after the storm

after the storm
After the storm, this little one started to drink the rain gathered in the ribs of the fallen saguaro.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

write a real letter and mail it... today

I like getting real letters. My college roommate still writes real letters. M has written me a letter or two. WB wrote me letters when he was in England. I had so many wonderful cards when I was recuperating earlier this year. I get cards on my birthday and at Christmas. Email is wonderful, of course, but nothing beats that excitement of seeing an envelope resting in the mailbox. I am constantly amazed that I can put a 44 cent stamp on a letter and it arrives just where I want it to go in a couple of days. It seems like magic to me. There is nothing else in my life that I can think of that only costs 44 cents.

Reading yesterday that the post office is close to being broke is so sad. I don't want mail to change. I would gladly pay 50¢ (I just found out how to do the cents symbol on the keyboard - alt - 0162 on the keypad with num lock) to keep that magic alive. I want to continue to find wedding invitations, postcards, thank yous, baby announcements, birthday greetings and Christmas wishes in my mailbox.

So in the spirit of helping the post office, send a real letter to someone today. You will sure make someone (and the post office) happy. All for only 44¢.

(Did the cents symbol go away when the typewriter did?)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


cracker jack texture by Kim Klassen

I have a love/hate relationship with Photoshop. When I first started with digital, I didn't want to alter my photos at all. They were what they were. It took me long enough to even think digital was a good idea so altering my photos was never going to happen. I saw photos that were altered so much, previously lovely children almost had an alien plastic doll look with eyes like no one had ever seen. I knew I wasn't interested in that. I saw photos of middle aged women without any smile lines. I knew I wasn't interested in that. I saw photos that had the look of all my faded photos from the bad film of the 70's. I knew I wasn't interested in that. Then I realized that I could change my photos to black and white. I could make them just the kind of black and white I loved - dark blacks, white whites and lots of contrast. Then I realized that I could tone them a bit to look like different eras of black and white film. All of a sudden, I was cropping, sharpening and even popping the color once in a while. I still didn't know much about Photoshop but I could do a few things.

Adding textures to photos has intrigued me for a long time but I really didn't know how to do that. Friends led me to Kim Klassen, queen of the textures and extremely generous with her creations. All of a sudden, I actually liked playing with Photoshop. It was fun to take a photo and then alter it with Kim's textures. It became art for someone like me who can't draw or paint.

These days, I do love Photoshop. I still rather spend my time behind the camera instead of in front of the computer but I do have fun. And I have to admit, once in a while, I change a photo to look just like those faded pictures from the 70's.