Thursday, January 31, 2008

Florida Skies

One of those days where I don't have much to say. Here's a couple of shots that I like.

I'm getting sick of scenics myself, and am going to have to go on the prowl soon for some strange and abstract things.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Sorry folks. I flat-out haven't worked on any new photos and have nothing cool to show you.

This is a picture of the Atlantic down here near where I live, and I love the color of the water in this one.

If nothing else, I have bunches of ocean/beach shots that I haven't posted, so that's what y'all are getting today.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Yesterday I talked about our little boy poodle, Mr. Spike.

Today, here's his sister, Lilly.

She's the baby of the family, the last puppy born in her litter.

She was also WAY bigger than the other puppies, and at three years old, is by far the biggest of all our dogs.

Her personality is the equivalent of a person who like to live fast, drive fast, eat junk food, etc.

She's emotionally fragile, if you get onto her, she mopes and gets really, really pitiful looking, and she'll wake you up in the night to get you to love on her and rub her belly.

If we leave food on the counter in the kitchen, she sits below the counter on the floor, looking up to where her nose has determined the food must be sitting and will bark incessantly until you have to get up and put the food away. (or give it to her of course.) That's what she's doing in the top photo, we'd had pizza and she was barking for the left overs up on the counter above her.

The bottom photo is of Lilly laying on Number One Daughter's bed, behind Mr. Spike.

She's cute, funny, and sweet.

Monday, January 28, 2008

That's MISTER Spike

When our red poodle, Rosie had puppies, we kept two of them.

One girl and one boy.

This is a couple of pics of our boy poodle, Spike.

Number One Daughter wanted to name him, so she named him Spike, but almost always added a "Mister" in front of his name.

That stuck, so we all almost always call him Mister Spike.

He's the gentlest, sweetest poodle of all of them. But on the rare occasion he does get fired up and try to sound an alarm of sorts, he lets out long, mournful howls like a hillbilly's hound dog. It's the funniest thing you'll ever hear and see.

That massive howl, "Buuuuuuurrrrrrrr!, Burr!, Burr!, Burr!" cracks us up every time, though he's being totally serious when he does it.

That little white "soul patch" on his chin and his beautiful hair and his gentle ways are always big hits with the women of the world.

I always tell him that chicks dig a guy with great hair.

If he were human, he'd definitely be the kind of guy that always opens doors for women.

We have a house full of pets.

Four miniature poodles. One cat. One fish.

Us guys are way outnumbered. Me, Mr. Spike here, and the beta fish.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

...To Shining Sea (Black and White #21)

A couple of my semi-recent water shots that I thought would make a nice transition to monochrome.

I really liked how that top one has almost a silvery sheen to it.

Like the old song, "...from sea to shining sea."

I did my usual Sunday Picture Post on my other blog if y'all want to see more photos.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

These Guys Move Like Samantha

Remember how Samantha on the old television show Bewitched would wiggle her nose and clean (at super speed) her whole house to spotlessness in about 10 seconds?

When I was a kid, I wished I could do my homework the way Samantha cleaned house. No such luck for me.

That's just how these little guys move in the sand and surf, trying to catch bugs or whatever it is they eat.

The light was getting low, necessitating a fairly slow shutter speed, but these guys don't stop but for a half second at a time. I took a bunch of photos of them and these were my two favorites.

The bird on the right in the second photo is blurry as he shakes his head back and forth, but I like how it blurs in this particular photo while the other bird is still for a split second.

That, and they're cute.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Yet Another Boring Sunset

I took these a couple of months ago, one evening after work. I had just enough time to find some water to watch yet another colorful sunset.

It's tough living in Florida sometimes.

What with folks up north having temps twenty degrees below freezing and all, and here yesterday is was mostly sunny and in the 70s. Although we did have a nice shower in the afternoon to water the mostly-still-green grass.

Come to think of it, almost every day here is a a reminder of why so many people are moving to Florida.

Global warming isn't raising the ocean, but we are in danger of Florida sinking into the ocean due to the weight of all the people here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Blue Heron and White Ibis

These fellers were a-fishin' just a few feet from one another.

You'd think that they'd have been all at each other fighting for their fishing "turf."

You'd be wrong.

If only mankind could get along as well as these two.

One can hope, can't one?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Orton on the Atlantic Ocean

It has been a while since I've really played with some photos, and by far my mostest favoritest visual effect is my digital approximation of the Orton process.

I'd probably do it on almost all of my photos, but then everyone would get sick of it. But this effect is tailor made for photos with beautiful light in them.

These two photos were taken about 30 minutes apart from nearly the same location. Maybe 10 meters from one another.

Lovely Wife helps keep me humble, because whenever I do this to a photo, she asks, "why did you make it blurry?"


