Some Cabin Fever Relief

It’s been a little over a month since my last post, a little longer than I had anticipated.  I had planned on resuming again around the end of March or first of April.  That obviously did not happen.  My goal during my time off was to catch up on all my post processing, both my family and friends photos, video clips, and all other processing which, with regard to the latter, includes files for this blog and my personal files.

So what happened.  Most of you probably don’t know this because I think I only mentioned it once a long time ago.  With just a few exceptions my posts are in chronological order (based on the date the photo was taken) but are on a one year lag – approximately.

Shortly after starting my blog I realized (realised for those who prefer the non-North American, English spelling) that I needed to share my photos chronologically otherwise I got all mixed up with what I had or had not already shown.  I briefly tried keeping track with various “shown”/”not shown” file folders but that was just too much work.

So, getting back to my time off to catch up on processing, what I was trying to do was the following:


  1. Go through all my photos for 2018 (just over 1,000) for a final culling of “do I really need to save this?”
  2. Using a batch process resize my ~50 MB – ~170 MB .TIF files to a resolution of 1200 pixels on the long side, add watermark, and convert to JPG to get the file size down to and average of 350 KB or less.
  • Do this for Family and Friends photos then delete all the .TIF, .NEF (Nikon raw file), and original .JPG (from phone).
  • Do this for all other photos but do not delete original camera files nor TIF files.
  • Put all the files from step 2. b. into a folder of their own and upload the files for linking to in blog posts.


  1. Identify and collect  in one spot all the video clips that do not have an intro title.
  • Delete any short clips that are of no value.
  • Combine remaining short clips of same time period into one long clip and delete the short ones.
  • Add intro titles to any clip without one.

What these steps don’t show are all the time robbing steps of:  me losing track of where I was when I would get called away for more than 10 minutes, looking for files I accidentally deleted or put in a wrong folder, or re-processing a file because I think I can do it better.

I did pretty good with step one but not perfect; I still could get rid of some if I didn’t have that mutated gene that makes me want to save files that even I know I shouldn’t.  Step 2 is where I really ran into some problems.  About 75% through my files I realized I made a big mistake and would have to redo everything except for two folders that in total had less than 30 files in them.  At this point I said “the heck with it” (actually it was  words expressing a bit stronger emotion) and walked away from everything for a week.

The thing about batch processing on your desktop is that it can save you an enormous amount of work and time.  It can also create and enormous amount of errors in a very short time.

When I came back I switched my batch processing from a really nice program to the tools in my editing software (PaintShop Pro).  It just makes for a better work flow using just one program.  I printed a screen print of my 15 plus folders and added columns to it to identify and kept track of where I was in the process for each folder.  It’s amazing how being organized can so nicely compliment the work and time savings of batch processing.

So I finished my photo processing redo and now here I am.  This first post is of photos taken six days apart on days that were both unseasonably warm for February.  (Basically a couple of January thaws in February.)   My wife and I decided to shake off some cabin fever and get out of the house and take the two grandkids to the Missouri Botanical Gardens one day and the St. Louis Zoo about a week later during the second thaw.

Being February there were no flowers to photograph outside so I settled for ducks.  There’s a small cove tucked away in the southeast corner of the lake in the Japanese garden where the ducks and koi fish like to hang out (mainly because there are feed dispensers there at the bridge that crosses the mouth of the cove).  I found one male mallard duck swimming, another on ice near the edge of the cove, and a female on the ice.  And that was it for my February outing at the Missouri Botanical Garden.





Like I said, about a week later we had a chance for some more cabin fever release and took the kids to the St. Louis Zoo.  These first two photos are of a Chinese goral.  He or she is pretty cute so feel free to let loose with an aaaww or two.



Canada geese coming in for a landing at the zoo’s main lake.  The circled behind some trees to land so I didn’t get any photos of that.



I just love the natural grace shown by the animals in these next three photos.


Tiny helping Stretch with something Stretch can’t bend down to get?


Stretch is trying to eat some of the forbidden leaves from a bush high in the rocks while Tiny keys an eye out for tho zoo keeper?


