Sunday, November 22, 2009


What am I going to do for kicks instead of fly a little airplane?

No more ten-mile hikes in the mountains -- bad knees. No more gourmet meals -- am on a heart-healthy diet. And so on. Gettin' old, y'know.

So I've decided to expand upon an old passion, photography. With a bit of the proceeds from last week's sale of Gin Fizz, my old Cessna 150, I put together a tabletop macrophotography kit -- a 90mm Tamron macro lens for my Pentaxes, a $50 collapsible fabric light box and two $10 desk lamps from Office Depot for illumination. Hardly a professional outfit, but good enough for learning how to take pictures of small things.

Yesterday I experimented with a few three-inch-long locomotives preserved from an old hobby, model railroading. The first results are now on my photo blog. Not too shabby, I think, for a rank beginner.

Next I'm going to apply this technique to flower photography. The soft, even and diffuse illumination that light tents yield is supposed to enhance the detail of small blooms rather than hide them in harsh shadows, as flash or direct sunlight often does.

Hmm. Winter is almost here, so for experimental subjects I'll have to buy bouquets at the supermarket. After the camera session I can present them to the Lady Friend when she comes home. Two birds with one stone.

When spring comes, bugs. This means I will have to figure out how to stun them so they'll hold still for their portraits.

Life is a learning experience, as they say.


  1. Holy moly, I am so out of touch with you! You're selling your baby???? I'm going to have to catch up on your blog to find out why. This means we're going to have to rent a plane if we're going to fly together some day!

  2. And you'll have to earn the pilot certificate, Karen. Mine isn't any good anymore without a valid medical certificate, and the FAA doesn't like pilots to have heart attacks and replumbing. So it goes.

  3. Put the bugs in a jar and put the jar in the refrigerator for a few hours. The cold will make them drowsy. But you've got to move quickly and get their portraits before they wake up. Especially if they have stingers at one end.

  4. To immobilize the bugs, try a fly swatter.