I guess I should be happy to suffer for my art, though. Instead, I just wonder why she doesn't "get it."

For better or worse I guess, and if that's as worse as it gets, then I'm doing alright.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Black and White #21

I like to post at least two photos, but I didn't have time to find and work on a second one that might fit in with this sailboat.

See, I wasted seven hours of my life yesterday watching National Football League games on television.

I'm so ashamed of myself.

Every once in a while I have to pretend to like sports, waste a whole stinkin' day watching it, and then regret it really bad to remind me of why I don't like to watch sports in the first place.

But after that marathon of game watching yesterday, I should be cured of wanting to watch sports for a few more years.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lifelike Color, or the Drama of Black and White?

I like the black and white one best, but I do like the color one because that's the way it looked to our eyes.

The black and white version better captures the emotional impact of this storm front moving in.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Two Views of Buster the Crab

This photo was taken from a pier on the Indian River Lagoon in Sebastian, Florida. Lovely Wife looked over the edge and straight down into the water and saw and told me about the crab down there.

The bottom photo is straight off the camera and shows how much glare was on the water, obscuring the view of the crab.

The top photo is after making adjustments in Photoshop Elements.

It has more contrast than I normally like, but that's what it took to get Buster to show up as good as I could.

Check out the blue-green color on his legs.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tick Tock

A clock in a public park in Sebastian, Florida. It's a beautiful machine.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Black and White #20 (More Impressive Clouds)

This is more in the set that I took that included yesterday's shots.

The bottom one is in a Walmart parking lot.

The color version of the top photo is on my Least Significant Bits blog today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Impressive Clouds

Lovely Wife and I were going to go to the store yesterday, but before going there, we went south of where we live to a nice public park on the Indian River Lagoon in the town of Sebastian, Florida.

A wall of clouds were moving southward along the coast and it was like on big long chain of dark clouds.

It was quite beautiful.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Along Crane Creek

I haven't exactly felt like going on photo excursions lately, though I must say that Saturday was one of the best days I've had with my back in a long time.

So I went back through a bunch of the photos I took in summer of 2006 just after I bought my Nikon D70s.

At the time, I'd just set it to take JPEGs, but was a bit unprepared for the different response a camera like this has to the white as well as the shadow areas of a photo as opposed to how film handles these extremes of exposure.

So I have hundreds of photos that are decent photos, but the exposures are off on many of them.

I finally got a handle on how to get the correct exposures for difficult lighting situations and also started shooting in RAW and JPEG format. If I still blow the occasional exposure, I can work with the RAW image to do a better job of correcting the exposures after they are downloaded to the computer. That's the beauty of RAW format, to a large extent you can make a bad exposure much better if not correct it perfectly after the fact.

If I nailed the exposure, then all I have to do is touch up the JPEG with some unsharp mask and maybe a tweak on the brightness and contrast and not have to fool with the RAW image at all.

Anyway, the photos I dug up for today are a couple where I blew the exposure, but since the originals are JPEGs, I could only do so much to make them look good.

I like these photos regardless, but I have resisted posting stuff like these due to the bad exposures.

Anyway, it's a learning process, both with the camera, the different way digital camera sensors handle the tough extreme contrast that is generally in almost all photos here in Florida, and learning to improve a marginal photo in Photoshop Elements.

I just finally decided to go back to these several hundred photos with exposure issues and to try to improve them as best I could and go ahead and post them.

Both of these were taken at a marina along Crane Creek in Melbourne, Florida.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Kiddie Pool

At Sebastian Inlet State Park, here in Florida, they have this neat tide pool area on one side that is effectively a massive salt water swimming pool.

At it's deepest, it's only 3 feet or so (during high tide).

When I took these photos, the tide was going out, and the water in the "pool" was lower than peak.

It's kinda neat though, and there are always a good many folks there with their kids using it.

[Side Note: The pain management guy I went to see Wednesday afternoon is a person after my own heart. He had done his homework in reading my medical history and came in, sat with me, and went over where I've been and where I am with my pain and then patiently explained all of my options, up to having pain relieving things like electrical stimulators and morphine pain pumps put in my spine.

He said that in my situation, that I have only had short term pain meds used on me. My pain medicine usually gives me about 3hrs of relief.

He prescribed a time released pain narcotic for me, 12hrs apart. Yesterday was my first day to use it, and after having had no medicine at all Tues. and Wed., I was in some misery when I finally got my new medicines. He still prescribed some of my regular short term pain medicine for me to take when the pain gets above what the time released stuff is doing for me.

So yesterday was a bit of a "lost day" because I was hurting, but the medicine was helping just a little and also making me drowsy.

