Sunday, April 24, 2011

A New Trick

I recently learned (well, actually relearned) a new trick to post-processing pictures.  Since I have finally figured it out, written down the steps & have used it on a couple of pictures, I figure it is probably "out of style" in the photography world.  I'm not a fan of over-doing the post-processing to improve pictures - I think you should just simply take better pictures - patience (as Yoda says) -- almost always pays off (especially when you are entering photo contests).  But for fun, this effect of changing the color picture to black & white then putting back in the color to an item(s) can be kind of cool looking.  I have an older version of photoshop elements, but I'm sure most any software has this ability.  I found a tutorial on youtube - you can find almost anything on the internet.  Hope everyone has a happy Easter - a good Easter gift for Texas would be rain!! -- there are clouds, wind & it is a little cooler outside.  I'm not getting my hopes up, but an Easter mircale of rain wouldn't be bad. 
Here's an Easter egg picture (the last egg my kids found in our backyard this morning) using my new trick. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Texas Drought/Fire Weather

Usually in Texas we are more concerned with heat and hurricanes, however lately we've had to be on the lookout for wildfires (more so in some regions than others).  It was really sad to read TPWD's report on the fires at Possum Kingdom burning 90% of the park acreage. Although on the bright side (if there is one), it will be interesting to watch what comes about after the fires have cooled and the nutrients filter down into the soil.  Some ecosystems need fire to thrive, and I hope that Possum Kingdom's wilderness areas can benefit and recover quickly. 
Texas certainly needs rain.  Here's a link to the current burn bans by county in Texas and as you can see very few counties are currently without a burn ban.   I always check this site before we go camping as it does affect what kind of fire (and if) we are allowed. 
Speaking of camping, we made a quick weekend trip last month to Lake Texana state park (under a burn ban) and the lake really shows how far Texas is behind on rain.  I don't think I've ever seen this lake as low as it was.  We were only allowed charcoal burning in the bar-b-que pits for cooking, nothing else.  Another note about Lake Texana - a good portion of their campsites (water/electricity side) are under construction (re-working water lines), so if you plan to go there soon - make a reservation. 
Here's a picture of Lake Texana in March.