Mark Borax must be going nuts with the possibilities up in Vermont! And speaking of Mark, he has a brand new book out Cosmic Weather Report: Notes from the Edge of the Universe. I've read some exceprts using Amazon's "Look Inside" feature and it appears to be another fascinating book from Mark. Mark co-authored the book with his mentor, legendary astrologer Ellias Lonsdale. If you (or any friends) are interested in what's happening--astrologically-speaking--in the Universe around us, I'm sure you'll get a lot of out this new book. Ellias and Mark provide a really in-depth and very readable look at current and future astronomical events.
Of course, I personally pay more attention to the particular alignment of my cats' whiskers as they sleep in the recliner, but that's just me. But seriously, I've known Mark almost as far as I can remember in life and I know that he is deeply connected to the Universe in ways that most people probably couldn't conceive until they have known him a while. If there is anyone I trust to deliver a weather report from the Cosmos, it's Mark.
Fine, but how about some photo talk Wignall! OK! This shot was taken at Peck's Mill Pond (where, one summer night long ago, Mark and I sat in my car on the way home from a night of cold beer and blues in Westport and watched the Raven Inn burn to the ground) in Stratford, Connecticut last year during a spring snowstorm. (I actually think I blogged about this shot once before because I had to remove a beer bottle floating in the water--but it was 40 years after the fire, so I don't think it was a beer bottle we left behind). But here's the tip for this photo: I really wanted the shapes of the trees to create a bold pattern and to stand out against the snow--and, in particular, to pop out of the reflection. So, I first used curves in Photoshop to set the dynamic range (contrast) to hold detail in the highlights, but I still wanted more bite in the shapes of the trees. The simplest way was to use the "selective color" tool (you'll find it buy clicking on the half-circle shape at the bottom of the layers palette) and select the "black" color channel. Then I increased the black by about 70% (sliding the slider to the right). That provided a lot more black in the dark shapes without affecting any other part of the image.
You see, I can still talk about photography when I have to! I think Frank was beginning to doubt me! And jumping back to the Universe: Hey, we get a few more minutes of daylight each day for the next three months! My father used to say that by Lincoln's birthday there is light in the sky until 6 p.m. (which was the time he drove in the driveway from work every day). Thanks Pop! That little marker in the world of daylight gets me through the dark cold days of December and January!
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