I went for a three-month trim Friday, and the stylist cut off about half an inch to bring the growth of the top layer of hair more in line with the bottom. This took care of some of those shaggy, straggly ends that had been making me crazy lately. He styled it fabulously as he always does; then I immediately wandered about for about 40 minutes taking pictures in the heat and the humidity ruined it. But I did take a snap of it as soon as I got it done, so I can at least share that here real quick:
The hair salon is in a large, fairly new shopping center near my house that backs up against a large medical complex which also boasts a hotel and some pretty swank condominiums. It’s a huge center that has a big lake and walking trails behind it, but if you never venture down towards the end of the center where the more expensive restaurants are you would never know it’s there. The first time I came across it I was early for a hair appointment and wandering around; I’d been getting my hair done there for a few years but had never ventured any further than the Whole Foods so I never realized there was this whole community behind the center where people go hiking, jogging, and boating. I’d decided to bring my SL1 along with me and go take photos of the area after my haircut, because the first time I stumbled across all of this I found it really pretty and I thought it would make for nice pics, but I was actually wrong about that. For the most part, the pictures were boring, not to mention that the overcast day gave everything a dull gray pallor that was less than appealing. The fact that it was 10 AM on a Friday probably also had something to do with it; the last time I wandered around on the walking trails it was the middle of the day on a pretty autumn Saturday, which made things a lot more picturesque. This time out it looked deserted, and emphasized the fact that almost every single building had it’s backside facing the lake, which really isn’t picturesque at all.
However, they did have ducks:
That was the best shot I took all day, hands-down. There were also a few flowers still in bloom, and I managed to get this shot too:
But honestly, the rest of the 300 or so pictures I took were just a bust. I used the in expensive 55-250mm zoom lens for these, and while it was nice and light, I wasn’t too impressed with the shots it took in general, but I think most of the blame goes to the environment for not being all that thrilling. The pics were just boring. And I have to put some blame on myself for not checking the settings entirely. I made sure I got the white balance right this time, but I forgot to switch to RAW (the last time I used my SL1 was to take some pics for something I wanted to sell on eBay, so I shot them in JPEG) and so every photo I took was in JPEG form, which ticked me off because I couldn’t process them as extensively as I would have liked. Boo.
However, rather than abandon them all entirely, i decided to pull some of the less-dudley of the duds into Photoshop and use another day of my free trial on the RadLab software to see if I couldn’t at least liven them up. So here are some of those experiments – plain old photo first, then the improvement:
This was one of the rare shots of a building on the lake that looked like something other than a back wall. The condos out here are expensive; half a million at least. Anyway, here’s the shot after using Rad Lab on it – none of these shots were edited in my usual manner since Photo Ninja doesn’t work as well on JPEGS and I only wanted to open and edit them one time anyway (every time you open, edit, and re-save a JPEG file you lose loads of quality, so I had to edit these in one shot):
Not bad, right? All I had to was open Photoshop, then open the Rad Lab plugin and get to work. Every filter I used I was able to adjust to the levels I wanted, and I was able to layer filters on top of each other and work with whichever one I wanted to adjust. It’s really easy to use and has some great effects (being me, I love anything that sharpens a photo, and the “highlight separator” filter was particularly awesome). There were basic adjustment filters as well as color ones and different lens effects, and a big selection of black and whites to choose from. Here’s another before and after:
Even though my camera settings weren’t right to stop motion, I liked this blurry duck photo anyway. As you can see though, the color was really blah. Here’s the RadLab version:
Definitely better, although also definitely a more “filtered” shot than I would have liked. OK, no more before and afters, but a few more shots, all heavily edited using RadLab:
I realize this isn’t a particularly interesting post, but I have started binge-watching the Sopranos (I always choose some TV show I never watched when it was popular to view obsessively over vacations) so I was honestly only half paying attention as I am trying to get through episode three before I go to bed, and it’s playing in the background as I type this. Terrible, I know; so I’ll cut this short and go finish watching Tony Soprano castrate someone. Pleasant dreams everyone!