Experimenting with Dark Food Photography.

No Thyme to Waste



I’ve been doing a lot of googling lately. I always feel like I need more gear, more props, and more gadgets, to get the images I drool over online. In particular the trend of dark food photography, and the lighting style dubbed ‘mystic light’. Achieving this is no small feat. A solid half day playing with set up, camera settings, and light manipulation: and you’re only half way there. Having taken the shot is half the battle, and your post processing/editing is the other half. I love food, and I love photography, together they’ve become a little obsession (note: not so little). Days off are spent trying, trying, trying. I still can’t figure out exactly how to adjust lighting to get the ‘mystic’ look, but I’ll get there. What I do know is that you don’t need much fancy gear to get your started, just a little ingenuity and…

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How to Roast Garlic in Just 4 Easy Steps

via Really nice recipes. Every hour. • How to Roast Garlic in Just 4 Easy Steps Really….

How to Roast Garlic in Just 4 Easy Steps

Really nice recipes. Every hour.

Show me what you cooked!

10 steps to building a better naked cake

via Really nice recipes. Every hour. • 10 steps to building a better naked cake Really….

Really nice recipes. Every hour.

Show me what you cooked!


How to grow orchids at home | MNN – Mother Nature Network

via How to grow orchids at home | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

You don’t need a green thumb to re-bloom them. Just follow a few simple guidelines.

By: Tom Oder Tue, Oct 04, 2011

Phalaenopsis orchid
 The Phalaenopsis orchid is among the world’s best-selling indoor flowering house plants because the exotic blooms can last for as long as three months, and the plants are often priced at less than $20 in groceries and box stores. (Photo: Alex/Flickr)
You went to the grocery to get a quart of milk and came home with an orchid. How did that happen? An even more pressing question might be, “What do I do with it?” Don’t panic. Just follow a few basic guidelines, and you should be able to keep your plant alive and even re-bloom it.
Phalaenopsis orchid flowers in orange or red combinations are called sunset or desert tones


This is the most critical step. More orchids are killed with kindness (overwatering!) than anything else. Put your finger in the growing mix. If it feels moist, don’t water until the mix feels dry. If the mix is dry, water it at the kitchen sink until the water runs through the pot. Never let the plant sit in water. If in doubt, don’t water.


Your orchid is probably a Phalaenopsis, the most popular orchid in displays at groceries and box stores. Phalaenopsis have broad, flat leaves and stems of white or brightly colored flowers. They like low light conditions and do best in east-facing windows. They also do well in southern or western windows. But don’t place your plant next to the glass of a western window because the sun’s rays could burn its leaves. Northern windows do not receive enough light for your plant to re-bloom.


Like you, your orchid will be most comfortable if the temperature is between 60 degrees F and 80 degrees F. You will increase its chances of re-flowering if your house is cooler at night than during the day. A drop of 10 F is not too much. A night rest allows it to save energy it has made during the day from photosynthesis. Think of this as a plant-energy savings account that pays dividends in flowers.
Use a fertilizer made for orchids. These are readily available at garden centers. Follow package directions. A good practice is to fertilize for three waterings and flush with clear water at the kitchen sink on the fourth watering to remove fertilizer salts.

The arching flower stems of Phalaenopsis orchid flowers make a stunning presentationRepotting

This is the biggie. People usually have a Butterfly McQueen-type reaction to repotting an orchid. McQueen, as the maid, Prissy, in “Gone With the Wind,” famously exclaimed: “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ babies!” Repotting orchids is nothin’ like “birthin’ babies.” As soon as the plant finishes flowering, cut off its flowering stem, remove it from the pot, ease as much potting mix off the roots as possible (swishing in water helps) and repot it in a plastic container just barely bigger than the root ball — no matter how large the leaves are. Orchids like to be under-potted. Mixes found at garden centers should do fine. Work the mix around the roots until the plant is snug in the pot and you can pick it up by the stem and it does not come out of the pot. Be careful not to break off any tender green or brown root tips, and don’t force roots that want to wander in the air into the pot.


Because your plant is probably a Phalaenopsis, a decrease in day length and night temperatures usually helps it to begin the flowering process. Because these conditions naturally occur in the fall, place your plant outside at night as long as temperatures are above 55 degrees F. Be sure to put it where dew will not collect in the crown. Bring it inside during the day unless it’s located in a spot where it will not get direct sunlight. Hopefully, you’ll have flowers in January or February. If not, there will be more orchids in your grocery strategically placed for an impulse buy, which may be how your plant came home with you to begin with.
Photos: Tom Oder
Have other tips for how to grow orchids? Leave us a note in the comments below.
See also:

Learn how to download and delete your searches from Google Search

via Learn how to download and delete your searches from Google Search.

While I’ve not had opportunity to test this (or reason, for that matter), some of my faithful followers or casual browsers may find this useful…

By Waqas on May 13, 2015

Ever paid attention to how much info Google Search has about you? Well, if you haven’t done so, now you can check it because Google has added a new function to its search engine that allows users to download, view and even delete their complete search history.

