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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week 39: Dragan Effect with Self Portrait

So this week's pictures are self portrait's of myself.  What I wanted to accomplish first, playing around with my flash and reflector and also I wanted to play with the Dragan effect again.  I shot around 35 shots, with various hats, T-shirts, and even equipment in my hand.  Then Ginger and I go through them to pick out the best shot.  Yes, Ginger has an eye of picking out things I do not see, plus, it is nice having the love of my life participate in my hobby with me!  So the winner is:

Ginger loves the Dragan effect on the picture.  It is not complicated, just involved.  The black background was much easier this time around.  Plus she like the stocking cap that I have on.

So thank you for those of you who checked on me this week.  I LOVE my new job.  I actually look forward to going to work.  As I worked this week, God would remind me of things I have learned in the past six years that have brought me to where I am at today.  But maybe the most telling example I can give you is I went to work on Rebecca's ranch on Saturday.  She said I looked like the weight of the world was off of me.  This is AFTER working a week on the new job.  As I dug holes for fence posts I couldn't help but smile, it sure is nice to be appreciated.  I don't mind hard work.  And that is what the picture this week represents, hard work.

 So at the job that I worked at this week, there were wasps.  Mom, you will be happy to know I could not get close enough to get a really sharp shot that I liked.  Spent a lunch shooting to see if I could, lol.  So you just get a shot of your son this week!

Last weekend Ginger and I were able to reconnect with an old friend of ours, Chelsea (her name has been changed).  Actually, truth be told, Chelsea is like the sister I never had.  I was put in the situation of my brother when she decided to go into the wilderness for a time, and felt things that surely my brother must have felt when I was off in the wilderness.  But God brought her back into the fold, like me, and for a few hours on Saturday, she came over and we were able to laugh and just talk.  It was like old times.   Chelsea has a special place in my heart.  When Ginger and I first started dating, she encouraged Ginger to continue to see me, regardless of my past.  She saw my heart, not my past.  And so, last weekend, I looked at Chelsea's heart, not her past.  And, like Ginger, she has a heart that yearns to be close to God.  

So we are finally going to get some cool weather tomorrow!  Fall is finally going to come.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week!  Happy Photography!


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week 38: Penny, Lights, Wasp and Bench

So why is there a picture of a penny to start my blog?   Well, God used the simple penny to teach me a valuable lesson.  Long ago I began finding and picking up pennies at the apartments I worked at.  I would thank God for each penny that I picked up.  The lesson?  God provides.  He provides in vast and mysterious ways.  And He can use pennies to prove that point.  God, at least for me, has not just dropped a million dollars in my lap.  But He has provided for all my needs, a few of my wants, and I am blessed beyond measure with a beautiful, loyal and faithful wife, a wonderful home, friends who love me, and a God who cares for me.  And He just blessed me with a new job much closer to home.   Friday was my last day commuting to Longview, tomorrow I finally get to drive to work in Tyler.

I get to go out many  Saturday's and work in Lindale on, for lack of a better name, Rebecca's Ranch.  It has been a place of solitude, a place to pray and commune with God, while doing lots of different jobs and even getting a few photographs (like the rainbow from last week!).  Here is one from last week I forgot to post of a homeade bench.

So for the past week I have been playing with strip led lights to back light my computer desk and the shelf above.  I had to make some custom 3 way connectors, ordered a light that goes in my desktop lamp that can change colors with the strip lights and even some metal strips.

 Ginger likes the purple.  I can increase and decrease the intensity of the lights and my keyboard is an azio backlit keyboard.  Just a fun project to have.  Now, with the seasons I can change the colors.  It is pretty cool.

Finally, while I was having lunch in my last week at the apartments, I heard this buzzing and saw this wasp on the ground.  Of course I had my camera.  100mm Macro lens, laying down on the ground I began snapping away.  I have no idea what the wasp got into, but the next day the green stuff was gone and the wasp was dead.  Hey Mom, at least I put it toward the end of the blog!  Took a few shots because I wanted to get it's eye sharp.

I am truly excited about starting my new job!  I absolutely love painting so it is right up my alley.  I am gonna miss a few people, but I will be able to visit them.  God, however, opened the door and made it clear for me.  I don't know what adventures He has in store, but I know one thing, He is with me on them.


