Sunday, July 31, 2011

Take two

Same original photo as previous (which was edited in CameraBag) but this time I ran it through the TiltShiftGen app.

I like the overall effect, but blurring the glass takes away all of the condensation that makes the point about a cold drink on a hot day.


Working all day in the hot sun dragging around wheelbarrows full of flowers, the dwarfs could only glare resentfully at Snow White's frosty glass....

(I know... random. This is what happened when I sit and relax on my porch on a hot day. )

Thursday, July 28, 2011


This is the face of someone who just remembered that a year ago yesterday was her last radiation treatment.

Someone who Is working out on a semi- regular basis (finally !) without wanting to totally collapse for hours afterward.

Someone who finally doesn't worry about money EVERY day anymore. Cancer is so effing expensive.

Someone who keeps running into people who say "oh, I was praying for you" - and I am humbled every time.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Here we go again

I am walking to try to build up to running the Komen; Frasier doesn't seem to recognize me. Just oh, here's this crazy girl trying to pin me down.

This morning I was brooding about a chain of events that I had hoped would take place this week. Clearly one slim little thread of "if this happens, and then I see this person and maybe I'd even see that other person..."

I have unfinished business with someone that I don't think I'll ever get a chance to finish. Kinda sucky when you don't see eye to eye with an old friend and each person thinks the other is wrong...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dear blog

The cutest baby in the world came to see me for a few days. We had literally dozens of people stop by to meet her and so we had lots of fun and food and baby snuggles. I hogged her as much as possible without being obvious, and even got to help give her a bath. It's so much more fun when it's a nostalgic one time event.

I am angling for a new side job over at Photojojo, so keep your fingers crossed for me. Mama wants a new camera.

In addition I am going to be interviewed by a local tv news reporter. Yikes!!! She's a little bit of a Diva. I will be speaking to her about how I had no idea I had breast cancer until my annual mammogram, and how early detection worked even better for me than Hooked on Phonics. It's odd to feel "lucky" about having breast cancer but I still have my breasts and most of my lymph nodes and a generation ago that's not how it usually went. The interview will air before the Komen run this fall. (I will NOT be wearing pink for the interview. Just sayin.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


One of my favorite "clicks" from the game tonight. Only because I didn't get the camera out quickly enough to get one of the retiree ushers doing the Y-M-C-A.


A little bit of baseball

Just a few shots with Hipstamatic on my iPhone. I like to put it in random mode, shake it, and take a picture. The camera chooses a lens effect and a film for you (different borders and things like monochrome, sepia, black and white, etc)    I just wish that I could edit an existing photo on my phone with this  app... but you can't. (Are you listening, developers?)

It was HOT at the ballpark, but I went there to photograph a little pregame ceremony something like my Pink Zone event this past winter. Breast cancer survivors were lead out onto the field and announced, and I took a few photos. It was definitely fun to be ON the field and I was trying to figure out if I could talk my way into staying.   But then I started thinking "Hm... these players are all half my age...." and then the official photographer came out waving his giant zoom lens all over the place ( and there I was with an 18-45, which was right for the group shots that I needed to do, but appeared so inadequate, hahah)

So I went back to my seat and played with Hipstamatic. It was a beautiful summer evening and the home team won, and my kids are old enough to roam free  - except for when they want cash, of course. I sat with my funny friend who always makes me laugh because she says things like "How many Johnsons does this team have anyway?" That's her last name, and the guys and I died when she said that because then she said "Ohh... wait..."   This is one of the reasons I love her. Another is that she is always willing to share a beer with me. And when I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance a year and a half ago (surgery complications, bleeding, nasty infection... etc)    she was the first one to get to my house and hug my crying children.  What's not to love in that?

Anyway, I tried to take a few photos of the actual players and got one good one I'll post in a minute. Hey batter batter!!!! I was in college when you were born!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

One photo, many apps

july 2011 074 by carlyq80
july 2011 074, a photo by carlyq80 on Flickr.

IF you are not tired of my ramblings on iPhone apps, head on over to my Flickr feed. I started with one photo, and edited it with some of the apps that I discussed in Tuesday's posts.

If you are... well, carry on then! There's always that "next blog" button...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Favorite apps

My lucky friend just got an iPad and asked which photo apps to try. Here are my favorite apps for EDITING photos. (An ipad has no built in camera, right? Because if it does, definitely buy Hipstamatic.) I'll give you a little comment about each...

PS express is a mini version of Photoshop. On my phone I can edit brightness, saturation, contrast, etc and add a few simple effects such as black & white, or blurred edges to the photo. I'd be willing to bet the iPad has a bit more functionality.

TiltShiftGen lets you adjust exposure, similar to pse, but gives you more choices when you want to blur an area of your photo. (square area focused, or round, oval, etc) To me it's worth getting despite the duplicate functionality.

CameraBag crosses over from "make the photo look nicer" to "change the style of the photo". There are about 15 modes, like an old instant photo, a fisheye lens, a photo taken in 1972, etc. It's nice variety without an overwhelming number of choices, and while you're deciding which one to apply to a photo you can easily slide from one style to the next without having to save or reopen the photo.

The next two, PhotoStudio and Lo-mob, give you a WIDE range of choices. PhotoStudio even has an option I love - click on the dice cube and get a random effect applied to your photo (there are over 200 categorized effects to choose from! Very fun app). This has the most gimmicks (some are just weird, honestly, like overlays of butterflies or a skull or flames...)

Lo-mob doesn't have quite as many tricks but the cool thing is that most effects mimic an old style camera (with viewfinder marks visible, etc) - it gives a nice "we found this photo in the attic" vibe.

