Friday, September 30, 2011


As I said before,
I had a lovely time on my little getaway.

It was so great to be among
so many fine women RVers.

If any of you Lazy Day ladies
ever get the chance to go to one of these events,
you really should attend.
It's enlightening, educating
and just a whole lot of fun.

This is a shot of Lorna,
she's responsible for
the LaDeze get-togethers.

One day, my friend Nancy and I
took off on an adventure.
We spotted a sign for a place called Wildlife Images.
We had no idea what kind of facility it was
and decided we needed to find out.

As we pulled in to the parking lot,
look who came out!

His name is Defiant.
It turns out that Wildlife Images
is an animal rescue organization.
They return a full 80% of their rescues back to the wild

I took a ton of pictures during our visit.
Somewhere along the way,
I changed my camera setting
to manual focus instead of auto focus.

At least I thought I did.
It was only later that I discovered
I had hit the image stabilization button,
totally disabling image stabilization . . .

And the reality is,
I can't hold a camera still to save my life.
So when I got home and looked at the pictures,
a full 99% of them were less than ideal.

MUCH less than ideal . . .

So there are just a few
that are even presentable.

I liked this one and it's even in focus!

And for some reason,
this one cat was in focus.
Sort of.

Since I had so little to work with,
I reworked this one.

The next day, I had much better luck,
but that's for another blog.

Monday, September 26, 2011

On the Road

I'm still not back home, but up at a friends in Redwood City. I just wanted to check in and say what a truly fine time I had. The fellowship was superb, and I had many adventures, took a million bad pictures (really, one day my auto stabilization was completely turned off . . .) and will be sharing more soon.

But for now, I just wanted to say what a gift music can be when you're traveling. Today the weather was perfect and I drove Highway One along the glorious California coast from Fort Bragg all the way down to Redwood City. singing all the way.

Below is my album list, I put them all on my iPhone, hit shuffle and let the music accompany me down the coast.

It really was a perfect day.

While not to every one's taste, for me it was an ideal mix. Looking at it should give you an idea of where my musical head was today, so what would you add to this list? I'm just curious if you have any additions.

One more note, some of my favorites you may never have heard of are in italics.

Bob Dylan-Nashville Skyline
the Byrds-Sweetheart of the Rodeo
the Cowboy Album
Don Edwards-West of Yesterday
Donovan-Gift From a Flower to a Garden
Donovan-Sunshine Superman
the Eagles-Greatest Hits
Emmylou Harris-Duets
the Everly Brothers-All Time Original Hits
Front Range to Back-Red River
George Jones and Tammy Wynette-16 Biggest Hits
Guy Van Duser-American Finger Style Guitar
Hazel Dickens-Pioneering Women of Bluegrass
Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton-
Honky Tonk Angels
Ian and Sylvia-Greatest Hits
Iris Dement-Infamous Angel
Iris Dement-My Life
Jimmy Buffett-Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes
Jimmy Buffett--Havana Daydreamin'
Jimmy Buffett-Living and Dying in 3/4 Time
John Denver-Rocky Mountain High
Johnny Cash-Live at Folsom Prison
Johnny Cash-the Essential Johnny Cash
the Kingston Trio-36 All Time Greatest Hits
Leon Russell-Hank Wilson's Back (a GREAT album)
the Mamas and the Paps-16Greatest Hits
Merle Haggard-16 Greatest Hits
Michael Martin Murphy-Playing Favorites
Nitty Gritty Dirt band-Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Paul Simon-Graceland
Paul Simon, Art Garfunkle-Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme
Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits
Peter, Paul and Mary-Peter, Paul and Mary
a Prairie Home Companion-Soundtrack
Randy Travis-Always and Forever
Randy Travis-High Lonesome
Randy Travis-Old 8x10
Ray Charles-Genius Loves Company
Ricky Skaggs-the Essential Ricky Skaggs
Roy Rogers-a Tribute to Roy Rogers
Ry Cooder-Jazz
Tammy Wynette-Stand By Your Man
Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris-Trio
Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris-Trio II
Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash-Storytellers Live

And if a day with this kind of music
sounds like your version of Hell on earth,
I just don't know what to say!
(yes Jonna, I'm talking about you . . .)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Going Away For a Few

Once a year a group of women who own Lazy Daze get together to hoot and holler and generally have a good time. This year, at the end of this week, it's taking place up by Grant's Pass, Oregon.

