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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Canopy Thaw 4

Plant Holder (Hunan Restaurant)

8:12:45 PM    

My home page, like any flat surface near me, (cabinets, dressers, floor) just keeps getting filled with stuff. Yes, that stuff doesn't appear on its own. I put it there. But I have site envy. Why couldn't I do a page (not to mention the prints) like Bill Schwab and just keep it simple and clean?

You know, something with some "class." But it just ain't in my blood. I work and think in a messy way. Used to drive my mother nuts. Once a week she'd come into my room (maybe I was twelve) and just walk around sweeping stuff off of any flat surface into the center of the room: "Clean that up!" It really is the only time I can remember that she would get mad at me, like clockwork. In my own defense, this is inherited, either in the genes or by example, from my father who is worse than me.

Oh, it is a sickness. BSD (bad slob disorder). But they don't make any drugs for it yet. I'm sure that within a few years, there will be commericals for some anti-slob drug called, what - Cleanalis? Before and after pictures of your abode. But until that time - I will just have to suffer with it.

10:57:11 AM    

Bad Day

Photo Tip:
If you know that your final output is going to be black and white, there are benefits to beginning the workflow with a color digital file. I do as many operations on the color 16-bit raw file as I can, keeping in mind that it is going to wind up as a b&w file. 1) If you are using a plug-in to do the black and white conversion like Power Retouche, you can apply your color filters, such as orange or red to darken a blue sky, after the shot has been taken. Whether this effect is the same as shooting the scene with the filter in the first place � don�t know. But to my eye it is similar and gives much more flexibility.

2) This was less obvious to me at first. Masking, which is the basis for just about everything in Photoshop is much easier to do on a color file. The obvious reason is that tools like the magic wand, and other tools that rely on tolerance, have a much easier time distinguishing borders etc. in color than in b&w where the difference between image areas is less pronounced.

So, that makes some of the new features in the Canon line that will do various types of b&w "in-camera" not that useful to me. If it showed a preview of a shot in b&w, that would be useful. But once it has done the conversion to b&w (and probably still in RGB mode), I can't imagine a situation in which I'd use that. And that is a general rule for me: keep what the camera does in terms of processing to a minimum. Do it in post-processing when you have a better more flexible tool, and a little psychological distance.

3) As far as the "grain" in this shot goes; that was added with the diffuse glow filter. The settings for this depend on the size and resolution of the image so I can't give specifics, but for something that is 72 dpi, you want to push the "clear" slider all the way over to about 17 (out of 20) and keep the two other sliders for grain and glow amount pretty low. I've fooled around with a couple of the add noise filter settings etc. but find the diffuse glow gives me the most filmlike look.  After applying the glow, you can use Fade Glow to change the blending effect.  With this image, the blending effect was set to lighten screen.  Again, which sort of blend depends on the image.

 Sometimes, digital is just a bit too smooth for me.  Sharpening, as always, is applied last.

10:03:45 AM    

�We was all shocked by this wanton disregard for the rules of our great public library lending system and shamed by the behavior of our fellow workers,� said the Sanitation Commissioner, while showing police photos of the secret underground lair. The room was lined with bookshelves and filled with plush lounge chairs, reading lamps and posters of James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence. �It�s truly disgusting,� reiterated the Commissioner. �We trusted these men to be picking up our trash and instead we find them reading trash at the public�s expense.�

This latest NYC scandal began, when one brave whistleblower came forward with credible evidence that members of his clean-up crew had set up a secret basement apartment across from the NYC Public Library. The sanitation workers, who dubbed themselves �The Culture Club�, were stealing books from the library and taking them to their basement pleasure lounge to read and discuss.

The head of Department of Investigation detailed some of the other �violations of the public�s trust shown by these workers.� He described how they would entice some of the librarians from across the street into their hideout and force them to hold what he called, �book talks.� Reporters at today�s news conference (covered on ABC eyewitness news) showed reporters a notebook confiscated from one of the alleged perpertrators in which were scribbled notes for a critical analysis of Elizabethan love sonnets. Here is a sample:

�I know that all beneath the moon decays
And what by mortals in this world is brought,
In Time's great periods shall return to nought.�

There is some speculation that this poem was actually about picking up garbage, but that has not been confirmed.

Lawyers for one of the accused claimed that his client was simply returning borrowed books before the due dates.

9:41:30 AM    

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