Wednesday, April 30, 2008

121/366 Through the Grid, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

Again, I upped the contrast quite a bit and manually adjusted white balance using RAW format. I am beginning to like RAW quite a lot, though it is going the opposite direction I would like my skills to lead - toward innate understanding of the mechanics of photography vs. post-editing skills...

April is both finally over and incomprehensibly here already. Time keeps movin' on.

This may be one of the coolest things I've ever seen - community "training" workshops on an incredible range of topics, all open to the public, all completely free.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

120/366 Red Lights, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

I shot into the sun today, and it was RAW format, and I messed with the white balance afterwards, all of which are things I almost never do. Snapped this on my drive to the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. NVPS is an enormous group of photographers, most of them retired (but certainly not from their art) that have an incredible wealth of information to share. I for one intend to be sponge-like as often as possible at their meetings, even though they are outside the beltway (gasp!).

PS: DCist showed this photo some love.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The big "antique" rusty truck is still on the street by George's house and still looks absolutely wonderful and I'm still having a hard time photographing it. That said, the light has been god-awful these two times I've tried, seeing as I'm coming from work and it's been cloudy.

I composed so that the door isn't so framed by the car's window. It had rained some and this made the previous composition too busy anyway. Which do you prefer? What could I do to photograph this truck right?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

118/366 Lenses, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

About half of these produced the desired effect, the others were just a blurry nothing within the lens. If I practiced some, I bet I could make the effect much more pronounced. As it is, I realized a few minutes before I went to bed that I had yet to shoot for the day. Voila!

And as an aside, I love flickr-to-blog ability. I hope it pleases my 0-7 readers/day.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

117/366 Sabrina, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

Sabrina actually sat still for a bit of a photo shoot. Normally she is frightened of the camera but with Colin and Sarah having just left, I think she appreciated the attention.

Very overcast day brought out all the texture of her fur. I upped the contrast and darkened the overall.

Friday, April 25, 2008

116/366 Parking Ticket, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

Upped the contrast and saturation quite a bit for this shot of a big old rusty truck by George's house. It was quite overcast but the colors were muted anyway. I should have stopped down to put the door behind out of focus. Perhaps it will be there tomorrow as well. This is the kind of car people leave and don't come back to pick up.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

115/366 Dandelions, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

I took my first RAW format picture today. I like the control but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. We will explore further...

These dandelions are in my front yard and are contributing to the enormous amount of pollen in the air that is destroying my life.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

114/366 Road Rage, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

Some people take amazing self-portraits. I snapped this on my commute home, balancing the camera on the steering wheel (you can see it if you look close enough).

Travels tonight took us to the mecca of meat-eating, the all-powerful Texas de Brazil. "Why do we eat so much," I groaned, miserably turning over in bed. "Because we pay for it," George said.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

113/366 Condescension, originally uploaded by AquaAmber.

A new layout to facilitate posting. Plus, it was killing me how Blogger always smooshes up the pictures and ruins their resolution.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I don't have strobelights and the like. I have desk lamps. But sometimes I like what desklamps are doing, even if there are curtains and computers in the background.

David left today. We had dinner at the lovely Evening Star Cafe, always a crowd pleaser. I had steak tartar for the first time (it was alright, kind of mushy). David couldn't finish the kite camera in time and thus has left it mostly reassembled but non-functional. George has promised to give it a look.

