Life is just a bunch of big things made up from a bunch of smaller things.
One of my favorite people came to lunch the other day and brought flowers. How thoughtful. We haven’t seen real flowers in months so we really appreciate the gift.
fate – the development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.
True story: About an hour before sunset, I jumped into the Focus to shoot the swans at the Bay (actually, photograph the swans since it’s against the law to shoot swans out of season), pull into the parking lot where the swans hang and see four of them begging for food from a lady not 10 feet in front of me. I took out the camera with the short zoom since I don’t need the tele and turn on the camera. Oh, oh. Dead battery. Actually two dead batteries. And the back up for my back up is sitting on the kitchen table. Get back in the car and head for home trying not to exceed my usual five miles an hour over the speed limit, grab the D80 and drive back to the Bay, pull into the parking lot and find it completely deserted. No lady feeding the swans. And no swans. So I shot the photo above as I watched the sun go down.
Remember when you could walk along the shore of the lake in shorts and tee shirt?
Remember when you could watch a duck swim in the clear water?
Remember when you saw that pink Thunderbird on the road?
They are all vague memories but at least I have photos to remind me. It’s 12°F as I write this and I had to shovel the driveway twice today. Winter in Webster (Where Life is Worth Living) is starting to get a little old.
I remember looking out at the polar icecap in Thule, Greenland and seeing a sight very similar to this. Taken at the shore of Lake Ontario in mid January, there is a lot of ice and you can walk pretty far out on it if you’re stupid and foolhardy. I was standing on the ice to get this shot but it’s as far as I dared to go. It’s hard to see the ice under a foot of snow and at the time the wind was blowing pretty hard.
Here is the same shot in color. The yellow/orange you see is churned up sand that gets trapped in the ice. Welcome to Webster (Where Life is Worth Living)! Just kidding. Actually this was shot in Irondequoit, our neighbor to the West.
Happy birthday, Mom.
Happy birthday, Pia.
Because I expressed an interest in onOne software, they generously provided me with a licence for their Perfect Effects 8 plug-in. I like plug-in because they can achieve dramatic effects with very little effort but it does take some restraint on the part of the user because these preset filters can push an image over a cliff from which there is no return. I shot this image after a rain storm under a very cloudy sky and in deep shade, being on the north side of the house. Though I was able to get an acceptable rendering with LR5, I thought it needed a little boost. I think the photo could use a little dodging and burning but I didn’t do it here just to show what PE8 can do on its own.
Perfect Effects 8 allows filters to be stacked upon each other and both layer opacity and blending are variable. These functions allow for an almost unlimited number of effects you can achieve when used with the presets. There are a lot of presets to choose from, as well. I’ve only tried a few of the presets and they work well. There are a lot of presets I’m not interested in but there are quite a few that I think are valuable, providing effects that would be difficult to achieve otherwise, especially if you want a more dramatic look to a particular photo. We have a lot of overcast skies in Webster (Where Life is Worth Living) which can give some photos dreary look. Perfect Effects excels at punching up photos without adding noise or halos that I find distracting. If there is a downside to PE8 it’s that it draws a lot of your computers resources and if your’s is like mine (old and in need or replacing) you may find it slow and tedious to use. PE8 works with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, Aperture and as a standalone application.
I would recommend PE8 for anyone who is looking for plug-ins to enhance photos easily. I don’t know how much it costs but for a limited time you can purchase the onOne Suite of plug-ins at a discount here. Looks like a good deal if you’re in the market. I’ve always wondered how well the Resize plug-in works. Maybe…
Here is what the unedited version of the Hosta leaves looks like;
According to Wikipedia “Yellow is commonly associated with gold, wealth, sunshine, reason, happiness, optimism and pleasure, but also with cowardice, envy, jealousy and betrayal”. It’s also good at getting your attention. Yellow is the most visible color from a distance, so it is often used for objects that need to be seen, such as fire engines, road maintenance equipment, school buses and taxicabs. It is also often used for warning signs, since yellow traditionally signals caution, rather than danger. A yellow light on a traffic signal means slow down, but not stop. I like yellow and it’s usually striking to me when I see it. Though I would never buy a yellow car, I do like this one:
I’m looking to replace the Focus this year, maybe…
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