I thought and thought, knowing I should be working and really not wanting to desert Terry to go play. I also knew there was no way I could take the rig all that way just for a few days.

Then I got a call from a friend who will be attending and she offered that, if i would like to attend, I could come and stay with her.

It was tempting, but I decided there was no way I could attend.

Then, Terry said, Honey, if you want to go, why don't you just go (or something to that effect).

Then there was the problem of a car.

I really didn't want to go away in our only car leaving Terry stranded. But we went down to the local car rental place and got a decent price on a car for a week . . .

So I'm leaving tomorrow, heading up to Oregon to visit with all the lady RVers.

I'm excited, not sure of the internet situation, so I'll talk to you all later!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Editing Photos

Since I've been writing about photography and reworking some of my old pictures, I've received several emails (and a few comments) asking about photo editing.

There are tons of photo editors out there, and I suspect that most of them work pretty much the same way. Most photos only need a bit of work, and for many folks, I don't really think much more than a straightening, cropping and maybe a bit of lightening or darkening is necessary.

If you have any of the many photo editors available (Picasa seems to be a favorite) then that should be all you need.

Really good photographers (of which I am not one) generally shoot somewhat slowly, taking time to think about what they are shooting prior to pushing that button. I consider these folks true photographers.

Then there are people like me. I shoot tons and tons of pictures. Rather than a photographer, I consider myself as someone who works with photos. I try to stay aware of things that interest me, photo wise, and I shoot everything that I think just might make an interesting photo.

Then, I put them in the computer, throw most of them away and start editing the rest. To be clear, I usually only get a few shots out of every days shooting. Not the most efficient way, but it's my way.

One more note before we go on to the photos. None of these are great shots, I just went back through old photos and tried to find ones that would be good examples of what can be done. To see the real detail, you should click on each photo to enlarge it, then the difference really shows up.

Here's an original shot, SOOC
(straight out of the camera,
except I made it smaller for posting here).
As you can tell, way too blown out,
but the bunny is pretty cute.

Here it is,
cropped with a bit of exposure editing
and a bit of sharpening.
Not a great shot,
but you can see how a poor shot
can be rescued.

Here's one of my gazillion hummingbird shots.
This was taken with my older Panasonic,
so it isn't really sharp.
My Canon is much faster than my Panasonic.
Again, SOOC.

Cropped, sharpened
and brightened just a bit.

The next six shots
are all from this same original.

Here it is with just a bit of editing,
(perhaps a bit too much red?).
For this one, I bumped up the contrast
and the sharpening.

And here it is,
cropped to focus on the birds.

Cropped even tighter.

Here, I turned the contrast down,
so the background blurs a bit.
Since the bird is in focus,
changing the contrast
hasn't affected him too much.
Not better, not worse,
just a different take on the same shot.

And I thought this guy
deserved his own shot.

Hopefully, this might inspire a few of you to play around with some of those shots you'd normally throw away. I find this kind of work fascinating, and I spend way too much time doing just this sort of thing.

When I should be working on the house . . .

Oh well.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What I've Learned

It's been really interesting
going through my old pictures.

Lots of memories.

And wow, I think I really have
gotten better as a photographer.

Well, maybe not better,
but certainly more aware of what I'm doing.

And I clearly understand the computer better,

So here's a few more oldies.

Artist's Point in Death Valley.
We had been in the rig for less than six months
when I took this shot.

From around the same time period,
we were down by Hearst's Castle,
inside a glassed in arboretum.
I love this shot of the seagull
walking on the "roof".
This might be my first (of many)
seagull photos.

And once again,
Bosque del Apache.
I miss the cranes.

That's it for today

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Few Landscapes

Like yesterday,
I reworked a couple of older pictures.