The last app, Dynamic light, is for the HDR effect that people tend to love or hate. It boosts up the range of tones in your pictures (compare the visual difference to playing a folk guitar and then picking up an electric guitar with a big amp). This app actually lets you dial how much HDR to add and gives you various HDR styles to pick from.
Great for scenery - give those blah photos a bit more punch.

Well, there is my highly scientific analysis... Feel free to ask questions. And remember, if you actually have a camera/smartphone there are a bunch of other apps that take a photo and then do great things. (it's normal for an app to let you take an existing photo from your library or shoot a new one. Most of the apps I mentioned do that. Only Hipstamatic doesn't let you edit a photo you already have saved on the phone.)


Take 3 - TiltShift app

Last summer on the days where chemo left me no energy to do anything but sit on the couch and buy camera apps, I would often take one photo and edit it with various apps to compare.

This was the same original image as in my two previous posts, this time modified using TiltShift. The app lets you add a blurred area, and dark edges.

This app was great when I first got it, and there is even more flexibility now in the shape and size and angles used to define the blurred region. It also does a very good job adjusting contrast, saturation, and brightness. Given all that it can do, it's pretty simple to use because of the way the edit screen is laid out. This is one of my favorite apps. (I have about 20 that edit photos in one form or another and this is in the top 5).

Take 2 - CameraBag app

This is the same shot as my previous post but I opened up the picture in
CameraBag and used the Helga lens effect. I also like Lolo, which deepens all of the colors, squares the photo and lays a white border all round.

On the porch - 7-13

This plant was one of about six that I started from a packet of seeds; it's the only one blooming and I think the other are dying in the flower bed where I placed them. I'm trying various things in the screen porch and my yard to see what works given our weather and the savage critters who destroy some of my plants (maybe I'll blog about the sunflower FAIL to give y'all a good laugh).

Taken on iPhone 3GS and edited slightly with photoshop's "PS express" app to boost the light and saturation.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

All Over

There is a local blog about "what to do this weekend", and recently they put out an email to people who had previously submitted photos. (I sent in some local images two years ago for an event, but they were not published online -- it's way back before chemo, and a little bit murky in my mind, because I ended up not being able to go to whatever the event was to see my photo on display on the projection screen behind WhateverSpeaker.)

Last week they ran a series of Summer Scenes posts, and the email was requesting photos to use for that series. I sent a few links to photos of mine from a local fair, and kayaking on Lake George, and so on. (you can see the fair shots here , and here is the kayak shot -- but you've seen that already in my blog header. )

So I got a reply "How would you like us to credit you? Is there anyplace you want us to link to?" and was very excited... and then they didn't use my photos. I was a little bit crushed because they focused on one photographer each day and I felt like I didn't make the cut. But I got over it and just decided to study the photos that DID get used; one thing I've always believed in life is there is always someone better off than you, yes, but there is also someone doing worse than you in whatever aspect of life you are dwelling on, and so stop feeling sorry for yourself already.

Today I got a wonderful note explaining that they'd changed direction with the series and asking if I would like them to use some of my photos in the future. Hell yes!! The best part of the email was her remark, "We love your work."

So, I hope to be able to link to a future post and scream "THEY USED MY PHOTO, LOOK, LOOK, LOOK!" very soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I am so thankful that my boss is flexible. Being a contractor (a "temp" but on a long term assignment) I work when I work and get paid accordingly, and so days like today are wonderful. I was able to enjoy the flowers on my porch while I ate breakfast and even take a few quick photos. I have a macro lens for my iPhone and it is not bad at all, except for the shadow at lower left because I can't really align it properly (it sticks onto the phone via a small magnetic ring).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Abundant life

I have been cleaning and cooking all week for a party for my son, who has graduated from his small Catholic school. (....with the highest average among all the boys, ahem; bragging over.)

There are very few things that make me happier than having a houseful of people. One is para-sailing, and another is kayaking.

We had about 60 people in the end. I know, I'm a little crazy. I did almost all of the cooking myself. But I had a plan, and it pretty much worked. Along the way we had a kitchen sink issue that threatened to derail the whole thing. Scary! Inner cabinet lakes are not good, but we resolved that with a minimum of drama.

That left us free to have relatives and friends and neighbors and waterballoon fights and glow stick bracelets and a wading pool for the littlest kids. The weather complied with a perfect 80 degree summer day.

We had ziti and chicken slathered with Dinosaur Barbecue sauce, all sorts of salads and fruits and snacks... and Miss Patty's yummy layered dessert (with chocolate pudding and cookie crumbs and whipped cream) and Darlene's famous giant chocolate chip cookies, and a chocolate/ Guiness Stout cake I got from my favorite local restaurant. Tell me, why did I make a 3-box mix Funfetti sheet cake? Answer, because I am crazy.

Today my house is clean, I don't have to go to work or to any sort of doctor appointments, and I have plenty of nice food left over. I sat on my screen porch and just enjoyed the quiet sunshine... until my skanky neighbor's five kids came out to scream in the pool. (Seriously. 7 months pregnant and a bikini? and they scream their brains out. I pray they outgrow the house soon. )

Now it is truly "me time"... for the rest of the summer I have plenty of time for all of my art projects in their various forms. I'll share some of the results here. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

If only would put yourself in my shoes...

But I guess that's crazy talk.

Who buys shoes at michael's craft store??? What's next - dresses in the drug store? (I saw that today too...)

Saturday, July 02, 2011


So I submitted a photo to this:

And I think it fits the 'reflecting' theme pretty well. It is at the upper right of my banner (hmm - next project is to update that) and you can also see it here:

It was taken in June 2007 - a beautiful early summer day that was (weatherwise) very similar to the morning of 9/11/01

I was in NYC for training and it ended early and I didn't tell anyone, just took the bus tour and had a fantastic day. Shhh! Our little secret. It feels like a lifetime ago, and not just four years.