For years I have been steadfastly avoiding the use of Photoshop for processing my photos. No particular reason other than stubbornness and preferring to only use one program (Lightroom) for the work. Recently, Adobe began sending out free special effects actions for Photoshop. It sort of got me intrigued enough to download them and I finally got around to trying them out. This is a photo that I took a few years ago but never really liked the “straight” version. I’m not sure how much I really like this version using the “Watercolor Artist” action, but it is starting to grow on me. Like any recipe I’m going to need to work with the options a bit to get a “look” that suits me. But in the mean time it’s something interesting to look into, and it may even motivate me to spend more time catching up my Photoshop “chops.” I only have a 10~ year learning curve to catch up on! 🙂
Nature is where the truth is. Spend more time in nature.
Kathy & I recently made a day trip up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We had hoped to get in a little hiking, but the weather turned out to be uncooperative. We did manage to spend a little time between rain showers just sitting at a parking spot along the Linville River. While we were there I spotted this grouping of birch trees that I thought would make a nice still life. It looked like a family photo to me, so that’s where I came up with the title.
Here in the Piedmont of NC spring has been springing for several weeks, and we are almost into early summer. The dogwood have been out for a week and the hardwoods are unfurling their new leaves.
Several weeks ago Kathy & I visited South Mountains State Park for a little hiking and sightseeing. The park is west of Charlotte, about halfway to the “real” mountains, and a slightly higher elevation, so spring was a couple of weeks behind us here.
One thing I love about spring is looking through the woods and seeing just the hint of green. I think that “Spring Green” is a shade of color unique to new growth leaves, and to me it speaks as much about the seasons as the fall colors do about fall. Coupled with redbud and the occasional other early bloomers, they make for a hopeful sight after the gray of winter.
These photos won’t do much to show off my nature photography skills, but they do a reasonable job of showing the spring that we saw as we explored the park.
Nothing to say today, important or otherwise. I just processed a few more photos from the same folder as the last post and thought I would share. Hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. Staying warm where it’s cold and dry where it’s wet. 😉
One of the many advantages of not being a television watcher is that I don’t have to put up with all the commercials and mindless programming, including the so-called news. One of the disadvantages of not being a television watcher is that I miss out on a lot of the sayings and expressions that come from both the commercials and the programs themselves.
Case in point – last week I sent an email to a co-worker about something good that had happened, and he replied, “dilly dilly.” I was puzzled but figured if he wasn’t making some obscure reference to my name that it was probably something I missed from television. I get pretty good at recognizing things like that. 😉
Just today I came across an article about a guy with Charlotte roots who had found recent fame by being the “dilly dilly” guy, and it turns out he is the actor that plays the king in a series of Budweiser commercials where he replies “dilly dilly” whenever someone brings him beer. Little did I know, but “dilly dilly” is this year’s version of “WHASSSUP?” 🙂
The things I miss. Sigh….
The photos – by the way – are more from 2012. I took this during an outing with a digital point & shoot class I was teaching. Although it appears I “cheated” and was using my then-new Canon 5D Mark III. 😉
Today we’re having a pretty rare occurrence here in NC – a snow day! I won’t get into all the hyperbole about how we’re a bunch of weather wimps that don’t know how to drive in the snow, because everyone else has that covered. For me, I’m just glad I have a job that allows me to stay home and watch it out the window. There are few things more frustrating than having to make a decision about going to work. Although one of them would be being at work and having to make a decision about when to leave! Fortunately, Kathy & I both have computers that allow us to work from just about anywhere, and managers that are willing to let us. We have about 5 inches of snow on the ground here, and although the road in front of our house was plowed earlier, it’s going to be dicey going for a few days.
I seldom feel inclined to get out and take pictures in the snow, although once it is finished and the sun comes back out, I might decide to get out for a walk. I’ll admit to being a wimp when it comes to snow…why freeze my a$$ when I don’t have to! 🙂
A recent Charlotte phenomenon is the proliferation of something called “dockless bike-sharing programs.” By using an app on your phone (of course) you can pick up one of these bikes, ride it wherever you want, and leave it there. It unlocks automagically using the app, then presumably locks itself when you are finished.
It’s kind of an interesting concept, and I kind of hope it catches on, but I have to wonder just how many people are actually going to ride these things. A recent news article indicated the city council had authorized four different companies to have up to 2,000 bikes in town. That seems like a lot.
Maybe on the first 70 degree day we should have a Bike-In, and everyone head out at lunch time, ride a bike to some central location and leave them all in one place. Seems like a lot of trouble but what the heck.
As much as Kathy & I love to travel, we often talk about the fact that there are a lot of interesting things to do right here in Charlotte. Things that people come from all over the country – and even the world – to experience, and we have never been. So a few weeks ago we decided to try something new – to be tourists in our own town and start checking out some of the things we take for granted.
After a nice breakfast we headed to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art for an exhibit of photography that includes work by Paul Strand and of contemporary Mexican photographers. The office where I work is directly across the street from the Bechtler, and our bank gives us free admission once a month, but we had never been!
Next we rode the light rail out to visit Doc Porter’s Distillery, where we took a tour and sampled their products. This little distillery is cranking out bourbon, rye whisky, rum, gin, vodka and soon, malt whisky. Nice people and a good story, and well worth the effort to get there.
So a day of photography and booze – how hard is that?!
One of my favorite things is to sit by a mountain stream, especially in the fall, and watch the leaves falling from the trees overhead then being swept downstream by the current. Some leaves travel straight down the middle of the steam, tossed gently by the movement of the water. Many more leaves get caught up in the pools and eddies on the side of the streams, staying there until the current changes then moves them along to the next obstacle. Occasionally the leaves are swept over rocks and sometimes even swamped by a cascade. The courses of these leaves are a metaphor for our own lives and represent how little control we have over whether we stick to the center of the stream or get caught up along the sides. Mostly, I think they reflect how pointless it is to stress and obsess over things that we can’t do anything about and remind us to go with the flow. One of the many reasons I love to spend time in nature.