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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 17 Challenge: Self and Other Portraits

This has been a wonderful week, if only for the fact that my Mom and Dad came into town!  I love being able to sit down with them and just talk.  Talk about how life is going, spiritual and physical, and get advice and wisdom on the journey forward.  I am not always right, sometimes I look at something wrong, and sometimes I look at something different.  I love hearing my Mom talk about her quilting.  Her eyes light up (much like Ginger says mine do when I talk about photography) and I get to hear about the process she goes through.  Much like my Dad and his wood working.  I get a double dose of precision, so it is no wonder that I look for fine detail. 

And I get perspective on work and wisdom on how to proceed forward.  I get a spiritual perspective.  And then there are our talks about God.  As my Dad said, I have come a long way in 14 years.  Wow, 14 years. 

So there were pictures taken.  Of course there were pictures taken!  My nephew Michael came up from Texas A&M to see his grandparents and Mom and Dad.

Dad, Michael and I went for a walk at the hotel and I took a perspective picture of the bridge:

One of my favorite pictures was of my lovely wife:

And then some plants by our apartment:

Of course, I had to get into the studio and play with my camera a little bit with some self portraits.  I was playing with perspective.  I even wanted to do a little fish eye perspective:


 Fish Eye

Yes, the level of detail is much more noticeable, especially since I can make these pictures poster size and catch all the detail.  Mr. GQ.  Of course, I do not plan on making any posters of me!  Ginger of course loved the pictures of me.....

It has been a fun week.  Not sure what I will be walking into going to work tomorrow, but after spending 4 days with family and friends, I have my perspective back and know what is really important.  Have a wonderful week everyone!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 16 Challenge: Dry Flower and the End of an Era

So I am so excited to be writing this blog.  As I stated in my last blog, I ordered a new camera.  Here it is!

Ironic that the last picture that I took with my old camera is of the new camera!  So I decided to make the first picture of the new camera to be of the old camera:

There is going to be a little bit of a learning curve which I am excited about.  It is like learning to drive a Porsche after driving the Xterra.  I got an online book about the camera and I am devouring every word!  This camera is sooooo cool! 

Yesterday I got to go out and work on the barn of a very good friend of Ginger and I's.  You may remember the pictures from two weeks ago.  Gretchen has now bonded with Rebecca, and Missy, her dog, well, she continues to come up and greet me as I pull up.  I love going out on her land and working because you never know what you will be doing!  It's great!  Though I didn't do any pictures out there this time, I was able to grab a couple of flowers to take to my studio, put in my light box, and snap away with my new camera!  Here are the two I took:

 This is a dried flower, not sure what kind it is, that I just thought was cool.

And this one was by the side of the road.

The image quality is vastly superior to my 600d.  I could not be happier.  And these pictures are taken without me knowing all the full capabilities of the camera!  But with my 100mm Macro lens, the camera sings. 

So yesterday I was able to go out to Lindale and work.  The land is covered by God, you can almost physically feel His covering on it.   And the talks that Rebecca and I have, I get confirmations, I learn what God has been teaching me, and I also get comforted.  It is special to be able to look around and see that I had a hand in building, planting, digging different things.   With the chaos of my regular job, going out there is a breathe of fresh air.  And this time I got to go a little into the woods and memories came back of how I cleared paths in the woods.  It was a good nostalgic feeling!  Bonus, I get to go back in two weeks!

This coming weekend, however, my parents are coming into town!  I can't wait to see them on Thursday!  It is going to be so much fun to be able to share with them what has been going on and I am sure there will be some Godly wisdom to some of the struggles I have been dealing with lately!  But it will just be good to see them! 

And then, if that wasn't enough good news, our very good friends Sami and Damon have gotten a booth in a boutique in Whitehouse!  And I have been invited to put some prints of my photographs out!  Who knows where this may lead, but Damon, who is a painter, and I as a photographer, can really talk artist speak (A language that artists speak, where we can talk all things art).  I am in agreement with Sami, Damon and I are made from the same mold by God.  Our similarities are uncanny.  Brother from another mother.  Anywho, I am looking into making some business cards so we shall see which direction God takes my photography!

