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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week 13 Challenge: Pancakes and Azalea Trail

 Happy Easter!  He Is Risen! 

The mind of an artist.  I thought of this as I was cooking dinner on Friday night.  I was making bacon (I LOVE bacon) and then I made pancakes.  Except I don't make just any pancakes, I make mini pancakes.  I am not sure why I started that tradition, only that it stuck and when I make pancakes I make a lot of little one's.  Here is a photo:

Now back to the mind of an artist.  I thought, this would make a great picture.  So I got my camera.  Took the picture.  Too dark, and too blurry.  So I got my flash and flash triggers.  Still a little blurry.  So I got my tripod and my remote release.  Soon I had a mini studio in the kitchen to take pictures pancakes.  If you are wondering if the pancakes got cold, well, yeah they did.  But a little peanut butter (yes I eat my pancakes with peanut butter, a little habit I picked up....) and syrup and they were fantastic! 

So in week 11 I took a picture of some coins.  A lot of coins.  Here it is:

This is a culmination of 5 1/2 years of collecting pennies and coins.  Pennies laying in all sorts of places.  The road, sidewalks, in vacant apartments that people have left.  I had already cashed in the silver two weeks ago.  Yesterday, Ginger and I decided to cash in these pennies at Coinstar.  Pretty easy, put coins in, and if you get a ecard (in my case Amazon), it costs you nothing but time.  I asked Ginger how much she thought was there, she said $200, which I thought was a little high, I thought around $150. You should see the looks when you take a cart full of pennies to the machine.  50 minutes later we had the final count. 19,541 pennies, 18 nickels, 42 dimes, and 2 quarters.  Final total:  $201.01.  Ginger was almost spot on (yes, listen to your wife I hear some of you saying!).  Final total all together, minus the one jar I missed, $564.26 in amazon gift cards. So some of those photography items I have been eyeing....The send button has been hit.....

This week we have the Azalea trail starting.  Our azalea's are blooming and Ginger and I decided to walk around the neighborhood yesterday, me with my camera, Ginger looking for dogs to pet.  No lie, she looks for dogs to pet!  Believe it or not, this trip I took no shots of azalea's.  That is next week.  My favorite shot from yesterday however was this:

Ginger saw a door and path she loved:

And another shot (can you tell purple was catching my eye?):

There will be more shots of flowers I am sure in the coming week.  No mold shots this week, for those that came on the post to check out the "strange leaf!"  Thanks for all the wonderful comments about it, I got more Ewwwww, awesome shot! texts!  Thanks everyone!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!  Had a heck of a week at work.  But not as much as Ginger did.  For those that don't know, a time change can affect the mood of someone with a mood disorder.  So let's add a time change, the spring equinox, and throw in a full moon, all of which, on their own, can affect Ginger's mood.  All together, and her anxiety and bipolar sky rocketed.  She is blessed, however, to have a wonderful doctor who helped guide her medication and a support group of family and friends who come along side of her to help her when things get tough.  The good news, she is over the hump.  On Friday I heard the words, I am starting to feel myself and this weekend has been, for the most part, smooth.  We went from Def Con 5 down to Def Con 1.  God has surrounded her with those that love her, and her husband loves her quite a lot!  Thank you for all your prayers and support!  Tonight may be a little of the Sunday Blues, but I have a plan.......

Have a good week!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week 12: Photo Shoot and Strange Leaf

So yesterday I was able to do a senior photo shoot.  It was a fantastic opportunity to see how far my skills had come.  It was also the first time I had taken my flash off the camera and used what is called off camera flash in a portrait shoot.  Because of the wind yesterday, I could not use my flash stands, so I needed someone to physically hold the flash.  I have been practicing off camera flash quite a bit, good to use it in a professional sense now.

I am learning, more and more, about molding light.  Little did I know that by building my light box, it would take me on a journey to learn more about light and how to mold light.  I have quite a lot more to learn, but when I saw the glimpses of changes that the flash created, well, it just excites you to continue the journey!  Here is one of my favorites:

Here is another I liked:

I enjoy black and white as well:

This next photo was one where I began learning color selection in Photoshop and just sat in front of my computer and learned by trial and error.  But I love the learning process. 

I just wanted to show the green shirt, let it pop out of the photograph. 