Passover, Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday was very rainy but we still managed to barbecue. I also put David to work building me an aerial kite photography setup. Kat was in town and we played bridge for several hours. And then I went home and made an incredibly awesome pinhole camera which will spring into use as soon as it clears up.
This shot was taken through my windshield.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tonight was the first night of Passover and I hosted nine people at my home for a seder, one of whom was a "real Jew" and knew what she was talking about. This turned out to be an incredible blessing because she could answer everyone's questions while I could only hem and haw. It was quite an ordeal and I probably won't make such an attempt again without significant practice on smaller parties but it was fun.
This guitar was part of the great garbage trek from Friday night. It hasn't been smashed yet but that is certainly in the plans. It is intended to be a photo prop.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This sewing machine was hauled probably more than a mile by my good friend David Emerson from a trash heap in my neighborhood. It appears to be in perfect working order (though may require some lubrication).
It was "big trash day" when everyone hauled out all their mattresses, grills, and other large items for disposal on Saturday. George, David, and I wandered my neighborhood looking for diamonds in the rough and came back with a fully functional grill (which was later used to cook hamburgers to brilliant success), a prop you will soon see (or have just seen), and this lovely vintage sewing machine which will be put into use after I have completed all the other projects I'm working on.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Being convinced that George and my collective weight gain is seasonal, we have begun to take frequent walks in the evening before dinner, likely as a way of convincing ourselves that we will lose the "winter weight" during the "increased physical activity" inherent in the summertime. This tree struck both of us as rather interesting. We had never noticed it before. I processed this photograph quite a bit because I have absolutely nothing to do at work.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Taking advantage of the amazing weather, I spent an hour or so eating custard and finishing up my book (Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - excellent!). On the way back to the house, I spotted this grate.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

This supposedly says "George" in Chinese but Google disagrees...

Monday, April 14, 2008

At the request of George, I have used these two in conjunction. They're funnier when you're flipping through and the one on the left is more in-focus than on the right. Self-portraits in his bathroom are one of my most convenient and sometimes most successful bits.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The original photo was a pretty boring shot of some flowers outside George's house. They are quite small. After some playing around, I thought it would make a good candidate for "Holgafication". I'm thrilled with the results and my new Photoshop "Holga" action. Photoshop is GOD.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

George did some more hobbling with me downtown to see the Cherry Blossom Festival parade and the Japanese street fair that follows. Supposedly it is the largest street fair in DC and the largest Japanese street fair in the country. These kimonos were for sale near the "traditional dance" stage.

Friday, April 11, 2008

This is the coolest waterfall thing I've ever seen. Located at the World Bank, this wall makes the water look like it's falling in slow-motion. Close by are some water fountains that look like plastic until you play with them and watch your splashes round the same curve. Neato!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What with George having nearly broken his ankle playing basketball, a hobbled walk to the library was the most physical activity I could get out of him. Fortunately, our library is awash in entertainment *sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm* but I did find this stack of books amusing. And no, I didn't set them up.

Wednesday, April 8, 2008

Today I met Maria's dog Chewie. He was cute. And then I went to a two-hour-long Rotaract gathering. I haven't publicly complained about Rotaract and I won't start now but suffice to say that I certainly could.

Things have been all abustle at work in preparation for the board meeting in Colombia. Lots of tedious binder-stuffing and the like.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Quite a while ago George and I decided to "invest" in some new games. After some convincing, we got Parcheesi over Stratego. Not ever having played Parcheesi, I thought it would be more fun than the stolid but interesting second option. I believe it was a bad decision.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I wanted George to build me this so we went to Home Depot. There were some adorable girls with painfully cute matching umbrellas and galoshes but I felt weird trailing them in a garden center.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

George and I spent a lovely day in the city. Our travels took us to the DC Visitors' Information Center where we saw origami and calligraphy demonstrations (and came away with our names in Chinese) and then headed over to Georgetown for a cherry blossom cruise with Professionals in the City. I'd seen this group plenty in my dealings with Goldstar and was curious as to their ways.
First, POC (as I'll abbreviate them) are hardly the "young professionals" the name would imply and no one we talked to actually lived in the city. Instead it was a bunch of people from Ashburn and the like with dorky name tags and pizza. The cruise was a quick jaunt down to the Memorial Bridge and then a turnaround to make up the time missed by being 15 minutes late. It was an unforgettable experience.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Went to the Giant to get supplies before indulging in late-night ribbification.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

These guys have always struck me as somewhat odd - so many choices in this world!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I took a lot of photos of the cherry blossoms (one more that was hard to pick between on my flickr) but I like this one best. Just about everyone out there yesterday had a better camera than me, which is normally the case anyway. It's obligatory to at least try to photograph the cherry blossoms, even if you have to admit that everyone else is likely going to do it better than you. They were very, very beautiful.

In other news, I saw a friend I hadn't seen for years and years. Kelly is in town for just a few days for some firemen's conference.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008