Unfurling Fern

by Tobias on September 6, 2011

Unfurling FernISO 400, ƒ/14, 1/40s

After 127 shots of this fern “branch”, I finally captured what I was looking for.

I was working with a breaze which made it exceptionally difficult to get a clear macro shot of this small fern. The reason is that I was working within a very close range with a 60mm macro lens. (I took the picture 4 months ago, but based on my memory the lens was probably ~4inches away from the subject.)

This means that the depth of field is so exceptionally shallow that you have to hop the ƒ stops up just to get the bend of the tiny leaves in focus. As you can tell in this photo, I had to go up to ƒ/14. In turn, this means that I had to make up for it in either shutter speed and/or ISO. Since I don’t want to have anything higher than 400 as my ISO, I kept taking shots at exposure rates that would make even the tiniest of gusts of wind blur the furn. Thus, I took 127 shots hoping that at one of those instants the wind didn’t gust the fern.

I think that this one optimized the depth of field, kept the noise to a minimum, and still allowed me to get a nice crisp focus.

{ 1 comment }

Local Seattle Feast

by Tobias on April 19, 2011

Truffle Gnocchi

I had some friends in from out of town which I find to be the perfect excuse to make a delicious dinner using all of the wondrous ingredients that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

I started with Kale stew I made last week; stews get so much better with a little rest. Full of red kale, red greens, black eye peas, celery root cubes, turnip cubes, tomato paste, mirepoix, veg stock, some mushrooms, and…well, probably other stuff I’m forgetting.

Then, insalata caprese. I used fresh cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, both from my favourite produce stand in Pike Market (Sosio’s), fresh mozzarella (made that morning) and some good french olive oil mixed with a nip of lemon juice.

The main corse was a fresh morel mushroom (again, from Sosio’s) gnocchi in a white vermouth cream sauce with black truffles served with baked purple baby carrots with ramps (I have never cooked ramps, but now I’m hooked!).

For desert I made a glass cub of coconut sorbet with shaved mexican chocolate and ginger syrup on top of fresh blueberries and cream.

To finish, I served up the stinkiest cheese I could find. A wonderful, gooey, and creamy cheese with an orange tinted rind who’s stink was met with a spicy bite and lingered for near 15 minutes after a nibble. (I made sure to end with the cheese due to the linger on the palate.)