Motorcycle Macros

Good morning!  (Again!)

Peter is taking apart his new motorcycle – the 1981 Honda CX500 – to clean and repair and basically make it new and improved and HIS so I decided that I wanted macro shots.  I have several, so I’m just going to get right to it.  Explanations for Photoshop work will be underneath the photo.

This is the seat. Camera is set on super macro. Had to set the focus away from where I wanted the shot to happen and then set the camera down.  Then I  put it in greyscale and cropped it just a little bit.

This is the seat. Camera is set on super macro. Had to set the focus away from where I wanted the shot to happen and then set the camera down. Then I put it in greyscale and cropped it just a little bit.

The spring on the angle is the shock and the vertical one is a passenger peg.  I adjusted the saturation until it was *almost* greyscale

The spring on the angle is the shock and the vertical one is a passenger peg. I adjusted the saturation until it was *almost* greyscale

 

This is the rear brake pedal.  I dimmed the brightness and upped the contrast until I got the look I wanted.  Very dramatic, isn't it?  Peter had no idea what it was.  lol

This is the rear brake pedal. I dimmed the brightness and upped the contrast until I got the look I wanted. Very dramatic, isn’t it? Peter had no idea what it was. lol

 

Speaking of brake pedals.  This is the brake pedal adjuster bolt.  When Peter first saw this picture he said "Where is that bolt?"  When I showed him, he tightened it!  *laughs* I did almost nothing to this one, a minor adjustment of hue & saturation.

Speaking of brake pedals. This is the brake pedal adjuster bolt. When Peter first saw this picture he said “Where is that bolt?” When I showed him, he tightened it! *laughs* I did almost nothing to this one, a minor adjustment of hue & saturation.

 

Shiny.  Even when it's dirty.  This is the muffler.  Took this picture much the same way as the stitching.  And I've done nothing to this picture.  It came out perfectly just the way it is.

Shiny. Even when it’s dirty. This is the muffler. Took this picture much the same way as the stitching. And I’ve done nothing to this picture. It came out perfectly just the way it is.

 

For this picture of the engine underside, I brought the saturation down until it was close to greyscale but still in colour.  Enhanced what was already there.

For this picture of the engine underside, I brought the saturation down until it was close to greyscale but still in colour. Enhanced what was already there.

 

This stark picture is part of the logo plate on one side of the bike.  Toyed with the brightness/contrast here but that's it.

This stark picture is part of the logo plate on one side of the bike. Toyed with the brightness/contrast here but that’s it.

 

Finally, this dizzying bit of orange is one of the blinker lenses.  I love the hints of red in it.  All  I did for this one is the auto-contrast.

Finally, this dizzying bit of orange is one of the blinker lenses. I love the hints of red in it. All I did for this one is the auto-contrast.

 

I was on my hands and knees and flat on my back for most of these pictures!  I thought they came out rather well and I delivered upon my promise to do a less organic, more mechanical set of photos.  I enjoyed taking them and offering a different view of the bike.  

That’s it for me folks!  I’m off to see my sister, have a little one on one time.  Haven’t seen her in like 10 years, though we talk fairly often.  

Have a great day!  

Muah!

A Dodge Challenger, actually.  2013 I think.

If I'd said "I saw a fuscia Challenger" you would do what Peter (and my Dad) said "WHY would you do that?"

If I’d said “I saw a fuscia Challenger” you would do what Peter (and my Dad) said “WHY would you do that?”

I saw this car yesterday and I had to take a picture.  And of course while I was editing pictures this morning for the photoblog (there is a longer blog coming) I just had to find a way to highlight the colour. 

Colour splash technique of course!   

So to do a colour splash you have to watch this video  (because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to explain it in words):

 

So I did all that then decided I wanted the greyscale layer to be darker.  So I clicked on the appropriate layer and played with the Brightness until I got it right.  Then I noticed that the colour was all blotchy on the car.  *gasp!*  Had to redo the painting.    Look how gorgeous it is though!  

I wanted to share the car all on its own.  I have photos of Peter’s bike coming up.  This is a bonus blog. 😉

Challenger

Consignment

It’s a scary thing to try to sell yourself, ya know?  

So that’s not what I’m doing.  I’m selling my books to bookstores.  Part of that is me – I am the author, I am the one saying ‘here, buy my product – but mostly, I want them to see the book and like it and agree to sell it.

With that in mind, I went on yellowpages.ca and listed the bookstores that popped up.  Shockingly, there were only seven.  Two of them were big box stores, which have my books under consideration.  One was too full of incense for us to be able to get into.  Three were used books only.  And then there was Oxford Book Shop.  

