Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bandwidth Exceeded

I've had a couple of bandwidth spikes that disabled my free image hosting account until the first of the month.
First spike happened sometime between Sunday and Monday, 23rd and 24th of May.
And the final knock out hit happened by Wednesday morning, 26 May 10.

I think someone, or some bot, may be stealing my bandwidth, because I know this blog doesn't get that much traffic.

I've been making some adjustments and will monitor more closely once my account gets reactivated June 1st.

In the meantime, I moved my blog template images to Blogger's free image hosting site, Picasa, so this blog wouldn't be a total ugly mess.

No more new posts until my image hosting gets reactivated on 1 Jun 10.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Nifty storm clouds. It has been raining a lot recently. Get very interesting clouds on those day.

These next two I dug up out of my 2007 archives and tried clarify on them to bring out detail.
I call them ocean clouds.
One is a closeup of the other.
And yes, the moon was out.
Time/date stamp was about 11am on 2 Oct 07.


I've posted lilacs previously.
These current ones turned out so pretty. Darker, richer color.
In the shade on a cloudy day.
Just starting to bloom now.
Only one clump on this bush so could easily isolate.

Beautiful Soul - Music

Beautiful Soul
Jesse McCartney

YouTube Video w Lyrics
Google Video Search

What wonderful lyrics.

I don't want another pretty face
I don't want just anyone to hold
I don't want my love to go to waste
I want you and your beautiful soul

You're the one I want to chase
You're the one I want to hold
I won't let another minute go to waste
I want you and your soul


Jesse A. McCartney (b. 9 Apr 87)
Rose to fame in the early 2000s as member of the boy band Dream Street.
Appeared in tv series Summerland and ABC Family series Greek.
He was nominated for a Grammy for co-writing the song "Bleeding Love."
From 1998–2001, McCartney played Adam Chandler, Jr. in the ABC soap opera All My Children, a role for which he earned a Daytime Emmy nomination.
Beautiful Soul Album released in 2004.

That Certain Something

Je Ne Sais Quoi


Hera Björk - Je Ne Sais Quoi (Iceland)


"This is a story of the mysterious force that fuels attraction and desire, success and vitality..."


Friday, May 14, 2010

Photo Walk

Lit by the sun:
Looking East.
Hill in back of trees so dark and the morning sun peaking over the hilltops so trees were lit up.

I layered two tree pics together and then did some cloning work, so I could have just one pic instead of two.

Morning Shadows:

Yes, it really was just like that. Pretty.

A little creek or whatever. Just thought it was pretty.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Photo Walk

I liked how the trunks/branches of the trees really stood out on this one:

Because of the high contrast, I did layered masking post processing work to retain both the cloud and tree detail.

Belly shot for a different perspective:

I loved the clump shapes and the lush new green color coming up on these flowers. There's a flower bud there, but can hardly see it.

These two looked so cute staring out the window as I walked by the house:

Bur Oaks are fabulous trees:

So much texture and character in the bark and branches.

Friday, May 07, 2010

It Snowed Today

A little unusual for May but not unheard of.
Hard on the trees that are budding, blossoming, etc.

I'm out there with two cameras. ;)
My point and shoot (S3) for depth of field (sharp thru out) without a tripod (below).
My DSLR (XSi) for the nicer artsy shallow depth of field closeups (above).
It was early morning so low light.
But I do that a lot, take both cameras for that reason.

Old Friend From Far Away - Book

Just started reading
Old Friend From Far Away
By Natalie Goldberg

Was skipping around in the book and liked this writing entitled Cezanne (no accent) on page 134.
I decided to post it to my blog, giving a taste of what the book is like.
I've always enjoyed Goldberg's writing.
I might have more to say about the book after I've read more.
Links on Cézanne and Pissarro art follow the excerpt. (I didn't notice what Goldberg noticed.)

"Ten years ago I saw a big Cezanne show in Philadelphia.
The lines to get in were long. The galleries were crowded. You viewed a painting behind six other people. You bent your head this way and that to see portions of the pictures between people’s arms, torsos, and heads.

I liked the paintings but I knew I was missing something.
Printed matter said Cezanne influenced generations of artists, that all subsequent famous painters had looked to him.
Cezanne painted mountains and streams, some portraits.
Other artists before him did that.
What was the big deal?

When I went home to New Mexico I asked my painter friend to explain. She tried. I didn't understand, but I held the question inside.

Then just recently I attended a show of Pissarro and Cezanne, side by side.
The two painters had been friends, often going out to the country together and setting up easels next to each other.

I was jet-lagged and groggy when I entered the museum after again waiting in a long line where I spoke to a man from Las Vegas. He'd brought his eight-year-old mother to Paris and she was too tired. He left her back in the hotel.

The minute I saw Pissarro next to his friend Cezanne
the answer from ten years ago sprang at me,
looming large,
barefaced in the room.

Pissarro's paintings were well-done, but he followed an old idea of perspective. They receded the way we were taught in grammar school that a picture should move away to a distant point to give it depth.

Next to Pissarro,
Cezanne's came right at you.
There was no distance.
If it was a water scene, the water came to the edge of the canvas.
You were in the water.
You were included.

Two paintings of bouquets hung side by side. Pissarro showed the edge of the table and divided us from the bouquet.

Cezanne stuck the flowers right in my face.
I could almost smell them.

Before I’d seen Cezanne only by himself and since so many painters after him followed his way, I could not tell the new thing he had done.
But compared to his contemporary
I could see how he’d stepped right through the old manner of seeing and broken open perspective.

The experience was exhilarating.

The show centered on their friendship. How they both painted the same bridge together; then a bunch of apples in a still-life. What conviviality.

But I wondered what it must have been like for the two of them standing side by side, glancing over at the other's easel.

