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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Week 12: Daisies and Glowing Leaves

Well I hope everyone has done well this week.  So this weekend we went to the florist, I got her a rainbow rose (she loves those things!) and I got some daisies to photograph.  So set the flower up, and snapped off a few shots.  This one was my favorite:

Gerber Daisy
 Used a two flash system.  I am waiting for my ring light to come in from Amazon which will light my macro shots up more and bonus, give me beautiful ring catch lights in eyes. 

Glowing Leaves

Last week I was walking Ginger out to her car to work in the morning and I noticed the moon.  So I ran up and got my camera and set it up.  But the clouds were not cooperating.  I would wait for a shot and nothing was coming clear.  But right below I noticed a light and my favorite glowing leaves effect.  So naturally, I had to take the shot.  Hey, if I could not get the shot of the moon I could at least get this one!

So be praying for Ginger.  She is having a hard time this weekend, her bipolar is latching on to some things and we just had the time change.  Speaking of which, changes are coming for her, nothing I can reveal right now, but we are trusting God and His timing is perfect!  Thanks to all our family and friends!


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Week 11: New Flashes for New Photos

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful week!  My week was really busy.  I had a wonderful birthday, even though I worked.  Got home and was able to spend quality time with my beautiful wife, read a wonderful card, eat lots of cupcakes, and shop on Amazon!  Yes, if you gave me money for my birthday it was converted into Amazon gift cards to go to the photography fund!  So my newest purchase, for my birthday was a set of high powered flashes with built in receivers and a transmitter that goes on top of my camera that allows me to control those flashes!  Bonus, I got a set of receivers compatible with that transmitter to control my other flashes.  So now, if I want, I can control four flashes all from my camera!  I got manual flashes.  Different from TTL (Through the Lens) flashes, it allows me to control my flash output to minute detail.

So, of course, I had to try out my new flashes.  First, I had to make sure everything flashed.  It was a breeze, worked right out of the box.  Then I had to figure out channels and groups, which I had never had to do before.  Basically, I could put a flash on a different group and then turn on or off each flash at the camera.  Ultimate in coolness.  So I decided to take some self portraits with a one flash setup:



Smiling Paul

Part of the setup:

It was in the 40's last night here so I had my favorite stocking cap on!  You could say it is my portrait wearing cap!  Nothing that will win any awards but considering I was able to get a black background and my flash worked flawlessly I was stoked!

So with Azaleas in full bloom I figured I would take one more opportunity to photograph them.  I only have the chance once a year to do it, so I try to take advantage.  And with the drop in temperature I did not know if they would be affected, so this morning I decided to try a two flash setup.  This time, instead of using my shadow box, I used a black background and a flash stand to hold up the Azaleas.  Here are what I considered my two best shots:

Twin Azaleas

Twin Azaleas 2
And here is one with a detail extractor filter:

We have had a full moon the past couple of days but with the cloudy weather I have not been able to get a clear shot, so I have that in the rotation of shots to take when I get a clear night.  Also, now that I have multiple flashes, the violin project should be able to get underway soon.

Ginger has an appointment in Dallas with her psychiatrist this Tuesday, so we will be off to Dallas this week for an afternoon!  Gotta love the traffic!  Work has been going well, I finished a three day painting project in two days so my generous boss gave me a bonus!  Yep, goes in the camera fund!  Thank you to everyone that has been praying for us, Ginger and I are truly blessed to be surrounded by such loving family and friends!  We thank God for ya'll everyday!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week 10: Birthday Boy

So this Saturday I was working out at the ranch.  I got to go out into the woods to retrieve a ladder and got to walk a little down memory lane to see a lot of the areas I had cleared out (and are growing back) what seems a life time ago.  Funny.  I remember walking on that land back in 2006 helping a plumber with some plumbing for Rebecca.  I didn't know it, but God would be calling me back to that land time and again.  I worked for a not so good man who had some of the land at one time.  He does not anymore, just owns a house on it that he rents out and that has more liens on than most.  Haven't talked to him in over 6 years.   I have worked for another man who has land next to the land who I still have a friendship with.  He is a good man who is a little rough under the collar!   And then there is Rebecca, one of my closest friends, who I just happen to help out on "project day!"  Project day can consist of small projects to working on the barn.  Gretchen, her horse, knows me well.  At one time I was scared to be around horses.  Now, you wouldn't believe it.  From cleaning her stall, to feeding her, to working on her stall and her coming up and "kissing me on the cheek", she has delivered me from that fear.  And then there is Missy.  A beautiful Labrador who I have known for years.  And Missy knows me.  I pull up on the land and she comes and greets me.  I have a special place in my heart for her, she has been through a lot (she use to be not so good man's dog).  The land has morphed and grown and become beautiful and I have been able to put my little part in that.  A safe haven that is a source of creative inspiration, I consider it an artistic retreat.  I mean, you just have to look at the project that her brother, Andy just embarked on, to see how this place is an artistic paradise.  And of course there is Rebecca's work, which is nothing short of amazing. 

So after working on Saturday at the ranch I came home to this delicious sight:

My sweet wife had been making cupcakes for my birthday, which is Monday.  I bet you can guess how old I will be.....

It is nice to be thought of while you are out working on a barn!  I forgot about the sore muscles!  And since there was a lone cupcake that didn't make the cut for the 49 (Ginger said it was in time out) I just had to taste it!  I've become a big cupcake fan, especially Ginger's!

Ginger's family took me out to eat today.  I think I surprised everyone when I said I wanted to go to the Greek restaurant!   And I got this unique card:

Yes, for a photographer this was fantastic, and unique.  I couldn't believe Aunt Susy had found it!  So it just had to make the blog.  The camera itself looks like a Leica, which is a very expensive German camera (about $2800 for a point and shoot camera....). 

So cupcakes, a unique card, funds for the camera equipment fund, but more importantly, being around people I love.  And yesterday I was able to get something I have been wanting for a while,
a photography journal:

Been wanting a leather bound journal for a while.  It was hard to find one that had blank pages that I liked, this one fit the bill nicely.

So lastly, one of the things I do for a living is painting and remodelling.  I love painting.  Painting with oil based paint can be tricky however.  And you need to have the proper equipment and protection.  So like something out of a zombie apocalypse movie here I am getting ready to spray Icicle (I ended up loving this color):

Yep, that is me.  The thing about oil based is it doesn't just come off with water, so if you are not covered, clean up can be....messy.   Have a good boss that provides us the right equipment.  Of course, the $2200 paint sprayer I am using helps nicely too!  And even though prep is key and time consuming, if you do it properly, this part is quick.  There are a few tricks to oil based, I am blessed to be taught them.  Did I mention I love learning!

So I hope everyone has a wonderful week!  As the last of year 48 comes to a close I am actually excited to see what year 49 brings!  God is good!