May Contest Entry

As part of getting back into using Daz Studio more I decided to enter the May Freebie Challenge over on the Daz 3d Forums ( I mean the theme was pulp sci-fi/world of tomorrow, how could I not.


The pulp sci-fi idea reminded me of a site that I had seen linked a while back, the Pulp-O-Mizer. While playing around with that to get some ideas I also checked out the Title-O-Tron. One of the titles was “The Titanium Detective”. I immediately thought of a combination of noir style detective fiction with a sci-fi setting and I had my idea.


After several hours prowling around to find freebie content that could be made to work and more hours building and lighting the scene followed by about 4 hours of rendering (even with 6 cores and a decent GPU rendering raytraced lighting with metallic objects takes a while) this was my entry:

TitaniumDetective 2

I’m quite happy with how it came out and I’m even happier that I got honorable mention in the contest.

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Tools for Sale

Since the new house won’t have a spot for a workshop and since I really can’t do woodworking anymore anyway I need to get rid of my major power tools. Here’s a list of the big stuff, I’m mainly putting this here for reference but if you’re interested in any of these and you know how to contact me – and you’re willing to come pick them up – please feel free to ask.

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Hint of Spring

I finished my photo book, Hint of Spring, last month and got the copy from Picaboo just before we left for Atlanta at the first of the month.

I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the quality of the book. The paper is nice heavy stock and the pictures came out really crisp and clear. I’m not sure I’d want to pay full price for one but with the 50% off Groupon it was more than worth it.

I’m also working on putting together a version on Lulu that I can make available for sale and I’ll post a link here when it’s ready.

I’m also working on putting together a Cafe Press store and once that’s ready I’ll link it as well.

In the meantime I’ve put together this gallery of the photos used in the book for those that are interested.

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More book photos

I’ve mostly gotten everything up and running on my MacBook now so I’m probably going to just continue using that instead of replacing my desktop at this time. Let me just say that I’m really glad I followed the advice I found in the Lightroom community and had my catalog as well as all of my photos stored on a USB hard drive. That made switching from the PC to the Mac simple for all of my photography stuff.

Now that everything is back and working I’ve managed to get a few more pictures ready for the photo book I’m trying to put together. I’m hoping to have about 20 pages worth by the middle of June since I’d like to get the book in time to take with us on vacation in July.

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System Crash

Last Thursday my desktop system froze and the video went all screwy. After several attempts to power it down I finally unplugged it and left it that way for a couple of hours while I went to pick Michelle up at the airport.

When we got home it took several more attempts to get it to actually boot but I managed to get it up and running. Then Friday morning I came down and hadn’t been using it for more than an hour when the same thing happened again.

I’m pretty sure it’s the video card that’s causing me problems but I don’t have a spare that I can test it with right now and I’m on the fence about just buying a new one. I could try taking the card out of Michelle’s desktop but I’m reluctant because if the problem is somewhere else I risk trashing her card as well. I DON’T want that to happen, the couch isn’t that comfortable.

Right now I’m mainly using my MacBook and believe it or not so far it seems to be doing everything I need it to do.

I do all of my photo management in Lightroom and the license for that covers both the Mac and PC versions so it was a simple matter of downloading the latest trial and entering the key to get that up and running. Since I keep my catalog and all of the photos on an external drive anyway all I had to do was point Lightroom to where the catalog was and I was back up and running. The only thing I had to re-configure was the Metadata set that I had setup for all newly imported pictures and to point the Auto-Import settings to the new drive name for importing my Eye-Fi uploads automatically.

I was a bit disappointed that the PhotoShop Elements disk I have doesn’t include the Mac version but I’m tempted to download the trial and see if the license key works light the Lightroom one did. If not I’ve got a $10.00 off code from Amazon and I noticed the other day that they were currently running a $20.00 mail in rebate so I could get a copy of version 9 for $30.00. It might be worth upgrading if that’s the case.

The only other thing I have to check is being able to run EQ2. I know I can run it from the Bootcamp partition but I’m about to test running a single instance of it using Parallels without having to reboot.

If I can make all of this work I’m half tempted to just stick to running off my laptop. I’ve currently got dual screens using my large monitor from my desktop and most of my apps and data files are on external drives so I have more than enough storage. Even so It wouldn’t be that difficult to pack up everything but the external monitor and have my full PC setup available to me on vacation. That sounds kind of sweet.


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Water Color

One of the many pictures I took yesterday at Volo Bog. The before and after the color splash process.


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A note for myself

Just wanted to put this here so I could find it later this week.


I may want to go to the Photo Club on Wednesday.

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Volo Bog

As I mentioned in the previous post I’m running short on subjects for my “Color Splash” photo book idea so this morning I decided to head over to the Volo Bog State Natural Area.

We’ve lived here for almost 10 years now and this park is only a couple of miles from the house but we’ve never stopped to check it out. I spent about 2 hours there this morning and really only walked a couple of 100 yards down the boardwalk path that goes across the bog itself so I can tell you I hope to get back a lot more frequently now.

Even this early in the spring there was plenty to see and in that quick visit I still managed to shoot almost 180 photos – I really love the DSLR – a sample after the break.

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A Picture Book

I’m not sure how it happened but I somehow ended up with a Groupon account. About a month ago the daily deal was $35.00 for $100.00 of goods from Picaboo. Since I was starting to get into photography and I had a couple of pictures I liked already I decided to bite.

This morning I sat down and started looking through my pictures trying to figure out what kind of photo book I’d like to create and I decided to try something a bit different. My idea is to take some of the outdoor shots I’ve been doing and, using Photoshop Elements, create “Color Splash” photos.


I’ve done several of these so far and I really like the effect. I also have in mind a shot that would look great as the cover of the book if I can manage to get it.

My only problem is that I have a limited selection of flowers and other objects around that I can use. Hmm…maybe I’ll head off to one of the nature preserves around here and see what I can find.

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First post

I’ve attempted to start this blog numerous times over the last several years but I’ve never really had anything to blog about on a regular basis that I didn’t have a better spot for. Now, however, I’ve been getting into photography more and more (since Michelle insists I need a hobby to replace the woodworking I can no longer do) so I thought I’d post some of my pictures here.

I also participated in NaNoWriMo last November and have been toying with participating in their summer camp coming up this summer. If I do I’m toying with posting daily updates here as well.

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