The hibiscus bloom is pink.

Sunday Seven: Around the Neighborhood

Picture #2 is so pretty I had to feature it.

On Columbus Day, I took my new camera on a stroll around the neighborhood.  It was the first sunny day in about a week.  Here’s what we (my camera and I) found.  (Picture #2 is above.)

  1. A potted plant (it’s a hibiscus, I think) in our pool area.  We filled in the kiddie pool years ago because it was too expensive to repair.
  2. The hibiscus bloom, taken from the same spot as #1, but with the zoom.  The photo is unretouched, except for size.  It turned out so lovely, it’s featured at the top of the post.
  3. A dry cleaner that delivers!  I took the photo to remember the name and contact info, since I’m always forgetting to take stuff to the dry cleaner’s.
  4. Lulu!  Is she not adorable?  She’s part Yorkie, part chihuahua. She looks it, doesn’t she?  (I also met Pepper, a shih tzu, and her owner, a Coast Guard officer who had the day off; but was too embarassed to ask if I could take Pepper’s picture.)
  5. The Leaning Tower of Alexandria, er, the George Washington Masonic Temple.  The fence between our property and theirs was recently reopened.  There had been a pass-through when I first moved in, but they closed it up years ago.  On my walk, I met a man coming out of the bushes, and voila!, learned the fence had been opened once again.  Yay!
  6. The Masonic Temple, full optical zoom.  Still tilted.  It’s claim to fame is an elevator that runs diagonally.
  7. And once again, this time using the “intelligent” (i.e., digital) zoom.  It too was tilted, but I straightened it (a little) with my graphics software. (Although I have Photoshop, I prefer Paint Shop Pro.  Simpler software for simpler minds.)

Playtime for a Rainy Day

The day before yesterday, after I visited PetSmart, I went next door to Best Buy.  Not because I wanted anything, but I hadn’t been in there in a while.  The season 8 Supernatural DVD set was there, but I’ve already ordered it from Amazon (way cheaper), so that wasn’t on the list.

Instead, I gravitated towards the cameras.  I decided I needed a small camera to photograph my cooking adventures.  These two Nikons caught my eye as both have a Wi-fi capability and were on sale.

I fell in love with the white one because 1) it’s white, 2) it’s new,  3) it’s different, and 4) it’s mega-cool.

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Happy Birthday, America

In my effort to better understand photography, film, and color, I wanted to dissect Paint Shop Pro X5’s filters used to create these photos.  This seems as good a day as any to go exploring.

The effect shown above was easier to do than I’d remembered.  I used the Instant Effects palette (new in PSP X5, and rather cool).  From the palette, I selected “Film Styles” from the drop-down menu, and then “Instant film.”  Interestingly, “Film Styles” has several options that aren’t available from the “Effects > Photo Effects” menu.

I attempted to replicate the effect through various Film Look, Creative Filter, and Retro Lab options; increasing saturation and making depth of field adjustments; and adding a picture frame—all to no avail.  Turns out you can get the Instant Film effect by choosing Effects > Photo Effects > Time Machine > Cross Process.  Even the frame is added.

The next question is, what is Cross Process?  From Corel/PSP:

Cross-processing is a modern photography technique that creates unique color effects by mismatching the film and the chemicals used to develop the film. For example, you can achieve this effect by processing slide film in chemicals designed for color negative film. Cross-processed photos are often characterized by skewed colors, high saturation, and extreme highlights.

Since I’m drawn to photos with high saturation, it’s no wonder I like this effect.  Still, I’m not sure how instant film equates to mismatched film and chemicals, but there you have it.  The instant film I remember was created by the old Polaroid cameras.  I don’t recall the pictures being overly saturated, although the colors were often skewed.  Somehow, I doubt color skewing was a purposeful effect.