I have made a chatroom on mibbit (an IRC channel). If you have never used IRC before this should take you directly in--just enter a name to chat with where it says "nick".

http://client01.chat.mibbit.com/?server=irc.mibbit.net&channel=%23eurovision

If you have a client:
server: irc.mibbit.net
channel: #eurovision
No password required.

The first time I watched Eurovision it was with #lj_s and it was so much fun. IRC's not hard to use once you're in--it's just like any other chat interface--so come in to chat if you like!

I will be in there starting at around 2:50pm my time (and if I understand time zones correctly, which I may in fact totally misunderstand, it will be about 8:50pm in Denmark i.e. CEST.) So like 6:50 UTC. I THINK. On second thought, don't trust my attempts at converting timezones because they mess me up, I'll just be in about ten minutes before the show starts at 21:00 Copenhagen's time. Eurovision.tv informs me this is 21:00 CET.

--

The other day I walked into the kitchen and saw that there were about twenty bananas in bunches along the window. It's been overcast and rainy all day and the light fell just like an painting. It reminds me of a National Geographic (I think) photograph I saw once, of pears lined up on a windowsill. ETA: FOUND it! It's so cool how far Google and the internet has come--I put in "pears along windowsill" and the first result to come up was it. http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/wallpaper/ngm/50-best/moscow-pears-abell/ It's an amazing photo--I think I saw it in their 50 years of photography book. Hm, in retrospect, the photos aren't very similar. And unlike that picture, I am not taking a lovely picture of Moscow in the distance. Instead, it is the house next door, and also the pine tree I consult every morning for the weather (like this.)

Anyway, I took a picture. Actually, nineteen, but this is the best one:

bananas on windowsill )

One of the things that photography has taught me is that if you see something that you think is interesting--light, texture, anything--you have to take the picture then. Don't wait. Especially light, because it changes so fast; I feel like I'm always chasing after one sunbeam or another. Come back in a minute and it's gone, wahh.

When I went to make dinner, all the bananas were gone and the kitchen smelled like a banana massacre. I think the girl who lives down the hall bought them and then made a gigantic smoothie or banana mash to freeze or something.

--

It was rainy today but the cherry trees are blooming and I had my camera (I'd been walking home from visiting the art gallery) and so I took many pictures. I know exactly what I'm doing with my weekend. Oh my god. Finally! STAY TUNED.
silverflight8: watercolour wash with white paper stars (stars in the sky)
I went back to the Gardens to take more pictures! Here's last time's post, for reference--almost exactly a week ago two years ago. (ETA: by which I mean when I started composing this entry, April 27, but it is clearly no longer April 27 oops.) They're wrapping up their Easter show--there were lilies absolutely everywhere. I wish I could bottle their essence and upload it onto the internet, because the whole conservatory smelled like lilies.

I think my photography has improved. I'm much happier with my photos, at least; I'm using the same camera which helps in comparison. I think a lot more about light, at any rate--everything is light, everything.

I came home with 200+ pictures, but after weeding out the blurry ones, the uninteresting ones, the duplicates or near-duplicates, here are the highlights! They're all flowers, and because I am a terrible botanist (or rather, not a botanist) I know pretty much none of their names. Look, I studied ecology and human biology in high school, we didn't do classification! (I wish we had though.)

Nineteen large pictures of flowers under the cut. I actually resized them in Lightroom this time, so no links to larger versions; these are the largest size* )

*Though seriously, if you see a picture that you like and would like a full-size copy, I am more than happy to email you one (or more than one, seriously). I am not a professional photographer and I in no way will ever make money from this, and I basically take pictures because it makes me happy and I like sharing them. You all are welcome to use the images.
silverflight8: text icon: "Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush!" (Panic!)
In minecraft I moved my home to what I called "mountain retreat" several months ago, and started building around it. I put a railrooad from old home (mixed forest biome) to my current one (extreme hills).

