Sunday, December 30, 2007

Drop Shadows in PhotoShop

I spent the afternoon and evening trying to learn to do drop shadows in photoshop. And I did it!! hurray, at last ... and its so easy, once you know how, of course. This website was the best help;

I spent some of the morning deleting files on The place was sold last spring sometime. Its not a widely known fact on I, for one, would rather not have any images left after my subscription expires there. So, I am starting now to delete, while reading over the comments and saving all the good critiques... mostly from Cyrus and Steve Hickel.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Victoria Grid December

A couple of the shots that I used in the Victoria Grid Project group on Flickr. This is Bowker Creek in Oak Bay area. was sold some time last spring. Josh Root is the Admin for PN and has set up a blog on blogspot to note the problems the site is having. The blog is for people to check when the site crashes, it seems. I doubt that very many people even know of the blog or of the sale to Name Media Inc. Here is the October/first post to the blog:
I am deleting photos on, as I no longer see any value in keeping them on that site. The forums will still have the information, I imagine. There are tons of ads there now. It sounds like an impossible task to add the new hardware and any new or changed features. PN has a newsletter that they forward to all registered members... that mailing list alone must be a real mess. The news letter is just not that exciting, either. ho hum!!

Flickr is noisy and has some terrible glitches, too. It will be nice to move to Cyrus' new site when its up and running. I think there are quite a few of us who can't wait till it is ready!

I was to see Dr.Sparanese today for my thyroid meds renewal. They told me in the morning that I could just come in as a walk in to the clinic, didn't need an appointment... well hell, I wait for an hour and then he was well past his leave the clinic time.. I wonder if he was due at the hospital ... hope not.

Yesterday we had these snowballs falling.. like hail. Its been quite cold lately and so the roads can be icey.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Victoria Grid Project for December

I am finally getting around to tweaking my photos for the December Grid Project group on Flickr. After seeing Dr. Donna I walked and walked, again.. down Pandora to Oak Bay and over to the hospital and back on Fort Street. New stops this time. The Kokopelli characters are at Delicado's. The Elves in the window of Dig This and the door, window, mail box is at Country Comforts.

A lot has happened since I took these just a few days ago. I have been busy.. Christmas party, and out to Butchart Gardens for dinner with Sheas... we walked after dinner and saw the lights. It was magical. My photos, of course, are crap, cause I didn't take my tripod to dinner. There has been the finish of the Grow op matter. Stressful but interesting. Dinner out after the first day, at Swans, with Lloyd. After the second day I was just exhausted and went to bed and slept at 8:30. This is what stress can do. Its a real killer. Good thing I have a few weeks before my next blood tests for Dr.D. or I am sure I would be right off the charts, again.

I have made shortbread and have most everything else ready for our Christmas. No rum balls made... we should be ok with christmas pudding and rum sauce.

I really should get sending email christmas cards to friends... my email is backed up too. Oh well, tomorrow should be another good day for this.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Southwest US trip

A couple of photos from our trip down to New Mexico last year. The Painted Desert is a very interesting place to photograph. I won't be getting around to loading this trip to my web page any time soon.

I have been out to the Grid (oak bay, again) but didn't get much in the way of photos. I must get a few tweaked and loaded to the Grid project soon. They had the meet, today to decide on next month's grid and to go shoot alleys with some person from Monday magazine or somewhere or other. I did not care to go, maybe I should have, though. It was raining, it could not have been a very good day for the shoot. We will see what they use, I guess.

Lloyd was over Friday and back home after our meeting with Penner re Nob Hill. We now go on Tuesday. So this has been cutting into my sleep and play time, too. Three more days and its finished, one way or another.

I am thinking of doing the July Antique run photos up for my blog, when next I get some time. I should also finish the Up Island trip for my web page. This album is half finished. Would just take a bit of time to do it up. I have not published anything to my page since April. This blog is just so convenient to use and to vent.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The tree

It was a lovely sunny day with big white fluffy clouds. A bit crisp. But just perfect for raking leaves. I have raked up all of them that have fallen, so far. There are still about one quarter of the tree's leaves left to fall.

The three photos above are from a tree that I see out my dining room window. The one with the leaves framing the tree in a sunset is a composite of two photos I shot at the same time. I could not get the background and the foreground to work out in one photo. The leaves are from the tree in my front yard and the tree is about half a mile away.

