Category Archives: Digital photo editing

Be a unique star

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

My wise old grandmother always said, “If you don’t get up early, you won’t see the sun rise.” She was always up before sunrise. I wasn’t far behind her. Here is this morning’s sunrise through the dirty window of my home office in La Mesa CA:

Sunrise in La Mesa, California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

With that out of the way….

A few more quips from my wise old grandmother:

“If you’re not sleeping with someone, you don’t know what they are thinking.”

“Ten percent of the people will love you because that’s the kind of people they are. Ten percent of the people will hate you because that’s the kind of people they are. Eighty percent of the people will love you or hate you based on your actions and words. So be nice.”

“Children aren’t born with hatred in their hearts. Mom and dad teach them that, usually through religion.”

I believe she was right on all counts.

I have been a member of a home inspector trade association for 13 years. There are about 10,000 members. I led a marketing seminar at its national convention in 2007, which is when a very significant member of the association found out I was gay. He wasn’t happy, telling me that he always thought gays should be killed. I brushed it off , thinking that if he got to know a gay person, he would change his mind. Apparently that has not worked.

I have had significant interaction with that person over the past nine years. A couple of days ago I was on the association’s message board and all sorts of Trump-approved hate was spewing. It’s allowed on the message board under the guise of free speech. He was participating and left a comment stating that maybe now that Trump was president, gays, illegal immigrants, and blacks would be killed. “Can’t go wrong with that.”

That definitely caused me to rethink my association, and I have decided to move on. However, that also means that my latest venture, House Key News, is being put on the back burner because I believe my main target audience all are Trump supporters. I’m not going to intentionally associate with those kind of people, especially now that they apparently have approve to spew their hatred in public.

My fallback is Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos. I have let it slip over the past year, but a recent sale a few days ago has encouraged me to make it numero uno.

House Key News had a main target audience of about 20,000 people—home inspectors. Photographic Art has a main target audience of about 3,000,000 people—Realtors, loan agents, title agents, and escrow agents. They can use Photographic Art as unique close-of-escrow gifts instead of the standard $50 gas or restaurant card, a plant, a bottle of wine or champagne, etc.

Photographic Art also can be used for birth gifts, birthday gifts, graduation gifts, marriage gifts, divorce gifts, new business gifts, anniversary gifts, just because gifts, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Be a unique star

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Visit
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Oh. My. God. They elected HIM?

I live in my own little world

When I got 100% of my data back from the simultaneous hard drive crashes, I resolved to spend at least 30 minutes each day going through my million-plus pictures and videos and actually cataloging them.

I’m probably about 5% through the task. Right now I’m simply deciding which to purge.

I’ve never discarded images before because, as my wise old grandmother used to say, “What comes out of the camera is just the basics to start with.”

(I never bugged her about ending her sentences with prepositions….”

If I have five pictures, though, all virtually identical, I’ll choose the best one and chunk the other four.

I’m also looking for pictures that I can use as comment pictures, mostly on Facebook.

Comment pictures are always much more fun that typing text.

Following is a picture I found a few minutes ago. The facial expression is great but the picture was on the cusp of being a throwaway, which is why I created the ellipse to put the Wolf’s Guenon in. Adjusted shadows, highlights, blacks, contrast, and sharpness, and got something worthwhile.

Oh. My. God. They elected HIM?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

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Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Friday Flower Fiesta (9-16-2016)

Friday Flower Fiesta

I have had a need to create eBooks but I wanted one of those flipping eBooks that I see occasionally.

I have tried several of them but they either are absent-ware (parts of the program are absent unless you pay for it), are too difficult to work with, or are just plain bad.

Finally, I found Flip PDF, which makes flipping eBooks out of PDF files. Since Word and InDesign, the two programs that I use most for page layout, easily create PDF files, I gave it a try.

I’m extremely happy with it.

Check out this short flipping eBook of (mostly) flowers:

Flowers of the World

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

Visit
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Flower pictures that don’t look quite so picturery

How I Did It

I got so involved cataloging pictures from the last year and photoshopping some of them that the weekend suddenly has disappeared. Where did it go?

Ah, well, since it’s gone, following are a few flowers that I photoshopped using Topaz Glow, an awesome program if you want to create some really interesting pictures that don’t look like pictures anymore. All of these flowers were growing in one yard. They saw me out their living room window taking pictures and came out to talk to me.

Zinnia, Zinnia, Sunflower daisy, Passionflower.

Zinnia

Zinnia

Sunflower daisy

Passionflower

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a special occasion?

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Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Sunrises

Picture of the Moment

I have sang at several weddings for friends, the last one in 1984 in Boerne, Texas.

The song I sang for Thad & Charlotte was “Sunrise, Sunset” from the movie “Fiddler on the Roof.”

While I liked the song and realized what it was about, without ever having seen the movie (it came out in 1971, while the musical is from 1964), I was the only one of my friends who was always up in time to watch the sunrise and late enough to bed to catch the sunset, so just the title of the song made it a favorite of mine.

Sunrises and sunsets in 2016 here in the San Diego area have been spectacular almost every day so far.

Following are two of my favorite sunrises, the first one being from this morning.

San Diego (La Mesa) sunrise, January 14, 2016

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

San Diego (La Mesa) sunrise, January 6, 2016

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for a friend or loved one?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (12-4-15)

Friday Flower Fiesta

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit an interesting crafts store that had Christmas ornaments featuring flowers. That will tell you where I got the idea for today’s Friday Flower Fiesta.

ornament 01 ornament 02 ornament 03 ornament 04 ornament 05 ornament 06 ornament 07 ornament 08 ornament 09 ornament 10 ornament 11 ornament 12

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas or a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Friday Flower Fiesta (10-30-15)—This is dedicated to the one I love

Friday Flower Fiesta

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

On this date in 2008, Jim and I got legally married.

Just 5 days later, 13,743,177 votes were cast in California’s general election.

7,001,084 of those votes were cast in favor of taking away the right of same-gender couples to marry, a right that had only been won six months earlier. Kind of sad when rights have to be won, but throughout history the majority has never been kind to minorities….

After numerous lawsuits and court hearings, the California Supreme Court upheld the removal by the majority of the rights of the minority but also ruled, under the grandfather principle, that the marriages of those who had gotten legally married during that six-month period would remain legal.

Thus, our marriage remained valid and legal.

So today is our seventh wedding anniversary. For the record, we’ve been together since May 26, 1994, and got domestic partnered (such an ugly term) on July 31, 2004.

Today’s Friday Flower Fiesta is dedicated to the one I love (Ouch! Zoey! Quit biting!)

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray PhotosFriday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Friday Flower Fiesta by Russel Ray Photos

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Need a unique gift for Christmas or a special occasion?

Use code YLNNRX for a $40 discount on
Photographic Art by Russel Ray Photos at Fine Art America

Photographic Art logo

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post