Sunday, February 12, 2006

More RAW learning

To reduce the size of this RAW I did "Save for Web" and changed the quality setting to high which is 60 per cent. This sacrifices image quality for better compression. Apparently, from the size of files I see it is good to have 'better compression'.

These hellebores are blooming as well as a dark one. The Corsican hellebore has buds.

These RAW files are filling up my hard drive, so once I have too many, I guess I can burn them and then delete. Although, its highly unlikely anyone will ever want these.

More RAW experiments

We are having some lovely sun again, so I went out and took a few shots of the plants, in RAW. There followed further experiments in PS to convert the RAW to Jpeg. I am getting some pretty big files, so I think I have to reduce the quality from maximum to a bit less. This one is 558 KB which is kinda big for the net, I think.

This is a huge hydrangea that I found caught in my bush, so I shot it in Tara's jug outside their door, and brought it in to add to my dried flower arrangement -- top center.

I learned how to make the healing brush work and am getting more comfortable with resizing, USM, adding borders. The temperature, tint, etc. that loads when I click on a RAW photo is great for fixing things. I wonder how I find that application, otherwise. There will be more learning... and more and more.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Learning RAW conversion to Jpeg in PS CS

Working with RAW files in PS CS. Wow, I can see the possibilities. I must get accostomed to using this PS. There are sooo many things to do with it. Cyrus is a big help with it on This is a RAW converted to Jpeg and saved for web. I used the sliders to add more shadows, brightness and a bit of contrast. I sharpened with USM, downsized, and sharpened again. I am by no means proficient with my PS... cannot get the clone and other stamps to work, but shall look at the tutorial on that some time. As is my 'stuck' pixel remains on this photo and the bit of green at the top left that I would have taken out with the smudge brush, if I could have made it work. But I am making progress with my PS.

This little orchid is in bloom. I think this shot was with the 'jump' and florescent light balance setting (as it is on my light garden), and in RAW. Big files....... weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! I will just need one more big CF card now, maybe. I can get 159 RAW on the 256 card, and 40 on the 64 card, from my little 1.3 mega pixel Canon. I lost the EXIF data on this somewhere in my conversions... it may have been the 'save to web' that did it.

Trevor set up Pat's new PC last nite. He is so very reasonable on his rates. Pat has a got what I think is a very good deal on his new CPU, mouse, keyboard, speakers (yet to come). He can update his monitor any time if he wants to. Trevor saved all his stuff and managed to get Pat's old Netscape email working too. The kid is good!!

I went to google to find out how to make my Windows media player the default player after Quick Time made itself the default. I have a Quick Time file on my programs menu that hangs. Its called 'sonic' and is empty. I did want to look at Quick Time's slide show maker, but I don't need it, if it is going to do weird things to my Programs menu. Thinking of deleting it and using PDF's for the slideshow... but I need more information on that yet. Might delete that Quick Time -- I can always reload, if I think I might need it.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

February in the garden and stuff

This Phalenopsis is blooming with 4 blossoms on the spray. The yellow one is still in bloom with 3 blossoms on it. These Phal.s are producing more blossoms each time they bloom. On the light garden the African violets are in bloom, also.

We have been having sunshine for the last few days The crocuses are blooming; the cyclamen, the snowdrops, the hellebore, the camelia and the yellow jasmine. Dave D. wants some of my black bamboo. Sheila got all the runners last Fall, so we will have to cut into the outside of the clump to get them a good root bunch to start. In my garden this plant stands in front of a dark green cedar hedge. At the slightest breeze the bamboo moves gracefully while its darker background is still. Its an excellent plant. The lawn needs mowing, roses need pruning, fruit trees need pruning, hedges need a trim and there are weeds that need pulling, otherwise, its looking pretty good.

Windows crashed on Pat's computer yesterday. Trevor is going to transfer his stuff to a new PC with Windows XP for a rather reasonable rate. Trevor's now has a new employee (partner?) and an office. He still goes out and does customer service. His rates have gone up but he is still reasonable and probably lower than anyone else in town. I think he works long days. He renewed my Norton anti-virus (the reason for the call in the first place).

