Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cape Florida Light House

A couple of 35mm slides from 1998 on Key Biscayne, off the coast from Miami.

That's close and far views of the lighthouse there.

Both photos were taken on one othe most disappointing and most beautiful days I've ever had. I wrote about it in a couple of posts on my other blog if you care to read them. (There's pictures in those posts too.) Post 1 here, and Post 2 here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cinco de Mayo

We were living in The Colony, Texas in 1989. That's north of Dallas.

One of the other cities in the area was a place called Las Colinas. We took our girls to the Cinco de Mayo celebration that year in Las Colinas.

This was during the day, and at first everything was great. It was basically a carnival setup, but to celebrate Cinco de Mayo instead of some other day, with rides and games and so forth.

That day, one of the worst storms I've ever witnessed blew into the area in a matter of minutes. Right now I live a couple of miles from the Atlantic ocean, and coastal weather is known for changing quickly.

But I've never seen weather change as fast as when we lived in the Dallas area, and the weather change that 5th of May was one of the darndest thing I'd ever seen.

In the upper photo, you can see how massive and dark the clouds were moving in.

In the second photo, you can see how night-like dark it was in the middle of the afternoon when the clouds started moving in.

We left quickly, and the rain started just as we got to our car. We sat in the parkiing area in our car for a long time before leaving. It was raining too hard to see to drive at first.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's A Small Thing, But...

It makes a big difference.

These are two versions of the same picture of Number One Daughter on the beach somewhere below Houston, Texas in 1987.

This was an Ektachrome slide, and that raggedy, dark looking area at the extreme right of the frame always bothered me.

Not a huge deal, but it bothered me for this reason:

Having shot slides for so many years, I learned to crop my photos in the viewfinder. Because you can't crop slides.

Having prints made from negatives? Crop away, baby. Slides? No can do.

I always thought this was such a cute pic of her when she was a munchkin (she's 21 now) but inside me I just didn't like that bad area on the right.

But being a patient man, and really what else could I have done but live with it, I've lived to where I can scan the slide into digital form and using Photoshop Elements, fix that area that has always bothered me.

Like I said, I've always tried to crop in the viewfinder, and when somthing out of my control happens like that, it can throw the photo out of balance for me.

A small thing, but still, I like the improved version much better. It's what I saw in the viewfinder originally.

Even today with a digital SLR, I rarely crop a photo after taking it. I still try to crop the photo into final form within the viewfinder. Easily 19 out of 20 of my digital photos on this blog are not cropped.

Old habits die hard.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

British Airways DC-10

When I worked for Delta Airlines at DFW Airport in the mid and late 1980s, Delta was under contract to handle the ground operations for the British Airways flights into and out of there.

Like the British Airways Concorde that I photographed one day at work, I also photographed one of their DC-10s as it sat at the gate.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Couple of Corners

The upper photo is part of the wheel chair ramp and walkway just to the side of the bridge over Sebastian Inlet on the border between Brevard County and Indian River County in Florida. The corner there intrigued me and I thought the thing was a bit over engineered, but then again, there's no plumbing the depths of human stupidity so I reckon an ultra strong rail is better than a weak one.

The second photo is of on corner of a building with men's and women's bathrooms. It's a neatly designed building with lots of interesting angles, lines, and textures.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wow! He Posted Somthing!

Both shots taken in Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1983. Taken with my old pal, my Canon AE-1 on Kodachrom 64.

No, I do not have two different sized feet. One is my foot and the other is Lovely Wife's (then Lovely Fiance).

I love her dearly despite the fact that her feet are way bigger'n mine. (wink wink nudge nudge)

I thought that fake lighthouse as part of that hotel across the street was SO cool. You'll have to forgive me, I was 20, and hadn't been out of Louisiana much at the time. I know the image is a bit blurry, but I think I did a respectable job of hand-holding that shot at ASA 64 (before they went to ISO). Anyway, the pic brings back lots of good memories for me and that's what counts. I'd never print it big and frame it, but just looking at it reminds me of how moist, warm, and windy that morning was as we headed to the beach to watch the sunrise.

