A continuation of my Walking Pictures page just because the original was
getting too big. I fairly often take 100 pictures a day or so and only a
small fraction of those make it even this far. I got my current camera
10/23/2013 and by 3/31/2014 I'd taken 2800 pictures with it.
Prints of these are available, made on a color laser printer from the full
resolution images. firstname.lastname@example.org I hope to sell them in local
stores, don't have any shopping cart set up for buying online. Paypal
accepted by prearrangement.
Choose a background color:
Well, I spent most of the winter in a recliner, now I'm paying for it. Only
half a mile the first day out. Sugaring the old fashioned way, with real
buckets. When I was a kid we had cut-down milk jugs and taps made from sumac
hollowed out. 3/29/2014
View from the front yard. It just rained a lot so there are puddles, ice,
mud, snow out there. 3/30/2014
Riddle's is still right where I left it.
There's a lot of clutter in the yard of this house but by choosing a camera
postion up on the hill a little I left out most of it.
Water running beside the road. I used to love to play in this when I was
little. There's enough here so I heard it from about 100 feet away and came
There's some actual mud here, on the side of this dirt road, but it isn't
too bad yet.
This is a spot where water running under the snow caused the snow to fall in.
A sink hole if you will. No tracks near it.
Mice have girdled this old apple tree and probably killed it, trying to find
food in the winter under the snow.
I got the camera WiFi setup working a little better by putting the camera
outdoors near the feeder.
I didn't get any pictures of them with their beaks empty, and they really
like those sunflower seeds.
They're busy eating all the time, duh.
It's nice having this adapter, but I'm a little disappointed at having the
camera revert to point n' shoot mode, with autofocus when I plug it in. I
was eating breakfast and watching this for about ½ hour. I saw a bird
in the frame 19 times, took 19 pictures. 9 of those actually caught a bird.
Only 4 of those are mostly in focus. I think there's a 3rd party remote that
might work better.
A little better luck today. These are the best 4 out of 50 pictures, running
the camera at its highest resolution (18 megapixels), and I turned off the
shutter sound so it doesn't scare the birds.
A balancing act on the edge of the feeder.
Thoughful? Watching something? Depressed? I figured out that the camera was
focused on the post at the center of the feeder. Birds nearer or farher
away are out of focus. The camera doesn't move, some of these are cropped
This is my favorite so far. I gotta do something else eventually, like go
back to walking.
Cloudy moon, figures. I shot a few in the winter, tonight I didn't have to
freeze to do it.
I've been working on the program that does this. I store pictures on CDs or
lately DVDs to free up hard drive space. This program will scan all the
pictures on the CD/DVD, make a thumbs directory, reproduce the CD/DVD
directory structure inside it, and make HTML pages. The thumbnails
themselves are already in all the pictures so this extracts them along with
some GPS information. I've set it up as a CSS tooltip so when you hover the
mouse over a picture this little box pops up showing information about when
and where it was taken and the file name. All of that takes about as much
space as 1 or 2 high resolution images. You run it before burning to disk,
and you can copy them back off the disk after it's burned. The mouse is over
the image left of the box, the cursor didn't get captured.
I'm getting old: it isn't so easy to lay on the ground and get back up again.
This was using fill flash but I was too close for it to make much difference.
It was so windy even the flowers wouldn't hold still. I think I can make an
LED macro light ring, I certainly don't want to spend $80 on one. But I've seen
the problem before: when you get close enough you're blocking the light so you
don't get the vibrant colors. Maybe I'll look with froogle.com for macro
ring lights. And some way to hold the flower still like a velcro strap on a
goosneck or piece of #12 copper wire. These are 2 out of about 60 pictures
trying to get good lighting, not blurred, in focus.
Ok, Holga, I remember the Holga 120 camera in the 1990s as cheap and
basic, well, they have a macro light ring too. $20 at B&H Photo: here
Hmmm, uses 2 AAA batteries, nope I hate AAA. AA nicads I've got a bunch
of, that's my standard. Has 12 LEDs. I can make something that simple, I
just hadn't thought of it.
This is a photograph of my screen at left and a picture I printed at the right.
Last fall it worked pretty well, now I hardly recognize it. The printer's
connected to a Windows machine which has a new version of Windows since then,
a new printer driver, and the printer's got a new set of (genuine HP) toner
cartridges. One of those messed it up.
Looks good enough to eat, actually supposedly most flowers are edible.
I usually don't get into "pixel tweaking" but I thought a black
background would be nice. Done in The Gimp with quick mask, same idea as
Photoshop but free and under unix.
