Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"I'm dreaming..."

and it actually looks like it will be a "White Christmas" this year!

My sister called a bit ago and despite the "black ice" on the two-lane last night my nephew made it home for his birthday (today) and Christmas. He won't be around to celebrate mine on Monday as he has to work on Saturday, but given the current job market, there are worse things than having to work on Saturday when you're 22!

We finished the wrapping last night, me stoned on pain-killers and muscle relaxers doing the "easy" packages and Dottie doing the ones you had to "think about". She is at work now but when she is done this evening she is off until next Tuesday. Most years I end up making my own birthday cake (except for the year I bought one at Costco) and fixing dinner. Perhaps this year I won't!

Tomorrow we'll go to the nursing home to take my Mom presents in the morning, then go to John's house to have Christmas with the grandkids. Bill is flying in from D.C. as we speak and this year my sister is coming with her family as well because Brett has to leave on Friday to go back to work, so there won't be a chance for the "family" Christmas party later.

New Year's Eve will be a combination New Year's/November-December birthday party at my sister's. Dottie works the next day, but said not to worry about it, because New Year's Day is actually rather quiet at the nursing home. I don't know whether that would have more to do with New Year's Eve or football, but I think I should just be happy for her!

As we speak I'm waiting on UPS to deliver what we're calling our Christmas to each other; a new flatbed scanner. The one I have is "Ok" but doesn't do exceptionally well dealing with anything but a "good" print. The few slides I scanned with it in the early days of this blog I was less than happy with the results.

I have every negative that Dad and I shot back to 1967, and slides back to 1950. He and I both shot a lot of larger format film (2.25 square, 6x7cm, 4x5; Dad even had an 8x10 view camera and I have transparencies he shot with it). This new Epson will scan all of those formats and has the "good" digital enhancement software with it for scratches and such. I've needed to sort through them all and cull the "unimportant" stuff and digitize the others for "posterity". Next will be breaking them into the right size packages to "burn" to disc and filling a file cabinet with hanging sleeves!

The 20% we saved on the scanner I selfishly spent on an "infrared" Hoya R-72 filter that had been on my wishlist for 4 or 5 years now, along with a stepdown ring to fit it to the telephoto as well as the normal lens of my Nikon. At almost $90 for the filter I really didn't want to buy two; the step down was less than $10. It will also let me put the "cross-star" filter I bought before Bill's wedding on the telephoto, since I hadn't thought about "not being able to" before and since I didn't get to use it at the wedding (I planned on a "starry-eyed" bride and groom shot that I was told wouldn't "look right") perhaps some icicles will find their way in front of it.

So, as the sun starts to drop behind the hill to the south and I start to contemplate dinner, I wanted to take a chance to wish each of you the Merriest of Christmases and to hope that tomorrow finds you close to someone you love, be it family, spouses, lovers or friends!

Under my "Christmas tree of life", you have each been a gift richly appreciated!



Ian said...

Alan, feel it, take it because you need to. like me I have spent so much money on gear but for the fact that I thought I would take that ONE picture that meant something that spoke of my efforts.

We are a long time dead my friend. Take that picture, live that moment for it is your Epitaph"

Josephine said...

Thanks for everything Alan, all the words and love. Hope the pain eases off a bit, and you have a great Christmas hon x

zilla said...

Hugs and kisses, Alan, for the merriest of Christmases and the happiest of New Years!

von Krankipantzen said...

Hi Alan! So sorry I've been MIA for a few weeks. I hope your poor back heals quickly and you have a wonderful Christmas with your family. Big hugs!

And I am very curious about your new scanner as my dad was just talking about scanning old slides and how to do all that. Like you he has THOUSANDS! I hope if you love your purchase you'll pass along all the info.

Connie in FL said...

Dear Alan,

Hope your Christmas was Merry and your New Year a Happy one!

I am visiting my daughter in London and so I add, Happy Boxing Day!!!

robin andrea said...

Hope your Christmas was festive and bright, and that your back is well on the way to mending.

Looking forward to seeing some of those old photos.

beckyboop said...

Hope you had a merry Christmas. My son and I spent ours with Lori while she was on the mend. I hope your pain subsides.

Samantha said...

So dude, you're a photographer too? Woot!!! Hot damn, me too! Thirty some years I've been playing with cameras, film, light and painting with it. I used to be a Nikon girl, but nothing has ever come close to what Nikon used to be.

Back in the day, I used to process and print my own color and load my own film from bulk. I spent years swearing I'd never go digital. Now, I won't shoot with anything else.

In 2000 I was doing a major web site for a customer, and there were going to be lots of pictures involved. For no other reason than I didn't want to spend all the extra money, time and energy processing actual film images into electronic form I got my first digital to see if it might work. Just an inexpensive Epson point and shoot digital to lay up the proofs. Then if the customer wanted the real deal, I'd move up.

The customer was amazed and thrilled. I put in a bid for the full job, included the price of new gear, and they jumped. At that time the only fully digital, from the ground up, designed and built as a digital, was the Canon D30. It was just being release in this country, and with the other gear involved it was just shy of 10K worth of camera gear.

I made that back ten fold in the first year I owned the camera. I did the job I got it for, then went on to do weddings and events, portraits, Real Estate shoots, sporting events and more. I was able to crank out "money" shots with that faster than a Nitro fueled funny car could fly down the track. Had my work published in magazines, on a book cover, and made a whole bunch of people really happy getting pictures they never dreamed possible.

I've since upgraded the body, now I have a 20D which is light years beyond what my D30 could do, but still has the two most important features in a high tech camera I needed and wanted. Full Manual with complete control and a decent metering system I could work with and Depth of field preview. That way when I don't agree with the damn computer, I can over ride everything, including the focus.

So cool that you're a photographer Alan!

I hope you had a wonderful, happy, pain free Christmas.

Calamity Jen said...

I hope that your Christmas was merry, your birthday will be a blast, and that 2009 will be free from back pain!