Experimenting with PhotoShop

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been doing some trial and error with PhotoShop, as I am I just basically beginning to figure out what to do with it.  For years, I used Ulead Photoimpact to process the digital pictures I’ve taken, mainly to adjust brightness and contrast.  It came with a scanner I bought years ago, and just kept it, without updating it.  But when I updated my computer to use Windows 7, I needed to upgrade the photography software I was using, luckily, my friend, and computer guy, had an extra version of PhotoShop CS4 and loaded it onto my system.

So far, I’ve figured out how to adjust not just brightness and contrast, but also Tone, Color, sizes, and the many filters that PhotoShop has to offer, along with merging two or more shots.

In my last post, I posted the pictures I took of the big cats in Las Vegas at Sigfried and Roy’s Secret Garden, here’s what I have done with them by exploring Photohop.

You can click on the picture to get a larger view, then click on the back button to come back to the main page:

used Colored Pencil and Mosaic Tiles filters for this one:

this one is Glowing Edges:

I really like how this one came out…

Colored Pencil:

Colored Pencil with Mosaic Tiles:

Some other pictures I applied filters to:

these were in our fish tank at home:

I have also figured out how to use the color filters and changed (adjusted) a picture (not one of mine) of my niece in a London Phonebooth that she posed in on her class trip over winter break last month (she preferred the pink neon notebook one):

I decided to try and produce some Andy Warhol type quartets, after I applied the filters on PhotoShop, I enlisted PrintShop and the PrintScreen feature on my keyboard to put the four separate pics together, then went back to PhotoShop to adjust the Resolution and Size.

Top Left: the original

Top Right: Black and White

Bottom Left: Glowing Edges

Bottom Right: Colored Pencil

So, How You Doin???

ps: Not sure when/what my next post will be about.  But I have decided that to mark what would have been my brother’s 38th birthday in April, I’m going to post the 6 page letter I sent to the CEO of Honeywell International (David worked there for the last 3 years of his life) telling him everything that happened and asked why we never heard from or received any kind of letter (sympathy/condolences) or communication from the company.  I never received a response…


Cats on the Vine

I have had dogs in my life since I was born.  When I was 8 years old, our champion (dog show) labrador retriever, Ebony, gave birth to 8 puppies in our living room.  Over the years, I’ve had Shelties, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and currently have a Lhasa Apso, who I refer to as a P.I.T.A (Pain In The Ass), if you click on the “Lhasa Apso” you can read why…

When I was in the 6th grade, one of my neighbors called my mom and told her that she saw something follow me to school one morning, it was a black cat, I had actually seem him too…  Soon, my sister and I were leaving food on our doorstep for him, as we figured he was a stray cat without a home.  Low and behold, he welcomed our “generosity” and started to eat the food and hang around outside our house.  A few weeks later, all three of us kids, including my mom, convinced dad to allow us to bring the cat in, and on Friday, October 13, we “adopted” a black cat.  Being only 11, I wanted to name him “Blacky,” my sister thought that was stupid and suggested “Licorice.”

Licorice liked to climb up on my bookshelf and “blend in…”

We had Licorice, or “Licky” for about 6-7 years or so before we lost him to Leukemia.

Next came an adopted Russian Blue, mom named her Sammie.  While Licorice was my sister’s and my cat, Sammie was mom’s baby.  We lost Sammie the same way we lost Licorice years later.

We soon adopted a black and white tom cat and his cage mate, a black female cat.  A year later we added a Tabby kitten, and our house was then full with a 130 pound flat coated retriever and 3 cats.


Duke didn’t mind having to share his bed with a kitten, who mom named Peaches


Tom and Princess welcome her into the family as well…

A few years after we adopted Peaches we lost Tom, to illness (can’t remember which), and a few months later, mom wanted another kitten, so she adopted a Tortoiseshell kitten, and named her Isabella ( I call her Izzy)

  This was when we brought her home in February of 2011, she has since more than doubled in size…

So, with the situation as it is now, a P.I.T.A. of a dog, and his three feline sisters (above), I’m more of a cat person at this stage of my life.  I still love dogs, I just need one that acts like a dog, and pays me attention at times when he doesn’t just want to be fed or taken to the tree to pee…

Over the years, I’ve come to understand that cats, as “opinionated” as they can be, are a little more intelligent that some dogs…

I am also a fan of larger cats, like the ones I photographed at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, housed at Sigfried and Roy’s Secret Garden:


As I was walking around the “Garden,” taking pictures of the various cats and other exotic animals, I was getting annoyed by the kids who would yell at the animals, trying to wake them and provoke them to move.  When one of the lions got up and started to back up, I yelled, mostly at the kids and their oblivious parents, “Watch out, he’s gonna spray!”  They all scrambled, running away.  I just stood there, smiled, and got another picture…

In my next post I’ll put up what I’ve done with the above pictures while exploring PhotoShop…

How You Doin?

