Friday, November 30, 2007

Last Day of Hurricane Season

While nature has absolutely no obligation to obey man's calendars and semi-arbitrary dates, I can breathe a bit easier until next June 1 when the next hurricane season begins.

Then this background worry of ours (Will we get another direct hit this year like the Jeanne and Frances of 2004?) starts all over again.

Here's to sunny, warm, and worry-free fall and winter days in Florida.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Purple (Old Chromes #5)

Lovely Wife's parents always had various flower pots, half-barrels, and so forth around their home, full of flowers.

Here's one from my olden days, the early 1980s.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Moss? Lichens?

Moss? Lichens?

I have absolutely no idea, but it looked nice in the dappled sunlight on this palm tree in Erna Nixon Park in Melbourne, Florida.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Before Sunrise (Old Chromes #4)

Gulf Shores, Alabama, 1983.

My Mother In Law loved the beach. LOVED it.

After the trip I took with them in 1982, I was pretty much hooked on it myself.

When they wanted to make a quick trip to the beach one weekend in June 1983, I was again asked if I wanted to tag along.

They needed to ask? I'm there, Dude.

They rented two hotel rooms across from the beach and future Father In Law and I slept in one room and all the women-folk slept in the adjacent room.

The next morning Lovely Fiance and I got up before dawn and headed to the beach to watch the sunrise and for me to take photos.

Here's rare proof that I have occasionally been able to roll out of bed before sunrise. On days other than Christmas, that is.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Boat Hookups

Electrical and water hookups for the boats at a local marina on Crane Creek in Melbourne, Florida.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Revisiting Earlier Photographs, #3

I was able to make this photo look more to my liking.

If you ever take photos like this, looking right into the sun, and your photos come out where the sun has "bloomed," or is no longer round, like it is in this photo, remember to always stop the aperture way down. The sun will be properly round if you use a small aperture (highest aperture number possible).

It's too late with this photo, that can't be fixed in Elements, but I got it looking good to me nevertheless.

It's Sunday, and that means I also posted photos on my other blog if y'all care to go see them. Today is a batch of my old 35mm slides.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Plain Old Grass

I simply liked the warm morning sunlight on this patch of grass by the waters of Palm Bay.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Water fowl are fascinating to watch. They have to be really sneaky or they go hungry.

This is a great blue heron.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, o Most High: to shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night...Psalm 92:1-2

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that celebrates!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Revisiting Earlier Photographs, #2

The other day I posted and talked about using skills with Photoshop Elements that I have learned in the last year+ and trying to help early photos that I had taken with my D70s.

Here's another one that I couldn't get to a point that I was satisfied with it last year when I took it.

I like it just fine now.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


These leaves on this tree intrigued me. The leaves are large and look to have been tattooed with some sort of tribal design like a Maori or something.

I have no idea what kind of plant or tree this is. I'm pretty good with internet searches but trying to look up plants give me a headache. If I do find something I'm looking for in the plant world, it's never easy.

What's up with all the plant sites with huge verbal descriptions and no drawings or photos? That's just criminal.

I'll just let this one be a mystery.

Monday, November 19, 2007

X Marks the Spot

A couple of palm trees in a local park. Palm trees have fairly shallow roots; I don't see how they can lean this far and still stand.

It's fairly common to see them leaning like this though.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Revisiting Earlier Photographs, #1

Last year when I first bought my D70s, Lovely Wife and I headed out to try to catch a sweet sunset.

God was merciful.

But I had no idea how unforgiving both the highlights and shadows were on digital sensors as compared to film.

Even slide film is more forgiving. With a digital sensor, highlights especially are completely lost once the sensor's photosite is "full."

And I wasn't very knowledgeable with Photoshop Elements yet, knowing just the basics.

The ensuing thousands of photos that I've adjusted, repaired, and manipulated in Elements in the past year+ have given me the confidence to return to some of these early digital slr photos of mine and take another shot at making them better.

