Friday, August 28, 2009

Almost There!

Well, I'm almost there now. The computer guys have been able to retrieve 167gb of my 215, and they should have the rest by today sometime. What an ordeal for them. Apparently, the hard drive can't be run very long before it reverts to the messages that "the drive has to be reformatted before you can continue" or something else that won't let you retrieve any other files. Let it cool down, and you're good to go for a few more gigs of transfer. I am so very, VERY thankful that they have been able to get this far with it. The files are being transferred to my new Western Digital 1TB external USB hard drive, and I am looking forward to bringing that baby home!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things Are Looking A Little Brighter

Well, it has been quite an experience for me since last Friday. I ended up having to leave my 1TB hard drive with the computer guys. Apparently, it was a serious problem. What was frustrating was that it would go in and out. You'd think you had it working because it was recognizing all the folders. However, you couldn't get to them because it claimed they were read only. I had to leave my computer with them for awhile, too, because we still weren't sure whether part of the problem could have been the USB ports, but it turned out not to be the issue.

What they ended up doing was transferring as much information as they could, while the HD would let them, to a good HD. Then, when it quit again, they would have to wait several hours or overnight and pick up where it left off later. I had a little over 215GB of images on it so, needless to say, I was seriously considering what my game plan would be if they couldn't get it all back. I did a REALLY stupid thing and had all of my images on that HD with NO backup. SERIOUS lesson learned here! I knew I could get my images back from my website host. And, if I asked nicely, I may have been able to get most of my stock images back from the stock sites. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. I really did not want to have to go that route if at all possible.

However, I had a peace about the whole thing, too. It was what it was, and there was nothing I could do to change that now. I will admit I prayed an awful lot about it!

I ended up buying another HD today, and the computer guys were going to transfer all that they had retrieved over to it. We talked about putting it all on DVDs. But after they told me it would take their guys a minimum of half a day of billable hours to transfer my images to 50-60 disks at $90 an hour, I changed my mind about that idea real quick.

So, hopefully by tomorrow sometime I will have my HD back, and I'll be able to start catching up with things again. You don't realize how addicted you are to that stuff until you have to do without it.

Thanks, Patricia for your comment and concern today. A by-product of not having access to my images on my HD is that I had to dig around for old images on CDs that I had. I was able to get a few more products up on my Zazzle and Greeting Card Universe stores, so that was good.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Oops ... "Houston, we have problems!"

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't had a "Picture Of The Day" for the last couple of days. My computer and external hard drive have decided that my time is better spent struggling with them than posting. So far, I haven't thrown, broken, smashed, anything ... yet! None of my USB ports want to work for me, and I keep getting "Failure using the VxD loader, Code 19" error message. Been doing lots of searching Internet for solution, but so far nothing is working. My external has decided it wants to be "read only", but won't even let me access it. Worse yet, it says in order to use it now I have to format it. I think NOT! Occasionally, it lets me see the folders so as to tease me and let me know the files are still there. But I can't get to them.

So, tomorrow and through the weekend, if necessary, I will be trying to get "professional" help for this dilemma I'm in. If anyone reading this has come across this problem before, I sure would appreciate a comment or email as to how you solved it.

In the meantime, until this situation is resolved ... HAPPY SHOOTING!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Rained Out Carnival"

I went to the Sarasota County Fair in Sarasota, Florida. It was late in the day when I got there, and the clouds were looking threatening. Later that evening, the rains came. I took cover under a tent next to the carousel and waited for it to pass. I was noticing all the patterns and colors that were being made in the pavement by the rain and colorful lights of the ride. I love how the patterns reflected on the ground.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Floating"

I was practicing shooting water drops falling into this bird bath and the ripples they produced. A red leaf fell into the water and just rested there. I loved the way the colors in the background and the floating leaf complimented each other.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "King Of The Hill"

I had an opportunity back in October of last year to visit the Cades Cove area of Tennessee with a friend. We stayed in her beautiful home up in the mountains. During that visit, I saw another side of nature that you don't see in Florida, and I loved it. The colors were absolutely gorgeous! I'll be posting some of those pictures from time to time.

My friend's cabin was set up in such a way as to "invite" all sorts of wildlife. There were bird baths and feeders set out over the property, and they were constant entertainment during my stay. This Picture Of The Day reflects one of those times. I sat for quite some time watching dove fight over the "top spot" of this feeder. It was very amusing to watch how they would fight for their "favorite" spot. Out of all my shots, there were not very many where I could get all of the birds still in one image. But that was okay. I like the motion of the wings as it helps to tell the story.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Pink Flamingo"

I love these beautiful birds. They are so graceful. One thing about them that really draws me in, besides their beautiful colors, is that yellowish eye that seems to be always staring straight at you. I'm lucky because there are several places in my area to photograph these creatures.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Nature In The Park"

