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mtngal Jul 23, 2012 12:05 AM

Week 19 of 52
My spare time on Monday during the day was spent watching the CS6 Essential videos on Lynda.comís website. Its such a great resource, Iíve picked up all kinds of tricks, little things and learned about some tools Iíve never used, while discovering how some controls work with tools I do use regularly. I havenít finished the course, but have already pages of notes.

Tuesdayís lunch was spent touring a recently renovated building. It had been originally built as a womenís dorm and has been renovated for offices and other administrative uses. It was interesting to see how they mixed the historical with the new.

Old doors:

The original mailboxes, now just decorative:

I can just imagine generations of girls, rushing back from classes with high anticipation to check for letters from home or from boyfriends. Or perhaps with anxiety waiting for grades to arrive.

Drinking fountains just donít look like this any more:

And you donít normally find this type of light fixtures in conference rooms:

I wasnít very inspired Wednesday and again spent my time before work and at lunch watching CS6 videos. I did manage this quick shot of something thatís a very important to any office:

Thursday found me taking a walk at lunch, again looking for circles for the biweekly challenge. I took these two pictures, thought they were fun. Liked how the in-your-face hydrant came out, along with the circle of flowers. I posted them here: . I had also taken these two pictures, posted here: - the first one is a highly anticipated store that will be opening July 29th. I didnít get any feedback about the second one, I wonder if it really is lousy. I liked the lines and graphics of it, but perhaps its one of the many ďalmostĒ pictures, where the idea is better than the execution.

Friday had a fabulous sunset, loved the colors.

I took other pictures of the sunset that were equally good, but still havenít processed them. I keep finding time a real problem with this project.

Saturday I basically took off from everything. I did decide to take a picture I had been thinking about for a while. It involved using a flash, and it seems to me that my camera sometimes does odd things with flash Ė I have it set to be a control only, not to provide any light to the picture. But I think half the time it provides light anyway. Also, Iíve found it difficult to anticipate how to set everything to get the exposure right Ė sometimes it over-exposes and sometimes it under-exposes with flash. That could be the fact that the camera thinks the on-board flash shouldnít be providing any light, when it really is. But it could be because I just donít understand flash, and have struggled with all of the cameras Iíve owned.

In any case, hereís the story behind my next picture. Thereís an old song, part of which goes:

My Grandfather's Clock

My grandfather's clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopp'd short ó never to go again ó
When the old man died.

- Henry Clay Work, 1876

My father had some old clocks. His favorite was a banjo clock and he would faithfully wind it every week. The week after he died, my sister went to wind it and it wouldnít work, and it hasnít worked since. Every time I look at it, I think of the song.

I like how I finally got the flash to work Ė the 540 flash is covered with a coffee filter diffuser and itís facing toward the hall wall opposite where the clock is propped up, and somewhat angled up. That wall is white, the ceiling is finished wood planks, so the light ended up being warmer than it would have been just bouncing off of the wall or a white ceiling. Iím still not happy about the hot spots, but otherwise it came out all right (no harsh shadows, at least).

Sunday found me trying some new processing methods for sharpening and exploring some other tools in photoshop. I did take a few minutes to walk around the house to take some pictures. I ended up posting a collage of pine needles Ė with the exception of one vine, our yard is made up of native pinon pine trees. They are hardy pines, drought resistant and slow-growing, usually growing an average of 6 inches a year. Their short needles grow in singles Ė many pines have needles that grow in twos or threes. When looked at from a little distance, they look a solid green color (picture on left). But if you look closely, they have lines on them (picture on right).

Pine sap:

The stuff is super-sticky and hard to get off even your skin. Itís best avoided if at all possible.

The one vine Ė leaves:

And the fruit:

As soon as these lovely Concord grapes turn red, theyíll be gone. The birds know exactly when they are ripe and will strip the vine before I can get any of them.

I spent the day experimenting with other types of processing, some realistic (used for these Sunday pictures), some not. I was going to post them in this thread to get your reaction about them, but donít have room. Also, I missed one day this past week and used one of them to fill the hole (so Iíll post it for week 20), one is over-the-top for the picture I used it on, Iíll try to find a more suitable subject for that technique. It has potential but not for every-day things. Iím still a week behind, as these are for the second week in July, not this past third week. Iíll get caught up eventually.

pboerger Jul 23, 2012 9:20 AM

Looks like you're having fun again. Nice series.

mtngal Jul 24, 2012 12:19 AM

Thanks, Paul. It was a fun week and I'm really enjoying playing around with new techniques in photoshop, too.

simowills Jul 24, 2012 6:02 AM

Cool pic's again, spooky story about your clock.
Well done!

mtnman Jul 25, 2012 9:35 PM

Another fabulous variety of photos. I love the close up shots of the pine sap, and the architectural details of the renovated building are very nice. I love your story about the clock. That song has been one of my favorite folk songs for many years (several decades, actually). To have a true life story that so closely matches the song is both wonderful and weird.

mtngal Jul 25, 2012 11:27 PM

I've always loved the song also - a wonderful old folk song. In some ways I was stretching things, I tried to wind it myself a week after it quit working and it feels like it was wound too tight or something, it doesn't wind at all. No one has bothered to get it fixed, the clock is old and fragile. We recently found someone who does clock restorations, so hopefully I'll be able to get it fixed next month.

I wasn't sure anyone else would like the pine sap, it's rather an odd thing.

Keltech Jul 29, 2012 1:00 PM

Harriet pine sap no matter how well photographed is YUCK! I have many White pine trees on my property and I am forever removing the sap from everything.

But as I have said in the past your shots are indeed diverse so why not pine sap.


mtngal Jul 29, 2012 11:34 PM

Lou - how do you get pine sap off of things? Especially hands? I haven't found a particularly good way, it defies soap etc.

mole Jul 30, 2012 12:40 AM

Very interesting photos of the renovated dorm - especially the interior details.
Wonderful sunset colors.
Bittersweet story, well-illustrated with the clock.

PS - Pine sap dissolves in alcohol - rubbing alcohol will take it off easily...

mtngal Jul 30, 2012 11:23 PM

Thank you VERY much, mole! Didn't think about rubbing alcohol, I'll have to try that.

I wondered if it was only me that would love the old building's details. I don't think I did the drinking fountain justice, but I loved the staircase too, and it all fit together with thoughts of generations of girls living there (as you can tell, I once lived in a dorm, not quite as beautiful as that though).

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