aaah my friends, my friends.... I've been so busy - but I have stories for you!! You know I always have stories!!!
I'm also going to give you my review of Google+, in case you are curious about what I think of it. If you aren't - I don't blame you = I'm not exactly the expert on these matters!
The other day I was doing errands for work and I stopped in to get a little treat for my friend and myself. I picked up a couple of bubble teas for us! For those of you who have never had bubble tea, it's deliciously wonderful! It's a concoction of tea, milk (or soy), fruit and tapioca pearls. Big tapioca pearls! They are black and about the size of a small marble. They sink to the bottom of the cup and you have a huge straw - about 1/2 inch across and they are big enough to suck up the tapioca beads along with the drink! Yummy!
So, anyways, I brought these drinks back to the shop and we were drinking them and I ran out of drink, but still had some tapioca beads in the bottom of my cup. So, I positioned my straw over the beads and began to suck. Well, seeing as there was no liquid left, two beads got jammed in the bottom of my straw and I was having a hard time so I began to suck on the straw even harder. So I'm standing there sucking away at it, when suddenly they let loose and the suction was so strong that they literally flew right into the back of my throat and started choking me!!
I realized what happened the instant I felt them hit the back of my throat and I started to panic because, of course, I couldn't breathe!! My friend jumped up and she didn't really know what to do - I was coughing and retching and turning red as a beet! I finally settled my mind enough to stop all that nonsense and just try to get a little air in around the damn things so that I could get some force behind them and cough them out. I took in the most awful sounding gasp of air - I sounded like I was dying- and was able to get enough in to get a good cough out - and along with it - came the beads AND a chunk of ice!!!
Holy crap!! I mean, it was such a silly thing to have happen and it sounds kind of funny - but it scared the shit out of me!! Seriously!! I was coughing for hours after and my throat and upper chest were sore all night. I tell ya..... I will think twice before I try that damn trick again!! I know one thing for sure.... there's nothing wrong with my suction abilities......
So, this afternoon I was out taking pictures. It was a beautiful day - bright blue sky, fluffy little clouds and fresh air!! So I set off to find myself a canola field in bloom! It took me a while to finally find a good one, and on my travels I came across an old barn in a field. I pulled my car over to the side of the road and got out, started taking a few pictures, still standing on the side of the road - when a truck came down the road and stopped right beside me. This guys pulls up beside me and asks me what I 'm doing. I told him "well, I'm a landscape photographer." He said "did you ask permission to take a picture of that?? I looked at him and said "Do you own this land?" and he said "yes I do" so I asked "Well, is it a problem that I'm taking a picture of it?" and he said "Just make sure you ask permission next time" and drove away.
So I'm like "huh?" Pretty sure asshole, that I'm standing on public property, not even close to your private property and you can't tell me what to do. It's probably a good thing he drove away because I might have told him him that - and seeing as I was just a little woman all alone on a dirt road..... It may have been for the best that I didn't get the chance.
Then he drives down to the next field, pulls in, parks and watches me!!! Talk about creepy!!! So I took two more shots and went on my way - but you know, it just killed the joy of the whole day for me. I was out in unfamiliar territory, trying to find some new spots and this guys totally freaked me out! The rest of the time I was shooting, I was nervous and watching over my shoulder. And he was creepy. Creepy and crusty
I f he had been nice I might have offered him a print......
So you know, if it was his house; if I was on his land; if there were any identifying marks about the place; if I was doing something..... ANYTHING wrong I would have been fine with it - but SERIOUSLY??? It was an old barn in a field!!! and I was standing on a public road!!! Give me a freaking break!!!
So... on to Google+. I've been at it for about 2 weeks now and I've got a pretty good grip on how it' works, I think. So here's the skinny:
It's like FaceBook. It really, really, is. With a few differences. The biggest difference you will notice right away is that you add friends to "circles" and it's nice, because you can get a graphic picture of this in your head, which makes it easy to "get". With FB you can choose who to share what with but it's complicated. With G+ it's easier - you put people in circles like "friends" "family" photo friends" or what ever you choose to name the circles. Then when you post something - you choose which circles you want to see your post. Easy peasy! Then you can choose which circles you want to have in your stream - so you can look at everything, or you can just choose "photo friends".
