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Archive for the ‘Nature and Outdoors’ Category

How to Easily Remove Unwanted Clutter from Photographs | indiasroses.com

I have discovered the most fantastic Photoshop tool known to the human race! The Clone Tool! It’s basically the easiest way to remove unwanted objects from otherwise lovely photography. I was always eluded by how to make photoshoped images remain natural and flawless and now I know how thanks to a great tutorial over at Photoshop Buzz. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re interested in sprucing up some of your “almost” favorite photos. The photo bellow I took in 2007 on U.S. Interstate 80 somewhere in Nevada… or maybe Utah and I always loved it but could never make it just right. As you will see above with this new tutorial and about a half hour I was able to make it into the photograph I always dreamed it could be.

How to Easily Remove Unwanted Clutter from Photographs | indiasroses.com

I don’t know if this was just me or not, but at first I didn’t understand the clone tool. I thought you were copy and pasting from one place to another one click at a time. When really you’re setting a location to clone from and that point moves evenly with your brush as you cover an object in another location. Good Luck!

Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment and/or ask questions.

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A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Over the weekend Sweet Pea (my 2 1/2 year old daughter) and I decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of town life and head for the country. There are a lot of big changes going on in our life (new baby on the way, moving) and we just needed to get away… get away and pick BLACKBERRIES. The blackberry bushes at my parents house are overflowing with juicy, fragrant orbs of deliciousness and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on them, and I was excited to share something that was such a big part of my childhood with my child. (Scroll down for Blackberry Cobbler Recipe)

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

We started by picking lots and lots of blackberries, but for the cobbler we only needed 6 cups. The rest were divided up and frozen so we could resurrect the best and tastiest part of summer later in the year when the winter days and the endless cold seem to drag on and on. (Complete Recipe and Directions Bellow)

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Then we headed inside poured the blackberries into a pan and collected the rest of our ingredients.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

We mixed all the dry ingredients and diced up the butter.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

After that we went to work with a pastry blender until the mixture vaguely resembled pea gravel.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Add the milk and stir until all the ingredients are combined.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

I then spooned the biscuit topping evenly across the top of the berries.

A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com

Popped the whole pan in the oven and 40 minutes later it was piping hot and ready to eat!

Recipe adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook 13th edition

Blackberry Cobbler

 
Ingredients:
 
1 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
6 tablespoons Cold Butter
1/2 cup Raw Sugar
3/4 cups Milk (I used 2%)
6 cups Blackberries
Enough Raw Sugar for Sweetening the Berries
 
(By all means if you prefer white sugar use it instead)
 
Preheat oven to 375° F. Pour Blackberries into 8×8 inch pan and add sugar to taste. I always start with half a cup of sugar and then add more if I think the berries are going to be a little sour (like if a 2 year old helps you pick them and they have visible red spots). Set pan aside and add Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Baking Powder and Salt to a large bowl. Cut Cold Butter into cubes and add to dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, Fork or your fingers; work the Butter into the Flour mixture until pieces resemble small pea gravel. Add Milk and stir until combine. Spoon mixture evenly over Blackberries (I used a 3×3 grid pattern). Place pan in oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until the Blackberries are bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough it no longer feels like lava (about 15 minutes) and enjoy alone or with vanilla ice cream. It’s also good chilled and at room temperature.
 
A Recipes for super easy and delicious Blackberry Cobbler: indiasroses.com
 

While we were out we also saw this Douglas Squirrel sneaking a treat from the very tip top of an apple tree; it even threw a couple of apples at the dogs that were watching it pensively from bellow.

Please feel free to comment and/or ask questions. Thank you for reading.

 

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f/8 – exposure 1/2000 sec – ISO 400

Flamingos at the Sequoia Park Zoo in Eureka, CA.

f/8 – exposure 1/2000 sec – ISO 400

The zoo is a wonderful local resource with lots of opportunities for learning and fun.

f/8 – exposure 1/2000 sec – ISO 320

Photographing birds with lots of light and a fast shutter speed allowed me the ability to capture the detail of the Flamingos feathers. A small aperture helps hold onto a vibrant moment of clarity surrounded by a blurred backdrop to bring all the attention to what is most important in the photograph.  Under each photo are the camera settings that I used to achieve the desired affect.

