The High Probability of a Low Probability Event

In his book, Triggers, Marshall Goldsmith talks about how when we want to change ourselves, there is a statistically proven high probability that a low probability event will happen and derail our plans.

We’ve had ours for this year.

While taking sunrise pictures in Acadia National Park, my favorite boy toy slipped on some loose gravel and fell backwards, destroying his camera and lens, and tearing his tricep.

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The button right below the start / stop is totally gone. Canon put that little glass slide on the back to keep glass fragments from getting all over while they determined the camera was not fixable.

Thankfully, the camera and his backpack of lenses broke his fall. But it hasn’t been fun.

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We’re puzzled why the bruising stopped at the edge of his short sleeved T-shirt. Obviously it did something to the blood flow, but we have no idea what.

Apparently tearing your tricep is fairly uncommon. The bicep is more likely to be the one damaged. The day of his surgery, he was questioned by the nurses and anesthesiologists how he did it. He was a minor celebrity until they turned on the joy juice and then he was just out of it.

So we’ve been having fun! I’ve been working a lot of hours at my contract job – it’s tax season! – and having to do his chores in addition to mine, plus plan ahead what he might need that he can’t do on his own. The dogs, of course, can’t act up enough while he is unable to help care for them. It’s like having three little kids all the time.

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He wasn’t too happy with his Frankenstein arm. The cast doesn’t go all the way around, apparently to help the swelling not cause further damage.

The cast came off after a week and for now, he’s still healing before starting therapy. Thankfully the pain became manageable quickly, so he’s feeling good most days until the evening when his arm has had enough. There was no permanent damage – yippee! – but it will take a while to get back to normal again.

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Out for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory! He’s feeling good.

The hours on my job should cut back after this. I’m visiting my grandson and his parents right now and will have pictures to post after I get them off my iPhone and into my computer.

Here’s one though, showing a future Georgia Tech football player after eating all his oatmeal for his grandmother!

What a big smile for his grandmother!

What a big smile for his grandmother! Notice he’s kept those blue eyes.

So life has been busy and full, with things to be grateful for. Once again, I have to be very careful how I prioritize my time, but that’s how it goes some months.



Final Version - Topaz Impressions "Painterly 1" on Brick, With onOne Dynamic Contrast

ABFriday: Street Art

Welcome to another month of After-Before Friday, where participants take a photo and each renders their own interpretation of it. The other photos are hosted at Visual Venturing by Stacy Fischer. This month, Ben Rowe, of Aperture64, volunteered a photo of the Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, England. I encourage you to visit both blogs – Stacy’s to see what other people did (and it’s always a wide variety) and Ben, because he does such a superb job of explaining how he edited his version.

So here’s the original photo. The red marks are some things I cloned out to slightly declutter the picture. This included two benches, a sign, a small amount of roof, and a blip in the sky. I also did some pipes up the side of the building (just to the left of the center), but missed one in the middle of the tower, where the arrow is.

Original Photo Before Lightroom Adjustments; Red Shows What I Cloned Out

Original Photo Before Lightroom Adjustments; Red Shows What I Cloned Out

I lightly edited the photo in Lightroom and cropped it down to reduce the sky and grass. I felt the castle was better seen when it filled the frame and the Lightroom adjustments brought out the colors and perked up the picture.

Original Photo After Cropping and Lightroom Adjustments

Original Photo After Cropping and Lightroom Adjustments

I then opened up Photoshop and started experimenting! Using Topaz Impression, I found this Urban Art filter. I liked the bricks and the texture and thought this photo would look really good as street art, similar to what I see around town (click here to see some). I did not like this particular rendition though. The other two choices were all red or all green, which was not an improvement. What I particularly didn’t like was that the photo looked miniaturized, mostly due to the bricks being so large. I wanted the photo to dominate the wall. I also wanted some color!

Topaz Impressions "Urban Art 1"

Topaz Impressions “Urban Art 1”

So instead, I found a different effect in Topaz Impressions that I liked (“Painterly 1”) and I changed the background to bricks. It took some experimentation to get the bricks as large and textured as I liked, but it worked! I opened the photo in onOne to find a border for it. That I didn’t find, but I found a filter called “Dynamic Contrast” that improved the colors and textures of the photo significantly, so after using it, that became my final version for this month.

