Saturday, June 5, 2010

Three Things

1. Check this out! I am the featured student of the month over at Big Picture Scrapbooking!  Now, to be fair, I filled out the questionairre over a year ago. So I'm 49 (not 48) and Jay and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this August! But otherwise, all the answers are still valid.

2. Why was yesterday's "perfectly contented moment" so worthy of a blog post?  Because of this:

This is the new laptop I just got from work. I traded in the old desktop and the old laptop, for this single machine and a docking station.  Why?  Because the old desktop had gotten so painfully slow, despite defragging, deleting, storing all of my images and scrapbooking stuff on a separate external hard drive, and every other clean up I could think of.   Neither of the old machines had a processor or RAM sufficient to operate the programs I play with on a daily basis. So it was time. 

Anyone who has purchased (willingly or under forced circumstances) a new computer knows all too well that it takes time to get the new toy up and running the way the old one was. Even if the old one was crap.  I got this baby on Thursday. I spent Wednesday backing up all my emails, internet favorites, documents, etc. so it could all be transferred to this new baby. Then I spent more time deleting everything from the machines that were being returned to the office.  It sounds like I had it all under control and getting up and running should be simple right?

Ha! It never is! My first rookie mistake was thinking that because I had my ACDSee database stored on my external hard drive that I didn't need to do a backup of that. Apparently I was wrong.  All the tagging and organization that I've done to date is gone. I have to start over. :(  And my email is totally messed up. My personal mail is going into my work folder.  And I can't see my work email unless I sign into remote serv. The tech guys at the office tried to put it all into one Outlook profile.  Guess what? It didn't work! Hopefully Jay can fix that for me this weekend.  And the docking station? Never had one before. And it didn't come with instructions. I thought it was plug and play. Um, not. Turns out you have to install a driver for it.  And I still can't get the resolution on my big monitor correct.  With all this "stuff" going on in the background of my life, it is no small wonder that yesterday's perfectly contented moment was blog-worthy!

3) I took Karen's advice on the "aperture" issue that was totally confounding me.  I went outside, sat in the grass, and shot consecutive photos of the same flower from the same position, changing the f.stop one click between each photo. I took a total of 48 shots - 3 series. I noticed that as the aperture number got smaller (wider opening, more light - so counter-intuitive!) that my camera automatically increased the shutter speed to make up for the extra light coming through. Smart camera. I could not see any difference as I took the photos, but when I loaded them up to my computer,I could literally see more and more of the background coming in focus as the aperture number gets larger (smaller opening, less light).  So here are just a couple from one series to illustrate:

This first one was taken at 1/160s, f/32. Almost the entire photo is in focus. This aperture setting would work great for landscapes when you want it all in focus.
Second shot - 1/1000 s, f/13. You can see the background beginning to blur, but almost all of the flower remains in focus.
And finally, 1/4000s, f/5.6. The entire background and even some parts of the upper flower are out of focus. For me this is the best shot for flowers - or anything when you want good detail, but don't want the distraction of the background.  So thanks Karen! I get it now!


Sian said...

Those are really sharp shots Cheri :)

I just swapped laptops a couple of weeks ago..makes for a lot of frustration for a while I know. Now I'm off to check out BPS. How cool!

Rachel said...

Great shots of the flower. I'm just learning how to use my camera properly and learnt about apertures last weekend, already taking better shots.

Anonymous said...

So glad your experiment with aperture worked!! I have only had Apple computers, all MacBooks, at home, but even so every time I need a new one it's such a pain to try and get everything back where it belongs. I use Shoebox to organize my digital files, and I haven't used it since I bought this computer almost a year and a half ago. I have all my new digital files in a folder on my desktop. It always seems too frustrating to deal with.

quiltingfool said...

Congrats again, this time for your student of the month award. You are just winning things left and right these days. Recognition that you have earned and deserved. Love your flower pics. Can't wait for July 1st and "Picture Summer". See you there!

Amy said...

The flowers look beautiful Cheri, getting the hang of the camera is tricky and I agree - backwards numbers DO NOT help!
We have one desktop at home and it's got a lot of memory but I've recently noticed it becoming a little too sluggish for my liking .... not bad enough to upgrade, just annoying!

Kelly Miller said...

I love your pictorial demonstration. I am a visual learner, so I feel like I finally *get* it. Cool!

Cheryl said...

Congrats on being the featured BPS student, Cheri! Your interview and LOs are fabulous.

PS. Did you join the LOMCom?