Archive for the 'Photography' Category

Pictures with my personal tutor

Let’s try again.  I will insert a picture now.  Below is a view of our local creek in winter.

Well, my tutor has instructed me that after the picture I must press “space” and “enter” to get the cursor below the picture.  Eureka!  We have success!  Let’s see if I can do another one.

Scott attacks van's heat shield

Yes, we were parked on a sidewalk in order to get enough clearance for him to scoot under the van without having to jack it up.  Smart guy, huh?

My next attempt will be to make a picture be a bit bigger, going most of the way across the post.  Let’s see. . .

Josiah, Jessica, Scott, and Andrew - Ready to Hit the Slopes!

Well, that “large” setting should perhaps be called gigantic!  I shall now insert the same picture on the “medium” setting.

Josiah, Jessica, Scott, and Andrew - Ready to Hit the Slopes!

All righty.  What I have learned so far is that the flash uploader is MUCH faster than the browser uploader; captions are a good thing; my camera is set to take huge (but therefore nice and clear) pictures; medium pictures are generally too small; I can rotate a picture before I upload it; large pictures are actually gigantic; I can’t change the size of a picture upward after I’ve inserted it; my default procedure needs to be to insert the picture at a large setting, then edit the picture and change it to about 70%; if I type text into the title box, it won’t show up, but if I type it into the caption box it will; and to move the cursor below a picture, I must hit space and then enter.

I think that’s enough to learn for one night.  Now if I can just discipline myself to frequently download my pictures from my camera to my computer, I should be able to include pictures in my blog.

Thanks Danette, and thanks Josiah!

Seven months later…

I asked my friend, Danette, who also blogs on wordpress at Diary from the Desert, to tell me how to put pictures in a post.  She emailed me detailed instructions in – are you ready? – October of 2010, and I am just now getting around to trying it.  Ha!

Now this seems to be a bit tedious.  I have managed to insert (below) one of the pics from our recent trip to Colorado.  This is Jessica with a bag of inflato-chips.  Due to the higher altitude and hence lower air pressure, things that are packaged in non-rigid material are typically bulging.

But now I want to keep typing down below the picture, and I cannot.  When I try to move my cursor to a place below the picture, the whole picture just turns solid royal blue and I cannot type.  What does that mean?

Major accomplishment noted

Applause is in order.  I have now downloaded all 1439 pictures from our Wild West vacation.  Most of those were personally taken by Walnut Shade Mom, but Andrew and Scott did manage to grab my camera a few times.  Furthermore, these are merely a majority of the pictures that were taken; Scott also used his cell phone to take pictures during his and Josiah’s hike to the bottom of Grand Canyon and back up.  I am not responsible for his pictures, but I will get to work on organizing these 1439 and posting the better ones to Flickr.

I worked before I played, honest!

This weekend AIM headquarters hosted its annual (?) Midwest Leadership Camp.  Including the 25 or so local folks, I think there were close to 100 in attendance for the three days.  The meetings and training sessions were held at the Salvation Army Church, but sleeping was done in other localities.  I have heard that some 30 guys, including Josiah, slept (or at least spent the night) at the Discipleship Focus Camp near Silver Dollar City, and the girls were housed in various homes about the area.

Friday and Saturday nights we hosted seven friendly, cheerful, polite, helpful young ladies (three from Pennsylvania, four from Wyoming).  The Pennsylvania contingent left Sunday evening as soon as the camp was over, so last night we had only four.

Before and during the weekend, I was planning and prepping meals with a vengeance, and in honor of that, we will have leftovers tonight.  Thankfully, that means that I have not had to spend even one minute thinking about or cooking supper today, which has carved out some extra time for me.  To tell the truth, it didn’t carve out as much time as I have taken, but I will play catch-up this evening. . . maybe. . . or maybe not.    = )

I have spent way too much time today playing with Flickr, and for those who care, I have added a bunch more of the Colorado pics, titled all the pics (except the infamous monga-set of LOST PICS), added pics to existing sets, and created a few new sets.

