Saturday, February 5, 2011

Closing in on the 21st Century

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Believe it or not, The Husband and I have only recently entered the wireless world—with our computers, that is. Yes, we may be old fogeys, but we have had cell phones for some time now, thank you.  

Not being wireless in our office, had me tethered to my desktop computer. Unfortunately, that arangement is no longer practical. I am doing much better, but I still need to change my position frequently. The old game of settling in at the computer and losing myself for sometimes hours on end in photo-processing, or writing, is not an option. I needed to get my laptop into action.

The transition to wireless was a piece of cake. I confess that we both had been putting it off, because we know that, all too often, the simpler a computer task appears the more frustrating it can become. After sailing through the set-up, I can now take my laptop anywhere in the house and do a small portion of my computer business. Wow! This new-fangled stuff is great.

But, you know how things work in the wonderful world of electronics. One thing always leads to another and here I am thinking about a netbook. My aging laptop weighs a whopping six pounds, and the three-pounds or under specs on netbooks sound awfully tempting. I am amazed at how heavy six pounds feels on my lap. Of course, there is no way I would expect to process photographs on a netbook. Still, I wonder if I might use it for some writing and reading online. Anyone have first-hand experience?

Gee, trying to catch up with the times is tough.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Break from Winter

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For a few weeks now, I have gotten up each morning unable to believe the beautiful autumn weather. Once, I had found myself thinking, "Oh, boy. We'll pay for all this bliss by mid-February." The negative thinking reminds me of one of my favorite stories.

Everyone knew that not only did Mrs. O'Reilly always find the dark clouds and miss the silver lining, she was bound to spread the word so everyone else would see just how bad things really were. Still, Mrs. O'Leary, from next door, never lost hope that she could get her neighbor to see the bright side of life. On a fine spring day, both ladies were hanging out their laundry. "Ah, the blue skies are sparkling", cooed Mrs. O'Leary, leaning on the fence, "and it's a lovely breeze that's cooling my brow. Sure, it's a fine day, isn't it Mrs. O'Reilly?" "Maybe", growled Mrs. O'Reilly. "But, it's raining somewhere".

I suppose there is a bit of both ladies in each of us. For now, I am concentrating on the brisk, but comfortable temperatures and all this sunshine. In spite of freezing temperatures almost every night, we have had days that were downright warm. The boggy portions of our property are gradually drying and each day is more beautiful than the one before. It has been like having an unexpected winter vacation, and we didn't even have to crank up the RV. The Husband and I are loving it. Oh, and Galen is pretty happy about it, as well. Multiple play periods outside with one of his humans makes him a very happy pup.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Highway 58

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Things got a bit tense around here yesterday afternoon. I was close to pulling out some hair over computer crazies. I even had a brief fantasy of driving the entire setup to the dump and taking up knitting.  Finally, as of about half an hour ago, the system appears to be normal. At least on the surface. Since the chaos was likely just one of those wake-up calls we get now and then, I am back. Mostly. At least, I cancelled the order on the knitting supplies. Therefore, with things somewhat settled, on to what was to be yesterday's post.

Tuesday was a day for errands in Bakersfield. The Husband normally dreads the trip, but I always look forward to the drive. It isn't the errands that appeal to me it's the scenery along Highway 58. 

Rolling hills, neatly groomed by grazing cattle and dotted with old oak trees, provide miles of beautiful landscape. Rarely can I control my urge to indulge in some drive-by photography while on that stretch of highway, and Tuesday I didn't even attempt to curb my impulses.

Of course, if I had my way, it would take us two or three hours to make the hour drive. I would want to stop every two or three hundred yards even though there are only three or four places that offer an option for pulling off the highway. Instead of trying The Husband's patience (as well as asking him to risk life and limb), I set my camera to shutter priority and shoot away. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

In a Photoshop Daze

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For the last several days, I have been a photo-processing fool. I have been steeped in Photoshop—working on files from recent shoots, the trip to Death Valley last spring, and a large order from my dear friend and client, L, at Silent Knight Farms. I see sliders and layer masks when I close my eyes.

The unexpected turns in my life that began in June, last year, put a major dent in my schedule, and I am about as far behind as a person can get. But, it's work that I enjoy. I love the experience of seeing a RAW file come to life on my screen. I enjoy the work so much that I need to pinch myself periodically as a reminder to get up and stretch my back.

The photo above is one of my favorites from SKF and the one on the left was taken in Death Valley. By the time I got home from each of those trips, I was already dreaming about returning as soon as possible. Silent Knight Farms is all about horses—gloriously beautiful animals turned out to do what they love to do: run like the wind. Death Valley is matchless—a truly awe-inspiring landscape. It is a joy to be at either place with a camera in hand.