Winter Color

Winter Color

We are in the Western part of the state for a big swim meet.  The whole drive up I’d been thinking, “Great, we’re away from the beach!  Some new landscape! Mountains!”  So while the swimmer was warming up in the pool, the rest of us found a trail in a municipal park and took a hike.  By that point, blue sky and interesting cumulus clouds had given way to overcast blah.  On top of that, there are apparently NO evergreens in this region, making for a dreary landscape.  If it hadn’t been for the kids, I would have thought I’d gone color blind right there in the woods.  Can that happen?

I didn’t capture any shots I liked of the trail ahead of us, but I got this one from the direction we had come. But gag, it was so brown! I chose to add the kids in for color.

I used an app called Juxtaposer.  First you select the background photo – you take the picture right then or select a photo you already have.


Then you select or take a photo that you want to superimpose on top, so I chose one I had. Now that I see it on the computer, I actually like the composition better than the one I made.  Holy dead vines!

It lays it on top, but smaller so you can still see the background shot.

You toggle between the four options at the bottom of the screen to erase what you don’t want of the top picture.  You can zoom into the whole picture and shrink, enlarge or move the top picture.  Most importantly, you erase by swiping your finger what you want from the top pic, in this case, everything around the kids.  You can really zoom in for erasing to get up close to what you want to keep.

If you make a mistake and erase too much, you select unerase mode to unerase by swiping again.  When you’re done you can select to save and/or share in a variety of ways. You can save the top image as a stamp to reuse again in other venues. For example:

It’s a tough call as to which environment can lead you to craziness faster – indoor aquatics center during a 4 day meet or the drab environs of a winter deciduous forest.  But add a little Spongebob, and you’re back to sanity in no time!  Or at least reality.



Small Talk

Small Talk

I took this a few days ago.  Daffodils are already on the downswing here, all talked out. Andrea said it looked more like gossiping than small talk, and I agree.

I didn’t edit this picture before I sent it, but I did play with it.  An app worth discussing is Touch Retouch, which allows you to erase unwanted elements from a picture.  I didn’t find the house and porch in the background distracting, but if I had I could have just removed them.  After selecting the paintbrush from the menu, you use your finger to color away the part you don’t want,

and when you select the “play” button at the bottom, the app removes and replaces with what it deems appropriate, in this case, more tree.

Now those flowers are saying, “Did you see the size of her trunk?!”

Palmolive Pink

Palmolive Pink

I discovered this shot while doing dishes at the kitchen sink after coming home from an early run.  I burst out into the back alley with my phone and got it.  It occurred to me later that dish soap marketing folks must have spent some time at their own sinks to come up with brands like Sunlight and Dawn.  But Palmolive*?  According to, it’s not a shade of sunrise pink.  But now I say it is.

Although the color was naturally striking, I wanted to see what editing could do to enhance this picture without ruining it.  Photoshop Express has a “sharpen” feature, which I decided to employ.  Check out the screen shot!

Once you select any of the drop down menu items at the top, you swipe your finger left or right to increase or decrease the effect, and numbers appear on the screen to indicate the direction in which you’re going.  I can’t remember what number I stopped swiping on, but it got to a point where I liked how defined the black branches were against the pink cloud. I then just slightly altered the saturation a bit, which was a choice under the little sun to the left of the menu shown above.  And presto, the POD.  I could have shared it through this app, but as with most other apps, my edited photo was saved directly to my photo album, so I just emailed it from the regular mail app.

*For all these years, I have pronounced that “pal-molive”, and only when I looked it up did it occur to me that it is probably some amalgam of palm and olive.  And yes, according to Wikipedia, it was originally a soap made entirely of palm and olive oils.  Good morning!

Free Space

Free space

Every 3 weeks we must work a bingo shift to fulfill a fundraising obligation for the kids’ swim team. Though brightly lit, the hall is depressing, and despite a designated smoking room, stinky. But there are some glimmers of interest. One is the floor: the space is a former roller rink with curved wood floors surrounded by vinyl laminate. The patrons are generally pretty kind and patient, and make for great people watching. And there are elements that leave no dispute as to where you are. The bingo sign is one of those, and seems a metaphoric beacon for the people who come here to be entertained, numb their mind, or win.

Bingo Palace

I didn’t take the Free Space picture; another swim parent, Steve Ryan, did with my phone. I used an app, Camera Awesome, to brighten it a little more – to almost blinding. This app has a lot of editing features, and while it is processing the photo, it flashes crazy phrases to tell you it’s working, like “grilling panda farts” and “infusing golden eggs”. For this picture, it was “caramelizing more cowbell” after I elected to “awesomize” it and apply a chrome filter. I emailed it through the same app, and I realize it arrived very large. There was a setting to make it smaller, but in test emails to myself, it still arrived huge. Next time I’ll send it through my phone mail.  I hate to take up too much free space.

Beach Traffic

This is strictly a winter beach scene.  In summer, the closest birds come to setting foot on the beach is when they swoop down to snatch an errant cheeto.  When people give the beach a break, the birds take over.  A view of the beach at any given time reveals static groups of birds, seemingly all gulls of the same variety, standing stoically, facing into the wind.  Only when you look down at their footprints is it evident that a variety of fowl have been traversing the sand.

I took this picture with my iPhone camera and did not alter it in any way.

Signage Haiku

Ok, some people (well one that I know of) didn’t quite get this.  I have been fascinated by signs.  One of my favorites on the backside of a local beach breakfast establishment used to say “sausage, bacon, eggs, pancakes, waffles…and fruit.”  Now it simply says “Breakfast all day.” Why?!

C’mon, haiku…5-7-5.  You remember.

Bank of Hampton Roads

Ask about our free checking!

Sixty-four degrees.

iPhone snapshots of the day

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