That’s a little harsh, but I’ve been oppressed.
Tuesday night, after Mr. E and I returned from dinner, I set up my camera and my trusty tripod on the hotel’s fifth-floor indoor walkway, which is merely one of an evenly-spaced stack of narrow balconies surrounding the covered courtyard.
At dusk, the huge skylight transforms the eight-story atrium into a softbox from nature photographers’ dreams. Massive philodendrons drape the railings.
I took a few pictures before a svelte 40-something man walked past and said, “You aren’t getting any pictures of that guy down there with his girlfriend, are you?” He chuckled.
“No, no, it’s all wide open. No faces in these pictures,” I said.
I captured another image and then rode the elevator to the eighth floor. I planned to take some shots that would induce vertigo. By the time I snapped the first one, a hotel security guard arrived.
“Sir, the front desk has requested that you stop taking pictures.”
“They have?” I asked.
“I’m not getting anybody’s face. Do you know why they want me to stop?”
“No, sir. They just asked me to come tell you.”
“Okay, I’ll wrap it up.” He didn’t request I hand over my memory card, so I headed back to my room only slightly irritated instead of downright miffed.
I can count on one hand the number of times that a law enforcement officer or any authority figure has asked me to stop doing something.
Wednesday night, I took my camera outside the hotel. I wanted to try a new piece of software that combines pictures of the same scene, taken at various exposures, to form a picture that more closely simulates what the photographer saw. The human eye is much more sensitive to light than film or digital sensors, so a photo typically shows much sharper gradients between light and dark.
Photomatix and other image processing programs try to remedy that. The first picture above, I exposed for the sky. Then I metered for the trees. The resulting amalgam was generated by the freeware Photomatix Basic. The Pro version’s trial never times out, but it places watermarks on each image it tweaks. I’m anxious to use it on scenes that always have plagued me — particularly sunsets and mountains.
I miss my family. Ben has talked to me each day I’ve been gone. He peed in the toilet twice Tuesday, before and after his bath, but after that first day of pooping in the potty, he returned to loading up his diaper. I am glad for Shannon that he seems to be outgrowing the “terrible two’s.” Although he still has his spells, he does not test our patience as much lately. He’s become a little lazy lately, as he no longer tests our patients at all.
Canada looks like a no-go. Several employees of our Troy office told me that I should not leave the USA without my driver’s license and my birth certificate. Maybe next time I’m within 30 miles of the border, I’ll cross it. On that trip, the pilot will have to watch out for the pigs.
What have they done with the fat people? I went to Target, Best Buy and Radio Shack here in Troy, where I noticed a distinct lack of obesity. Ah, Dallas. I’ve grown accustomed to your girth.