Archive for the ‘Observations of Life’ Category

Fitting into a Smaller Space

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012


Once again I would like to thank everyone who has either called or written asking about my mother’s recovery following her stroke. I am happy to say that she is making a remarkable recovery, all things considered. She was discharged from hospital last week, thanks to the social worker at the hospital who forced her into a ‘rushed” move into her new home The Rockcliffe Retirement Residence.  So much for caring about the patient’s well being, thank God the staff at the Rockcliffe were able to make arrangements and accept my mother immediately. Over the past month I have learned a lot about our health care system and the people who work in it. There are some people who actually do care about the patients and then there are others for who it is only a job, guess it is no different than any other profession. The problem is compounded with all of budget constraints and cut backs imposed on them.

This past weekend, we moved some of my mother’s furniture into her new home. All that would fit into a smaller space. She is adjusting to her new surroundings, home and condition. I am sure that this is stressful for her, however she appears to be adjusting to her new life. Anyone up for a game of bridge or giant crossword?


Wacom Tablet or Mouse?

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Maybe I can paint?

Yesterday on Facebook  a friend of mine asked the question “How many friends use a Wacom Tablet for Post Photo work?  What do you think of it and does the Wacom make Post Photo work easier to do than a mouse?”

Some of the answers were:

“Absolutely use a tablet! You’ll wonder how you ever used a mouse before.”

“I have one, but I ended up with my mouse. I have spent so much time with a mouse, I just couldn’t make the transition.”

“I have been using one for years. Love it. Can’t work without it!”

“I have one but I am finding it very very hard to not use the mouse, I have been using it for so long.”

My answer was “A Mouse! I can’t draw a straight line with a pen and my handwriting looks like chicken chicken scratch! However I really good using a mouse.” Now while I don’t use a tablet, I know many people who do use them and they swear by it. If I were to use a tablet, I would probably just swear at that it.

That got me thinking about my attempts at drawing and painting with paper, pens, pencils, paints etc. My experience with that medium has been pretty much a complete disaster, going all the way back to elementary school. I have always been able to see in my mind what I wanted to create, but my eye-hand coordination just wouldn’t co-operate.  I have always wanted to be able to paint and draw, and you know what now with my mouse and Photoshop, I can!


So what do you use for Post Photo work : Wacom Tablet or Mouse?



Here are some of the comments from my Facebook friends.

Steph K: “ Yeah, buy one :-)”

Andrew K: “ Wacom tablet by far! After using a tablet a mouse feels like you are using a brick!”

Rob S: “ You don’t have to give up the mouse though. Tablet on the left, mouse on the right, keyboard in the middle. :)”

Rich G: “ I am right handed so I use tablet on right but honestly after a few weeks a mouse will feel like you are cheating poorly on your hand! You will regret grabbing the mouse.. I have an original Intuos 9×12 purchased in 2002 or so…I hardly use it now due to the fact I have little real estate for it at my new house. I think it’s time for a 5 Medium, not only that but my arm gets tired from having to move so much on the 9×12. Got to check and see if the older pads can be mapped smaller, large would be good for dual monitors with mapping 50% of the pad to each screen.”

Andrew K: “ Just ordered the Intous5 Medium. Have always used the Medium size. Tried out the Small but felt too restrictive.”

Steph K: “I have the small Intuos5 and LOVE it!! I had a Intuos4 Medium previously. BTW LOVE LOVE LOVE the hand gestures that you can set up…….. very cool.”

David L: “I just started using a Wacom bamboo capture pen/touch and I love it. My workflow has been sped up and I find myself switching to touch and have gotten rid of my mouse all together. Getting my tablet was the best thing I did. I will eventually upgrade to the intuos as I didn’t have the money which is why I got the capture. The capture is great but you don’t have as many options as you do with the upper end Wacom’s. Having a few more preset button would be nice.”

Roger W: “Using an Intuous 4 wireless – great!”

Stan K:  “Tablet -it’s faster and more precise- for Photoshop manipulations and heavy edits. -Mouse-for adjustments in Lightroom .”

Gilles V: “I love my Cintiq 12″, great for detail work.”

David P: “ I use both: the tablet (Intuous2, 6×8) for anything where I’m using a brush (e.g. masking, dodging/burning, etc.); for pretty much everything else I use the mouse.”

Barry F: “I tried to comment on the blog but got blocked. I’m in the tried to but can’t draw a straight line camp. So I have one but use the mouse. Not as well as you but I’m working on it.”

