A Storm of Pink?

When you see the fields of tulips, looking out over all the different colors is pretty nice, but some of my favorite pictures were down close with just one color.  Pink works pretty well.

Pink Tulip Field in Skagit County 2009

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This one comes from my 100 mm macro lens.  I love the shallow depth of field, which devolves into solid pink.  On the Digital Rebel XT I shoot with, you’ve got to multiply the focal length by 1.6, so I have a 160mm lens which means I was probably 5 feet back from the flower in question.  With overcast sun shooting at ISO 200, you still have plenty of light to freeze any movement in the breeze, but late in the day or inside, this isn’t the perfect lens for hand-held shooting.  Sometimes it’s nice to try to figure out what else you can do with the lenses you have.  Macros are great up close, but that’s not all they can do.

Washington Does Tulips

I don’t really associate Washington and Tulips, but I guess someone does.  Every year in April, a bunch of farmers band together to make the Skagit Valley outside of Mount Vernon worthy of the name “Tulip Festival”.  I can’t say it is a *ton* of fun.  I can say that every 5 years or so, it is worth going and the fields are pretty darn cool to look at.

Skagit Valley Tulips

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I suppose my problem with the “festival” is that it is really a group of totally independant farms that allow you to traipse around a bit, possibly buy some popcorn or tulip postcards and charge you four or five bucks to park.  I’m not totally knocking it though.  This picture comes from a farm that proclaims itself as “Tulip Town”.  They grow tulips of every color and looking out over all of the rows, I can’t really think of anything else like it.

Say Hello To Junior

This is Junior.  Wouldn’t you like to type on Junior?

A Junior Model Typewriter - 1907

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Take a look at the smallest typewriter ever made.  Called the Junior, this one is from 1907 and although I can’t imagine trying to fit my hands on that keyboard and still generate the force needed to operate a typewriter, I guess it still works.  As much as I might not want to operate it, I do kinda want to give it a hug.

Typewriters – The Real Steampunk

I know someone who has a typewriter collection.  By this I don’t mean he has a couple typewriters.  He has lots of typewriters.  And he has amazing typewriters.  And he displays them.  And they are indeed wonderful.  They are purely mechanical and as far as I can tell they all still work, with some being over 100 years old.

Keys of a Royal Standard Typewriter, from 1906

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Lots of people these days are creating steampunk artifacts – things that look like they are old-timey.  Lots of brass and switches and cogs.  That’s all well and good, but this is the original steampunk.  I love all the intricate metal parts.  The spools and reels and keys and whatever else these things are.  I don’t know more than what he’s told me and what is written about each.  I know that this one is a Royal Standard typewriter from 1906.  I know it has some wickedly cool keys with apothecary symbols on them.  I don’t know much else, but it doesn’t take much for me to appreciate it.  I just love the rows and rows of metal keys.

I hope you like it too, because I’ve got some more pictures, coming up soon.

Birds On A Wire

Pigeons on a telephone wire – classic picture, right?

Pigeons on a Telephone Wire

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Even so, finding the right shot can be hard.  I wanted the simple lines and symmetry in the wires.  Sun should be up but not right overhead.  You need some pigeons in there, right?  Well I was out shooting radio towers and I just saw this out of the corner of my eye.  Want more?  Hit the jump for the rest of the post.

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Navigation By Tower

When people come from out of town and I need to direct them to my house, the Capitol Hill Radio Towers are about the best landmark I have.  “From the freeway, take Madison and go straight.  When you see the huge radio towers, you’re almost there”.

Capitol Hill Radio Tower

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There are three of these monsters, doing things I read about at one time.  All I know is that when you get really close, you don’t even need a radio to pick up KUOW, so they’re doing something.  Although they’re kinda ugly (and the barbed wire and industrial outbuildings surrounding them or the gas station almost directly underneath don’t help), they have their own charm.  A steel skeleton rising into the heavens, sporting many a dish which, if it could talk, would clearly say “REALLY don’t get in front of me” – nice neighbors, right?

Digging In The Vault #2 – Mosaic Monsters

One of my favorite shots from the Grand Palace in Bangkok was the mosaic tile monsters.  I’d call it a dragon, but do dragons have large fins on their heads?  I remain confused.

Mosaic Dragon at the Grand Palace in Bangkok

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The colors and artwork is amazing.  I should have stopped down a bit though – the depth of field at this angle is a little lacking, I think, but the focus on its face might make me reconsider.  I tried to work this shot into a masthead for the blog for a while, but the aspect ratio is all wrong so it never happened.  What do you think?

On an unrelated and nerdy note (stop reading here if those words made your eyes glaze over), I’ve had some issues with the color management on my monitor for a while.  What I was seeing in Photoshop wasn’t what was visible on the web, but I couldn’t sort it out so I just let it be.  Not anymore.  Finally figured it out and from here on out things should look better.  If I have enough time I might go back and fix some of the older ones – if things suddenly look better, that’s why.