Friday, April 22, 2005

Nymphenburg Gardens - Munich Germany Photo Friday - "Soft"

finally another photo

I've been too busy to post, too busy to do much
with the scanner except run some tests trying to
figure out why the colors are all wacked out when
I scan negatives vice slides. But above is my
first PhotoFriday in a while....soft, a toddler
is soft, even when its concrete :)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The scanner is back!

My scanner came back this afternoon. Hopefully by tomorrow
I'll have my desk cleaned up enough to get it all hooked
back up...seems like taxes and bill stuff had encroached
on its space. In the meantime, the oven died (cooking/eating
is my one of my other two hobbies). It passed away shortly
after Pope John Paul II, taking a tray of 16 peanut butter
cookies with it got hotter and hotter and hotter.
It seems the thermostat is dead and the heating element does
not want to turn off.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Dune and Sea Oats at Sunset - Pensacola Beach (Fort Pickens)

Its Friday Again

and I swore to myself I'd have a photo for
every PhotoFriday challenge. This week's
challenge is "glow". My scanner is not
back from being repaired yet (although I
did get mail saying it was being repaired
under warranty). So I, and any readers
out there by extension, are stuck with
what I can come up with from my library
of photos I've already scanned. I already
used the moonlit graveyard for "ghostly",
which may have been my first choice. So
instead, I'm putting up a sunset, but unlike
most sunset photos, I took this one facing
away from the sun, the "glow" of the sunset
evident in the dune and seaoats.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Faces - Masks of Venice

Faces - PhotoFriday

I'm up way too late, and the PhotoFriday theme is
already listed...faces. This took me a whole second
to know what photo I would use (because my scanner
is dead, another photo I'd consider isn't possible tonight)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

IPod Rant

The straw finally came and broke me...I read yet another
article that held up the Apple IPod as the epitome of an
easy to use high tech device. I couldn't disagree more.

I'm computer literate, and am comfortable with all kinds
of technology, I have a Packet8 (8x8) IP phone (now that
is THE BEST/EASIEST plug and play high tech item I have
ever seen, a blind monkey could set it up in 10 seconds,
unlike competitors such as VONAGE, for which you have to
be a system admin, a programmer and a network analyst that
speaks a language other than english, all wrapped into one
person so you can deal with their tech support...but I digress),
a wireless network with 3 wireless laptops, a desktop, a
printer and a photo printer.

We bought my daughter an IPod mini for Christmas.
It was worse than putting a bike together.
Getting the Itunes software to install correctly was a pain in
the butt, it constantly was upgrading, like every 10 minutes.
The Itunes software and interface (GUI) is so clunky, I'd be
embarrassed if it was one of my programs.
Getting the songs to go from a CD or harddrive to the IPOD was
problematic (and remains so to this day, but at least its my
daughter's problem now :)
The Itunes format is also a pain, it would be much simpler if
the IPod just sucked in mp3 files from whatever source.
If mp3 was used as standard format, the IPod could be plugged
into the computer like a camera's card is now, and songs could
be simply dragged and dropped from your computer or CD to the

I think Sony's new music players (using mp3) will eventually
take Apple to the same place with its proprietary IPod that
Apple went with what once was its proprietary computers...
essentially nowhere, a bit player with less than 10% market
share. I remember when everyone was hot for
20 yrs ago, Apple dominated schools and desktop publishing,
Steven Jobs hasn't learned a thing in 20yrs.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Cemetery - Grindelwald Switzerland; You have to read my blog entry as to why this represents "obsession"


PhotoFriday's theme this week....hummmm
Pronunciation: äb-sesh'-&n
Function: noun
1 : a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable
idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation

I'll go with the "compelling motivation" for my
photo this week.

First, a few things I've noticed about my photography...

I like photographing cemeteries, its one of my first
choices when I go somewhere new. I've already posted
a number of cemeteries photos here, and in fact the
first photo I posted was a cemetery photo.

I like really blue sky, I wear polarized sunglasses
and more likely than not, usually have a polarizing
lens on my camera.

I shoot the vast majority of my photos as verticals
(or portrait) orientation. I didn't realize how
biased I was toward vertical orientation until I
started contributing to
a web supplier of high-quality presentation graphics
in a standard 1024x768 horizontal (landscape) format.

And the last reason I chose this photo as opposed to
umpteen others I have that all illustrate the three
points above...the Swiss are obsessed with keeping
their cemeteries beautiful.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Cross at the End of Las Americas - Guatemala City

The Terry Fox Run

Today was the Terry Fox Run here in Guatemala
city. The route was Las Americas, with the
starting point right at the end by our house,
at the "pope". This is one of the many statues
and "plazas" which adorn the park-like middle
of the boulevard. Next to the pope is the large
cross I photographed a while back and is posted

I did the 5 km portion as a walk, and with
my camera. It was amazing, the crowd was quite
large, well into the thousands. They normally
close one direction of Las Americas on Sunday,
but for this event, the entire boulevard was
closed, and for a much longer period of time.
The event was non-competitive, so there was quite
a range, young, old, on crutches, on skateboards,
on scooters and bikes. Even a large number of
dogs participated, along with local mascots from
various businesses...Pollo Campero for instance.
I have some pictures which will get posted after
two things happen...I get the slides developed
and I get my scanner doesn't seem to
want to scan slides right now, so it is going in
for repair under warranty (that's my "bummer"
news of the week).

