If time is money and you have more time, Do you need more money?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Feeling Kind Of Blue?

Feeling blue is better than feeling green.  We currently have green water under the keel.

We are going to take two original photos and give them a make over.
Both were taken with the GoPro HD (with blurfix lens kit) while snorkeling 

We made a post a couple weeks back about the cameras we use on s/v Gemini Dreams.   Trying to get a great shot is often a secondary reward to diving down with a spear to collect dinner.  Especially if you strap the GoPro HD to your chest and push a couple buttons to take pics every two seconds.  You think I can sort them out later.  Be forewarned when trying to sort out four thousand pictures you may need another wind generator.   There all all sorts of guides to making the perfect shot.  We have not the ability or knowledge to lead you down that road.  We do on the other flipper, take our random mediocre shot and doctor it up to be more presentable occasionally.  This is where we can give a little help.  

If you dive less than 10 feet and your underwater camera will take lens filters use a "shallow water filter".  If you dive deeper than 15 feet use the standard "underwater filter".  But for us this would have been almost $175.00 in filters just for the GoPro HD.  Our back up plan is to use the program we have had around for a while,  Photoshop CS 5.  Our use of Photoshop CS started way back around Photoshop 3 but we have never delved deep into its uses.  Our suggestion is to find a less costly program that you like and put the extra three to four hundred dollars into the kitty.

Knowing that my little out of focus diver will never be an awesome photo.  We strike off trying to make a better blog photo than original to convey our adventure.  This action we will call plan "A"

Open photo in Photoshop CS

Select cropping tool and crop image keeping focal point in center box


Make a duplicate layer

Naming the layer is trivial but keeping on the new layer is critical

Go to Image, adjustments, level

 select Auto in the pop up box

 The levels will be click ok to keep the changes

Take a moment and use the Auto Contrast feature

 Now to set the size

If any of your readers have mentioned their back ground size this is a good size.  If not the default picture size on your blog is best (ie ours is 400) for quicker loading.  Blogger and some other sites auto size and load smaller than actual for your blog.  If this is true and you want the originals available in you host then allow them to do all the resizing for you.  

  Do not unlock the proportions, this way when you set the width the height is automatically set 

If your online blogger is handling your photo size and quality let them.  If you need to choose the quality because you are hosting your own blog then save for 50-60% quality.

both photos side by side,  you can see the slight height difference due to my quick cropping.

The photo of the airplane above is from Staniel Cay in the Bahamas.  I was going to use the carlos lehder plane from Normans Cay but can't find those shots at the moment.  Can you see the Fisher King?  If you happen to cruise with a mermaid I'm sure she would pose gracefully near the fuselage of the plane for the photo.  Myself on the other flipper have a hunter that is more worried he may miss a grouper.  Even though you are only in the shallow 6-7 foot water and the corals and artifacts have a cool blue tint.  With the sun directly over head and items at arms length they have color.  This color the camera can not pick up horizontally from several feet.  I am posting plan "B" for color corrections below. (For when plan "A" doesn't satisfy your needs)  During this tutorial we will use a few "short cuts".

Open the photo you want to correct

Your first short cut, press Control + J twice to duplicate the layer so that you see three layers in the Layers palette. (Background, Layer 1, Layer 1 copy in Photoshop CS 5)

Select Layer 1 in the middle of the three layers. 

Choose Edit > Fill Layer 

Select the 50% gray option. Leave the other settings at their defaults and Press OK to fill this layer with gray. 

Then, change the layer blend mode to Luminosity.

 Click once on the topmost layer (named Layer 1 copy). Then merge that layer down with the gray layer under it by pressing Control + E.(shortcut 2)

Now, create a new layer on top of all the others. 

Click on the foreground color swatch and set the color to R: 255 G: 0 B:0. 

Then, fill this new layer with that color by pressing Alt + Backspace (shortcut #3). 
Finally, set the layer blend mode to Multiply.

 Click once on the top red layer and merge it with the photo layer below it by pressing Control + E again. 

