Pasture, Egypt Road, Boonville
Well, I changed my plans yesterday. I was going back to the zoo for more images of the animals but as the morning progressed the conditions improved to the point I had to go North to use the snowshoes. I had mentioned in a previous post the Black River Environmental Improvement Association (BREIA) and the x-country ski/snowshoe trails they have throughout northern Oneida county. Yesterday turned into the perfect day to go for a walk. I’ll have a post of my adventure later.
On my way up to the trail head I came across this view. I had turned onto Egypt Road and the sun was breaking through the clouds. I stopped the car and jumped out with the camera. Luckily, it is a country road with little traffic. I was able to grab this nice view with the mostly frozen creek running through it.
My original image had the sun in the view but I was unable to remove the power lines running through the top portion of the image. Try as I might my Photoshop skills were not up to the task. Once I had the thought the lines needed to go I could not see the image with them in it. I modified the crop to a 16×9 ratio losing the majority of the sky. It did refocus the attention on the creek which is really what I wanted to capture anyway.
Old Erie Canal Park, DeWitt
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
This is the last weekend for the photo contest at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. I’m hoping I can make it out again on Sunday. The forecast is for some sun in the morning changing over to snow and clouds in the afternoon. I’m thinking early Sunday morning will be a quiet time at the zoo and I’ll have the place to myself. Until then, here is one of the Red Pandas talking to his companions up in the tree…
Harambe Village, Africa, Animal Kingdom
Walt Disney World
On my way out of the Animal Kingdom park I found myself at the corner in Harambe Village. Looking back into the park I can go straight toward the Kilamanjaro Safari adventure, turn left toward the Lion King or turn right toward the Asia section of the park. The corner refreshment stand, Tamu Tamu, was begging to be photographed.
As much as I enjoy the parks I think they all take on a special quality at night. The lighting helps create a unique look and feel. I don’t think I am in a theme park, I get lost in the environment and feel like I am in each particular setting. This refreshment stand use to have the best milkshakes! Maybe that is the real reason I was drawn to it that night. They have since stopped selling them but it is still a great place to stop.
Due to the intense lighting used I knew I would need to bracket my shots in order to capture this view. The top of Tamu Tamu was so bright that if I exposed for that section the rest of the view was black. I ended up with 4 separate exposures which I blended using the HDR Merge function in Lightroom. I created a flat image (one that captured the range of darks and lights but was not enhanced by changes in tone or saturation). Once I had this merged image I put it through my normal processing to bring out the detail and colors that I wanted. I left the image on the warm side as that is how I remember the scene.
Old Erie Canal Park, DeWitt
Butternut Creek, Old Erie Canal Park
It has been a strange winter to date. We had way more snow than usual during December. We have been experiencing unseasonably higher temperatures in January. Yesterday we had a winter storm warning with lots of nasty weather predicted and I wake up to rain. It probably is still coming as the temps are right around the freezing mark. I should go watch the weather reports before I get ready for work…
Patas Monkey, Rosamond Gifford Zoo
This is not one of the images I picked to process from my trip to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo last week. I thought because I did not capture the face or focus on the eyes (as I have read is the right thing to do) I passed this one in my selection process.
As I sat down to work on my images this one kept speaking to me. Every time I saw this monkey I felt something for him. Maybe it is the feeling of solitude or loneliness. Thinking back to my time in front of the exhibit I realized it was his indifference to the activity from the other monkeys and even for those of us looking through the glass. Maybe I’m attributing too much, maybe not…
Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World
One week! For the second time since I purchased this PC I had to re-install the operating system and all my applications. As I mentioned in a post early last week the boot drive of my photography laptop crashed last Sunday. I played with it until late Monday night in a desperate attempt to make a miracle happen… I couldn’t.
I decided I was not going to completely tear the PC apart in order to reach the small SSD drive embedded in the heart of this beast. Considering the non-existent use of the CD drive I chose to replace the drive with a HD drive tray and install a second 1 TB, 7200 RPM hard disk. Yes, I will lose a little startup speed and the applications might not pop open as quickly as they did from the SSD but the extra storage space would be great and ease of any future repairs would be increased. Besides, it was not like I was playing online games with this baby!
All the pieces arrived Thursday and about an hour after getting home from work the system was performing the first of the OS installs to bring everything back to normal. As I had learned from the last system crash I needed to first restore Windows 8.1 before I could upgrade to Windows 10. The Win 8.1 restore was not a problem. I attempted the upgrade to Win 10 but the system was hanging on the process. That issue took me another day to resolve (FYI – Win 8.1 Windows Update programs needed to be updated manually via a few downloads before the system would work properly – OMG!).
By Saturday morning I had my basic system working. The rest of Saturday was all about reinstalling my photography software and getting the system back to its fully protected, fully backed up operating condition. About half way through the process I found a directory with a lot of my stuff that I must have setup last crash. I wish I had written that down somewhere. It would have saved me an hour or two! 🙂
I have started working through my images from last Sunday’s trip to the zoo. I’ll get a post online soon. I chose to add a few Cinderella Castle images to this post instead. To revive the post-processing muscles after a short hiatus I went with pics from my happy place. I also ventured to those directories first as I have been trying to plan a Spring trip back down and coordinating my work schedule with price shifts at Disney has been challenging. As much as I love going, I am unwilling to pay the prices during the ‘Peak’ seasons. I get supply and demand, but really, does the hotel room’s cost to operate increase by 50-100% during specific weeks of the year? Crazy!
Anyway… Make sure your files are backed up! The crash didn’t upset me too much other than the fact I would need to do all the work to restore the applications. I knew my data and those files important to me where safe.