Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rule of Thirds

As we've been going through the pictures from Reds Canyon, some that we took and some that others took of us. We saw that some pictures were composed well, and others were just point and shoot pictures. In the well composed pictures, I kept noticing how much the rule of thirds helped. (Or how much it was needed in the point and shoot pictures.) The rule of thirds is one of the most basic rules in photography to help you get great pictures.

Here's how the rule works. In your mind, take the picture and draw two vertical lines that divide the frame into thirds. Draw two horizontal lines that also divide the picture in thirds. The result is something like this:

As you can see, this creates 4 intersections. Instead of putting the subject, say someone's head, in the middle, try putting it in one of the intersections. Also, instead of putting the horizon in the middle, put it on one of the lines.

Here's a couple examples of how the rule of thirds helps. In the first picture the horizon goes right through the center of the picture. The result is so-so.

In the second picture, the horizon is up higher and it improves the picture. Also a specific subject was added that filled the frame.

In the next example, we were driving near a ridge, and some of the larger rocks had fallen. This created quite the dramatic scene. However this picture failed to fully capture the drama of it all. Notice again how the horizon goes right through the picture

Once we re-frame the picture and take another angle, the picture is dramatically improved.

So next time you decide to go out and take some pictures, remember to take some time and frame the picture, and don't forget the rule of thirds.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Showing off Nature

More pictures of our trip around the San Rafael Swell.

First: Three sisters showing off the mountain near Temple Mountain.

Second: The sisters showing off the ground near Temple Mountain.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


A while ago, I was taking care of something in the garage, and I noticed a wasp nest that I had never seen before. Now normally I would just spay it myself, but because of other things I decided to call some pesticide people to spray it for me. The guy came over and I showed him that nest as well as other places where the wasps like to build their nests. He sprayed all around the garage and all around the house. A week later I went outside and found this nest on one of the basement windows.

It's the same kind of nest that made me call the pest people in the first place, only much bigger. I'm guessing that this one is about six inches in diameter. This means war. I had the guy come out and spray again, and I also bought a wasp trap and hung it up in the back yard. Within a day the trap had already caught some buggers.

No no one has been stun yet. (Except maybe the pesticide dude, the second time he came it was in the middle of the afternoon. And that is the worst time to spray, it's when the wasps are most active.) Still, I want these gone. If anyone has any hints, I'd be happy to take them. As far as I can tell searching on the internet, this nest is for a bald faced hornet. However, even though the trap I caught is supposed to be for hornets, I don't think that's what I've caught. As far as I can tell, these are yellow jackets. Maybe there's some bug experts out there that can shed some light on the subject.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


It's amazing what you'll find out in the middle of nowhere.

It's out in Reds canyon in the San Rafael Swell if anyone wants to go fix it up, although that engine will be a beast to rebuild.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Goblin Valley

Well, we're back from Goblin Valley UT, and there's quite a few pictures from the area that I'll be sharing for a while.

The three sisters of goblin valley are close to the entrance. I guess you could say that they're standing guard ... for something.

Once you get in the park, it's quite impressive the scale of everything. When we first got there, I kept thinking that it reminds me of something. It's like I'd seen it before ... somewhere. Then it hit me: I know why this looks familiar.

This is where you go when you break your ship's Berillium Sphere. I was going to go look for them, but we just didn't have the time for it. Maybe next time.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Yard plans

A few weeks ago, Ecologista was given the the assignment in her class to be a consultant, and a report to consult a client on the topic of her choise. So we decided to become water wise landscaping consultants, and the client was our own yard; we formed a Xeriscaping plan for our yard. The idea with Xeriscaping is to reduce water used by making watering zones. Some zones have the regular high water usage plants, and other zones are of of low water usage plants. This plan is ambitious and will take a few years to complete, but it will be great when it's done.

Here's our current yard:

Here's the future plans:


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Clean Energy Bill?

The US house recently passed a bill that they called, "American Clean Energy and Security Act." (Bill and Votes). I'm still shocked that this bill passed. Some of the frightening things about this bill is that it is hundreds of pages long, and then the night before it was to be voted on, an amendment was added that was also hundreds of pages long. The US house of representatives voted on this bill before they even had enough time to read it.

Now that may be bad enough (or it may be business as usual for congress) but then I was shocked to hear that Greenpeace opposes the bill. Now that is something frightening: a bill that is supposed to help the environment that Greenpeace opposes. That would be like a bill touted to expand animal rights that PETA opposes. It's like a bill touting to help all news outlets that CNN opposes.

My one hope is that the senate will stop the bill. The bill barely passed the house, and the senate isn't planning on doing anything with it until fall. So at least we have until then to lobby congress to stop it.