This is a diary of the adventures of two zebra finches, with some other miscellaneous information about the escapades of their companion and ghost writer.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fish-Design Textile Pattern

Here is one version of the fish design repeated on fabric. Several arrangements are possible, and the design can be made larger or smaller.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fabric Design

I'm trying my hand at designing some fabric patterns on a site called This is one of my designs.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Arizona Cactus

The climate in Arizona is conducive to the growth of cacti, and the Phoenix Botanical Gardens have a great variety of them. I found that a good way of highlighting the needles on cacti is by photographing them when they are back-lit, preferably against the sky for a plain background. That kind of light exists in the morning or evening with the low angle of the sun at those times of the day. Metering is tricky, but measuring the brightness of the needles with a spot meter and placing the measurement on zone 7 or so is just about right. (Thanks, Ansel.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Portrait Detail of Daryl

Here is a detail showing the delicate feathers of Daryl's head, and the quality of my Canon 100mm macro lens and 5D camera with "full-frame" (24mm x 36mm) sensor. (In spite of your camera or lens, lighting & exposure are the crucial steps in the photo process.)

Darryl Bathing Alone

Here is Darryl with the bath all to himself, and not looking like such a crazed bather. The average bath takes a minute or two, though they sometimes re-enter, having missed a spot or two, I guess. They manage to splash water everywhere, so I wrap the bottom portion of their apartment with some transparent plastic--partially removed for the photos. The door is wide open (for the photo), but they seem to ignore the possibility of escape.

D&D Bathing

Here are Daryl and Darryl bathing like a couple of little maniacs. They love the bath! You should see the video which is even more amusing. I combined ambient light with bounced flash (to freeze the action somewhat), with the addition of one of those fluorescent "day" light bulbs without a reflector--and almost touching the lens--for fill.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Arizona Hummingbird

Some of the hummingbirds were not so skittish--usually the ones without the bright colors. I was able to make several photos of this one and had to deliberately move so that he/she would go and make room for a more colorful bird like the ruby-throated one.

Hummingbirds in Arizona

I visited some hummingbirds in Phoenix, Arizona this morning. They are surely fast fliers and without a flash it would be impossible to even see their wings while they are hovering.  I put a folding bounce diffuser onto my Vivitar flash on camera, and used the sky as a background. I seem to have got the flash exposure (aperture) and ambient light exposure (aperture and shutter speed, F-11@1/100 sec.) just right on this sunny morning at 8:45 am.