Even a blurry picture is a good one if it brings up good memories and a smile.

I know I suck lately.

Lots going on, and little of it is good in nature. So the first things to fall by the wayside are things like blogging.

I once prided myself in not missing a day on my other, first blog, in over a year.

My, how the great have fallen.

Now I just feel good to get some swill written for the other blog and to dredge up a couple of pics to post on here. And that's not even taking into account the spotty visiting an commenting of late.

Bear with me folks, while I try to get life straightened out a bit, OK?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another Retread

Number Two Daughter is having surgery today for some female problems. Consequently I didn't get something prepared for today, and am therefore throwing an old post from my other blog at y'all.

It's about a favorite place of mine with lots of childhood memories.

Read up, I just might learn y'all somethin'.

Emerald Mound

What the heck is that you ask?

Well I'll tell ya. It's one of my all time favorite places to go visit. Emerald Mound is a hill that was sculpted into it's present shape by the Natchez Indians, on what is now part of the Natchez Trace Parkway just north of Natchez, Mississippi.

The mound itself is like a rectangular plateau, about 35 feet tall. It's like an oversized soccer field that has risen up out of the ground. This flat part of the mound has two smaller mounds on it. A large one at one end of the rectangle, and a smaller one at the other end.

It's a pretty impressive thing to see. This area was inhabited by the Natchez Indians, and this mound built around 1200AD.

This section of the Natchez Trace Parkway is a beautiful drive. There are picnic areas and when we were kids and lived in nearby Vidalia, Louisiana, we would sometimes go over there to swim in Coles Creek and see Emerald Mound.

Here are some photos that don't show the whole thing, you'll have to go to the links above for an aerial view of the mound. This photo on their website, you have to look at it a minute to realize what your lookin' at. Like I said, it's a plateau with two smaller mounds on it.

(As always, give the photos a click so you can see more detail.)

This first photo is of me near the top of the larger mound on top of the plateau part. This was taken in around 1966 or 1967, when I was four or five. Here, I'm almost at one end of the mound, and you can see the smaller mound in the distance. This thing is HUGE.

This next photo was actually taken in 1961, before I was born. I added this one so you could see the larger mound that I'm on in the top photo. That's it in the background there. That's my 'Mamaw Hinton', my maternal grandmother on the right in the red sweater and white scarf looking for pecans, and my 'Papaw Hinton' to the left of the pecan tree. You can see my older brother Paul beside him, but he was just a little feller there, about two years old.

In 1992, we were in the process of moving back to Louisiana from the Atlanta, Georgia area for me to attend Louisiana Tech University. That June we took our girls to the Natchez Trace for a picnic and to see Emerald Mound. Lovely Wife had them pose in the same place I had stood all those years ago, so you can compare this photo with the top one.

And last, but not least, here's yours truly thrown in there for good measure, so all three of us can stand there and squint into the sun. (Oh, to be twenty nine again. Whew!)

So that's a little bit o' learnin' for y'all's noggins. Look up the links if you care to learn a little more.

Though, now that I look at these photos, it makes me think I'll have to see if I have some that take in more of the mound. Hmmm. Probably trying to conserve film, something I always regret later.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It's Hard, But Somebody Has To Do It

Lovely Wife and I have moved so many times in the years we've been married, that we have tried to take advantage of the things that are available to do wherever we have lived.

We've lived here in Palm Bay, Florida longer than anywhere we've lived before and it starts to seem repetitious with the photography.

But then I think, hey you knucklhead, there's folks all over who would love to be here for just one week to go to the beach and soak up some sunshine, heat, and humidity. Then I realize that although things might be repetitious and all in a normal day here, but I shouldn't allow it to become boring or routine.

I do appreciate and am thankful for the 300+ sunny days here, as well as being close enough to get to the beach on the Atlantic in about 20 minutes from home and 15 minutes from work. And if that seems too far, I can be sitting on the Indian River Lagoon in about half of both of those times where I can enjoy a beach-like setting plus get to see dolphins and spiffy birds.

These two pictures were taken several years ago one morning. The previous night was an insomnia festival, and I ended up staying up all night and cleaning all of my cameras and lenses and working the shutters on old cameras to boot.

