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This Day in My History

George Washington's
Rules of Civility
and Decent Behaviour

75th:   In the midst of discourse ask not of what one treateth, but if you perceive any stop because of your coming you may well intreat him gently to proceed.  If a person of quality comes in while you are conversing, it is handsome to repeat what was said before.

Yesterday's Entries

2000: Bev, the Jet Setter
 My Civic Duty
2002:  Around and Around and Around
2003:  100 Things


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If I sit here very quiet and look at her long enough, she might actually get my dinner for me.

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8 November 2004

I went off the other night to take pictures of the SPCA "volunteer of the month" for the upcoming newsletter.

She's a high school kid and I felt quite comfortable at her home, which was full of dogs and puppies and confusion.  Her mother apologized for the condition of the house.  I just laughed and told her I felt right at home.

Trying to take a photo of a girl sitting on the ground surrounded by dogs who don't want to be cooperative is a real challenge.  They have two adult dogs of their own and are fostering two puppies, one of which is the little blind puppy that I wrote about a week or so ago.

The first problem, of course, was getting down to her level.  I can't kneel any more--I've become convinced that my knee is never going to be normal again--and even if I could get down on my knees, getting up would be a problem.  But there was a wooden chest sitting on the floor and I was able to use that to brace myself and get down to her level.   So far so good.

I took a whole bunch of photos

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But finally she and I settled on two that we liked.  I liked this one...

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...but she didn't because she thought her eyes were too squinty.  She preferred this one...

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(I should add parenthetically here that the 8 week old puppy is a chihuahua/pit bull mix, the mother being the chihuahua.  That must have been an interesting mating!  The poor mother had eight puppies.)

I still liked the first photo, so I looked at all the other photos and decided I could work with this one...

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...where her eyes weren't squinty.  I put them both in PhotoShop and used the eyes from the 3rd picture and put them onto the first picture, fixed the levels so that it wasn't so dark, and came up with this picture, which I really like...

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I am feeling so comfortable with Photo Shop these days.   There is a lot I don't know, but for doing the kinds of things that I like to do, I can really do so much more than I could when I started working with this program a year ago.  I am so happy with this photo--and it's just a simple little thing like fixing her eyes.  I had to not only take the eyes from the second photo, but I had to rotate them until they were at the right angle for the picture, and then erase the skin around the paste-in eyes because it was darker than the face on photo #1.

There are several on-line discussion groups for PhotoShop and I belong to 3 of them, which have helped me learn a lot about what the program can do.  (One of the best, Digital Nuts, specializes in turning digital photos into works of art using various filter techniques, from which I have learned so much!)

Someone recently posted a link to a PhotoShop seminar page.  This is a seminar that travels around the country and it just so happens that at the end of this month, the seminar will be held in Sacramento.

It ain't cheap, but I decided I'm getting so heavily into PhotoShop that it would be worth the money to see what I can learn.  I fully expect that there will be lots and lots that is over my head, but if I can pick up some good tips that will make me even more comfortable with the program it will be well worth the money.


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The next thing I want to learn is how to put a flat photo like
the yellow one here, and make it look like it was printed on a rumpled
background like this blue flag.  The tutorial is amazing and makes it look so easy.


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