Saturday, February 22, 2014

Do as I say...

...AND as I do

My computer died. I took a break from working on a spreadsheet to watch the Canadian Women's hockey team steal a stirring gold medal victory from the US squad, then walked back to the computer to see a blank screen with the message, "no boot drive available. Please insert a bootable disk and press Enter to continue".

Short story: my "C" drive failed, on an 18 month old laptop. James Keller, a fellow photographer and HHCC member up here was here within an hour, saved my bacon by recovering the data from the other drive, and we agreed on a plan to repair the computer by installing a very fast SSD drive to replace the faulty HD. If you're looking for someone to repair or build you a computer, he's your man. That's his business.

Because I've been reasonably diligent with backups, I won't lose any data. I'm not as organized as I'd like to be but what I have, worked. I can only tell you that ignore this issue at your peril. It's so true that it's not IF your hard drive will fail, it's WHEN. My next purchase is going to be a proper RAID system, I've been procrastinating about that for some time.

That said, it's going to be much more difficult to restore my programs. I probably have 50 or 60 programs installed, not all of which I use regularly, and even if I could remember them all, I'll never get back to where I was. The important ones are MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint), Photoshop and Lightroom, InDesign, DreamWeaver, Quickbooks, my Wacom drivers... Mac users have a program called Time Machine that can restore programs without having to reinstall. I know there are utilities available for PC as well but they're more cumbersome and not free.

But PLEASE, do as I say about making backups. Every now and then you read about someone who permanently lost all their photos and imagine how that would feel if it was you.

The Sounds of Spring

Most people like the annual February Thaw, that burgeons the eventual coming of Spring. I don't.
"Drip, drip, drip on the nice wood floors, Oh Roof..."
Going to have to do something about it this year, I think.

Wrist Update

I don't want to sound like I'm whining, but this is frustrating. When I wake up in the morning, or if I don't keep using my hand, it's so swollen it resembles a baseball (knuckles? What are those?) and I can't close my hand. Some painful exercises free it up somewhat.That said, it seems to be a bit better every day.I couldn't move it up above level or squeeze a foam rubber ball two days ago, I'm starting to be able to now. Takes time.

Club News

Here's the new logo for the Haliburton Highlands Camera Club:

Design notes: James did the initial concept and typography, I did the graphics. The tree was a freehand sketch using my Wacom tablet and stylus. I found a camera graphic that I liked online and I used it for the basis of the drawing I did: I didn't incorporate the online graphic, I sketched with it in the background and then warped and twisted it using Photoshop filters and tools. 

I think the logo would look great on the side of our new Aerion Supersonic Business Jet:

Airplane photo from
Hope nobody minds me using the picture in fun.

For your Viewing Pleasure

Just one picture to show you today. I'll get out and shoot some more when things settle down. Next weekend for sure!

I ventured out on the ice at sunset, looking for some colourful skies. I was disappointed. But I had set up the camera so I did a few shots and this one worked out! It's a 5-shot HDR with very little post processing other than the HDR toning in Nik HDR Efex Pro 2. I did have to remove some spots: I shot it at f/18 for the depth of field, and the HDR process also emphasizes dust spots. Also a bit of ghost reduction and haloing..

When I looked at the image, I thought "aurora"! So I played with it, adding some colour in the sky and equivalent reflection on the ground. One day I hope to have a chance to shoot real Aurora Borealis.

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