Cathy H. passed away yesterday, just the day after her mother's funeral. So sad. We won't be going back for the service.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Flare with CS Filter

I was playing with my CS filter to get this and a few other shots. The light source is the sun shining through the dining room window. I tweaked it a bit in Photoshop -- not sure if its an improvement or not, but it was fun playing with the burn tool, the paint bucket and a few other adjustments. The flares are real and untouched.

We had snow today... lightly. I saw the hummingbird and there were robins and other birds coming to drink on the water table and the bird bath.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


While shooting through my living room window at the glorious autumn color on my liquid amber tree I caught this unusual reflection. I believe it is reflecting the railing of the stairs. I have no idea why it went the golden color, but as I looked out at the tree I could see these four golden columns, so I snapped them of course.

The frost photo is in macro mode of the deck railing. Ken Anderson told me how to get sharper photos with my Canon S3 IS by setting the 'my colors' to a custom setting with sharpness and contrast pumped up. I think it works much better now. Thanks so much for the help, Ken.

We have had cooler weather with ice on the bird bath, the water table and the water features. My pond is beginning to fill again from the rains. I raked leaves the other day but, of course, the grass path is covered with the lovely colored leaves again.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Photoshop and stuff

A couple of days ago I spent quite a bit of time trying to learn a bit more about 'layers' in Photoshop. I have learned how to open the files, put the menu in 'window/arrange/cascade. Then I can drag any of the photos I have open over each other with the move tool while holding down the shift key. Then the layers palette shows the new layers. If I right click on the top layer I get a menu for the blending modes. I carried on from there, just mucking about to see what different things do.

After looking at some of the grunge photos in Flickr grunge groups, I decided I needed edges. These are not official or proper edges but I had fun doing this with the smudge tool, the dodge and burn tool and a few other things, while learning how to use those tools too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gardening and stuff

I have finished loading photos to the Victoria Grid Project on Flickr, for this month. Its a very scenic grid, but rather remote. Not very many people have posted yet. Hopefully there will be more.

I got the lawn mowed today. Most of the leaves that had fallen were sucked up by the mower. I left this on the vegetable garden as a winter mulch. I really should get over to Cannor and get about 8 new little trees and some tulip bulbs. I must get started on trimming back any trees and shrubs that I don't want. It froze last night, so pruning now should not really affect the trees untill the new growth in the spring. For all the attention I pay to the garden, now, it is really looking pretty good. I love lillies, but it is all clay. I may fill a couple more big pots and put lillies in them, surrounded by trees and the taller perennials in the front they could fill in some good color and interest for the summer.

Ken F. is doing an article for the Vintage Car Magazine and asked to use some of my photos. Yeaaaaa, I get more bragging rights.

We are thinking of getting a newer, wide body camper van. Pat is dealing with Pedens on a trade in on our old one. Or, if they cannot come to terms on it, we keep the old one. Its still in good shape and clean. Just has rather high mileage and is a 1995. Still has some features we like that the new ones don't have. We will see.

Yesterday we were to the Dunlop House for a scrumptious lunch with Jim and Sheila. Was good to see them. Pat has been over to show people Jim's collection but I did not go as its more a 'guy' thing, I think. We spoke of going up to the Chalet to meet the guys on their way back from Red Deer. We missed last year. But I did get some gardening done and enjoyed the time to myself.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Victoria Grid November

Yesterday we watched the Regina Roughriders win the Western final for the CFL, against our B.C Lions. Next weekend the Riders play off against Winnipeg for the Grey Cup. This should be quite a good game.

Tonite we were out to Spinnakers pub for dinner with the Grants. Very good food and on a Monday nite, we nearly had the place to our selves. Very civilized.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

More Victoria Grid Project

Yesterday I went for my Phlebotomy. Pat drove me there and waited. It took about 20 minutes and then they had me wait another half hour. I don't feel any different. I guess the lab tests will show if there has been any change.

Its a grey day and I feel much like the daisy in this group of photos. I am sure I will be in a better mood tomorrow.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Victoria Grid Project N24 November 2007

On Friday afternoon Pat and I went to the vantreight Park area. He waited for me in the van while I went to shoot for the Victoria Grid Project in this Gordon Head area. It was a lovely sunny day. I had my polarizer filter on when I was trying to shoot the seascapes. These photos don't have the polarizer. The sky is washed out and white looking. It shouldn't be as I thought the light was better than that.

Later Friday the Jim, Grace and Laura arrived after a few adventures and being up for nearly 24 hours in getting here from Scotland via Amsterdam. They are all fine and looking good.

