Tuesday, March 15, 2011

more photos


65/ toy cube
Played together with Maya with these clikx blocks.. What you don't see in this picture that there are a lot of cubes inside. We first started with a small cube, 1 piece on each side. Maya could make these easily. They I tought here how to make larger cubes, so we made a 2x2 cube and put the 1x1 inside. Then a 3x3. A 4x4.. and finally this 5x5 cube with all the smaller cubes inside.


66/ ugly frog.. I had opened the back and front doors of my gameroom and when I entered the room again a few minutes later, this little fellow was in the middle of it. He had entered through the back and was on its way to the front to our garden..
You'd be a surprised to find such a large frog in a garden in the middle of a city, but the back neighbours have a pond and probably that's where he came from. It's not the first time I see a frog in our garden, a few years ago there was also one behind the gamroom, but it's the first time it was this big..
I put him back outside on the small roof behind my gameroom, took some pictures of him and then put him gently over the wall into the other garden. Don't want him in my gameroom (he couldn't get out when the doors are closed) and I think that my cats meeting would also not be the best scenario. (although I remember from the last time they were just curious and a bit scared, they looked closely at it but didn't dare to touch it)


67/ wacko and a dead bird..
This is one of our cats, Wacko. Being large and fat hasn't stopped him from killing a bird :( I'm not sure he caught it, I only saw him play with it.
It's possible one of the other cats captured it first. And I'm not convinced of that either, as they're all getting old and even don't climb on the wall or enter our neighbours gardens. So it's not that they will have taken it out of a nest in a tree. It's also possible this bird just got a heart attack when flying over our garden, or it was one of the neighbours cats.. and if the bird really was crazy enough to actually land in a garden with three cats in it, and not fly away then they got close, well then it was ready for a darwin award..


68/ mango pit
Ate two mangos for lunch today. This is one of the pits, I've planted it.
Last year I had also planted a mango pit which had grown to a plant of about 10cm high, but unfortunately the rabbits we had then ate most of it :(
The rabbits are now gone, so now I can try again to grow a mango tree..


69/ Mali
This is Mali, one of our black cats.


70/ Boki.
This is Boki, our other black cat. They're sisters. You probably can't tell very well in the picture, but she's much thinner than Mali. Mali used to be the thin one, but since a year or 3 she started to get fat and Boki got skinny.
I don't have many nice pictures of our cats so now I finally made a few.
Next time I'll try to comb their hair..


71/ dutch windmill
Windmill in Retranchement, Netherlands. Windmill guy was just preparing it.


72/ beach
Trying to make water float uphill.. the kids were bored after 5 minutes playing with the sand castle, the adults only after an hour..


73/ big waves coming in.. the tide was rising, love how you see their shape against the breakers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

more photos

More photos of the last 2 weeks.. have been busy doing a lot of things in the house, didn't have always time or felt like uploading pictures.. most are quick snapshots, no 'studio setups' in this series; but that'll come again soon.


48/ pancakes. I make the best pancakes in the world. Seriously. I don't cook often (I'm not the greatest chef either, but give me a cookbook and I'll follow the recipe and succeed) but pancakes are something I can make very well. Made these after I had promised Maya the day before we would make them.


49/ jack in the box. Maya was playing with it and told me to take a photo of it, so I did. Yes I'm that easy going, tell me do to something and I probably won't say no :)


50/ Nikon D70s. Nikky's new toy. She wants to make better pictures for her food blog, and when a friend of her offered this for sale she bought it.. it was used as backup camera, only has about 9000 actuations on the shutter. Almost like new :)
It has only 6 megapixels but the pictures are of very good quality. Advantage is that this can sync with an external flash up to very high sync speeds, good when I want to do some high-speed strobist photography..

drywall screw

51/ Drywall screw. Working in our house, I've seen too many of these the last days..

drywall screw bit

52/ Drywall screw bit. The best invention ever !! Bought it a few months ago, should've gotten one years ago already.


53/ Went with Nikky to the market, mushrooms were for sale. We bought 2 kilo. Made mushroom for dinner (something else I can cook) and soup of them. Cleaned them all and cut them into small pieces. Quickly took a picture of this one. They actually look pretty cool, not a totally white color, they have some texture.. next time I'll search for a really really nice one (without brown scratches) and make a good picture in a studio setup.


