Monday, November 12, 2012

Autumn 2012

Usually by this time of year I have My Pictures filled with photos of turning leaves, crisp sunsets, and wonderful low light landscapes.  This year is the exception.  Firstly, the dry weather this year caused a lot of leaves to fall off before they turned colors.  Also, I was on a couple of trips that involved very little time for taking photos.  I managed a few tourist photos, including lower Manhattan before Sandy hit, and some basic photos of hills from the Blue Ridge Parkway, but nothing earth shattering or even very much like fall.  Rather than abandon the blog for the season, I thought this would give me the opportunity to demonstrate a few things that have been keeping me busy—all related to photography of course, and various cheap software.   Mostly I try to stay away from technical stuff because I really am not very knowledgeable about it, but I do like to experiment with various types of software.

One of my trips involved a seven day Foundation Biogeometry course in Asheville.  I took away from that a new appreciation for the ancient science of shape and number, and new ideas to transmute negative subtle energy into positive subtle energy, using shape, number, color, etc.  And yes, electromagnetic fields and other similar influences can weaken people energetically.  Because I work on the computer a lot, I have to be well aware of its effects on my own energetic fields around my body.

As usual when I learn new things, I like to put my own spin on the knowledge, and rather than immediately running around my house with a pendulum measuring earth lines, I decided to make some mandalas on the computer.   It just sounded more fun to me, and I can always correct my house later.   I used some of the principles that I learned at the training to make this YouTube video.   I used guitar music from Jon Sayle (free MP3s here). 

I had to have some software to make these mandalas, obviously.  I don’t have Photoshop, because of the expense and because I like the challenge of getting by with cheap or free software.  If you download "free" software from the 'net, though, make sure it is a reputable source!!  Freebies  come with strings attached, such as unwanted toolbars, and oftentimes computer viruses.  Rather than buying mandala making software, I used an online mandala making program for free that allowed me to save drawn mandalas to a pdf file.  I then used PrtScn (Print Screen) and paste into Microsoft Paint, and used that program to color the mandala and resize it.  I saved it as a bmp file (for better resolution than jpg).  Because using Paint alone results in garish looking colors, I experimented with Photo Filter Factory to put layers over the mandalas.  Someone with Photoshop would likely not need this program.  I have a free version of Photo Filter Factory, but now the free version doesn’t just limit the number of filters, but also the number of times you use it.  It is cheap though, especially when compared to Photoshop.  GIMP may have some free filters, though, I am just not sure!

The only other two software programs that I used for the mandalas were Irfanview to rotate the photos, and Sony Movie Studio to make the slideshow. 

If you take up photography as a hobby, you will find that learning about various types of software is both challenging and rewarding.  Be creative and see where it leads!

And my salute to fall this year is a movie clip of the wind blowing fall leaves at the Tennessee River.  This clip illustrates that camera microphones tend to exaggerate any wind noise!

To illustrate what a photo filter does to a regular photo, here is a basic tourist photo of the sculpture in Rockefeller Center ice skating rink, first straight from the camera, and then with a "parched paper" photo filter: