Friday, December 04, 2009


Today I have a simple lesson in salvaging a photo. I recently attended a seminar on digital photography given by a photographer making a living in landscape photography, and anything else like seminars for income.

One jewel of information that was given in answer to a question, the question point of which I've forgotten, was NEVER THROUGH AWAY DIGITAL IMAGE because you may find a way to use it creatively, in teaching, or just practice with your photo editing programs.

As we've made many trips over nearly 30 years to Little Rock, AR, we passed a lot of beautiful vistas, rural scenes and life unique to Arkansas. One shot is an eye-catching barn north of Marshall, AR located in a pasture near US 65 on a dangerous, narrow curve. In trips some 20 years ago the barn had a dilapidated more picturesque look, but now a new roof has been added.

There is no shoulder to safely pull over and take a photo, without a very long and somewhat dangerous walk on the edge of the highway.

As passenger, not driver, with my point-and-shoot Canon, I have taken a "out of the front car window" shot the last few trips to Little Rock.

Today I decided to "play around" with my photo-editing program, PhotoImpact Pro v.13 (I have recently purchased Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 but not yet learned it). One tip given is to not attempt to use every feature of artistic endeavor on one picture.

This photo is the best of several shots and trips. The last one, a beautiful red pickup drove into my viewfinder obscuring all but the roof line.

Below (in order) is the "straight out of the camera shot #1 which is very blurred.

The second is an attempt to software focus correction. Ssoftware focus feature,which is a complicated mystical mathematical formula, can be repeated to the point of unpleasant visible pixelization. I stopped just short of visible pixelization, but there is a tad there if enlarged. I saw no noticeable improvement in focus.

The third attempt I gave up on focusing, went back to #1, made some lighting, contrast and color enhancements, and then applied a creative technique which looks like rain. Rainfall often makes a scene appear soft and out of focus.

If I continued to work on it, I would tint the sky a darker shade of gray to emphasize the rain. It was a very dull day light-wise. A day I call losing the light, better described as no light, meaning sunlight.

I might do some to really far-out techniques of which create certain kinds of art, like watercolor, oil or Impressionist paint, etc. or I might make the "rain" lines not quite as "thick." All of these techniques are available in medium to advanced Photo Editing programs.

Lastly in keeping with my infatuation with the Twelve Days of Christmas is one of many parodies on the song. I've read it before and laughed, but as my best friend said, and I myself thought as I read it again, it is not so funny in our current economic slow-down, as similar decisions are being made in a modern sense today.

Partridge Memo to All Departments During the Christmas Credit Crunch
Effective immediately: the following economizing measures are being implemented by the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' subsidiary

1. The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance
2. Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated
3. The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French
4. The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked
5. The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order
6. The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by Human Resources will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one
7. The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement
8. As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching
9. Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps
10. Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year
11. & 12. Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line

Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorneys association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ['Thirteen lawyers-a-suing'], a decision is pending.

Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.


lakeviewer said...

I love what you're learning with photoshop. It makes me want to purchase the program and give it a whirl.

jinksy said...

The original 12 days were far less mind blowing! LOL :)

Teacher's Pet said...

Very fascinating...Thank you so much for sharing. I love your photos!
Smiles from Jackie

Sandi McBride said...

Photoshopping...good job there...the parody? I LTIP and then

Arkansas Patti said...

Interesting with the photoshop. I have a program and just haven't monkeyed with it yet. Really liked the rain effect.
Don't you hate it when you see a wonderful shot but can't pull over or if you can, you forgot your darn camera.
Not too long ago I was going to Branson and just past Marshall, I saw a marvelous sight. People were pulled over but I was cameraless.
There was a lovely still green pasture which ended in a bank of trees. It was foggy that morning but coming out of the fog and trees was a herd of about 30 elk. The scene had a dream like quality. The only thing worse than not having a camera would have been having one and screwing up the shot.
Laughed at the corporate image of the 12 days.

Anonymous said...

Interesting the way you handled this.

Amber Star said...

I'm hoping for photoshop for Christmas. They had it at Costco on sale and hubby mentioned it and I said I'd like it, but there were so many things to do I didn't get out there for it. Your picture of the barn is very nice.

12 like a large corporation.

When I get some time I'd like to take a class in photography. My dad left me a was the only thing of value he had. It has been in the top of a closet for way too long. It is one of those very intimadating ones with lots of lenses and stuff.

Dimple said...

I do save some of my unusable shots, but so far haven't done anything with them. My husband has done quite a bit with Photoshop, but I haven't.
The way you adjusted the blurry photo is interesting: give it an excuse for being that way!
Thanks for your comment!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, what you did with that photo is fabulous!!! I really love it with the rain!!! And the revision of The Twelve Days of Christmas? Absolutely hilarious!!! You always bring me big, big smiles, my friend!!! I loved this post!!! Love you! Janine XO

NitWit1 said...

Thanks for all the comments. I am hoping for more time to play with "unusable" pictures.

For those reading AR PATTI's comment about elk - some history. Elk disappeared in AR sometime before 1980 when we moved here.

Reasons by me are only speculative because I am unaware of the state's hunting regulations then.

However, after moving here elk was determined endangered and total ban on hunting was declared, plus a herd was imported and place in an remote area along the Buffalo River which has national park designation.

The herd has thrived to the point a very limited hunting season is allowed with limited # if licenses issued.

Now there is a "elk crossing sign on US HWY 65 near Marshall AR.

It is a wonderful example of how wildlife can be managed, yet allow hunters limited access to their passion.

Screwed Up Texan said...

You could also paint with textures to create a lovely photo. I love the composition and love reading your posts.

PS Elements is easy to use once you learn how to use layers. Your other editing program may use a form of layers and if so you should have no problem learning Elements. It also helps if you learn how to download what are called "actions."