I Got The Poster – Sweet

My 16×24″ ‘self made’ poster has arrived from the printer. I am very pleased. It is everything I hoped it would be.

I wrote Scott Kelby, author of the book where I found the technique I used, to thank him for the idea. No response.

Now it’s time to frame it and the two panoramas I received earlier in the week.

I went to Michael’s, the crafts store, last night between newscasts. Talk about being a stranger in a strange land! They just don’t get a lot of male customers, without a woman dragging them in.

Since my panos are unusual sizes, I went to ‘build’ frames using the kits they sell. They had one, but not two, 8″ pieces. Stock should be in today and I’ll try and pick it up.

Of course they don’t sell the glass. Neither does Home Depot, across the street. You’d think this would be something home Depot would do, wouldn’t you?

There is a glazier pretty close to me, so I called this afternoon. They don’t have the proper thickness glass (1/8″ – but they could have told me anything), but can have it tomorrow. Last time I bought glass it was more expensive than anticipated. It’s still made from sand, right?

Hopefully, by sometime tomorrow afternoon, my first three pieces of photographic artistry will be ready for wall hanging. There is a pure, pristine, virginal wall (the right side of the hallway to our bedroom) which will become my gallery. I suppose I’ll go through my older photos, looking for more shots to print.

As much as I enjoy photography, I hardly ever print my work. Often, I’ll work on a photo in Photoshop just to see what transpires and then discard the finished product, holding onto the original photo file, but doing nothing with it.

Now I can change all that.

Finishing My Photos

We’ve been back from our cruise for nearly three weeks and I’m finally finished working on the pictures. It was easier in the old school point-and-shoot film days when you brought your film in and walked out with prints.

Today’s tools are more versatile and the prints are simply better in the digital era – at least for me.

We ordered a ‘book’ of 60 – 4×6″ pictures from the 1,700 I shot on the cruise.

I know there are bound books you can buy, but we’ve chosen to have these pictures ‘loosely’ bound with a spiral binding. We did it last year with our California vacation and were very pleased with the result.

My panoramas went to epingo.com, a company I found through a web search. They offer to print custom sizes, and my panos are anything but standard. I’m waiting to see how they turn out, because the photos (even enlarged) have lots of detail. Since they’re composed of many more pixels than can be displayed on my computer screen, seeing them there probably doesn’t begin to do them justice.

It’s my understanding epingo.com uses a very high quality ink jet printer. That’s different from the process used on most photo prints and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one up close and personal.

A few nights ago, I was thumbing through “The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers,” by Scott Kelby and came upon his idea for creating a poster. His demo was individual photos of a baby’s face. I thought it might work for a few of my Mexican shots. My finished product is displayed on the left above.

I am really pleased with how it came out. Response from my friends (who as friends will compliment or say nothing at all) has been extremely positive.

This is more technique than artistry. It’s really not too difficult to do (though I did it three times until I got the spacing the way I wanted it). It was done with Photoshop, but it’s tough to believe Photoshop Elements, Paintshop Pro, GIMP&#185 or any other program that ships with digital cameras, don’t have the few tools needed to achieve this same result.

Like the panos, I am very interested in seeing this printed. There’s a lot of detail available, even for the 16×24″ size I specified. My finished product was created at 300 dpi (dots per inch), which I hope is enough to maintain the quality I think is there. It went to clubphoto.com, who are also doing the 60 bound 4×6’s.

I’ll post my impressions when the prints arrive.

&#185 – GIMP is a very good photo finishing program. What makes it even better is, it’s 100% free. The prevailing wisdom is, it’s comparable to Photoshop, though not quite as good or robust. The user interface is obtuse and clunky and will feel unfamiliar to most Windows users. Did I mention it’s free?

Anniversary Day

This is not going to be a mushy romantic recap of our 22nd anniversary. It just wasn’t one of those days. That being said, this was a great day.

Have I mentioned how lucky I am to be married to Helaine? It’s true. Even after 22 years. I’ve definitely gotten the better end on this deal. After all, all she got was me!

11-26-05_2013By the time I got up, the flowers I sent were here. That’s it. That was the anniversary gift. Helaine says we don’t give anniversary gifts. I don’t remember being in that decision making process, but I go with the flow.

We do exchange cards. I gave Helaine three, bought yesterday at Stop & Shop. Damn – as I was leaving, she told me why I was going. Is there no surprise left here?

My favorite was a cute card in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish. I sort of know what part of the card says… she’s caliente. I guess I could run the rest through Google’s translator, but why spoil the fun?

11-26-05_2014Steffie has been here for Thanksgiving – her first trip back since starting college. She wanted to go to the mall, and though I enjoy malls as she enjoys museums, I went along.

Helaine and Steffie did what they do, and I did what I do. Bookstore first. Is there anything better for a guy in the mall than perusing the bookstore?

The computer section at Barnes and Noble is a shadow of its former self. I guess computer tinkering isn’t what it once was… or maybe everyone knows everything.

Of course I bought a book: The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby. I had thumbed through it for a half hour before pulling the trigger.

As a photographer, I’m always looking for ways to advance my art (whatever that means). There were all sorts of cool tricks to cover up for my photographic shortcomings.

11-26-05_1631Once I left B&N, I walked the mall – each and every inch… at least twice… maybe three times. You know, if you walk the mall and just people watch, there’s a lot to see.

More interesting than the stores are the middle-of-the-aisle kiosks. Do that many people want to buy a cellular phone plan in the mall? There must have been a few dozen of those. There was also a kiosk devoted to selling Dragonsoft’s Simply Speaking. That seemed out of place.

I did light for a few minutes at FYE and let a kid show me how to play some auto racing game on an old version XBox. That was actually fun, as I evaded the police, driving as I normally drive.

We ended the evening having pizza at Bertucci’s in Milford (or maybe it’s Orange, I never can tell).

There was actually one more thing we needed to do this evening – take Stef back to school.

Because I’m working Sunday evenings, and because of our anticipation of traffic, we decided a late night jaunt to Long Island would work best. We left around 11:00 PM, spent 20 minutes in the dorm, and were back home by 3:00 AM.

For me, those are prime time hours. And, when you drive at this time on a Saturday, there’s little traffic.

So, the anniversary’s over. And, like I said, it wasn’t gushy or overly romantic. Still there’s something reassuringly warm and romantic about our relationship.

Helaine and I spent lots of time together today, and lots of time with our daughter. I enjoyed nearly every second. Quite honestly, I haven’t had enough of either of them yet.

Isn’t that what love is really all about?

Blogger’s note: I have started to use more photos from my Motoroloa RAZR on the blog. As a camera, it sucks. Still, at the tiny size I use here, it works. If you click on any photo expecting to see a work of art, forget it. Full size, these photos are a disappointment.

Oh – and to make sure this entry is reflected on our anniversary, I have changed the posting time. It’s my blog. I make the rules.