I was to see Dr. Orrom today re my last lab tests. Nothing serious, just need to keep on eye on the gall bladder polyps -- so, of course, there will be more pictures of my insides taken at regular intervals now.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lost World discovered in Indonesia

From the Times-Colonist -- Feb. 08, 2006

LOST WORLD discovered by scientists in Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia

A team of scientists exploring an isolated jungle in one of Indonesia’s most remote provinces said they discovered dozens of new species of frogs, butterflies and plants; as well as large mammals hunted to near extinction elsewhere.

The team also found wildlife that were remarkably unafraid of humans during their rapid assessment survey of the Foja Mountains, which has more than a million hectares of old growth tropical forest, Bruce Beehler, a co-leader of the month long trip, said in announcing the discoveries Tuesday.

Two long beaked echidnas, a primitive egg laying mammal, simply allowed scientists to pick them up and bring them back to their camp to be studied, he said.

Their findings, however, will have to be published and then reviewed by peers before being officially classified as new species, a process that could take six months to several years.

The December expedition to the eastern province of Papua was organized by the U.S. based environmental organization Conservation International and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences.

“There was not a single trail, no sign of civilization, no sign of even local communities ever having been there,” said Beehler, adding that two headmen from the Kwerba and Papasena tribes, the customary landowners of the Foja Mountains, accompanied the expedition.

“They were as astounded as we were at how isolated it was,” he said in a telephone interview from Washington. “As far as they knew, neither of their clans had ever been to the area.”

Papua, the scene of a decades-long separatist rebellion that has left an estimated 100,000 people dead, is one of Indonesia’s most remote provinces, geographically and politically, and access by foreigners is tightly restricted.

The 11-member team of U.S., Indonesian and Australian scientists needed six permits before they could legally fly by helicopter to an open, boggy lakebed surrounded by forests, near the range’s western summit.

The scientists said they discovered 20 frog species – including a tiny micro-hylid frog less than two centimeters long – four new butterfly species, and at least five new types of palms. Because of the rich diversity in the forest, the group rarely strayed more than a few kilometers from their base camp.

“We’ve only scratched the surface,” said Beehler, vice-president of Conservation International’s Melanesia Center for Biodiversity Conservation, who hopes to return later this year with other scientists.

One of the most remarkable discoveries was the Golden-mantled Tree Kangaroo, an arboreal jungle-dweller new for Indonesia and previously thought to have been hunted to near extinction, and a new honeyeater bird, which has a bright orange face patch with a pendant wattle under each eye, Beehler said. One of the reasons for the rainforest’s isolation, he said, was that only a few hundred people live in the region. Game in the mountain’s foothills was so abundant that they had no reason to venture into the jungle’s interior.

There did not appear to be any immediate conservation threat to the area, which has the status of a wildlife sanctuary, he said.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Flying into the West

We got home Sunday evening from our quick trip back home. Was good to see everyone, even though it was a sad occasion. We stayed with Dan and Carol - many thanks for the generous hospitality.

I have started looking at Bruce and Joan's website of our trip. Nice to see another's view of the trip. Amsterdam to the Black Sea

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Trip to France in 2002 is loaded to my web page

The three graces in the Louvre
Wonder who the other two are?

We must go back to Paris, and the area around it... Monet's garden, etc. 2002 was a very good trip.

Last Tuesday we had big wind storms with 90 km/h winds and rain. There were some trees uprooted and power outages. The ferries could not sail. Fortunately we suffered no damage at all. The weatherman is promising more of the same for tomorrow (Saturday). Hope we are gone before it starts.

I have crocuses, snowdrops, cyclamens, yellow jasmine, hellebores all in bloom. The ground is soggy wet from all the rain we have had. 221 cm of rain when the usual is 121 cm. Our reservoir is over-flowing, but they say we will be on water rationing anyway. Silliness.

Renew Domain and Hosting Account

This is a photo of the old Roman theatre at Orange, France.
I have renewed my domain and hosting account for my page.
I have finished the text for the pages for our trip to France in 2002. I have to do the captions for the photos and it will be ready to load.

Tomorrow we fly out to go back to my Brother's funeral services at Melville. He is a rest now after a long struggle with illness.