Photography and the Frame of Mind

Another example of how photography reflects my state of mind. A couple of weeks ago  I had a lot going on, and I set time aside to get out and shoot.  This is a good thing. The problem arose when I returned home and reviewed my images.

My Camera Totin’ Tuesday group planned an indoor shoot because the temperature was rising. So off to the California  State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento we headed.

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First mirror we encounter. Time for a group photo!

Cool in more ways than one, but challenging for photography. The scene is dark.

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Many RR enthusiasts volunteer at the museum

The locamotives are black, and the lighting is diverse. Some areas have fluorescent light, some areas tungsten. There are cool use of mirrors throughout the museum.

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Elegantly appointed interior, for some.

When I got home and reviewed the images, I was disappointed in my work. So I  set it aside. Well I may have pouted also. Remember, I said that much has been on my mind lately.

My grandson lives with us since he was 17. When he moved out of his mother’s house I made sure that he would graduate, and with this sense of accomplishment I hoped he would pick up some habits to help transition into the adult world. He did graduate so we succeeded in the first part. He succeeded in getting a job as a courtesy clerk at a supermarket. No problems there. This is part-time, and we  provide transportation and his on-time performance has our help. At this time I feel like our safety net is not helping this transition. There doesn’t seem to be an end game in place.

When he is home I hardly know that he is here. He basically lives in his room, and only comes out the grab something to eat. He is addicted to online gaming, and media. Luckily, I don’t share his bathroom, but my cats do. I don’t venture into his room unless I want to retrieve some camera equipment. The site is not pretty. I read in the Sacramento Bee that kids are remaining in their parent’s home for longer period so I know that I am not alone with this troubling issue.

Ok, he is a boy, he is 19 and our values differ. But, and this a big but, the level of cooperation is zero. Attitude could not be more disrespectful, especially to his grandfather. And that is what needs to change. Talking hasn’t worked. I am almost convinced that by living here he will not grow up. This weighs heavy on both myself and my husband. There is a lot of stress in the house. I would like a bit of freedom to plan out-of-town adventures with my husband. Luckily, I get out to capture images with my friends.

Back to the Railroad Museum. Last night I looked at my files, key worded in Lightroom, and made some adjustments. Usually, I find that if I am happy with a couple of shots then I call the shoot a success.  Found myself selecting many photos as favorites for my collection set! Yes. Here are some results from my Sacramento Railroad Museum challenge. Up the ISO and take care of noise in Lightroom.  WB is adjusted in Lightroom.  Use of Flash is sometimes difficult due to size of subject, and color of subject. So sometimes I focused on smaller subject and details.

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I like the way the pattern seems to continue on and on.

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I managed to take this one without a Flash.

For the next photo, I used a flash and focused on the eyes. For more information about Rosie the Riveter, click on the link beneath the photo.

This image was shot without a flash since it was too far for flash to make a difference.

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Rosie the Riveter

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You can feel the motion of the train in some of the cars.

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This train had quite a kitchen!

A shout out to my New York roots.

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Quite the dining car! No paper plates and plastic sporks here.

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The old contrasting the future

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The small contrasting the large

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Will this be the look of the future? Not very elegant, in my opinion.

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A face-off

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I see a face smiling at me

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I always look for textures for future photo edits using my new Topaz Texture Effects plug-in

Mirrors and more mirrors lead to the next few images. No flash here.

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Lines and triangles reflected

Changing ISO creates another capture. Used Lightroom for noise suppression in photo.

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Got caught up with all the possible looks.

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Crazy mirror photo continues

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Final mirror image at the Railroad Museum

All photography done without benefit of a tripod. Talking to a docent I found out that there is an event set up just for photography called, “Trains and Tripods”. I will be on the lookout for this event when it comes around again.

Note to self. Review photos again after some time has past. And not after a go round with a family member.

 

Rain Leads to Post Processing Photos

When the weather turns soggy I make soup. Get my pot of Butternut Squash with Apple Soup going, and add a grilled ham and Swiss cheese sandwich for the perfect dinner. Finish it up with a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven. I didn’t actually bake from scratch this time. My granddaughter’s fundraiser was frozen Famous Amos cookies that I have in the freezer for just such times. Perfect.

My laundry is in the garage. Not fun to do when the weather is too hot or too cold. Task done. House cleaned enough not to be embarrassed by unexpected company.

Now I can sit down and review my photographs. My new laptop is slowly becoming fully functional. Lightroom and Photoshop CC installed easy enough. Added Topaz filters, Nik software, and Photomatrix Pro 4. Today I installed my calibration software, Spyder Pro 4.

Have not figured out how to work in Lightroom on one computer, export the catalog and then import the catalog on the other computer. For the second night I was not successful. I will look at another tutorial. Must be missing something.

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to using Lightroom CC. When I first started using LR, I thought of it as an organizing tool. This fit in with my library experience and my system works for me. Keyboarding, rating my photos and creating Smart Collections lead to an easy system to organize my library.  LR developed into a powerful editing program. Today I learned how to use Masking when working with LR Detail tab. This helps to select the area to be sharpened. I also learned how to use some of the key strokes to make the editing process faster.

While visiting Port Costa, Ca. last week this friendly, beautiful Maine Coon cat followed me around. I used some of the techniques to improve this  photo.

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Looking for a friend (or a free meal) in Port Costa

The rain has past, and the next two days will be busy. Shopped for my Dad, and will visit parents tomorrow after a visit to my doctor. (Just a tune-up) LOL.

 

Organization and Exercise

Mail on January always starts off with the predictable envelop from my accountant. Just finishing off the bottle of champagne, and I am reminded of April 15th. The newspaper shrinks with all the advertisements gone. Now I am flooded with sales on exercise equipment, gym memberships, and information about what to eat and what to avoid eating.

Been eating my vegetables

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Colorful Peppers

and salads, cooking chicken soup with kale, carrots, and celery, and enjoying a few desserts with my coffee.

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Wonderful smells draws you into this candy shop

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Watch as the chocolate is transformed into yummy goodness!

From department stores to supermarkets candy hearts replace candy canes.   Calendars make a brief appearance. Has the “smart phone” replaced calendars?  I know that I rely more on my phone when I make appointments. Stores bring out organizers of all kinds. I like containers, but I never had a collection of Tupperware. I keep most of my large glass jars to store food stuff. Not too many items come in glass anymore. Plastic bins keep my yarn organized. I use baskets for my camera equipment. My one magazine title finds a home in a basket, but this year the magazine goes digital. Too bad.   I replaced the space for a computer tower with three baskets for desk storage. I try to be organized, yet by the time I get around to my personal space I run out of minutes in the day. So my desk often suffers.  Furniture and household items from my parents downsize now have a useful place in my home. More ways to get organized. Best of all, my car now fits in the garage again. I missed pulling my car in to the garage with the wet, cold weather.

My most important organizing task falls to my new laptop.  I just upgraded to Lightroom and Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud). I want to keep my photographs on a portable lhard drive and be able to work both at home and when I am away. I have been using both programs, and so now is a good time for this change. I need to add my filters, plug-ins and a couple of additional programs. I will report my progress, and explain how I made the leap. Not sure about the “cloud” thing yet.