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful day!  Rain is coming, but should be clearing out by the time I go get my parents.  It is going to be hard to concentrate at work! 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Week 15 Challenge: Oil and Water revisited and news

In the fifteen weeks that I have been taking photographs for my personal challenge, my favorite so far has been my oil and water pictures. So as the era of my Canon T3i comes to a close, I decided to pull out the oil and water and make some more fun pictures.  Knowing what I did last time, I was able to use different lights and even use a black light!

Here is the set:

When Ginger saw this she said it looks like space.  This is actually oil and water but it is a favorite of Ginger and I!

Here is a blow up of the picture below.   Notice the snake (that Paul sees), or tadpole (as Ginger sees) in the middle puddle.

The big picture

I call this Otherworld

These are my two black light pictures.  Had a lot of fun with Photoshop on these!

Here are some more greenish world photos.

So if you caught the reference in the first paragraph about the end of an era, and have looked through all the pictures and made it here, then you get to hear about some big news.  This morning, with Ginger's blessing, I ordered my new camera.  Through a lot of prayer, and research I was able to order a Full Frame and Pro Grade camera.  In fact, it was Ginger who said to make that final push to send the order!  Ginger has, in fact, been one of my biggest supporters as she has seen how passionate about photography I am. 

The final decision came when I got the specs on some of the new cameras coming out.  Since I am not a videographer, it helped narrow down my choice.  Having a crap load of Amazon gift cards helped too!  So by the end of the week, and in time for my parents to come down and visit, I will have my new camera in my hands.  I am stoked! 

For those of you who have prayed for me about work, thank you.  My job actually was better this week, but that was because the temp help and I were able to click and get 7 make readies done.  I hear they are trying to separate us this week, so here comes the chaos.  Why do people try to tweak what works?  I do not understand it, but ultimately what has helped me is by focusing that my work is for God and that I am not trapped.  So no matter what comes I realize God, not man, is in control.  Thank you again for the prayers, please keep them coming!  I hope ya'll have a wonderful week!


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Week 14 Challenge: Horse and saddles and playing with flash!

So this Saturday I went to a dear friend's cabin in Lindale to work on her barn and start building a goat pen.  I love going to her cabin, not only is it peaceful, but you can feel the covering of God as you drive onto her land.  This heart adorns her front door:

This is a place where I can recharge and get with God and my friend, and hear God.  Change is coming in my life, especially with the week I had at work, but more on that later.  What is interesting is that God knew I would need this recharge.  And in a couple of weeks, my parents will be in town.  I look forward to csome more Godly wisdom and counsel!

 My friend recently got a new pet.  She already has a dog Missy (Missy and I go way back!), and a cat, but she got herself a horse!  Last August I had helped to build a horse pen in the barn!  This is Gretchen:

She is a beautiful horse and was actually quite curious about me!  She did not, however, like the table saw when it was turned on!

So here are the steps down to the barn:

I love this picture!  In the barn and around the cabin there are, of course, saddles:

I am telling you.  Coming onto this land, you are transported in time.  My friend does not even have a TV! Some more during my mini photoshoot:

 Yes, the lanterns work!

A log that caught my eye!

But my three favorite shots of the day were the following:

A black and white of the steps

An old latch with cobwebs

 The horse leashes

So this week my new photography equipment came in.  So I pulled out my camera and started playing around with my flash.  Here is Ginger's favorite of the shoot:

I love playing with Snoots!  And I have a secret but I cannot quite reveal it yet.   And here is another:

And this look shows how I feel about my hard work week.  In fact Friday was absolutely horrid.  But I am thankful, now.  Because God used it so that I could meet God this weekend.  Quite literally.  I am not a man that cries much.  But this Sunday morning I had tears running down my face as I cried to God as I listened to Crowder's "I Am".  I realize God is carrying me.  I realized that I trust him with some things, but in others I have a hard time ceding control.  The fear and anger I had over the week left and I realized that God was, indeed, in control.  I have a saying I heard, "When the pain of changing is less that the pain of staying the same, change can happen"  It doesn't always have to be painful, but sometimes it is.  One of my favorite songs of late is Thousand Foot Crutches (Christian Rock ) War of Change.  "I feel it in my veins, it's not going away, everything is about to change...."  So change is coming......