Down on Piccadilly St in London (Ontario! I realize there is a very famous Piccadilly in London, England) there is a small shop in the bottom of an old, large farmhouse.  It is bright and surprisingly modern.  They pack a lot of books in there.  And she took three of my books just because I asked.  When I asked if she was going to read/preview it she said no, she doesn’t have time.   She took it because I’m a local author and I asked.

While I’m thrilled to have my book in a book store, I’m apparently kind of bummed that it was taken that way.  

Maybe she liked the way I looked – in which case, it was me I was selling there – or maybe I just looked pathetic and like I needed a break.  In which case it was me I was selling there… although not in a good way, eh?  *laughs*

The day resulted in us buying a few ‘business of writing’ books in order to help us build Catherine Bowman as a successful author.  The one I’m reading right now is Create Your Writer Platform by Chuck Sambuchino.  A platform is the thing you stand on to sell your books.  The better your platform, the better your ability to sell your books.  The better you can sell your books, the better your platform gets.  

“Platform, simply put, is your visibility as an author.”

I’m not very visible.  I have Facebook, Twitter and the blog, but I don’t pay attention to them regularly enough.  I also am not a part of the larger community so very much.   I need to work on changing that.  And this book, along with the others, will help that.

To recap:  I have books under consideration at the two big box stores and three books in a small book shop.  

Going to try the university book shop too.

I have to go now.  I have been promising you a Birdie and Rolf update and you’re going to get it!   I have a psychiatric assessment today (most writers are a little crazy 😉 ) so it won’t be written today but it will get written in the next couple of days. 

Have a great day!

Muah!

You all know that my favourite subjects to photograph tend to be flowers and things I find out of doors.  And that’s what this week is all about.  

I took those pictures and plugged them into Photoshop.  With almost all of them I toyed with the contrast and brightness balance.  I think I ended up with some truly beautiful pictures, and one strange one.   First though…

We were driving from The Boyfriend’s house to mine, heading south-east.  Glancing in the side view mirror, I noticed the sunset reflected on the car like it had been painted there.  I was too slow in getting the camera out in order to take a picture, however.  One sweeping curve in the road and the imagery was gone.  Silly me.  However, it was still in the sky and I had a fantastic view.  So I picked up my phone and took the picture running… er… riding.  This is a picture taken doing 100 (or so) km per hour.   All I did here was crop the image a little and do an auto-contrast on it.  Then I left it alone.

Had to share this one simply because I like it.

Had to share this one simply because I like it.

As for the rest: flowers, all of them.  Like I said, I think they came out beautifully.  With all of them, except the first one which is left with a simple auto-contrast to show you the original image, the contrast has been changed.  Drastically in some cases.  

First up we have a Dalmatian Rose.  I found it at a big box hardware store named Rona while I was shopping for barbeques.   My camera was set on -0.5 exposure and the daylight setting, 800 ISO.  It happens to be the only picture I remember the settings for.   *laughs*  

This is the original image.

This is the original image.

This next one is the high contrast version.   I think it’s pretty but a little surreal and harsh at the same time.  It’s a strange little flower.  It can’t help but look the way it does. 

And the black and white doesn't look much better.

And the black and white doesn’t look much better.

Next we have the Dinnerplate Hibiscus.  It’s a beautiful and so called because its bloom is the size of a dinner plate.  The blooms only last a day or two but the plant is prolific at producing them.  The red is striking all on its own and really, even though I upped the contrast to some +25-30 and dimmed the brightness slightly, it’s hard to tell I did anything at all.  

It's beautiful, isn't it?  I love the brilliance of the red

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? I love the brilliance of the red.

I have two more lilies for you, since goldi’s garden is full of a wide variety.  The first is a Pink Oriental Lily.  I removed the colour and upped the contrast while pulling the brightness down a little.  To me it’s beautiful and fascinating.  It’s almost film noir.  A little more tweaking and it could be the poster for a creepy psychological thriller about murder on the Oriental Express.  Who says lotus flowers and the Chinese zodiac have to be the only symbols of the Orient?  😉

I love the lines and shadows.  It's a busy picture but there's just something about it I really like.

I love the lines and shadows. It’s a busy picture but there’s just something about it I really like.

The last picture is of a White Asiatic Lily.  It is breathtaking the way it came out.  Again, I toyed with the brightness/contrast until I was happy with it.  It’s a gorgeous flower to begin with but this treatment of it stepped it up a notch.  The Boyfriend suggested it could be the base of a book cover.  Not one of mine, at least not at this point, but I think he’s right.    

What do you think?

