As an old crusty engineer and military officer, I enjoy order in my life. I like having ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’ Those of you who know me well also know that I also have a somewhat chaotic side, and my ‘everything in its place’ side isn’t always dominant. When it comes to certain aspects of photography, I am very ‘orderly.’ For example, I have developed a filing system for my images that works well for me. I have file folders for certain subjects and geographic areas with subfolders for subjects, all arranged by date (year – month – day). I maintain shooting logs that show when and where I’ve been, and sometimes contain notes for future shoots.
My workflow for downloading images to the computer (within the proper subject/geographical area folder and date subfolder) is well established. Recently, I watched a great tutorial about Adobe Bridge, a photo management software linked to Photoshop and Lightroom, and learned how to use Bridge more effectively to download my images and identify those worthy of additional processing. Let’s face it, that little bitty screen on the back of your camera body can only tell you so much (good exposure and maybe if you’re in focus). You have to get the image on the big screen to see if it’s really good. After the tutorial, I made changes to my workflow that I hope will make my filing system better for subsequent retrieval. Time will tell.
Another of my very orderly processes is backing up my images. I used to use a triple redundancy system using the SD card from the camera, the computer’s internal hard drive, and an external hard drive. When I changed my shooting routine to RAW format (see my post ‘All RAW – All the Time’ on June 8, 2015), I began to fill up SD cards like mad, with the resulting problem of devising a means of labeling and storing them. Have you ever tried to put a label on an SD card? They are less than an inch wide, just over an inch long, and usually have a dark label! More importantly, even though they are coming down in price, they are still expensive! I changed my storage system to the computer’s internal hard drive and two separate external hard drives. I still have triple redundancy, and a more effective means of storing my larger images, such as panoramas stitched together from multiple images – they are downright huge! I will admit that eventually the long term storage goes to double redundancy as I haven’t installed additional hard drive capacity on my computer and I’ve almost filled the hard drive with this year’s images. I am removing older images from my computer to conserve space. I back up everything on a monthly basis.
So, we move on to the chaotic side. My computer desk is a mess, with magazines and notes and – well – accumulated crap. I will clean my desk on a cold day this winter – or not! Probably not (ha ha). But there’s also the chaos that results from exploring my creative side. As you’ve seen in previous posts, I’ve been exploring panoramas and monochrome images. I think I’m getting better – the phone calls to my wonderful Photoshop mentors are fewer and I’m not repeating my questions to them as often. I think they’re thankful for that. And I’m becoming more daring in my editing. I try new things more and more frequently, and am becoming more comfortable with the ‘undo’ button when I do something badly or that I don’t like.
Maybe chaos isn’t the right word after all, but to a regimented and very process-oriented engineer type, this new creative side is very chaotic. I just hope the results are worth it! Let’s look at this week’s images.
I have been very lucky to find Kestrels, and the ones I’ve found are very cooperative.
I was in the Pine Nuts looking for the wild horses and caught this little fella’ sitting on this tree. I like it!
I was cruising Foothill Road last week and saw this Kestrel having a bite of lunch.
When he noticed me, he took off to eat in peace somewhere else.
I took this image last January, but used my newly developed Photoshop skills to make this image.
Another from January. Must have been a cold day!
A few weeks ago, I got my first Bald Eagle of the season. Just yesterday, I got my first Golden Eagle. Actually, I drove by a pair of them sitting on a utility pole, but one flew off as I parked and got out of the car.
Goldens are majestic, too.
This one gave me a couple images and then took off. I’m still working on getting focus on birds in flight.
I was checking out Carson River Road last week, and this doe casually walked by.
Check her belly – still wet from crossing the adjacent river.
This image is not cropped. She was so close I couldn’t make my lens short enough and get more background.
The Hawks are returning to the Carson Valley. I was getting out of the car to shoot a fence with several Hawks in line. As I got ready to shoot, a Hawk flew in and forced the one sitting to take off. I was lucky to get this shot!
What a scene. No fighting over roosting spots kids!
This week, you get several panoramas.
The Sierras across the Carson Valley. That’s Jobs Peak on the left and Genoa Peak about a quarter in from the right edge. I shot this in monochrome and then made my adjustments.
The Sierras on a different day. I love the cloud formation in the upper left corner of the image.
The Pine Nut Range. The wild horses roam an area to the left of these mountains. This is part of my monochrome exploration.
The Pine Nuts in color. Yes, it’s hard to live here with all this natural beauty. (I can’t believe I typed that with a straight face!)
Well, that’s all for this post. As always, enjoy! And stay warm!!