Fine and Sandy

As promised, here’s a post of photos I’ve been re-working in anticipation of a show that may not happen now, since I’ve emailed the gallery owner twice and she hasn’t responded. Oh well. I’m still having fun re-working all these shots, so i’m going to keep on keeping on. Because it’s a lot of photos, I put most of them into collages, since in general I’ve processed several per set. This first one, though, hasn’t had any companions so far, so I’ll post it by itself first. And before I talk too much about the photos, I have a little Sandy the Massage Therapist story to share.

I quit going to see Sandy a while back because I made two consecutive appointments with her that I forgot about, and I was too embarrassed to try again. But eventually my arm started hurting enough to motivate me to make the call, and I’ve gone to see her several times the past few weeks. She has been her usual chatty, bizarre self, but hasn’t really given me anything to write about until today. Today, though, she went in on a topic she talks about often: all the men who come to see her and try to flirt with her or, erm, get buck naked instead of staying covered up. I didn’t realize this was a “thing” with massage therapists, and maybe it’s just Sandy exaggerating, but she swears that most of the men she works on constantly want to uncover themselves while she is working and, according to Sandy, she has to chastise them to make them keep their towels on.

I kind of wish I’d had a normal wig on here; the pastel hair distracts from the shocking balletic movement I managed to pull off in this shot. I didn’t think I’d be able to change it to a plain color without it looking fake though. 

“Do you know how many of those things I’ve seen over the years?” she said with an exasperated sigh. “Puh-lease, it is not like I need to ever see one again.” Then, she went on to share with me just how many of those things she actually has seen (and in case it isn’t clear, when Sandy says those things, she means penises).

“I mean, I’ve been married five times, so that’s five right there.” Five times? I asked, amazed that I’ve been coming to see Sandy for over a year now and this is the first I’ve heard this. “Yes ma’am. And then there’s all the guys I dated before that. I dated one guy for seven, eight years, and let me tell you, he was hung like a horse. I remember asking him how many times it would take before I stopped being sore every time, and he said about ten, so I said well let’s just get those first ten times out of the way now so I can get on with life. We’re still friends, you know, and every time I see him I ask him – so, have you tore any women up lately?” (I know, I totally should have warned you that was coming. Sorry.)

It’s a good thing I’m always lying face-down on the massage table when Sandy tells me these stories, so I can freely allow my mouth to drop open in awe and disbelief at whatever it is she’s just said. Feel free to do the same at home. But hey, my arm feels loose enough now to type this up and share it with you, so maybe that’s the plus side. Then again, maybe not.


But now, about these pictures. The shots directly above are macros of some roses Doug got me for our fifteenth wedding anniversary (March 11); I was taking pics of the Fendi purse I wrote about in my last post, and while I was at it I decided to spritz the flowers down with water and shoot some macros. I took a ton, but these were the best of the bunch. There was some freesia in the arrangement as well, so I may process some of the shots of took of it also, but I haven’t had time yet. I don’t have them anymore, because Simon kept looking at them and thinking, hey look, lunch; plus they were slowly dying anyway. But they were pretty while they lasted.

For most of the other shots, the main changes I made in re-editing them was to do less with them, rather than more. For most of these, when i shot and processed them originally, I was just learning how to add textures and filters and in many cases had gone overboard; I’d always wanted to go back to some of the best ones and re-process them in a more straightforward way but never got around to it until now. Also, I am using this opportunity to format my TIF files at 300dpi instead of the 72 I was using as a default before, so the files are a lot bigger (which makes them slow to work on at times, as my little laptop struggles to keep up).


Some of these shots were old enough that they were taken before I used full backdrops, and would instead hang a sheet on the wall and place a matching one on the floor, creating a very obvious line between them. When I couldn’t get that edited out properly, I did add some background texture to help conceal the edits, but I kept the textures subtle so as not to overwhelm the subject of the shot (the very first shot, and the second one in the collage above, are both examples of where I needed to add some texture to the background).

