Blue skies are smiling at me

I would be curious to know how many people doctor their digital photographs with a photo program like PhotoShop. I might do that if I had the program. Of course, then I would have to read one of those Dummie books or some sort of manual to figure it out and I’m already busy with a pile of books on my nightstand. I do have a simple scale for making minor adjustments in my iPhoto program and once in a while I adjust for under or over exposure. That’s about all I know how to do.

The thing is, if everybody, especially professionals, are photoshopping their pictures, what happens to the real deal? I mean, Ansel Adams didn’t have PhotoShop. Or a digital camera for that matter.

Anyway, yesterday was a crystal clear blue sky day here in St. Petersburg. It was that way early in the morning when I went to yoga at the Sunken Gardens, it was that way while I worked out in the yard and it was still that way when I finally put away my tools and sat down, right at the edge of dusk. All day long the colors were intensely intense. This is the poem that came to mind when I was supposed to have nothing on my mind during savasana:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth day
of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
                                        ee cummings

I remembered the whole thing because I had typed it onto the front of our wedding program and Rich was coming home from Paris in the evening and that’s how the beautiful day and that poem ran together in my head during yoga.

And these are the pictures I took around 6pm, right before dusk when there was still some golden sun about the place. The colors of the day were perfect without any help from a photo program. There was a Green Anole on the fence (Anolis carolinensis) using the last rays to help shed an old tight skin, the Hannibals were discussing something up in their nest, there was the bottle palm waiting to be planted in the oddly z-scaped front yard and McCloud, like me, was waiting for a certain person to returnLizard

And then the sun left, the moon appeared and Rich came home.



23 responses to “Blue skies are smiling at me

  1. ee commings is one of my favorites and the line “a blue true dream of sky” could only have come from him. Your photos are always good. I use Picasa (via SRP) and sometimes I crop and adjust the light/dark balance, but that is all. It is interesting to contemplate what Ansel might have done had he had Photoshop.

    I know you are glad that Rich is back home…..and you welcomed him with the moon……how sweet!

  2. I use iPhoto to store my photos on my Mac. I just traded up Macs and got one with Photoshop on it. I will use Photoshop to do some processing on my pictures in the future — mostly color correcting and light balancing. I know just enough about Photoshop to be dangerous! I intend to get a good book and learn more but . . . if I got to all the things on my “intend to do” list the world might come to an end so I’m not too worried about that right now. Love your pictures!

    Oh, and most of the photographers on Flickr seem to be a little apologetic when they have to tidy a picture up in Photoshop but sheesh, I used to watch my dad in the darkroom back in the day and he could change photos so dramatically with the way he processed them . . . how is adjusting the pixels with Photoshop any different? I don’t know — yes, it’s wonderful when the pic is PERFECT straight out of the camera but I don’t see what’s wrong with nudging a less than perfect picture closer to perfection (although I despise the word perfect) through technology?

  3. Your photos always do look like they are in HD already. I think the light and colors in Florida make a difference, but now that I think about it, your pics from up North look that good too. Photoshop is expensive, the real deal, get Abby to check her college discount should you ever want it. Jenny got Adobe Creative Suite 2 Premium for 200.00 while Amazon has it close to a 1000.00. I make do with the contrast, brightness and crop part of my camera program. The last photos I took had a very shiny, reflective spot of the fellows head in front of me in every shot.

    Is there another, a new poem in your heart today?

  4. Your photos are exquisite as are your thoughts that you express so well. I’m so glad that you are enjoying Florida. The blue skies can’t be beat these days.

  5. I have a diluted version of Photoshop but to be honest, I’ve never used it because I haven’t had time to read the manual and it is way more complicated than I can deal with. (Still have to read about my cell phone and Rebel and so on) So any sprucing up… cropping and lightening underexposure mainly is done with Picasa. It’s free. I like free. I love the Canon Zoom Lens with IS. Now I just need a really good Macro lens and I will be in heaven.

    And Rich came home from Paris with…….what for you?

  6. Basic tuning, crop, sharpen with Picasa. Nothing beyond that.
    Nice exotic anole you got there. Encourage Mac to eat those and not the green slender natives.
    If you are back in St. Pete for a bit, I will get those coontie seeds to you.

  7. I absolutely love that photograph of the Green Anole shedding his skin. So beautiful. I use Photoshop. As Egret’s Nest mentions, it really can be used the way processing photos in a darkroom is done– adjusting for light, dark, exposures. Photoshop has many, many other features, though, and that’s mostly what people think of when they say a photo has been Photoshopped– I can cut George Bush out of a photo and put him in my backyard pond, or have him standing on my deck with Bill Clinton (which, for some reason, I have done). But that’s very different from adjusting a photo’s pixels.