I've completed the exoskeleton and exterior of a castle, two very-similar timber-framed houses, and my glass-house-in-the-sky. And random things in and around, but here's pictures! I really like the extreme hills biome; it makes the landscape interesting to build on, even if I end up doing extensive landscaping--I have to shovel so much dirt and stone out of the way sometimes.

stuff on trying to update Forge )

Anyway, I copied in the original worldsave and got all of it back. I've been messing with trying to download different versions of Forge, since they have so many for just 1.7.2, and it's...not really working.

However! I have pictures of my buildings. I take screencaps now and then. There are buildings, zombies in their underwear, baby ocelots posing, zombie apocalypses, and me exhibiting a case of pyromania (sorry) but I just wanted to show you guys the buildings. Click to enlarge.

under the cut )

I am currently building a warehouse in the middle of a hill to store all my stuff. I have way too much stuff, and as you can see, there's no basement in my house :P
silverflight8: Different shades of blue flowing on a white background like waves (Fractal)
Got on a plane JUST IN TIME this morning; there were some problems with navigation and horrendous snowy/icy road conditions blahblahblah. I got to the airport at 5:45am (boarding: 5:25, departure 6:00). Everyone in the security line was very nice and let me budge them so I actually cut the line (and it's a tiny, tiny terminal, this one: there are eight gates total). I asked the security guard if I could cut and she said "you have to ask everyone in front of you" but people were quite good-natured about it. Thank you.

I boarded just fine (and was not even the last one on!) but I don't want to ever cut it that fine again. We stayed on the tarmac for a good hour waiting for baggage to be loaded, and then for de-icing. By the time we took off it was starting to get light outside. I fell asleep, but I did wake up in the middle and HAD TO TAKE PICTURES even with my phone and here is one I like, which I took while we were flying over the lake:

fluffy clouds with sun rising on the right side, blue sky gradient into white-pink tinted clouds
(It is a large picture, but it is also very grainy. Click for larger size.)

On some of the banked turns the perspective was heavily tilt-shifted and it was the most amazing miniaturizing effect. I wish I'd gotten a picture there. I wish I were a better flier and could do things like airborne photography. I want to yank open the window so I can get a clearer shot--it's such a different thing up there. There was a lot of snow too, so you could see the snow-cleared roads as very precise, black lines winding through white snowfields.
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
The Guns of Avalon, Roger Zelazny

Corwin, Lord of Amber, escapes from the dungeons of Amber to fight back against his brother Eric, who has usurped the throne of Amber, slipping between shadow worlds.

This is an extremely peculiar book. Corwin can 'walk in shadow', which means he can move between what amount to parallel universes. The novel opens with him walking out of prison and meeting with a wounded man named Lance (i.e. Lancelot). Corwin proceeds with Lance to Lorraine, a place that bears similarity to Corwin's own land--but this is a shadow of the other one. It's sort of Avalon, but not. Then they go off and have a battle...and Corwin unwittingly tells an impostor how to use the Pattern of Amber.

To be honest, this novel confused me a great deal. I see now that it is a second novel in a series (...this would explain rather a lot) but as I complained in a previous entry (here) the language wavers between very modern and archaic. In a way that might have been deliberate, but to me just sounded muddled. As well, the references were mixed too--there are references to our world (except one where there is no settlement on Africa) but also names like Ganelon (Song of Roland!) and of course the Arthurian influences (most notably Lancelot.)

I don't know if I want to try any of his other books. It was a tiny book but I didn't come out of it really liking anyone, except maybe Benedict, who seems to be the most level-headed of the bunch of brothers.

*

The Floating Islands, Rachel Neumeier

I also read The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier some...months...back. Fortunately I still have a copy and some of my thoughts written down.

The Floating Islands follows Trei, an orphaned boy, as he searches for his distant relatives living on the Floating Islands. These islands, adrift dozens of miles above the sea, are their own principality, defended by their geography. Arriving by boat, Trei is immediately struck by the kajuraihi--winged men that fly with crimson wings supported by dragon magic.

When he arrives at Canpra, the capital city, he meets and is accepted by his uncle into the family. He discovers he has a cousin, Araenè, who is a skilled chef, but he isn't in the household for very long when he successfully passes the initial test to become a kajuraihi. The test involves jumping from stepping stones to stepping stones between two islands, and then a further test by the dragons on the island.

