Saturday, October 31, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The wonders of a new toy...
Yes, I know, the riches of new (electronic) toys have been surrounding me lately. Yesterday another one joined me.
You know I like playing with cameras. And you know I like writing, playing with words. But did you know that I also like reading? It's always been a problem when I head out on vacation figuring out how many books I need to keep me happy. And once I guess at the right number of books, I need to find a place to stash them in my luggage. My last trip was easy since I was traveling in my 4-wheeled fossil-fuel-powered vehicle so I could stash a bag of books in the car. When I'm flying, or when I'm traveling by bicycle - well, that's another story entirely.
I've been eyeing Amazon's Kindle (wireless reading device) for what seems like months now. At first it was just a curiosity, and then... With the release last week of the next generation Kindle, I jumped. While the carrying books while traveling issue is what pushed me over the edge, I'm sure that I'll be reading from my Kindle at home too.
Does that mean that I'll stop visiting bookstores? I don't think so. There's a certain class of books that I'll always want on real rather than electronic paper. And there's an enjoyment in wandering through the shelves, letting books jump out and grab my eyes.
Yes, I really am addicted to books. I suspect that I will soon be addicted to my Kindle too.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:55 PM
Saturday, October 24, 2009
It's a weekend day, and lately that means there is a pretty good chance of it being a wet day.
It was a day of pretty much non-stop rain. Unlike last weekend, it stayed rain, with temperatures hovering in the low 50s. It was a good day for a walk, and yes, my new baby camera did accompany me (sheltered by an umbrella).
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:18 PM
Oh! Denise was pulled in again by the desire for a new camera. Cameras are like computers, there is always something new and interesting coming out. And sometimes...
Canon announced the S90 with an approximate availability date of October. Now I know that Denise wasn't looking for another camera, but there was something about this one that tugged at her. She's quite happy with her dSLR, a Canon 40D, but she also likes to always have a little walk-around camera. Yes, you're absolutely right, she did already have one. The thing is, like most of the teeny tiny cameras, her baby camera didn't have manual settings on it. The camera did a good job of setting the settings, but sometimes Denise just wants more control. You know that about her, don't you?
No one had an exact delivery date, so Denise signed up for email notification from B&H Photo, and she also started checked around for availability. Last Friday was one of those days, and she saw that while B&H still didn't have the camera, it showed as in stock at Amazon.com. Hmmm...
That hmmm... moment didn't last too long. Denise jumped on and ordered her new toy, and it showed up on Tueday. Funny thing is, when she went back to the Amazon site later that day it was already out of stock again.
She's been wandering with this new baby camera this week. I think maybe it's time I learn to use the different camera settings. I know, I can always set this camera on automatic, but I think I'll play with the manual settings too. (You know it's really my camera, don't you? I just let Denise borrow it.) I've included two photos below, an official shot of it from the Canon web site, plus a photo of me with my new toy. It's my size camera!
I did have a bit of an argument with myself over this one. I like to have a pocketable camera so I can capture images that come upon me, and I already had a small (fully automatic) camera. This one pulled me in with the ability to shoot in manual modes, and with the ability to capture images in RAW format. It wasn't a need, but it was a strong desire.
I've been walking with my new toy this week, usually in the early evening with less than spectacular light.
I had a twinge of "oh crap, what did I do!" when I looked at the first photos I shot Tuesday evening. Luckily I was shooting both RAW and JPG, and it was quite clear when I looked at the JPGs that the camera was fine but that something was going wrong when the RAW images were imported into Lightroom. The horizon wasn't right - it was strongly curved, sometimes bowing to the top of the image, sometimes to the bottom. Yikes! Then I realized that the colors were off too. I posted a thread over on Digital Grin to see if anyone else was experiencing the same oddness. I'm not alone... apparently it's a case of waiting for Adobe to incorporate converters for some recently released cameras, including my S90. I filed a support case on the Adobe site, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a fix. For now, I'm using Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) as the first step in converting my photos to a format that is viewable online.
