30 November 2008

First Snow

I was so sure I had backup of everything important.
Then, after reinstalling Windows Vista, I couldn't retrieve my Photoshop actions.
So, I have to remake a matting-and-framing action for presentation here. As you can see from the above, I'm almost there. It took the whole Sunday evening to get this far, so I really need to figure out a good way to make backups of all those little shortcuts in Photoshop.

24 November 2008

nVidia and colour profiles revisited

Just a little heads-up.
A good while ago, I agonised over nVidias video drivers, which tended to override my carefully calibrated colour profiles in Windows Vista.
While the ideal solution would be if nVidia could stay away from the colour calibrations in the first place, a second best could be to fool nVidia into loading its profile first, and then let the calibrated profile override nVidia's.
That's what I've been doing.
I've kept a shortcut on the desktop for the little program that loads my ColorSpyder profile at need.
Then enter a little program called Startup Delayer. It's freeware, and solves this problem very neatly. It takes a look at all the programs that you run whenever you start your PC, and lets you assign delays to each. The sample screenshot below is from my PC, with a small delay to the ColorVision startup. In my previous post I mentioned 30 seconds, I'm currently reinstalling my system on a faster drive, and 15 seconds seems about right this time.
If you're one of those who have a ton of little gadgets running at startup, I bet you can shorten the required time for PC booting by a fair bit too. :-)
Hereby warmly recommended!

22 November 2008

Nerve Cell

More ice.
From the same outing as the previous shot because this week-end I'm grounded by a throat infection. :-(
But winter will be long yet.

18 November 2008

Winter is here

It's been a mild autumn here this year. So mild I wondered if we'd ever get enough frosty nights for the lakes to freeze over before Christmas. But it did happen, eventually. Now I hope for a period of cold, clear nights to strengthen the ice enough to carry my weight.

07 November 2008

inspiration with a twist

I was right.

The Nature Photo Festival in Vårgårda was a place to be humbled and inspired. Mattias Klum with his burning engagement for the environment and pictures to match. His German colleague at National Geographic Klaus Nigge, with his talk on the Philippine Eagle, was definately in the same league in both respects. Hans Strand shared some of his Iceland images, and Jari Peltomäki some of his amazing bird photos from Northern Finland. There were another handful of Swedish presenters, and three Norwegians as well. The latter got much respect for their work, especially when it involved pictures of large mammals or birds of prey.

But I was wrong too. Just like in my photo above, there's a twist to the tale.

Some of the presented stuff was outright boring, poorly presented, or both. However, as it failed to humble or inspire, it delivered a challenge. If there's room for "borers", then maybe for me? Would I be able to deal with presenting my stuff for an audience of fellow photographers; in an arena as prestigious as that? On one hand it scares the willies out of me, on the other hand I'm attracted to the challenge. Moth to the flame, maybe. The thought is seeded, though. We'll see if it sprouts.

In case you wondered, the photo above is a twisting crack in ice. Shot in November two years ago, on a nearby lake. The ice sheet was only an inch and a half thick, and sometimes I could hear the twang of new cracks forming. It was not dramatic, though. The twangs and cracks come because of tensions caused by small changes in water level under the ice. When the cracks open by just a few micrometers, it allows water to seep in and form a film that splits light. Much like an oil spill, but not usually visible to the unaided eye. A polarising filter makes the difference.