I had a lot of fun with this photo shoot!  So on Facebook I am going to be putting the following picture in a post asking people to guess what it is:

There is a story behind it.  Ginger loves to eat strawberries and blueberries in her yogurt.  Well I opened up the refrigerator one afternoon and saw that mold had gotten on some of the strawberries.  I told Ginger to leave it, I wanted to take pictures of it.  Ginger just shakes her head.  Here is a bigger picture:

Just goes to show that the creative mind of an artist can sometimes see a picture in things that aren't very creative!  Hope everyone is having a good week!  I feel a more talkative blog coming, still formulating it in my mind, pondering in my heart as Ginger says!  It will be coming soon!  Until then Happy Photography!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 11 Challenge: Strange Flowers and Coins

So this week we had a LOT of rain.  In Tyler about 7 inches over a couple of days.  Today, the sun is out and Ginger is quite happy!  Today's photo inspiration actually came from a tree in our backyard.  Actually, we have a friend, Christian who is also a photographer who inspired me with a picture of his and I found these flower pods to take a picture of:

This is Ginger's favorite, with color. 

This is a black and white of the same shot.
Here is the shot with the white balance changed to give it an otherworldly blue:

The last shot is the closest to the shot that inspired me for this weeks challenge.  As I was taking these shots, I happen to look over and see a single flower and decided it would be an interesting shot:

With my 100mm Macro Lens, I was able to get a good shot of it with quite a bit of detail.  I actually played with the Levels to give it more of a bluish tint.  Part of my artistic license.

On another note entirely.  At work I am known as the change collector.  If there are pennies laying on the ground (or nickels, dimes, quarters), I am usually picking them up.  In fact, when people leave things in the apartment, everyone knows that all I am really interested in is the change, or cool things to take pictures of.  So I decided to change in my 5 1/2 years worth of coins.  So I gathered most of the silver change and one of my jars of pennies and.....

Yeah, that's a lot of change.  Here is the kicker, here is what I have left:

Needless to say, this is all going into the new camera fund!  That fund has been growing, and April is when the camera I have been eyeing is suppose to be announced.  I've been waiting over a year in deciding on a new camera.  I have decided to go Full Frame and I have decided to get a Pro Grade camera.  My camera is considered an Enthusiast camera, so I am looking to upgrade.  I need better image quality and low light ability.

Of course it is coming at a good time.  I have been asked to photograph a wedding in August!  I've actually assisted in 3 weddings, this will be the first in which I am the primary photographer.  I am pretty stoked. Of course I like the creative aspect of wedding photography.  

Work has been crazy.  Last week I was in what I consider an apartment from hell.  3 days worth of work.  But God was with me.  The first day was spent fixing nine drywall patches and starting on the make ready.  I should say I was navigating through the dog crap the resident's dog had left around the baseboards.  The next day was spent sanding and texturing those patches, and the bad patches that were done by the contractors who had done the apartment before.  I used 3/4 a box of mud for the texturing (yes, that is alot).  Then I hit the make ready hard.  Besides fixing bifold doors, fixing doors, moving appliances out, fixing appliances, putting appliances in, etc.  I have a notebook I document everything I do in an apartment.  It filled two pages.  On the third day I finished the make ready and hit the painting like a mad man possessed.  Since painting is my forte, I was able to speed through it.  Not that I like spending most of the week in one apartment, I was happy with the product I put out.  All this while we had epic rain, flooding, and I had to leave early one day to make sure I got home (two of my three routes home were flooded).  But it got done.   Thank goodness for my Rhapsody subscription, which kept the music flowing.  Now if I can just keep from getting sick I will be dong well!

I hope everyone had a blessed week.  I am not sure what work has in store for me but I won't let it stress me too bad.  Life is too short.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 10 Challenge: Birthday Pie and a Strange New World

Well today is my birthday!  Had a wonderful birthday with my love who made me a wonderful limeade pie!  It is actually a tradition from my childhood, and my Mom gave my lovely wife the recipe to make it and she has carried on the tradition.  I asked her to make it purple, just wanted something different.  Here are a couple of pictures (and they are part of my weekly challenge photos!):

This was the first shot, handheld. 

This was the second shot, on a tripod.

Purple, incidentally, is a very hard color to get right in camera, at least that is my experience.  But I am learning a lot by taking the hard shots, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes.  You will notice that the first picture is in focus in the middle and goes out of focus as you go out.  The second picture is more in focus, because of the use of a tripod and an increase in the f stop. 

As far as any project, I decided to play around with black lights, a rubber ball, a black light torch and regular torch.  The best picture came, naturally, toward the end:

Blue World

This is the same world, but turned red.

I was going for the effect of looking like an alien world.  This is actually just a regular rubber ball!  Had a lot of fun taking them.

Of course, after last week's oil and water pictures, I cannot wait to revisit that type of project again!  I received a lot of good feedback.

Hope everyone had a good week!  Mine was a little rough, I tried to take my thumb off with a hack saw!  It is, however, healing up nicely!  (No, did not get stitches)  I was going to put a picture of it on here but my wife took one look at the picture and said "That is too yucky!"  Okay, listening to the wifey!

Thanks to God and all my family and friends!  Love ya'll!