Thursday, January 21, 2010

The two photos above are another example of the before and after of photoshop. That's a hat, looking like a UFO, blown by the wind around my neck from where it was behind my head, that spoiled this phot of me riding in Puerto Rico on Paso Fino horses (with the crappiest tack I have ever seen, and that's quite a lot) on the beach. A marvelous ride, my husband and me. We even galloped part of the time. I'm sitting nice and straight, but my heels are up, a consequence of having the stirrups a little too long. If you are interested, and why would you be? It is far better that one takes the photo correctly instead of relying on post-photo image alteration, but clearly *I* did not take this, so I don't feel so bad.

My photo efforts for BetterPhoto are going OK, tho I find that thinking of a composition to meet the month's "mission" is far more difficult than actually taking such a photo (unless I am thinking of a ballerina in full leap onstage or some such). My efforts for Nov and Dec were uninspired, and Jan. "black and white and Highkey" shots are difficult. The other students seem to have technically good shots, but I would rate them mostly mundane in subject, except for a few amazingly well done ones. Still, this is not photography as art as much a post-card photo production. I have to see if I will continue. There are 150+ students, and only the best seem to get reviewed by the other students, and occasionally by the instructors. The more formal classes they do are more satisfying, really.

The weather here has been so awful... snow and bitterly cold, and now slightly warmer (upper 30s) with rain, turning the paddocks into seas of mud. I don't like turning the horses out when the ground is so slippery, it is so easy for a bad fall to really injure them. As a result they have been in the barn far too much, and are getting quite grumpy. The dogs look like monsters with mud everywhere, but it will have to wait for much warmer weather to wash them, that and a fire hose, I think. Or maybe a carwash. The all-black Newfy isn't quite so bad, but the Black and white Newfy!!! Gross.

I actually tackled the clothes in my closet, I was so bored stuck in the house. I purged 50 pairs of pants (mostly jeans) and have 50 pairs left. Of shirts and sweaters I winnowed out 30 or so, but there are around 200 left, so not a big success there. I did arrange them by type, all the turtlenecks, the tshirts, the longsleeved and silk shirts, and so forth. I got rid of all the tshirts and sweatshirts that had writing or logos on them (I'm too old for them, for sure), but what about those sweats and shirts with embroidered images on them, should I purge them too? Some are quite lovely...

I have seen a few episodes of "Hoarders" about people unable to part with anything, no matter how broken or grubby they may be, until their homes are literally garbage dumps with narrow trails to allow them to get to the bed or the bathroom. Every time I see an episode, it makes me itch, and I have to get up and clean. I could so see me getting so much stuff that boxes would line the walls, mainly because I keep clothes that are both too amall and too large, because of fluctuating weight. So what is in the closet is really just the tip of the iceberg, there are plastic bins stored outside in a shed that are yet more clothing, as well as bed linens (why is it so hard to part with linens and bedspreads for bed sizes you don't have anymore?) and other miscellany. You can see why I worry about hoarding, but at least I haven't gotten like some poor souls who hang onto empty paint cans and trash scavenged from other people's throw-outs. Maybe there is hope for me yet. Although I do wonder, why is it, when I save so much stuff, I only find a need for it the week I threw it away? Some Corollary to Murphy's law, I guess.

bumper sticker for the day: "Of course I can do it!! The question is, do I want to?"

Sunday, January 10, 2010


I have posted these pictures so everyone can see the dramatic difference Photoshop can achieve. (And I hasten to add, these were not fixed by me! ) This photo of my aunt was taken a few weeks before her death, and it is so evocative of all the times we visited and talked and talked, so I was devastated when the photo showed she blinked. This was taken on film, and so I couldn't immediately view it like you can in digital. Anyway, it is repaired now, so I am mailing hard copies to the cousins and my aunt and uncle, I know they will be pleased.

On a similar note, the afore mentioned aunt and uncle loaned us a huge oval photo of my grandmother that needs immediate copying before the deterioration progresses. The original is on oval curved glass and it looks very fragile. Maybe copying will be a viable alternative to repair of the actual photo, we will see. I will post here if it pans out. I never saw a photo of her as a young women, and was amazed at how lovely she was. We tend to think our grandparents have always been like they are now, whether they are 50 or 80, but inside that old interior is the self image they carry that says "I can't be that old", I don't look that old, surely? At least that is true for me, 58 and soon to be 59, because inside I am still 20 in my self-image. When I look in the mirror, specially when I catch a glimpse unexpectedly in a mirror or a glass window, I am struck with how much I resemble Mom. And I think, surely not? Sobering. The notion that there is nothing Time hasn't touched assumes paramount importance; even with our "treasures" we see that they look a little faded, and a little tacky, and have lost their shine as time moves on. Really, everything changes.

I guess 3 am is time for depressing posts, so I'll stop for now. Photos soon appended.

Bumper sticker for the day: My dog can lick your honor student. (have I used this before?)