photography instruction


Coffee Cup Birdfeeder and Birdbath

I’ve seen a variety of tutorials for “teacup birdfeeders” online involving only glue, but the version we made here using a drill is much more solid.

We had everything we needed to build it on hand, minus the cup, which I picked up for a few kroner at a flea market, so building it was basically free: costs may vary depending on what kinds of tools you have laying around, but the idea is to use free and recycled materials if possible.

It’s a simple project that provides a new purpose for something (ceramic ware) that is widely available second-hand.



1. Using a concrete drillbit, carefully drill a hole in the centre of the saucer.

2. Using a wood drillbit, carefully drill a hole to match in the top of the dowel or stake.

3. Tightly screw the saucer to the dowel, using a washer to distribute the force, and a rubber gasket to cushion the area between the metal and ceramic.

4. Sand the centre of the saucer and the bottom of the cup, and clean away debris: this provides a better contact surface for glue.

5. Add one layer of glue to both cup and saucer, and wait until it is tacky, or almost dry. 

6. Add a second layer of glue, and attach the cup to the saucer. Optionally, glue a spoon to the saucer as well!

7. Put a brick or board on top of the cup, and let it sit while the glue dries overnight.

8. Fill the cup with water, and the saucer with birdseed.

9. Enjoy the view!

Learn how to make this delicious raspberry mousse


¼ cup cold water
½ cup boiling water
2 teaspoons plain gelatin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In a small saucepan, add cold water. Mix in gelatin and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in boiling water, vanilla extract, sugar, lemon juice, and raspberries. Bring to boil on medium heat. Turn down the heat to low and boil for 5 minutes.

3. Pour mixture into food processor and blend until smooth. Allow to cool 10 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, add whipping cream and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

5. Fold in the raspberry mixture and allow to cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

6. Feel free to add a few drops of pink food coloring if you would like a more vibrant color to this dessert.

cache-rules-everything-around-me  asked:

Are you a fan of Ken Rockwell? I think a lot of your followers would benefit greatly from his website. He reviews lenses scientifically and gives really informed lessons on how the pros shoot. I can't share links in asks, but a quick google search will pull him up.

I’m going to apologize right off the bat. I don’t want you to feel like I am trying to embarrass you in any way. I’m really really sorry, but I think it is important for you and everyone to know that Ken Rockwell is a bad resource for information.

He gets a lot of high ranking google results for reviews and instruction and he’s built a pretty large following, but some of the information he gives is erroneous and sometimes dangerous. Not in the “you’ll die” sort of way, but in the “I will learn bad habits” sort of way. 

He definitely knows a decent amount about lenses and his reviews are not typically far off in factual detail, but his opinions are what gets him into trouble. He’ll often say, “I don’t know why you’d ever need this” just because a lens is a bit too pricey for his tastes. Yet, he ends up using some of the most expensive equipment for much of his photography. And his photography is uninspired and he often makes odd choices for composition and lighting.  

The worst information he gives is about JPEG vs RAW. He often recommends shooting in low quality JPEG mode because “8 megapixels is more than enough.” He claims that RAW files take too much room and that he sold a 5 megapixel image to McDonald’s for $5000 that they used for a billboard. 

I think that is unethical. I don’t care if McDonald’s has billions of dollars. Your client should receive the highest quality, highest resolution images you can provide. Especially for that price. He is basically bragging about screwing a customer. 

JPEGs are great for posting online, but the truth is… they take your image and throw most of it away. Much of the tonal and pixel data is lost through compression. And while I don’t think you need high megapixel counts to get good images, saving your files at maximum resolution is still important. For one, it gives you enormous latitude for cropping and recomposing your image in many ways. Secondly, 8 megapixels might be decent now, but what about in 10 years? Only keeping an 8 megapixel jpeg is like getting a wallet size print and throwing away the negative. 

He acts like storage is some precious resource that you must conserve at all costs. I think he once said you can only fit 30 or so raw files on a memory card and that was a waste of space. However I just bought a 32 gigabyte SD card that can save several thousand raw files and my 2 terabyte hard drive can hold a few hundred thousand. That’s about 20 bucks for the SD card and and 80 bucks for the hard drive. Storage is cheap and is only getting cheaper.


I wrote a post about why RAW files are the best. If nothing else, they help you future proof your photos. As time goes on, displays will have much higher resolutions. 4k screens will be standard for PCs, TVs, laptops, and tablets. Having the highest quality version of your photography may not always be necessary now, but I assure you, in 15 years you will be damn glad you kept those RAW files. 

I almost never speak ill of people, but Ken Rockwell is a mediocre photographer with very misguided opinions. And his website looks like it was designed in 1996. He’s very good at sounding like he knows what he is talking about and that fools a lot of people. It fooled me for a while too. When you are just starting out and you are doing google searches, his name will pop up quite often.

I hope that you don’t think I am faulting you in any way for using him as a resource. I’m just hoping that I can convince you to take everything he says with a grain of salt. He’s a coot and I’m guessing he’s said “newfangled gadgets” on more than one occasion. 

If you want true scientific analysis of lenses, try DxOMark. If you want quality reviews on lenses and gear, try DP Review and The Digital Picture. If you want the finest photography instruction on the internet, see my previous post.