Sunday, August 30, 2009

weekly winnerage!

I have taken thousands of photos since the last time I posted weekly winners, so it's gonna be tough to figure out which ones to use -- and really, since I have so many to choose from, you all are probably gonna expect really amazing and awesome photos, no? I hope I do not disappoint...

Weather in August. Definitely not in the desert any more...
foggy hillside

Dragonfly, Westchester Lagoon, Anchorage

my stupid dog last spring, out on rotten ice. very fortunate he did not fall through...
Otter Lake in April

My Dad and son, on the boardwalk at Potter Marsh
Dad and Thor, Potter Marsh

fireweed. when the blooms reach the top, summer is pretty much over, and when it turns red, there will be snow in six weeks. that's what they say, anyway

the barn my grandfather built in the late 1800's, I think...
side of barn

another moose wanders through the neighborhood
moose visiting our neighborhood

Part of the Weekly Winners roundup, thanks to the Sarcastic Mom!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another photo of Alaska...

salmon and grebe

We were at the Westchester Lagoon, in Anchorage. We stopped to watch a couple of salmon swimming into the lagoon from the Cook Inlet (salmon spawning are really fascinating to watch. Although I am certain that eventually the thrill of watching fish swimming in place against the current will wane...). There was a grebe (a kind of duck) floating nearby. It went under to catch a fish, and because there is a white panel under the water -- perhaps to help count the salmon, they are very concerned about how many salmon return each year -- we could really see how the bird swam around. Very very cool...

The Farm

side of barn

When I was a kid we would go visit my uncle on the farm. The farm where my Mom and her brother grew up. Every kid should be lucky enough to spend some time on a farm. Farms are awesome. Farms are fun. Farms are dangerous, but we were very lucky kids. There was more than one occasion when one or another of us kids could have been badly injured or killed, but we all survived with all limbs, teeth, and eyes intact.

(Brains, I dunno. There were sometimes some marijuana plants growing on the farm, but a really weak strain. I don't know how much of a high was possible...but I am certain one or another of us tried it out anyway...)

My grandfather built the house and the barn and the outbuildings, I think in the late 1800's. The house and barn are still standing, the barn roof is amazingly straight -- no sag at all. Pretty impressive, I think.

the farm

This is a great house -- lots of gorgeous woodwork. No one from my family lives there now, but this summer we drove by and it looks pretty good around there. Weird too, since the land has been flattened -- there used to be a small hill behind the house. And some of the buildings are gone. No more chicken coop, no cows, no pig sty. Honestly, though, I don't miss the chickens. I hate chickens. Vile yet delicious creatures that they are. Smelly and stinky and mean. But tasty.

I can't post two days in a row without a photograph of Alaska, so...

The Daily Alaska:

the Little Susitna Creek
The Little Susitna River, in Hatcher's Pass.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Playing with Photoshop

I love playing with Photoshop. Last night I was practicing removing stuff from photos. I have a snapshot of a cemetery in Wisconsin. It's not a great shot, the light levels are wrong, the colors are muted, and there is a plant stand, a rope and a road that detract from the image. So I removed the offenders, punched up the colors, and adjusted the levels and contrast. I also tried out the image in black and white.

And then I made them into a movie, to show how the photograph morphed. I haven't done these movies before, but it was really fun. I just wish I could remember what program I used...I really need to start taking notes on some of this stuff I do.

I am having a really good time with my reliable and big-memoried new computer!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daily Alaska!

flying bucket

There is a lake next to the airport here, Lake Hood. Float planes take off and land here, and the lake is surrounded by docks where the planes are tied up. It's one of the things we do with visitors from out of state. There are so many places in Alaska that are accessible only by boat or plane that there are lots and lots of private planes buzzing around all the time.

I got a new computer! Because the old one sucked. It just was so unreliable, I couldn't take it. I am trying to get all our photos organized and sorted, a job made slightly more difficult because I really stupidly accidentally told Photoshop Elements to catalogue all the images on my external hard drive...all 100,000 of them. There is a scrapbook program on there and a bunch of games. Each with dozens of images. Plus several backups of our photos, so that there are two or three or eight copies of a bunch of photos.

I am so sick of dealing with it, and still have another 50,000 images to delete, and another 30,000 to organize. I cannot believe we have that many photos, but I love taking photos. Dozens of photos...