storm

22 Apr

Here comes the rain again…

By Silver Blue

Woke up this morning to Mother Nature having a field day in raining, and knocking the proliferation of pollen into the gutter and down the drain.

Hard to see in these photos, but the old lady is really having a go at it. We’ll end up somewhere between 1/4 of an inch and 5 inches today, depending on which weather forecaster you listen to. I’m hedging my bets in the 1-2″ range. We need it. The weather has been hot and dry.

Of course, I’d be more happy if we didn’t get it in a 5 minute period, but over the course of the day, so it has a chance to sink in, allowing every plant, tree, and shrub the ability to drink their fill.

As the rain bubbles and dances its way down the gutter, along the curb, there are patches that are heavy yellow with pollen. For the moment, adios allergies.

Very little wind associated with this, however. I was hoping to hear the windchimes in their tonal song, but it’s not meant to be.

After all the blue skies of recent, I must admit that Mother Nature does look good in grey.

But there is such a thing as too much. Quit showing off.

I was fortunate. The rain let up just long enough to grab a few shots and then back up on the porch I went.

Just remember  “Hey now, what we had is gone…But I still remember you. Just like a rose after the rain, Something beautiful remains.” (“Something Beautiful Remains”, Tina Turner)

[audio:http://eyesofsilverblue.com/e-ontric.mp3]

Silver Blue, who says “For every thing that happens…there is a song.”

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02 Mar

Why I’m starting to shoot RAW.

By Silver Blue

RAW? You mean like…naked? No, gentle readers. With most cameras these days you can shoot one of two ways: JPG or RAW. With JPG, the camera applies the White Balance, any exposure compensation you may have selected, picture styles, etc. and then compresses the file into JPG format and records it to the storage medium.

RAW, on the other hand, takes the data as recorded by the image sensor and records that to the storage medium without applying compression or any sort of modification to the photograph (some cameras store your settings in a “sidecar” file that goes along with the RAW file).

The difference? Well, using my Canon T3i (18 megapixel), my JPGs are about 5 or 6 megabytes per photo (may be more, or less, depending on the complexity of the photo – more complex means less compression, ergo, larger file sizes). RAW files are in the range of 18-20 megabytes per photo, because every pixel gets recorded. Also, a JPG is ready to be viewed, uploaded, emailed, resized, etc. from the memory card where a RAW file needs to be processed and refined.

So why bother with RAW, you might ask, given that the files are larger and there’s more manipulation that is required in order to turn out  usable images?

Since the Canon T3i allows me a way of shooting RAW + JPG at the same time, I thought I’d play with it and see if RAW served any purpose other than my High Dynamic Range (HDR) that I’m learning to do.  I’ll let you decide.

The JPG:

Now, the same photo, taken from RAW, and processed out:

RAW format allows you to retrieve detail and texture from areas that have been plunged into almost complete darkness in the JPG compression.  The lower photo matches what my eye saw, visually.

(In order to be honest, you CAN retrieve SOME detail from a JPG, but what’s lost is lost. This was probably the best that could have been pulled back out of the shadows of the JPG, but if you look, the colours are slightly off, and there’s more digital “noise” in the photo.)

I could have possibly tweaked colour sliders and brought back the yellow cast of the approaching storm, but… it’s more work, and every time I make an edit to a JPG file, it’s considered a “destructive” edit (unless I go through making multiple adjustment layers in Photoshop), whereas the original RAW file is never altered. All the adjustments are kept in a sidecar file and are editable at any time. Now, next week, or 10 years from now. (Provided, of course, that the Mayans were wrong and the world doesn’t end on December 21, 2012.)

[audio:http://eyesofsilverblue.com/tfsw.mp3]

Silver Blue, who wonders if I’m getting into the intricacies of photography a TAD too much. LOL.

 

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31 Aug

There’s got to be a morning after.

By Silver Blue

A shot taken prior to the arrival of Hurricane Irene. I was in introspective mode, but love the way that Mother Nature says, in spite of everything, life will go on. Hampton Roads was spared a great deal of devastation from the storm, which at its peak, was a larger storm in size (but not in intensity) than Hurricane Katrina.

Managed to make it through without much damage at all. I had a piece of my siding trim blow off (which I retrieved from the yard):

I just need someone with a 25′ ladder and a hammer to put it back in place.

The house took on no water in the basement (which means the furnace and hot water heater were saved), but the back yard, above the old septic tank, held quite a bit of water:

I gave this lawnmower to the neighbours. They were going to put it in their shed, once they made room for it. It sits above the abandoned septic tank. The storm water came to within 2 inches of covering the mower.

I give credit to numerous deities for keeping my property safe, but also to my Northern Star. They kept an eye on things here… I know they did because of the clues they left behind:

Silver Blue, who knows there’s got to be a morning after, if we can hold on through the night…

 

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