On a breeze

On a breezeOn a breeze Hosted on Zooomr

It was a somewhat wild day on Sunday (ok, I’m still behind) so the kids and I went out and flew our kite. It was pretty windy and the clouds kept changing, threatening rain most of the day. It did rain, but we got lucky and didn’t get wet, other than kids slipping in wet grass.

This photo isn’t anything special, just me capturing some fun we had together. It’s darn hard to take pictures while holding a kite string. I actually shot this on manual because I didn’t trust the auto exposure to get it right – too much contrast, especially since the sun is just to the right, behind a cloud.

View on zooomr.

Two Rock Sky

Two Rock SkyTwo Rock Sky Hosted on Zooomr

This was taken on one of my last days of work at the USCG Training Center. I drove around at lunch at the clouds kept changing. We had thunderstorms over the next couple of days, so the clouds were amazing.

I did have to touch up the exposure in Photoshop a little. Clouds can make a landscape really interesting and dynamic, but I’ve had a hard time with exposure, especially when there is a lot of contrast in the clouds and then the ground is dark. I should have used my gradient filter, but didn’t. It cleaned up nicely in Photoshop. It would have been nice if the fence in the lower right had come out better.

You can see the geotag on Zooomr.

Aerial Shots and Photoshop Lightroom

This is not a photo post, but some links.

I found this on Digg today. Some impressive aerial shots from around the world. I wish I had a nice helicopter to use for photography. http://files.kavefish.com/pictures/collections/pictures_from_the_sky/_index-list.html

Also, Adobe moved Photoshop Lightroom out of beta today. If you have $200 to drop, it’s yours. I’ve only looked at the online promo video for it, and at first glance it looks a lot like Picasa. I like Photoshop, but it is way out of my price range. I’m hoping Lightroom has the features I would like without all the extra stuff I never use. At first glance, I looks like it does. I stopped upgrading Photoshop at version 6 and have used up through CS2 at work, but can’t afford it for my personal use. However, Lightroom is much closer to my price range, although not as close as Picasa. It is definitely geared for professional photographers with a lot of export/printing functions geared toward pros, but the simple exposure and touch-up features are intriguing.

I’ll download the trial version and see if it is worth $200 more than Picasa.  Being a photo-hobbyist, it may not be worth the money.  But’s its worth looking at.
Maybe I’ll download the trial version and see how it behaves.

Garage and Sky

GarageGarage Hosted on Zooomr

Another nice, warm day, but being at work I didn’t have much of a chance to take photos. I shot this while running downtown to buy movie tickets. This is on top of a new parking garage in Petaluma. It’s really not a very interesting structure, but with few cars in it, the cables looked kinda cool. The really unfortunate thing about this shot is that not long after I took it the sun set and the sky was beautiful with reds and oranges. But I was already home, where power lines scare the view. Maybe another day.

I did some alignment adjustments and cropping in Photoshop. I took a few other shots, which are not edited, and posted them to my Picasa photo site.

This is on zooomr with the geotag.

Valley Fog

Valley FogValley Fog Hosted on Zooomr

This post got blasted from the blog. It was orignally posted on February 14. I can’t remember all I wrote, but it was something about enjoying getting out and taking pictures even if they aren’t good. I like this shot, but of course not every shot turns out the way I hoped.

This is posted on Zooomr with a geotag so you can see where it was taken. I think I got lucky with the fog and timing. I was on my way to work, driving on a road I rarely drive on. I’ve been taking alternate routes to and from work looking for things to shoot. When thinking about this shot and the blog post, I realized why I like landscapes. They capture a moment in time that is a unique experience. I will likely drive this road again some morning, but this shot will not be repeated. I captured that moment in time and was there to enjoy the entire view (which a camera can’t quite grab). The downside is that I always have some level of disappointment with the shots, but as time goes on and my memory fades the photo is all I have, and today I like it much more than I did the day I took it.

At any rate, I’m getting outside and enjoying taking pictures.

Clear Skies Over Dillon Beach

Clear SkiesClear Skies Hosted on Zooomr

After a few days of rain and some early morning fog, the sky cleared and today was beautiful. I drove out to Dillon Beach and took this along the way.  There were clouds just inland, but right along the coast was clear. I used a graduated filter for this shot, which really made the sky look blue. The rock formation is probably pretty familiar to anyone who has driven out to Dillon Beach; it’s very distinctive and a popular spot to stop and view Point Reyes. I like curving paths in the field and the deep green grass. I did minor contrast adjustments in Picasa.

I had taken a few shots of some clouds over a sheep ranch on the way to the beach using the same filter, but a barking dog and cars distracted me. I forgot to orient the filter for portrait, so the gradient went right to left instead of top to bottom, which was quite noticeable. I’ll put that shot on my picasa web site tomorrow and update this post.

There is a higher resolution photo and geotag on zooomr. In the satellite view on Google Maps, you can see the rocks in the photo quite clearly.

First Daffodil

First DaffodilFirst Daffodil Hosted on Zooomr

I took this in our front yard, between rain showers yesterday. I had to kneel on the ground to get the angle right. This is the first daffodil I’ve seen this year, and since they always bloom for Gilly’s birthday, I took this shot the day for her birthday. More sizes are available on Zooomr. The only bad thing about the shot is the telephone pole in the background, but there wasn’t much I could do about that. Unfortunately, the rain bent the flower over and the snails came along and ate most of it. At least I captured it while it was around.

Rain Out

It has been rainy for the past couple of days, and I don’t really like the idea of getting my camera all wet. I tried to go out yesterday, but it was absolutely pouring. I’ll try again today.  So I’m not doing a photo a day. If the weather continues like this, I’ll post some older images.
I did see an interesting article on Digg about megapixels as a marketing tool. It’s worth the read http://www.thetechlounge.com/article/379/