90. Progress Report IX

I am writing 100 posts in 100 days (and that is the last time I will write that!) Only 10 more to go! I didn’t write yesterday because it was Thanksgiving (everyone knows you can’t blog on Thanksgiving). Everyone (except for retailers) also knows the rule of:

Thou shalt not decorate for Christmas until the day after Thanksgiving.

Which means today, Friday, it’s all white lights and sparkling gold and painted glass. Which, quite literally, illuminates a major concern here at Spy Garden. That concern, that major matter that has quietly plagued me for some time, is the matter of indoor photography. I just don’t seem to be able to take a decent picture indoors.

I have a vision of making all sorts of lighted decorations and a Christmas village in each of the rows of the garden and then you can walk through it and it will be a Christmas lighted wonderland of garden delights. This vision is not happening this year. So in order to share the magic of Advent and the coziness of Christmas, I need to learn how to take a decent picture indoors. So one goal for the next 10 days is to actually look up some photography tips and share what I find out with my readers.

I really enjoyed my “Never Underestimate the Possibilities of Paper Series”: snowflakes, paper stars, origami, and a grand finale on books including the revelation that I would put all of the Spy Garden 2013 content into book form. It had it all. Then things slowed down a bit at #86. My favorite sort of writing is silly with some obscure references thrown in. Jokes about modern art, bad poetry, with some good art and (occasionally) decent poetry thrown in. What I have discovered is that it is sort of difficult for me to make jokes about gardening. So another goal is to try and make my garden planning talk a little sillier so that it will be entertaining even to people who don’t care about gardening.

Below are some pictures from our non-traditional Thanksgiving celebration of thankfulness yesterday. Soak it up because they’re the last brown, orange, ochre, fall-ish-looking things you’ll see in Spy Garden until Fall 2014!

Baby examines an acorn.

Baby examines an acorn.

Tree. Love that curving branch

Tree. Love that curving branch

Smoochie and the Spy cleaning up the brush-y area along the road

Smoochie and the Spy cleaning up the brush-y area along the road

They removed all of the invasive honeysuckle and only left this stuff:

Does anyone know what this plant is?

Does anyone know what this plant is?

Here is the foliage.

Here is the foliage.

It stays green most of the winter.

The Spy working hard

The Spy working hard

Growth on a little sapling (I think this one is a mimosa sapling)

Growth on a little sapling (I think this one is a mimosa sapling)

 Its all red and green and gold and sparkling from here on out!

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac

Tastes like lemon and vinegar!

Tastes like lemon and vinegar!

Festive! I ought to make a wreath out of this...

Festive! I ought to make a wreath out of this…

WAaa HOO Christmas time!!!

7 thoughts on “90. Progress Report IX

  1. narf77

    I go away for 2 days and come back to posts everywhere…you are almost finished your 100 posts in 100 days and I bet it is going to feel amazing to go back to blogging as and when you feel like it. LOVE those autumnal images and you need one of those light boxes and all of the spotlights etc. for indoor photography, check out some of the food blogs, they usually have info about how they take their images.

    Reply
  2. Eliza Waters

    What kind of camera do you have? I may be able to help you…
    The blue berries are Japanese privet (invasive species). The stem you called mimosa looks like elderberry (native). Check out my post (http://elizawaters.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/plentiful-bounty/), it just so happens to be about invasives and what you could do with them. (There are no coincidences!)
    I think a sumac wreath would be gorgeous! Can’t wait to see Spy Garden decked out for the holidays!

    Reply
    1. Spy Garden Post author

      Thanks so much! Maybe we will do away with the Privet as well. Your bittersweet berry wreath was lovely. I could do the same type of thing with the invastive honeysuckle (same type of red berries) and the privet. I have a Nikon d60. It has an “Auto” setting, but the pictures never look as crisp and pretty as with outdoor light. I have a cd that came along with the camera, I am DEFINITELY going to (finally!) take a look at it very soon but any tips you have for indoor photos would be much appreciated!

      Reply
      1. Eliza Waters

        The wreath I made with my 9-yr-old neighbor, the feathers were from a pheasant that sadly met her end in a hunt, but I honored her life by thanking her for her lovely feathers. About the camera, I have a couple of suggestions…if you are like me and hate the glare of flash pictures, you could move the dial on top clockwise one notch from auto (green camera symbol) to the circle with the lightning bolt through it. This causes the camera to compensate for no flash and will hopefully take a decent shot. If it comes out too bright or too dim, hold the shutter half way down in spot close by that is a bit darker or lighter then swing back to subject and shoot. (This is tough to explain through writing!) You’re basically trying to fool the camera into setting a wider or tighter aperture. Another way is to move dial counter-clockwise to P, then set ISO via menu button. Try 200, 400, 800 – experiment to see what you may need – the higher you go, the grainier and more amber-colored the shot will be. I often end up taking things close to a window to work with natural light. (see my rosehips with sprigs of pine above) Sometimes I’ll set the timer to avoid camera shake in low light situations – use a tripod or set up the shot with books on a table, etc. to get the right height. Turning on lots of lights helps, too. I don’t know if any of this is helpful to you, play around with the camera, experimenting (like you have LOTS of time, I know!) Just have fun! I still take multiple shots on different settings just to see what comes out. At 1600 ISO on my Canon I can take shots outside at dusk, when it is nearly dark, that look like daylight. Amazing tech.in cameras these days!

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