I slept from 9 last night until 9 this morning, and went into work late. It has been a while since I've slept that long, a couple of months at least, and after all the sleep I've missed lately, I felt like a different person this morning. The pain level is better today, so I'm hoping that over time, I'll get caught up on the pain and that the new time-released pain medicine will make a big difference.

I can hope anyway.

I was so relieved after seeing him, because he sees my situation just as I do, and that alone helps my attitude.

Only time will tell if the new meds will give me better long term relief, but it's already a mental boost to know that the time-release medicine is working for me 24hrs a day. That's a whole new way of looking at life for me, as opposed to the past up until Wednesday, where I was in pain around the clock, and simply waited to see when the pain just flat got too much to bear without help and took a Lortab or two, and then would get relief for 3hrs or so.

The only bad part of the whole deal is that he specifically prescribed NAME BRAND instead of generic. So I had to pay for the new time released stuff out of pocket, since my insurance doesn't cover name brand medicine if there is a generic equivalent.]

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


OK, so I had a complete brain fart and couldn't come up with a clever title.

My brain isn't functioning too well of late. Same old sad story, my back.

I go tomorrow afternoon (Wed) to see a pain management specialist in Merritt Island, Florida.

I hope and pray this man will be able to help me get my back pain under some kind of control. All I know is, that I don't have much of a life right now, and I finally have reached that point of desperation where I can go see a pain specialist and see if he has something in his bag of tricks that will allow me to live life with some sort of reduced pain level.

These two photos don't really have anything in common except for the word "park"; one is of a parking lot in which I liked the patterns and textures, and the other is of a public park.

Oh, and these were taken right across the street from one another in Melbourne Beach, Florida.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Sunrise in 1999 (Old Chromes #7)

Some of my 35mm slides from 1999 that I scanned this past weekend.

These are sunrises though. I know that in pictures that sunrises look like sunsets, but as a dedicated non-early-riser, I can assure you that sunrises are much harder to photograph. What with having to get up so dang early and all.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Black and White #19

Nothin' special, I just liked 'em.

Have a great Sunday, folks.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Is It Cold Where You Are?

Here's some sunshine and color for y'all.

I took these on July 4, 2006.

Lovely Wife and I had gone to the beach to see Space Shuttle Discovery lift off on America's Independence Day.

It was the first Shuttle mission to go up since the Shuttle Columbia disintegrated when returning into earth's atmosphere in February of 2003.

There were lots of folks on the beach for the brutally hot sunshine and the Shuttle show. It's usually well into the upper nineties (F) by July 4, and with the humidity , over 100F with the heat index.

I posted photos of this Discovery liftoff on my Least Significant Bits blog here.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Window Dressing

A store that sells imports from Russia and a computer store in the old downtown section of Melbourne, Florida.

I really like the "Intel Inside" space suit guy. I'd like to have one of them.

I'm sure Lovely Wife would appreciate that being around the house.

If I asked for one of the space men, she'd probably look at me like she did when I told her I wanted to mount some hooks on our bedroom wall to hang my electric guitar cables on for easy access.

Yeah, I got THE LOOK and have never mentioned that again.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

God Made / Man Made

Usually, power lines and telephone lines and poles are an impediment to good pictures. Something about the way these wires and their junctions at the pole there seemed to be an interesting counterpoint to the incredible colors of this sunset.

On almost all of my photos, I tweak them here and there. Color saturation, contrast and so forth. With these, they are pretty much as they came off the camera except for a touch of unsharp mask.

So I ended up with a photos of some of God's handiwork in the sky, and man's handiwork hanging from the poles.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Lonely Day at the Beach

I apologise to everyone for being missing in action lately.

Life intervenes on the things we really would rather be doing sometimes.

I've been down, hurting, and now sick. Can't get much more pathetic than that.

I am alive and kicking, somewhat.

I'll be trying to get around to everyone over the next few days, and I want to say thank you to everyone who has been by to visit and comment here lately.

I appreciate it very much.

Today's photos were taken at the beach here a couple of days before Christmas. Christmas Eve Eve, you might say.

You can see that I'm the only fool on the beach as far as the eye can see. I liked how the high winds were blowing mist in from the ocean and how that looked like fog rolling in.

Same day as the full moon photos I posted on Christmas Eve. I mentioned that a red tide was in the area and how it affected me that day.

CG left a comment and asked what a red tide is.
"What is red tide?

Red tide is a naturally-occurring, higher-than-normal concentration of the microscopic algae Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve).

This organism produces a toxin that affects the central nervous system of fish so that they are paralyzed and cannot breathe. As a result, red tide blooms often result in dead fish washing up on Gulf beaches. When red tide algae reproduce in dense concentrations or "blooms," they are visible as discolored patches of ocean water, often reddish in color."

When red tide is in an area it can cause breathing problems in people who go to the beach. I don't have asthma or anything like that, so I went down there for a bit that day.