Now, set the blend mode of the top copy of the photo (which should be called Layer 1) to Screen.

Finally, merge the layer with the original photo layer below it by pressing Control + E. This should leave you with just one layer named Background. 

The last step is really simple. Just choose Image > Adjustments > Auto Levels to automatically give some more color and contrast to the photo. You can also run the outcome of this method through the plan "A" system and decide if you like the outcome.

 Decide if you want to adjust the image size or leave it for the robots

Save for web or leave it for the robots

If you decide to re-size and save for web use 50-60%

Corrected image using plan"B"

original and corrected image using plan "A"  both cooooool blue

 Starfish using plan "B"

 Lion Fish using plan "B"

Hopefully you can save this link and use it to edit your photos in the future.  Feel free to post a comment if you need further explanation or I need to rephrase some of the post.  So many pictures, I hope they are in the correct order.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Life, Old Life and Wee life

First, we need to congratulate the crew that used to be aboard another Albin Vega.  Wee Happy, better known as Kristopher and Lita (Lala) are proud new parents of a baby boy.  For us we will consider him Wee One until further notice and earning of his actual name.  If you ever come back to the USA we must have another day out.  Better yet maybe I could get to Costa Rica.  Congratulations guys!

What is that ahead in the fog?

The familiar Vega, s/v Mini Pearl.  Just across it's bow you can see s/v Sjöjungfru another Vega

This morning I had a message on the phone.  Seems the annual pilgrimage from Panama City to the Bahamas has commenced.  We just spent a couple hours on one of these boats, another Vega, s/v Mini Pearl.  (There are currently 3 Vegas anchored here at the bridge.  Catching up with all that has been and will be.  We really miss Happy hour with this crowd of cruisers!  Too bad we missed you Barb but seeing Espin was great.  Hi Rick & Audrey... way down there in Cortez missed seeing you guys too.  All of you have a great time in the Bahamas!

Espin, s/v Mini Pearl arrived yesterday afternoon from Panama City.
His simplistic wisdom inspires us, but don't tell him.

Last weekend we chose to miss the St Patrick's Day Fest and spend the day with family.  It was just a small cookout with burgers but what we ate was trivial to the sense of family.  Thanks for the invitation.

Papa Joe keeping him interested in guitar

 Our most often used internet connection's view
You can buy one of the "condo slips" for a ridiculous amount of money
(notice they are still empty except the one "bait you in" boat)

Our last day in Key West the snow cone truck quit early for the day!
It took until now for us to find a replacement for the cone I owed the Fisher King.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Eclipse (A Piece for Assorted Lunatics)

Lunacy;  that which excuses random acts of stupidity.  Everyone has those moments when shortly in the future you will realize that was just unwise.  I had a moment like that a while back when I thought for a short moment in time that combining our blogs and increasing the content about Boatschool would make my life simpler. Well that was just... well... stupid.  Even though I had not pressured The Fisher King into keeping up with his blog and I cross trained his school work to do double duty as a post for our blog the result is total Lunacy.  Although having multiple personalities is great for the conversations when alone it has quickly proven to be a little "Sybil" on a blog.

So this is what reality comes our way.  The svGeminiDreams.blogspot will continue as it has in the past.  The Fisher King's Blog will hang around until next fall when I once again make it part of Boatschool.  There will also be a new voice within our head.  A blog just for our boatschool, s/v Gemini Dreams Boatschool,  since the simple "Boatschool" was taken already.  This way all the cruisers, Vegaterians and Vegabonds are no longer forced to sit in class.  Unless they choose to.  There will be times when we utilize the cross bred pictorial posts possibly with a dual posting.  For now we will only maintain those three as if I posted the random thoughts that crossed neurons daily I would soon alienate more than I have so far.

The following episodes of "Wit Is Educated Insolence", whatever they shall be called will air on our new boatschool blog: svgeminidreamsboatschool

Eclipse (A Piece for Assorted Lunatics)  was an optional title to The Dark Side of the Moon.