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January 29, 2012


life’s a beach and other beauty secrets

by Andrea O'Connell

Update:  Until now, I didn’t know the difference between a Florida Panther and a Bobcat.  As it turns out, what I’d been calling a Bobcat is really the endangered Florida Panther. Apologies to all the big cats for my error…. 🙂

In my earlier post, a Panther bobcat photo had made its way into every one of the pictures I’d exported from LightRoom 4 (LR 4).   Well, I figured out how it happened!  And, it was not at all the fault of an errant or stalking Panther Bobcat, either!  It was silly me.  Now I know how it works…

I’d inadvertently made the photo of the Panther Bobcat my “signature” when I was trying to create a photo-signature.  Each time a new photo was exported, the Panther bobcat photo appeared as a signature.

Here’s a whole new crop of pretties that have been to the beauty parlor of LR 4.  They’ve gotten manicures, pedicures, new hairdo’s and brighter smiles, too.

Click any picture to see a slide show of the enhancements.

Basically, what I’ve learned to do is sharpen, adjust the exposure, saturation, hue.  I’ve learned to change the “clarity” settings by playing with shadows, highlights, blacks and whites.  And so much more.  The hardest part for me was the export and import process, but I’m getting that down now.

It amazes me that up until now I have worked with my images completely untouched when all along I could have livened them up with a trip to an LR 4 Beauty School!

About the photos: 

The beach photos were captured from the balcony of a condo in Pompano Beach, Florida, in July 2010.  The other photos were captured at Flamingo Gardens, in Davie, Florida, where they take care of injured and endangered animals of every kind.  The two Muscovy duck pictures (babies and Mother duck) were captured from my (former) back yard, on the canal.  And, the lizard I captured at Butterfly World, in Coconut Creek, also in Florida.

I love visiting all these places.  I especially enjoy being at the beach and watching the waves roll in and out.  There’s nothing so restful.

6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Feb 1 2012

    These photos are really lovely, especially the beach!! Just gorgeous and yes restful as well.
    Right here in England its freezing cold!! I can’t wait for winter to be over really.

    • Feb 3 2012

      Hi Gracie, Thanks a bunch for your kind words! Believe it or not, it’s been in the 80’s here. The air-conditioners are working overtime. I wish we’d have a little more cold air come through before winter ends…. (Have to use the word “winter” loosely here!)

  2. Feb 2 2012

    Stopped to say Hi and hope things are well. I noticed the pics of the Florida Panther and amazing as it may seem looks exactly like our Cougar in my neck of the woods. I believe they are the same throughout the country but everyone has their own name for them. In the 30-40 years of being in the mountains around here I have come across the tracks many times but never saw one. I wish I could say the same for bears (black) been chased twice. Not sure who scared who but didn’t feel the need to put one down when I had an avenue of escape. That reminds me:

    To all that love the outdoors, camping , hiking, etc., Please be aware of the animal life you could come in contact with. Too many accidents in spring and summer run ins with animals especially when they have their young in tow. An ounce of knowledge is worth a ton of prevention.

    • Feb 3 2012

      Hi DP! I wonder if it really is a Cougar?! It sure could be… That just means I will have to go back to Flamingo Gardens to find out – great excuse for visiting.

      I have never met anyone who’s been chased by a bear! The thought of it is petrifying… you must be a fast runner, or are bears slow? LOL! And, boy, you are right on with your comment about respecting the wildlife…. we must be ever-vigilant for their sakes.

      it’s always so nice to hear from you! 🙂

  3. Feb 2 2012

    Hi Andrea! Great photos! Up here in the Pacific Northwest, we call that cat either a cougar or mountain lion. We get frequent sightings along the trail where I run on weekends, up around the lake, but I’ve never seen one. Yet.

    The peacock photos are so pretty! I grew up on a farm, and one of the neighboring farms had peacocks. Since I’ve been grown and out on my own, I’ve always missed the haunting calls of the peacocks during the night. Sometimes one or two would wander to our place and put on a show with the beautiful plumage. I do miss the peacocks.

    I’ve been pretty busy lately, and wanted to pop in and see how things are going with Microsoft. I’m hoping all’s well!

    • Feb 3 2012

      Hi Kitt,

      Thanks for checking in! Well, things are moving right along both quickly and slowly… I’m waiting on Microsoft but have another job offer that I really like. If Microsoft is going to be an option, needless to say I’d jump at the chance because it’s also a good for me, from my perspective. But if not, I’m perfectly happy with the opportunity on the table. In the meantime, I’m as happy as a clam.

      It’s funny, I don’t have a very good sense of wild cats, and can’t tell a bobcat from a panther or a cougar! I know I’d be nervous to see one of these cats in the wild… I hope you’ll be careful if you run into one…if you do, I hope you have a camera! 🙂

      Oh, and the Peacocks are amazing – and loud, I might add!

      All the best on this happy Friday, my dear!


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