Thanksgiving at the Edgars

PD2008-11-27_N0077_240px

Pam and I are spending Thanksgiving with the Sacramento Edgars. We are staying with my cousin Larry and his family. Last night we had Aunt Judy, Uncle Bill, Aunt Karen, and cousin Debbie over, in addition to Stacey’s parents, and Karen’s mom. It was a houseful.

Everybody helped with dinner. In addition to turkey, we had cheesy mashed potatoes, squash casserole, green bean casserole, dressing, gravy (Debbie’s gravy was really good!), cranberry sauce, and some jello-marshmellow salad thing. It was all really good. My nephew Nicholas (5) had a whole drumstick. His sister (7mo) even chewed on it a little. Don’t tell CPS.

The big project was taking pictures for the Edgar and Associates website. The website is simple, elegant and very professional. The pictures needed to look like professional portraits, with proper lighting, a plain background, and no shadows. Really the lighting, the photos, and the edit/ retouch took most of the day. So here are the results.

PD2008-11-27_N0038_240pxPD2008-11-27_N0050_240pxPD2008-11-27_N0069_240pxPD2008-11-27_N0062_240px
(Larry wants Uncle C. B. (Dad) to notice that the men are wearing jacket and tie.)

We also took a great family shot that was a lot more casual:
PD2008-11-28_N0105_604px

Have a great Thanksgiving.

Still working on Britain Photos

There hasn’t been a lot of activity on the website in a while. The main reason is that all the photos I shot in England turned out to be a real challenge to edit. Blame it on digital photos and cheap 2GB cards. Over the three weeks, I shot something like 5000 photos. So I have been working on an album and a slide show, and it has taken longer than expected.

The huge number of pictures pretty much broke my work flow. I had been using iView MediaPro to organize, catalog, and select photos. It also has some very good website creation tools. Well Microsoft bought iView, and they have since released Expression Media I and II. Expression Media is basically the same program. I haven’t tried Expression Media II.

Well, a poor workman always blames his tool, and whether it was the tool or my workflow, I just could not seem to get the job done with either iView or Expressions. I had been wanting to try Apple Aperture for some time, and this seemed to be a good reason. So I migrated to Aperture 1.5 last winter. Aperture is a very nice tool, and the latest version 2.1 is a lot better than 1.5.

Aperture doesn’t do the same kind of web export, that is, it does it a lot differently, and I still haven’t figured it all out. It does manage and edit raw digital images very well. In fact, I no longer use Photoshop at all. Maybe that just says I didn’t do that much in Photoshop, but really, Aperture does all the editing I need. It also does books.

I love photo books. Before Aperture, I was doing them online at Kodak Gallery. I would select pictures, upload them to Kodak Gallery, and then create a book with their online tools. I would select the page templates, fill it with images, and write stories and captions to include.

Aperture is way better. With Aperture, I can do it all locally, and I have much more control over the page layouts. I can create my own templates if I want. Anyway I am almost done. I have all the pictures placed into a two volume photo album, and I am about 1/3 done with the stories. The stories go faster than the pictures, so I hope to be done by Christmas. Thanksgiving would be better, but that is looking unlikely.

Well, I have been doing other things too: learning more Perl, learning new web tools, and learning HTML and CSS even better. And working and gardening and wood working and messing with TV antennas and HDTivo. Stuff for another blog later.

Bye for now.