The lovely texture of the castle went away, but I thought this made a great street art scene that would rise high onto a brick wall somewhere.

Final Version - Topaz Impressions "Painter 1" on Brick, With onOne Dynamic Contrast

Final Version – Topaz Impressions “Painterly 1” on Brick, With onOne Dynamic Contrast

This one ran a close second. Had I note been so enamored with the street art idea, I’d have gone with this. It also used Topaz Impression, but this is “Van Gogh”. I also used the “Dynamic Contrast” filter in onOne. In fact, I’d done this one before the street art version which was how I found that filter in onOne.

Topaz Impressions "Van Gogh"; onOne Dynamic contrast w/ Ansel border

Topaz Impressions “Van Gogh”; onOne Dynamic contrast w/ Ansel border

Here are others that didn’t make the cut. The left one is the final version with a dirty border, which aged and stressed the bricks. Interesting, but too dark for my taste. The black and white, “Somber Ecru” is not bad, but not special enough for me to use. The bottom right photo used Topaz Glow, “Mysterious”, coming out way too dark and weird for my taste.

As always, give me your votes! What do you think worked? Do you like the same final version that I did or do you like something else better?

Enjoy your weekend and what’s left of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. I’m in the throes of tax season, which is always a lot of fun. It’s going well though and my new co-workers are doing a great job of pulling together to get this done.


ABFriday: Stone, Water and Sky

It’s once again time for After-Before Friday, hosted as always by Stacy Fisher over at Visual Venturing. To see other pictures from ABFriday, click here.  It’s always fun to check and see the many variations that happen each month!

On the left is the original photo; on the right is how the photo looked after I enhanced it in Lightroom. The colors and textures have improved and there is more variation between the sky and water.

This was the finalist, using Topaz Glow “Whiskers and Fur 1”. Topaz Glow uses “energetic sparks of neon lights” (per their advertising) “to create beautiful and vibrant images”.

I’ve found it difficult to find anything I like when using it, so my challenge this month was to see if I couldn’t figure it out. It took some experimenting, but I finally found a look that after some adjustment, I thought showed off the textures and colors in a way that was pleasing. To finish it, I used a border called “antique” from onOne Software to give it a vintage look.

The finalist! This used Topaz Glow,

The finalist! This used Topaz Glow, “Whiskers and Fur 1”, with an antique border from onOne.

I didn’t clone out the people. On the other experiments, I thought it helped give perspective to the photo and they were clearly recognized as people. For the Topaz Glow, it’s harder to tell what they are and if I were to redo the picture, I’d try it with and without the people to see how it looked.

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Half and Half

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So what happens when I go in the yard to take pictures? A miniature pinscher goes on full alert to guard me as I carelessly walk around the yard, oblivious to all the dangers that could be out in the street – like Mom’s pushing strollers and worst of all, old Grandma’s taking a walk and minding their own business. He will protect me!

What I liked about the photo was how it divided his face in half, which is also the theme of this week’s photo challenge, which was to share an image that has two clear halves, literally or figuratively. To see how others interpreted the challenge, click here.

Beagle Reporting on the Backyard

Hello kind and gentle readers! It’s me, the beagle, reporting on what’s happening around the backyard. Mom and Dad took down the garden last year. They said it was too much work for what they got out of it. Plus there was a little problem with destruction. Apparently one of the dogs kept playing in it.

And when the tomatoes ripened, the mockingbirds and squirrels ate them up.

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AB Friday: Capitol Building

Final Photo with Topaz Impressions Watercolor 4 and onOne Torn Paper Border

Final Photo with Topaz Impressions Watercolor 4 and onOne Torn Paper Border

Thanks to Stacy Fisher, sponsor for another month of After-Before Friday (ABFriday) and Robin Kent (Photography by Kent), who provided the picture! While other months had tough technical challenges to the photos, this month was hard because the photo was so nearly perfect already.
So here’s the original photo. The people are minor, the building is straight (I checked) and the sky has a nice color. I really choked. I mean, what do you do with that?
Original Photo

Original Photo