Am I happy? Absolutely! The photos in my blog entries from Wednesday and Thursday this week were taken with my new toy. I'd say it did a nice job.For anyone who is interested in an ongoing discussion about this, click to the Lightroom / Canon S90 = curved horizon thread in the Digital Grin forum.
If you'd like to see more of this week's getting used to a new camera exercise, the photos are all tagged with a keyword, viewable at http://www.denisegoldberg.com/keyword/canon%20s90. Let me know what you think!
Friday, October 23, 2009
I was driving home from work, coming up on the green in Andover center when I saw a sight that made me smile. There was a group of boys on the right side of the road, a single boy on the left. Two of them - one on each side - appeared to be playing a game of tug of war, pulling on a rope that crossed the road. They were intent, crouching down a bit, pulling, pulling.
I was already moving slowly on this residential street just outside of the town center, but I slowed a bit more before passing them. The rope? It was imaginary! That scene was deserving of a smile and a quick thumbs up to the perpetrators.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:49 PM
Thursday, October 22, 2009
It was a beauty of a day, a touch of warmth, sun fading as clouds rolled in.
I took advantage of what I suspect could be the end of the warm(er) days, leaving work in the middle of the afternoon for a quick escape on my bicycle, turning to work again after darkness fell.
Oh! It felt good to be rolling down the road, bicycle wheels turning.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:35 PM
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Brr! It was a cold rainy day. And yes, it was still a walking day.
Today's layers got closer to winter layers than the month of the year dictates. It was just above 40 degrees when I headed out, nippy and wet. By the time I returned home the temperature had dropped to a very nippy 36 degrees. Yikes! It's really too early in the season for this.
My feet were clad in my winter hiking shoes rather than my normal running shoes. I was going to wear the running shoes but then I remembered a very good purchase I made last winter - a pair of waterproof snow boots I ordered from Lands' End. Now I never believe waterproof claims, so I was pleasantly surprised when I wore them through some very wet snowfalls last winter. And oh! I was so happy today to have dry warm feet after my long wet walk.
No, I wasn't walking with a camera in the rain, but the sight of this tree made me drive back out to capture the image. By the time I got home the second time, the water falling from the sky was joined by big wet flakes of snow. I don't think that the word snowflake does a good job of describing them though; snowplop seems much more descriptive.
What do you mean snowplop isn't a word? Don't you think it is a good descriptive word?
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:21 PM
There was an autumn chill in the air, but the sun was shining. It was a good day for wandering.
I headed into the southwestern corner of Maine, starting with a walk in the Saco Heath. My footsteps took me through woods to start, then along a very long boardwalk over peat bogs, back to woods, and then... repeat. Luckily once I was a bit into the woods the ground was (mostly) dry because at one point I just needed to lay on my back to look up at the trees towering over me, to try to catch a photo.
Saco Heath has become a favorite spot for me, and yet... I still haven't seen it in bloom in the springtime. I need to leave myself a reminder to be sure to pop up there in May, with hopes of seeing some color.
I moved a little further south, stopping at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. This was a first time visit for me to a place that jumped out when I did a quick search for places to walk in south coastal Maine.
As I started down the Knight Trail, heading toward the water, I could hear a distant crashing sound. I was a good half mile from the coast at that point in time. The sound? It was the waves crashing against the shore. I suppose the ocean was preparing for today's nor'easter, practicing crashing. I walked to Laudholm Beach, then followed the shore around to an estuary, stepping on what I thought was solid sand but in fact was a very wet and soft surface. Oops! I backed out of that area quickly, absorbed the scenery for a while, then headed back the way I came. There is another trail that I should have been able to follow back, but I wasn't sure where the trailhead was from the beach. The next time I go there - and yes, I believe there will be many "next times" - I think I'll follow the Laird-Norton trail so I can see where the beach entry point lives.
Two wandering places, sunshine, wind, a bit of a chill in the air, absolute beauty. It was a great way to spend a day.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 9:20 AM
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Yesterday was a wet and gloomy day, and the forecast for tomorrow is more of the same. Today? Oh look! the sun is shining and the skies are blue. It's time for a little wandering!