Friday, February 25, 2005

Cemetery - Under a Full Moon

My Entry for PhotoFriday's Weekly Challenge

This week's theme is "ghostly"...
I like cemeteries, they are one of my favorite
subjects for photography. There is a story
behind the picture above. I was living in
Germany (they have beautiful cemeteries) and
I frequently walked late at night. While I was
walking past a local cemetery, I noticed the
candles glowing, the snow stamped down from
all the visitors, and it was approaching midnight
with a full moon. I rushed home, got my camera,
tripod and my oldest son (about 10 at the time).
It was cold, perhaps about 20 degrees F, and I
would warm one battery up in my pants, while I
was using another for the shot. I did a number of
long exposures, measured in minutes. I don't
recall this particular exposure

When I got the slides back, I wished I had thought
to have myself or my son, or both of us, walk
through the frame...ghosts. I plan on doing that
type of shot someday when I find the perfect setting.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Teamwork - Ants pulling a dead bug straight up a wall

My Inspiration - Industrious Members of the Household

We actually got a lot done around the house
today. The laundry is all done, I got some bills
organized, and lots of pictures printed for Elesa's
scrapbooking days coming up. I think though
the inspiration came on Saturday. Shelby and
I worked a little learning her camera, depth of
field and shutter speed exercises using dominoes.

After putting things away, Shelby spotted a pile of
ants around a dead bug. The ants were dragging
the bug along. It soon became obvious, they had
a plan, and that plan involved carting the bug
carcass straight up a vertical wall, and then over
to a window, where the plan was to squeeze through
the crack, and then on home with the booty. I
grabbed my camera and took a few shots as the ants
scaled the wall. Then we politely opened the window
to make it easier for them to get out.

Ten minutes later, there was not an ant to be seen...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Gerber Daisies - Cut flowers are inexpensive and beautiful in Guatemala - no excuse for not buying some for Elesa on a regular basis - my lack of spanish can make the transaction a challenge though.

Testing a bigger picture for the blog...

Ripe Grain, Fields - Germany Posted by Hello

Sheep - South Island, New Zealand Posted by Hello

Horse Race - Bavaria, Germany Posted by Hello

Valley - Somewhere in Germany, Austria, or Italy? Posted by Hello

Rural - the Challenge

Well a bit of motivation, I figured I would
enter the Photo Friday Challenge where they
post an "assignment" or theme each Friday.
the current theme is "rural". I will try
to enter each week. Most of the time, like
this week, I will use photo's I've already
taken. I had four photos I thought met the
current theme pretty well, but you are only
allowed one entry... I chose "Fields"

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Fisherman - Lake Atitlan Guatemala Posted by Hello

Buy a Colorful Face - Guatemala Western Highlands Posted by Hello

Colors for Sale - Guatemala Western Highlands Posted by Hello

Motivation... or lack thereof

The last few weekends I've lacked motivation
to do anything. I haven't shot but half a
roll of film. I need to get the checkbook
back on the computer and updated. But even
with gorgeous weather and some free time, I
end up doing not much of anything. Today,
got up at about 9 am, made some cookies we
needed for something, and fell back asleep
until 2 pm. The weather is beautiful, a nice
breeze, clear skies, upper 70's I'd guess.
There are heaps of photographic opportunities
in Guatemala, I mean with the colors and all
why am I not out there more often? Above is
a taste of what is availble for my camera.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lightning over the Atlantic Posted by Hello

Looking Forward to Lightning has a great "picture of the week"

Check out the photo

It is a night shot of lightning over a city
in black and white. Sort of makes me look
forward to rainy season and another chance
to get good shots of lightning over Pacaya.
Above is one decent shot I have of lightning...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Rock - Outside of Coban Posted by Hello

Rapids below a waterfall outside of Coban Posted by Hello

Cemetery - El Carvario Church, Coban Posted by Hello

Back to the present...

I think I mentioned I shot about 30 rolls of film in
December and January. 20 Sensia 100 and 10 Reala if
anyone is interested. I'm sort of in conflict on the
Reala. It gives good greens, especially in overcast
or misty conditions, but with my scanner (Minolta
DiMage Scan Elite 5400), I find Reala more difficult
to scan than the Sensia. It is getting easier as I
get more practice, and it probably has better dynamic
range and more latitude than slide film. None the
less, my latest film order did not include Reala. I
stuck with the Sensia 100 and also decided to try
Provia 400 for those times when I feel the need for
speed... like chasing the elusive Quetzal.
* see 19 Jan entry, which was done is grey conditions
with Reala and a slow zoom. (70-300 4.0-5.6 Canon)
Above are a few more shots from the Coban area, all
shot with Reala, in the rain and with a tripod...

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Grindelwald Switzerland - As I remember it Posted by Hello

Grindelwald Switzerland mid 90'sThe original scan Posted by Hello

Photos in the mind's eye

Looking through some old slides and looking for some
good ones to scan got me a little nostalgic. The
nostalgia and the problems with color balancing
sort of came into play with one another. I scanned
a slide of a beautiful valley - Gindelwald Swizterland
It came out kind of green. So of course I have to
mess with "curves" and saturation etc. My goal is
to make the picture look I remember it.
Maybe the sky was not so blue....
Maybe the grass was not so green...
But this is how I'd like to remember it.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Washington Monument in Spring - from Constitution Gardens Posted by Hello

Washington Monument at sunset Posted by Hello

Hanauma Bay - Oahu Hawaii Posted by Hello

Nymphenburg Garden, Munich Germany Posted by Hello

Fuego Steams - Guatemala mid-Dec. 2004 Posted by Hello

Fuego Blows Steam and Ash - Guatemala Jan 2005 Posted by Hello

Devil's Marbles - Northern Territory Australia Posted by Hello

Defending Paradise - Darwin Australia Posted by Hello