"Has Cezanne lost his mind? He needs to go back to school and learn to draw." Pissarro was the older.

And Cezanne, whose dedication, suffering, and loneliness are famous, must have felt sure of himself in the way changing reality can free you but also make you insecure. No one else had done this. And no one was going to applaud. Pissarro's work standing next to him must have only intensified the difference.

I notice Cezanne used looser, larger strokes, brought out the intensity of one color, did not soften the blow, was angular, took more chances.
I'd waited ten years to see what I was seeing.
I took a breath. I knew this also applied to writing.

Can you do the same? Bring your experience forward. Don't bog down in long introductions or explanations. Crash through what holds you back.
Also know sometimes you have to wait a long time for understanding.
Let's try this: Tell me what stifles you. Throw in everything that might even be a possibility. Go. Ten minutes.
Now that you've cleared the way, what is it you want to say? Step forward. Speak it upfront with no explanations. Go. Another ten minutes.
What must you be patient about? Make a list to remind yourself."


Taking risks side-by-side: Pissarro and Cezanne were close friends for twenty years...

Museum of Modern Art
Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885
June 26–September 12, 2005
NOTE: Click on art images at right.
Then TWO links.
1) Enter the site >
Then click on Paired Paintings at top to view Cezanne and Pissarro side-by-side

2) "Cézanne and Pissarro: Seeing Through Paint" >
Is a text presentation.

Paul Cezanne: Pity Poor Paul Cezanne
An essay contributed by: John Sheridan
"His sense of composition was highly arbitrary, and was no doubt often done completely from imagination, (one of the first artists to do this) with no consideration given for the then-mandatory use of mathematical perspective, and very little aerial perspective."

Paul Cézanne
(Tons of links here.)

Book at Amazon
Pioneering Modern Painting: Cezanne and Pissarro, 1865-1885
Joachim Pissarro (Great-grandfather is Camille Pissarro. See link above.)

Wiki Cezanne
Wiki Pissarro
Google Images Pissarro
Google Images Cezanne

Flickr User has tons of pics from Metropolitan Museum of Art.
(See a Pissarro there.)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Leap Year - Movie

Leap Year
A nice predictable romantic comedy.
Worth a watch if you like romantic comedies.

I loved how she tromped all over the place in those shoes, yikes.

Castle Info:

Castle Scenes
To create the scene, Cinesite went on location to the west coast of Ireland to shoot the ruins of an old castle and various panoramas to create a matte painting. The castle ruins were enhanced by adding a CGI tower and the sky was animated to create atmospherics. The animated panoramic landscape was then composited onto footage of the actors standing in front of a green screen. Further detail was added to the sky as well as rain as the scene turns from sunshine into heavy rain.

Filmed areas:

imdb discussion mentioned:

1. Rock of Dunamase County Laois

2. Luggala Co Wicklow Ireland

And the credits say special thanks to:
3. Wicklow Mountain National Park

Here's the wedding toast:
May you never steal, lie, or cheat,
but if you must steal, then steal away my sorrows,
and if you must lie, lie with me all the nights of my life,
and if you must cheat, then please cheat death
because I couldn't live a day without you.

Neon Trees - Music

Hey, I like these guys (drummer is female).
New discovery.

Neon Trees at YouTube:
Animal (Viral Version)
Calling My Name (Not on Habits album.)

They only have one album out, but there are more songs at YouTube if you search for:
Neon Trees.

What Are Neon Trees?

Name Origin

"Although a well known band in Provo, the band didn't receive nationwide exposure until late 2008 when they were chosen as openers for several of The Killers' North American tour dates."
"Although they had several prior independent releases, the band released its debut album...Habits, on March 16, 2010 with 'Animal' as its lead single."
"...the band will be touring opening for 30 Seconds To Mars and Mutemath throughout the Spring of 2010."

Amazon Vinyl version has two bonus tracks.

Wiki on Vinyl
"The vinyl record regained popularity by 2008, with nearly 2.9 million units shipped that year, the most in any year since 1998."

Image Creation Notes:
"Neon Trees" was just begging for some art, no.
Text and tree are both black fonts on black background with a green drop shadow plus and minus offsets then duplicate the layer to increase effect. Pretty simple and basic in Paint Shop Pro 9.

The vinyl image was a single at Amazon and edited by me. I changed the background to black and added a pic of the band from

Monday, May 03, 2010

Another Pretty Bud

Another pretty tree bud I like.

Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
Another DVD from the Wal-Mart bargain bin.
I didn't love it, but it is worth a watch.
I liked Emily Blunt (as Prudie Drummond) best. She's interesting to watch. Does angst very well. I remember her from Devil Wears Prada. She was also in Sunshine Cleaning.

Here's some screenshots and quotes I created from the DVD movie.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Favorite Robin Picture

This is now my favorite Robin pic.



I guess I've never posted any squirrel pics yet.
Here's some from this year.

Warmed by the sun:

The next three I dug out of my photo archives.

Almost "scrolled" off my camera view before I took the picture:

Squirrel Alert:

Trails Out of The Archives

Digging around in my photo archives for trails, paths, roads theme.
I tried some post-processing effects on some of these to see if I could improve them.

Didn't do anything to this one.

With these next two, I know I took dozens of pics at different times trying to get a good exposure because of the very high contrast. These turned out well because it was a little later in the day so more sunlight, plus I zoomed in and eliminated the sky because that would have blown out.

Can't decide if I like this color boost or not. Plus the road is kinda ugly, but too hard to fix.

This color boost I like.

No color boost but I fixed the trails on these next three because they had lots of tar patches on them and looked ugly. I used the cloning feature in Paint Shop Pro 9.

Soft Light layering boosted color and contrast a little on these next two cloning trail jobs.

Soft light and sky gradient on this one: