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EdBookPhoto

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Website up and op again

I’ve noticed my website dragging the past few weeks and visitation dropping. Investigation revealed a server problem and the solution was to migrate to a newer and much faster server… the move took several days, though, because of some problems that the host had to iron out… But, now the site seems to be loading and operating as it should…

Peace

sometimes

sometimes things break… and we need help to fix them

Peace

Lasersoft Silverfast Ai Studio 8 scanning software

spider web covered with droplets of dew in early morning at Cade's Cove in Great Smokey Mountains National Park, TN, USA (Ed Book/©2004 Ed Book)

spider web covered with droplets of dew in early morning at Cade's Cove in Great Smokey Mountains National Park, TN, USA (Ed Book/©2004 Ed Book)

 

I just started climbing the steep learning curve of my new film scanning software.

I was introduced to digital imaging in the mid 90′s when I sent a bunch of transparencies to Prolab in Seattle to have scanned and put onto a photo CD to use on my Mac Si computer.  I used a pre Version 3 of Photoshop called Photoshop SE and liked what I was producing right away.  I set up a website and uploaded my images.  I loved digital imaging from the start but didn’t get into digital capture till much later.  When I did, it was with a Nikon Coolpix 990 3.2Mb point-n-shoot that I bought my wife and I would use occasionally for instant gratification when also making film exposures.  I eventually bought myself a point-n-shoot digital camera that I could carry in my pocket and upgraded along the way when they would wear out–increasingly better files but still JPG captures.

I would still be using 35mm and large format for recording on film for another decade.  I bought a Nikon film scanner to start digitizing my film archive and when each time Nikon upgraded their 35mm scanner, I did too.  Then, when Canon produced a camera body that I thought would give the results I was getting from my scans competition (Canon EOS 1Ds Mk II), I jumped to total digital capture.  I haven’t made a single film exposure since spring of 2005.

But, when I bought my Canon digital system, I also upgraded film scanners to Nikon’s Super Coolscan LS-5000 ED model.  I continued digitizing my film archive but was spending so much time optimizing my new large RAW Canon files that I was finding it difficult finding time to share my computer with my film archive.  And then, Nikon quit supporting their scanning software and the next time I upgraded my computer and Operating System, my scanner was left behind… not because it was obsolete – its still the best in it’s class and since Nikon is no longer manufacturing it, its appreciating in value, go think!

I lagged on finding aftermarket scanning software, occasionally doing some research and finding other things that needed my time instead of buying new scanning software.  It seems the field is narrowed to two choices one by Vuescan and the other by Lasersoft.  I investigated both and found that the Vuescan software was inexpensive and could be used on any scanner.  I tried it but wasn’t impressed and so turned to Lasersoft’s Silverfast software.  Most reviews I found complained that the software was difficult to use and support and documentation confusing.

I looked at their website to see that, yes, I had to agree that it was confusing and it looked like a steep learning curve.  but also looked at all the features and decided it was probably the way to go… Expensive, also and with the time needed to learn the program, I put off buying or even trying a demo.  I had an excellent computer system, and excellent scanner and an archive of >70,000 transparencies waiting in the queue to be scanned.

Then, last week, I happened to see a link leading to Lasersoft and decided to look around again… Wow, they upgraded their software for my scanner fairly recently and were offering a free upgrade if the older version was purchased between June and the end of the year… I jumped… and bought the old version at a nice price from B&H and then when it arrived three days later, registered it and upgraded to the new current version and saved a few hundred dollars doing so.

I scanned one image with the old software version and then after installing Silverfast Ai Studio 8, chose a transparency at random from the nearest film file cabinet and scanned it… this is the result.  I’m pleased–I have a way to go climbing the learning curve and waiting for them to issue support for my stack loader but in the meantime, I’ll be splitting my computer time between optimizing digital captures and digitizing film…

Peace

Full Moonset

Early this morning there was a full moon full eclipse and I thought I would get up and make some photos but decided to do so if I happened to wake at about o’dark-thirty without an alarm set.  I did want to be up and perhaps up on the roof with a 100-400mm lens on my camera but when I went to sleep at about quarter to o’dark, the temperature outside was just below freezing and there was a thick fog glowing fog blocking view of all but a smudgy overhead moon.  I decided not to set the alarm for the full moonset–an event I try to record this time each year with snow in the Olympic Mountains across the Hood Canal from here.  My gamble was lucky for sleeping in but disappointing because the fog lasted most of the day, finally dissipating late this afternoon revealing a thick layer of clouds that replaced the clear sky high pressure system that has been lingering this past week.

Here, though, is the full moonset I recorded four years ago on Christmas Eve morning over Mount Constance in the Olympic Mountains.

Moonset over Mt Constance in the Olympic Mountains from across the Hood Canal, Washington, USA (Ed Book/EdBookPhoto.com)

Moonset over Mt Constance in the Olympic Mountains from across the Hood Canal, Washington, USA (Ed Book/EdBookPhoto.com)

..and here’s the full moonset from two years ago the beginning of Dec (there was also a ‘Blue Moon’ that month but I missed it due to cloudy skies–we don’t get to see many winter full moonsets).

The full moon setting over the Olympic Mountains Northeast part of the mountain range including Boulder Ridge, The Needles, Buckhorn Mountain and Iron Mountain with morning alpenglow coloring the peaks and snow as viewed from the Kitsap Peninsula, to the east, Olympic National Park and National Forest.  Washington, USA. (Ed Book)

The full moon setting over the Olympic Mountains Northeast part of the mountain range including Boulder Ridge, The Needles, Buckhorn Mountain and Iron Mountain with morning alpenglow coloring the peaks and snow as viewed from the Kitsap Peninsula, to the east, Olympic National Park and National Forest. Washington, USA. (Ed Book)

Peace

What defines the subject of an image?

My Mom used to pull out her Kodak box camera and line up my sisters and me, look through the viewfinder, and when she could see us smiling and looking at the camera, and in the center of the frame, would push the doohickey.  One click and we were done till the next photo occasion.

There was no thought having to do with composition other than having everyone in the center of the frame and smiling at the camera. There were no photos made of any other subject and it probably never occurred to her to use the camera for anything other than documenting her kids, friends, and relatives.  I remember, but don’t know why I didn’t like those occasions and see that proof in early photos with everyone smiling and me crying or having tears streaming.  Perhaps I was making a social comment about Mom’s lack of compositional skills.  (But my dear Mom did record her growing family for documentary purposes–that otherwise would be lost.)

When I picked up a camera, I would look through the viewfinder turning the camera this way and that, amusing myself with the difference in perspective that we don’t get in normal non-camera seeing.  I recorded some of those seeming strange scenes to see how they looked in prints.  (In her frugalness, Mom might comment that I was wasting film–and I probably was.)

In my early photography, I would point the camera at something that caught my interest, and record the moment.  My images could be considered ‘documentary’ being that I was merely documenting that something existed.  Later, I would learn that through careful arrangement of elements in the viewfinder and choosing conditions, that the image made could tell a story.  I got hooked on using graphical descriptions vice verbal.

On a recent excursion across Puget Sound from my home on the Kitsap Peninsula to Seattle, I made this composition.  It was one of a few I made as we crossed the foggy-rainy sound with the city coming into view.  At first, I concentrated on the texture of the water, then, the rail of the ferry, then as the skyline in the distance started to reveal details, I included it.   Just what was the subject and why?

an early rainy gloomy morning trip on a ferry to Seattle across Puget Sound, Washington, USA (Ed Book)

an early rainy gloomy morning trip on a ferry to Seattle across Puget Sound, Washington, USA (Ed Book)

Was it the water–because it was in the center of the frame? (my Mom might think so).  Was it the railing–because it was in focus?  Was it the city skyline? or was it the mood?  In my mind’s eye, what I wanted to depict in this image was a feeling of being secure and looking out at a gloomy day… The security from the in-focus high-contrast railing, and gloom being the low contrast water and distant shore.

In the image, there are points of interest and counterpoints, the cleat on the railing and, of course, the city skyline.  I think both are needed to give a sense of place.

But…  It wasn’t really foggy or gloomy when I made the image.  It was a gray day though with a slight hint of the promise of gloominess–I felt that this image just needed it.   So, in Photoshop Lightroom, I used a brush with decreased midtone contrast (“clairity”) and reduced the contrast on everything except the railing.  I also darkened the top of the image to duplicate the dark shadow of the railing so the image wouldn’t be too bottom heavy.  (Looking at the image now, Ithink I might like the dark band at the top minimized a little.)

What do you think?  Did my handling of the image make my point?

Peace

Cross-country Skiing season arrives along the Mount Tahoma Trails

A cross country skier strides into new snow along the Rainier Vista Trail of the Mount Tahoma Trails in the Washington state Cascade Mountain Range near Mount Rainier. USA (Ed Book)

This is a practice post while I attempt to get some bugs out of migrating to this blogging engine.

Peace

another jail I saw in my travels

 (Ed Book/EdBookPhoto)

(Ed Book/EdBookPhoto)

©2004 Ed Book

I found this jail when crossing the Colorado Rockies on my last film photo expedition during late autumn in ’04.  I made this capture with the Pentax 4MP point-n-shoot digital camera I was using at the time along with my film camera systems.  I am so far behind in film scanning that I haven’t yet seen the film images from this location yet.

 

Peace

a jail I visited

pump house that somone had labeled "Jail" as a joke at the Almota Docks on the Snake River, La Crosse, WA (Ed Book)

pump house that somone had labeled "Jail" as a joke at the Almota Docks on the Snake River, La Crosse, WA (Ed Book)

©2010 Ed Book

I was traveling along some back roads in southeastern Washington state and came across this building labeled “JAIL”.  I had stopped to photograph the overflowing wheat elevators along the Snake River and included this building in my captures that day.

A couple days ago, I was optimizing and adding metadata to images and converted this image to monochrome which seems to work better than color for such images.  I add metadata to all my images (stuff like who, what, where, when, etc about the image including keywords that would apply to the image for search engines to locate and list in their searches.  I remembered the location being along either the Columbia or Snake rivers but although I could remember the lay of the land and what was about, couldn’t recall the exact location…

Google Maps and Google Earth to the rescue.  I remembered that I was on the north bank of the river and there was a stream leaving the hills nearby with a road climbing out of the river valley up that canyon.  I started on the lower Columbia River looking for the grain elevators cruising up the river and then up the Snake till I found the location… fairly easy but I was distracted by all the other features along the way, several times forgetting that I was looking for a specific location.

I found the grain elevators on the dock and the small “jail” and added the location information but what was it about this small jail?   I Googled the location of the elevators to find that it was a county coop and found a phone number for the site… I called… ‘was told that labeling their pump house as a “JAIL” was someone’s idea of a joke but there really wasn’t a story behind it…

So, if there was a story behind it, what would it be?  and why would someone paint JAIL on a pumphouse?  What was the joke?

 

Peace

Douglas Fir visits with the half moon

I’m often surprised to find the moon in some of my compositions.  Serendipity or poor recollection of where the moon is at all times… (like right now, I have to look up to see the glow of the moon on the wall across the room.  It’s a glow in the dark moon pinned to the wall yet, I often am caught off guard catching its light out the corner of my eye and then having to look to see whaaa?

In this image, I was looking at the tall lone Douglas Fir tree and amused at its shape and then, noticed the half moon in close visual vicinity.  I would have thought that the moon would have caught my eye first and then noticed the interaction with the tree

 

water lily in our pondlet (muck bucket)

A few years ago when I started the pond, digging a big hole and piling the dirt up along with boulders to make a hill for a waterfall, I bought some pond plants and planted them in a couple muck buckets to wait till the real pond happened.  This lily persisted and prevailed after all the others either quit or were eaten by something that pulled them out of the water a few years ago.

