Edit: This photo series has been named "Mint Condition" and is available for purchase as cards, prints and posters on Redbubble.
There is a truck in my neighborhood. It's an old truck. I don't know nearly enough about cars to be able to begin to tell you anything interesting about it (nor could I find anything that piqued my non-car-loving interest on the internet), but I do know it's a Chevrolet Apache 10. Oh, and the color of the truck is amazing.
I took some shots of the truck today, as I walked around the neighborhood. I frequently bring my camera with me as I walk, and I often find interesting things to shoot, but I don't always take the shot that I want.
Check out those rims! The color or this truck makes me want to eat ice cream.
I wonder about the owners of the things I want to photograph. If I looked out my window one day, and saw someone in my front yard taking pictures, it would be a little creepy. I definitely don't want to be that person. And yet, this truck is just sitting there, being all minty, begging to be my model.
So, then, what to do? Mostly, I just keep my camera to myself, or stick to shooting things that are definitely hanging over into the realm of the sidewalk. Or, I walk past the same thing over and over again before I get up the courage to take a picture. Like with the truck. It's been parked in front of the same house for at least 10 years. I finally took pictures of it today.
What have you always wanted to take a picture of?
I have begun a massive project.
I hope I can get it done in some sort of reasonable time frame.
I decided to assemble my photographs into a static, published book.
Reason number two is Photoshop. I have albums full of crappy snapshots (intermixed with some pretty great, high quality portraits, mostly taken by my dad). A crappy snapshot is album-worthy, but if I'm going to put it into a book, I'll be scanning it anyway. And once it's on my computer, I can correct all kinds of things: dust & scratches, colors, lighting, noise, removing unwanted elements.
I have a stopping point: May 2000. Any photos taken after that will go in the next book. I'm almost done with the scanning stage, which is huge in itself, but the editing of nearly every photograph and arranging them will take a ton of time. At least I don't have to organize them much; their arrangement in my albums was strictly chronological order.
Go back up your data.
So there I was, sitting at my computer, minding my own business (as usual). Suddenly, a warning box popped up on the screen. Apparently, I had removed a device without ejecting it properly.
All of them were either unsuccessful, or they would let me see my data, but only save it if I was willing to fork over $100 - $200. If I had lost everything, $100 would totally be worth it, but I only wanted 20 days worth of data. Can I get that for $5? Each of these attempts took several hours, as I waited for each program to find what it could find from my faulty external drive. I did nothing else yesterday.
I finally concluded that I probably could have spent all day taking some new pictures instead. I wiped the drive, and started over. Now it works just fine. It has been reloaded with its 0-2011 data once again. And I backed it up today, just for good measure.
Pictures I took in 2012, like this chair with the pumpkins, that I wasn't quite satisfied with and wish I could keep editing, are now stuck in this permanent state. I wish I could get that original back and edit it differently. Oh well.
Have you backed up your data today?
Go do it.
There was a moment, this fall, when the figurative planets aligned. The end of October was going to bring with it the much anticipated Halloween celebration. Halloween always means much planning, preparation, and time. Time is something we have precious little of.
The biggest time sucker is, of course, the Haunted House. In order to make it deliciously creepy, we needed English Ivy and dried leaves aplenty. But fall happens very quickly. By fall, I mean the actual "fall"—that day, once a year, when all the leaves decide to relinquish their grasp on the trees. It seems as though one day there are only one or two leaves on the ground, and the next day there are only one or two leaves on the trees.
So, in this planet-aligning fall leaf timing scenario, here's what happened: I realized, all of a sudden, that today was Fall; all the leaves had hit the ground. They were also, miraculously, still dry. If you are familiar with the Pacific Northwest in fall (spring, summer, winter), you know that a dry day when you need a dry day is far from a guarantee (outdoor weddings with umbrellas can be charming). In fact, on this particular fall day, it was sunny. So there were all the leaves, just sitting there, still dry and crunchy and crinkly, and perfect for the haunted house still 3 weeks away.
__Ordinarily, this would cause me to pause just long enough to think to myself, "we should really collect some of those leaves while they're still dry," before rushing off to my next task. But on this particular sunny-dry-fall day, I had an entire half hour free. This is unheard-of. Free time is not a thing that happens.
_Put all this together: Dry Fall Leaves. Sunny Day. Half Hour Free. Several Enthusiastic Helpers.
In 20 minutes, we had 10 huge garbage bags full of leaves for haunted house ambiance, stored under a building until they would be needed in three weeks.
I tried editing this photograph, because it has such interesting colors, but I wasn't able to do anything to it that I liked better than the original, straight out of the camera. Love that Acer.
Late in the day, when the sun sinks low over the west hills, the seemingly infinite windows of the glass-laden buildings of South Waterfront pick up reflections of clouds and sky.
Walking home the other day, I saw some beautiful purples and pinks, and immediately grabbed my camera and made my way to the east side of the river to catch the sunset. I missed it, but was able to practice some of my night photography, and later my HDR skills.
These are #25, #26, and #27 of my 36 Views of South Waterfront series. That last one was taken from inside the Portland Aerial Tram itself! Enjoy all these Wikipedia links, for now, anyway.
I've noticed, on Pinterest, that much of what people tend to pin are examples of what they wish their life looked like. A beautiful photograph is occasionally accompanied by several of the key colors extracted from the palette of the photo and arranged like a paint chip.
_This is, of course, quite useful in making one's life more like a beautiful photograph. You could decorate a room with a color scheme that makes you feel just as looking at the photo does. You can also do this with photographs of outfits you like. Maybe it's not the specific clothing items you prefer, but the color scheme involved in the ensemble. Time to extract those colors and see what it looks like.
There are some programs out there on the web that will do this automatically for you. The problem with them is that they choose either all the colors (way more subtle hues than you know what to do with), or they choose the 12 most common colors or so. The latter seems like an OK idea, but in the case of the tropical shot below, the 12 most common colors in the photo are all shades of turquoise. The sand isn't prominent enough to get top billing.
Plus, those programs show you the colors, but don't make for a lovely pin-able color scheme.
So, a solution. Two free downloadable Photoshop templates. Choose either horizontal or vertical orientation (or both, if you want to have both handy for future use—all of the above examples are horizontal. The vertical template has the paint chips on the right).
When you're finished, choose "flatten image" from the layers menu, and Save As a .jpg for the web. If you accidentally save over the original template, just pop back over here and download yourself another. Feel free to use the downloadable template for any personal or commercial purposes, but do not redistribute the template itself; tell others where you got it instead.
This is the 6th entry in my Lazy 365 series. The shot I saw from inside, before I got dressed, that I wanted to be sure to get, was the snowy dust on the giant rosemary bush outside my window. The premise for my Lazy 365 is that I must see a shot, then get out the camera and get that shot. I'm not allowed to already have the camera in my hand.