One of my favorite quotes is by J.R.R. Tolkien: "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." Here I'm giving glimpses of all I am deciding in the time that is given to me. Enjoy! All pictures and posts are mine, thank you! Please ask permission for photo use.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

illusive illumination

Today I went kayaking with some friends at Dyke Marsh, part of the George Washington Parkway, in Virginia. I was amazed by the abundance of wildlife I was able to see up close and personal and by the tranquility and peace (a true respite from the chaos of the DC metro area). Unfortunately, I wanted to go kayaking on one of the hottest days yet this summer--a high of 104 degrees! Not only was the excessive heat a threat, but there is such poor air quality in this area to begin with and today was really rotten. Ozone and fine particle warnings were issued, and  little did I know that the air quality was code red for today (sorry, girls!). Still, my super trooper friends and I enjoyed nature and relaxation. I was so proud I didn't get my camera wet, but after I got home and started looking at the pictures I took, I was really bummed. The lighting was so poor, I suppose due to the crummy air quality, that the pictures looked washed out, boring, and monotone. Determined to get some good pictures out of such a good day, I decided to have some fun with Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Adjusting contrast, color saturation, hues, mid-tones, sharpness, and all sorts of other tricks helped give the pictures light and life. I wasn't giving up and I wasn't about to let some dumb air quality ruin my fun. I won't say much more (especially since I'm posting so many pictures on this post!); I'll cut to the chase and let the pictures speak for themselves. The first few pictures of the ospreys nesting were untouched, and you can see what I mean about the poor quality and look of the photographs. Keep scrolling and you'll probably be able to tell when I started having fun. Smaller tweaks helped make the shots with my friends better, but still looking realistic. Enjoy!

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