Sunrise Saturday, Jan 29 2011 

Brought the camera to work again today because I’m going out on the town with some friends tonight and I never do that without a camera!  As I pulled into the parking lot I noticed the sun was just starting to peak out from behind clouds as it was on the rise.  As I hustled to my desk to drop off my stuff I thought about how ridiculous this is that I’m going to unload, turn around and run down to the waterfront, camera in hand, to try to capture the sunrise.  Wow, this camera has made me a new woman.

Off I ran and in spite of the people down there that “keep Portland weird” I managed to get a few photos before I felt like I’d better get back to work.  Nothing too great came of it, but this one isn’t bad.

Downtown Portland Friday, Jan 28 2011 

The sun has been out the last couple days and I had the opportunity to get out at lunch time and get a few shots.  It was pretty foggy most of the morning but the sun finally started to break through.  Interesting challenge, fog…it’s dark out but it’s bright out….a quandary.  I took many photos of the same thing trying to get the right light.

The Hawthorne Bridge

 

Moss Growing on City Hall

One of many interesting details that can be found when really looking closely at things downtown.

Iron fencing surrounding the park area between 3rd and 4th Ave.  Is there a name for those parks?  It’s not the park blocks, what is it really?  I dig the nobby details on this fence post, which I assume is probably pretty old.

It was a fun, quick and chilly half an hour I spent out and about with Rita at lunch this Wednesday.  Of course today it was an amazingly beautiful day, the mountain was glowing and of course…I didn’t have the camera.

Oh well, something for another day.

A Chilly stroll through Washington Park & The Rose Garden Monday, Jan 24 2011 

Never did see the sun today, thank you weather man for once again incorrectly forecasting the weather. It was a dry day but a very chilly one.  High of 45, mmm toasty!

Hubby has decided to start using my old camera, a Nikon P5100.  I’m sure it’s been a little boring for him following me around while I take pictures of everything.  So now he has something to do.  The P5100 has manual functions and the ability to add a couple of different specialized lenses, so he can get pretty involved in that camera.

We layered on the clothes and headed out, tripod and cameras in hand.  It was fun and we got some great shots.  I’m still trying to get feeling back in my fingertips from the cold though.

At this point I’ve made the complete switch to the manual mode of the camera. No more auto help in any way.  I’m setting everything. Because I’m very new at this, manual mode is helping me really learn what the heck I’m doing with this machine.  I’m finally realizing that a lower number = slower shutter speed = more light = but you better hold the damn camera really still or use the tripod.  Some of the functions are becoming almost automatic for me and it surprises me that I’m learning this as fast as I am.  Must be in my blood.

I’m not enhancing any of these photos, they are straight from the camera.

 

Continuous Catches the Cat Sunday, Jan 23 2011 

It was a day of shooting nearly everything in continuous mode. With dogs and cats, it certainly increases your chances of getting a good shot.  Not only a good shot, but a shot in one of those moments where they are looking pretty funny.  Barclay was in rare form yesterday.  The sunshine increases his mood like it does mine I think. He was outside strutting around with Tuvok in the back yard.  He discovered his cat nip is starting to grow again and had himself a little nibble of kitty hooch.

 

I think he’s feeling the catnip in the two photos above.

 

After a second round of cat nip…and I’m certain he’s saying “WELL!” here.

 

The catnip is still in full effect!

You gotta wonder what’s going through his mind here.

Tuvok Sunday, Jan 23 2011 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kid was on the move today and we caught him in motion.  Quite the athlete for 11 years old.  Wouldn’t want him chasing after you!

 

 

Dogs Sunday, Jan 23 2011 

Spent some time at FIDO today.  Our dog isn’t social enough to attend but thankfully we have friends with dogs who appreciate social hour at the local hang out.  This is Karmin and Paige, my friend Rita’s dogs.  Interestingly enough they are the only two dogs today that I didn’t see running around.  They prefer to sit on the side lines and watch the action in the comfort of someone’s lap.  This was one of the few opportunities to get their photo.

There were many dogs, big and small having a fabulous time running around with each other.  I practiced taking photos, over 200 of them, in the continuous photo mode.  Most of them are too fuzzy to keep but a few are kind of cool.  Here’s one of a bigger dog on the move.

 

 

Digital Photography Class Saturday, Jan 22 2011 

Off to Digital Photography 1 today. The second in a series of 9 classes I’ll be taking over the next several months. The first class, Digital Imaging Basics was two weeks ago and it was very basic. I think we learned maybe one thing we didn’t know, but overall very basic. Today should build on the basics and begin to dive into more detail so I’m hoping it’s a little more exciting.

