Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sleepless in Ventura Harbor, borrowing a line from the movie

We live on our 35 ft 1963 Pearson Alberg sailboat (hull #7) (named Sashay). Living in a small confined space (78sf to be exact) on a sailboat is not for everyone but for the right person (persons), it is the best life money can buy.

Ok, I miss having a garden and a real kitchen. In exchange I get to fall asleep to the gentle roll of the tides at night, waves crushing on the breakwaters a short distance away. Each morning, as I peek my head out of the companion way hatch to get ready to start the day, the smell of the pacific ocean and the crisp cool air welcome me. Every so often, a family of harbor seals can be seen frolicking in the water while the pelicans and seagulls yelp loudly and flutter their wings as they protest my intrusion into their space when I walk the harbor slip to the marina building.

Seals frolicking against a backdrop of boats at Ventura Harbor Village, Canon 10D, Tamron 19-35mm Wide Angle with CPL, 8:45am Jan 4 2014

Our office is located some 500 feet from the marina, which means most days when I do not need my car to run errands I could walk along the harbor front to the office. If I am early enough, I catch the beautiful first light.....sleepy sailboats and their reflections on the glass like water. My favorite morning is when the harbor is shrouded in fog...Most mornings as luck would have it I am caught without my cameras which I keep in my office. The fresh misty morning air around me, I stop for many minutes soaking up the priceless view no money can buy, before continuing on my short journey to start the day.

A Chinese junk lookalike - a Bed & Breakfast in Ventura Harbor, Canon 10D, Tamron 19-35mm Wide Angle with CPL, 8:45am Jan 4 2014

Sunset is always magnificent, the water sparkles and gradually turns into beautiful hues and glows as the sun disappears behind the horizon. Nature picks up her paint brushes and gets to work - a watercolor, a gouache or oil. Why would I live anywhere else? (unless it is a small place in the wine country at the foothills with plenty of grape wines, fruit trees and herb gardens).

It does not take a lot to make me happy.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Adobe Photoshop Elements - Using Artistic Filters

I am having some fun this first day of 2014. For anyone interested in photography or art or the creative side of things, there are so many tools readily available today which means endless digital darkroom possibilities. One of such tools I use is Photoshop Elements. I am still with my 2.0 version that came with the Canon 10D I purchased from another photographer in 2006. Photoshop Elements 2.0 is ancient by many accounts. However, I have no need to upgrade to the later versions as all I need are a few standard editing tools and artistic filters to let my creative juices run.

Having shot stock photography for quite a few years and only just stopped doing so in earnest recently (stock photography business has slowed for just about every photographer that depended on it). My external back up hard drive boasts of thousands of images I took over the years....Sweet.. artistic filters, layers, the possibilities are really endless when I am in the mood to create.

Above - Wish You Were Here Postcard - Photo of a candy/nut kiosk taken while I was visiting an indoor farmers market in Allentown, Pennsylvania this past summer. Cutout filter applied (Filter -> Artistic Filter -> Cutout)

Left - A card created using artistic filter (Filter - > Sketch -> Graphic Pen). This source image actually came from my Samsung Galaxy 10.1 which takes rather good pictures