Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A New Adventure

The "contest" has me more motivated to explore Cincinnati. I've lived here something like....ten or eleven years, and there are so many parts of this town that I've never seen. Like Clifton. There's a cool fountain with a statue on the corners of Clifton and Ludlow, and I've never seen it.

So, I decided to get out my map and do some exploring today!

While my hubby was at the lake sailing, I packed up Mr. Nicholas and my camera and headed for parts unknown. Our trip started out in Eden Park, and I discovered the butterfly show is going on at Krohn's [so, guess where I'll be taking the kids NEXT weekend]....

Then, we cut across town on Taft, drove around the University of Cincinnati campus briefly and found ourselves on Clifton Avenue. And voila -- we found the cool fountain on the corner of Ludlow and Clifton. Sadly, I didn't stop and take a photo! Too hard with just Nick, but now I know where to find it.

We did explore a small part of Burnet Woods by driving down Brookline Drive until it's blocked. There's this Nature Center there, and the building reminded me of this place in the Iao Valley on Maui. Nick and I took a little stroll by the lake and then headed home.

Not much for our first adventure out! Next weekend, I plan to check out the butterfly show or go to Union Terminal. All sorts of adventures we can have while Andy is off sailing....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Capture Cincinnati

The photography thing is going, I thought I'd enter a little contest....beyond the basic challenges I've been doing. The winners of this contest can get prizes and money -- and be published!

I'm doing pretty well in several "chapters" and even made the editor's top picks for this past week! Below are some of my images and links to vote:

Friday, May 16, 2008

Scott Kelby Rocks!

I love Scott Kelby. Can you hear that, Scott? I LOVE YOU! [Even if you are a Nikon man] Why, you might wonder....? And who is this Scott Kelby cat anyway....? And should my husband be worried....?

From one of his books:

"Scott is a photographer, designer and award-winning author of more than 35 books..." [Personally, I have at least ten of his books]

His website is [who would have thunk?]

Two of my absolute favorite books of his are The Digital Photography Book -- I and II. They have helped me SO much with my photography, so I am thankful that Scott wrote them and that someone happened to give me one as a gift. I loved it so much that I promptly bought the second one.

Today, I was looking back through the first book and was reminded of a cool way to sharpen photos....and I really wish I had employed this trick on SO many photos! Ouch! Perhaps I would have a higher acceptance rate at

For all you full version Photoshop users, it's easy....just convert an image to Lab Color, apply unsharp mask to the "Lightness" channel and then convert back to RGB. Okay, so there's a LITTLE more to, how much unsharp mask [%], etc.

One example:

For people, apply 150%, Radius 1 and Threshold 10. You can try applying it twice, but if it looks freakishly sharp, then fade the second application. If you like the results or need more help, then go buy Scott's book for more tips and won't be sorry!

[And I am getting nothing for telling you to buy his book -- not even an Amazon affiliate payment. I just applied this technique and was happy enough to share it!]

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Honeymoon Ain't Over

So, it's been a few months since I bought my Canon 40D.....and let me just say that the honeymoon ain't over. I love this camera more NOW than ever before. It has yet to really disappoint me. Don't get me wrong -- my roving eye has already been checking out the 40D's siblings, 5D and Mark. One day, one day.....

Today, I expanded my slowly growing glass collection. My 40D came with the 28-135mm, and I use that about 85% of the time. It's a great lens. For Christmas, Santa brought me a lovely 100mm Macro lens [and a sweet 580 EX II Speedlite....guess I was a really good girl last year!]. I bought a cheap 75-300mm Telephoto lens over the holidays, but I wasn't very happy with the results, so I took it back [you get what you pay for, I know, I know]. While purchasing a 50mm at Cord Camera, I asked about a replacement telephoto lens.

Based on the Cord dude's recommendations, I got the Sigma 70-300mm Telephoto to replace the cheapy Canon I returned. So, the Sigma isn't really a high end lens either. I mean, it's not a Canon L or anything....but the guy at Cord thought I'd get better results with it than the other lens, so I am giving it a go. I figure if I'm not happy with the results, then I can always return it.

This is the best shot I got of the moon with the first lens [the cheap-o Canon 75-300mm]. Okay, so it doesn't totally suck, but it just isn't as sharp and clear as I would like. I did everything I should, too....used a tripod, used the delay, shot in RAW, shot in manual, blah, blah.....we'll see how Sigma does next full moon....