I had a thought tucked into the back of my head that I would head to Acadia this weekend, and that I would make it a 3-day weekend. The weather changed my mind, but I think I'll hold that thought for a bit and hope that the weather wizard holds some dry weather in store for next weekend. For now? One dry day is a day I can wander closer to home.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:37 AM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Hey! What's that white stuff falling from the sky?
I opened the door and walked outside to pick up the morning newspaper (from its delivery spot in the middle of the driveway). It was still dark out, and while I could see that the ground was wet, I didn't see any white. Crunch, crunch. Oops! That is snow falling, not rain. It's not supposed to stay snow, but I did see and feel it. It's way too early in the season to act like winter.
Brrr... cold, wet, white.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 6:26 AM
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
It's dark in the morning when my eyes pop open to the sound of my alarm. It's dark in the evening, early. For some reason adjusting to the season of less light and dropping temperatures seems harder than usual this year. That adjustment is really not helped by articles like the one I read in the Boston Globe yesterday morning - "An unusually cold windy week is blowing into town".
But yes, I am dealing with the changes. It would be so easy to come home from work in the evening, sit down, and stay still. Once in a while that's OK, only once in a while. My early evening walking helps me to keep my life focused, steady.
Home, don layers and blinking lights, focus, walk...
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:51 PM
Monday, October 12, 2009
Eye photos... sometimes images enter my vision when it's not possible to stop and fully absorb them. Those images are captured in my mind and can be shared only in words.
This morning's vision, a quick glimpse to the side. The (high-speed) road on which I was traveling crossed a river, a river with mist rising into the morning, a river lined with trees wearing the reds, oranges, and yellows of the season. Beautiful.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:11 AM
Sunday, October 11, 2009
A very nippy morning warmed up quite nicely into a crisp fall day. As the morning edged away, I headed for Odiorne Point State Park along the New Hampshire coast. It was a good day for walking, for watching the light change as clouds moved across the bright blue sky.
More photos from today can be seen in my gallery By the sea... coastal New Hampshire 2009. This gallery contains photos from several wanders by the coast; the photos in this gallery are sorted so that the newest images are shown first.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:33 PM
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
32-bit or 64?
I had my chat with Dell on Saturday and received a CD containing the Vista 64-bit operating system yesterday afternoon. Today? I updated my computer's brains. It's now running a 64-bit operating system (after verifying that the memory can in fact be expanded if I'd like or need).
I've put my request in for my free Windows 7 upgrade. Just a little more waiting...
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:21 PM
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
That's the only word I can think of...
I was in a meeting today in a room with a very large flat panel monitor on the wall. We were walking through some screens, reviewing work. We finished our meeting, and before I headed back to my desk I gave in to a temptation. I decided I needed to see some of my photos on that monitor. I don't know how large the monitor is, but I would guess that it was at least 50 inches across.
I pulled up the gallery containing some of my favorite images from my trip to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, clicked the slideshow button, and watched.
Yes, I know - I did take the photos. But really... it was awesome to see them on that device... crisp, big, and bold.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:42 PM
Did you know that there seem to be multiple languages bearing the name English? Yes, I know, the language differences should be referred to as dialects, but sometimes I feel like we are speaking different languages.
I was chatting with one of my colleagues from England (via instant messaging), continuing a conversation about a question he had posed. All of a sudden I was sure we must be speaking two different languages.
from my colleague: it's bound to be the pantsSo what did he say? It's bound to be rubbish.
me: what? the pants?
my colleague: rubbish!
Yes, we do laugh a lot!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:34 PM
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Yesterday was gray, very wet, and chilly. Today I was lucky. A foggy cool morning greeted me, but the sky cleared very nicely (by mid-afternoon) and a bit of warmth returned. I noticed yesterday that the colors are beginning to pop, and my camera was calling to me.
I started by hiking Holt Hill, thinking that I might see some color from there. Some individual trees were wearing bright leaves, but most were still green.
