Autumn Excursion

Appropriately enough for the first weekend of October, the weather was clear and crisp and the sky was the kind of shocking blue color that makes you slow down and breathe a little deeper. THIS was the weekend that I would finally see Spring Mill State Park village when it was actually open. Tim wanted to see Saint Meinrad Archabbey, which is a hour past Spring Mill, so we decided on a road trip.

Tim pointed out that I take very few pictures of people when I travel. It’s TRUE. I’ve always been that way. I have no explanation to offer. However, I can offer a few landscape-oriented photos featuring aforementioned shockingly blue sky. I may have gone a little overboard with the HDR toning in Photoshop (the photos really didn’t need it; the blues and reds and greens really were that vibrant) but perhaps collecting photos exhibiting flagrant HDR abuse is precisely your cup of tea! In any case, enjoy. Click an image for the 1920 x 1200 wallpaper. I’m happy to share but please observe the license below.

Creative Commons License
This work by Jennifer A. Liss is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Of Castles and Damsels in Distress

Russell is very excited about making a movie. You can tell because he is glowing.
Russell is very excited about making a movie. You can tell because he is glowing. It's a skosh creepy.

I accompanied Russell on a location scouting excursion to Loveland, Ohio yesterday (not far north of Cincinnati). Russell found himself in of need of a castle for a film adaptation of his stage play, The Babbling Banshee. Being the obses- I mean, aspiring, clever independent filmmaker that he is, he found a castle about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Bloomington. Loveland Castle was built by a single man over the course of fifty plus years. Yikes! This crazy genius (he carried all of the stone from the river bed nearby) utilized a variety of architectural influences but importantly: the exterior of the castle looks Norman, just like those that are smattered about the Irish countryside. Yay! Russ is waiting on word back from the good Knights as to whether or not shooting there is an option.

The weather was rainy- of the misty drizzle variety, not unlike Irish weather.  I uploaded a few shots from the trip to Flickr. I also uploaded a few shots I took before the new year- mostly of me playing with camera settings.

A photo I did not upload this afternoon: a recent one of myself. Mom has been expecting one of me in my new winter coat (which she financed) and my newly trimmed hair (I went even shorter this weekend) for quite some time. I don’t know what it is with me and photographs. I’m never in my own and I am inexplicably not in other peoples’ photos either. I just checked the file of photos from the Tech Services party- nothing. Not even the back of my head. I didn’t even leave early this time. A latent talent? Perhaps it’s my superpower.

I will take some photos of myself and send them soon, Mom-poo (not taken by the camera phone!). Perhaps I’ll even get around to creating an avatar.

Holiday Break

Update on my previous post: the package turned up. Yay! Call off the dogs, Comrades.

Henk's Christmas Tree
Henk's Christmas Tree

We had a nice Christmas spent at Mom and David’s. I got some nice goodies and I had more than enough money to get a camera. I’m still playing with settings and doing a lot of consulting in the manual but I hope to start playing with it some more. I played with the color shift setting with this image.

Thanks to Tim for camera-shopping help.

And thanks to Plucky for Guitar Hero (I picked it up from the post office on Friday and still haven’t had a chance to play it yet)!

Photos Up

I finally put up a few photos from vacation. See them here. It occurs to me that they are all of buildings and scenery. Russ and I don’t appear in any of them. If pressed, I suppose we have no real photo evidence that we were there at all. Too bad, I got a cute hair cut before leaving, which feels fabulous now that I’m back to a 30 degree climate.

I should put in a good word for Bob and Bonnie of Noble Manor. We had such a relaxing time and lovely breakfasts while we were there. I highly recommend this B&B!

In other news, a few of you have probably heard me complaining of exhaustion and low appetite over the last fews days. The appetite is back- although I’m beginning to wonder if my stomach shrank or something- and I didn’t feel as tired this morning as I did the previous two mornings. The sinus pressure and headaches, however, have not gone away but this, at least, resembles life for me (I’m a chronic sufferer). I’ve been eating decently and drinking a lot of water today and I plan on getting to bed at a respectable hour tonight. Hopefully, I’ll be alert and sharp tomorrow. I still fear that there’s a plague of mini-zombies inside of my skull, gnawing away at my cerbral cortex. Maybe that’s just aging.

Of night and light and the half-light

I subscribed to Boston.com’s The Big Picture a few months ago and have seen some really beautiful photos from around the world. Today the site features photos from Mumbai. One photo in particular really moved me. The lighting makes the woman’s hands look like those of a statue, every wrinkle and vein seemingly hewn out of stone. The woman wears a dark veil and her face is shadowed. The points of warm light from the candles in the background make a great contrast to the cold lighting in the foreground: “Enwrought with golden and silver light… Of night and light and the half-light”. It’s the kind of picture that is moving even out of context.

I remember (Great) Grandmom Green having a little statue of two hands praying… at least I think that was what it was. The memory is pretty fuzzy now.

Web Albums

In anticipation of the many photos I hope to be taking, I’m reevaluating web album options. I’m sticking to free services, since I’m not a photographer, just someone who occasionally takes photos. I want all of my photos in one place where I can share, organize and access them from anywhere.

I already have an account at Flickr (which I haven’t used since I created it back when Puddles was a bloggy-fetus) but I’ve noticed that Flickr is sometimes slow to load, even with the connection I have at work. Picasa is another option and, because Google services have taken over my life, it seems like an obvious choice. There is also Zooomr (for more info, see here– it’s irritating that this info isn’t easily accessible!), which seems to have more tagging muscle for meta-obsessed Jennies.

It would be nice if there were some sharp widgets for WordPress for whatever web album service I go with too.

Thoughts?

LC and Flickr Team Up

I read over on the LC blog that the Library of Congress launched a pilot project recently with Flickr. LC uploaded over 3,000 photos (all out of copyright) to a Flickr account in hopes of learning something from how users tag photos. LC wishes to capitalize on the social tagging in Flickr in order enhance LC’s metadata. Flickr is using this collaboration to launch their new project, The Commons, and to gauge demand from other museums or libraries for similar partnerships. See? Libraries CAN play nice with social websites.

Undoubtedly, LC isn’t the first library to use Flickr to house a photo collection but there isn’t a higher-profile library than the LC in North America. This will get noticed. I’m glad to see the LC taking a more aggressive user-centered approach to metadata creation.

I LOVE the 1930s-40s color collection (seriously, LC, did you post this collection just for me? Gush.) There were tons of photos of women working on war birds (a fascination of mine, women and their contributions to WWII- especially on the air front), but this was the only photo I found of a black woman doing so. Click on the photo for a high resolution image; you can see her chipped, red nail polish in the reflection. Love.