This is a little mini-tutorial on how to select an object in a picture and
remove it from its natural background. I'm using The Gimp here but the same
principles apply to Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, several other tools.
Photoshop costs more than my first car so I don't own a copy. The Gimp is
pretty close, and it's free and open source.
Gimp downloads are at http://www.gimp.org/downloads/.
The Gimp is mostly released here in source code form that you have to
compile yourself. If you're using Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD it's in
the ports/packages collection, download it through normal channels. I've
even got it on my Raspberry Pi which fits in the palm of my hand and runs on
2 watts. The Gimp doesn't officially support Microsoft Windows but there
are unofficial nightly builds at http://nightly.darkrefraction.com/gimp/.
I haven't tried one since maybe 2005 and it was slower than the unix
versions but it worked. Macs I don't know much about but at worst you can
probably compile it yourself from the downloads at gimp.org.
A tulip which isn't quite open. Photo du jour.
I started here with the "select by color" tool, used the "add
to selection" option, and kept clicking different parts of the flower
until I got most of it selected. I was mostly trying to get the outline.
It's not a good idea here to start clicking in the shadows inside the flower
because those darker colors also exist in places outside and they'll all get
One thing to bear in mind here is that your selection can be saved along
with the image. If you use the native file format: xcf in The Gimp or psd
in Photoshop it will open back up with what you have selected still
selected. And you can flip back and forth between quick mask and normal
selections as often as you want.
Quick Mask turned on. The choice of flower color is unfortunate because
quick mask is a pinkish orange color (you can change it) anyway. It works
very much like any other color: you can use a pencil, brush, floodfill, make
gradients. But it's not a real color, it's what isn't selected. Some of the
most interesting uses are gradients and feathered edges: as this fades to
nothing the area becomes more selected. Copy your selection and you've got
edges that fade into nothingness or maybe transparency.
I never can remember whether foreground or background is going to select or
unselect so I just take a stab at it. You can always undo or paint over it
in the opposite color. You want to remove that pinkish orange from the parts
you want to keep, that's why it's called a mask. Mask in the sense of
covering up, like putting newspaper and tape where you don't want to spray
Here I've done a free select inside the quick mask by drawing a line around
almost the outside of the flower. I want to select the parts that were
missing before (mostly shadows). The hard part is getting the edge but
that's mostly been done with "select by color", it just missed
some stuff in the middle. This is essentially a selection inside a
Here I've filled the selected region with the foregound color (under Edit),
which selects it in the outer sense. The background color is the pinkish
orange that's not selected, the foreground color is selection, which appears
transparent. In the purple flower I used an oval selection tool because I found
I could fit the curves almost like using a French curve. There are
advantages here in working your way carefully around the edge at high
magnification, then when it's at final size the flaws become smaller.
Expect to spend an hour if it's an important picture. Undo or paint over
Quick mask off, normal selection mode. You can see that all the unselected
spots in the middle of the flower are gone from my filling the free
selection with the foreground color. Now there are some parts on the
outside that shouldn't be selected. Go back to quick mask, draw loops
around them, fill with background. Or paint: a brush tool might work
well here. Then back out of quick mask.
Here's my final image. There's some sloppy work on the right side of it. I
made a new blank image with a black background, copied my selection and
pasted into the new image. Even here my selection is still selected in the
original and I could go back and clean it up, then copy and paste again.
Save often. By having your selection be something you can keep refining you
can put as much time into making it perfect as you want. It's not like you
only get one shot at it. If you don't like it, go back and fix bad spots.
If I were actually getting paid for this I would have spent more time on it,
I spent more time grabbing screenshhots and editing those.
You could also paste into an image with a transparent background, some
file formats like gif and png allow that. Then if you use it on a web page
it will seem to not be in a frame. Sort of like here, but if you change the
page background color (at the top) you can see this is in black.
Notice that I didn't make any changes in the original image, only in my
selections and the copy I pasted into. It's just one copy of the file
anyway, but both The Gimp and Photoshop have multiple undo levels, you can
almost always do "Edit -> Undo" and undo the last few things you
did, one at a time. Each level of undo takes a fair bit of memory or disk
space, so somewhere in Preferences there's usually a place to specify how
much you want to devote to holding undo steps.
(1) There's a story being told in these 4 pictures, you just have to imagine
you can understand the words. Watch the beaks.