    That ee Cummings poem was my favorite when I was a teenager. It made me love poetry and life in a way I had not done before.

    Glad to hear Rich is home.

  8. It is impossible to improve on God’s own handiwork…Trying to capture it on man made devices is the trick!

    I concur with you and the blogger comments, the sunshine in Florida IS different than in, say Pennsylvania. I have noticed that often; it seems brighter and more intense and oh so beautiful and energizing.

    I just saw a large collection of Ansel Adams’ work in a museum in Columbus, Gerorgia and learned also that he did manipulate a lot of his work in the darkroom. Nevertheless, his eye for capturing what he saw was a testimony to his artistic abilities.

    I ususally do not do much to my photos either. Just crop and try to make the lighting correct. I did just goof around with one image and it was fun to see what the (included with camera) program could do. I could see manipulating the photo to create a piece of art work for your wall to “go” with your decor etc. It is fun to create and so rewarding, kind of like knitting…!

  9. Oh, happy homecoming! 😀 And the last photo is simply lovely.

    I don’t photoshop anything for the same reason: I don’t have time to learn the program. For some reason, the “fixes” with iphoto won’t stay with my photos so I’ve stopped trying with that. We have gimp, which is a open source for photoshop–like I have time to learn that! IZ keeps telling me it’s easy–but I don’t trust that! Sadly, though, here in the gray northwest, you kinda need Photoshop for decent photos. There are days when I’m hunting for some kind of sun! 😀

  10. Love the moon shot.

    E-spouse recites that cummings poem as a blessing sometimes.

    I use the brightening and red-eye features on the photo program that came with my Nikon sometimes, but that’s about all I know how to do.

    I’m considering buying Photoshop Elements, but only because then I can download my photojournalism work directly from my laptop to the newspaper’s front-end system.

    Photography is changing, like almost everything else, with technology. You should hear some of the photojournalist debates I’ve been privy to about film vs. digital, color vs. b&w, computer imaging vs. darkroom, etc., etc.

  11. I only crop photos or take out the red eye from Steven’s blue eyes. I don’t really have a talent for photography.

  12. I happily play away in Photoshop with many of my pics, usually it’s obvious when I’ve done that. I can’t paint or draw, so I think of it as my creative outlet. 😉

    I’ve been reading along here, just haven’t had the mind to comment lately. I’m a lurker at heart, you know.

    Hope what’s-his-name brought you something wonderful from Paris (besides himself).

  13. Beautiful photos and I don’t have photoshop either. I hope the traveler had a wonderful time in PARIS. (I’m still sulking)

  14. I never play with my photos. What I see is what you get. Perhaps I’m too lazy, I guess. Your photos are always remarkable, Vicki!

  15. Gorgeous pictures. Happy post. Enjoy your beautiful weekend.

  16. I only use photoshop to enlarge my own proportions

    There are only a few places I come for joy. Yours is one of those.

    Trade you some poetry, a bit of Whitman, why I keep coming here:

    The delicious singing of the mother–or of the young wife at work–or of the girl sewing or washing–Each singing what belongs to her, and to none else;

    I love you

  17. damn you and your typepad thing not taking my bogus HTML


  18. Keli has photoshop and has used it quite a lot to make her incredible photos. I myself have not had the patience to learn it or play with it because it is to me, too complex. She never reads manuals, so she has learned everything she knows about it from playing with it. But that is the artist in her soul. Play and play and play to create. She has far more patience with stuff for that. Not me. I want instant results. I am a picassa fan. For the basics.

  19. When I have a moment of pure aching joy upon seeing some natural beauty, that poem (or some fragment of it) comes to my mind.

    I love your photo of the moon hanging in a low, sweet arc.

    I rarely do anything with my photos, other than cropping and adjusting for underexposure, and I use Picasa for that. Like Egret’s Nest, I remember watching my father in his darkroom, and seeing the variations that he could acheive in the printing process. In either film or digital photography, the art is not only what happens in the camera.

  20. I was so proud of myself when I learned to upload to the computer. Then I learned to crop, remove redeye, and sharpen. That’s about it and far more than I thought I’d ever do.

    Your pictures are beautiful.

  21. You’re whipping up some of your signature molasses cookies, aren’t you?

  22. You’re makin’ retirement sound mighty good..I’m just saying 🙂

  23. Just gotta say, that poem is my all time favorite. Hands down. What a delight to click over and see those words. They are always a great reminder.

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