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Baby It’s Cold (And Wet) Outside…

November 24, 2013
Green Anole

© – Green Anole (Male)

I am stuck in the digital darkroom this weekend rather than going out and about.  Our first Texas-style blast of winter has shown up and just in time to mess with Thanksgiving travel plans.  Many of the school districts in this part of Texas cancel school for the week of Thanksgiving to allow families to travel and spend time with their kin and perhaps discourage some of the “We can leave on Wednesday after you kiddos get out of school and make it to Grandma’s house 700 miles away” thought processes.  So of course on Friday night a cold front moves through with freezing temperatures and just enough rain to ice up the roads and otherwise make life miserable for many.

So I am stuck, but really not that stuck.  Certainly there will be no outdoor photography this weekend.  But I have plenty of work I can do in the digital darkroom.  There is a massive stack of work that I still need to do.  My long-term readers will remember that last year this time I was recovering from wrist surgery and I had just finished identifying images to be worked from 2012.  And most of those shoots still have not processed or harvested for their photographic goodness.  We won’t even talk about 2013’s numerous photo shoots.

For my brother number and computer geeks, this post marks my 256th post.  Or 2 to the eight power.  This remains an important number in computing because much of what we do is still represented in 8 bits.  All 8 bits on is represented as 255 (because in computing we start counting at zero), so 256 represents starting fresh with a new series of empty bits.

Some other news of note outside of a weather forecast, self-reflection that I don’t process my images nearly as quickly as I should, and delving into topics far too geeky for a Sunday morning…

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has updated their three Coastal Birding Trail maps.  While I may not agree with everything TPWD does, I will give nearly unconditional kudos to their Great Texas Wildlife Trails program.  If you live in Texas or have the opportunity to visit our great state and you have not taken the time to follow one of these trails, you have frankly missed out on a true gem of nature goodness.  What they have updated is the paper maps for the those Coastal Birding Trail maps.  As best as I can tell, they have not yet updated the online versions of these maps–the press release states there are now 332 sites on the maps, but the website states only 308 distinct sites.  So for now, that means you will have to pick up the paper copies to get the updates and additional features (to include GPS coordinates).  The paper maps are a bargain, going for $5 a piece for individual maps, or $25 for the entire set.  I have submitted a couple of questions to the manager of the program and I’ll report back if I receive a response.

Adobe continues to try to lure photographers into the jaws of their Cash Cow, er, “progress” that is the Creative Cloud, offering Lightroom and Photoshop at $10 per month introductory price.  The fly in that ointment is that one of, if not the most powerful parts of Lightroom is the Digital Asset Management portion (i.e. knowing where your stuff is).  If you’re renting your software, your Digital Asset Management goes away when you stop renting your software.  Now, I may just be reading the tea leaves wrong, but my best guess is that they’ve hit a bump in the road when it comes to subscription growth and they’re tweaking the rules to make those numbers go up, thus making Wall St. happy.  Eventually growth is going to move to zero and any gains they’ve made are going to fall like a house of cards.  But I could be wrong–it wouldn’t be the first time (and certainly wouldn’t be the last).  The problem is that the current iteration of their perpetual license software is so good that I don’t see why folks would need to upgrade.  And that may be their biggest problem all along.

I’ll probably post another “Digital Darkroom” segment sometime either at the end of the weekend or early into next week.

About the Image:
No, this is certainly not a new image.  Our Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) friends have almost definitely found a place to be less active for the winter.  This was shot back in April at Palmetto State Park near Gonzales, Texas.  I’m disappointed that I only made it out there once this shooting season, but with so many other things to shoot it was unfortunately easy to miss.  I will make a point to do more trips in that direction next year.  Our green friend was shot using the Standard Gear on the tripod and without flash.  Tech specs were ISO 400 and a very slow 1/40 sec at f/13 in an effort to get more of him in focus.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. positivethinking13 permalink
    November 24, 2013 11:14 am

    Gorgeous picture…color is amazing! You are amazingly talented!Love little lizards! Hope the weather clears up soon.

    • November 24, 2013 12:20 pm

      Many thanks. I am very blessed to have places like Palmetto State Park within a short drive so I can make images such as these.

  2. November 24, 2013 11:56 am

    Sweet and beautiful lizard.

    • November 24, 2013 12:21 pm

      Thanks. He was very cooperative and patient with me. I definitely need to do more work out there next year.

  3. November 24, 2013 12:16 pm

    Your post is full of coincidences! Maybe my best anole photo is also from Palmetto, 5 years ago. I was going to mention the wildlife maps in conjunction with my Galveston trip, but this changes things. Thanks for pointing out the updates. I got the Upper and Central maps less than a week ago at Galveston Island SP (for free), but they were not updated. I would have loved to have the GPS coordinates.

    • November 24, 2013 12:23 pm

      Thanks Jason. I’ve had decent luck with anoles at Hornsby and SE Metropark in your neck of the woods, but Palmetto was a multi-Anole day when I was out there in April. The online maps, though dated, are great for planning purposes. Not so much on the road.

  4. November 24, 2013 8:44 pm

    We are also fans of TPWD and love to camp at the parks as often as possible. Enjoy seeing your photos. We got the white stuff up here in the panhandle, and it may not melt off until later this week.

    • November 24, 2013 8:52 pm

      Thanks. TPWD almost always does an outstanding job in nearly everything they do. Y’all can keep that white stuff, though. I’ve seen what a dusting can do down in this neck of the woods. It isn’t pretty (unless you own a body shop). Stay safe up there.

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