Meanwhile, Araenè has a secret life of her own--when her parents are absent, she dresses as a boy and sneaks to the lectures at the university. On one such trip, she comes back and finds a door--walks in and finds Master Tnegun, a mage, who offers her a Dannè sphere and the assertion that she is a mage, if she won't stifle her magic.

Both of them become significant when the political tensions between the Floating Islands and the militant Tolounn, where Trei comes from, begin to heat up. Seeing the Islands as a new land to annex, their mages have found out how to suppress the magic that keeps them floating and protects them, and try to take over.

My thoughts )

*

And lastly, a picture. I was out today and saw this thing. I stared at it, and then walked by, and then turned around and had to take some pictures because...what?

image under cut, sfw )

omg!

Jul. 8th, 2013 07:11 pm
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
It's pouring rain! The intersection down the road is underwater. The cars in downtown are swimming. I got out of work dry and was soaked to the skin as soon as I made it down the stairs. It's unbelievable. What is going on?? This isn't normal at all!

*

This is ironic because on Saturday, A and I went to the park to photograph butterflies, and sweated like pigs. All we saw were two (2) Cabbage Whites (invasive species) and 2 (two) Summer Azures, which are azure by naked eye, and tattered grey by photograph. Better than the first time in May, when we saw only the Cabbage Whites...lots of birds though. A has a picture of me sitting in despair under the shade of a bush, but some of the photos were worth it.

Here's my favourite picture of Saturday:

under the cut )
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
I'm starting to think that Lightroom's "auto tone" is set producing pictures that look like a different era.

So I have these photos, right? They're a bit underexposed (too dark, all the contrast's in shadows). Lightroom, upon hitting the auto-tone button--controlling exposure, contrast, highlights/blacks/whites/shadow clipping--generally reacts as though the photos were taken in the pitchest, blackest night ever and yanks exposure way up.

It reminds me so much of old Polaroid pictures, is what I'm saying.

Here, I'm rubbish at explaining pictures via text. Examples under cut (I tried to make them small! I swear! Someday I will be able to fight with sizes, but Lightroom's export dialogue is obstructive and Photoshop is really overdoing it. But hey they are all the same size, so I can tell you numbers: 3,504px × 2,336px.)

3 pictures of the same bird )

Incidentally if you ever wanted to know about grain, or ISO, you can use the size to zoom in. These pictures were taken at ISO 400, and you can see clearly that they weren't enough to offset the dim light--I probably should have pulled it higher. When you zoom in, or even at this size, you can see there is random noise. The colours don't blend perfectly together.
silverflight8: Barcode with silverflight8 on top and userid underneath (Barcode)
I came home this afternoon and saw the flowers coming up. They've been coming up for about a week now, but then we had snow and then horrid rain for three or four days (and cloudy skies when it wasn't raining). Suddenly I felt that time was fleeing and that I had to get outside and take pictures. Immediately. Spring is the quickest, briefest season--what was it that Robert Frost said?

Nature's first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold.


There's this house on the corner, and the owners have a big hedge grown up along the sidewalk. In the wintertime it's pretty see-through because the leaves fall off, and sparrows perch in it year-round, so I like to look for birds when I go by. But today I saw that it had started budding leaves. And what leaves! They were just like flowers.

While I was doing my first pass (mostly to toss the blurry or under/overexposed photos) and flicking through pictures, waiting for them to load, zooming in and out to look at clarity etc, I found myself practically salivating over the photos. The really nice, really sharp pictures--I kept thinking that they were absolutely delicious.

Then I got up and ate dinner, just in case.

That said, there's just something in a clean, sharp macro photo that's...delicious. Some brain wiring has gotten fused, perhaps, but--well, the flowers look like they're cupping sunshine! Ahhhh, there's nothing like flowers.

Pictures! )

I think I need to change my lj style. (After four years!) It's just not as wide as the dw one, and it's a pain with photographs; if you visit my journal you'll probably have to scroll; I don't think that the space is even 800px wide.
silverflight8: Different shades of blue flowing on a white background like waves (Fractal)
Right, so my friend has an adorable, adorable kitten, and last time I went over to her place, I didn't bring my camera. I have since rectified my mistake, and now I have kitten pictures!

