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March 23, 2007

The Wonderful World Of Wildlife And Laundry

Today I am sort of pushing the dress code at Corporate Job, Inc. I am wearing pants, so that's good, but these particular trousers are ... CERTAINLY not denim, as that is verboten. No, they are NOT denim. Instead, they are, uh, black and made of a heavy cotton-like substance and they have top stitching and they have back pockets and ya'll know.

I plan to hide behind my desk all day.

So this is what it has come to in my life. A laundry pile that is threatening to take over the hallway and if I don't do laundry soon, I will have to show up at work on Monday in my prom dress. I believe it is the only thing left in the closet that's clean.

If I do show up in a prom dress, of course, you know I'll be taking a picture of that event. And that picture will happen ... in the ladies room mirror. Amen!

# # #

I do not own a big fancy and expensive camera. I use a plain old Kodak EasyShare digital camera with a whopping 3.1 megapixels. (It is model CX6330, if you are interested). I do sometimes manage to get great shots of my animals by merely stalking them in natural light and taking eleventy-nine million snapshots, at least three of which will be good.

This one wasn't very good, shot at night maybe after a little vino, and it's using my camera's "night" setting:


These pictures of Roy were not taken in daylight, since I have not actually been at my house in the daylight for weeks. (Dear Internet Bandits Planning To Rob My House: My neighbors are very nosy and they are retired and stay home all day watching to see if foulplay happens. Their little fingers are practically perched over the numbers 9-1-1 all the time. Also, I have nothing in my house of any real monetary value... except for the cats. And they poop a lot. Love, Laurie)

So, anyway, to make these pictures a little less dull, I used Photoshop to lighten them a little, crop them and fix Roy's red-eye problem (even with the red-eye flash he still gets the demonic eye.) I know photoshop is expensive but there are some less pricey versions, too, like Photoshop Elements, and if you like to tinker with graphics Photoshop is an excellent investment since it is the very best of the best.



Another example:



I use this same software to add the white caption boxes on my pictures, too. Using the vector shapes tool, make a square or rectangle and apply a Layer Style to the shape. In the Layer Styles area, change the "color overlay" to white and the "stroke" setting to 1-pixel black for a nice border. (It's good to learn how to add that stroke to all your pictures. Adding a 1-pixel border to the whole image gives all photos a more professional finish for displaying online. With a border, they stand out just enough from the background on a webpage.)

I also saved this style as a pre-set, so I can now apply it to my shapes with a single click of the style picker in the top toolbar, an option when you work with vector shapes.

For the text that goes inside my little white boxes, I prefer to use Arial with no anti-aliasing so it more closely resembles the look of text in a web browser.

Are you asleep yet? Have you nodded off with all this exciting cat and software talk?


I knew it would bore you to tears. I am about ready for a nap myself. But people are always asking me about the text boxes so I thought I'd try to answer the age-old question of "How do I make my cats talk?" heh heh.

I may never be a world-famous photographer roaming the Sahara for a million-dollar shot of a lion in the wild, but I roam the wilds of Encino-adjacent pretty frequently and without fail I do manage to get my million-cent pictures using natural light, my camera's close-up setting, and a patient crouching-in-waiting position in the laundry pile.

It's worth it. Damn cats are so goodlooking I can't help myself!

Taken back when daylight was part of my life.

Posted by laurie at March 23, 2007 9:53 AM