Another Immersive Activity

This afternoon I realized that there is another activity on which I spend a great deal of time.  If I am unable to sleep, I will come downstairs and work on images for the blog.

When the blog was started, I had two concerns. The first was finding suitable header images. The second was ensuring I could meet a consistent posting schedule. To verify I could do it, I created a challenge. I had to make one post each day for a week.

I passed the challenge. Weeks later, I discovered that the week’s worth of posts were derived from drafts created in the weeks prior to the challenge week. And some of those drafts were based on notes and jottings accumulated over the preceding months. The one week’s work was heavily dependent on material already in preparation.

According to the TBI check list, an increased emphasis on writing and note taking is one aspect of TBI. Writing is both soothing and calming. In addition, it promotes reflection, self-observation, and understanding. So it offers a number of positive benefits and assists rehabilitation. Dr H tells me that when I am writing, I am in the process of “reprogramming” my mental circuits.

There is another activity I regularly perform. This too is immersive, self contained, highly repetitive, rewarding of effort, and requires few decisions. This activity involves the creation of blog images.

My first concern in regard to the blog was “Will I have enough images?” A particular worry was finding images suitable for the header which uses an unorthodox ultra wide letterbox format. The “standard” photographic proportion is 8″ x 10″ which is a 1 to 1.2 format. Still image film (135mm) utilizes a 1 to 1.5 format (considered daring and revolutionary at the time of introduction). Wide screen cinema format is close to 1 to 2 and the blog header format is almost 1 to 4.

Worried that I would have few images that fit these novel proportions, I spent considerable time searching my image library. Most of my “best” images were composed to fit a standard 8″ x 10″ format; few of them worked in the header format. Some images that had previously been tagged as discards were found to have potential. They could be cropped to fit the header format.

Last year, when I worked with Photoshop, I quickly become frustrated. I had an established set of “recipes” designed to generate the desired “look” but I now found myself unable to remember the steps in the work flow, the correct sequence of steps, or which images had been processed through which steps. My solution to this problem was to write everything down: the file name, the colour space, the mode, the image dimensions, the resolution, the processing steps, and the sequence in which they were applied, since this impacts the final image.

The result was an horrendous boondoggle and a record keeping nightmare. There were paragraphs of notes for each image, and I would frequently make entry and transcription errors. Undetected, these errors were then propagated over a number of images. When finally discovered, all the affected images had to be reverted to the original state and the process restarted. It was frustrating in the extreme. I soon gave up the attempt.

When attempting to create header images, I simply started to “dabble.” I did not seek to achieve any target “look.” My sole concern was identifying images suitable for the odd constraints of the blog header proportions. I found first one, then another, then a series of workable images.

to be continued . . .