(2) The day before this there were bluebirds here so I set up the camera
and tripod and watched until the camera turned itself off but they never came
back. So I took the camera in but left the tripod overnight for the birds to
get used to. When I mow lawn I could reach up and touch this and it doesn't
scare them away but with young in the nest then they're not about to leave.
Notice she doesn't go in, she's just looking.
(3) Something's being discussed here. I think her conclusion was that the
house is in use. These are (probably) swallows, not bluebirds. These usually
build in the house to the west that they put twigs in.
(4) This reminds me of some comic strip, I can't think which. I think he lost
the argument because I haven't seen them since.
I like to zoom right down inside of flowers, see what they're made of. Probably
doesn't suit everyone's taste. Every look really close at a dandelion before
you pull it?
OK, a wider shot. Tulips at Easter. Natural sunlight.
xclock - classic xwindows. I've had it running somewhere about 19 years now.
Practicing manual focusing, had the camera PDF open and everything. This is
from my laptop screen. This camera's supposed to focus down to 1 cm, of course
by then the width of the lens has blocked all the light out.
And you thought I'd changed? Gotcha.
I'm not familiar with Ford models but this looks like a newer version of my
Ferguson only with red paint. I'm not sure if this is some restoration job
or if it's original. Smells like it leaks gas.
I don't know what kind of tree this is, but it's the first tree bud I've
seen this year. It's just hitting 60 degrees a few days, near freezing at
A big dead and rotting tree, still standing.
This is a rack for stacking and tying used newspapers. You run some twine up
through that channel near the center of the bottom before you start putting
newspapers in and stick the end under the rack to hold it. When it's full
you dig out the end of the string and tie it across one direction. Then take
the bundle out and put another string at right angles to it.
We used to have a rack like this made of metal about 40 years ago, I'm not
sure where it went.
Top view. This isn't real of course, it was done in Povray, a free ray-tracer. I got all the
wood grains headed the right directions this time.
Doing this helped me spot an error before I built it: I was going to put the
layer where the string goes on the bottom but realized that when you tie up
the bundle you'd be tying it to the rack.
This looks like something I'd be told to eat because it was good for me but
I wouldn't want to. Somehow it seems related to artichokes, brussel sprouts
I saw this yesterday but got a blurry picture since I wobble. I had to walk
a fair distance to get back to it today. No idea what it is of course, and I
don't really care, but I only saw one of them.
It takes both hands to run the camera if I'm doing manual focus so if I
wobble too much whatever I'm shooting goes in and out of focus. This had a
twig sticking out that I got under the little finger of my right hand which
was also holding the camera and running the shutter button then I focused
with my left hand. And it was cold out there.
Lilac buds. I'm really enjoying shooting at high resolution (4896x3672), not
that I'm making posters or anything like that. I can crop a picture down to
about 1/9 of its original size and I still have to rescale that smaller to
get down to Facebook's 960x720 size requirement.
Some of the forsythia forest.
These little purple things are up every spring then they're gone by the time
everything else is in blossom. So, the nearest flower is overexposed because
the fill flash was on and I thought something would compensate, and I fudged
the gamma a little for a more dramatic effect. I don't have anyone to
critique my work so I have to do it myself. Focus is weird too.
Flower power. Shooting flowers against the sky is something Jeannette taught
me years ago only she did it with asparagus and the little blue berries it
has. And yes, I was laying in the flower bed looking up. My clothes will
get dry someday.
Missed his ears but he moved before I could try again. First time I've been
over this way in months. They watched me from a distance but when I got
closer they ignored me. I talk to them constantly when I'm over there but
that doesn't seem to help.
My halfway mark, the turning around point, this is ½ mile from where
I live so I made it a mile for the first time in about 4 months (by the time
I got back). Experimenting with setting the focus to infinity instead of
using autofocus for anything over about 15 feet, I like the effect. 1
hour and 80 pictures later I still like it, the backgrounds are in focus too
at least on a bright day (bright day = higher f/stop = more depth of field) .
Farmall M, its winter plowing done, parked over here near a new disk harrow.
A hay wagon waiting to have its woodwork replaced near the end of the
equipment shed. My favorite of the day.
Same horse, different place, on my way home. I should start carrying treats
for them but I don't often get close enough to give them to them. Sometimes
they're off in the woods and I don't see them at all.
The farm over here and the farm over there. I'm seeing a WiFi access point
lately and I think it may be over there across the valley. It's line of
sight anyway with no trees in the way. Everyone has internet except us. :(
Cloudlets - clouds being born. Charlemont windmill toward the right.
