Sunday, July 24, 2011

Need I say more?

I'm wondering if it's possible to hibernate until mid-September. I was out and about yesterday afternoon in the heat as we tried to find another car for Jordan. My leg muscles protested. They were stiff and cramped, usually the sign of dehydration. I'm drinking water almost constantly in an effort to keep up.

The house air conditioner struggles too. It's the original unit installed when the house was built, so it's cranky and tries very hard to maintain a 25 degree difference between inside and outside.

With only one or two exceptions, it's been over 100F here for weeks. When I left for work yesterday morning, it was 88F - at 4AM.

I'm desperately looking forward to cooler weather.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rules for editing

Bridge in HDR. Click through to see full size on Flickr.

"There are two rules for editing. The first rule is to edit ruthlessly."

I've always liked that one. It's too easy to get enamored of our words and find that we can't part with a single one of them. I do it all the time. It's probably a carry-over of a bad habit from school where written projects had to be X number of pages. I hated writing in school, so wordiness, redundancy, and other bad things took hold.

I learned another rule from my friend Brian, who edited a local cycling newsletter once upon a time. "If you're going to write for public consumption," he said, "You have to be thick-skinned." Was he ever right! I've learned to be thick-skinned, and dismissive of trolls, tools, and fools. Why waste time and energy on them?

So it was with a sense of wonder that I saw this post on the Digital Photo School site, advising those of us who are (ahem) packrats to delete ruthlessly. Not that I'm a packrat, of course. Not me.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

DeSoto Suburban

The used car lot has a 'new' old car. This is a Desoto Suburban. It's the forerunner of all those boxy SUVs cluttering up parking lots everywhere. This is a beast of a car. It's gigantic.

I played with the high dynamic range gadget on Zoner Photo Studio this week. The shot above is a normal exposure. The one below is a composite of three exposures: the one above, and two that were under and over exposed by one stop. I like the way it brings out shadow detail.

I reshot the locomotive over on the west side, too. I was there about mid morning and the sun was already high. Contrast was high too. This first one is the HDR image.

These two look very similar, but when I set them up in a viewer and switched back and forth between them, it appeared that the HDR image had the sun coming from a lower angle than the 'straight' image. Still, this one appears fairly natural, and in all fairness, the Desoto verges on being cartoonish. But I still like it.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Photos have been removed

I deleted all my photos from Picasa after reading their terms of service:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

This says that while I retain copyright, Google can use my photos however they choose. I'd prefer language saying that Google can use the photos to promote Picasa or it's successor, but I'm not at all happy about giving my photos to third parties without my consent, attribution, or remuneration.

Google is not alone in doing this. It's a common consent clause in many photo contests, too. Think of it, a company gives away some trinkets as prizes and gets full rights to use all the photos in return.

For now, my photos will be posted on Flickr under CycleDog. I'm considering using one or more of the photos sites like DeviantArt for a few of the better shots.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Fleet Feet Firecracker 5K Fotos

(New! Link to Picasa web album.)

Who can resist alliteration? I went downtown this morning to take some photos of the Firecracker 5K race and a 1K fun run for kids. These are a few of the morning's photos. And if you're wondering why they're sepia, some big dummy
who looks a lot like me forgot to turn it back to color. Duh.

I thought this was kind of sweet. They're holding hands as they run!

This fire hydrant has a sprinkler attachment. It was just past the finish line, and I think the kids found it to be more fun than the run itself.

This little girl was giving me the stink eye the whole time she was in view. Normally, they're lots older before hitting me with that.

At this point, there's about one kilometer to go. I liked the determination in the runner's faces.

Naturally, there are lots more photos (or should it be "fotos?") but I haven't gone through all of them yet. Most of the time, I leave the camera at it's wide angle setting, about 28mm if I recall right, and then crop down to what I want in the final image. It's good to practice panning at races, trying to get the expressions on their faces as they go by. With the Kodak, that's a hit-and-miss proposition because there's a lag between pushing the shutter button and the actual exposure. So I set the camera for bursts of photos. It will take 3 in rapid succession, then twiddle its thumbs while it empties the buffer. I miss a lot of shots that way.

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