On Saturday I went out and cleaned the leaves out of the waterfall, as half the water was gone out of the pond from flowing out of the side of the waterfall. I also got the Japanese garden area cleaned up. Hopefully the moss will be able to grow now. I have to keep after those wretched violets to keep them confined to their area and out of the moss. They are soooooooo invasive. Who ever coined the phrase shrinking violets knew nothing about these viotlets.

Yesterday (Sunday) I made up an apple pie from the golden delicious apples on our backyard tree. There are quite a few apples on the tree yet. I am making applesauce to freeze too.

This morning our power was off for about 2 hours. We have had high winds and rain overnite and early this morning. The pond is starting to fill up with water again.

Steve C. showed me the website he made years ago for the small city he lives in. It is a very interesting page and I learned a lot about Bahau, Malaysia. Was a pleasant way to spend some time. I have yet to read the rest of Ken A.'s short stories, and to must read more in Bill B.'s Graffiti documentation. I hope to find time to get into his book, also. It really is very interesting.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Beetle Blacklight Ballet

I found this lady bug in my house. I have had these beetles on my house plants for a few years now. Once in a while one will excape to the dining room table or somewhere I notice it. When I found this one I tried to do a few macro shots without very much success. Well, if you consider the size of the bug to the pen point, I guess I was having more success than I thought. I just want MORE macro which is just not possible with my Canon S3 IS, as it is not DSLR and I cannot add any macro lens or extenders... I think... I should look into that, as I can add a Canon macro 500D and others use a Raynex or some such name.

Anyway, after shooting a few of the lady bug, I got out my blacklight and fired it up. Cyrus said in one of the photo discussions that he used blacklight, overhead light and ambient light, and a ordinary lamp for lighting on one of his gorgeous dragon shots. So, here are my blacklight with just ambient light. I am calling it the Beetle Blacklight Ballet. The first photo is the Auditon..2. Signing the Contract... 3. Rehearsal... 4. Stage fright... 5. Preformance... 6. Encore

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Into the light

Just because I like it. Deliberately trying to capture the light rays and the flare. The sun was peeking out from behind the clouds for a very contrasty, moody light. I am quite pleased with the color of the flare. This is pretty well how it was directly from the camera. Minimal photoshop adjustments.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Flower Petal Art

Eileen called today. What a wonderful treat to hear from her. They are going to be in PoCo end of Nov. and might just get over to the Island. Would be great to see them. After hearing from her I read my email from Irene. Her dearest friend has recently had some very invasive surgery. Hope you heal quickly Vicki!

Tomorrow we go look at the newer camper van with a view to upgrading. Now that we have the Passat we do not seem to need the Van for running about to fetch things so often. So, the slightly wider van should be better for camping. It looked good when we saw it last week end.

Flickr has some real characters and interesting groups. So many groups of interest. Cyrus is working like mad to get his site up and running. Its gonna be one fabulous mega photo upload site, with endless up to date features. Its quite exciting to watch this site being conceived and built.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Flower Petal Art

While out shooting for the Victoria Grid Project last week I found some flowers to try shooting in macro and super macro mode, for Chrissie's Flower Petal Art group. The kale is not allowed, since its a leaf.

I made some applesauce today. The days has been sunny and lovely, deceptively warm in appearance. Was quite cool when I went out.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Victoria Grid Project - October - Map L31

I seem to be having trouble loading photos today. I guess all the servers are busy.
The tree is on Douglas street, in front of the newly painted dollar store building.
The Buick Eight is from a car for sale at the Munro swap meet. The Waterfall is at the Japanese Garden at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

I have a few more photos for the Grid for this month to load to Flickr, but I am not going to add them to the pool, just to my set, as I am not sure they are in the grid, but I like them anyway and they are close to being in the grid. The guy dumped my Pemberton Memorial Operating Room photos out of the pool, so I won't be loading any more this month to the pool.

We had moussaka and retsino for dinner last nite. Was very yummy. Today I should make the pie as I have some windfall apples to use up.

Trevor is trying to figure out why my backup thing is not working on its automatic but works on the manual runs. Strange thing.

Cyrus and Steve are in touch now, so I hope Steve can give Cyrus some good pointers on his site set up. This is going to be one cool photo upload site when its up and running.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Victoria Grid Project - October

Victoria Grid Project - October

On the 24th, the day I was out shooting for this project, it was very bright and sunny. I did not think I would have anything worthwhile. Some of them are not too bad, if I must say so myself. I am learning a few subtle adjustments with photoshop too, while preparing these to load to the Flickr Grid group. I could spend more time on Oak Bay Avenue. It has a lot of interesting shops and cafes.