Mama on the lookout while papa sleeps.


Penguin still wearing his club admittance bracelet from the night before?


This one had VIP admittance to the club as designated by red bracelet versus the black one on the penguin above.


Makes me thirsty for a Coke and hungry for a Klondike Bar … mmm vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate.


These are takins whose normal habitat is the eastern Himalayas.


They keep telling the zoo keeper that nothing is going on, they’re just friends.


I have tried to convert zebra photos to black & white several times in the past but so for I have been very unsuccessful.  One would think that would be a no brainer but it’s not, at least not for me.


You have all been such wonderful readers and viewers of today’s post that I feel compelled to apologize to you in advance for what I am about to say.  As happens with all good things, today’s cascade of tantalizing prose and magnificent photos has reached its ends(s).


Thank you for stopping by.


P.S.  Please do not ask how I did with the video clips.

All photos taken with a Nikon D7100 and a Nikkor 24-85mm zoom lens.

16 thoughts on “Some Cabin Fever Relief

  1. I love processing my files and tend to do them within 24 hours of shooting, I always try and keep the finished image as big as possible, usually 6MB. As for culling I do it with a heavy heart but I really don’t need half a dozen images of the same butterfly taken in a few seconds!
    Nice to see you back and some lovely shots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I used to be much more vigilant about processing soon after shooting but we now take care of two grandkids on weekdays and a third on Wednesdays. At least that’s the excuse I’m using for now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your sense of humour, David. 😀 The bums oops ends of zebras was funny. By the way, the white ones with the giraffe – are they baby giraffes? I always thought a baby giraffe has those brown patchy thingies. Also, I wonder how B&W photos of zebras look like. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Rekha! I think the small animals with the giraffe are gazelles or maybe antelopes. My guess is gazelles. My attempts at converting zebra photos to black & white have not been good. One try was just okay and the others all had a muddled look. I’m sure it’s just me because, while I haven’t looked, I’ll bet there are thousands of good black & white zebra photos. I don’t want to search because I know I’ll see just how lousy my attempts have been. Sometime the head in the sand strategy serves a good purpose. 🙂


  4. Nooooooooooooooo, the post ended! WHY GOD WHY!!!! The horror, the horror! Also: “aaawww, aaaawwww.” Ok, enough stream of consciousness.

    It’s good to have you back, David. I’m not in the processing files business, but I seem to suffer from a chronic lack of organizational skills, so I totally empathize with you. In my case, I just start writing different posts, I’m often taking notes and saving resources, and then it’s all a mess I can’t untangle. I think I’ve gotten a bit better at this during my time off, though.

    I really enjoyed your post. The captions are absolutely hilarious, and the photos are amazing with vibrant, beautiful colors. Ironically, I don’t think those zebras would look good in B&W. They’re pretty astonishing as they are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the comments Gabriela. I’m usually pretty well organized; my biggest problem is procrastination and when multiple different tasks pile even the best organizational skills or put to test. I don’t think I could write long posts like yours, especially with all the research that is required. I love to write but I have to rewrite things over, and over, and over again until I feel I’ve got exactly the right words in the right order with the right rhythm for the sentence and paragraph and that takes forever.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. David this is a great set of photos, and that sounds like a lot of organizing!! I feel like I have to do my organizing as I go or it just won’t happen at all, I feel overwhelmed if they get too far behind. When I pull them out of the camera I cull right away and then store them in temp folders for a few months before filing away the Raw files and the process ones. The temp folders is where I pick my shots from to post most of the time. I delete everything but the Raw file and files I have process for posting on the net. I never batch process. I like keeping the Raw, the way I see it, I’ll be a better post processor in a few years 🤞🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. My discipline for post processing used to be closer to yours but somehow kind of disintegrated during the past 18 months. Hopefully I’ll get back on the straight and narrow (or at least straighter and narrower) this year.


    • Thank you Maverick. The grandchildren thing is a mixed blessing when you,re the caregiver five days a week during the school year. As much as I enjoy them it really wears me down but I know when it’s all over and we’re “no longer needed” I will miss all that time we had together.

      Liked by 1 person

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