Black grass seeds

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rjlittlefield
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Black grass seeds

Post by rjlittlefield »

Image

Image

The black seeds of this wild grass called themselves to my attention.

I have no idea what kind of grass it is, though. Grasses are such a frustrating group that for the most part, I gave up trying to ID them many years ago. :? Perhaps the seeds are distinctive enough that one of my friends will recognize them.

In any event, I hope you enjoy the pictures. :D

--Rik

Technical: Canon SD700 IS camera, auto-everything gave f/2.8, 1/200 sec. The first picture is about 80% of actual pixels, Noise Ninja'd with some manual masking. The second is slightly less than full frame, OOF background regions further blurred for better bokeh.

Bruce Williams
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Post by Bruce Williams »

You've done a nice job with post processing Rik. Clean, well composed images with wonderfully subtle tonal quality just perfect for the subject.

Something different too.

Bruce :)

ps - are the grasses bending under the weight of seed or in the breeze?

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks, Bruce.

The grass is bending under the weight of the seeds. There were only mild puffs of wind, from the other direction as it happens, and of course I had to wait for quiet moments to avoid motion blur.

--Rik

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

BTW, continuing my penchant for "truth in advertising", here is the original image, with nothing done to it except for resizing.

Image

As you can see, there's unappealing stuff around the edges of the frame, and the main subject is underexposed because of the bright sky, which I had to have in there to get the framing I wanted. The former is fixed by a bit of cropping, and the latter by modest level adjustment (0..198 becomes 0..255). The first picture in the initial post is a crop of the same image, rotated 30 cegrees or so to allow tighter framing with what still struck me as an attractive composition.

--Rik

Planapo
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Post by Planapo »

I find the composition attractive too, Rik!
And these fruits look quite unusual to me. Are their dark colour and irregular, knobbly shape normal? Or have they been infested by a fungus, perhaps? :-k

Cheers,
Betty

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

I don't know for sure about possible infestation.

What I do know is that there was a hillside covered with grass apparently just like this. I did not observe any heads having both black and "typical grass" seeds, nor any heads that struck me as belonging to the same kind of grass but having typical seeds.

I will check with a local expert and see if I can get some more info.

Thanks for the interest!

--Rik

beetleman
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Post by beetleman »

Excellent post procesing Rik. A 110% improvment on the orgional.
Take Nothing but Pictures--Leave Nothing but Footprints.
Doug Breda

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Here's the response from the local expert.
Janelle Downs wrote:Rik
These are cheatgrass seeds that are infested with a 'bunt' fungus--basically a rust. Cheatgrass is suceptible to several rust fungal infections not unlike wheat and other grains. There is actually some research being done by Susan Meyers (Shrub Sciences Lab, Provo) and Julie Becksted at Gonzaga on how cheatgrass disease and infestations affect the plants. The fungus usually makes the seeds non-viable and they are looking at these types of infections as potential control mechanisms for cheatgrass.

J
Thanks, Janelle! (And good call, Betty!) :D

--Rik

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