Bon Voyage

a portrait of a woman with two men walking behind on a cloudy spring day

a picture of a woman smelling the flowers on a bush in early MayToday Tom and I were fortunate to receive an early morning visit from my parents, here on a long layover at the MSP airport. With my photography class still fresh, I’ve been struck by the beauty of daylight upon others’ faces of late and have wanted to take just about everyone’s picture. Thus far I’ve avoided approaching strangers, so having Mom and Papá visit was a great opportunity to get in a little more practice.

My mom was lovely today as you can see above and below. The picture at left is one I took last May, before I had any understanding of white balance. I include this one because it gives me hope that the buds (below) will very soon be sprouting into bloom. Papá, who was cold and a little less cooperative than Mom, only appears in the background in the picture above along with his walking partner Tom. Despite the cold, I was thankful for this morning’s cloudy skies–it was perfect light for taking pictures. Tom and I were glad to be able to enjoy the morning away from a desk and wish my parents off to the south of France while living vicariously through the plans (or lack thereof) for their travels. They’ll be renting a cottage and generally enjoying themselves–eating and exploring the villages within short driving distance from their living quarters–not to mention practicing their French. Bon Voyage, papa et maman!

a portrait of a woman in front of a flower bush in spring


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4 comments on “Bon Voyage”

  1. Marcela 14 April, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Great photos! I’m glad you are into portraiture. Our mum is lovely!

  2. U. Don 15 April, 2011 at 6:03 pm


    You nailed the white balance. Now I will have to show you RAW files, where you can set the white balance after taking the picture. But Aperture required. Miss you both!

  3. Martha 16 April, 2011 at 6:44 am

    I am shooting RAW at this point and feel most comfortable with Aperture priority, but I didn’t usually in the past (auto mode on my camera always records jpegs). I have Aperture 3 and PS5 to work with. I didn’t do any editing of the above images, though.

  4. U. Don 16 April, 2011 at 4:49 pm


    Then you can see that you can set the WB after the fact without any limitations. Helps when you initially got it wrong. You cannot do that with a JPEG file.

    See( for some good videos on Aperture. He has three available now. I don’t see that you need PS5 for much photographic adjustment, but it does some special things for assembling projects etc.

    You will find that with very slight editing, often an S curve in curves, you can improve almost any picture. Thomas Boyd shows how to do that.

    The Nik plug-ins are also very powerful. At some point you will want a good Epson printer. Mine is the Photo R1900.

    Take a look at to learn more about flash. David Hobby has a set of lessons called Flash101 or something like that. Great stuff!

    U. Don