Blah, Blah, Blah…

I really have no idea where the blasted time goes.  I know I must sound like a broken record by now (seriously, I really do know) but lately, it seems impossible for me to find enough time to do all the “stuff” I need to be getting done.  It’s been another two week stretch without taking a single photograph.  I was going to go out this afternoon but at the exact moment I opened the door to leave it began to rain heavily.  It was also kinda’ cold and gray so I bagged it.  I figure I’ll give it another shot tomorrow, even though the forecast calls for more of the same.  On Monday I am supposed to shoot Qin Ming Festival for the local newspaper.  For the Chinese, 清明节 – Qin Ming Jie , or Tomb Sweeping Day, is a day to remember and honor one’s ancestors at their grave sites.  I went last year and although I took the camera I came home without ever taking the lens cap off.  I was a bit overwhelmed by it all.  Hopefully I’ll be able to explain why, with photos and words, later this week.

In the meantime, I continue to work on developing my photoshop post-processing skills. I am not sure exactly how much of this I’ll really use over the long haul but I am enjoying the learning “process”.  Here are a few more shots from the trip to Liuhou Park two weeks ago. The first image features an attempt at duplicating the Orton effect, basically blending two layers of the same image, one in focus and one not.  There are all kinds of Orton PS Actions available on the internet and I tried a few.  In the end, at least with this image, I was happiest with my own interpretation.  I like the result and the kid was a sweetie.

Flowers & Fish

Flowers & Fish

With the next two images I’ve attempted to give the photos an aged or vintage look.  Actually, I’m not totally happy with either one but  again, I just don’t have enough time to tweak things as much as I would like.  I know a photographer who recently took 6 months “off” to polish his PS skills.  Now THAT must be nice.  What a luxury, huh?

太极拳 - Tai Chi Chuan

太极拳 – Tai Chi Chuan



So for now, I’ll wrap this up and get back to the list.  In a prefect world , I’ll get the following things accomplished in the next 72 hours…

Return 83 86 88 emails…

Grade 95 business letters for my Business Writing class…

Give the developer of my new blog/website enough information/feedback/ideas and requests that he can confidently begin to work on phase one of my new web presence…

Schedule angioplasty (ok, maybe I should move this to the top of the list)…

Finally make a decision (Mac vs. PC) and pull the trigger on a new computer… (the decision is a financial one not a performance one)

Figure out a way to get both kids from the US to China during the summer break… (donations will not be refused!)

Clean my apartment…

Give Chewy a bath…

Work on the “Retirees in the Park” photo documentary for McClatchy

Make a schedule/plan for the Robert Lio family visit later this month…

Shoot Qin Ming Festival…

Catch up with Flickr friends…

Write another blog entry…

Before any of you write it, this IS me taking it easy so get off my back.  Oh yeah, maybe you heard, Kentucky has a new basketball coach.

Good luck JOHN SuperCALifragilisticexpialidociousIPARI.  Yes, totally lame Mary Poppins reference.  I am a happy fan, let me have my lame moment.

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~ by Expatriate Games on April 4, 2009.

20 Responses to “Blah, Blah, Blah…”

  1. Nice work as usual Mike… 😉

    Personally, I try to stay away from lists, they’re never ending and depress me… probably one of the reasons I could never go corporate.

    R(etc… )

  2. I’ve decided the life really is mostly cycles… I’ve been in s similar cycle, and it will pass.

    BTW, those are great images. I particularly like the last one. Awesome.

  3. Your blah, blah, blahs, are anything but blah.

    Have fun shooting Qing Ming Jie. I’m in HK today for the WordPress WordCamp. I may spend the night and hit one of the big cemeteries tomorrow to see what’s up. The eastern end of HK Island has six cemeteries side by side.

    I envy someone having 6 months to play in Photoshop and develop their skills. Luckily, I used to use PS for a living and managed to learn a great deal. That was “back in the day”, before PS had all the cool automatic stuff. I’m still learning.

    I make lists. My handwriting is so bad that I can’t read them later.

  4. Howdy great to see your stuff download in my inbox…..

    Two bits of advice (all free): Never retire and DO make lists. Lists help prevent forgetting things and can be prioritized and rearranged and crossed off which makes one feel great to have actually cleaned up something add cross it off that list!

    Except for the rain and the cold and the pro jobs I feel exactly like you and I am RETIRED, and no where near as clever as you (I am speaking photographically/photoshop now). I would dearly love to improve my skills but in this hick country town there is no guiding light and although I can follow a tutorial or manual I rather someone would show me the way. 🙂

    You pics are wonderful, the little girl looks positively charming and the Orton even jazzes up the plastic box. When I first looked I figured her skin looked very professional. The vintage ones look great also. I am learning Tai Chi but the Dr. Lam method and one other which I have forgotten the name of. Enough for you to plough though. Take great care Michael. It will be wonderful to have the kids in China. Wish you could adopt me…LOL!

  5. These are all great shots. I love what you did using the Orton Effect in the first photo. I’ve been playing around with PS and the Orton Effect. I was frustrated with PS at first, but now it’s becoming fun. A lot of trial and error (mostly error!).

  6. Great shots, someday I’ll teach myself how to use Photoshop… until then it’s Lightroom for me.

    • I usually start with Lightroom Todd, or Camera RAW. I really don’t know where all this PS stuff is going but we’ll see how much of it I “keep”. I took a peek at your site a moment ago, some cool stuff there!

  7. That sounds funny… I would have the angioplasty at #1 followed by the kids in China for summer break at #2, but that’s just me. And lists…yeah I have one in my head since I’m going to be as busy now as I was when I was in the office! LOL Take care of yourself. The pics are awesome, whatever you do to them.

  8. First off, 87 emails. You don’t need to write me back, Michael. I know you’re doing okay. 🙂 I, too, am a list-keeper, and I’ve discovered that in the long run it makes me even more anxious. I’ve reverted back to assigning one task a day, usually the smallest to begin with, until I’m caught up. It may take awhile, but it all gets done eventually. Prioritize should be your middle name from here on in….

  9. I’m relatively new to the blog world and after spending some time on developing my own site, I’ve decided to dedicate myself a bit more to “getting out” and seeing what else is being written in or about China. I really like your stuff, photos especially. You’ve got a new follower. Good luck with what’s on your plate!

  10. That Orton-type shot is nice. Most people mess it up but you’ve done it very nicely.

    • Thanks Craig, I appreciate that coming from you. I was stuck in the house and had lots of time for that one. Problem is, I am not sure exactly how I got the result. I need to save things!

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