Thankfully I started shooting RAW after screwing up the exposure of a whole bunch of photographs. That and the lessons learned in improving photos using Elements have allowed me to finally take a decent photo and make it into one I like a whole lot better now.

Like this sunset. The original had the sky around the sun totally blown out.

The main part of the "fix," after working with it in RAW format first, was using a neutral density gradient filter from the mid-point of the photo, skyward.

I posted my usual Sunday picture post over on my other blog if y'all want to go over there and see them.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Don't Know What This One Is Either

Yet another plant that I have no idea what it's name is, and I looked until I gave up.

Stupid Google.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Watch Your Step

In most of the parks we've been to here in Florida, they build boardwalks instead of laying concrete walkways.

If you donate money to the parks, you can have your's or a loved one's name engraved on the boards used to make the boardwalks.

You can see some names written in the boards here right before the steps onto this pier in Grant, Florida.

I thought this photo looked better in black and white than the original color. The late evening sun still has the same warmth in this one as it did in color.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's the Small Things

In my first foray into college in the early 1980s I took some black and white photography courses.

One of the things that our instructor taught us to look for in the viewfinder was one type of item mimicking another type. That is something that has become almost unconscious in my photography in the ensuing 25 years.

I look at a photo like this, without a strong main subject, for a while and ask myself what it was about the scene that caused me to press the shutter button.

Then it finally occurred to me that the shapes of the scruffy looking few trees on this little island in the Indian River Lagoon are mimicking the way the first row of clouds in the distance are reaching for the sky.

It's like trying to remember someone's name and finally coming up with it when that happens.

Look for repeating patterns and for different objects that even vaguely mimic others in the scene. Your photos will be stronger.

I'm not trying to claim this is a great photo. It's not by a long shot. But the photo has a strength beyond what it would have had the tree tops not looked like the clouds back there.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Robinson Crusoe Autograph Model Glass Bottle (Old Chrome #3)

From the same trip to Panama City Beach, Florida as yesterday's photo of Lovely Wife.

This bottle had washed up on the beach, having been in the Gulf of Mexico long enough to grow some barnacles.

I didn't notice it at first, but my future Father In Law did and when I saw him taking photos of something, so I went over to investigate.

It's funny how certain memories stick in your mind so clearly. I distinctly remember laying down on the sand to take this. Probably because I was being so careful to keep the water that was lapping around me from soaking my camera.

There were no messages inside the bottle. I reckon the world is mapped out and populated enough that bottles traveling on the ocean's currents don't carry messages of maroonings like they once did.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oh, To Be Young Again (Old Chrome #2)

Lovely Wife and I met in 1981.

Her family pretty much adopted me as one of them soon after. In the summer of 1982 they went on vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida up in the Florida panhandle, and they invited me to go along. (We weren't even engaged yet when this was taken.)

From the perspective of Louisiana, where we all lived at the time, it was "down" to Florida.

I had started shooting slide film almost exclusively in early 1982 and this is one of my all-time favorite shots of Lovely Wife from this trip, taken on Kodachrome 64.

A plain old "normal" lens is hard to beat.

I love Kodachrome enough that I have come up with a process that allows me to approximate it's "thicker", contrasty look with digital photos. It works great with some photos, but not all.

We had our 23rd wedding anniversary this past August.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Hard to Explain

I simply tried to photograph the grass-like growth on this rock in the water of the Indian River Lagoon.

I really like this photo but I'm not exactly sure why. I think that it's the reflections of the sunlight on the slightly blurry, moving water that seals the deal for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Palm Tree Details

I really liked all of the subtle colors and details on the pieces of this palm tree in a local park.

I have posted photos of Space View Park in Titusville, Florida both today and yesterday. There's a memorial to the Mercury Seven Astronauts there.

There's also one for the Gemini Astronauts, but it got dark before I could make it over to that part of the park.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


You just never know what will make a neat photograph.

Even litter has possibilities.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Jacaranda Blossoms

I had to look this one up, but at least I was able to find and identify it.

