Thursday, 27 September 2007

I’m positively flying right now — in a good way. I just got back from the 4th Lavay Smith show in 2 days and it was amazing. Some highlights, since I’m hoping a more thorough review will come later:

  • The shows were every bit as wonderful as I expected.
  • Front row seats for all four shows.
  • At Tuesday night’s second show, Brian Setzer was in the audience and did a sang a couple songs with the band.
  • I was able to talk with him a bit after the show and got a picture with him.
  • Tuesday I invited a friend to the second show and they loved it.
  • Wednesday I invited a couple friends and they really loved it.
  • I got my pictures with Lavay and “Cousin” Danny autographed.
  • Chris (piano and band leader), Lavay, and Danny recognized me right off.
  • Lavay talked to me a bit from the stage at several of the shows. (She’s positively gorgeous and an absolute sweetheart!)
  • She asked me to do her a favor during the second show on Wednesday since it was Mark’s (tenor saxophone) birthday. At first I wasn’t able to do it because the kitchen at the club was closed, but the waiter I asked was able to hook me up.
  • I got a song on the set list for the 2nd Tuesday show: “Busy Woman’s Blues”
  • Lavay dedicated a song to me: “Big Fine Daddy” at the 2nd Wednesday show.
  • Chris is a great guy too! I brought my group photo from the Rossi’s show two years ago, go the first couple autographs on it myself, then he ran around and got the rest for me. That was HUGE!
  • Mike Olmos (trumpet) was the first one I caught to sign it. He asked if I could email him a copy. I gave him my spare (I always print two) and a Moo-card and said to send me an email and I’d forward him the digital copy.
  • In among all the other stuff I had to do Wednesday, I was able to pick through my Tuesday photos, make the edits, get a couple prints done, and burned a CD for Lavay. She and Brian Setzer were dancing during one of the songs and I got a great shot so I printed that and gave it to her with the CD, which had the photos from the Tuesday night show† with touch-ups and sized to make 8x10s. She loved it and couldn’t wait to show the dancing photo to her mom.

That’s all for now, but suffice today I walked away with a giant grin on my face and a bounce in my step that will last for a week.

† I told Lavay that they were welcome to use the photos any way they wanted (and included the same info in a readme file on the CD). Promo photos, Web site, posters, whatever. All I requested was a photo credit, nothing more.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Count me among the converted. My photo workflow has just made a huge shift for the better all with one piece of software: Noise Ninja.

To explain: I love Photoshop. It’s one of two programs that keeps me from switching to Linux full time.† I use it for all of my photo editing and while I may not be a power user, I get the job done. Traditionally I did noise reduction within Photoshop — a sometimes desperate series of selections, unsharp-mask, maybe another filter or two, then more selecting and filtering. It was a nightmare, often taking several hours for the noisier images.

Finally, after seeing it mentioned in so many workflow examples on various photography Web sites I read, I gave Noise Ninja a test drive. In under 60 seconds I took the image on the left and turned it into the one on the right (look at the brim of my hat and my forehead‡):

I’m serious, under 60 seconds having never used the software before. Imagine what would happen I knew what I was doing!

† Yes, I know about GIMP — but GIMP’s interface bites. The other piece of software is 3rdPlanIt. ‡ The dark spot on the crown of my hat isn’t noise, it’s wear because I (naughty naughty) grab it by the crown all the time.

Saturday, 08 September 2007

Patrick: Back in 94, even the porn was done in ASCII art. They even made the pictures by using the first letter of the name of the body part they were drawing so there was no confusion. You know, like BBBBBBBBBNNN. Me: What letter did they use for, you know, down there on a girl. Patrick: Why, “P”, of course. Me: Why not “V”? Patrick: Because it was porn. If they used “V” they would have to call it art!

I think that’s about the time that Bethany laughed and called us both dorks.

[Republished from Patrick’s site.]