And like yesterday,
they look much better
if you click and enlarge.

Both of these were taken
at Bosque del Apache,
outside Socorro, New Mexico.
It's one of my all time favorite places.

A favorite to visit.
A favorite to shoot pictures.
A favorite to just be.

I wish I was there
right now.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Few Birds and . . .

Since I haven't been shooting much, I decided to go back and rework a few of my old pictures. It seems like the longer I work on the computer, the more I learn about working with my photos.

Or maybe my eye is just evolving?

Anyhow, here are a couple of pictures I took a few years ago.

The hummingbirds were taken
through the window of the motorhome
right after a rain.
(This one looks much better if you click to enlarge).

One of my first shots
after I got the Canon 7D

Then there's this one.
I'm not sure why I like it,
maybe it's the layers of patterns,
the screen
the window film,
the background.
Whatever, I like it.

That's all for today.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Another iPad post, I just can't help myself.

More and more I've been exploring news and magazines on the iPad. As I've mentioned before, National Geographic is a wonder on the iPad. Then there's Wired Magazine. If you're not familiar with Wired, it's a great magazine that offers all kinds of information, mostly centered on new technology. Dealing with all things technological, you would expect extraordinary things from them on the iPad and they don't disappoint.

It's so interesting to watch how traditional publishing is making the move to digital editions. While some magazines simply scan their content (reformatting it to fit the various screens), others, like National Geographic and Wired have taken it a step further. The articles are the same as the print version, but are enhanced with interactive movies, slide shows, internet links and whatever else they can think to include. It's like the magazine experience on steroids. I love it.

Then there's an app called Zite! It's a news gathering app, but it works differently than others I've tried. You start out by picking from a selection of topics (like World News, Politics, Science, Food and Cooking, Fashion, Travel, Pets, etc.). You can also add in your own search terms and they will add them to your personalized magazine. But here's where it differs from other apps. Every time you read an article, you have the option of "liking" an article. If you mark it as liked, the app remembers and in the future will add similar pieces to your magazine. While I'm not sure what magic algorithms they use, I can tell you that after using the app for more than a month, they have definitely tailored my "magazine" to my taste.

The iPad continues to amaze me, and more and more, is becoming my "computer" of choice. I still use my MacBook Pro for heavy duty digital photo editing, but for 95% of my computing needs, the iPad fits the bill perfectly.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Not Every Human Problem Deserves a Law . . .


Let me start by saying
I usually don't discuss politics on this blog.
That's been a conscious decision on my part
and one I won't be changing
any time soon.

That said,
I just ran across something
that I feel I HAVE to comment on.

Is this not
one of the most refreshing proclamations
you've seen from a politician?
The idea that we just might be responsible
for ourselves
and our own children?

I like it.

A lot.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

the Bridge to Nowhere

If you read this blog, you know I'm interested in photography. Lately, I've been playing with a lot of pictures, with various levels of success. I guess I'm trying to find my "style" whatever that may be.

I can say that a lot of what I see online, I don't care for. It seems that something called grunge is very popular in photography right now, it's not my thing. I like my pictures pretty sharp, with lots of contrast and lots of color.

And lately, I seem to be veering towards a somewhat dreamy, surreal look look (like the colorful shot I posted yesterday). Not for everyone, but I'm feeling my way here.

Today's shot is from Big Sur.
We were driving in and out of fog,
so the sky is somewhat blown out.
Here's the original
Straight out of the camera.

After playing around a bit,
this is what I liked the best.

Not my usual,
but somewhat warmer and more colorful.
It reminds me
of an old Kodachrome postcard.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2 Pictures

Jerry and Suzy suggested that I join a group that are posting just one picture a day. I took a look, and am embarrassed to admit that I don't quite understand how to "join". That said, I think I may start just posting a picture or two and quit worrying about doing whole "series" of shots.

At least that's what I'm doing to day!

And here's the same shot,

Talk to you soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just One Shot

I seem to be in the midst of a blog funk.

I can't explain, so I won't try.

But here's one picture, just because.

Hopefully, I'll be back soon.