pink petaled water lily with yellow reproductive parts (Ed Book)

pink petaled water lily with yellow reproductive parts (Ed Book)

Water Lily blooming

©2011 Ed Book

some more water lily images …

 

Peace

Puget Sound crossing calm water fog clouds and blue sky

A ferry crossing across Puget Sound is often met by low thin fog rendering distance objects invisible (Ed Book)
Puget Sound crossing

Washington, USA

Although I live on a peninsula in Puget Sound, I don’t often cross to Seattle on the ferry so I never get jaded by the experience.  To me, every crossing is different.  Last week we crossed when there was a low thin fog just over the water surface which hid the far shoreline as well as any hazards in the water undetected by radar.  A fog watch was posted on the bow to direct the captain around any such objects (floating logs, stumps, small boats, and slow moving sea monsters) 

Peace

Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron intimidation confrontation

 

©2011 Ed Book

This heron must have found a sweet, or rather fishy spot as none of the other herons along the shore were being harassed but even when two or three herons would frequent this spot, the eagles would take offense and harass them.

Peace

Hood Canal in a simple composition

what is the simplest composition in an image?  (show of hands)  [I see, no hands, correct, no anything would be the simplest composition, catch my drift now?]   But, with nothing to look at, what would there be to look at?    So, the ‘nothing’ composition would not work.

How about adding a line or a texture, or a color would that work–depends on the line or texture or color–I hear you.

How about this image of the Hood Canal, does this work as a simple composition?  Should it be simplified further and how so?  Would you consider it to be simple enough to be considered “Zen”?

late afternoon sunlight reflects brightly from the Hood Canal of Puget Sound, Washington, USA Viewed looking west from the Kitsap Peninsula to the far shore Olympic Peninsula (Ed Book)

late afternoon sunlight reflects brightly from the Hood Canal of Puget Sound, Washington, USA Viewed looking west from the Kitsap Peninsula to the far shore Olympic Peninsula (Ed Book)

Hood Canal of Puget Sound simple composition


©2011 Ed Book

Would the composition work if the far shore houses were minimized or removed?  the color on the mountainside?  Is the far shore needed at all?  If there was a flying bird silhouette in the distance as a ‘counterpoint’ would that take away or add to the image?  (“what’s a ‘counterpoint’?” some will ask.  Answer: topic for another post.)

So, what do you think?  what statement does this image make and how can it say it more succinctly*?

Peace

* succinct |sə(k)ˈsi ng (k)t|
adjective
(esp. of something written or spoken) briefly and clearly expressed : use short, succinct sentences. See note at terse .
DERIVATIVES:
succinctly |sə(k)ˈsɪŋ(k)tli| |səkˈsɪŋk(t)li| adverb
succinctness |sə(k)ˈsɪŋ(k)tn1s| |sə(k)ˈsɪŋk(t)n1s| noun
ORIGIN: late Middle English (in the sense [encircled] ): from Latin succinctus ‘tucked up,’ past participle of succingere, from sub- ‘from below’ + cingere ‘gird.’
SYNONYM: concise, short (and sweet), brief, compact, condensed, crisp, laconic, terse, to the point, pithy, epigrammatic, synoptic, gnomic; formal compendious. See note at terse .
ANTONYM: verbose.

[note]  I had to look it up because it’s a word I use sparingly and wanted to see if I was using it correctly… and I see why my use of this word is rare.

 

airborne at the Hood Canal

Flying Bald Eagle at the Hood Canal of Puget Sound

 
 ©2011 Ed Book

Peace

Baldy gives Blue an Eagle Eye

a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) eyes a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) along a Pacific Oyster bed on the shore of the Hood Canal of Puget Sound, Washington, USA (Ed Book)

a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) eyes a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) along a Pacific Oyster bed on the shore of the Hood Canal of Puget Sound, Washington, USA (Ed Book)

©2011 Ed Book

Peace

 

Why did the Bald Eagle hide in a tree?

 So the fish couldn’t find it.

or? 


Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
in a
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
along the Hood Canal of Puget Sound

©2011 Ed Book

Peace

gathering of Bald Eagles at the Hood Canal

 I wonder what this mature eagle had to say to the group.

