Three Line Tales – Week 13

Civilized conversation

Welcome to Week Thirteen of Three Line Tales.

three line tales week thirteen, red kettlephoto prompt by Dayne Topkin – click here for full res version

Afternoon’s repast,
Shared moments of joy with you.
A warm tea kettle.


Thank you to Sonya of Only 100 Words for coming up with Three Line Tales.

The TLT rules are simple:

  • Take a look at the photo prompt and write three lines to go with it.
  • Your lines can be poetry, micro-fiction, micro non-fiction or just a really long caption – everything goes as long as it’s three lines long.
  • A link back to this post would be nice (it’ll make me feel obliged to swing by yours to read your three lines, and some of your readers might want to join in, too – the more, the merrier, right?).
  • Tag your post with 3LineTales – it’ll make it easier for others to find it in the Reader.
  • Read other participants’ lines.

Please check Sonya’s post Three Line Tales – Week Thirteen for detailed instructions.

WPC – Representational Abstractism

Stretching our mind’s eye

There’s nothing more likely to find representational concepts in abstract form than the human mind.  The Yoga Tree is a fine example of this!

2014-03-21 07.15.42 HDR-1
A Proper Asana

Yes, in essence, she is a mere tree, whose form has been shaped by years of growth in a climate and environment, for which the current shape was an optimal adaptation.  Being on a farm, she had to deal with growing around a discarded oil tank, which almost certainly contributed to the curvature.

To our human mind, she presents an intriguing shape that we look to interpret; as she presents this shape, we see arms stretching to the sky in a pose that might remind us of a yoga asana: the Yoga Tree is born!

During the Summer, when she is ensconced in a fine set of foliage, there are other shapes to discover.  I’ll be sure to touch upon these in a future post!

My question to you: what did you see first time you laid eyes on this tree?

Technical Details

This image was captured with an iPhone 5S using the standard Camera app and enhanced using the Instagram app.

Inspired  by Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract.

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 14

Never ceasing, we hope!

This Wednesday, it’s once again time to take a look at the wonders of the world around us. Today’s inspiration is drawn from the current Northern Hemisphere season of Spring: the time of re-birth and regeneration of the massive scale that only Nature can conjure up!

Regeneration after generation

In early Spring, this tree was just about ready to get its juices flowing again to start the truly amazing process of accelerating its growth processes slowly, but surely.  In another couple of weeks, leaves would start showing, first as little buds, then quickly advertising their green presence to the world and hogging all the sunlight for themselves to provide what we call, appreciatively, shade.

It doesn’t cease to amaze me that trees can play this balancing game in the harsh climate of New England and further north, where they retreat from the onslaught of weather to conserve their energies for the next cycle.

Hug a tree today, and thank it for the breath that it provides!

Technical Details

I captured this image with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II using an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/25 second at f/18 and 160 ISO (leaning against a tree can make even 1/25 second shutter speed very steady).

I did perform a bit of post processing in Photoshop for basic sharpening and minor adjustments.  Additionally, I used Topaz Labs Texture Effects with a mild application of the Bluesy Trees effect to get that feel of images processed in an earlier age.

Colors of the Wind

A blaze of color!

Continuing in the theme set by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge of ‘Abstract’, it’s time for yet another interpretation with loads of color!

Colors of the Wind

This is one of my earlier digital images, as I took this one in 2005, while I was photographing an agility trial.  It was a nice breezy day and I had noticed this little wind spinner and figured it might be fun to experiment how it would look at different shutter speeds…  This was the one that I liked best!

Hope you like it too!

Technical Details

This was shot using a Canon EOS 1D Mk II and an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. The exposure settings for this image were 1/20 second at f/20 and 100 ISO.

Inspired  by Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Texture

The fabric of our lives

In the second installment of this series, we’re going in another direction from last week’s ‘Around the House’ (did you get a chance to shoot something cool?).  This week, my inspiration came from my favorite pair of blue jeans, as I realized that they were beyond  repair.  The reached the time in their life of being perfectly worn-in…


For those who’d like to participate in this weekly challenge, the rules are the following:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please use the tag #fpj-photo-challenge
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week
  • Have fun creating something new!!

Let’s see where we can take this.