The sun is out again today so after class I hope to take some time outdoors downtown to get some photos. We’re also going to meet up with a friend at a dog park so we’ll see what kind of puppy action shots I can get there. Should be fun day!

Tuvok Friday, Jan 21 2011 

Lieutenant Tuvok

 

As promised in previous post, this is Lieutenant Tuvok, Security Officer.  Loyal companion, socially inept, can be quite scary.  If you’re a dude visiting the house, he probably won’t like you and he definitely won’t like your dog!

Not much was done to this photo.  This was taken on a clear dry day in November right after I got my camera.  We were out raking leaves and dealing with limbs from a tree that fell during a wind storm.  Tuvok decided  too many sticks were going into the yard debris bin, so he rescued a few.  It was a fun afternoon for him and at age 11, he was pretty stiff the next day.

All I did with this photo was brighten up things a tiny bit and add a vignette around the edge.  I really like the vignette function, really like it!  Like it so much I’m starting to try it on every photo I edit, not a good idea.  Note to self, every photo will not need a vignette, don’t get carried away!

Speaking of Tuvok, he’s looking at me wondering when I’m going to get out of the office and come relax with him…so I’m off!


Cat Clarity Thursday, Jan 20 2011 

Enter Barclay.

Lieutenant Reginald Barclay

Long Haired Mutt Cat at Age 6

Killer of Mice, Rats and other Miscellaneous Vermin

Trusty Side Kick to Lieutenant Tuvok, Security Officer

(Tuvok is the resident German Shepherd and he will be pictured in future postings)

Quiz: Where do the names of our pets come from?

This is Lieutenant Reginald Barclay.  He’s known by other aliases such as Barcles, Bac Bacanakel, Del, Del Boca Vista, DB….there are probably more. I’m surprised he doesn’t have a complex.  Usually we just say “DEL!”, because he’s always meowing, talking and it sounds like he’s saying “WELL!”

We Love Barclay.  He’s quite photogenic when he sits still. Such a lovely long haired coat of black.  This particular day he was lounging with most of his body inside a Nordstrom bag.  The sun was shining in through the living room window and hitting his face perfectly.

Enter the camera.

I took several shots, many fuzzy.  Fuzzy because you know, in manual mode, one most hold completely still when dealing with inadequate light.  You can also use a tripod but considering that Barclay’s head was flat against the floor, I simply placed the camera on the ground and smooshed myself onto the floor as well. Not only the camera needs to be still however, the  subject does too.  Barclay managed to stay still with eyes focused on me or the camera lense for a few good photos.

Most of the originals turned out pretty blue so I used photoshop elements to enhance the colors to a more Barclay specific hue.  I may have accidentally still had the camera on the incandescent light mode from some interior night shots I’d taken the day before, causing a sort of blue tinge.  At any rate, as you can see from the photo, easily fixed.

The clarity of the photo amazes me – how you can see the dander under Barclay’s eyes.  The focus was in the wrong place though.  I think an eye would have been a better choice than the middle of the nose. Whatever though, who cares.  I love this photo, it’s probably my favorite photo of Barclay.

Quiz answer: Star Trek Voyager/Star Trek The Next Generation

Quick Break from the Wet NW Winter Wednesday, Jan 19 2011 

Wasn’t it a Ben Franklin that said ” nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.”  This is true, but when you live in Portland, Oregon one other thing is certain – RAIN!  Yes it’s a spectacularly dark and wet winter here in the Pacific NW.  My life has become somewhat of a funkification, thanks to a tiny bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder that I have  and it is really starting to get to me at this point.  There are a good 4-5 more months of this wet weather ahead but yesterday we got lucky!  A sunny, 60 degree day in January, incredible! I rushed out to get some much needed light and warmth, the sky was actually blue! It made my week but it also gave me the first opportunity I’ve had since I purchased my camera to really get outside with it!

So, get out I did.  Hubby and I went for a nice walk late in the afternoon – camera in tow.  But here is the quandary, what does one photograph when limited to a neighborhood of homes and everything has been dormant and soaked for the past 3 months?  At first it was a struggle to find gems of interest but I do believe that I found a few.

Moss: mmmm, yes…I’m surprised us long term Oregonians aren’t growing it as hair because it is EVERYWHERE! It’s everywhere and right now it is bright green!

New growth:  It amazes me how quickly new growth appears after the first of the year.  Leaves are peaking out of the hydrangeas.  Buds and young branches are forming on the trees. Daffodils and tulips are just starting to show that they are back in town.  It’s a refreshing break from the winter dreariness.

 

 

And the Photoshop Elements accomplishment of the evening…I figured out the watermark!

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