I left for work early, and at the time had to drive down this stretch of US 1, which goes from Key West up to Maine, and set up and took pics at sunrise.

Seeing these again brings home to me just how different digital images look and feel from film and slides.

These images were taken on Kodak print film with a Nikon N90s that I owned at the time, and they seem thicker and more 3D somehow than do digital pics. I'm not complaining; I love my D70s more than any camera before, but I do miss how print and slide film has a depth to it that digital pictures don't have.

I'll shut up now.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Downtown Melbourne....(Florida)

I've always wanted to go to Australia, but Melbourne, Florida is as close as I've ever been.

Well, actually Hawaii was geographically closer, but Melbourne, Florida was named by a Melbourne, Australia transplant, so that means more in my book.

I took both of these one pleasant evening when Lovely Wife and I were moseying about the old downtown section of our Melbourne.

There's not really anything unique there, and there's nothing to buy there that you can't get in other towns, but it is a great place to stroll about.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Let’s Get This Party Started (again)

Thanks to all of you for your kind comments, thoughts, and prayers for my brother.

He’s doing somewhat better, and they moved his surgery back from this past Thursday to this coming Tuesday. They are just going to repair his nose. His cheek bone is not going to be fixed. Apparently, doing work to try to repair the cheek is done by entering the ear area pushing the bones outward from the inside. It’s an incredibly hard surgery and one of those times when the cure can be much worse than the disease.

I think he’s decided to forego the cheek surgery and just have his nose put back together. Again, that happens this coming Tuesday, August 21.

I would appreciate it if you guys kept on praying for him. And while you're at it, please pray for my younger daughter, who is 18. She's having a pretty involved surgery of a female nature this Wednesday, and I'd appreciate your prayers for her too.

This is a before and after photo of my Dad when he was in the US Navy in the mid-1950s. I spent a lot of time on this one. I blew it up huge and worked on it section by section to make it as good as I could.

I haven't been out photographing things in over a week, but have been doing some scanning some old family photos.

This is all flatbed scanner stuff which necessitates cleaning up dust specs and repairing discoloration and tears and whatnot.

It's a useful thing to do in my present frame of mind, and does two things at once.

It requires concentration that takes my mind off of things like worrying about my brother and daughter.

It's also fun to do when I'm not in a very creative mode. Instead of feeling guilty for not getting out and taking lots of new photos, I get to do something useful to help reduce the mountain of scanning and repair work I have tasked myself with doing.

So get ready for more of this, until I can get back into the groove of taking photos. I'll try to comb my archives for stuff y'all haven't seen as well.

I'll be getting around to visiting and commenting again as soon as I can.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Update On My Brother

This is what I posted on my other blog today:

I talked to my Younger Brother yesterday, Sunday, for a few minutes.

He's in good enough spirits, which was a relief, I thought the trauma of what happened would have had him way down, but he didn't sound bad on the phone.

His nose is broken in several places, and his left cheek is crushed and will require surgery. That is supposed to be done this coming Thursday. The area around his right eye is cut and abraded, but the eye itself seems to be OK.

The young lady who was unfortunate enough to have been there too, was rewarded for being in the wrong place at the wrong time by being hit in the head with a brick, after they had stomped my brother repeatedly in the head and body on the sidewalk. She had a bad concussion and a big gash where the brick made contact with her head.

Big Sis and Sainted Mother went over there, and Big Sis said the sidewalk looked like the photos from the Nicole Simpson/Ronald Goldman murder. Apparently it was as if someone had a gallon of blood and just sloshed it all over the ground.

When the police had gotten to the scene, Younger Brother had already headed for the hospital with friends, and I think the young lady who took the brick in the head was out cold and being loaded into an ambulance, so the cop thought it was some minor squabble and wrote the thing up as a misdemeanor.

Big Sis was a bit put out that anyone, let alone a cop, could look at all the blood, hear what happened, and decide the thing was a misdemeanor offense.