It sure was a pretty tree.

Though it's blurry, if you look to the left of the blooms you can see a piece of fruit growing.

I also posted a couple of recent photos on my other blog today.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In Our Yard

Palm tree fruit/seeds on one of the palm trees in our front yard.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Call Me Mellow Yellow

I love the various shades and mixtures of green and yellow on this single, large tree. It looked to be some type of mimosa, but I'm not sure.

It's a plant, and I know the names of very few plants.

On my other blog, Least Significant Bits, I wrote a post about a recent photography excursion I made, and some of the resulting photos. Go check it out.

I had a 5,000 word day yesterday to catch up for the couple of days I missed on my bucket of chum gloriously wonderful novel for NaNoWriMo.

wordcount widgets

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Battened Down

Patio table umbrellas outside a local steak restaurant. No real story and not much to say about this one, but I like the repeating forms.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Don't Ask Me

One of Lovely Wife's plants, at one corner of our home.

I have no idea what this is, and as I write this, she's not around. Another mystery plant, at least to me.

wordcount widgets

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Hot Pink (Old Chrome #1)

I've put various scans of some of my old slides on here, and here's one from my In-Law's back yard many moons ago.

It's hard to believe that this was taken 24 years ago!

Going through all of my old chromes from over the years and seeing one's like this that are almost a quarter century old makes ME feel old. And I'm only 45!

Also: Don't fer-git that I post photos every Sunday on my other blog.

wordcount widgets

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Gone Fishin'

At Fisherman's Landing, a public park on the Indian River Lagoon in Grant, Florida.

When I worked at our company's facility in Malabar, Florida, I would bring my lunch to this park and eat two or three days per week.

It's a beautiful place with lots of dolphins in the winter months.

wordcount widgets

Friday, November 2, 2007


The clouds prepare for battle
In the dark and brooding silence

Bruised and sullen storm clouds
Have the light of day obscured

Looming low and ominous
In twilight premature

Thunderheads are rumbling
In a distant overture...

All at once, the clouds are parted

Light streams down in bright unbroken beams

Follow men's eyes as they look to the skies

The shifting shafts of shining weave the fabric of their dreams...

Rush, from the song "Jacob's Ladder" on Permanent Waves

It never ceases to amaze me how things can pop into your mind. As I worked on resizing this photo, I began to hum the tune and even recalled the lyrics to this old favorite of mine from my high school years of the late 1970s.

I went out and looked up the lyrics and I had them exactly right. Cool.

I wish I could remember people's names that thoroughly.

Added: I found a YouTube video of this song if you have 8 minutes to waste. It's a home made video over the Jacob's Ladder song I mentioned. There wasn't an official Rush video out there, but this one is pretty great.

I'm up to 1433 words on my NaNoWriMo novel as of yesterday. Only 48,567 more words to go before 11:59pm, November 30th. (I need to average 1667 words per day.)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

National Novel Writing Month / Town Hall

Last year I joined NaNoWriMo for the first time. National Novel Writing Month was a creation of Chris Baty in San Francisco in the late 1990s and has really taken off.

The idea of it is to write like a crazy person for one month and complete a novel of at least 50,000 words (a short novel) within that month. Novemeber is that month.

I was successful last year and surprised myself. I always wished I could write a novel, and I did so within the month of November 2006.

I'm doing it again this year, starting today.

So I don't know how that is going to impact this and my other blog for the next 30 days, but last year I was able to keep up blog posts on my other blog, so this year I should do OK in that respect on both blogs.

I normally post 2 photos a day, and might cut that back to 1 for this month, to give myself as much free time to write as I can.

I WILL be coming around to visit and comment on your blogs, but probably only once or twice a week.

Please bear with me during November, OK?

This is the town hall in Melbourne Beach, Florida. The building actually houses the fire department, town hall, and the police department for this small Atlantic Ocean-side town.

The color shot was nice and contrasty, so I tried a B&W version and liked it a lot.