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Posts tagged ‘nature’

13
Feb

a valentine in white and pink

Although it’s not quite Valentines Day…. I’m getting in the spirit a bit early this year!

Happy and loving wishes to all….

7
Feb

good stuff to put in the “that’s life” file….

Darn!  I’ve been under the weather these past couple of days with something that feels like the flu but it’s not as bad as the flu but it’s wiped me out.

It started Saturday night after I came home from seeing an old Neil Simon play called, “Last of the Red Hot Lovers.”   It was a good production – very funny.  But, for about ten minutes before curtain and during intermission, I was craning and straining my neck to chat with people sitting behind me, like this:

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

I knew I was straining my neck, but never realized I’d disable it completely.

Only today has the pain subsided.  But what it left in its wake is a horrible clogged throat and head and nose blah.   It can’t decide if it wants to be a reasonably common cold, or a hateful and feverish flu.

So, I’ve laid on the couch and in the bed waiting for it to decide how mean and nasty it wants to treat me.

I think I’m getting better though.  I finally got out of my PJ’s and into real clothes.

Now, for the good news…..

I got a job!  I don’t have the written offer yet….so it’s not a completely done deal, but I have a start date!  It’s February 20th.

And it’s a good one, too!  I’m not going to jinx it by talking too much about it.  I can tell you that it’s a good company, with super nice people!

Here’s the bad news though…. I had to tell Microsoft that I have another job.  I emailed the recruiter today.

I was still in the interview process with Microsoft.  I’d had 3 interviews and the 4th one was not scheduled until next week. This meant I’d have to stall on the job I’d just accepted to wait for Microsoft. I didn’t want to do that.  Plus, if I had gotten denied by Microsoft and I’d put off the other job, I’d be the real loser.

I didn’t want to play games or gamble.  I sent my Microsoft recruiter an email and said thank you for considering me and….. I hated to send that email.

So….I didn’t get this:

It’s okay.  But I really really really really REALLY hate leaving that great opportunity on the table….

Then again, I love the job that I got – I am very excited about it – it’s a perfect fit in so many ways and I am very happy.

So, my “that’s life” file is looking pretty good.

(I still heart Microsoft.)

 

6
Feb

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready? Splash!

This week the word for the photo challenge is, ready.

This little guy is deciding whether to jump into the water.

To splash or not to splash?  That is the question!

He stood there a while just looking into space.  Perhaps he was just dreaming, or maybe he didn’t like the water fountain.  Or, maybe he was wondering if he needed a bath.  Do birds decide when they’re ready for a bath?   Maybe!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

He seemed leery about the water fountain. He wouldn’t jump in until the fountain stopped…

By Andrea O'Connell

Then the water suddenly stopped and he was ready….

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

And then, not two seconds later, big splash!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

Love those splashes!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

He is having a grand time, until another bird came and he flew away…. you can see the wake he left!

Photo by Andrea O'Connell

Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.

3
Feb

it rains and pours good things

Although this little fellow looks somewhat miffed at being in the rain, I am happily enjoying the fact that it’s raining (opportunities) for me…

There’s one really good opportunity, with a company and people I really like, there’s still Microsoft, too…..  I’ll have an update soon.

In the meantime, Happy Friday everyone…. I’ll be back with a story soon!

photo by Andrea O'Connell

29
Jan

life’s a beach and other beauty secrets

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.

29
Jan

Not a bobcat in my clouds and lovin spoonbills – it’s a Florida Panther

I’m enjoying working with my photos and enhancing them with Photoshop Light-Room 4.  I’ve taught myself how to use it via trial and error and experimenting.  However, I have no idea how a picture of a Florida Panther bobcat that I’d been editing ended up being embedded in the bottom left corner of EVERY picture I work on?  All of these pics are in an export file, and every photo I export the Florida Panther bobcat on the left had corner of the of the photo is embedded….but how?  The Florida Panther Bobcat is not in the export file….so how does he end up in my cloud and Roseate Spoonbill pictures?

So, clearly I have not learned nearly enough about editing pictures when panthers bobcats mingle in my clouds and with my lovin spoonbills! Hah!

Anyway, click on the pics to see a bigger version of it while I go and figure out what the heck is going on!

If anyone has an idea how/why this is occurring, I’d sure appreciate it….

27
Jan

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

This week the theme of the weekly photo challenge is hope…. (which I’m full of).

The first thing I thought of?  Being hired at Microsoft!  Oh, how I am hoping.

I don’t want just any job, I want the best job.  I want a job that feels more like love than work. I want to love having my job and I want my employer to love my passion and creativity and hard work, too.

So far, the Microsoft opportunity feels like the best fit.  And so, when the interviews are over, I hope Microsoft hands me something that looks like this:

And, here’s another little reminder of hope.

