Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cloud Heart

Cloud Heart

Some nifty late afternoon clouds.
Didn't notice the heart 'til afterward.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

500 Days of Summer

500 Days of Summer
Loved this movie.
Lots of laughs.
After a point, though, I did start feeling like she was stringing him along.

Favorite song:
She's Got You High, by Mumm-Ra

Favorite quotes:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wal-Mart Mugs

I love tall skinny coffee cups.
I found these in the Valentine's Day Holiday Isle at Wal-Mart.
Couldn't find them online.

Using the 50mm f/1.4 lens indoors.
Both pics are the same settings: same aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc.
But notice the DOF difference.
Focus difference?
Actually, it was the angle.
At f/1.4 things are that shallow.
Using the lens makes more of a learning impact on me, than just reading about shallow depth of field (DOF).
I like the more shallow DOF pic better (angle, background), even though one mug is out of focus.

Is it Wal-Mart or Walmart or WalMart?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tele Sunrise

Tele Sunrise

Click on above image to see larger size.

Okay, the colors are not at all what it looked like.
I saw a very pretty vivid sky blue against translucent creams and golden oranges, etc.
The camera with tele, straining to give me a picture in the too dark twilight, turned the vivid blue into a dull gray.
And well, the colors were just plain wrong.

But I liked the wispy cloud layers, textures, swirls I got when I zoomed in with the tele.
So I cropped wallpaper size and played with Curves.
I pulled down the Green and Red Channels.
I selected the gray area and then pulled up the Blue Channel.
Clarify 5 to increase cloud definition.

Note: Time stamp said borderline twilight/sunrise.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Ever changing landscape this morning.

First foggy hoarfrost.

Then clearing with a blue sky and some nifty clouds.

Closer (S3)

Closer (XSi 50mm - My Fav)

Closer (XSi 70-300mm)

Closest (XSi 70-300mm)

I had a difficult time getting detailed closeups of the hoarfrost.
It was definitely a learning experience.
I shot with S3 point and shoot and the XSi DSLR with 50mm and then 70-300mm tele.

The pics were typically too dark, but lightening post-processing tended to lose detail.
I also didn't like the blue tone on the sky I was getting with post-processing.
I tried screen layer blend at 100%, lost too much detail on the frost.
I tried screen layer blend at 50% opacity. Better.
I tried soft light layer blend at 100%. That typically gives a blue tone I don't like.
I tried fill flash.
I tried clarify.
Curves was too fiddly than it was worth.
Then there's always sharpening too at the end of all that.
So anyway, I ended up with different combinations of the above, depending on the photo.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Winter Theme Music

Just for fun, some music with winter/snow in the title.

Winter In The Hamptons, Josh Rouse

Early Winter, Gwen Stefani

Hazy Shade of Winter, Simon and Garfunkel

Winter, Joshua Radin

Winter, Tori Amos

Winterblue, Heather Nova

Snow On The Sahara, Anggun

How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

How to Fold A Fitted Sheet

Yes, that's how I fold my fitted sheets.
Surprised by what people will make a video of.
It was a good demonstration of it.

Not as Cold as Last Year

Not as cold as last year, but close.

Had to check and compare.
But stick around, it'll be 20 degrees above zero for a high tomorrow.
Positively balmy. lol
Tomorrow, tomorrow...

What Is A Blizzard

Blizzard vs Winter Storm?

I came across this question at wiseGEEK.
Via the Twitter feed.

What are Blizzards?
Mentions 3 factors wind, visibility, and temp.

What do I think of when I hear the word, "blizzard"?

In a word: visibility.

There can be snow, wind, cold, but visibility is still okay, so it's not a blizzard.
A blizzard is when I look out the window and can't see the barn.
Or when I can't see past the trees, I know it's bad news.

I checked another source,
Blizzards are characterized by low temperatures (usually below 20 deg F) and accompanied by winds that are at least 35 mph or greater, there must also be sufficient falling and/or blowing snow in the air that will frequently reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less for a duration of at least 3 hours.

A severe blizzard is considered to have temperatures near or below 10 deg F, winds exceeding 45 mph, and visibility reduced by snow to near zero.

Image Creation Notes:
ULead Particle (snow), Wind Effect, IglooLaser Font, Layer Blends

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Whoa, more snow out there than I thought.

The trees in back (to the West) are even thicker with snow than they were (previous pic).

