Category Archives: Photos

Things To Remember

things you want to remember

I want to start a journal.

I’ve wanted to start a journal a million times, and have nearly as many books with one to three entries. Sometimes, I have even tried digital journals. I’ve tried to turn this poor blog into a journal, and I’ve tried to keep Word documents as journals.

Why–if I keep repeatedly failing–do I still want to start a journal?

I have lots of reasons, and no reasons at all. Maybe the most compelling things aren’t really properly defined reasons at all, just quiet, sneaking suspicions in the back of my mind, like Einstein’s little pinky finger.

There a wonderful things, probably every day, that we need help remembering. Not just 50 years from now, or 5 years from now–right now. What wonderful thing did you witness today? What seared you today, with a sharp edge, but maybe not big enough to really be noticed–something like a paper cut to the soul?

It almost seems that having a journal would be a mark of respect for the awe of the life you have been given to live. It’s unfolding, like a flower; you don’t know what it will look like when it’s fully open, but can you not at least appreciate what you have been able to see yet?

But you have to be patient, waiting for flowers to open. And I’m not patient. And that’s why I need a journal and why I can’t seem to keep one, all rolled into one.

Maybe this time I won’t fall asleep in the garden.

A thought. . .

. . .I had, that keeps chasing me around.

“If we had less, we’d be more grateful.”

Why It Matters

Sit with me and tell me once again
Of the story that’s been told us
Of the power that will hold us
Of the beauty, of the beauty
Why it matters

Speak to me until I understand
Why our thinking and creating
Why our efforts of narrating
About the beauty, of the beauty
And why it matters

Like the statue in the park
Of this war torn town
And it’s protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty, how it matters
How it matters

Show me the love that never fails
The compassion and attention
Midst confusion and dissention
Like small ramparts for the soul
How it matters

Like a single cup of water
How it matters

(Why It Matters, Sara Groves)

July pictures. . .

Click through to see larger images. I’m still learning my new camera, but always glad to have it with me. I need to get better about sticking the camera in peoples’ faces, though, or I’ll wind up with nothing but a bunch of (very beautiful) scenery pictures. They’re nice, but people are kinda special too, ya know.

More photoz

I experiment.

What do you think of the gallery? Click on each picture to see it, and click again to see it bigger.

I swear, I’ve been sleeping for days!

me again

me again 2

Yes, I know, I know. I’ve photo-edited them. I don’t really look like that. But the thing is, my philosophy with photo editing is to use it to simply make the photo look more. To intensify what the camera captured. It doesn’t tell a different story; it just puts a sharper edge on it.

I wanted to take the semi-obligatory self-portrait that said “me. i was here when i took the pictures.” But they almost all looked liked these.

What I mean to say is, yes, they are edited. But I don’t know what else you can do to a photo that comes out of the camera looking like this:

sooc me

I’m not hiding what the camera saw. . .I’m seeing what the camera saw.

I didn’t know I looked like that.

me 3

Woods

woods1

woods2

woods3

woods4

I actually used the “underwater” setting on the camera for these ones. . .it gave me the best color. At the same time, it amuses me to think of how much some of these pictures remind me of underwater “foliage”. . .

woods5

woods6

woods7

This type of lichen makes me think of Ents.

woods8

woods9

me in woods

I wuz here. And I like Picnik!

Self-Portaiture

So yesterday I found a candle and a camera and scandalized the entire family by taking over 200 photos of myself. I culled about a dozen of the best to put up here. I think I’m inordinately pleased with them mostly because of the constraints I was working under. . .namely the fact that I basically had to lay on my desk and had less than three feet from the desk to the shelf and only two fabric panels with which to conceal the chaos that is the room. And also that I had to work the camera one-handed and guess if it was pointed in the right direction. And, oh yes, the candle. I only spilled hot wax on myself once, and don’t think the singe-damage to my hair is even noticeable.

one

five

six

seven

eight

nine

ten

eleven

twelve

thirteen

I think that in the one above, I look like I’m nine years old and bummed that I didn’t get what I wanted for Christmas.

fifteen

Here I look like I am under the command of the great glowing screen. Those “natural” fluorescent lights are anything but.

black and white

cinema2

cinema1

Picnik

Picnik is kinda what I call a quick-and-dirty tool. It isn’t particularly elegant, but it’s handy, convenient and gets the job done. I would never recommend it as powerful software, but it is so portable and what it does, it does quickly and efficiently.

