This is a Euphorbia Candelabra tree from Kenya. It is a magnificent looking tree that appears to have little cactuses as limbs. They can grow to 30-40′ tall. It is highly toxic – just a drop of sap will cause a blister on your skin. If you get it in your eye it will blind you. Even breathing the fumes can burn! Let’s just say you don’t want to crash into one of these guys.
But they are beautiful to look at.
If you are getting serious about digital photography, here are some tips.
- Get a good camera. There are some great deals out there.
- 3 mega pixel minimum, 5-6 MP is great.
- 3x optical zoom minimum, many newer cameras have 10-12x optical zoom which is great.
- Digital zoom isn’t worth much. It is basically just pre-cropping your pictures.
- Get plenty of memory. With 512MB or more you can take hundreds of pictures without changing memory cards. Get 1 GB if you can – just watch Best Buy for sales.
- Take tons of pictures and relentlessly delete bad ones
- For every hundred pictures you take, delete eighty (OK, maybe not eighty, but don’t be shy about it)
- For the ones you save, learn to crop, fix red eyes and do an “instant fix.” Most photo software packages support these functions.
- Snapfish is a good site to upload your photos to for sharing and printing. You can get 4×6’s for 12 cents plus shipping (it averages out to about 20 cents per photo). It lets you upload lots of photos at once instead of one at a time. Its slideshow feature works well.
- Adobe Photoshop Elements is a great program to track and edit your photos. There are simpler programs that work fine, but this one is a great program in between the basic offerings and a professional program. If you want to do video editing, they have a good combo package.
- Don’t drop your camera. The photo below was taken from a pretty far distance in Kenya with a Kodak 5 MP, 10x zoom camera. But I dropped it a few months later, so that camera is no longer with us.
This is one of my favorite pictures from Kenya. There were over 50 hippos (literally) piled around each other in the river bed. Check out the little guy in the upper right corner. He looks sneaky. Click it for a larger view.
Bad news: More humans are killed by hippos than any other animal.
Good news: Hippos are vegetarians, so they won’t eat you once you’re dead.
I really enjoy digital photography, so I thought I would post some photos now and then. I don’t pretend to be a great photographer, though I noticed that my skills have increased in direct proportion to how good my camera is. I rationalized getting a digital SLR and a few nice lenses because I take hundreds of pictures of my daughters’ ballet performances. Of course, I have no idea how to use most of the features. I know which lens to use and then I select the sport, portrait or auto modes depending on the scene. I’ll post in the future about digital editing and uploading tips.
This is a shot of a squirrel just hanging out about 25 feet in the air. The view was somewhat obstructed, but I liked how he was so relaxed. Click on the image for a larger view.
Bonus: Squirrel joke
There were four country churches in a small Delaware town: The Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church and the Catholic Church. Each church was overrun with pesky squirrels.
One day, the Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will.
In the Baptist Church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a cover on the baptistery and drown the squirrels in it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.
The Catholic group got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.
But the Methodist Church came up with the best and most effective solution. They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.
Hat tip: Woz