Sunday, February 05, 2006

Powerless

The windstorm that blew down trees and powerlines slammed the pacific coast Friday night until early Saturday morning. There were 60 mile an hour gusts that literally shook our house, but we only lost power for five hours. The storm did take out two telephone towers, though, which left us without dsl service until some time Saturday evening. When we did finally have dsl service, blogger seemed to be down for hours. So, we were marooned for one reason or another all day Saturday. It was quiet. I read half of Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, which has an interesting premise for a novel-- a series of conversations between a teacher and student, but it's who the teacher is that really spins this fantastic tale.

When I wasn't reading, I was watching the backyard birds. Saturday morning I noticed a Varied Thrush having its breakfast right outside our kitchen window. She let me photograph her for quite some time. I've only had success one other time getting a Varied Thrush to sit still long enough to get a relatively focused photograph. They do move around a lot.
With the power back on, but no dsl service, I played around with Photoshop for a while to see the kinds of effects I could get with filters. Here's what I came up with. I noticed that if I applied the effects in different order, it made a difference in the artistic result. I've made these photos small so they're easier for downloads. Please click on them to really see the effects.
Filters: accented edges and sponge
Filters: sponge and accented edges
Filters: dry brush and poster edges
Filters: poster edges and dry brush
Filters: poster edges and sprayed strokes

I hadn't thought that the order of application would produce both subtle and not so-subtle differences. It was good to have the time and very little distraction to experiement.

When we checked our email some time around noon on Saturday, we learned the very sad news that our dearest friend (and frequent commenter here) jsk had lost her sister to cancer. jsk had come to visit us in November after spending time with her sister who had just been diagnosed. V's decline was rapid and she lost her battle around noon. We thought of V for the rest of the day, and remembered how powerless we are sometimes to change what really is inevitable.

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