My next stop was Harold Parker State Forest to walk by one of the large ponds. (If I lived anywhere but Massachusetts I'm sure I would be referring to this body of water as a lake, but here? It's a pond.) My timing was perfect. The sky was a clear blue, decorated with pure white clouds. The water was calm, and the light was right to show reflections of the changing trees in the water. Beautiful.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:58 PM
Ah, finally! I know, I was only sans computer for two weeks; those weeks felt long when it came to viewing my photos. I could have flipped my camera to capture both RAW and JPG images, but I figured it really wouldn't hurt to wait. After all, I can't look at my photos when I'm traveling either (since I only carry my baby computer without a copy of the software that understands Canon RAW images).
A couple of favorites from the last two weeks...
More photos can be seen in the gallery Chill brings color - Fall 2009. This is my seasonal running photo gallery. I will be adding photos throughout the fall, with the latest showing first in the gallery.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 11:46 AM
I know better. Last Sunday I spent a bit of time wandering on the New Hampshire coast. Wandering with my camera, but without any type of support.
I think that even with a tripod it would have been a challenge for me to catch this crazy bird's dash across the sand with a blurred background and an in-focus sea gull. Not a problem - I'll just add that to my list of skills that need to be honed.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 9:14 AM
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Would you believe that after my long conversation with the Dell sales rep two weeks ago about installing a 32-bit vs. 64-bit operating system on my new computer that they installed the wrong one?
I decided to go with 64-bit after verifying that the software that I use most often can run there. I didn't check when I turned the computer on; I guess I should have. It wasn't until I was signing up for the Windows 7 upgrade that I realized something was (somewhat) wrong. I was only given the option to upgrade to Windows 7 32-bit. I thought that was pretty odd since I was supposed to be running 64-bit Vista now, and I didn't think it was possible to upgrade to the other version. It's not.
I jumped in to a chat with Dell, and was told that the order had been for 32-bit. Very odd. It's not a problem though - they are sending me Vista 64-bit. I'm glad I hadn't made it too far in installing software and configuring the machine since I'm going to need to wipe the hard drive to change operating systems.
In the meantime, I'll continue to use my new baby as is. It's a sweet machine.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 1:00 PM
Friday, October 02, 2009
I watched my new computer cross the states from Tennessee to Massachusetts. I watched, I waited.
I should have received it yesterday. It was marked as being on a truck for delivery at 9 o'clock yesterday morning. And yet... an attempt was made to deliver it after 5 o'clock. That doesn't work too well at a business address, does it?
Today I saw that it was out for delivery early in the morning. I was so afraid that it was in a deliver after 5 PM cycle forever when it hadn't arrived by 4 this afternoon. Perhaps I was too impatient; my new toy arrived just 15 minutes later.
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 8:45 PM
Thursday, October 01, 2009
What did I do? I ordered some canvas prints for my new (work) cubicle, and I liked them so much I decided I needed one for my wall at home too. This time the form the finished product took was that of a canvas wrap, where the photo is wrapped around a stretcher frame.
Luckily the photo that I wanted on my wall at home was a good candidate for a wrap. Many of my photos go too close to the edges; wrapping the edges around the frame would cut off too much of the image. Hmm... I'll need to keep that in mind when I'm composing images that I might want for my wall. (Or not!)
My wrap was waiting for me when I arrived home this afternoon. Yes, I'm delighted with this one too!
Darkness is falling earlier and earlier. I added my blinking lights to my walking attire at the beginning of the week, and last night's jaunt convinced me that it's time for layers too.
Yesterday I wore capri-length leggings, a thin insulated long-sleeved shirt and a sleeveless wind vest. Brrr! That wasn't an ideal choice. I knew I felt cool when I left the house; warmth usually follows with a bit of brisk walking but last night it never came.
This evenings attire was much better, and I only changed two simple things. I wore a windbreaker (with sleeves) instead of a vest, and I added a pair of glove lines. Warmth!
Posted by Denise Goldberg at 7:40 PM