Technical Details

This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mk III using a EF 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.  Exposure was at f/9 and 1/60 second at 1600 ISO.

l’Oiseau de Feu

Abstract representationalism

Continuing in the theme set by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge of ‘Abstract’, I’d like to share a photo with you that was part of my initial exploration into abstract photography.

l’Oiseau de Feu

This image came to me during a photography camp that I attended with a number of local photographers a number of years back.  The idea behind the camp was to get away from the daily grind and work on some of our technical skills with lots of different classes and set up photoshoots.  That part was enjoyable and I got some rather cool shots from the weekend, but sitting around the campfire with a receptive brain became the key benefit for me.  Nothing like low light to inspire some different shots…

Technical Details

This was shot completely in-camera using a Canon EOS 1D MkIII and an EF 24-105mm f/4L lens.  Using aperture priority, I got the shutter speed slowed to just over 3 seconds for this shot while doing a slow zoom with the lens.

Another Angle

Of course, it’s nigh impossible to speak of the Firebird and (sorry Pontiac aficionados) not think of Igor Stravinsky’s masterful composition…

Inspired  by Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge – Abstract.

Monday Food Moment – Heat!

Bring on the peppers!

The partaking of spicy foods is a culinary delight that has reached epic proportions in this day and age.  Let’s find out a little bit more about the fierce chili peppers that are so popular!

Hot Stuff!


Pottery that tested positive for Capsicum sp. residues excavated at Chiapa de Corzo in southern Mexico dated from Middle to Late Preclassic periods (400 BCE to 300 CE).  Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BCE. The most recent research shows that chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago in Mexico, in the region that extends across southern Puebla and northern Oaxaca to southeastern Veracruz, and were one of the first self-pollinating crops cultivated in Mexico, Central and parts of South America.

Peru is considered the country with the highest cultivated Capsicum diversity because it is a center of diversification where varieties of all five domesticates were introduced, grown, and consumed in pre-Columbian times. Bolivia is considered to be the country where the largest diversity of wild Capsicum peppers are consumed. Bolivian consumers distinguish two basic forms: ulupicas, species with small round fruits including C. eximiumC. cardenasiiC. eshbaughii, and C. caballeroi landraces; and arivivis with small elongated fruits including C. baccatumvar. baccatum and C. chacoense varieties.

Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter them (in the Caribbean), and called them “peppers” because they, like black and white pepper of the Piper genus known in Europe, have a spicy hot taste unlike other foodstuffs. Upon their introduction into Europe, chilies were grown as botanical curiosities in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries. Christian monks experimented with the culinary potential of chili and discovered that their pungency offered a substitute for black peppercorns, which at the time were so costly that they were used as legal currency in some countries.

The spread of chili peppers to Asia was most likely a natural consequence of its introduction to Portuguese traders (Lisbon was a common port of call for Spanish ships sailing to and from the Americas) who, aware of its trade value, would have likely promoted its commerce in the Asian spice trade routes then dominated by Portuguese and Arab traders. It was introduced in India by the Portuguese towards the end of 15th century. Today chilies are an integral part of South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines.

There is a verifiable correlation between the chili pepper geographical dissemination and consumption in Asia and the presence of Portuguese traders, India and southeast Asia being obvious examples.

The chili pepper features heavily in the cuisine of the Goan region of India, which was the site of a Portuguese colony (e.g., vindaloo, an Indian interpretation of a Portuguese dish). Chili peppers journeyed from India, through Central Asia and Turkey, to Hungary, where they became the national spice in the form of paprika.

Lots of tasty dishes!!

How Hot Do You Like It?

A wide range of intensity is found in commonly used peppers:

Bell pepper 0 SHU
New Mexico green chile 0 – 70,000 SHU
Jalapeño 2,500-8,000 SHU
Bird’s eye chili 100,000-225,000 SHU
Habanero 100,000–350,000 SHU

Notable hot chili peppers

Some of the world’s hottest chili peppers are:

United States Carolina Reaper 2.2M SHU
Trinidad Trinidad moruga scorpion 2.0M SHU
India Bhut jolokia 1.58M SHU
Trinidad Trinidad Scorpion Butch T 1.463M SHU
United Kingdom Naga Viper 1.4M SHU
United Kingdom Infinity chili 1.2M SHU

Let’s whip up a dish of mean chili!!