Friday Morning

The moon shines brightly even as sunlight begins to overtake the night sky

The moon shines brightly even as sunlight begins to overtake the night sky

It’s Friday morning and incredibly early.  Early that is for my recent routine, which has excluded morning biking and rowing ever since injuring my back.  In truth, my back has recovered and it’s time to get back on the bike and into the boat, I just haven’t managed to get out of bed early enough.

But today is Friday.  And Friday is special.  On Friday I get out of bed at 5:15AM whether I feel like it or not.  I do this for two reasons.  The first is because I have yet to regret it.  In fact, each and every Friday that I crawl out of bed at 5:15AM, by 6:30, I’m glad I did.

Friday morning yoga class starts at 6:30AM.  We are a small little family of 4, sometimes 5, that reunites each Friday morning (when we’re all in town) to spend an hour breathing, stretching, strengthening together.

The second reason I get up at 5:15AM for my Friday morning yoga class is that it’s my class.  I mean, I feel personally committed to this class.  It’s not something that exists whether I show up or not; it’s something that exists because I show up.

This is partially factual.  The instructor has told us he needs 3 regular students for it to be worth it to him to get up at whatever time he has to get up to drive down from Lookout Mountain in time to beat us all there.  And, since he travels a lot, he counts on us to show when he has a sub because it’s hard for him to find a substitute.

And so, feeling both that I know I will enjoy the class once I get there and the sense of responsibility to keep going so that the class doesn’t go away, I rush through my pre-yoga morning routine.  I double-up on walking Tisen and drinking coffee at the same time (something I find hazardous and usually avoid) to save 15 minutes.  This gives me time to climb the sledding hill with Tisen in tow and take some panoramic pictures before dawn.  The iPhone has lots of noise in low-light photos, but I can’t resist capturing the bright moon next to the early morning light.

The other side of the scene--no moon, but dark clouds instead

The other side of the scene–no moon, but dark clouds instead

When I get to class on this particular Friday morning, there are 4 additional students.  One has been coming for quite a few weeks now and is at risk of being considered a “regular.”  The other three are new additions.  It’s nice to have the extra students–it helps reduce the responsibility of being reliable enough to keep the class going.

I finish the class and find myself smiling–one of the common side effects of yoga.  I return home to find Tisen lying by the door waiting for me.  I take him for a longer walk in the now fully-risen sun.  We pause long enough at the riverfront to take one more panoramic photo.

A panoramic view of the bridges and aquarium of the Chattanooga waterfront

A panoramic view of the bridges and aquarium of the Chattanooga waterfront

Flipped and Whopper-Jawed

I have so many tips for you today!  First, let’s talk about when your computer display suddenly turns upside down. I remember the trauma of getting my first Windows PC plopped on my desk at work and having my UNIX-based Sun Workstation carted away like it was yesterday.  That was nearly 18 years ago now.

In all those years, in spite of having just about every problem imaginable, including a few that people didn’t believe unless they saw it themselves, I never had my display suddenly appear upside down.  Not until yesterday, that is.

As it turns out, on a Windows PC, if, for reasons I haven’t come up with yet, you want your display upside down, you can hit the CTRL-ALT-Down Arrow keys simultaneously and your display will flip.  Use CTRL-ALT-Up Arrow to flip it right side up again.  This only works for monitors, not built-in laptop screens.

Yes, my computer is displaying upside down

Yes, my computer is displaying upside down

I was quite surprised to learn this trick when I was attempting another 3-key command (CTRL-SHIFT-Down Arrow) in Excel, which will select everything in the column you’re cursor is in in a spreadsheet.  Imagine my surprise when, not even knowing what actual combination of keys I’d just hit, my screen went black and then turned back on upside down!  I was so amused, I took a picture and texted it to my Bestie in the middle of the work day!

The rest of my tips for today are iPhone photography related.  All are using the panoramic feature, which I am enjoying immensely.

  1. The image you see as you’re shooting is significantly taller than what will be in the actual image.  In this panoramic taken from the top of the sledding hill, I thought I had Tisen positioned nicely as I twirled around the hill with the camera pointed down the slopes.  As it turned out, I nearly cut Tisen out of the photo all together.

    Learning the hard way that the image isn't as tall as it looks when you're shooting

    Learning the hard way that the image isn’t as tall as it looks when you’re shooting

  2. It’s hard to hold the phone vertically, keep it level, and keep your fingers out of the image, especially while holding a dog leash.  Stand on the leash, hold the phone on the outside edges, and try not to shoot when the sun is directly overhead, making it almost impossible to see the screen and recognize when your fingers are in the photo.

    Scene plus finger plus some whopper-jawedness looking away from the riverfront

    Scene plus finger plus some whopper-jawedness looking away from the riverfront

  3. If you get whopper-jawed as you pan, stop moving and get yourself level again before continuing around the scene.  The iPhone camera will wait for you to get situated.  In this photo, I stopped 2x and I can’t find where.  In the first of the panoramic images above, can you see where I got whopper-jawed and kept on going as I straightened out the camera?

    Scene along the riverfront from the sledding hill

    Scene along the riverfront from the sledding hill

  4. Panoramic images work best when the scene is further away.  Close up objects are less interesting for some reason.  Well, at least the ones I chose.
  5. Some subjects look best in “normal” images.

    My handsome boy is easier to frame well in a "normal" shot

    My handsome boy is easier to frame well in a “normal” shot