Monday, June 26, 2006

Neglect (updated)

Why does it feel like I'm completely neglecting my need for blogging? Hmmm. I don't know. I used to write something, anything, daily.

Besides running into freaks and pranking bankers at work, I haven't been up to too much as of late. I've got Adobe Photoshop up and running on my computer and have been playing with it quite a bit. Flickr is now a much click daily site for me, which is not all that surprising considering my addictive personality.

There are stories from the weekend to tell, like going to karaoke and seeing another said "freak", but I'm not in the mood to write all of that story up yet. I still have to write about Thursday. Dang nabbit! Today, I went to the dentist (yuck!) and had my teeth cleaned and x-rays taken.

I opened my mouth (literally - that's not that funny, but is making me laugh for some absurd reason) and mentioned this odd sensation I have with my front tooth. In October, I had problems with a tooth feeling like there was pressure on it. It was a tooth the dentist had recently worked on and so today they took x-rays. Sure enough, the trauma from the work managed to, um, kill the nerve and now I have a two appointment root canal scheduled for Mondays. Not fun. Not fun in the least.

After the dentist, I headed to my dad's to pick up laundry and then Sarah called to hang out. Seems she misses me! I miss her too. There is quite a bit of pride inside of me for her, for all my bankers really, and I love the fact that even though she has been promoted and is moving forward with her career, she still feels close to our team and me. It makes me think I'm doing something right.

Sarah and I headed to the Como Zoo Conservatory and managed to have about 35 minutes there before it closed. (Oops. Who knew the zoo would close at 6 during the summer? That's just crazy talk.) I got a few cool pictures and I've been getting them ready for uploading.

We then headed to Old Chicago for some food and conversation. We ordered way too much food and then Char & Tom called. They were interested in purchasing a pool cue and wanted some advice. I went with and they picked up a nice McDermott. I dropped Sarah off at her car (she's working days and gets tired faster than we do) and met Char and Tom at another pool hall for them to try out the new stick. It was a good time.

On the photography front, I wanted to share some new things. As I mentioned above, I've learned a few things about Photoshop now and also have had a little bit of success with a couple of pictures on Flickr.

I took this picture today:
yellow flower macro
It is my first real attempt at taking a macro shot and I rather enjoyed the colors. The flower, which seems like it should be a sunflower but is way too small for that, had such great yellows on it. I posted this picture in a few groups on Flickr and have done OK. Out of 50, I ended up receiving a score of 35.5 in a score me group. Any comments you have about the picture are welcomed. I am really trying to improve my photography skills because I figure better pictures will make better scrapbooks.

Update: This photo made it into the interestingness pool on Flickr! I'm so happy. It has had over 100 views in one day. Kind of cool.

Flickr has an Explore page and it ranks the 500 most interesting pictures each day. Some of the pictures in this category are absolutely phenomenal. Some are unique enough to get a lot of hits and comments. This is my first picture to ever make it into the group. It made #238 on June 12. I'm a bit proud of it. The grape leaf is in my dad's backyard.

Grape Leaf

I'm really not sure what I think of this picture. It wasn't a great shot to begin with, but then I played with it in Photoshop, did a chalk & charcoal filter on it and then posterized the shot. Might be a bit better than the original, but I'm not sure.
posterized cc red rose

This is my first real attempt at picking one part of the picture to leave color in. Does it work?
Red Flower with black and white background

Look! I was able to make the horizon straight!
adjusted horizon of lake superior

This was an interesting process. I first used a tool to outline the flower only. I selected the inverse and removed the color and then played with the highlights/shadows/midtones and saturation for the grass. I added back a different green to the blades. Then I did a minor color correction of the flower. Is the composition good? What do you think overall of the shot? (Originally taken before grabbing a bite to eat with DM at a place called Panino's. Did I ever blog anything about that?)

Yellow Flower

That's enough for tonight. Constructive criticism about the pictures is welcomed (here or on Flickr). Thanks everyone!