My name is Joel, and I am a “Mousejunkie”

For those of you who know me, you should be aware by now that I am a Disney fanatic.  My sister, brother, and I grew up watching reruns of the original Mickey Mouse Club,  took spring and summer trips to Disneyland throughout the 70’s and 80’s (and 90’s and 2000’s,) watched the 1970’s new generation of mouseketeers (not the one with Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake), and thanks to my aunt and uncle, got to go to Disney World in 1984.  Of course, I’ve been trying to go back ever since.  So, you can say I grew up “Disneyized.”


these are from the mid 70’s, probably ’75-77

see my previous post for a pic with my brother (he was a Disney fan as well, but not as much as I am…)

I’ve read books by former castmembers (this is how Disney refers to it’s employees), visit websites created by Disney “experts” who showcase photographs from their multiple trips to Disney parks, offer planning tips and advice on everything you need to know about visiting the parks yourself, and basically just keep you young at heart, which was one of Walt Disney’s goal in creating Disneyland.  I have a list of these sites at the bottom of this post.

As I’ve aged through the years (notice I didn’t say “grown up…) I’ve taken a more photographic interest every time I have visited Disneyland (only live 40 minutes away from it).  Actually I’ve been taking “Disney” pictures since our trip to Disney World when I was 13 and used a Kodak whatchamacallit…

Here are some pictures I took, using my Panasonic Lumix FZ100 on my last visit in April, 2011:


If you are still a Disney fan, young at heart, and would like to read up, view pictures, or just dream…here are a few of my favorite “Disney” sites:

You can also view countless videos taken of the parks on Youtube.com, along with all kinds of pictures and information on the hundreds of thousands of websites on the web.

 Disneyland Resort, California, 2 theme parks, 3 hotels, about 500 acres

  Walt Disney World, Florida, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 30+ hotels, over 27,000 acres, twice the size of of Manhattan…

I’m looking forward to bringing my camera and shooting tons of pictures at Disney World, if and when I can ever afford to go…any sponsors???

So, How You Doin?

Starting the New Year with Pneumonia…

I hope everyone had a good New Year…  I started mine on antibiotics, as I was diagnosed with a touch of pneumonia at the bottom of my left lung.  The last time I had pneumonia was in January of 1971, when I was 2 1/2 weeks old.  Though back then, I had it in both lungs and the doctors at UCLA told my parents I had a 50/50 chance of surviving. This time is not as serious…  After a week on the antibiotics didn’t clear up my lung, my doctor then put me on a Medrol packet, a steroid, that seems to be working, though I’ve only been taking it for a couple of days, got 4 more to go.

Two years ago, in November of 2009, my brother, who was living in New Jersey at the time, was diagnosed with double pneumonia and possibly the swine flu.  Two days after my parents and I arrived at his hospital bed, we watched as the doctors performed CPR to no avail, and suddenly he was gone.

What has struck me the last week is that with having pneumonia in only one lung, and my doctor, using only a stephoscope, could hear that I needed a chest x-ray to confirm her hunch that I had pneumonia, but the Morristown, New Jersey Urgent Care center and another doctor who saw my brother 2 days before he was taken to the ER, couldn’t figure out that he was sick, and sent him home.  Though we’re not sure if that actually happened as described to us by my former, estranged, sister-in-law, as my brother couldn’t communicate by the time we arrived, and my “sister-in-law” couldn’t provide us with a name or number for either doctor that saw my brother earlier in the week.  Then again, how could one believe anything from someone who ended up holding his body for ransom in an attempt to extort his life insurance policy from my father.

Thanks for letting me vent; I’ll have a cheerier post this weekend…

Any comments are welcome…(and you don’t have to sign up to leave them!)

one of the many trips we took to Disneyland over the years:

So, How You Doin???

How You Doin? now has its own website!!!

Happy New Years!!!

I decided that with the new year, I wanted to update my blog (maybe get some more readers/followers too) and have obtained my own website through wordpress.com.

I’ll have a new post in a day or two, as soon as I figure out the details in doing so…

So, How You Doin???