Monday, February 28, 2011

Goldfinch Alighting

This picture was taken from our dining room window of the thistle feeder.

I really like the way that the light is coming through the wings as he is flying to the thistle bag.


Using Blogger

 The following instructions are for members of the Tumbleweed Photo Group. This will be the discussion item at the meeting on February 28, 2011.  Note we will be using the Blogger tools only for this discussion.  Another program (LiveWriter 2011) is available but the posting of the blog is just slightly different.

 To start, first go to or open the TPG blog as shown above. ( You will see the “Sign In” on the dark blue bar all the way to the right. Click on the “Sign In”.

Screen

This where we sign in or you go to this screen to make your own blogs. Put the official sign-in in the Email box. ( Next, put in the password. That was sent to everyone under separate email. I do monitor the blog so if unidentified posts start appearing, then I will change the PW. Once you have both entries, click on the [Sign in] button.

Blog Dashboard

The dashboard is where you find lots of interesting things, like how to really mess up a blog, etc. (NO, just kidding. There is nothing that cannot be fixed if you hit the wrong item. I bought protection insurance from the Mafia Insurance Company through their agent, Shorty Slabmaker. He says he will take care of any problems.)

The key item here is the blue tab...New Post. Select it.

Future Reference: After you have finished your blog entry and SAVED then uploaded it, you may find an error caused by dumb fingers. Those are the ones that don't follow the brain and type whatever they want. You can go into the Edit function where you will see your post title. Select edit on the same line as your post and make you changes....don't forget to resave the post. Then post the corrected entry to the site.

The Blog Word Processor

This is the screen that causes most people to quit posting in blogs. The blog's word processor is one of those dumb programs that doesn't always do what you tell it to do. Screaming at the computer won't help, you must type in the words. Really the word part of the processor is not difficult. You will notice the “standard” icons for spell check, bold, italic, colors, etc. But we are what??? A Photography Group??? So we will want to add pictures. This is no small feat (or feet??). After the last line of typing, hit the [ENTER] key a couple of times so the photo will not slide up into your typing.

Add Pictures Screen

Click on the “Picture” icon in the word processor and you will get the “add images” screen above. Don't panic.......yet. There is a [Choose Files] button at the top. Click on that (with the mouse, of course) and you will get the Picture directory (or My Pictures). Find the image you want to put on the blog, select it and it will “open” on the Add Images page (small photo). To use this picture, simply select “UPLOAD” on the left side of the screen. Little things start whirring around the screen....ooops, that was a fly. Once it is uploaded you will see it on the word processor screen.

Mastering the blog entries and putting pictures on the blog takes practice and repetition is the best teacher.

  Word Processor with Picture Entered

Once you select the upload, the screen will return you to the word processor. It simply places the picture in the blog with the Medium size selected.

Changing Size and Location of the Picture

Click on the picture with the mouse once and it will “highlight” and give you the picture menu at the bottom of the picture. Select any changes you want. Note, if you want to move the picture further down the page, put the cursor at the bottom of the display and hit [ENTER] key several times. You can then drag the picture further down the blog page.

You can add more typing under the photo by moving the cursor below the picture. Remember to SAVE when you are done and click on the [PREVIEW] button at the bottom of the word processor. This will open a page and show you what the blog entry will look like once published. Close the preview screen, make any changes you want (but remember to resave after every change) and then PUBLISH. You can then go on the Internet and see the blog entry.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Windows 7 Question of the Week

The following is a problem from Judy about the picture properties.  In Vista she could open a photograph and get all the properties down the right side of the display.  She thought this was also possible in Windows 7 but couldn't find it.

HA!!!  Tough!!!  You want me to expose my expertise about the wonderful world of computers???  I am the one that had to beg Santa for a hard drive because my old dependable died.  And he came through except the hard drive said for Mac’s only.  I know he hates me but I did finally get what I needed by holding one of the elves hostage.

Back to the subject. (Did I tell you that I have good short-term memory?)  Yes, you can have the properties displayed in Windows 7 as you had previously in Vista.

First way is to select the picture you want using Windows Explorer.  In this case (as shown in the following example) the properties are listed below the photograph at the bottom of your display.

This is simply selecting the photograph you want to view.  Some of the properties may be hidden but if you “mouse-over” the little blue down pointer that my arrow is pointing at, you will get a double-arrow (up-down).  Click the double-arrow and drag the properties up.

The next two methods are using software.  One is available with Windows 7 and is similar to Picasa in it’s use.  This is the Windows Live Photo Gallery and if it is not listed in your “All Programs” display, you can download it at Windows Live! ( or go to and click on “Downloads”.)

Per the above sample you can see the properties (Information) for the photo in the right column which is most likely what Judy had seen previously.  Again most of the properties may be hidden but using the mouse you can find the double-arrow and drag the Information window up the screen.

Finally there is Picasa3.  This is a good viewing program yet others maintain that it is a good editing program.  My only warning is to remember it only saves in JPG format which compresses the file losing data each time it is saved.  The data is the clarity of the photo so in order to maintain a crisp, clear reprint you will have to go smaller and smaller.  Pin head photography ain’t popular yet.

You can see the properties listed on the right side of the display once you have highlighted a file.  (Note the blue outline of the photo to show it is selected.)

