So Wild Mountain

In the last few weeks two blog posts really spoke to me; so clearly, in fact, I feel as if I could have written them.  I didn't though, but you should certainly follow the links to discover the creative souls who did.
"Do you ever find yourself falling in love with the land around you?  I mean, really falling in love, badly, terribly, righteously - like the love for the land might crush you into pieces and you can't really tell where you begin and end when you are walking across it, threading a tight path around aspens and sagebrush, and squinting at the douglas fir as they glimmer in the sun and wind...because the very dirt and root and tooth of it all has become you?  Maybe you feel there's a seamless nature to the interface between you an the stone and the air and the mountain slopes?  Maybe this is what animals feel:  simply and truly a part of it all, born into belonging with their claws, feathers and fur.  I love this land like I'm going to be lost if I lose it.  And I suppose, in a way, I would be.  For right now, I have to be out in it, every day.  Being here makes everything in life so rich and good.  Food tastes better.  Sleep is deeper.  Comforts are pure luxury.  I think this is the way it's meant to be, the way it was always meant to be."

"There is very much a reminder of ones mortality when seed collecting.  Well maybe not for everyone but in my munted mind.  The principle purpose of life as a living organism is to pass our genetic information down to the next generation in the hope that what we are as an animal, our traits, our physical build up, our very being somehow remains on earth in some way, shape or form.  This is all the vegetables are doing by their flowering and seeding process.  It's very much a case of not managing the vegetables but merely facilitating their genetic longevity."

Focus Stacking (and seed saving)

I've been experimenting with getting sharper images front to back with a pretty easy workflow in Photoshop.  There are some really expensive programs out there to do this, but it is not hard to do right in Photoshop cs5 or cs4 (which is what I use.)

These are taken with 45mm lens, f/4.5, 1/90 sec. I took nine photos and began by focusing in front of the first bottle, then deepened my focus until I was focusing on the chair in the background.

I then open the photos in Camera Raw,  make some minor adjustments in clarity and whatever else needs it. Select all and synchronize the adjustments and hit DONE.  Select them all again in Adobe Bridge >tools>Photoshop>load files into photoshop layers. Wait....

Then, edit>auto-align layers>auto>no check lens corrections.

Then edit>auto blend layers>stack images>check seamless tone and colors.


If done correctly, a sharp image (front to back) will unfold in front of you.  I missed a couple focus spots on mine, like the last little jar of Tarahumara corn; kind of fuzzy.  (Second jar is Hopi magic corn, first is a variety of Hopi melon.)  Yes, I save my seeds.  (Watch out Monsanto!)