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week 37: Rainbows and Quanah

It has been a good weekend.  I went to work on Saturday out in Lindale and was greeted by a beautiful rainbow.  Here is one of the shots:

I decided to turn this one black and white but leave the color of the rainbow.  The color shot is below:

Perhaps my favorite shot however is a panoramic view of the whole rainbow.  It was Rebecca who noticed we had the full rainbow, so I took about 10 shots of the rainbow from one end to the other and merged them to create this panoramic view:

It amazes me that each week I have a clean slate on what picture to take that week and God just provides.  In this case, with the changes that Ginger and I have been having in our lives it just shows us that God is with us. 

So last week, actually Monday, I was able to do some editing of some of the shots that I took in Quanah.  Here are the edited shots:

Ginger called this one the haunted forest

This was one of my favorites:

 I wanted to take some minimalist shots with trees, and turn them into black and white, these were my favorites:

So in other news, Ginger had decided her last doctor visit to try Latuda, switching to it from her regular mood stabilizer.  Last night we switched back to her regular medicine.  It has been a rocky 10 days for her with lots of rapid cycling, today after being on her regular medicine she is back to her old self.  One of those things where we tried to see if it would help and instead it caused more harm than good.  A lot of prayer and discussion went into switching back, but she has a fantastic support group willing to stand behind her.  I will say this, glad to have her back to her normal self!

I have one more week left working in Longview before I start my new job in Tyler.  You would think I would be nervous but I am actually getting pretty excited.  Ginger and I's family and friends have been really supportive in this transition and I have to give a shout out to our Bible Study group whose listening ears, prayers, and just letting me talk it out has been invaluable.  That and one day it looks like I am going to be taking pictures of golf holes (inside joke).  I mentioned something about naming my camera and the "Donald" suggested "Old Shooter".  So figured I'd give everyone else a chance to give me suggestions.  Feel free to put it on facebook in the comments section or text me. 

Thank you all for your prayers, we love you all!  Happy Photography!


Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 36: Lanterns and Winds of Change

So this weekend was Ginger and I's annual fall shopping!  Before that I went out to Lindale to work on Rebecca's land!  Lots of digging, shoveling, and even putting up fencing!  You never know what you will be doing!  Got a great picture out there:

 Every year we look forward to this time because, for us, it ushers in the fall season and we begin decorating for Halloween and fall!  This year, however, we were not finding much inspiration anywhere.  Spirit of Halloween had moved to a different spot and we were, well, disappointed.  Usually you go in there and it is dark and spooky.  This was just a warehouse spot.  Even Ginger, if you can believe it, was disappointed.  So we'd already gotten our spooky houses from Michael's the week before.  Then we walked into Pier One Imports.  I love this store because they have the crackle glasses that Ginger and I love.  But they also began carrying something else, Glimmer String Lights.  We saw that they were putting them in these lanterns and inspiration struck.  We had so much fun in this store and the funk of not getting inspiration was changed!  So Ginger liked the amber lights, I like'd the purple:

These things were so much fun not only to put together but to light up!  Ginger's I hung up from the ceiling.  I used two sided tape to put the battery box underneath the lantern.  The purple lantern is by my computer.  The cool thing is, I got a remote that works with them.  Turn it on and off, put it on a timer, or give it a candle effect.  May be more lanterns coming in our future....

Decided this year, however, not to make it look like Halloween just exploded in our house.  I put up the led lights in the living room so we can change them from orange to purple.  We found a place, finally, for Ginger's Beware sign so you can see all the glitter:

It hangs in our kitchen doorway walking into the dining room.  It is perfect.  So what went in the fireplace where it was?

Batty did. 

But all in all we just didn't want to clutter everything up.  That and the lanterns were just too cool to drown out with a bunch of stuff.

So if you have read this far into the blog, then get ready for some big news.  I have accepted a new job here in Tyler.  Ginger and I are both really, really excited, and I will be reuniting with a really good friend and brother of mine, Marty.  My last day in Longview will be on the 16th.  I always said I would not leave the apartment complex I worked for unless God told me it was time to move on.  That time has come.  It was amazing to see how God worked it all out and how much peace He gave everyone that I confided in.   I am excited for this opportunity, but I will definitely miss some of the people I have grown really close to working with at the apartment complex.  The next two weeks will be busy and I know the work is stacking up at my new job!  Good problem to have!  Thank you to all of you who have prayed for me, prayed over my work situation, and offered me advise and wisdom.   Keep the prayers coming!