Wednesday, June 26, 2013

After the rain

Just after the rain stopped, June 25, 2013, 5:30pm
Rain?! After the rain? No kidding?

Yep. It rained solidly for about 2 days. Not a hard rain, but a steady soaking. Something about a large Arctic low moving the jet-stream, and oceanic tropical moisture. It was a warm storm, just down to the 60s F.

Actually, it often does rain in June here, but not every year. It is more surprising this year because of the warm dry spring we had.

This picture is looking out over the top of the grocery store, between tall trees, from the bus bench across the street, about an hour after the rain stopped on Tuesday. There are houses all around, and under those trees too — but what a lovely view. And the clouds sitting on the tops of the hills.

Today, Wednesday, it was a lovely walk to campus. The air yesterday and today was very soft-feeling, with all the moisture, and warm.

By next Tuesday, the temperature is supposed to be back up to 101 degrees F.

I decided years ago that if it ever didn't look like this here, I wouldn't want to live here anymore.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Halo around sun, June 18, 2013

Picture of sun halo, June 18, 2013
And I got a picture.

Unfortunately, too large to fit in the camera's field-of-view.

Ice crystals in the high atmosphere. . .

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Thursday, June 13, 2013

It wasn't supposed to get to 100 degrees F the first week in June

June 8, 2013 sunset
But this year it did.*


Two years ago, the kittens and I were enjoying fires in the woodstove the first week of June. 

*Not here at this house among tall trees, on the brow of a hill, where it only got to the mid-90s. But in the neighboring town it did. Record-breaking heat for the whole of Northern California.

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Saturday, June 01, 2013

Serendipity

Self-portrait photo, April 28, 2013

This picture happened by accident. In the Corel Painter class I was taking this semester, I needed a photo to base a computer-painted self-portrait on. I was probably going to use one taken by a friend in a class last year, but as insurance I went out on the balcony on a sunny afternoon to try to take some side-lit shadowed pictures.

I am very un-photogenic. And I was in front of the camera, not behind it, so I couldn't see what I was getting. The sun was in my eyes. The kittens came by to see what was going on, and got bored and went away. I took lots of pictures, which meant that I had to go through hundreds of desperately ugly pictures to find a few not-so bad ones.

But this one had kind of a nice smile...

I didn't know that the corners of my mouth turned down when I smiled - way beyond my ability to draw.

But I didn't see until I had enlarged it onscreen —  a reflection in my glasses. No wonder I was smiling. Lassie the kitten is reflected there. She was sitting on the railing in the sun. 

The kittens are my darlings, even grown up.


This is minimally photoshopped, in terms of making myself look better, the usual use of Photoshop. I turned down the red sunburn color some. And I photoshopped out the tape holding my glasses together. My usual style of eliminating distractions without materially changing the effect.

In other ways, there is significant photoshopping:
  • To make more interesting shadows, I duplicated layers, then set the top one to multiply at a lower opacity.  
  • I substituted a virtual batik background for the porch shingles. 
  • I made my shirt aqua instead of blue.
I think all that makes a better image.

But that reflection in the glasses — I couldn't have planned that.

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