Important Notices

I wanted to start the week off with a reminder that it will end with a rousing evening at Litcrawl when I’ll be speaking at the Big Legrowlski:

Jeff Alworth at LitcrawlBig Legrowlski
Friday, Nov 4, 7pm
812 NW Couch St, Portland
Free!
The subject of the talk–which I hope is punctuated by chatty discussion from attendees–will be the way national tradition shapes beer style. I’ll give a classic

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2016/10/important-notices.html

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How to Photograph Trees

Juglans nigra - Black Walnut tree; Arnold Arboretum

Gymnocladus dioicus, Kentucky Coffeetree; Arnold Arboretum

Gymnocladus dioicus, Kentucky Coffeetree; Arnold Arboretum

A recent visit to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston provided a glorious opportunity to photograph trees.  After all, the word “arbor” is Latin for tree and arboreta are collections of trees.  What better a place to go to work with my camera.

I confess I was once uninterested in traditional arboretums because there tends to be little structure to define a garden.  But now I have learned to appreciate the simple unique beauty of trees, and there is no better place to study them than a good arboretum such as the Arnold.

Oxydendron arboreum - Sourwood tree; Arnold Arboretum

Oxydendron arboreum – Sourwood tree; Arnold Arboretum

A tree that has had the chance to grow up in the care of an Arboretum is a chosen specimen, on display to represent an entire family of brothers and sisters that may live nowhere near the collection. An arboretum will have planted them with room to grow and reach their full stature.

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Skyline, Honeylocust Tree; Arnold Arboretum

Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Skyline, Honeylocust Tree; Arnold Arboretum

Just as snowflakes and fingerprints are all different, every tree is different from every other tree. Each specie has its own signature DNA of leaf shape, bark structure, and branching within its native habitat with phenotypic distinction.  Each grows a bit differently in every microclimate, so that by the time any given tree is mature it is utterly unique.

Quercus bicolor - Swamp White Oak tree; Arnold Arboretum

Quercus bicolor – Swamp White Oak tree; Arnold Arboretum

Looking up at a tree to see the branching, scarring, and subtle growth patterns one can imagine its history, what it has seen, what birds might have visited, how many squirrels have jumped from limb to limb, and what plants it has already outlived.

Trees tend to be hard to photograph simply because they are large and nearly impossible to separate from the landscape.  My favorite trees, the Oaks of California, can often be found alone in the landscape, as seen in a post on my PhotoBotanic site, but most trees are mingled into woodlands or crowded into gardens and are really hard to see in their full magnificence.

Here is a grove of Oak trees in the Arnold Arboretum.

Grove of Oak trees, Arnold Arboretum

Note that I want to photograph one specific tree. I look for any opportunity to isolate trees to show their shape, but stepping back far enough to see the whole tree and its branch structure brings in all the others.

Instead, I find I can walk right up under a tree and look straight up from the vantage point of a few inches away from the trunk.

Quercus alba, White Oak tree, Arnold Arboretum

Quercus alba, White Oak tree, Arnold Arboretum

A tripod is always critical in making these compositions, though I confess, I usually get a crick in the neck straining to look into the viewfinder.

From across the garden, I saw this Green Ash tree with butter yellow fall foliage.

Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Vinton', Green Ash tree (tallest) - Arnold Arboretum

Fraxinus pennsylvanica ‘Vinton’, Green Ash tree (tallest)

I walked up underneath it, both to isolate the tree and to help make the autumn foliage glow.

Fraxinus pennsylvanica 'Vinton', Green Ash tree - Arnold Arboretum

Fraxinus pennsylvanica ‘Vinton’, Green Ash tree

Usually, I prefer a vertical format so that the trunk of the tree leads up into the composition – and the tree towers as a tree should.

Trees are tall after all, so a vertical usually makes sense, but sometimes when a tree has an especially nice branch pattern only a horizontal can really show the display. Here is a vertical and horizontal of the same honey locust tree:

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Imperial', Honeylocust Tree; Arnold Arboretum

Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Imperial’

Gleditsia triacanthos 'Imperial', Honeylocust Tree; Arnold Arboretum

Gleditsia triacanthos ‘Imperial’, Honeylocust Tree; Arnold Arboretum

Looking up at the trees also allows the leaves to glow because of the back light. This effect will happen even if there is not strong, sunny light in the canopy, because to open up the shadows, the photographer is effectively overexposing – which will make the leaves bright anyway.

In order to get a proper exposure to show off the bark and still have color in the sky I usually will underexpose the original digital file so that I can hold the highlights and color in the sky.  Then in the postproduction, with the computer, I will open up the shadows.

Juglans nigra - Black Walnut tree; Arnold Arboretum

Juglans nigra – Black Walnut tree; Arnold Arboretum

Juglans nigra - Black Walnut tree; Arnold Arboretum

Juglans nigra – Black Walnut tree; Arnold Arboretum

This is something I could never do in years of shooting with film. The digital era has opened up a new way of expressing trees in photographs.

Gymnocladus dioicus, Kentucky Coffeetree; Arnold Arboretum

Gymnocladus dioicus, Kentucky Coffeetree; Arnold Arboretum

I only had time for one day of shooting at the Arnold while in Boston, but it was a glorious day. These are trees I never see in California, I felt honored to be in their presence.

Here is the full gallery of the photos in the PhotoBotanic Archive.

from Gardening Gone Wild http://gardeninggonewild.com/?p=30733

Thinking of Endorsing Trump? Don’t.

source

Four days ago, Eric Trump toured the Yuengling brewery with 73-year-old Dick Yuengling Jr, and declared himself impressed. Thereafter, on behalf of the brewery, Dick endorsed another scion of a famous dynasty for president.

Our guys are behind your father,” Yuengling said. “We need him in there.” 
Care to guess what came next? (Hint: it involved social media.)

It’s not

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2016/10/thinking-of-endorsing-trump-dont.html

Why We Love Lists and Awards

My cursor hovered over a link to “the best IPAs in each state.” I wondered–did they get Oregon right? But, in that moment of indecision, I asked myself another question: why do you care what some random site thinks? On a Saturday morning a few weeks back, live tweets from Denver started announcing winners at the GABF. I spent an hour looking at my phone as the results dribbled in, again,

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2016/10/why-we-love-lists-and-awards.html

The Modern Age

If you follow beer news at all closely, you notice that at any given moment, there’s a gestalt to the way the stories coagulate. Each one seems to arrive as a piece in a larger puzzle, one we slowly assemble in our minds. A few years back, that news gestalt told a happy story: the beer biz was forever improving, buoyed by ever greater selection, quality, and evolution. We’d surf

from Beervana http://beervana.blogspot.com/2016/10/the-modern-age.html