If you've ever been to this blog before - or just know me in person - you know that my curiosity of all things microscopic is rather enthusiastic. I've had the opportunity to take photos of some really neat things in our world over the years:
I was at the Dallas Zoo one day when I realized I could take some cool macro videos, too. I figured if I like cool, magnified things, other people may, too...
It was a pretty fun experiment - and I think I just may have to do more of these.
It is coming up on that time of year - Breast Cancer awareness month. Naturally, as a survivor, I enjoy the opportunities that come with this time of year. I enjoy the chance to share knowledge and motivation and there are some awesome events I will get to do that at.
The first one is September 13 at AT&T (Cowboys) Stadium. This will be the kick off party to Real Men Wear Pink - with the American Cancer Society. The evening will have time at Cowboys Stadium, a tour, refreshments and a couple of speakers, me being one of them.
Check out the info on the website HERE
Here's a flashback from my own cancer journey...
Let's get together and do some good!
Last evening I was taking my little Brenden (The Wonder Pooch) for his night walk before calling it a night. It was just after 10 pm and the Texas night sky was thick with the humidity of several days of unrequited precipitation. We were inside of our East Dallas apartment complex and walking down the drive, when he stops to nudge something that was in his direct path. Imagine my surprise when I crouched down to find a baby bird - all alone and in the driveway area. I waited with it so cars wouldn't hit it as they passed by to go towards the garage. There were no sounds of adult birds around. No nest to be seen in the palm trees above it. So, I scooped it up and built a nest in a box for him.
I reached out to my friend - the lovely Divina - who is quite an animal rescuer, herself, and she suggested I talk with a lovely lady named Kathy who works at Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation.
I didn't know what I should do with this vulnerable creature but I just couldn't leave it outside for the feral cats in the area to make dinner with it. Kathy gave me some great tips.
(These tips are on their website: RogersWildlife.Org)
I was sure he was covered and warm, put a lid over the box to cover a lot of light or disturbance but still leave open for air. I let him be to rest until morning.
We sat on the patio (he still in his nest and me with my coffee) to check him out. This is when he stretched his baby bird neck at me, mouth open, ready to eat. It was, quite possibly, one of the cutest things I've seen in person. Really.
I did as instructed and had some softened / spongy nuggets that I scooped with precision and gave him a couple of bites to satisfy him. Not much after that we drove south to Hutchins to where the Rogers Center is.
Once we had walked around, I said my final 'good bye' to Paul. I was a little sad because he looked at me and peeped at me before I left.. but now he gets to have a bird life and do bird things - like all of these wonderful creatures.
I have to tell you guys - this non profit is really amazing. They have birds of all kinds, being rehabilitated and made ready to be released back into the wild. The birds get to grow, learn to fly with others and a nice area south of Dallas that is thick with trees and stretches north to the Trinity River and through areas like the Audubon wildlife refuge.
Give them a follow or show them some love. They're doing beautiful things.
Smart phones are always updating and, with all of the technology advancing their camera capabilities, it is no surprise that companies making accessories for these cameras would be on the rise.
Dafqco is one such company who is offering a kit of lenses to configure to multiple types of phones and they sent me one of their kits to play with.
The Smart & Easy three lens kit contains three lenses and a clip with a threaded end for screwing the selected lens into. The three lenses included are: Macro, Wide, and Fish Eye.
This product can be found on Amazon.com - HERE: CLICK
The Macro lens is a 15x magnification.
The fish eye is 230 degrees
All review photos were taken with a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 - external camera
I like the sturdiness of the lenses. They have some weight to them and are better constructed than the cheaper ones available out there.
Each lens comes with fitted caps to keep each end protected in travel or transport. The caps are really nice as they will keep your glass from getting scratched when not in use.
The lenses arrived in the box that had cut-to-size foam inside - also protecting the lenses from travel and transport issues. I like that the extra care went into that. As someone who has been steadily taking photographs for over a decade, I can say that care of your equipment is very important - and it's nice to see that they recognize that.
Bonus: The kit does come with a lens cloth and instructions, too.
It is very easy to operate as you just screw the desired lens into the threaded clip. The clip allows you to use the lenses on multiple types of smart phones. No magnets or anything like that is required.
There is a learning curve when using the fish eye and getting it as centered as possible. Without a case on the phone, I imagine, it's easier to get tight to the camera lens, itself, but you can see my results even with the case:
I'm a fan of macro and have a lens for my DSLR that holds the same purpose. This is my favorite lens to play with of the three.
PRO TIP: Hold still for macro as the smallest movement = blur.
The wide lens is also nice and has the least amount of learning curve. This is great if you're trying to do a group shot but the people on the edges may not be in frame. It adds some width to your field of vision so that is really nice - but it is certainly not the dramatic effects result that the other two share.
Ultimately, I have to say that the lens kit is a hit!
My friends were passing around the clip - using both front and rear cameras on their phones - to try it, themselves.
It's fun to have in your pocket or bag - especially if you're someone who uses your camera on your smart phone a lot.
PS - I love Snapseed by Google for photo editing on a phone
The meandering ramblings of a Dallas-based visual artist.