Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 25/12/2011

Merry Christmas to One And All

I’m not sure I can move, even typing is certainly a challenge – I’m now suffering from the aftermath of Christmas day lunch.. and the worst part is I cooked the meal, so there’s no excuse for the rather large portion sizes that were served. Groan…. I’m going to have to go swimming more frequently when the local pool opens.

So what does the photographer who has everything (well, not quite, in fact – I could do with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens, oh and a low dome hide, a portable constant light source… well, you get the idea) – a lens coffee cup. Whiling away seconds, minutes and even hours behind a camera waiting for wildlife to perform or even just turn up, the humble photographer (and even the ones that are less than humble) needs some form of sustenance. At the moment, that constitutes of a bottle of “Old Peculiar”* but that’s not a good idea if you’re in a hide and the diuretic nature of beer takes hold just as your wildlife subject turns up. Mind you, coffee isn’t much better really – but still, it’s a lovely and thoughtful present and I’m very pleased with it (the lens cap couples as a cookie holder!).

I do have to admit to manipulating the photos posted on Flickr today… SHOCK, HORROR. Now I have that admittance of my chest (and I can look you squarely in the eyes), I will admit I didn’t do much to get the photos into this state. I use Google’s Picasa tool, to sort and mark photos that I will upload to Flickr as it has a very easy tagging system – it also allows for some very basic manipulation, altering contrast levels, boosting shadows, etc. None of which I bother with but I didn’t like the colour cast associated with today’s photos so decided to see what the software could do. I was rather amazed at how easy it was to remove the colour from the image but then highlight only one colour, one of the widely used techniques used in the digital world. Instead of minutes or even longer, the conversion to Black and White, whilst retaining the red ring of the lens took seconds.. no expertise was used in the making of the photos.

I wish you all Season’s Greetings, a Merry Christmas to you all, and hope you all have a happy and prosperous 2012.

* A dark and rich ale from the northern brewery, Theakstons, and a beer that is a personal favourite of mine (no comments please, about the name reflecting the drinker etc**).
** Oi, I heard that, I said No Comments Please.. where’s your Christmas Spirit? (mine was in a glass earlier).


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