They had pics of the two vicitims in the hospital in all of their bloody and swolen glory, and they were shown later to the police and hopefully, if there's any justice in the world, felony charges will be brought against the two men.

Also, such a hue and cry went up to find out the identity of the two men that phones all over town were ringing among all friends and aquaintances of Younger Brother and Young Lady, that word reached the two men that they were being looked for and they turned themselves into the police.

Without knowing the details of what happened at the police station, I can only assume that for now the two men have been processed into the system for their crime, though that stands as a misdemeanor right now.

We'll just have to see what happens.

Thank you all for your kind comments and prayers, it's something I believe truly works. Please continue to pray.

Younger Brother and the Young Lady are both out of the hospital and Younger Brother has a near future filled with surgery and recovery.

I'm marginally cooler, so I try to not think about it until I hear more. Stewing on it all just puts me back into revenge mode, and that's worthless for anyone, and only hurts me. (I'm still trying to decide if I need to buy me a good ol' Louisville Slugger wooden bat or one of them newfangled aluminum bats.)


I've worked on repairing and archiving a few old family photos this weekend. I might have to start posting some of that work during this period. It's an easy way to get my mind off of things and it's a productive thing to do as well as I'm the only one in the family with the inclination to try to get old family shots into digital form for posterity.

I also started going to the gym today with Lovely Wife. I'm hoping that lifting weights will help alleviate the desire to do great bodily harm on a couple of men in Monroe, Louisiana.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

No Post Today

I'm not in a good place, I don't know when I'll be able to do this blog justice again.

I wrote about this on my other blog, if you care to read it, and I would greatly appreciate your prayers.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blast from the Past

I spent the night last night at a sleep center hooked up to electrodes. Therefore I'm replaying a couple of old favorite 35mm slides that I had posted on my other blog last year.

This photo is a pre-sunrise photo I took in Gulf Shores, Alabama in summer 1983. I've put a number of sunSET photos on the blog, but here is one from early morning; a rarity for me.

And another photo from the same trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama in 1983. The sand was so perfect and untouched that early in the morning, but needed a bit of something, so I put down a couple of shells I had in my pocket. I don't really know why I like this photo so much, it is contrived. But that's the way it is I guess. You like it or you don't. I do.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

More Reruns (sorry)

This is a post with photos from one of the first posts I did on my other blog. This is the post in it's entirety from March 14, 2006.

Sunset Pics

Pic(s) of the Day
I took these a few years ago on 12/15/2002. They are of THE most colorful sunset I have ever seen, and I am a sunset connoisseur. One pic shows the colors in all their glory. The other picture, with the tree in it as a reference, is to prove that I didn't fudge the colors. They are true to what actually appeared. At work, I've had to give copies of all the ones I took that evening because as friends found out I had pics of that sunset, they all had seen it, but didn't have a camera with them. I am still so glad I had ours that day. This is the Indian River Lagoon in Brevard County, looking from Melbourne Beach toward the mainland of Florida.

Since taking these photos in 2002, I've seen a few other sunsets in the same "ballpark", but none quite as amazing. This one still tops my list.

I'm also sorry to report that that amazing tree in the second photo was cut down a few years ago. Like the old song says, "they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot." I'm not an environmentalist but I sure hated to see that magnificent tree brought down so the adjacent dentist's office could have about 4 more parking places.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

More Fishin'

I'm sorry for the lack of inspiration lately. I'm in one of those phases where life is in a bit of turmoil and it is reflected in all I do.

I'm having a tough time just keeping up with everything lately and haven't been in a very creative mood, hence the photo repair posts and just posting straight photos. Like yesterday and today. Not that I've done anything wrong, I just know I can do better.

I want to create photos that inspire me and hopefully others, and I feel as if I've just been "phoning it in" lately.

Enough whining.

Not spectactular, but I admired the effort of whoever built this thing. That's a serious fisherman. Take one wagon bed, build a custom pvc frame to fit your ice chests, tackle boxes, and rods and reels. Then you can just wheel all your stuff out to the end of the jetty or a pier and fish the day away.

