Dec 162014

Topaz Glow is a new plug-in from Topaz Labs that works with Lightroom and Photoshop.  The preset I used  is “Airbrush II”.  There are about 8 or so presets and than you have control over the degree of correction.

Bouy                                                                          Bouy-2


Dec 142014

Hard TimesThis was supposed to be my first ever video interview with John.  This was going to be my first video interview with anyone.  I went to the place where he always was collecting bottles so he could support himself.  Sadly I found that John had passed away during the week. One of his friends was standing in for John and he agreed to do the interview.  As I said it was my first ever interview with anyone and I forgot to turn on the mike.  So I decided to do my own first time self interview.  

I had been taking street portraits for a few years and John was one of my first subjects.   John was very receptive to talking to me about his life and his goals.  His daily life was among the large recycle receptors.  There he would take the bottles and cans that people were throwing away and turn them in for money.  He told me that most days he would take in $20 to $30 which he would turn in to cash.  He always said it was enough to get by on.  I don’t think he ever missed a day.  He was always there no matter what the weather.  In the end he was there with his oxygen bottle because of COPD. 

I will miss John.  He was such a good person.  What else does a person need for an epitaph? 

Dec 082014

My son-in-law Peter celebrated his 50th birthday this past Saturday.  It was held at an Irish pub called the Fields in Cambridge, Ma.  I am posting this just to describe the process of creating the video.  I used my Canon 60D and I had purchased an external mic because the quality of the internal one is not good.  I tested it once to find the quality pretty good but when I attached it I forgot the linking step so the audio for the video was non existent.  I downloaded appropriate music from Amazon but YouTube is very fussy about copywrite so I needed to change the music to one they had and fortunately is fit pretty well.  

Of course I used the pop-up flash for the stills and for the video a new light from Neewer that was ok but I should have added more light or boosted the ISO. 

The best part is the processing.   For that I used Adobe Premiere Pro which is the best I have ever used.  The learning curve is not bad and I know someone who is using it at a TV station for editing so it is professional grade.  I give the final product a B.  What do you think?

Dec 042014

untitledAn acquaintance of mine felt it necessary to report his activity on Facebook.  Today he wanted the world to know that he was grocery shopping at a local grocery chain and he was offended that the man in front of him was checking out and he had purchased 2 rib-eye steaks, $20 worth of Shrimp, 2 packs of Red Bull, and some other items and the bill came to $72 which was paid for by EBT or food stamps.

I know you must be sitting there totally disgusted.  How the government can actually allow such frivolity with your money.  This recipient of the SNAP program receives a whopping $145 per month.  Next year it will go up to $195 per month.  No doubt he will be adding lobster to his Surf and Turf. 

Now that brings me to this.  (1) I don’t give a shit what the guy is buying and (2) I don’t give a shit that the guy who posted this vital information is doing either.  Some people get so wrapped up watching what everyone is doing they lose sight of the fact that the numbers of children that go hungry every night is growing way beyond what should be acceptable.  I would so like to see anybody try to get along on $145 per month of groceries.  In a family of 4 the amount actually goes down to $110 per person.  So that’s my rant for today. 

What’s said is I don’t know anything about the guy who was using the food stamps and neither does my judgmental friend.  For all I know he may be holding down 3 part-time jobs or maybe it’s his kids birthday and he just wanted to splurge a little.  The source for my information can be found on this government site.