Thursday, May 30, 2013

Evening Ritual

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Shaving (yesterday) and traffic.  There seems to be no escape from either.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday Morning Outing

Coal Cars
I took my new (to me) Ricoh GRD III out for some pictures early this morning.  The little camera can deliver some amazingly sharp pictures, and the f1.9 lens even allows some depth of field control.

A Bridge Over Untroubled Water

Okay, I did use a plug-in to limit the depth of field on that last one.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Variations on a Theme

Hard to believe that the above picture comes from a photograph.  Moreover, this is after only a couple of clicks in Nik's original HDR Efex Pro.  The result is definitely more Norman Rockwell than Edward Hopper, but still it has its own charm I think.  The effect is well suited to an old time ice cream parlor scene.  But the effect is a bit too front and center, taking over the picture.  So I tried a grittier black and white variation.

This, too, has its own charm I think.  But to be honest, this is a scene that works a bit better in color.  It works best, I think, pretty much as it came out of the camera, with a little straightening, a slight crop and and slight vignette to keep attention within the boundary of the picture.

Ah, there it is - back where I started.  "Leopold's" needs that pink glow.  And this allows you to focus on the stories - the man checking the screen on the back of his camera while the woman samples her ice cream, the girls on the right looking a bit bored, the couple just inside the window, the line at the counter, etc.  A long way around to the beginning, but I learned some things along the way and that always makes a journey worthwhile.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Flickr Brouhaha and Ipernity

First of all, I try to never miss a chance to use the word "brouhaha."  And the massive, drastic, total and complete change in Flickr this week seems to be a perfect time to use it.  As of this time there are 197 pages of response to Yahoo's "Better, Brighter Flickr," with about 99% of the comments on the pages being negative, to put it mildly.  Now, had I just happened on Flickr for the first time, if I didn't have the unusual number of 666 pictures already posted there, the radical change may not offend me at all.  What offends me most is that without notice, without asking for input from its users, Flickr became an entirely different experience than it had been.  It is as if Blogger one day decided that all of its blogs should have pink as the background color and imposed that single limitation across everyone here.

As part of the last picture I uploaded to Flickr I wrote:

Flickr, I loved you. Oh, you weren't the first. I went out with and and, well, I can't even remember the name of that other one. But then I met you. You were nice to me. We had good times. And sure, I know I sometimes ignored you and took you for granted. But let's face it - when you say you just got a facelift for me, we both know it's not true. This isn't just a facelift. It's liposuction and a tummy tuck, an artificial heart and fake nails and I just don't even recognize you anymore. It isn't for me. I was happy with you as you were. You are looking for someone youngr and hippr. I hope you find them. I hope you are happy togethr. I am going to back out on the circuit now because, you know, there are other fish in the sea and petals are definitely off this bloom.
My dissatisfaction is not with change, but with loss of trust.  Not all of the changes were bad, but the changes were many and were a complete surprise.  Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer threw gasoline on the fire with a statement explaining that Flick was eliminating the "pro" accounts (that had cost $25 per year for unlimited uploading rights) because there are no longer any "professional photographers."  Wow.  Photography Consultant Jim Colton described this as "...perhaps one of the stupidest comments I have ever heard..."  That seems to be the consensus of many.  It certainly is a telling statement of where Yahoo/Flickr stands on the issue of photography.

So, many have been looking for a new place to share their pictures, and many of my Flickr friends seem to be seriously considering Ipernity.  I have started a free account there.  Funny, because a week ago I would have dismissed this site as a Flickr knockoff.  What a difference a few days makes.  Today, it seems to be the new Flickr.

Take that, Mothr Flickr.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shoot Now, Think Later.

While I was away on vacation last week, my new camera arrived.  Actually, it is used - a more or less four year old Ricoh GRD III.  I had planned to get a new GRD IV when they went on sale because of the new GR with APS-C sized sensor, but they sold out quicker than I anticipated.  Still, the GRD is great.  It doesn't have image stabilization, but is a bit thinner for that lack.  So far, I love it.  It is a perfect little carry everywhere camera.  It will take me some time to get used to its 28mm equivalent prime lens, but I for some reason like constrictions when I'm shooting.  The less thinking I do at the shooting phase, the better the results tend to be.  My time for pondering is when I'm working up the picture, not when I'm shooting it.


Afternoon Rain

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Plantation, a Cemetery and an Hour on the Beach

While in Savannah, my wife and I took an afternoon to drive around and see some of the nearby attractions, including a mile and half driveway at Wormsloe Plantation that has 400 live oaks planted along the route.

We also took a driving tour of Bonaventure Cemetery, which is featured in the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  Unfortunately, the Bird Girl statue featured in the opening of that film, and on the cover of the book on which it was based, is no longer there, having been moved to a museum at some point.  Still, there is no shortage of interesting tomb stones there.


 We went to the beach at Tybee Island.  An hour there seemed sufficient.

Ann and Crow


The Pier
Under the Pier

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Oh, Savannah. Y'all.

The holiday to Savannah Georgia required about eight and a half hours on the road, each way, and all for only a three night stay.  But my wife and I saw lots of sights, ate lots of good food, and had lots of good drinks.  And met lots of friendly people.  We both needed a break from work, and this trip provided a perfect getaway.   I'll spare you most of the more touristy shots, but here are a few pics from our time in the city.



Shadow Play

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

Two Doors Down

Forsyth Park

Soho South Cafe



A Wall with Vine and Sunshine

The Thinker at B. Matthews Restaurant

The Proprietor

Antique Store

A Patriot Lives Here.

The Bench


Hello Yellow

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Where Have I Been?

Savannah Georgia, that's where.  On the way, my wife, Ann, and I stopped at Burgers R Us in Gate City, Virginia for some old fashioned American comfort food.  I had a buffalo burger and onion rings, with unsweet tea in a Coca-Cola Glass.  I think I was the only man there without a hat.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Shots


I got up early this morning for a Sunday morning outing.  But before I left the sun peaked out from behind some clouds and lit up these sunflowers on our kitchen island.

Tracks at Dwale
I made a few stops for some quick pictures of "old things" and one Prestonsburg staple: Hobert's Pizzaria!

One the way back home I ran across a tent revival...

...and a one-owner hearse for sale.

All in all, a good Sunday morning outing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Stroll Through Ann's Garden

In between rain showers today, I took a quick walk around the house - also known as a tour of Ann's garden.

A Peony

Yellow Lilies