Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, March 28, 2008

Plopping, icy, white...

The days are clicking off to the end of March after marching past the first day of spring, and yet... I woke this morning to find snow falling. Snow, changing to sleet and then to rain within a few miles of my house. Gray drizzle continued, and then it started snowing again. Big plopping chunks of white came raining down, wet flakes that seemed to be at least an inch across, maybe more.

The first picture? That was my attempt to capture the snow flakes. Those big gray blobs? They aren't spots on the lens; almost all of them are snowflakes! Yup, that (big) gray splotch over the tree branches in the corner is a water spot, but the rest are snowflakes.

Spring is really coming, isn't it?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

smug slides

My photo galleries are hosted at SmugMug, and smug recently introduced a new full-screen slideshow. I like the look, so I've enabled the new show in my galleries. Just press the > slideshow button for a voyage through my photos, and enjoy!

A couple of hints, since the slideshow will take over your entire screen...

There are two ways to return back to your normal computer environment. Look to the bottom right of the screen, and you will see a link labeled Return to Gallery. Click there, and you will be back in familiar territory. Or, if you'd prefer not to look on the screen for that link, just press the Esc key.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A slash of purple

Do you suppose someone is wandering with a very thin paintbrush, decorating flowers?


Acronyms seem to be the words of today. I've always been more comfortable with "real" words, and yet... I'm working at an acronym-happy company. People are constantly throwing combinations of letters around as words. In fact, it seems to be the language of the company. I suppose I need to treat these short combinations of letters as just another puzzle to solve.

Today's revelation? I received an email from a colleague on the other side of the ocean. The subject was a crisp "WAH tomorrow". What? WAH?

Oh no! I looked at the email, shrugged, and moved on with the task at hand. Just a few minutes later I looked back and thought, WAH? Working at home! Is it a good sign or a bad one that the acronyms are sneaking in to my brain?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Color delight


What do you think about this packaging?

Today I received the CompactFlash cards - the memory for my camera - that I ordered on Saturday. I really expected to find a relatively small padded envelope containing the cards. Instead I found a box, small, but larger than expected given the fact that I had just ordered 3 CompactFlash cards.

Each card, in it's little protective case, is 2 inches by 1 5/8 inches by 1/4 inch. Tiny. And yes, I do understand that these little cards need to be packaged so that they aren't lost. Each of the cards came in its own box. That makes sense since they are sold by the piece. What doesn't make sense to me is that each box was 4 1/2 inches by 5 3/4 inches by 1 1/4 inches.

Hmmm... that means that if I just filled the box with CompactFlash cards that the box could have easily held 4 layers of cards, each layer containing 6 cards. Yup, I could have fit 24 cards in the space that was used for one.

Do you see something wrong with this picture?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Open water

Open, and opening... the smaller ponds are clear, the larger ponds still wear some icy jewelry. Spring really is on the way.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


The howling of the wind started to subside today. It didn't touch yesterday's "hard to stand up in" winds, but it was still there. It was a day for walking, a day of crisp blue skies, a day of looking at landscape dressed in "not yet spring" attire.

Walking, walking, and then - just as I was almost home again - I saw a hint of purple peeking out of the brown. Crocus! Ah, beautiful...

Feeding my camera's memory

I travel without my computer but with a very active camera, so I need to make sure that I have the right amount of memory cards with me. After all, I'd hate to miss any pictures!

When I rode across the states in 2002 I was carrying a small hard drive with me. That worked, but it's too small to support my current camera habits. I suppose I could buy a larger drive, and I'll need to deal with that at some point in the future as I move beyond one or two week trips. For now, I try to carry enough CompactFlash cards to feed my camera.

Today I wandered over to B&H to pick up another card. Hmmm... the cards I like (made by SanDisk) are out of stock. OK, I'll check Adorama, my second choice of the New York photo stores. Wow - there is a SanDisk rebate program in progress there. And I snuck in under the wire; the rebates end on March 30th!

I tend to buy 2 gigabyte cards, but I'll consider 4 gigabytes too. Let's see, the prices today are $32 for a SanDisk Extreme III 2GB card, and $79.99 for a 4GB Extreme III card. The fact that the 4GB card is that much more than twice the price of the 2GB card seems more than a little crazy to me, but OK, I'll buy 2 2GB cards...