Garry Black:  “Barry all the comments on the blog have to be moderated, or else there is a ton of SPAM comments. So when you post a comment, it won’t show up for a little while.If you are using a mouse the size/shape is important, I spent ages trying many different styles before settling on a Logitech MX700, which has now been discontinued.”

Sheila R: “I love the tracPad, have barely touched a mouse since it came out. I use Intuos4wireless when editing.”

Tom B: “ I’m the same with the mouse. I’m just used to it.”

Barry T: “I just adjust my hand to fit – I did find it’s like driving (years ago) my race car, you have to look where you want to go not where you are.”


Carol N: “ I could not live without my Wacom! For detail-editing work, and for building photo-composites. As I can spend hours doing work of that perfectionist nature, I cannot imagine using a mouse… when I do my hand takes a beating! Some folks get a tablet that is too big… I have a huge one in one location and a smaller one in another… the big one is great for motions like drawing. For photo-retouching the small one is just fine… somewhat mores scrolling, that`s all.”

Barry T: “ Carol what is smaller in inches?”

Carol N: “ my smaller tablet = working area 6.5 x 8.8.25 inches. Large one is twice as big (at least 14 W), good for larger arm movements.”



Bright ideas

Friday, March 9th, 2012
Bright Ideas

Bright Ideas


Recently a friend suggested that I start writing some of my own favourite sayings. So here are a few of my quotes!

When critiquing workshop participants photos “Why did you take that picture?”

“You can ask a dozen photographers their opinions about camera equipment and you will get a 1000 different answers.”

“Q: Are you using Mac or PC?   A: It doesn’t matter, you will get the same results!” (You can interchange Nikon and Canon here too)

“I just have one more shot to take” or “Just one more shot”

“Of all of the 10,000’s of times that my photos have been published over the years, the only time that I have been asked which camera I used to take a picture was from a camera manufacturer who wanted to buy that shot.”


Do you have any quotes that you’d like to add?

Thank You!

Friday, March 9th, 2012
Daisy at Sunrise

Start of a New Day!


I am deeply touched by the outpouring of support and well wishes that we have received in support of my mother, since having her stroke several weeks ago. She is recovering and is doing remarkable well right now, she has regained probably 90 – 95% of her abilities pre-stroke.  She had no stereotypical post-stroke symptoms such as paralysis or loss of any abilities. However during a CT scan it was discovered that she has had several micro strokes before this latest and larger stroke.  She is still in recovery at the Civic hospital and will be there until we can find a retirement residence for her. Valerie and I and my sister have been spending a lot of time researching all about retirement homes and visiting several of them.  With the help and advice of several of our friends we have become experts on these retirement residences in a very short time. We are hopeful that she will be heading to her new home in the near future!

Thank you to everyone for all of your help, concern and well wishes during the past couple of weeks. It has meant the world to us!





In The Blink Of An Eye

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Statue on Roof Top of the Louvre Museum


Some things in life seem to take forever; like graduating from school, finding your soul-mate, working year after year so that you can finally retire. While other things in life can happen as fast as the blink of an eye. As photographers most of the images that we create are taken at just about the same as the speed of a blink of an eye. In fact, I remember when I was young I would go around creating an imaginary viewfinder with my fingers in a square shape in front of my eye. Then I would blink and simultaneously make a clicking sound as I took a real but intangible picture in my mind. I don’t do that anymore – honest! Well except for the intangible picture part, everything I shoot now is digital.

A week and a half ago my mother had a stroke, she survived it and is now recoverying. However in that blink of an eye when the stroke hit, her life changed forever. It’s difficult for me to believe that a woman who had been so extremely independent  for 80+ years, will now have to spend the rest of her life being watched and taken care of. Up until the stroke, she had been living alone, in the same house that she and my father had shared. He pasted away eleven years ago. In recent years my sister and I had been trying to get her to downsize and move into a smaller house, condo, apartment or retirement residence. Mom didn’t want to move and often said that “the only way I am going to leave this house is feet first”.  Well as the paramedics transported her to the hospital she did leave feet first.

From the overwhelming number of emails, messages and calls I have received, I am obviously not alone in this. So many families are affected by strokes and countless other medical issues. A good friend of mine always signs off her messages with “Carpe Diem”.  Since so many things in life happen as fast as the blink of an eye, and they are not always good things. I think that is a good philosophy for life! And keep on CLICKING!