Another way its different than FB is that anyone can follow you. You don't have to "approve" it. So, they can see what ever you post to your "public" circle. So say you are sharing your photos, you can post it to "public" and every person who watches you can see it, and they can share it with others; But, say that you want to share the steamy details of your date last night with your grand parents, you can just post it to your "grandparents" circle and they will be the only ones to see it.
So because of this, photographers and artists like it because it gives them more exposure on what they WANT exposed and less on what is more private.
So far, I'm using it strictly for photography and art. I will admit that the quality of the work there is pretty damn amazing. I am finally finding all of these photographers that I've heard about in myths and legends and seeing them up close and personal for the first time. They talk about stuff too - like their experiences! they don't just put up a pic - they almost ALWAYS tell the story about it and it's fascinating!! I'm learning. I'm learning that I'll never be a fancy pants photographer because a) I'm not adventurous enough and b) I don't have enough money!
- hey - just kidding - but you know, I do find the quality of the work there very high quality so that I sometimes wonder why I'm there and where do I fit in?? The thing is - I am finding my own little niche and it's totally up to me how much I want to participate, or just sit back and observe.
Now, let's get something straight here - the place isn't perfect! It has it's problems. And here some of them are as I see it:
The feed - it's great - except that you can expect to see the same photos and topics on it over and over again - the more popular it is - the more you will see it. After a while you will begin to hate an image that you completely LOVED only a day ago because it's been on your wall about a million times, being shared by everyone and of course - it pops up to the top every time someone comments on it. It's kind of like "ok - I 've been there. I've done that. I'm tired of it now - quit cluttering up my space with it!!"
Just like FB there are some people who are attention whores and they have thousands of people in their circles - which isn't a bother to me if they do that - but the ability is there to become overwhelmed with people who you don't know.
Posting pics in the feed. Ok - this one is weird. So you upload a photo. then you can either publish your whole album or just leave the photo in the album and do nothing. If you publish the album - it will show the "cover" of the album over and over again each time you publish it instead of just the new photo. If you don't publish it, not many people will see it because they'll think they've seen it already. Do you see the conundrum here? So, the walk around is that you have to leave G+ and go to Picasa (they host the pics for G+) and find the picture in your albums, copy the link to it, go back to G+ and post a link to it. Now does that sound crazy or what??!!
I mean - why is that so damn difficult!!!??? Shouldn't it be easier than that? CAn't they just make a button that says "post THIS photo"? Totally backwards if you ask me .... but you didn't so you are getting advice and thoughts that are worth exactly what you paid for them!
Ok, so one final thought - right now G+ is still in beta, so there will be additions and improvements made. Some for the better = some not so much. I imagine that in time there will be games and once it's open to the general public there will be people from all walks of life there. There will be poor quality art and photos, cheesy you tube videos, viruses, scams, etc, etc. Right now I am part of a cozy little photographic community and it's awesome but I feel that will change once the whole world gets involved. I am considering keeping my account there for strictly art and photo purposes. I will likely keep my FB for friends and family and general fun.
Who knows what the future brings? I mean after all - how many online photo/art communities can you be part of? How much time can you spend at them and if you are happy in one or two or three places then why do you need 5 or 6?? If, in the end,G+ turns to being more of the same as what I already have, then what's the point? I really don't have time to add another site to my list so I continue to evaluate at this time.... and only time will tell.
ok, I've rambled on long enough and I'm getting tired in the head,
so I'd better be going
I'm thinking about going out shooting some farms again soon. I think I'll make up a batch of bubble tea to take with me just in case I meet up with that guy again. I'll hand it over, with extra tapioca beads, of course, and tell him to suck it up really hard. Enjoy your drink pal..................
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A List of Links for tutorials/info that I've found to be useful!
Basics of Pen Tool [link]
Making Photoshop Brushes [link]
Adding Borders in PS [link]
Depth of Field [link]
PS Borders [link]
The Pen Tool [link]
Making Textures [link]
Layer Masks and Colour Gradients [link]
GavTrain Photo Training [link]
Manual HDR [link]
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