"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Monday, December 13, 2010

5 AM Photo Tips

I'll always know what day this was
I keep the date stamp on my camera set to "on" all the time.  Twyla doesn't, as probably most people do who don't like to have to use their photo editing software.  I find that to mostly be women, but that's a whole 'nuther post.  I had a sister-in-law who probably still uses regular film to this day,  -- no, I am NOT exaggerating.  Even with four technosavvy kids in the house, she found the software too complicated, and liked to handle the prints from the store.  Bless her heart.

I keep the date stamp on and am always aware that it's going to be down there in the bottom right corner and I take my shots with that in mind, knowing that I can always crop it out, or there may be a good reason I want it to show up.
         By the way, never rely on the electronic date stamp of your camera for the purpose of legal evidence.  The reasons should be obvious.  The best technique is still the use of a periodical, especially a daily newspaper in the actual shot, or part of a series of shots.

Same shot after cropping
I find it very, very valuable as I am archiving photos daily. This brings up another funny thing.  If you read this post by Twyla, you'd get the impression that I am a complete slob, but that wouldn't be accurate.  I'm still a work in progress. Seriously, I'm pretty organized about certain things.  It would amaze you to know that when I was in high school and an NJROTC officer, I always scored perfect on my room at the Boys Ranch.  I won the best dressed award at the annual banquet at the Ranch (I think it was my Junior year).  Anyway, I have been trying to teach Twyla more about the computer, and the value of understanding and creating folders (subdirectories) to organize her pictures and other things.  You see, I like to organize information; Twyla likes to organize stuff.  Twyla is an artist through and through. Combine that with being female and you have a volatile cocktail.  For most of you ladies, your environment shouts at you from all directions, if something needs straightening and adjusting, it drives you nuts until you deal with it.

We men can shuffle the stack of the IN box many times a day, but we only see ONE thing on the top of the IN box at a time.  We only deal with that ONE thing until it is dealt with until it's done and everything else in our mental universe is put on hold, with no little flashing light to remind us of that fact.  This can create a lot of tension in a marriage, because the two sexes have a very hard time recognizing, let alone dealing with that difference.  What was I talking about?  Oh, yeah.  Photography.

First pic at 04:48
Where the date stamp is so handy for me, is when I get farther and farther from the date I took the photos.  How many times have you looked at a photo and thought, "Let's see, when was that?"  And back before we had the great advances in digital imaging, if you didn't think to write it down, often on the back of the print itself, you really had no way of knowing.  And I'll bet you ten dollars to a doughnut that if it did happen, it was because a woman thought to do it.

This morning, as I was thinking about the shots I'm going to get with the blanket of snow outside, I looked at the thermometer.  I do so like the indoor/outdoor gadget.  And it dawned on me that I could incorporate the date stamp right in the shot, rather than having to add text to the picture with the software. I didn't quite like the glare from the flash. Another aside: I'm always experimenting with paper and aluminum foil pieces to alter the flash from my little point and shoot Kodak.  You would be surprised what you can do with a little creativity.  You don't have to just accept the results of flash or no flash.  If you think I should post about that, leave me a comment.

2nd pic at 05:05

I didn't feel like making a big production of this, at least not this morning, so I just grabbed some handy black duct tape.  You know, if I could, I'd have a roll or two of duct tape in about sixteen colors and at least a couple of them in camo.  I'm not kidding.  And after just a couple of tries, keeping in mind the approximate location of the date stamp in my mind's eye (the stamp doesn't appear on the LCD screen), I got shot number four.  This is what you get after cropping of course, which means that 90% of the original shot is cut out.  And that brings me to another thing I like about digital photos.  With a 4 gigabyte memory card, I can shoot and store over 2,000 photos at the highest resolution setting in my camera, but the best part is that I'm not wasting anything.  I could say that I'm wasting electrons, but the laws of physics says that's impossible.

Did you notice how rapidly the temperature dropped between shots one and two?  The funny thing about where we live nestled in a horseshoe of mountains is that sometimes we are as much as ten degrees warmer than what they forecast for our area, and sometimes we are colder.  They predicted 19°.  

Now, here is where I get a laugh.  I have two sets of these thermometers.  One for the front of the house and one for the back.  I keep them at a sufficient distance from the house so as not to be affected by any heat coming from the house.  I also keep them guarded from the sun and moisture.  I still get anywhere from two to six degrees different readings between the two, and I have a backup analog alcohol thermometer that I check for calibration.  And the frauds at places like East Anglia university would like me to believe that they can predict global trends in temperature of as little as one or two degrees Celsius.  If the majority of the populace had a decent understanding of real science, the global warming/climate change crowd would merely be laughed at like so many believer's in a flat earth.

Anyway, that's my rambling, all-over-the-place post about a tiny area of digital photos.  There's almost four inches of snow outside and it's just too dark to take any pics yet.  I'm still thinking about a few downhill runs.  It will be fun to play like a kid again.

Yom Sh'ni Tov eleicha (Good Monday to you)

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