Google has added a new function on its search engine, which lets you view everything Google knows about you, yes Everything!

This feature was announced firstly by the unofficial Google Operating System Bloghowever the function was officially launched in January.

The new function lets you access everything about you on this search engine; from your searched links to those URLs you clicked on from the search results. Moreover, it also displays the addresses/URLs that you have searched for so far. Users can also view the list of images they clicked on while searching for pictures.

The handiest feature of this new function is that not only can you view the entire history of your searches on Google but you may delete them as well and clear Google’s history about you.


* Log on to Google’s Web and App Activity webpage

* You will see a gear icon at the top-right corner of your computer’s screen. Click on it

* Now a drop-down menu will appear. Select to option “Download” from that menu

* A new window will pop-up that will warn you not to download your search history on a public computer or network because it contain highly sensitive data in large numbers

* If you want to proceed nevertheless simply click on the option Create Archive

* After your entire history is downloaded you will be sent a link within few seconds from where you can view the data


In case you do not wish to download your data but instead you want to delete then this is also easily possible with this function. Here is what you need to do:

* Visit the Web and App Activity Page on Google and click on the Gear Icon present at the top-right corner

* Select “Remove Items” and also choose the beginning of time from the same drop-down menu you used for downloading the data

* Bid farewell to your data by clicking on Remove button

Having issues understanding the whole process? Here are screenshots to guide you on how to download or delete your searchers from Google search.

1.Go to Google’s Web and App Activity page


2. At the top-right side you will see a gear icon — Click it.


3. Click on the drop-down menu and select Download


Once the download option is clicked, a pop-up window will appear with a message warning about NOT to download your search history on a public computer. Now it’s on you if you want to download on public computer or not. If you are using a PC just go ahead and download.

4. Once you are ready, click on Create Archive


Remember doing this will only delete your search history from your Browser but not from Google’s servers.

1. Go to Web and App Activity Page and click the same gear icon which you did during search history download.


2. Select remove items and choose the time or day


3. Click remove and and done.

Don’t forget to share this feature with your friends and family.


No harder than an ambitious cooking project

via food52: No harder than an ambitious cooking… | A Utopian Encyclopedia.


How to Make Soap at Home (Even if You Failed Chemistry) via Food52


Learning How To Grow Orchids In Your Home

Posted specifically with one of my stalwart followers in mind…you know who you are.

Pushing Daisies: Gardening Blog

Orchids are gorgeous and colorful flowers that can add a splash of life to any environment. They can be set in any part of the home, but, like most house plants, they should be properly cared for to ensure that they bloom and flourish. No matter how inexperienced you may be when it comes to caring for plants, keeping some of the following tips in mind will ensure that your orchid grows.

Natural Growing Conditions

All flowers are successfully grown when they are placed in environments that successfully duplicate their natural growing conditions. Orchids are no different. They are classified as epiphytes, which means that they grow on objects, clinging to stone, bark, and any number of other fixtures. They thrive when they are set in strong light, but owners should avoid the direct heat of late afternoon sunlight. They enjoy high humidity and require plenty of air flow between…

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A Short and Sweet Video Tutorial on How to Capture a Night Sky Time-Lapse with Your DSLR

via A Short and Sweet Video Tutorial on How to Capture a Night Sky Time-Lapse with Your DSLR.

Published on January 10, 2015 by Michael Zhang

UK-based videographer Cal Thomson recently got into astrophotography and creating time-lapses of the starry night sky. After receiving good responses from viewers, Thomson decided to create the short and to-the-point video tutorial above on how you can create a night sky timelapse using your DSLR.

Thomson shot his images with a Canon 6D and Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 lens in RAW so that the images could be pushed further in post with Lightroom 5. “I think the effects are quite astounding for a first try,” he says.

(via Cal Thomson via ISO 1200)


How to Make a Panorama in Photoshop

via How to Make a Panorama in Photoshop.

Jan 02, 2015

Today’s episode is filled with goodies!  Not only do we show you how to create a panorama in photoshop, we also give you some expert tips on shooting those panoramic images.  David J. Crewe lends us his knowledge as we give you six amazing tips.  To top it all off, we have a gear article specially prepared to compliment today’s episode.  Now you can see the gear some of the pros are using, or just check out some budget options to get you started.

Tips From the Pros

Here are some tips for you when you’re out shooting panoramas:

1)  Use a sturdy Tripod and try to stay “level” when changing positions.

2)  Overshoot / Shoot wider than you need so you can crop safely.

3)  Use a longer lens (50mm or higher) since you’re stitching anyway.  Wider lenses give you more distortion so your images will be more realistic/normal with a longer lens.

4)  Shoot higher than F8.  Most time-lapser and pano shooters will swear by the F8 to F11 zones for clarity and sharpness.

5)  Manually Focus to make sure everything is the same (no shifts from frame to frame).

6)  Slow Shutter Speeds (or ND Filters) to reduce and eliminate distracting elements (people, animals, random motion).