I ususally buy the SanDisk Ultra II, which are good quality cards just below the Extreme III, but today's price has the Extreme cards at lower than the Ultras. OK, I'll buy the higher quality card, no complaints!

Back to the rebate though... If I buy one 2GB card, the rebate is $10, for 2, the rebate is $30, and for 3, the rebate is $50. Let's see, that means if I buy 3 cards at $96 ($32 each), I will get a rebate of $50. That means that the cards are just over $15 each. You're absolutely right, I did just order 3 more 2GB cards! Happy...

Thursday, March 20, 2008


On the verge of spring... Today is the vernal equinox, a day and night of almost equal lengths, the official entry to spring (although the season here in New England easily lags the equinox by several weeks).

The daylight is heading in the right direction, giving me enough time to grab a quick ride after work. It will be a while yet before I have enough daylight on both ends of the day to support a bicycle commute to work, but I think that while can be looked at in terms of weeks.

It was a day of wind, howling wind to welcome the season. Listen...

Late day, I was fascinated by the paintings in the sky. Clouds covered most of the sky, gray, not a hint of blue. And then, the wind started pushing the clouds. Hints of blue peeked through the gray. Ah, look - there are puffy white clouds against bright blue. Just a few minutes passed, and the clouds gathered once more, highlighted by the sun as it dropped lower and lower in the sky.

Sky wonders, a progression...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Seed pod wonder

Changing skies... I headed out to walk in the afternoon in cool temperatures under a very cloudy sky. By the time my feet brought me back to my door, the sun was shining, and I was warm. Hmmm... my bike was calling for a ride, so I headed out once more. Ah, riding felt wonderful!

I was very lucky. The sun was shining as I started my ride, but the sky started getting darker. And darker still. Just before I got home, drops of water started falling. Drops, sprinkles, not a hard rain. A few minutes later the sun reappeared.

My camera came with me as I walked, and it insisted that I switch lenses after I finished my ride. I didn't expect to see these wonderful seed pods as the season edges from winter into spring, but they were there, calling out to me. I just had to try to capture some macro images.

I'm always amazed at how beautiful a flower is when it is in a "gone to seed" state.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Visions in gray

It was a wet, gray day today. It was raining when I first woke up at 6, and then it was snowing, then raining again. The sky finally stopped weeping late in the morning.

It was a good day for relaxing at home, and a good day for walking. Sometimes I wonder... has my camera companion trained my eyes to see interesting sights? What makes things jump into my eyes and demand to be seen?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Afternoon delight

Dry roads, cool temperatures, and sunshine decorated the end of the day. And daylight savings time provided the gift of enough time for a ride after work (and before the darkness fell). Two wheels rolling, steady pedaling, ah, that felt good!

My baby camera came along for the ride. It captured alpaca relaxing in a dry field, and grabbed some blue sky reflecting in a melted pool, ice disappearing...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Can you hear the wind?

Yesterday's heavy rain moved out, and today brought the gift of a beautiful blue sky decorated with a few white clouds. The sound changed too, from water hitting the ground to the howl of the air. Wind...

I woke up during the night to the sound of wind. It was still there this morning, and it's still there now. At times it was quiet, but when I started to believe the quiet - the wind blew through again. Right now, there is a northwest wind blowing at 24 miles per hour with gusts to 32 miles per hour. I wanted to ride today, but I really didn't want to fight the wind. Part of the ride would have been wind-assisted, but part would have been a real fight. It was a good day for walking though.

Walking, getting pushed by the wind, pushing back, sunshine bringing a smile...

Friday, March 07, 2008

Trees are for birds

I arrived home after work and made my usual stop to pick up my mail. As I opened my mailbox, I heard a chorus of birds. I glanced up, seeking the source of the song. I found a whole tree that was teeming with birds, birds sitting on branches, birds chatting, birds singing.

In the hopes of catching a picture I ran into the house and came back with my camera. Funny, I was no where near my chirping friends, but they must have sensed my intention. Yes, they did fly away before I was close enough to attempt to catch an image with my camera.

