Ongoing conundrums

Should I or shouldn't I? The question hung there, like a pale shadow in the mist on a cold morning. Not quite vivid enough to announce it's intention, yet sufficient to raise the specter of it's existence.
At this particular stage of development, I didn't really want to engage in further projects which yielded nothing or little of value. To compound the situation, new outgoings have now limited my traveling expenses. That means fewer journeys and a rethink on how I will do them.

Dots on the map may be out

Winging it is in jeopardy, it's just too expensive. Yet I still want some room to do that. Choosing a destination will now mean a lot more research prior to the trip. Plus the usual planning in advance to get decent ticket prices. A good example was my trip to Florence. last year. I spent 2 months money in 4 weeks. Jerusalem was even more expensive ($1200 for 2 days/3 nights). I certainly do not want to be limited to just one journey per year.

Different types of trips
I've already decided to go on some shorter trips of about a week to some countries. One week could be a good amount of time if I know where to head for and what to do once there. Some sort of travel hub would be needed. All that is on the cards, now I just need to find somewhere which inspires me and is in no way a tourist trap. Then there is how I present it all.

Spending more time getting creative

Often photographs are just that. Point and shoot, fix it up and publish the thing. I've done that and have reached a place where I want something more. I think most of my blog posts are boring so have decided to consider more what is written and how my images are presented.

It's frustrating in a way. For so many decades I wrote nothing and now with blogs, wordage has come to the fore. Not the typical SEO garbage, I could care less about that. Let's face it—I am a bit lazy, so to spend extra time and effort on typing out a post which has something to say is a bit of a monster. There are several posts drafted and waiting, but the ones after that will see more creativity.

Photographs are another matter (frustration is a kind word). Making sure stuff is not distracting or a visual balance achieved is not easy. Especially when you have all kinds of people wandering about and limited viewpoints. What to do?

My drawing skills have waned dramatically since high school and getting back into it is like climbing the Eiger. Using Photoshop to do some of that helps a lot, because I'm familiar with the program and don't have to relearn from scratch. Whilst in Jerusalem, I ended up taking a lot of people photos, fair enough, that's what the post was about. However, the one gate I photographed ended up being totally redone as a charcoal drawing type of image. Everything modern was removed to get it to the point where it looked ancient.

Practice does not make perfect
There is no such a thing as a perfect photograph. All we can do is our best and trust it works out okay. When shooting the Zion Gate I took over 30 photos. Only one was used. Pamplona's walls I did 1000 plus shots and have used less than 20, even then they could have been different. How the light works is critical and on locations like fortified cities, it can be a real pain. One place I had to wait over 30 minutes for people to stop walking by. When it was clear, the light had changed and I was stuck with a lesser quality image. I even did AM and PM shots, some points just had to be photographed in the afternoon because of the deep shadows cast in the morning and vice versa—then there was midday (different again).

Suppose I don't always have just a plain old photo, but present it differently.
It took nearly two hours to complete. Several different filters and a lot of layers to achieve what I wanted. There were 2 camels at first. I removed one but the remaining beast was walking. Cut it out and moved it to where it is now. Then I had to take off a leg, copy another one and add the rein to have a standing animal. Plus a bunch of other stuff.
A grab of somewhere in Afghanistan as an exercise

A photo from Pamplona's Fort San Bartolemé provided the basis here.
The original, taken in July 2016

400 years or so ago, it might have looked something like this. A wheel from a cannon is leaning against the wall with the iron "tyre" going rusty. It is quite feasible that instead of a dirt path, there may well have been cobblestones here.

With a lot of time (the lower image took over 2 hours to complete) and with Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, you could do something like this. Photoshop is the most used and has lots of filters available to download for free.

Then there's the blog

Spreading some things out is also taking place. Already I have separated any IT and Treks/trails into their own categories. Also less posts, maybe one per month or so.

Finally taking on some social media (oh yuk), may also be on the horizon. Whatever I do, it must not detract from the main emphasis of my travels, meeting people and enjoying myself.

Now the crunch

My eyes may be failing. They have become misty after the NHS cataract operations and I now have trouble seeing things. This includes reading, using computers and seeing departure boards in terminals. If they get worse, then I will not be able to travel or maintain a website. In other words all the above depends on how my eyes go. The doc wants to punch a hole in them with a laser! No way, a little sight is better than none—blog or no.
Apr 12, 2017

latest comment at top
Agness of eTramping
I love reading your blog posts, Ted! Keep up the great work!
Apr 28, 2017 at 1054
I rarely print mine out. While many are taken, I find I only use a few for an article and bin the rest (unless I think I can use one later).

Nice to hear from you again Carrie.
Apr 18, 2017 at 2001
Carrie Rubin
You're very patient to spend that time on your photographs, but they look great. I find I take a lot of photos with my phone but rarely do I print any out or put them in photo albums anymore. If I want to put a collection together, I'll just use Shutterfly. Times have definitely changed.

Sorry to hear about your eyes. That's a shame.

Thank you for visiting my site. Much appreciated!
Apr 18, 2017 at 1720

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