Lost! Lost!! We are all LOST!!!!

I’m going to try something new today with this photo post.  Attached is a panorama that I shot with my Canon 7D and stitched together with Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud).  Photoshop makes this kind of thing very easy as long as you remember a few simple rules:

1) Shoot in manual mode – shut off everything that’s automatic, like shutter speed, aperture, ISO, even autofocus.

2) Try to hold the camera at a constant angle and not change the vertical orientation or level of any of the exposures (it is best by FAR to use a tripod when doing a panorama for this very reason!)

3) It’s a good idea to stick your finger vertically at the left edge of the first frame (assuming you’re shooting from left to right) and at the right edge of the last frame (same assumption) so you know the starting and finishing images.  The software can usually figure this out itself, but just in case….

Then, let Photoshop do its magic!

This is a corn maze at the Del Osso family farm between Tracy and Manteca.  There are actually several “mazes” built into the corn field, and it is quite large.  At a few locations in the maze are elevated viewing platforms so you can see where you are (in case you get lost, like a girl would do, but never a guy!)  I took this picture from the top of one of the viewing platforms looking westward.  They actually had security personnel on top in case you get lost!  And some people had gotten lost when we were there and security had to come escort them out!

Not sure how this will turn out when inserted into the post.  It was originally 43″ wide…may be too small.  We’ll see!  If it appears really small, double click it and I think it will “blow up”!!!  Oh, yeah, that’s my oldest grand daughter and son in law in the picture!

CornMazeON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1926, Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, died of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital. Twelve days before, Houdini had been talking to a group of students after a lecture in Montreal when he commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows. Suddenly, one of the students punched Houdini twice in the stomach. The magician hadn’t had time to prepare, and the blows ruptured his appendix. He fell ill on the train to Detroit, and, after performing one last time, was hospitalized. Doctors operated on him, but to no avail. The burst appendix poisoned his system, and on October 31 he died.

Houdini was born Erik Weisz in Budapest in 1874, the son of a rabbi. At a young age, he immigrated with his family to Appleton, Wisconsin, and soon demonstrated a natural acrobatic ability and an extraordinary skill at picking locks. When he was nine, he joined a traveling circus and toured the country as a contortionist and trapeze performer. He soon was specializing in escape acts and gained fame for his reported ability to escape from any manacle. He went on his first international tour in 1900 and performed all over Europe to great acclaim. In executing his escapes, he relied on strength, dexterity, and concentration—not trickery—and was a great showman.

In 1908, Houdini began performing more dangerous and dramatic escapes. In a favorite act, he was bound and then locked in an ironbound chest that was dropped into a water tank or thrown off a boat. In another, he was heavily bound and then suspended upside down in a glass-walled water tank. Other acts featured Houdini being hung from a skyscraper in a straitjacket, or bound and buried—without a coffin—under six feet of dirt.

In his later years, Houdini campaigned against mediums, mind readers, fakirs, and others who claimed supernatural talents but depended on tricks. At the same time, he was deeply interested in spiritualism and made a pact with his wife and friends that the first to die was to try and communicate with the world of reality from the spirit world. Several of these friends died, but Houdini never received a sign from them. Then, on Halloween 1926, Houdini himself passed on at the age of 52. His wife waited for a communiqué from the spirit world but it never came; she declared the experiment a failure shortly before her death in 1943.

TRIVIA FOR TODAY: the amethyst, February’s designated birthstone, is the symbol of sincerity. This gem was said to be a favorite of both Cleopatra’s and St. Valentine’s.


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