stephbg: I made this! (cat herder)

This is a frivolous post. I have not assigned spoons for this, nor is it anywhere in my various lists of priorities. My lists of priority tasks are long; my spoons are short. I can't really afford this. But sometimes you just have to kick over the traces and do whatever you damn want to. So I'm going to ramble for a bit.

tl;dr I ramble for quite a bit.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
This evening I took delivery of a new microscope. A proper microscope. Coming soon a 10 MP camera, and depending on results this may be followed by some extra lighting and optics. But hang on, I hear you say, don't you already have a microscope and camera? What have you beeen using all this time to take pretty rock picktures? Witchcraft and old copies of Hansard?

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Seraphinite is beautiful stuff. It was discovered relatively recently so it's not all that common in shops, but it makes beautifully patterned polished stones for jewellry. The reason it's called Seraphinite is because the patterns resemble wings, in gloriously gleaming shades of green and silver. Yes, like recent features pietersite and chaoite it's another chatoyant rock, and a complete bitch. Satan was a fallen angel; I think this is his favourite stone.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Charoite--like pietersite--is another lovely chatoyant rock that is sadly hydrophobic. I know, I say that all the time, but this time I really mean it. I already had a contact sheet of images I was quite happy with, but I couldn't resist having a bit of a play to see if I can get a bit more focus here and there out of my new glass slide covers.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Pietersite, oh pietersite, what heartache you've caused me. Since my first look at a piece of tumbled pietersite I've wanted to get in and take a closer look, but it's really resisted my efforts to capture its beauty. I've made some pretty pictures, but it's been frustrating knowing how much better they could be. But gradually I've come closer and closer, and today made another advance.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Really starting to feel the rollercoaster side effects of using amitriptyline as pain relief. Yesterday got hit by depression (as anticipated - I was actually pleased it held off as long as it did) and then had a sleepless night last night/this morning with gradually increasing all-over jitters. Pain isn't a problem though so I hope to work out those jitters with a bit of a walk, always assuming I survive the strenuous business of showering and dressing. But by way of compensation I was rewarded with another gorgeous sunrise. Didn't catch this one early, but still got the business end and some very nice shots of both colour and form. And powerlines. I might start giving them names.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Anyone here in Perth who can feel the humdity will not be surprised to learn that it's hazy out there.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Received the Plumage poster in the mail today. After getting the first round of 30 x 40cm ones back I made this one lighter and was sufficiently hopeful that I ordered the bigger print at 50 x 75cm. The good news is the colours came out really bright, so that worked well.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
I'm in the mood for a process post so I thought I'd string together a few related pictures showing how I go from a slice of rock to something I'm proud to claim is Art. We'll follow the journey of a piece of East Java plume agate.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Lake Bonneville is in Idaho, and sports some rather lovely moss agate.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
The fish are quite thoroughly domesticatd life actually, and amazingly tame to boot. For those who came in late, these are mostly minnows, with three Western Pygmy Perch. One picture shows them happily swimming around my hand, the rest are crowd scenes.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
I'm sure local twitchers will have no trouble in identifying this little bird for me. I see a lot of them in my garden and they really seem to enjoy the thickets that I cultivate^ for their protection. I'd say this is a bug eater by the look of that beak, but I could be wrong (brain not really in a bird-identifying space right now).

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
The problem with living things is they have this terribly inconvenient tendency to move about. I saw these wasps coming to drink at my pond, so I thought I would try and catch a shot while they were briefly still. A tricky proposition because the camera's macro mode is not kind to moving subjects, but there was plenty of light so I gave it a go.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Managed to get a single clear shot of a black spider outside Sector 7 this afternoon. Hoping to get a closer more focused shot I tried getting creative with my little tripod by bracing it against the ceiling and shooting upside down, but I must have frightened my subject off by my efforts. This is what I got:

Arachnophobes beware )
stephbg: I made this! (Default)
If the horse was a flat slab of interesting rock, or a digital microscope, one could say I was somewhat back on it. Pretty rock pictures may soon be making a reappearance, and here's a couple to go on with.

(This post is also notable because it's the first time I've uploaded new images to flickr to point to, rather than using the rather horrible lj Scrapbook function. An important step in freeing myself from this place.)

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Haven't really felt up to playing with either rocks or rock pictures, but I wanted to have a try at merging two shots with different depth of focus to create a single image with the maximum amount possible in focus. i.e. overcome the greatest weakness of both my camera and microscope shots, which is very shallow depth of focus.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Today's post is the first trial of using the camera to take a shot of an unpolished slab, in this case the unpolished Bloody Basin agate featured a couple of days ago via microscope. Read more... )
stephbg: I made this! (Default)
I haven't encountered Pentagonite before, possibly because decent specimens appear to be wildly out of my price range. But on spec I was browsing for micro minerals on ebay and came across this little beauty: ROYAL BLUE PENTAGONITE ON MICRO HEULANDITE MATRIX. Apologies for the shouting but rock dealers tend to wax enthusiastic about their products. I'm not sure if that ebay link will survive forever.

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stephbg: I made this! (Default)
Remember the opalised ammonite fossil (otherwise known as ammolite)? Here, have a reminder:



First pass at the microscope (with curvy, shiny disclaimer) with same: Read more... )
stephbg: I made this! (Default)
It's easy to take silver for granted; it's everywhere, we've all got some in a drawer somewhere. But in the wild, native silver grows in amazing curly wires, and today I took receipt of a small bundle of steel silver wool. But wait, there's more! As a bonus my dealer also gave me some lab-grown silver crystals. Fans of bismuth will like these.

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