Saturday, July 7, 2012

Seems Like a Never-ending Process

A couple of weeks ago, we took some family photos into a scanning service. We (meaning mostly mom and dad), have some really old family photos we want to protect. Obviously having the original is best, but if we ever lost the originals - that would be devastating. They're irreplaceable. Now, we have digital copies of the photos: a disk, a set on mom's computer, a set on my laptop, and I'll make a backup on my external hard drive. Add to these the photos that I scanned, mostly slides and some poloroids, there are 1239 photos total.

Twelve hundred thirty-nine photographs to rename (by date so I can sort)
Twelve hundred thirty-nine photographs to label with keywords (people, places, etc.)
Twelve hundred thirty-nine photographs to crop and straighten

If that sounds like a lot of work, you're underestimating how much work. Many (most) of the photos don't have a date written on them, which means I either have to ask mom, or guess, or ask her to guess, or ask dad to guess. But when I'm done renaming, I think it will make the catalog much cleaner. Many of the photos have people in them I don't recognize, or places I don't recognize, so I won't worry about those keywords. But I want to make sure I have accurate family labels.

Some of the photos I'll probably work on doing some processing in Lightroom 4: adjustments to color, contrast, etc. I'm considering converting all the b&w images to b&w in LR4, which will make them look more consistent.

In the end, I think this will be a great family treasure, and worth all the work.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


Yes, that title is a yelling title - not at anyone, just vocalizing, loudly, my frustration.

It seems so easy: get in the pool, swim to the other end, swim back. And it is easy. I see little kids do it all the time. Nearly every morning, about the time dad and I are finishing up, there's a swim team starting practice. I watch them and think, "Why can't I swim like that?" The kids range in age from probably 8 or 9 to high school, and they all look very natural in the water. I want to feel comfortable in the water.

When I started swimming, several months ago, just putting my face in the water created a feeling of ... panic. So I've definitely made progress. But the last few days of swimming have been so uncomfortable. It's almost a feeling of claustrophobia when I'm face down, which I know is just a psychological problem. So this morning I decided to swim with a snorkel, the whole time. I swam 18 laps, a half mile, all doing the front crawl. The first few laps were tense, but then I could feel myself relax. My head relaxed and floated lower in the water (since I wasn't holding it up), my breathing rhythm relaxed, my stroke slowed. The last 10 or 12 laps were great. I learned something in the process. I was able to swim 18 laps non-stop. When I swim without the snorkel, swimming the crawl, 2 laps is the most I've done non-stop. I think this means that my problem is not one of breath, instead it's a psychological problem.

I've decided that for a while I'm going to continue swimming with the snorkel. I can work on my streamlining form, work on timing my breathing with my stroke, and get used to being in the water.