Just Shelley Photography

This is my Mom

My Mom must have had over a thousand photos, some dating to the 1800s. It will take me months to scan them in and identify them. She had all my Dad’s WWII photos, her family, his family, and my brother and I.

I gave her a Nikon Coolpix years ago, when she expressed an interest in digital photography. Of course, she wasn’t that interested in getting a computer, so the Coolpix didn’t get much of a work out.

I grabbed it and the lenses when I was back there. It’s a fun camera and I thought it would be a good walk around camera. I tested it out when I got home.

Mom had one photo on the memory card. This is my Mom.

Photography Technology

Rent not to own

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I have used Photoshop for years. I tried to use GIMP and UFRaw, and these are wonderful tools, but I’m comfortable with Photoshop. I like Photoshop.

Unfortunately, when I recycled my last Apple computer, I also lost my last copy of Photoshop. It was an older version, but still had what I needed. I looked at buying a few new version of Photoshop for my Windows 7 laptop, but the price of a new copy of Photoshop is beyond my means. And I don’t steal software, that’s not my thing.

Fortuitously for me, Adobe came out with a new way of acquiring Photoshop: instead of buying the application, rent it instead.

For a fixed monthly cost, you can rent a copy of Photoshop (or other high end Adobe product). How much the cost is, is dependent for how long you rent it. If you rent the application month-to-month, the cost is higher. If you rent it annually, the cost can drop a substantial amount.

The subscription plan is not the most economical way of accessing the software. The subscription cost is more expensive than just buying the software and the upgrades. However, for those organizations (or people) who just need a license for a temporary period of time, or people like me who don’t happen to have several hundred dollars lying around for a software purchase, the subscription plan does provide another option.

I signed up for a subscription for Photoshop and once a month, Adobe takes a bite out of my bank account. Hopefully, eventually I’ll have the income to buy the software outright. Or I’ll learn to live with GIMP. For now, though, the subscription does work for me.

Adobe isn’t the only “rent not to own” game in town: Amazon is getting into the rental business with Kindle books. I discovered the option when looking at a high priced book on zoos and animal rights (high, as in $108.00), Amazon is especially touting this option for textbooks, such as Sensation and Perception, 8th Edition, which sells for $116.76, but can be rented for $43.61 (and up, depending on how long you keep the book).

This is all old hat for O’Reilly, my book publisher for the last several years. The company provides access to many (if not most) of its books through Safari Online—a subscription based book site. The difference, though, is that you can download Photoshop or a Kindle rental book to your device(s) and access them offline. As far as I know, you have to access Safari Online, well, online. You can access the books through a mobile device, but you still have to be online. So Safari Online is less a case of renting the book, and more subscribing to a service. With Amazon, you’re literally renting the book.

The concept of “rent not to own” has its advantages: you don’t have to buy something you only need for a limited time, have to have the cash upfront, or charge the cost of the products to a credit card (which you most likely won’t pay off, anyway). The cost is fixed, and you know the price (and conditions) before you sign up. If your finances are erratic, you can rent month to month. Best of all, by not charging, you’re not giving interest to the bloodsucking banks.


Dad’s WWII Gun

Dad's WWII Gun

Dad's WWII Gun


One nice weekend

The weather last weekend was wonderful: cooler and less humidity. I came out of my self-imposed cave both days and managed to grab some photos to share.

Saturday I went to the St. Louis Zoo. While there, we had a chance to talk with one of the wild bird keepers about the American White Pelicans in the artificial lake. We noticed that the pelicans seemed to be diving their beaks into the water in unison, and the keeper said the behavior is called “driving”. Pelicans work together using this technique to drive fish into more shallow waters, in order to make them easier to grab.

However, while we were watching, we noticed that one of the pelicans had a duck in its mouth. It would scoop it up, and then dump it out. A little alarmed, we asked the keeper if the pelicans actually ate duck. He replied that no, none of the ducks are harmed. What they think is happening is that the pelicans are playing with the ducks, like a toy.

Bit hard on the duck, but the pelicans looked like they were having a lot of fun.

driving white pelicans

old cougar making her way up the hill

male ostrich

amur leopard

Sunday, I broke my rule about only staying in the city during Missouri summers, and went to the Shaw Nature Center, about 20 miles outside the city. The Center was lovely, with several summer wildflowers still in full bloom, and masses of dragonflies and butterflies.

Unfortunately, either I was too careless about brushing up against bushes trying to take photos, or for some other reason, I ended up pretty chewed up by chiggers. Since I tend to react badly to chigger bites, I had a somewhat unpleasant week. I must say, though, it was worth it: the trip was beautiful, and it was so nice to get out of the city. I can’t wait for the Fall.

path through butterfly meadow

Echinacea flowers

bronze dragonfly

old shed

You can see now why I called my Missouri specific site “MissouriGreen”.

Photography Places

July 19 at Shaw Nature Center

Sunday, lured by cooler temperatures, I ventured out of the city to the Shaw Nature Center. Typically I don’t walk on anything but paved paths in the summer because of allergic reactions I’ve had to bug bites. The weather was just too good to resist, though.

You can see from the photos where I got the idea for the name of this site, MissouriGreen.

path through butterfly meadow