54/ lamp in our house.. nothing much to say about it, looks pretty cool especially in the dark when lit


55/ Finally got a new lens for Nikkys D70s. Buying it didn't go easy. Sometimes you have money to spend and you can't ?!

For a while I've been thinking about a 35mm or 50mm 1.8 lens, just to have some really fast glass and play with a fixed lens instead of my zooms.
Now Nikky got her camera I wanted to buy a good lens for it to make nice food pictures. She said something cheap would do, but then she could as well have shot pictures with the compact camera she had.. if you get a dslr for food photography you need something in which you can get a really small dof.
And when we buy a new lens, I prefer to buy one that I can use too..

Anyway, I still had a gift voucher of a photography shop in our area, Foto Rubens. It was intended to buy a new tripod (I still have a cheapo 15 euro tripod I bought a few years ago on holiday in Italy - while it was quite good for it's price and the Fuji camera I then used, my D90 is just a bit too heavy for it).
So I wanted to use that voucher for a new lens instead of a tripod.
Problem was, 35mm was sold out and they didn't know when Nikon would deliver again.
50mm lens there is more expensive (150 euro) than in other shops (120 to 125 euro), and I didn't really want to buy a 50mm to only use on the D70s, as 5.mm is a bit too much tele and would not give Nikky the flexibility she needs for food photography.
So no prime lens for me this time..

No prime lens, then I wanted to see if a 2.8 zoom was a possibility.
Checked the website of the shop and one that was in stock: a Tamron 17-50 2.8.
Read some reviews, it seemed to be a good lens. Decided that the next day I was going to get me this lens.
Went to the store, it was all dark.. there had been a water leak in the building and the electricity was shut off.. they couldn't sell anything as they couldn't check inventory and get prices.. aargh..
the next day they were closed..
the day after they finally opened again and I could buy this lens. Excellent! :)


56/ I'm upstairs and Nikky shouts at me: bring me your camera with your best lens. I'm like: the best lens we have is on your camera dear ?!
Nikky had seen this insect in the garden and wanted to have a picture of it.
I have no idea what it is, some kind of grashopper like thing but with wings ?
Shot at 2.8 aperture :-)


57/ flower at 2.8.. testing the new lens..


58/ look, food photography ! that's why we got the new camera and lens..
it tasted good :) still have to find a location in the kitchen that has good natural lighting to take pictures quick, without having to search what settings and light is best.. Now the plate sits a bit below the window which makes for an uneven lighting of the plate, the back is much darker than the front..

red and white tiles

59/ more work in the kitchen.. the colors really complement the red kitchen we have. these tiles replace the black ones we had, the kitchen is suddenly a lot brighter and we're happier.. those black tiles we had before looked nice but weren't such a good idea afterall.. a few years ago we also had black paint on part of the walls of the kitchen, it also made the kitchen very dark (you almost always had to switch on the lights), that was also changed for a coat or fresh green paint.


60/ more good tasting food

tiles finished

61/ new tiles are finished ! looks even better with the grout filled


62/ Maya made this for me. We have been playing together all afternoon. Later while I was busy in the kitchen, she decided to make a gift for me. Took the colored papers and cut, folded and glued it all by herself. She had learned in school how to make these bouncy legs. The words are cut out of a piece of paper: 'the sweetest daddy is by coincidence my daddy'. She was so proud of it.
It now sits on my desk.

pinup candy

63/ Something else on my desk, this metal box. It's a reminder of our holiday in Stresa, Italy, 3 years ago. It contained some small candy made by a +200 years old recipe. It's retro, Italian, candy and has a pinup on it. What's not to like about it ??

milo manara pins

64/ Italian pinups bring me to this picture. This frame is in my office, it's a set of pins based on pinup characters from the adult comic books by italian artist Milo Manara.
In the past I collected a lot of things by Milo Manara and Eleuteri Serpieri. The regular and collectible book editions, portfolios, autographed prints, I even had some original sketches from Milo. Over the years my interests changed (pinball machines became my new hobby, no more comic book collecting) and I've sold a lot of things (a few I regret). This is a reminder of them..