No, I haven’t gotten much else done today.

Yes, I have a pile of schoolwork to check, but schoolwork I will have with me always (or at least for the next eight years), right?  So, I changed our sheets, cleaned our bathroom, did the breakfast cleanup, helped Andrew with his math, practiced the piano, and then I combined my two recreational loves of  organization and photography and HAD SOME FLICKR FUN!

Camping photos labeled!

Those of you who look at my Flickr pictures may be interested to know that I have labeled and pit in chronological order all the pictures in the “Camping with Grandma” set.

Reno Springs Road

I absolutely LOVE to explore country roads. We are blessed to live in an area where such things abound, and this morning I took full advantage of that fact. I had several hours free (alone), and it was a totally overcast day. This makes for excellent photographic opportunities, so with camera in hand, I headed out.

On Sunday, we had put the guys into Bear Creek (in a canoe) at the Reno Springs Road low water crossing, and since then, I have been absolutely aching to drive up that road, see where it goes, and take some rural pictures.

I now have a full memory card (insert blushing smiley here) and I can tell you where Reno Springs Road goes – to a point.

It goes. . . well. . . out into the boonies, crossing out of Taney County and into (I assume) Stone County. It was a lovely drive and I had so much fun. I was listening to NPR’s “Morning Edition,” and they read the entire Declaration of Independence – it being the Glorious Fourth. I would stop the car, crank the radio up loud, and step out to take pictures, while all King George’s atrocities wafted through the air, and my blood ran patriotic.

Reno Springs Road follows Bear Creek (or some significant tributary thereof) upstream for about four miles. A couple other dirt roads file off of it, and although they were mighty tempting, since I was alone in the sticks, I decided to stay the course. I was actually thinking that if I stayed on Reno Springs Road long enough, it would eventually either go west and hit 160/248 or go north and hit the Highlandville Road, so I kept going, expecting any moment to arrive on more substantial pavement.

However, after the road turned to gravel and got low and soupy, it also got very narrow. A house (?) appeared on the right, although I guess it depends on how you define house. . . It was more of a shack with additions, sided with what looked like shingles. The porch sagged, and there were some appliances and a lot of junk out front. In the road before me was a hound. He didn’t move as I approached, though he did eye the van suspiciously. Behind him, in the middle of the dirt road was a family of chickens. I know they were a family because the lead guy was obviously a rooster with his red head ornament. Beside him was Mrs. Chicken (not a redhead), and scattered around them were about half a dozen fuzzy little chicks. I couldn’t get a clear shot of them though. The windshield was too dirty, and I wasn’t at the right angle to shoot out the window.

Of course, I had no intention of harming the fam, and Hound saw to it that I didn’t. He turned around and watched his charges cross the road – I didn’t ask him why they did that – then turned to me and set up a fierce barking.

I rolled up my windows, which had been down to facilitate my photographic habit, and eased left around him. As his yapping subsided, I expected to move on down the road, but no. Suddenly, out in the middle of nowhere, I was at a Y. Reno Springs Road veered left and dipped into a low water crossing. It only had about an inch of water in it, but I am extremely leery of low water crossings. At that moment, I really didn’t want to find out whether our van’s recent $200 belt kit installation (“guaranteed to keep the belt on when driving through standing water”) had been a worthwhile investment or not.

My other option was to turn right onto Reno Hollow Road. It was even more rugged-looking than my now-familiar but rapidly deteriorating Reno Springs Road, and it, too, had an immediate low water crossing. Hmmm. . . What to do? My curiosity COMPELLED me to seek out the terminus of at least one of these choices. I eyed the mud and muck. I considered the water covering both concrete pads. I YEARNED to continue to the end of Reno Springs Road. In my rearview, Hound scrutinized my deliberations. Sigh. In the end, common sense prevailed over exploratory zeal, and I reluctantly turned the van around.

