Chilly Flock

A chill in the air decreases the spacing between the birds on the wire. Nearly a month ago, when the weather was warmer, fewer birds were more widely spaced.

Am I the only one reminded of aphids?

Power poles on Cornell Road

On my bike ride today, the power poles called to me, “Take my picture.” With the clear blue sky for a background, how could I say no?

230 kV

Yesterday during lunch, I stopped at the BPA Keeler Substation to take some pictures of the transmission line tower on its front lawn. I used my cell phone’s camera because that’s all I had with me. Surprise — Transmission towers are huge! I couldn’t get enough of the tower in view.

I returned today with my Canon S100 point and shoot with its 24mm (equivalent) lens. Much better! :-)

When the sky is cloudless, I’ll try this again.


I wasn’t looking for another shot of wires and pole … honest. I took a detour on the way home to shoot a stand of trees on the far side of a field. It looked good, but only in my mind. The scene’s dynamic range was too great and I didn’t have a tripod with me to make a good HDR shot. So I looked up. This is what I saw. Sort of… ;-)

One of my goals this year is to get better at editing photos and maybe take you along for the ride. When I took this picture, I had a specific goal in mind: I wanted the posts to be angled and the wires to be parallel.

My first shot sort of got there but I couldn’t get the composition I wanted. The second shot had a lot of potential, but wow, I sure didn’t point the camera straight up. I used GIMP to perform a perspective transform and get the wires on the right side parallel and maintain (correct?) the vertical orientation of the cross beam. Although I normally crop in Picasa, GIMP provides “rule of thirds” guidelines for selections that I used to position the cross beam and the top ends of the poles.

I could have left it there, but the variations in the sky and the posts distracted from the picture’s graphical power. So, I brought it back to Picasa, adjusted levels, posterized, and “duo-toned.” I like the final result a lot better.

I wasn’t happy with the first sky color, so I changed it. The purple tone was a best guess/stab using Picasa’s duotone feature trying to click the appropriate spot in color space. It’s not easy to do. This final sky color was more mechanized. I had a picture analyzer find the original photo’s dominant colors, chose the one I thought represented the bulk of the sky, and use GIMP to do a color selection then fill using the exact color.

Next time, I want get enough length in the wires for a 16:9 format. I might have to lie on the ground to simplify the editing. That, or use a tripod. Hmm…


No, it’s not Haystack Rock, or trees, or a sunrise.

It’s a power pole.

And I like it.1As I was driving with Ashley, I looked through the sunroof and said I wanted to come back and take a picture of this pole, though I’d need to stand in the middle of the street to get the perspective I wanted. Ashley reached up and opened the sunroof. Ah! Problem solved. Grabbing my camera, I took a couple of quick shots while we waited for a green light.