I watched as a mature bald eagle lost a fish to another eagle while in flight.  Then, I heard the victim screeching in typical eagle discourse and then watched six eagles land along the shore with the muggee in the center.  This eagle vocalized a while and then the others watched as it flew off–dipping to the water just after liftoff to snatch another fish and fly of to its nest with the snack.

Watching these magnificent birds interact causes one to think of possible human parallels but I wonder what they were really saying.  What do you think?


gathering of Bald Eagles
along the shore of the Hood Canal at Big Beef Creek
Puget Sound, Washington


©2011 Ed Book

Peace

 

Bald Eagles at Lone Rock

 We’ve been having a few sunny clear days lately and I’ve spent a couple of them, when the tide was out, down the hill where Big Beef Creek flows into the Hood Canal.  The tide flats are broad there and covered by oyster beds.  These very rough textured beds make for lots places where small fish get trapped in shallow pools or to get tangled in seaweed amongst the oysters while the tide is out.  Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons frequent these tidelands in search of sushi and aren’t disappointed.  

Yesterday, when I was down there getting sunburned, I counted over three dozen Bald Eagles without turning my head.  Lots of them are young and inexperienced fliers who need their parents to help finding food while a lot more are adolescents that are two and three years old and can be identified by their splotchy brown feathers starting to give way to solid brown body and white head and tail feathers.

What gives their age away even more than their feather coloring is their adolescent behavior.  They are clumsy and often make poor decisions about safety.  Although they are good fliers and seem to be more responsive in tight turns and close quarter maneuvering than their elders, I suspect the elders are just demonstrating moderation as a survival technique.  The immatures will often confront other immatures as well as adults to try to steal a fresh catch and although often successful, will most often be made a fool for their brash actions.  

I watched a mature eagle catch a small fish (bullhead) and was flying with the fish when attacked by an immature.   The young eagle managed to latch it’s talons on either the fish or eagle foot causing the elder to drop the fish, The youngster was successful in the first part of it’s theft attempt but found itself in the situation of being upside-down and close to the ground.  Many of these foolish young punks don’t make it to adulthood because of these antics.  

In this case, the adult flew off to find another fish while the immature, after crashing, jumped up to see who was watching, went after the fish that fell into the water.  The water was deep and the immature would have to spend some time drying out after it’s soaking swim and flailing to get airborne again.

here’s one of the images of that interaction:


Bald Eagle confrontation
at Big Beef Creek on the Hood Canal
Puget Sound, Washington
 
 

©2011 Ed Book

 

Home Run!

 I was in Bremerton for a meeting a couple days ago and driving by Lions Field I saw that there was a ball game happening.  I wasn’t in a hurry but was in the mood for making some photographs.  I walked down to the field and liked the diamond grid produced and held my Canon G9 against a post and pushed the doohickey.  There’s a delay between pushing the doohickey and actual exposure while the camera decides parameters for exposure so action photos are most often miss instead of hit.  

On this occasion, my button squeeze and meter delay coincided with the pitcher throwing, the ball traveling to the plate and the batter anticipating the pitch… SMACK! and click happened simultaneously and I caught the action… although the exposure was long enough that the batter is a blur, I felt that the image would be a success… for me, at least.  The SMACK resulted in an inside the park home run…  My exposures of the base-running action produced major blurs and no players as they were moving too quickly to register.  

Here’s what that SMACK/click produced:

Home Run at Lions Field, Bremerton, Washington

©2011 Ed Book

The next batter ended the game but I managed to catch him in his swing… uh huh, another homerun…   (I overheard someone say that the score was so lopsided that the team that was ahead put in a pitcher who had never pitched before and threw some pitches other hand…  

Here are a few more images made at the baseball field…

Peace

The Palouse

The Palouse wheatlands viewed from Steptoe Butte


More Palouse wheatlands


and still more Palouse

and click here for even more Palouse including the windfarms of the Blue Mountain foothills

©Ed Book

Peace