Here’s a few examples.

This is a case of using Picnik for minor touch-ups:

IMG_2139 compressed

three teachers

The first one is a pretty decent snapshot. . .but it’s still obviously a snapshot. The second one is frame-able.

IMG_2138 compressed

Another snapshot. You can also see in this next one that we have some pretty scary red-eye.

IMG_2138 cropped

I didn’t want it cropped that close, though, because I wanted to show that we were on the beach. At night. So this is my final shot:

On the beach

The red eye is gone, and you can see our faces aren’t quite as grey, as I was able to mess with the exposure some. I’d have been happier if I also had a “remove noise” option, but still, I think Picnik did a pretty decent job of taking it from snapshot to framable, if a smaller, less noticeable frame.

So would I only use Picnik if all I really needed was a quick crop and a brief touch-up? No, I still use it for some last-ditch attempts at salvaging. Someone pointed out that we were getting a lot of pictures of the girls (typical camera hogs that we be), but not so much so the guys. So I didn’t really want to ditch their only photographic proof they’d been out and about on Atlantic City, but the pictures were unabashedly horrible. (Wasn’t time for me to be messing with camera settings, and I only had two shots to work with.)

IMG_2159 compressed

It’s a crappy picture. It is. My “save” isn’t all that much better, but it is better.

boys

You still can’t say it’s a great picture, but at least now it says “city night life” instead of “dumb camera operator can barely remember to take off lens cap.”

This one was even more of a save.

IMG_2158 compressed

Um, yeah. What are you going to do with that? But since “grainy” is now a certified art effect. . .well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

phyo

Still not world-class photography, but at least now we have a picture of Phyo, the city-loving extrovert, instead of pictures of vendors shop lights and shadowy figures. It’s a save, and a save that did not require, particularly, either knowledge or skill. Somebody brilliant with a more powerful program may have been able to pull of an even better save, but even convenient little Picnik was able to make a half-way decent salvage.

But. . .you can use Picnik for more than minor touch-ups or last-ditch save efforts. You can also use it to take already incriminating photos. . .

IMG_2160 compressed

and give them that little extra somethin’-somethin’ that makes them really incriminating!

trouble 2

lol

People who are serious about post-processing I’m sure wouldn’t be bothered with Picnik. . .but mere mortals who just want to mess around with our cameras can be pretty satisfied with it.

(This post was for Rundy, who said he’d heard of Picnik, but wasn’t really familiar with it. This gives you a better idea of what Picnik can do than telling you that it’s an online photo-editing program streamlined for the masses.)

You never know what you will find on the dining room table.

gathering1

gathering2

What is it?

gathering3

Is it, like, some scene from The Lion King?

gathering4

Wait. I don’t think there were dinosaurs in The Lion King.

gathering5

Maybe it’s a Noah’s Ark re-enactment. . .

gathering6

You know, gathering all the animals.

gathering10

We’ve got the horses, and the cows, and the goats, and the pigs. . .

two by two

. . . and the, ah,. . .hmm. Well, they’re coming two-by-two, anyway.

gathering8

I’d like to call these guys cute, but they look like the sorts of animals to take offense at that. They seem to think they’re big stuff.

gathering11

And that’s the problem, really. If I wasn’t such a girl, I would have realized straight off.

gathering15

It’s a massive army assembled to destroy the enemy base in the other room! Duh!

gathering12

They tell me it’s been strategically arranged. Not quite so sure about the strategy of putting a very hungry looking dinosaur behind a bunch of fat little porkers.

piggies

Then again, maybe that’s why the piggies are strategically circling the wagons, so to speak.

gathering9

I guess these are the, um, “irregulars” being held in reserve back here. . .

gathering16

It’s not clear to me what the strategic purpose is of sending the sea creatures on ahead of the zebra, triceratops and horses. Better minds than mine have figured this out, I’m sure.

gathering14

Note the regiment of chickens there in the upper left. . .that arrangement, at least, is logic my mind can grasp. It’s pretty hard to get chickens to lead the army out.

gathering13

But I really, really, really think that whole dinosaur/pig thing is not going to end pretty.

gathering7

This concludes our review of the troops. We hope you’ve been duly impressed!