I think I was one of the few people out there that day that spoke fluent English. (That is, if you can call my redneck/southern accented speech fluent English.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Gone Fishin'

This is two views on the same point on a jetty at Sebastian Inlet State Park.

The first photo was taken on the Indian River County side, with the guys.

The second was taken from the Brevard county side, looking at the same point and fishermen from across the inlet.

Monday, August 6, 2007


The trees in the first photo fascinated me to no end. They were in front of a beach home in the area that had road work being done in the neighborhood, so the gate to the community was open.

These gates normally keep riff-raff like, say, me, out of the area, but I drove in and took a few photos of how the "other half" lives. I.E. folks with enough money to live directly on the ocean.

These trees were really cool, all twisted like that, and their front yard was filled with them. At least these folks had enough class to leave all the cool trees standing when they had their nice beach home built.

The second photo, I just liked the way it looked. I was walking around a big pond behind one of our public libraries one day and looked to my left and saw the US flag in the distance, sticking up above the trees.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Aquatic Sherriff's Deputy

With all the water here, there's bound to be some folks up to illegal shenanigans on boats.

So we have The Law in their own boats, watching out for us normal, law abiding citizens.

The water wasn't quite smooth enough for a good reflection, but I like the photo anyway.

I'm going to make a concerted effort to catch up on everyone's blogs this week. I'm sorry I haven't been commenting. I've tried to lurk and keep up with everyone, but having my computers down for a while kinda cramped my blog reading and commenting. I miss the routine of visiting and commenting. All of your work inspires me, and it's like missing meals when I can't visit. I get hungry to just get comfy and blog hop and comment.

Bear with me and don't be surprised when y'all start getting flurries of comments from me for the days I've missed.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Photo Editing On Computer

Folks, I'm sorry for not posting yesterday, and not visiting much lately. We've been having work done on our home, and this week it was paint (next week too). They painted in the rooms where we have our old, and my new computers, so both were unhooked.

Friday night, I finally got them put back together, after stealing a circuit card out of the old computer so that I can input video into my new one.

Anyway, I'm back up an running finally, but am way behind on preparing photos, taking photos, and selecting some to post.

Here's another before and after of a photo of my maternal grandparents, Henry and Hilda Hinton, taken in the early or mid 1950s.

The past couple of posts have been about photo restoration and repair. I thought I would answer a couple of comments that were left for me, and use the answers as a post. How's that for lazy?

photowannabe and bluemountainmama said: "I must learn photoshop. My folks had many slides that need help." and "how did you do this? did you scan them into your computer and then photoshop?"

bluemountainmama and photowannabe - Yes, I scanned them into the computer. I have a Minolta Dimage Scan Elite II film/slide scanner that is designed specifically to do just that, scan either 35mm slides or 35mm negatives into digital form. It's the most accurate way to scan, much better and more detailed than scanning a printed photo on a flatbed scanner. But I also have and use an Epson Perfection 2400 Photo flatbed scanner that is EXCELLENT. I love it.

The only problem with the slides in Wednesday's post was that they are square images from 126 film (I think). So I actually scanned the Citrus Tower and Silver Dollar City Train with my flatbed scanner, which can do slides, but isn't as good as my Minolta scanner is. But, I was able to scan the whole square on the flatbed scanner, whereas they Minolta thought I was using typical 35mm slides and only would scan a 35mm sized rectangle.

Once they are scanned, I use Photoshop Elements, which is a $80 software program as opposed to "real" Photoshop CS3, which is a $600 program.

The first thing I do, once an image is scanned, is to open it with Elements and use the "Levels" tool to point out to the program 3 separate points on the image. One is a spot that "should be" absolutely black, but isn't. Then I select a spot that "should be" absolutely white, but isn't. And finally, I select a spot that "should be" a medium gray.

When those three points are selected carefully, and it takes practice to do so, the image is almost perfectly color corrected. It can literally take me now only one minute from opening a color shifted slide as shown today, to making it look printable.

On photos in otherwise good shape, that is all I have to do to make a dramatic change.

After using levels to color correct, I might have to adjust the brightness, contrast, and color saturation a little, but usually this is only "tweaks" as the real problem of the color shift was fixed.