What do you think?

 

I am out of here, boys and girls.  I have much more work to do, including writing another blog for you all, (which will be posted tomorrow). I have news to share!

I think next week I’m going to try for a different subject.  Not sure yet what though.

Have a great day.

Muah!

A Study in Contrasts

A Bird, a Bridge, a Skyline and Water

Hello!

Man oh man have I ever been sick this week!   We went to Niagara Falls on Tuesday to visit some friends and I have to tell you, we had a lot of fun, it was a lovely visit.  But it was toxic as hell.  We got stuck in a line of traffic at the border that was 90 minutes long.   All that exhaust, regular, hybrid and diesel was extremely difficult on us both.  

It left us both physically ill.  It was all I could do to stay upright until Friday.  I felt a lot better then… so long as I didn’t move too much.   Then I felt like I had the flu or, Val was afraid, like I was having a heart attack.  Sweaty, nauseous, heart racing, pale, exhausted.  Protein and rest helped straightened me out. 

We went to Hamilton the week before that and we will be going to Port Dover next week.  I will see about taking pictures there too.

I have pictures to show you of our travels.  And one little thing we found here at home.  

It’s not the best picture, taken on The Boyfriend’s phone and cropped to show just the bird on a wheel.  The re-sizing didn’t carry the resolution quality over.   The point is, we thought it was awesome.  I managed to get within three or four feet of him, taking pictures.  Really bad, hands shaking kind of thing, pictures.

A tiny wee bird resting on the spokes of Peter's bike.

A tiny wee bird resting on the spokes of Peter’s bike.

 

There are things I like about Hamilton, Ontario, and many things I don’t.  One of the things I like is that the city sweeps up from the coastline of  Lake Ontario to the top of a small mountain.  The roads curve and wind up and down and around this mountain.  The views, if you’re in the right spots, are gorgeous.  If you’re not… well, that’s a different story.  Here’s a small selection of the views.

The prettiest of the views.  Lovely blue sky only slightly polluted by Hamilton's industry - steel.

The second prettiest of the views. Lovely blue sky only slightly polluted by Hamilton’s industry – steel.

The most pretty of views.  Hamilton is very green in most places.  However...

The most pretty of views. Hamilton is very green in most places. However…

 

The collection of steel mills and other factories.  The lend the air a certain... flavour as you come around from the north.

The collection of steel mills and other factories. The lend the air a certain… flavour as you come around from the north.

The lake behind the picture does lend it a certain beauty, like a dirty but very cute child.  

Sort of.

Maybe it’s more like slapping a coat of paint and a few flowers on a run down trailer park, eh?  😉

As I said, on Tuesday we went to Niagara Falls.  The American side, cleverly named the American Falls.  We had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and Debbie gave me her collector’s glass.  Wasn’t that nice of her?  Love her to bits, which is why she’s nicknamed ‘precious’.  *chuckles*

On the way there, we saw this…

... and figured that it was going to be a grand day.   The camera setting on my phone was at -2 exposure.  And we put Peter's sunglasses in front on top of that.  I tweaked the contrast a little bit in photoshop to intensify the effect.

… and figured that it was going to be a grand day. The camera setting on my phone was at -2 exposure. And we put Peter’s sunglasses in front on top of that. I tweaked the contrast a little bit in Photoshop to intensify the effect.

Still, it forecasted a lovely day.   The night before, James, Debbie’s Master, told us that thunderstorms were in the forecast for the day.  Hours of them.   He suggested that we postpone it.  I rejected his suggestion – and that of the t-storms – and we went ahead with our plans.  Turned out to be a gorgeous day.

Then we went to the park lining the Falls.   I took a bunch of pictures.  Some of them, I’m afraid, I took over the top of Peter’s head because it was a little crowded for a while.  Happens that the following two pictures were taken that way and are my favourites.   The angles are a little off.  The horizon is tilted in the second one and the fence is on a sloping bit of land heading towards the edge of the cliff.  It’s kind of difficult to look at as it gives you a bit of vertigo.  

Love the mist and all the blues with the Canadian Niagara Falls town in silhouette on the other side of the river.

Love the mist and all the blues with the Canadian Niagara Falls town in silhouette on the other side of the river.

I like this in black and white.  I even like the bit of vertigo it gives you.

I like this in black and white. I even like the bit of vertigo it gives you.

Finally, a look down the river and a view of the trestles of the Rainbow Bridge, sloping cliff walls.  It’s a gorgeous view.

Rainbow Bridge

Hate the bridge.  Hate it.  

It was a good, good day.  

And now I’m off to have ice cream with my children.

Muah.