Season’s First

Season’s First

This morning all the kids competed in the first outdoor swim meet of the season. It was beautiful: 50s when we first arrived, warming up to high 70s by the time we were done at noon. I edited the photo in PhotoToaster Jr. Here’s the original:

I cropped and added this “Happy” preset because I liked how it looked and thought the name epitomized the event.


All future summer meets may better be described as “sweaty”, “exhausted” or “crabby”. There aren’t any presets by those names. Maybe in the full version of the app.

Better Than Day Old

Better Than Day Old

Like day old bread, I’ve discovered that day old photos can be much improved through toasting. I love toast. Maybe it’s the butter I love. But in any case, I’m impressed with the results of toasting photos too, with an app called PhotoToaster.

I have noticed other iPhone photographers using PhotoToaster to edit but had not gotten around to investigating it. Today when I did, I learned that it costs $1.99 but its little brother app, PhotoToaster Jr. is free. I like free, so I got it!

For a rundown of PhotoToaster Sr., please check out the iPhone Photographer’s review. And for a rundown of PhotoToaster Jr., you’ll have to wait for a future post from me. Meanwhile, see the original and decide for yourself if you like the edit. You might prefer your toast lighter, darker, or perhaps you don’t like toast. Sorry, that’s all I have time to make today.


Watch Your Head

Watch Your Head

I’m not sure if this warning refers to the possibility of hitting it or losing it. Either way, that’s some of the fun you can have here in Virginia Beach on this unique pirate ship.

I took this during an early morning run today. I sharpened it in Photoshop Express. Yes, that is the moon.


Strawberry Fields Trip

Strawberry Fields Trip

As promised, today was Field Trip day to the Strawberry Fields, where everything was, in fact, real. Real animals, real corn, real bees, a real farmer, and for once in this mother’s experience, real nice weather.

I edited the above and below pics in Snapseed. They came out okay. That is, I think they’re not too bad.

This one of the horses was troublesome because of the extreme contrast in light – I wanted some of the interior of the barn to be evident, without lightening the field too much. An HDR shot didn’t quite cut it. Fortunately, Snapseed has this menu option, “Selective Adjust,” wherein I could adjust contrast, saturation and brightness of different areas of the photo.

The sky still looks a little freaky, and the grass is way too yellow, but in my opinion it’s nothing to get hung about.

Workin’ Out

Workin’ Out

The evenings are a great time for exercise now that temperature and daylight are amenable. While big sister swims 6000+ yards, siblings play tennis, kickball, hide and seek at a playground, and have their own swim practice. Mom takes and edits pictures, exhausting her phone battery. It all works out. The first 2 were edited in Snapseed. The last one is unedited.

Low Flyby


Pretty amazing shot by an iPhone, eh? I was not born an aviation enthusiast, but I’ve learned a few things along the way. And now even I could probably get this right…can you? What’s wrong with this picture?

a) That plane is way too low.

b) Its landing gear is down.

c) It’s a decommissioned aircraft.

d) The kids aren’t running in terror.

e) All of the above.

As any aviation enthusiast, or wife thereof, could tell you, the answer is e).

Last week I went to the base to get summer passes to our local waterpark. I stopped at the Naval Aviation Park and took some pictures of the static displays of planes. This is a favorite, the mighty F-14 Tomcat. But sadly, it is no longer flown in the U.S. Navy. You may see it in skies over some other countries though. I think. Or maybe that’s tippy top secret.


I used Juxtaposer to pretend that it still commands the skies here though. I painstakingly erased around it to create a stamp of the jet, even removing the lowered tail hook – I mean really, what a dead giveaway that would be.

Then I stamped it on top of a picture I had in my library with similar lighting (or at least containing no shadows to reveal otherwise).


I had to do something to peel me away from Snapseed. It took the powers of the U.S. Navy to do it, but mission accomplished.

Long Term Parking

Long Term Parking

We went strawberry picking yesterday with some friends. Next to the field was a house with a backyard full of large items donated to nature. This truck was one of several, joined by a boat and miscellaneous farming equipment. This is the original, which I edited in Snapseed.


We came home with 5 lbs. of strawberries. Some we dipped in chocolate to take to a Kentucky Derby party last night, some we froze, the rest we’ll try to eat. James’ class goes to another farm to pick berries on Tuesday. I’m going to have to start making jam or something. If you don’t hear from me Wednesday, you’ll know that I, too, was overcome by nature.



iPhone snapshots of the day

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