Since my editor bumped this week’s column in favor of a car care section—barbaric, I know—I figured I’d better inform my readers on the election results. The final tally was in today’s newspaper—belated news indeed, as the city clerk swore me in last night for a second term on the city council. I see where my opponent picked up two additional votes, making the total 59-46.
So the good news is that I’m allowed another four year term to serve the good (and some not so good) citizens of our small town. The bad news is that I’m allowed another four year term to serve the citizens of this town. What this immediately equates to is a loss of sleep, as last night’s meeting extended nearly to 11 p.m. Since I go to work at 3:30 a.m., that didn’t give me much time to snooze.
Interviews for news articles fell through today, giving me a much-needed break. What I did to fill my time was watch videos on Adobe’s new photo processor, Lightroom, and to put the trial version of the software to the test. I downloaded images from my camera and tweaked them, first processing the raw files—digital negatives—and saving them as .psd files for further processing in Photoshop CS3. With Lightroom it’s a snap to compare similar images and pick the best, run them through a host of different tones and filters, and then optimize for black-and-white or color. I now have a handful that I consider winners. When I have more time I’ll go over them with a Wacom pressure-sensitive tablet and finalize the images.
I guess this is my way of admitting to “manipulating” photographs. I’ve heard people say that they never modify images, as if that somehow makes them less pure. Hogwash and balderdash! Every digital photograph needs some measure of fine tuning, even if only to sharpen it a bit. Since I tend to think in black-and-white this means I have to convert my photos to grayscale and find the right tone and contrast for each color channel. And then there’s the cropping and sharpening to do. It takes a while for good images, but it’s worth it.
I sound like I’m rambling. Sleep deprivation can do that. It’s getting on late in the afternoon and time to start roasting a chicken. I’m also keeping a close eye on the skies because hawks are migrating and yesterday I saw an adult Golden Eagle, a fairly rare bird for these parts. I’ll post a few photos and then start supper.
As always, thanks for reading. More polished work will follow next week.