Can’t argue with tradition

stray branch on beach during sunset at Costa Rica, by Wendy Hall
mainsail against sky, by Wendy HallAfter the first grueling summer of 16-something-or-other, the initial colonists of what would later become the United States said, “Enough of this shit” (or words to that effect – probably more like, “Forsooth, we are unworthy of this bounty of excrement,”) and sailed down to Costa Rica to watch sunsets on the beach, a tradition that would eventually become our Thanksgiving holiday.

Well, okay, the Walkabout Fact Checkers (hard as it may be to believe, they really do exist, even if they’re not very good at their job,) have told me that this did not, in fact, happen. But it should’ve, and in that spirit, it’s what a friend of mine did this past Thanksgiving – the reason I haven’t featured these images until now is that I finally convinced her to send them to me. Okay, sure, it was a week ago, but you have to allow for editing you know – it takes time to add in that copyright tag. Plus all the research that goes into the accompanying text, because she sure as hell didn’t provide any to me. So we have pictures that are not mine, and not a lot else. I skipped the various ones from the resort hotel, because that’s just show-offy stuff, you know? I mean, so are these, but at least they’re scenic – you can see mojitos anywhere…

sunset among island at Costa Rica, by Wendy Hall
Now, if you’ve been paying attention to previous posts (a ha ha ha ha! Even I can’t type that with a straight face,) you know I’ve been talking about doing a major field trip dedicated to photography, and then she ends up doing this right under my nose, without even offering me a ticket! Worse still, she didn’t even bother sending along the pics during the dead weeks of winter, so we all could have basked by proxy at least. But then, then – and this is the part where I’m totally unforgiving – she used her fucking smutphone to take pictures! The Puritans would have burned her at the stake! Or, like I said, should’ve

sunset across sea, by Wendy Hall
mantled howler monkey Alouatta palliata eating inverted, by Wendy HallThe primate at right is a mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata,) one of four different species to be found in Costa Rica. I ended up editing this frame to bring out a little more detail because the smutphone failed to compensate (or even offer the option) for the backlighting, and in the process brought out the grain as well. Most smutphones have an “auto ISO” function built in, where they adjust the sensitivity of the digital sensor to the existing light in an attempt to thwart motion blur in lower light, and this of course means that quality goes to shit – one of the many reasons why I recommend against them. True enough, most DSLRs would suffer the same to some extent, but with those, you have the ability to choose the ISO, aperture, and shutter to best match the conditions. Any camera yields best results if you know what’s happening and how to adjust for it, but real cameras allow for this control. She has a real camera, but doesn’t use it. Go to her social media and mock her for it – she doesn’t listen to me…

sunset along rocky shore in Costa Rica, by Wendy Hall
Looking at a couple of the frames, I had to experiment a little just to see what the effect would be, so while the color images are hers, the greyscale ones are my edits. I’ll leave it to you to decide if they work or not.

same image in tweaked greyscale, by Wendy Hall
It might have been better if I didn’t show you the color versions right alongside.

One of these days, I’ll be here showing off and gloating about my own trip to someplace tropical and scenic. Just not if I have to count on my ‘friends’

sunsaet islands shot in tweaked greyscale, by Wendy Hall

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