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f/6.3 – Exposure 1/2500 – ISO 6400

I’ve always been fascinated with water and when I finally got a camera with an adjustable shutter speed I knew that I needed to get out and take some pictures of the beautiful liquid movement in a nearby bubbling stream. The setting was very dark and the water moved fast so I had to compensate for both light and movement. I had to use an extremely fast shutter speed to capture the bubbles clearly, but the faster your shutter speed the more light you need to let in and since the areas lighting was really dark I also used a high ISO (which is what has given it a little bit of a grainy oil painting look) and a small aperture (f-Stop) to let in as much light as possible (I know it’s confusing, the smaller the aperture the more light the camera lets in, but the depth of focus becomes less. If you want to learn more click HERE). Under each photo are the settings I used individually feel free to use them as a place to start and good luck!

f/6.3 – Exposure 1/2500 – ISO 6400

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This week we took a field trip to an educational farm. It was a lovely experience full of flowers and vegetables, SweetPea even got to feed the chickens greens which she thought was a lot of fun. We harvested beans and made a musical instrument out of them, plus we learned that you can use plants from the garden to draw on paper just like crayons. (more…)

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f/3.5 – exp 1/40 sec – ISO 1600

Dark to light, photographing a culvert from within. Makes me think of what it’d be like to be inside a gun barrel. The camera settings above are a wonderful place to start when photographing light from darkness.

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Scroll down for… Recipe

After apple picking to welcome fall I realized that we were yet to bid farewell to summer. So we gathered our buckets and with SweetPea on my back we headed out to do some end of summer blackberry picking. A wonderful friend invited us to go along with her and her children and we spend a magnificent hour with the sun caressing down on our skins, the aroma of warm blackberries thick in the air and lingering piles of bear poop it was really best not to step in. (more…)

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*f/14 – exposure 1/100 – ISO 100

No matter where you live there’s always thing to do and adventures to go on if you look hard enough. Living in the Northernmost part of California(five hours further north than San Fransisco) we are blessed with an abundance of outdoor adventure locations, whether it be for a leisurely walk or a intense kayaking/rock climbing/mountain biking experience there is no limit to the beautiful places and winding trails you can find.

This last weekend we took a little trip to one of our favorite hiking locations the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge located on Highway 101 about 10 minutes South of Eureka it’s a wonderful place for walking with children and spotting lots of wildlife. The trail is about a mile long and flat the entire way which is a big bonus when we take SweetPea(19m) hiking. During migration season the refuge is full of majestic geese, swans and grebes, but during the off season you mainly just see a lot of beautiful land and some seagulls, but it was a great time none the less.

The journal/comment box at the end of the trail.

*These are great setting to start with when photographing the sun reflecting brightly off of water with a dark background.

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Scroll Down for… Recipe

With autumn’s rapid arrival this year I found myself scrambling to welcome her properly. But summer’s leaves are yet to turn into shades of sunshine and the weather is still warm, and without the definite feel of fall I was at a bit of a loss.

Then inspiration hit… almost literally as my toddler dropped her apple and it grazed the side of my head before plunking down and rolling across the floor. Had I just discovered gravity? No, but I had a great idea for kicking off the season! We needed to go apple picking immediately, but what would my little SweetPea(or my little Rose as I’ve started calling her) wear? Last years pumpkin hat surely wouldn’t do for apple picking.

So that evening I whipped her out a juicy red apple hat and we were ready to go. I’d originally planned on taking her to one of the local apple orchards, but then a friend offered up her own backyard as an alternative. With one large apple tree standing proud and heavy with fruit we had a ball. My little Rose squealed with delight an apple in each hand as she took little nibbles from them both. We happily began making quick work of gathering the beautiful fruits and every so often I found myself picking an apple out of the bag that Rose had already enjoyed and adding it to her special pile of yummy apples.

That evening when we got home I knew I needed to do something special with a few of the apples to have for dessert that night, but I didn’t have enough time or enough flour to make a pie or cobbler. As I wracked my brain for an idea I remembered the sticky, delicious smell of caramel apples at the county fair and knew I had to make a nice gooey caramel dipping sauce that would be perfect for apple slices.

I quickly set to work trying to find the perfect recipe, but with it being the day before my weekly grocery shopping trip our cupboards were pretty bare and I found myself lacking at least one of the ingredients called for in the recipes I had found. So I decided to wing it!
Super Easy Caramel Apple Dip

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1-2 Tbsp Butter

1/3 cup Milk

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan over low heat allow the sugar to warm and begin to melt stirring occasionally. When the sugar begins to melt add the butter and stir until the butter is completely melted and combined into the sugar. Warm the milk and add to the sugar butter mixture. Allow to boil stirring constantly until the sugar appears mostly dissolved. Remove from heat. Cool to a none scalding temperature and enjoy! Store in refrigerator and enjoy reheated or cold.

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Sometimes… well a lot of the time in photography things just don’t quite come out the way you wanted them too, but if you’re lucky and your intentions are pure and the subject of your photos really makes you happy then even a photograph that’s not quite as sharp as you’d wanted can be  a beautiful piece of inspiration for your soul.

This set of bathing bird photos are my absolute favorites. I’d thought about photographing a bird in this bird bath for years, and when I finally got the chance it didn’t matter that the light was off or the bird was slightly out of focus, what mattered was that I was there and I got the shot, and every time I look at those little water droplets flying in the air my heart sings and I can’t help but smile. Which by my definition makes it a perfect picture.

This beautiful mosaic birdbath was created by Monica Schill over at Encased in Concrete! Be sure to check her out.

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