So there you have it.  Mister Computer Guru has come through again.  I know I’m good!  Just remember that Windows 7 is still new to me so it may take a couple days to get an answer to tough questions, such as, how do I turn off my computer?  or why doesn’t the monitor work when I have it plugged into the wall power (but no cable to the computer)?  The Great Guru can answer all……except for Macintosh.  (Sorry)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Schedule Information for Meetings and Shows

There will NOT be a meeting on Monday, February 21, 2011 in observance of Presidents Day.  Our next scheduled meeting will be on Monday, February 28th.

The Double Adobe Quilt Club will be having an Arts & Crafts show on Saturday, March 5th.  We have had some discussion on the show but the final decision to attend or not will depend on the weather as we will setup outside. The show is located in Double Adobe in the old elementary school.  Contact Ray or Jean if you are interested.

The Tumbleweed Photo Group is having a show on March 19, 2011.  The show hours will be from 8:00am to 3:00pm.  This show will be located in Sunsites, AZ and we would appreciate as many entries from our members as possible. 

The Elfrida Art Center, Inc. is having their 6th Annual May Judged Show & Sale on Saturday, May 7th.  There will be vendor’s putting booths between the Art Center and Noel’s Market.  Special dining at the Longhorn Steakhouse will be from 5pm to 8pm followed by a dance.  Any members wishing to enter, please email me for the submission forms and rules for entry.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Editing In My Picasa Dark Room

I had a great time at our photo group on Monday. Yesterday I spent some time in my dark room, trying some of the things we did in group.  So here are some of my before and after photographs.  Please give me your feedback and let me know which ones I should print to sell.
124-2448_IMG 391x522124-2448b_IMG 391x522
Taken at the UT. AZ. border.
126-2603_IMG 695x522126-2603aa_IMG 445x522
Lake Arrowhead.
126-2608_IMG 391x522126-2608zz_IMG 416x522
126-2609_IMG 391x522126-2609zz_IMG 417x522
126-2610_IMG 391x522126-2610zz_IMG 417x522
126-2613_IMG 391x522126-2613zz_IMG 349x522
DO YOU SEE THE S ?  The falls were all take on the road from Arrowhead to San Fran. It was rainy and waterfalls were everywhere along the highway.
126-2652_IMG 391x522126-2652zz_IMG 566x522
126-2674_IMG 391x522126-2674zz_IMG 391x522
The edited one is what I saw when I took the photograph.
126-2676_IMG 695x522126-2676zz_IMG 559x449
126-2677_IMG 391x522126-2677xx_IMG 419x522
This one is my favorite! The flowers were captured near San Francisco. 
127-2770_IMG 695x522127-2770b_IMG 652x522
127-2771_IMG 391x522127-2771b_IMG 391x522
127-2776_IMG 695x522127-2776b_IMG 768x341127-2776c_IMG 464x522
127-2777_IMG 391x522127-2777b_IMG 418x522
The ocean photographs were taken at Pebble Beach in CA. This rock was bigger then my fist and was free to move but would not come out of the larger rock out cropping.

127-2783_IMG 695x522127-2783b_IMG 371x297127-2783c_IMG 768x481
127-2796_IMG 391x522127-2796b_IMG 476x522
This was also taken on the CA. coast.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

White Water Draw -- The Sandhill Crane’s Flight Practice Landing/Takeoff Area

The Tumbleweed Photo Group’s last shoot was at the White Water Draw located near McNeal and Elfrida, AZ.  Two of the best times to take pictures of the cranes is at sunrise when the birds take to the skies with noisy wings flapping.  I am not referring to a few cranes but thousands of cranes.  They go to the local farmer’s fields that have been harvested and make a meal of the remaining grains.  We chose the second best time for our shoot…..sunset.  It is second best because the birds usually return to White Water Draw a group at a time rather than all at once.


The day was cool with a cloud cover and at times we had wind gusts that I had to hold my tripod so my camera wouldn’t take off on me.  And as the daylight started to fade, the temperatures started to dive.  I took several pictures but not many really stood-out as classic shots.The above picture shows a group approaching and while they look to be just a large group making their attack run, they are really organized.

Gear Down, Final Approach (IMG6128.png)

Gear down and on final approach.  At least there aren’t any “crash and burn” accidents amongst the crowd. 

White Water (IMG6132.png)

As the wife and I were leaving, the clouds had started to dissipate and the sun came through for only a few minutes.  I took a picture of an old abandoned farm house with it’s leaning tower appearance.  It will take only a couple more years before the desert reclaims the land completely.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Welcome To The Tumbleweed Photo Group

The Tumbleweed Photo Group is located in SE Arizona and was formed by local amateur photographers to display their work and assist other interested potential members.  There are no dues nor elected officers as we are a “group” and not a club. It is our goal to bring people of all ages located in local area together for enhancing digital photography skills and having fun through monthly scheduled photo shoots.  We also participate in local Arts & Crafts Shows and will occasionally have a showing of our photographs for the public to see and purchase.  Dates/Times/Locations of our shows will be placed in this blog.

We meet weekly at the public library in Elfrida, AZ as the Elfrida Photo Group sponsored by Sembrando Salud. We welcome all visitors and please bring your camera.  Most members use “point and shoot” cameras while a few have SLR’s so if you have questions, usually someone in the group can answer them.

Please signup as a follower of this site to get updates as we update our schedules and display selected pictures in the blog.







These are just a small example of where we live.  There are local ghost towns (Gleeson), historic towns (Tombstone & Bisbee), and several variety of birds, animals and reptiles.

You could say there is a picture waiting to be captured around every corner.