There is a local park that I love to visit, and I do frequently. It's Eureka Springs Park in Tampa, Florida. They closed down several months ago to do some renovations to the covered facility and I almost went into "Eureka withdrawal". They just opened again, so I plan to go back next week. If you ever get the opportunity to go there, you will not be disappointed. It is a very small County park, but it is full of photographic opportunities. In the meantime, here is one of the plants that I photographed on one of my visits.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Nature Slideshow"

Well, I thought I'd do something different today and put in a slideshow from one of my website galleries. Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Happy Face"

You just have to love this guy. What a happy face! Found this funny-looking bird at the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa, Florida. He is an Emu and is native to Australia. I needed a laugh for the day, and he definitely made me smile!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Back In Time"

Do any of you remember having or riding a bike like this? I love "things of the past". I was with some friends doing just casual photography when I saw this bike in a field. It was such a different setting. The pictures I post here because of the downsizing don't have the "punch" that the full versions do. So I know this won't do justice to the colors. But I can't help but be taken back in time with this image. I wonder what kind of life these people lived. How many stories (love?) could this bike tell? What do you feel when you see this image?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Butterfly Garden"

When I first got my digital camera, my workflow was to go through the images and separate the keepers from the trash. Sometimes, I would be a little bit lazy and let some of the bad ones stay on my hard drive. One day, I decided I would just play around with some layering and filtering effects that I had seen. I had kept an image of a butterfly from a local park that wasn't very sharp, but I couldn't bring myself to delete it. It was perfect for what I wanted to do. Filters are so much fun, and you can create some real works of art sometimes almost by accident. This piece has become a good piece for me on my Zazzle site as a postage stamp, mousepad, and card. So, now, I keep a LOT of images that I normally would get rid of.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Beads and Candlelight"

Here's another shot from an inside session at home. Even the most simple things you have laying around the house can become a great image.

Picture Of The Day - "Daytona Beach Pier"

I have vivid memories of my youth and going to Daytona Beach, Florida. The hard sand seemed to run forever. Part of the fun was driving along the beach and checking everyone out. People would be stacked almost on top of each other it was so crowded. What fun that was! I remember the Daytona Beach Pier, the rides, the boardwalk and all the games and eateries. The bandstand always had something going on.

Fast forward to May 2009. My husband had a convention there on the beach, so I went with him. I thought it would be a great photographic opportunity. It rained most of the time when I was free to go out to the beach, but I did get some shots. This picture is of the Daytona Beach Pier Restaurant. You can still go fishing on the end, and the restaurant is open. It wasn't very crowded this time, though. All the rides I remember are now gone. The bandstand was still there, but there wasn't anything going on while we were there. Don't know if they still use it or not.

It was sad to see how things had changed. My husband and I reminisced about our childhood days and what great times we had there. Sometimes, it is good to go back and re-visit your youth.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Lines Of The Tree"

On one of my photo walks in the park, I found this very interesting tree. I loved its lines. For some reason, the colors just looked too bland or uninteresting. So, naturally, I had to play it up a bit with different filters in Photoshop Elements. I have a black and white version of this image, too. But, as I said in a previous post, I tend to be drawn more to saturation in colors. I've still got some work to do in learning how to process black and whites in a way that appeals to me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Sunset On The Lake"

This sunset image was taken in July at one of my favorite local shooting spots called Riverhills Park in Tampa, Florida. It was an exercise in using manual settings at sunset. I think I spent five hours at the lake that day. That's my kind of fun!

I guess we all have our tendencies when post-processing images. Mine seems to be that I like to over saturate a bit. Sometimes that works. But sometimes it doesn't. This image is pretty much as it was out of the camera with just a tiny bit of saturation added, a little exposure compensation, and very minor noise reduction.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Mmmmmmm - Good!"

Can you guess what this little guy has his eye on? You really don't need words, do you. By the look on his face, you can tell it is something really good!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Snakes"

Well, since I did spiders yesterday, it only seemed fitting to do snakes today. As I said, I am NOT fond of snakes. This guy must have seen me coming and laughed himself right out of his skin. Look at that grin on his face!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Spiders"

I really don't like spiders OR snakes! But I couldn't resist shooting this Banana Spider (or Yellow Silk Spider). Their actual name is Golden Silk Spider or Nephila clavipes, and they are harmless. Yellow silk spiders can be found in Florida to the Carolinas, the West Indies, Central America and into South America down to Argentina. There are even larger cousins in the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, and Madagascar, where the natives consider them a food source! I see them quite a bit when doing nature photography walks.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Picture Of The Day - "Beads And Glass"

Ever have one of those days when you can't seem to find anything to photograph? Look around you, there is ALWAYS something to shoot.
It was too hot outside, so my friend and I decided we were going to shoot little things in the house. This would be a good exercise in playing with lights and existing light, using backdrops, and being creative with props. This was the first time Nancy had been to my house. While I was getting busy setting the table and lights up, she searched through the house to find objects to use. I was amazed! There were things that had been around me 24/7, but for some reason I never thought to photograph them. She found shells, candles, glass containers, mirrors, beads, cereal, jars ... all KINDS of stuff! We had a blast that day exploring the possibilities of the photographic world with all these items. This is just one of my favs from that day.