Friday, February 8, 2008

Free Sushi Tasting Party

Free Sushi Tasting Party....and my photo is invited! Recently, I was contacted by a design student who attends Princeton University. He had seen my work on Flickr and asked to use one of my sushi photos for a poster. I figured, why not? It's some exposure for me, a piece for my portfolio and some bragging rights....right?

This is obviously the finished poster. It's cool to see one of my photos being used in a design that isn't my own....makes me think I might actually be good at this photography thing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day

That's about all I've got time to write....busy with the bird and making pie!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leave Santa Alone! is my home page. When I opened my browser this morning, I saw this article about Santa.....and I thought, "What the #%$&@&$^@?!?!?!??!?!????" Are you kidding me.....??? Santa can't say, "ho, ho, ho", because it might offend WOMEN....? What women? The HOs??? Too bad! Or a bunch of uptight, overly politically correct morons with broomsticks jammed up their bums??? Get over it!

And do the children think of prostitutes when Santa says that....?

Santa: Ho, ho, ho, Bobby!!
Bobby: Wow, Santa, I get THREE prostitues this Christmas????!

I am really sick and tired of all this "politically correct" crap and fear of offending someone.....and that is coming from a person who is rather PC and tries to consider feelings and not offend and blah, blah, blah.

But enough is ENOUGH.....this is going too far.....and really, don't we have bigger fish to fry in the world? I say.....




SYDNEY (AFP) - Santas in Australia's largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas's traditional "ho ho ho" greeting because it may be offensive to women, it was reported Thursday.
Sydney's Santa Clauses have instead been instructed to say "ha ha ha" instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

One disgruntled Santa told the newspaper a recruitment firm warned him not to use "ho ho ho" because it could frighten children and was too close to "ho", a US slang term for prostitute.

"Gimme a break," said Julie Gale, who runs the campaign against sexualising children called Kids Free 2B Kids.

"We are talking about little kids who do not understand that "ho, ho, ho" has any other connotation and nor should they," she told the Telegraph.

"Leave Santa alone." [I agree!!!]

A local spokesman for the US-based Westaff recruitment firm said it was "misleading" to say the company had banned Santa's traditional greeting and it was being left up to the discretion of the individual Santa himself.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Where Have You Been All My Life?

I love photography. I'm not professional by any means, and maybe some people don't even think I'm very good at it! I don't care -- I love it regardless.

At one time, I had a pretty good film camera. It was an Olympus hybrid SLR. But I couldn't photograph as much as I would have liked, because film and developing costs were involved. With digital -- not an issue.

When our nice Nikon camera died, I rushed out and bought a cheapy point and shoot from Staples. Another Olympus. It's actually been a good camera for us, and my mom ended up getting the same model [FE-210]. For about $130, I got some really good photos.

But it was time for a REAL camera....

After hours and hours of research, I had narrowed my camera search to two models: the Nikon D80, and the Canon 30D. Both are stellar DSLRs, and I kept going back and forth between the two models. Everybody had a different opinion, and the Canon vs. Nikon battled raged on!

Finally, I went to Best Buy to see both of these beasts in person. There's really only so much you can tell from looking at photos online. I needed to hold these cameras and decide if one just felt "right" in my hands.....

I felt like Harry Potter looking for the right wand....when I found it, I'd know. This turned out to be true.

Prior to this shopping trip, I think I was leaning towards the D80, so I picked it up first. After a few minutes to looking it over and pretending to shoot, I put it down and was handed the 30D.

And that's all it took. This camera felt like a REAL camera. It was a little heavier than the D80 and what I was expecting, but that was okay. It felt like a real camera, and it felt good in my hands.

At that point, I think I knew -- I was going to buy the Canon. But I went home to do a little more research and opinion gathering, as that is my nature. Research it to DEATH, but I rarely have any buyer's remorse, so I guess that's the pay-off.

The next day, I returned to Best Buy. Ironically, I had received a 10% coupon in the mail. Big plus, since I had decided to get the 40D and not the 30D....and there's about a $300 price difference. All I read told me that the 40D had some necessary improvements over the 40D.

Since unpacking my new baby, I have been in HEAVEN. Even some quickie "tests" have turned out phenominal!! I almost cried the first night I downloaded the photos from the camera. I love this camera and couldn't be happier! The photos in this posting obviously came from my new love....