More coming from this set – I can only stand to do a few at a time before I get bored, but lots of interesting shots from this one

In the two curtain pictures above, I did use one of Topaz’s Re-Style filters to change the color pretty radically; in the original shots (some of which you can see here), I had a brown background and a purple curtain, but I decided I wanted a more unified color to entire shot, and I liked the underwater feel this filter created. I’ve got a few more to edit from that set, but these are the only two I had ready by the time I wrote this post. To get the color exactly right, I have to add more of the filter to the background than to the curtains, so it’s a rather tedious process to get it just right; I get bored with working on them rather quickly, but I’m pleased with the end result nonetheless.

For these next floral dress shots, I decided since in the originals I hadn’t covered up the floor at all and it looked kinda sloppy, to just go with it and create shots that appeared to be outtakes; I left the remote sitting on the floor instead of editing it out to add to that effect. I kind of wish now that I’d had more junk sitting around I could leave in, but alas, I was rather neat on this day, I guess.

This was such a thrown-together set but I got a lot of good shots out of it. Also, favorite wig. 

As I said, I haven’t heard from the gallery owner anymore, or the woman she asked me to email my questions to, so who knows if that will ever really happen. My plan right now is to leave things alone for awhile and keep editing my photos, then in a few weeks contact her again and ask her directly if she was serious or not about a show. If she was, great, and if she blows me off, oh well. Next time someone asks at least I’ll be prepared.

That jumping one gets tons of reactions – so much orange! – and the portrait I liked because it’s an unusual expression for me.


19 thoughts on “Fine and Sandy

  1. That look your giving on the left photo from the Orange does not look like you. As for that orange one love it, also the photo of the roses I love like a lot like so much I wanna use the middle one as my FB header hehehe.

    • That’s what I’m using as my header right now! LOL. And yes I agree that the portrait looked unlike me – I like it when that happens since I get bored of looking at myself so much. I can send you a pic of the rose if you want to try it, I’m afraid FB might reduce the quality a lot though; we’ll see. I’ll send it to you on FB.

  2. I actually love Sandy’s commentary, it’s an absolute trip to me! But I think, growing up as I did, I am probably much more accustomed to TMI conversation than you are. Oversharing is kind of a “thing” down here, so I am used to it!

    My only issue with re-style is that in order to really get it to work for a whole photo I have to use masks and different opacity levels, which can get time-consuming. But in a case like the curtain shots, it’s definitely appreciated; the color scheme originally used did not work nearly as well.

    I think the workflow of LR has always been one of my problems with it. Never thought of it that way before, but I do think it put me off using it. Thanks as always 🙂

    • Oh I own it, just never felt comfortable using it. I’m weird I guess; I prefer my odd little mishmash way of doing things. There is nothing I can’t make more difficult by doing if my own way, it seems, LOL!

  3. First, let me say that this is one of the most interesting blog entries I’ve read in a long time. Not just your entries, but all of the blogs that I read.
    Let me congratulate you on 15 years of marriage. The roses are not only beautiful, but a thoughtful gesture. Way to go Doug.
    My personal opinion is that Sandy has a very overactive imagination and probably gets off on story telling. But who knows. I mean, after all, I get at least 4 ot 5 Flicker pecker pictures from unknowns a week that I delete and block.
    Your posted photos in this blog are all amazing and I only hope that the gallery owner does call you and you do get a showing.
    Just for informational purposes, I closed down The reason was very simple. I found I actually had nothing to say. After a year with only a few thousand views and a couple of handfuls of comments, I decided to move on to something else. Not sure what that will be, but it just makes sense in my mind.
    Once again, great blog.

    • Sorry to hear you shut down the blog, but I do hear you on feeling you’ve nothing else to say. My old blog and this one have sat neglected for years at a time.

      LOL on the pecker pictures. I get a lot of them too. My “block” list is pages long!

    • I took it down in response to some comments I received and I am thinking about it. I may re-work it and try again or keep it down. Just thinking it through for now.

    • That latest blog post was SUPPOSED to be a reply to your last comment, LOL, I tried to use my phone to reply and accidentally published the damn thing as a blog post instead!

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