Back past Hound, his charges now hidden in the tall roadside grass. Back past the dead black rat snake I had stopped to photograph on my outward journey. Except that he was gone now. . . Back past two scenic barns. Back past the black-eyed Susans, trumpet creepers, Queen Anne’s Lace, thistle, clover, and other beautiful wildflowers that had already fallen victim to my Canon. Back past the little draws with their miniature waterfalls. Back past miles of barbed wire strewn with debris from last Saturday’s flood (when this whole valley was under about five feet of water). Back past horses that won’t stand still for pictures. Back past scattered slices of asphalt that the floodwaters had ripped off the road and deposited ten feet away on the inside of a curve. Back past pink and white hollyhocks adorning a yard full of rusting wheels and tools. Back along the creek, rushing, wild, and beautiful. Back to the low water crossing at Bear Creek Road, where we’d put the boys in. Back to civilization.

Back home.  On the Glorious Fourth.

Yet ANOTHER flood!

It rained hard beginning in the wee hours of Saturday morning, and by 9:00 AM, the creek was up more than six feet. By Saturday afternoon, it was about 12 feet higher than normal and the horse pasture across the road was again under water. I drove around taking pictures of flooded places and things, and when I was able to put out of my mind all the suffering of those whose homes were flooded, it was actually kind of exciting.

Western Taney County Fire and Rescue was out in force, as was the sherrif’s department; within five miles of our home there was a jeep on fire (four sheriff cars and two fire/rescue trucks – one large, one small), a road under water (two sheriff cars), half a village under water (two fire trucks, one water rescue truck-and-boat combo, and innumerable firemen in hip waders), and a backhoe submerged (no one and nothing around, but it was making a horrific noise.

I am working on getting pictures downloaded and into Flickr. Then, I have to figure out how to get them from Flickr into WordPress. . . and I’m thinking WordPress (which is free) has a limit on pictures or megabytes or bandwidth or something, so I guess I need to figure that out, too, before I try to post pictures. Since I have many other things to do, I’d better make that a project for another day. I mostly wanted to get a post up so my mom won’t be sad. = )

My goal is to post daily, but some days I can’t think of anything interesting to say, and other days I am just too busy to justify sitting at my desk and typing.

I am notorious

For Christmas, my parents re-created our wedding album.  The original one succumbed to mildew and was destroyed.  I assumed those pictures were gone forever, but Mom and Dad had the proofs and were able to have them scanned and re-printed.  The result is wonderful and absolutely lovely, but that’s not why I’m notorious.

I’m notorious because when they went back to the original photographer to discuss options and prices for this project, he looked at the proofs and said, “I remember this wedding.  Didn’t she have trouble keeping her eyes open?”  Now, this guy has probably shot thousands of weddings in the twenty years since we got married, and he remembered ME because I blink!

It’s just one of those reflex things.  I’m a horrid photographic subject because I blink, and I gag, too, so the dentist probably dislikes working on me.  At least these professionals are paid well for the pain I put them through.  Such is life, but think about this:  What are strangers likely to remember YOU for twenty years from now?

The pictures are done!

I wanted to put a family picture in with this year’s Christmas cards.  Getting all six of us together in one place (that looks Christmas-y) at the same time can be difficult, but when we went to Silver Dollar City a few weeks ago, I had my trusty camera in hand.

First thing upon arrival, we arranged ourselves in front of something appropriate, and sure enough, someone volunteered to take our picture.  Now, you can’t be too demanding or discriminating when someone you’ve never met and who has never used your camera offers to take your picture, so we sai, “thank you very much,” reviewed the picture strolled a little further and did it again.  On the third try, we ended up with something we can use.  Thank you to the unknown grandmotherly lady who did us this service!