Power lines above Heath center. My father and I went fishing over here once,
toward the left side and up over the hill, then out into the woods. I don't
remember whether we caught anything but the walking wasn't fun, too many
A couple of the towers. I was just surprised at how sharp they came out: I can
read that number 70 up there even after this has been scaled way down for
Facebook. Infinite focus rather than autofocus.
Wetmore Spring. Glad to see it operational again, a few years back it was
closed down because groundwater up the bank was getting into it. We don't
do anything about the polution, we just pass laws that people can't drink
the water. Somebody set some spring tiles into the ground to keep the
groundwater out. For a lot of people this public spring may be the only
water they have at times. I've hauled water from here, it's the best
tasting water I've ever had. I used to live about 1/4 mile up the road and
my grandfather had a hydraulic ram set up to pump some of this water up to
the house at one point. That pipe used to be cast iron, not plastic. The
water's cold enough to make your arm ache, even in hot weather, if you reach
into that tub. It's been running at least 50 years, never fails.
I walked back down to this tree again, still no idea what kind it is. Could
I was looking to see if more of the same bud structure had opened, but there
were so many more I wasn't sure which one I was looking at before.
So anyway, don't tell anybody I was out there taking 28 pictures of one
tree, ok? (today alone)
Reminds me of one time in high school I had found this black newt with
yellow spots so I brought it in to show my biology teacher. He said
"Oh yeah, these are so rare you'd better put it right back where you found
And a more traditional flower. This was autofocus in macro mode, I didn't
lay down on the ground today, it was too cold.
Maybe it's my imagination but I think he looks annoyed. Focusing on
infinity didn't work so well for these.
There's a whole group of them over here near the barns, eventually they'll
be in some pasture somewhere. These are organic beef, not dairy cows.
The tribunal et al. At some point they either realized I was carrying my
walking stick or thought it was time to get fed and they all stampeded to
over by the barns. So I didn't have as long to experiment with focus as I
thought I was going to.
This is the farthest I've been down this road in recent years. The house I
live in is just left of the right tree, up on the hill, so I walked a good
mile today, not on level ground. I need to be doing this 3-5 times a week.
I bought this display for my Raspberry Pi, a PiTFT by Adafruit. It's a 2.8
inch LCD with backlight and touchscreen. I'm using the Pi more than I
expected to and for things I never realized it could do. It runs the whole
Debian set of about 32,000 programs, it's the best thing I've got for
transferring pictures off my camera and running my flatbed scanner. The
hard drive is a 32 gig SD card. This is its standard X desktop crammed into
the display's 320x240 size. It's about the same size as the viewfinder on
In the middle of life the water pump in the well started tripping its
circuit breaker. Called my uncle the electrician who said call the plumber
and get it replaced. So after much digging and climbing down a ladder into
what was probably the original well, out came the old pump at the end of
about 80 feet of plastic pipe. It's 10 years old.
And here's the new pump almost ready to go into the well. What amazed me is
that there's no attempt made to keep water out of the electrical
connections at all, just 220 volts sitting in water for 10 years. Pure
water isn't a very good conductor of electricity. So any of that stuff from
the movies about throwing an electric heater into a bathtub to electrocute
somebody is just Hollywood.
Back to the Pi. I can use the display as a console for displaying 40x25
text, which I think is about what an Apple II screen was. And I can
actually read this (with my reading glasses on). The display mounts to the
top of the Pi, they're both about 4 inches wide. So I could sit with this
and a USB keyboard and do stuff, like during a power failure or in my car,
because the Pi runs on 2 watts. I'm dangerously close to buying a second
one. It's real Linux, not Android, that I can actually write programs on.
Total cost is under $100. I'm not much of a Linux fan but I've also got
FreeBSD for it. I can connect via network from a "real" computer,
connect to the internet, drive a printer, edit images, do spreadsheets,
write a book... It comes with a protective plastic cover I haven't taken
off yet, crumbs aren't included.
OK, here's proof that this thing is tiny. Raspberry Pi with display.
Ethernet and 2 USB jacks to the right, HDMI on the left, On the side toward
my fingers is an RCA composite video out and a headphone jack. On the side
toward my thumb is a mini-USB jack that it gets power through and a slot for
an SD card that it boots from. The camera board plugs into a connector
behind the ethernet jack. One of the problems in building a case for it is
that there's something on every side you need to leave accessible.
Written under Firefox 13 (who can keep up?). I basically don't care how it
works in that Microsoft thing.
I'm setting colors by name, some are ugly in some browsers.