It was spring and all the birdies were building their nests when I shot this picture, at Butterfly World, in Florida.  This little fellow was trying to bring that entire twig up to his nest in a nearby tree.

He tried and tried and tried….hoping to get it to the nest. It was amazing to see.

Ultimately, though, he turned to another twig more his size, leaving that one a much bigger bird.

26
Jan

colors

The process of transforming / experimenting with colors is great fun.  Here’s a very simple photo that I edited using both Adobe Lightroom 4 and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Here’s a darker version:

Below is the original:

22
Jan

happy monday in advance

Here’s a quick splash of color to brighten up our Monday – in advance!

Monday – tomorrow – 8:00 a.m., I have my second interview at Microsoft – the second of four.

I’m nervous.  So… well.  Here’s all I really want to happen:  When my mouth opens words come out.  In perfect order.  With colors as bright as this Passion Flower.

Passion Flower, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida By Andrea O'Connell

15
Jan

a writer’s journal with photography

I just published a book!   Well, “Blurb” is doing all the work….I just supplied the photos!

<—- That’s the cover of the book.  It’s a photography journal that I titled “Journal of Dreams.”

There are about twenty of my nature photos (birds, butterflies and flowers), throughout the 100 page journal.

It is very easy to create a book and it’s totally free!   It’s really fun to create.  If you want to make a book, go to the Blurb website:  http://www.blurb.com

You have to download some of their software to create your book, which is really no big deal and they (Blurb) make the rest easy.  And, there are many other types of books that you can create.  I started out making a date book, but switched to a journal midstream, and it was easy!

Click below to flip through my book.  The entire book is there.  You can purchase a copy via the link and I think I make about $5.00 (I’m not sure), on sales.  I need to look into how that works.

They say they print every book with high-quality paper and binding.  I just ordered a copy as a gift to my Mom; so I’ll let you know how it turns out.  From what I’ve read, they do a really good job and there are Blurb authors who are publishing and selling their own books like crazy!

I love the idea!

My book is below – Let me know what you think!

Hope you’re having a GREAT weekend!

12
Jan

Moving Rosie’s shark picture down….

ImageHad to get the picture of the poor shark away from the top of the page.  Photo credit: Andrea O’Connell 1/10/2012

12
Jan

why rosie?

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a gross display – such a horrible, horrible sight.  I don’t understand how, rather than smiling at the dead carcass of that incredible shark, they are not puking off the side of the boat.

I don’t understand.  Rosie Rosie Rosie?  Why?

( Courtesy Mark Quartiano ) Rosie O'Donnell has taken her children on several fishing trips off Miami Beach with the well-known shark fishing guide Mark "The Shark" Quartiano

I don’t understand how anyone could do this to such a magnificent creature.  Imagine the pain that shark endured? and now the ocean is absent another of its most mighty creatures.

I’m amazed that Rosie O’Donnell would celebrate such a thing.   Sure, people have a thing against sharks.  But, to kill one like that?  Why?  It makes no sense!

Granted, there are poachers in the seas all over the globe raping the waters of its treasures.  Clearly Rosie isn’t doing that.  It’s just that…. looking at that image – celebrating the death of that shark – it’s so wrong.

It is enough to make me cry.

This is not a little Snapper or Salmon.

So, what happens now?

Do you need this shark to feed your family, Rosie?

What will happen to the carcass?  Will some local Miami Taxidermist get a new project?  Or, God forbid, was the parading of the carcass only for the sake a picture?

I’m sick to my stomach.

6
Jan

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch (of 3 Herons)

This week’s challenge is about finding a photo, or photos, that say launch.

Last year, early one morning, there were three lovely Herons on the bank of the canal, in my backyard.  I tiptoed out, camera in hand, to see if I could capture them as they enjoyed the quiet morning, side by side.

I managed to capture this first photo without their knowing it, but it took only moments for them to know I was there:

In this photo, the one in the middle is just beginning to sense my presence:

And, in the very next moment, the guy in the middle is unnerved and probably says to the others, as he’s launching, “Hey Buds, I’m not sticking around,” as he readies himself for take off:

And there he goes:

Now that number one is gone, number two is getting out of Dodge, and number three is right on his heels, or rather wings, getting ready for take off:

And here’s the last glimpse of number three, as he’s heading out of the frame and on his way:

2
Jan

sparkles and lights and glowing butterflies

Photography and mixed media design is a wonderful art form that I have only just begun to experiment with.

I have much to learn about using Photography to illustrate unusual patterns and images that lie beneath what we see with our normal vision.   The great thing about tools to enhance photography is its ability to bring out what wouldn’t normally be seen.

I just created the below image using my photograph of a butterfly, underneath the altered one.   I am going to continue to experiment with this… it’s such fun!

The original photo I took with my Canon Rebel (I cropped the above image just a bit):

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