These pictures all look better in larger sizes (they're rather dark: indoor lighting + cloudy day). My LJ and DW styles handle picture sizing differently, which annoys me to no end, but clicking will open them in a new tab where you can also zoom in. They're really big - I shoot in RAW.

My friend wears a pink plaid shirt, and the kitty is like a tiger. MASSIVE pictures under cut. )
silverflight8: 2010 Nanowrimo: text "sentences do not require verbs" (Nanowrimo 2010)
Nanowrimo stuff, you're all likely inundated with it already )

But, lest you think my life is a horrid frenzy of speedwalking - which sometimes it is, I have improved both my speedwalking and jaywalking skills - I actually live a lovely life. (This is not reflected on my journal.) And I have pictures which I took on Saturday. I found the most delightful, quaint garden on this ramble.

Click for images! Click on images for enlarged images! )

and now I'm for sleep o/

List!

Jul. 19th, 2010 08:24 pm
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
1. The other day, one of our friends moved to the States, and they gave us their two budgies, since they couldn't bring them and we had a budgie, too. This is Ray. (Sadly, my skills with a camera do not produce photos like this).
     He used to be very scared of everyone (still is), but after a party in which we left the cage door open and let little boys play with him, he's become very aggressive, and he bites.
     Enter two new birds, Mango and Pearl, who like to bicker, too. It's turned into a three-bird circus show, with fights erupting once in awhile over who gets what perch (Ray is very jealous) and because I like to anthropomorphize, it looks almost as though they're giving each other attitude (and then sometimes falling asleep right after). Never mind Mango's perhaps twice as big as Ray. They squabble all the time, and the house sounds like the outdoors with all the chirping.

2. I love it when random numbers are perfect squares. Did you know the squares of 100 and 75 added together is a perfect square? (It's part of the 3-4-5 triangle [multiply each by 25], but as I didn't realize at first).

3. The weather is out of whack here. This is the fourth thunderstorm in July, I think--rain is usually in June (flooding, more like, for the people by the river). Last week the thunderstorm gifted us with golf ball sized hail.

4. I wish that the concept of significant figures wasn't invented. Okay, not really. But it's a pain.

5. The nice thing about pop songs is that they're frequently in a very small range. Singing songs in West Side Story (I mean, "Tonight") is an exercise in trying both extremes of your range. (Unless, of course, you've got an incredible four-octave range, which means I am very jealous.) Also, I think I am mangling the pronunciation in the Erlkönig.

6. My resolve to write a post each day is slowly weakening, but I assure you, the last two days I didn't say anything was partly because I wanted anyone visiting my journal to see the entry about the little sparkly trout who deteriorated into a stinky mess. (This silence was also because I was lazy.)

7. I finished re-reading (it's been a few years now) Lucrezia Borgia, by John Faunce. Even a cursory Wikipedia search has turned up information that runs completely counter to what Faunce claims, but I really enjoyed this book. I'm sure it's due in part to nostalgia, but I genuinely liked Lucrezia (the elder; there are two Lucrezia Borgias). After reading this, I realize I understand far more references, but I still with I'd had a classical education. In fact, while the post-Medieval Western-Europe themes and politics are very interesting, so are the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, which this book refers to. I like the way Faunce shows the Pope's court, which, at the time, was extremely corrupt. What stuck with me the first time I read this (in a pool of summer sunshine at camp) was the gold. Cesare Borgia (or as he prefers, Cæsar) loved gold, and these quick allusions make me think of gold dust whenever I think of this book.
Review is being written.

Oh, summer.

Mar. 3rd, 2010 04:25 pm
silverflight8: bee on rose  (Default)
So this is what it looks like outside today:


I was digging around my "My Pictures" folder yesterday, and ran across one picture I took of the same place (it's shifted left a bit) that really made me blink. It's because it was taken during the summer.

Around this time of year...one tends to forget that the elusive thing, summer, even exists. Or even the fact that the grass was green at some point.

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