I did see one interesting thing as I walked back from my non-photo excursion, a bird's nest hanging in a willow tree. It wasn't sitting on a branch, it was hanging from the drooping tendrils of the tree. A truly amazing structure...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Around the corner

Watermarks anyone? I've been thinking about adding a watermark to my photo galleries for a while now, but I have to admit I've been fighting it. My images are protected against right-click saves within the context of my photo galleries, but the fact remains that anyone can use a screen capture tool to lift anything from a web page. The problem is, real protection only comes if the watermark runs across the photo. And I would prefer not to take away from the online viewing experience with a repeating "across the photo" watermark. I understand the use of watermarks that are splashed across the full image, but I can't do that to my own photos right now.

I've finally moved from thinking about watermarks to actually placing one along the edge of my images. I believe the placement will not take away from the enjoyment of my photos. At least I hope that's true. You'll let me know if it gets in the way, won't you? And yes, I do know that a determined individual could remove it by cropping a stolen image. I also know that my originals are not accessible.

Curious about what I did? Here's a snip from the corner of an image showing my new watermark:

Keep in mind that this is a snip of just the corner of the photo. The watermark isn't really that large. In fact, here's the full photo:

No worries, if you decide to purchase a copy of one of my photos, the watermark is only on the images as displayed on the web. It will not be on the actual photograph.

Photos to computer...

...faster, faster!

You would think a card reader (to read a camera's media) is just a card reader, wouldn't you? I had been using a reader I picked up years and years ago. It worked, worked well in fact, but copying from my compact flash cards to my computer was pretty slow. A couple of weeks ago I started looking around. And guess what? I think I found a better mousetrap!

I picked up a SanDisk Extreme USB 2.0 Card Reader. The manufacturer claimed that it was a high performance reader, but that's what they always say. My camera is always busy taking photos, and while the photos from a day's wandering aren't too bad to upload, the amount of time it takes is (obviously) extended when my camera accompanies me on a wandering for days vacation. I convinced myself it was worth spending $20 on a chance that I really would get faster transfer rates to my computer.

My new card reader really is faster. A happy photographer with an inexpensive new tool...

In case you want to see the product, here's a link to it on the B&H website.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Eyes wide open

Sometimes things have to smack me in the face before the meaning sinks in. This one should have been obvious, but it wasn't. And my eyes were wide open. I saw the image, but apparently I didn't really see it.

I was in a meeting, and I watched the screen saver kick in on a colleague's laptop. Shapes moving, swirling. There were three images, an eye wide open, a bee flying in a swirling pattern, and the letter M. Swirling, and then settling into a final position. An eye, followed by a bee, followed by M. Ah, it's the name of my employer spelled in images instead of letters!

For your viewing pleasure, the eye-bee-m image can be viewed on wikipedia. The logo was designed for IBM by Paul Rand in 1981.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Crunchy snow, sunshine

Yesterday's walk was a bit wet as I attempted to dodge the flying water and snow thrown up by passing cars. Today's? It was oh so much better. The sun was shining, the temperature was quite reasonable, and the snow had a crunchy surface that reflected the light.

Walking, camera clicking, trying to capture visions of late winter...

Looking around, absorbing my surroundings, attempting to converse with dogs...
Dreaming of spring, so close, and yet still far away. The equinox is only a few weeks away, but reality says that the actual season will lag by a few more...

Saturday, March 01, 2008


SnowWoman of note

A photo jumped off of the pages of the newspaper this morning. I'd love to show it to you here, but since it's not my photo you'll have to be satisfied with a link. A giant snowwoman (temporarily) lives in Bethel, Maine, topping out at 122 feet and one inch. She has trees for arms, buttons made out of tires, and oh! what wonderful eyelashes!

She is named after Maine's Senator Olympia Snowe.

Olympia SnowWoman was photographed by Pat Wellenbach of the Associated Press. Click to see this fabulous snowwoman!

Curious? Want even more details? It turns out the SnowWoman has her own blog with statistics and lots and lots of photos. Olympia's blog is at

Would you believe that Olympia weighs 13,000,000 pounds? That a lot of snow!