Ruth over at https://icediamondeyeddragon.wordpress.com/ posted a picture her hubby, lovingly referred to as “The Bald Guy”, had taken. I asked her if I could edit the photo and enhance it a bit. Ruth wasn’t able to find the original, unedited version so I svreen captured the posted shot and did what I could. Here is the result.
Friday started normally enough with my plans to join my senior ladies at Fred Meyer’s Peet’s Coffee Shop for breakfast. I was a bit early heading there so I decided to visit the McDonald’s across the street and get my senior coffee there. Not only is it only 75 cents but I like the taste of their coffee much better. As I drove my SmartCar into the parking lot during rush hour on a Friday I quickly noticed this guy had parked his “Bubba’ monster truck towing a horse trailer completely across all the front parking slots, 6 of them. There was no cause for doing this because the back of the same parking lot, about 50 feet from the entrance, was completely empty.
Inconsiderate people like this press psychological buttons in my psyche that prompt me to teach them a lesson. Friday was no exception. This jerk made the mistake of leaving me 3/4 of a parking spot in front of him before the handicapped parking spot, plenty of room for my tiny SmarCar. I pulled in 6 inches in front of his front bumper. Upon exiting my car I heard him yelling at me about what a jerk I was for blocking his exit, virtually trapping him where he had illegally parked. Gee, did I do that? He proceeded to scream at me yelling all manor of profanities and raising a one finger salute. I think it represented the number of active sperm he was carrying or something like that. I called back questioning his reason for taking all the prime parking spots while illegally parked. He screamed back asking what other choice did he have with his long rig. I pointed to the back of the lot at the 6-10 empty slots. He called me an asshole. As Jet Li once said, “That was a mistake”! I walked right in the McDonald’s grabbed my friend, the manager, and walked with her outside where she told the jerk to get off the property or she’d call the police. I waved goodbye to the jerk who fought for 5 minutes to work his rig out of his predicament. He kept hold up that one finger out of his driver’s window. Was he checking the wind direction you think?
I’m forever checking our local weather forecast to get a general idea about what’s possible. Understanding that I live in a valley surrounded by mountain ranges I only look at about a 30 mile radius around Portland, OR because every mountain range brings its own weather system and condition. Still I’ve learned to maked limited plans based on the forecasts. The past few days we’ve gotten out of the bright sunny 60 degree days back into a more familiar Winter pattern of drizzle with overcast skies. High temps are in the low 50s with low 30s lately.
I’ve said before that our present conditions are preferred by me for my photography. I must be a vampire as bright sunny days are to be avoided at all cost. LOL So it looks like I could be headed to the zoo Monday after the crowded weekend visitors thing out come Monday morning. Keep in mind Portlanders are a hardy bunch used to the light rain so there may be only slightly smaller crowds because kids are in school starting Monday.
In retirement I’ve learned to pick my shots to minimize aggravations due to overcrowded conditions. Mondays are my friends. Saturdays & Sundays are to be avoided where there are large crowds of tourists or “Tourons” as I call them. This is all part of my battlefield planning for each week. It’s been a good strategy to date.
Below in another example of the cartoon/illustration art that can be produced with Topaz Simplify 4. I’m having fun trying to apply all the variation included with this Photoshop plug-in software. You’ve ink & line, pencil sketch, oil painting, & water color transformations with an infinite number of variations and adjustments of each preset group. I can image the photo conversion seen below as part of an ad campaign in a newspaper or poster ad. Imagine the fun if you were putting on a big yard sale and photographed your house for use as a poster. This look would be wonderful.
The family in this photo had the right idea by sitting on the ground in front of the outdoor porcupine exhibit. We have two lovely specimens at the Oregon Zoo, Sharpie, our male, is seen in the bottom photo. Our female is named Nodine. I find they have the sweetest faces and biggest noses of any animals at our zoo.
After the hilarious news story yesterday about two llamas lose on state highways in Arizona I had to share one of my favorite photographs I took about a year ago along our highway to the coast. This llama kept deliberately putting itself between me and the barnyard behind it so I was forced to take its picture. Once I took two shots it got out of the way to let me do my thing. Llamas on the lose was quite the funniest thing on national news all day!
In case you’re interested –
February 50% Discount
Simplify is also on sale until February 28th for $19.99 (50% off). Use the coupon code febsimplify to obtain the discount on the product. Check out the Simplify product page to learn more about the program and download a free trial.
This discount is only good for 24 more hours and is a real bargain. Darn, I just paid $39.95 for the same software. – Bob
I’ve mentioned that I just purchased Topaz Simplify 4 for conversion of photographs to artwork. I’m learning fast and this update shines a ray of light into the capabilities of it’s usefulness. Pencil renderings was one of my must have features of any such plug-in and I’ve been working hard learning Simplify to achieve good results. I have achieved those results with the drawing below of my photography student, Liz’s portrait. I really like the results and have emailed her this rendering.
I know I said this is too cute for words but I must add that is is the first file processed by my new Topaz Simplify 4 Photoshop plug-in. I’m working with their technical support on a few bugs right now. Their first attempt at a fix was unsuccessful. Obviously only some of the presets are failing. The color painting preset used here works fine.
Part of my daily “homework” is reworking photographs from my archives. A fresh coat of paint will make your home look like new. The same can be said about photographic editing. Now I know everyone has different tastes so I’m not going to do a side by side before and after comparison here. All that does is piss me off when someone comments “I like the original better”! There’s always one in the crowd. Anyway this is a learning project where I try different techniques, different filter software to see if I can use the looks I achieve to enhance a photo or just achieve a different effect. I’m not judging one is better than the other. So with that groundwork having been said here’s a favorite portrait converted to black and white. I’ve done a lot of darkroom work on black & white film prints and love the medium. Not every photo is ideal for black & white as I learned shooting over 10,000 of them when I first picked up a camera. I only printed the keepers which is one reason I love digital images.