After that, I look at the image blown up huge on my monitor to identify dust specs and little things that might have stuck to an old slide or negative, and use the "Healing Brush" tool to pick off, so to speak, the dust specks.

What results, from just a couple of minutes work, is a totally rejuvenated image.

Doing image repairs, where part of the picture is torn as in the case of scanned print from a flatbed scanner, is much more difficult and time consuming.

I have a whole lot of images on my computer, just awaiting my working on them. So on any given day, I might feel like digging deep and repairing torn photos that I've scanned, while other days, I just want to have fun, and repairing an undamaged slide that has color shifted, like today's, is fun and quick.

I can do the work that matches my mood.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

More Retreads

The house is still in total disarray, and I'm re-posting a photo related post from last year on my other blog.

When I was a kid, and we went on trips, in gift shops you could see racks of 35mm slides hanging there. If the weather wasn't great, or you didn't have a camera, no problem, just buy some of the place's professionally done slides for your collection.

My Mother gave me all of the family's slides, and some of them were what I call "bought slides."

I absolutely love the things. They have a very strong 1960s / 1970s vibe that appeals to me. I remember standing in gift shops and holding strips of slides up to the light to see.

The one's my parents bought have almost all shifted colors quite dramatically. The scanning process for slides is slow, but the color correction is actually pretty quick as I talked of yesterday.

Without further ado:

Here are a couple of before and after of what can be done with color shifted slides.

These first two are of the same slide of the Citrus Tower in Clermont, Florida. This is an old slide of my parent's from 1970.

Before: Color shifted red.

After: Color corrected as best I could. Looks good to me. A pro could do better, but I'm pleased.

Before: Train ride at Silver Dollar City, Branson, MO, 1974. Also color shifted red, but not as bad as the one above.

After: Lookin' really good.

This final one is just an after. I didn't keep a before scan of this one. I'm including this one because it's original slide that my Father In Law took around 1961 was just faded. Slowly losing all color, not color shifted like the two above. It isn't faded too badly, so with Photoshop Elements 4, I was able to make it look as if it was taken yesterday.

That's Lovely Wife on the far right, the little girl being held by her mother.

This is fun.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Recycle; I Have To

We're having our home's innards repainted. Right now, my brand spanking new Dell desktop with Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, 20in wide screen flat panel high resolution monitor is unplugged and set aside so the professionals can paint in that area of the house. It's like having your Porsche sitting there out of gas, and it'll be a couple of days before you can get more.

That means I can't get to all of my photos and use Elements to get them ready for the blog. So today y'all are getting a recycled blog post from my main blog, Least Significant Bits. This was a post about using Photoshop Elements to touch up scanned photographs from my family's past.

I'll get back to posting some new stuff when I get my computer back.

The following post is from January of 2007.

I'm the six year old blond kid in the white T-shirt in the photos at the bottom of the post.

What Fun!

I've posted about a zillion pictures on this blog.

And I've talked about the old family photos I scanned on our trip to Louisiana right after Christmas.

And I've talked about how fun it is to manipulate photos, to correct them and whatnot, using Photoshop Elements.

The photos of my Dad in the Navy, that I posted yesterday, took a good bit of work to correct. They aren't perfect, but one was torn, and they just weren't in good shape.

But the difference of the photos from before and after has me totally hooked on the process of making them better.

For me, this is like having a new color photography darkroom. Only without the mess and chemicals.

The pics of my Dad from yesterday took a while to work on, but the difference from what they were as originally scanned is quite dramatic. It's fun, and the final output makes the whole process worthwhile.

In fact, it's quite addictive.

And the really fun photos to work with, are the old ones that are basically in good shape physically, but have shifted colors over the years. These photos only take about 5 or 6 different steps to make vast improvements in them.

Plus, if there isn't much to repair, like scratches, or marks, or tears, each photo only takes 2 or 3 minutes to generate a totally shocking change.

So today, I'm gonna leave you with two before-and-after photos from my childhood, that literally only took about 5 minutes to repair them both. So when a photo is in decent shape, just color shifted, the rejuvenation is quick as it is dramatic.