Needing a LOT of copies of this picture, I decided to use that self-service photo-printing machine at Wal-Mart.  I cropped the photo nicely and asked Jessica to put it on a CD.  Then, on our next Springfield run, we stopped at Wal-Mart in Ozark and I addressed the machine.  This should have been easy but was not, because the machine will only make prints that are 5×7, 4×6, or “wallet” size.

There are actually two machines.  One is the spiffy Kodak machine, and the other is the less spiffy Wal-Mart machine.   The spiffy Kodak machine costs $0.28 each, but it allows you to crop the picture and move this nifty little 4×6 box around to print just the part of the picture you want.  I don’t think the  less spiffy $0.16 Wal-Mart machine has that nifty little box, and I was pretty sure I needed that box. . . because. . . my cards are going to already-purchased invitation envelopes, which are exactly 4.375 inches by 5.75 inches.  It’s the 5.75 that’s the kicker.

So I played around with the spiffy Kodak machine, trying to pick out the right part of my already-cropped picture to go into the nifty box, but no matter what I did, in order to get the width under 5.5 inches, some, most or all of Josiah’s and Scott’s faces were excised.  This would not do, and I was frustrated.  I could not ask for help, because this happened to be after church on a Sunday, which is the ONE time in the week that any person with even half a brain knows s/he should avoid Wal-Mart like the plague.  The lines at the photo center were long and the rest of the family was waiting for me.

I went home, ready to cry.  Then I began playing around more with the original picture, and I figured out that what I needed to do (but did not know how to do) was to crop the picture to about 4 inches by 5 inches and then go print it at Wal-Mart in the 4×6 size (which would show more of the picture than I wanted).  I would then come home and cut off an inch of the picture – leaving the men’s ears intact – and all would be well.

After about 45 minutes of failure and frustration at the computer, Scott suggested I ask Katie – the Queen of Crop and Print – to attack the problem.  I did, and in less than five minutes, she brought me a CD with the properly sized picture on it.  It had a white stripe down the right side, and she said all I’d have to do after receiving the 4×6 prints would be to use the paper slicer and whack off the white stripes.

So, to day on the way to church, I returned to the less spiffy Wal-Mart machine and quickly and easily ordered a huge quantity of these pictures.  After church I went back and picked them up.  They are all 4×5, the look great, and here’s the bonus:  they have no white stripes!  When I asked the lady if she cut them off, she said, “well, we looked at them and we said, ‘surely she doesn’t want that white stripe on there,’ so we have this neat machine that does that and we just cut all the white stripes off.”

I am so happy!  Now the cards are ready, the pictures are ready, and the newsletter only needs a few minor corrections before I can print it.  Yee hah!

Curious Cardinal Update

I have been trying for several days to get a picture of The Curious Cardinal, in order to document his rather odd behavior, but he has remained elusive. I do see him from time to time, but either I don’t have the camera ready, or I cannot get close enough for a good picture without scaring him off. Admittedly, I do look pretty scary in the morning, post-exercise and pre-shower.

Good news, though. Jessica has corroborated my story! She was out on the trampoline the other morning and noticed a cardinal (we can only assume it was The Curious Cardinal) going back and forth between the mirrors of the van and the Toyota. Evidently he has broadened his horizons and will take rearview mirrors wherever he can find them.

We actually have quite a nice supply of said. In our driveways – we have two, sort of – can be found parked Scott’s Honda, the family van, and the Toyota. The Toyota was a purchase that was more like a gift from my parents. It is 21 years old and in excellent shape. Sounds like a body builder. We bought the Toyota for the girls to drive, and one or both of them will probably buy it from us some day. Right now, we own it and maintain it, and they drive it, paying for gas used, of course.

We also have a fourth set of rearview mirrors, but they are less conveniently located. Our old van, a Ford Aerostar, which we keep around just because it’s our only vehicle that can accommodate a trailer hitch, is parked in the toyport (long story) at the back of the property. I am guessing that The Curious Cardinal hasn’t yet found those mirrors, but I could be wrong. Only time – or whitewash – will tell.

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