To the South:

To the North:

This is before the wind comes up and the temp goes down.
Blizzard, possibly.
It was about zero degrees and a gentle fluffy snow coming down on Wed morning when I took the pics.
Some areas were a little breezy already with the snow swirling around.
Winter can be so beautiful.

We have a big snowbank in front of our house already from the last windy storm.
This is looking out thru the side garage door.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Window Frost Patterns

This time it was close to sundown almost 5pm. I think the pics turned out better in evening sun as opposed to morning sun. I also did more post-processing to bring out the patterns.

This one shows some window frame and a little wider view:


(I think I could have sharpened that one a little more.)

Screen layer to lighten
Clarify at 5 twice.

The next ones just lighten, resize, sharpen, no clarify.

Frost on screendoor:


Same setting different picture with more sky pink in it.

Window Frost
Window Frost Pattern
(This one is the same window with the pretty frost pattern.)

Star Trek 2009

Finally watched
Star Trek 2009.
They did a pretty good job. I didn't have any problem accepting the actor/character choices they made except for maybe Chekov. I don't remember his accent being irritating in the original. Spock wasn't quite as logical, but the humor between him and Kirk was there.

I didn't like that continual light flare/beam flashing across the TV screen. I thought there was something wrong with the DVD. Until I watched the special feature (A New Vision) where they talked about how nifty the flare was--NOT.

The rest of this post is more my notes/thoughts and resulting research than an actual review.

Spock's mom died?
Spock/Uhura romance?
Transporting looked different--swirls.
Winona Ryder was Amanda Grayson (Spock's Mom)? Oh, I didn't even notice who that was until the end movie credits.

Amanda Grayson at wiki
Spock's human mother, married to Sarek.
In one timeline, she dies between the events in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Sarek".
As depicted in the 2009 Star Trek movie, she dies when Vulcan is destroyed.

Bought the single-disc edition DVD

What was the "digital" version DVD? Star Trek video game? Digital copy to load on puter?
DVD Info

Also bought:
The Best of Star Trek: The Original Series
Has Four Episodes:
(Pilot was zero. I counted as one.)
115 (15 Dec 66) Balance of Terror
129 (6 Apr 67) The City on the Edge of Forever
201 (15 Sep 67) Amok Time
215 (29 Dec 67) The Trouble With Tribbles

Found only three movies so bought those too:
II The Wrath of Khan (1982)
IV The Voyage Home (1986)
VI The Undiscovered Country (1991)

Star Trek The Motion Picture (1979)
(Only one I could find still listed at Amazon is The Director's Cut (Two-Disc Special Collector's Edition)
Star Trek III The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek V The Final Frontier (1989)

I'd like The Search for Spock on DVD yet.
Movie info
We have them on video, so not a biggy to me if we're missing some on DVD.
My fav is Trek IV, The Voyage Home, cuz it was the funniest.

Sequel Summer 2011?

Where no man has gone before at wiki

Star Trek XI at wiki
The story establishes an alternate reality[5][6] through time-travel by both Nero and the original Spock (Leonard Nimoy), freeing the film and the franchise from established continuity constraints.

Spock and Uhura were put in an actual relationship as a nod to early episodes highlighting her interest in him.[88]
[88] links to a podcast.
About half way mark of the podcast they talk about the Spock romance stuff.

New Cast vs Original at tvguide is good.

Also deceased:
Majel Barrett - Nurse Chapel
b. 23 Feb 32 - d. 18 Dec 08

Font I used on my images is spaceman.ttf.

Watch Videos at imdb
Full episodes of the original.
At hulu also.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

More Screenshot Art

These are screenshots of screensavers and sometimes added processing in Paint Shop Pro 9 (PSP9).

Just a fun diversion when bored.

The free screensavers can be found here.


(In PSP9: crop, motion blur, colorize)


(This one I liked as is. Have to wait a while for the screensaver to get going. Could colorize it.)


(Again, as is. Had to watch it a while b4 I got that twirl.)


(Crop and whirl in PSP w FUnlmtd.)

Always Have Double Backups

So I fired up one of my Seagate external backup drives and I couldn't access a folder.
That was a folder with about 92 GB of files in it.

From within Windows Explorer
Right Click on Drive and select Properties.
Tools Tab, Check Now, check mark Automatically Fix File System Errors
Took a long time (500 GB drive). I almost thought is wasn't working.
But fixed it.

I think that's equal to chkdsk drive: /f switch.
I tried to just scan for errors but got a popup error and it would not work.
One of those moments I was ever so glad I had double backup drives.

Microsoft Links: