Saturday, November 26, 2011

Me and My (Lens)Baby—Maybe

Since I took up photography, it has become a tradition in our family for me to choose a combo birthday, anniversary, Christmas gift near the end of the year. Moreover, I always manage somehow to get the present well before December 25th. This year the package came before Thanksgiving Day.

I finally took the plunge and asked for a LensBaby—Composer Pro w/Sweet 35, to be precise. I have had it for a couple days and I am as intrigued as I am frustrated by the lens. My struggles have me wondering if I am cut out to use this gear. I admitted long ago that my eyes aren't great—and there is even more than age at issue here. Nearsightedness. Astigmatism. Then, add the age on, for good measure. It's a challenge. Since I have had time for only a couple of brief sessions, I am withholding judgement; but, I am obviously not a natural with this. So far, this is as close as I have come to getting anything that I am willing to publish here.

I love the look and want this to work, but the manual focusing and that seemingly infinitesimal sweet spot is elusive so far.

Obviously, I have to set aside some time to give this a fair shot. I want to feel confident in my decision before I commit to keeping the lens or returning it. Defeat certainly wouldn't taste good. However, neither would stubborn denial.

(Click on the image for the larger version)

Update three sessions later: Since I like this photo better than the one above, I am feeling a bit more optimistic. Limited as I am by my eyes, this could never be my #1 lens. Still I am leaning more to staying with this. Maybe I will eventually get the hang of it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Final Step with the Camera Connection Kit

(Click on the image for the larger version)

After a Wednesday late-afternoon drive around Bear Valley Springs with the trusty old 40D, I decided it was time to trot out that camera cable and connect to the iPad. It was simple as pie. Of course, the RAW files from the 40D aren't 21 megapixels, but the operation went smoothly. I can see that it chews up quite bit of battery juice. I decided what the heck. I had come this far without using the desktop I may as well complete the exercise and process the small set of photos with Snapseed and FilterStorm.

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't download more than half a dozen files on this trial run. That means I have no idea how this would work if I had attempted to transfer 50 or 60 files. I have read that this sometimes causes the computer to freeze up. I have also read that your RAW files are converted to jpg's as they are transferred and they are downsized. Both of those things make sense to me. Earl, have I got all this right? I think I read all this on Terry White's Adobe Photoshop tech blog.

I now pronounce myself ready to move to the next phase. Time to refine the basic skills I have acquired and begin planning a weekend trip. The fundamentals are in place. Soon I will be travel-ready and that means ready for traveling light. Should I tell The Husband? Yeah, I think he is already on to me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger version)

May your day be filled with love and laughter. May you take joy in celebrating all blessings large and small.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

On the Inside, Looking Out

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Galen is a funny pup. This picture of him sitting at the back door, gazing at his yard, depicts a sight that is not uncommon. Who knows whether this is about some form of canine longing, or maybe idle curiosity? If he has serious business to take care of, he finds a way to convey the urgency and does not settle for subtle signals. Sometimes it is the barking. But, often, if I am sitting, he has a different signal. He puts a paw on my leg to get my attention, looks into my eyes, and a sound comes from him that clearly says, "This is serious. Would I lie to you?" I have learned to heed that message. He isn't kidding.

Barking, on the other hand, may alternatively mean that he simply wants to go out. In those cases, when he does get outside, it is a toss up as to what he will do. He may be going out on business. But, there are times when he simply has a burning need to check out the newest smells in his territory. On another day, he just feels the need to sit on the edge of the berm in the yard and survey his kingdom. He is clear that that realm extends far beyond the fence that borders the little yard. Sometimes, he patiently watches riders go by on the trail to the south. There are days when his main duty is keeping an eye on the neighbors' horses and dogs on the property east of us. There have been times when I would swear that he is admiring the sunset.

In some instances, going out alone is not an option. He wants one of us to go outside and play with him. On those occasions, he has no use for private time in his yard. He wants to be the center of a very small universe—just Galen and at least one of his humans—sometimes it has to be the entire family. Nothing less will suffice. Other times, he watches from inside—perching by the door, or lying on the window sill, taking in the world out there.