Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One More Day!!!

Tomorrow, September 30, is the last day of our year-long "Photo a Day Challenge". Wow. It's been a long, long year. Sometimes it's been fun, sometimes frustrating, sometimes downright aggravating. But it has always been worth it.

This challenge has stretched my imagination, my patience, my creativity and my tenacity. I have often joyfully embraced the obligation to find a daily photograph, and just as often I have wanted to toss the camera across the room in frustration. I've photographed some exciting events and some completely mundane objects. Usually the images have been of subjects somewhere between the sublime and the ridiculous.

One of the major benefits of this challenge has been watching the growth and creativity of my fellow "challenge" partners. It's been a joy and inspiration to see your work each day and to see how you've grown as photographers throughout the year.

So I thank you, my friends, for joining in on this challenge. I'll miss your daily postings, but hopefully we'll all continue to post at least once, if not more, a week.

It will be interesting to see where we go from here. It's very true that when one door is closed, another opens. I'm excited to see what doors open for each of us. God bless you all on your travels through those doors.

Speaking of travels, my baby is on his way.

His bed is empty every night.

His desk stays clean and neat--no computer or dirty dishes.

He's on his way to Alaska. Some new doors are opening for him. God bless you, Caleb.

Late for Monday

My bedtime reading last night. I only lasted a few minutes, but it's very inspiring.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Weekend

My last post was on Thursday, Sept. 24. Friday, Sept. 25, I spent the morning packing and getting ready to go camping at the Glens Falls Balloon Festival with some friends. Once I left, I had no access to internet until tonight. So this is a summary of the past three days.

I've never been to this balloon festival, or any other for that matter. I was really looking forward to it, with visions of the great images I would make just dancing in my head. Little did I think of the weather--oh, our great northeast weather!!!!

Friday afternoon was very windy. Would they fly??? We waited, and waited, and waited, and finally around 5:30 it was obvious that the wind was waning and there was a chance that some balloons would go up. By 6 it was a go!!

I was enthralled with the entire process. I found out that one particular balloon cost $50,000. (and we think photography is expensive). Balloon rides were offered to anyone who was willing to pay the $175/person fee--and there were no shortage of takers.

The balloon is first "cold packed", meaning it's inflated, while on the ground, with cold air blown into it by an ordinary fan. Once it's practically full, the flame is turned on to heat the air, which causes the balloon to begin rising.

As the balloon is floating, the crew and passengers get in the basket and prepare for lift-off.

Then up, up and away. I was so happy that the sky was blue that afternoon.

Now, Saturday morning (Sept 26) was a whole other story. We sat at the camp ground, right across the road from the airfield, waiting (at 6 am --that's 6 in the morning folks) for the balloons to inflate and begin flying. The weather had something else in mind. F---O---G, FOG!! And lots of it. About 20 hardy pilots took their balloons up, and as they did the fog got thicker and thicker as the sun rose--instead of burning off like it was supposed to do. But I got a few shots in spite of the fog.

Finally the fog was so thick (we couldn't even see across the road) that the other balloonists gave up.

My friend's grandson had a football game later that morning, so I went along to watch. By then it was beautiful--clear air & sky, bright sun, not too cold, not too hot.

My friend, who has recently taken up photography and who is doing a great job, had her camera too. We were a mini-paparazzi group. I sat in the bleachers for just so long before I couldn't stand it any more--I said, "let's go" and we ran down onto the track. Just then her grandson, #22, received a pass and began running for the endzone (is that the right word for where they make a touchdown??). We were RIGHT THERE. Oh--My--GOSH. It was awesome. Even more so because it was the only touchdown his team made in the entire game. Go Spencer!!

Later that afternoon we went back to the campground. Windy again. But this time the wind didn't cooperate and die down, so no balloons flew that afternoon AND the balloon festival was canceled for Sunday because of the rain forecast. Sigh.

Sunday, Sept. 27--got another license plate.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Thursday Assignment

The assignment for this Thursday was given by Phil. On Sept. 22 he posted an image of the back of a car that had several different bumper stickers on it. We were supposed to use one of the bumper stickers as inspiration for our photo(s) and story today. Well, as usual, my imagination failed me, and I was clueless.

I thought I would expound on the theme of "green" when I shot this first image in the supermarket parking lot, but alas this was the only one I could "see" within that theme.

I took Lauren to her dance lesson today. We got there early and were waiting in the car. I thought I could develop the theme of "love", so I took this shot. Again, it was the only one I could "imagine" for that theme.

So I gave up.

But,,,,,, I remembered that yesterday Leslie was feeling a little discouraged about her flower images, so I decided to photograph these flowers as a "visual" for her. Wait a minute, it just occurred to me that this could be "love" and/or "green" too. Wadayah think?

Anyway, this first image was taken in the bright sun just as I saw it.

For this next image, I used my body to create shade on the flower. (the quality of the image isn't that great--I think I didn't have my point and shoot programed correctly). You can see that the color and exposure of the shaded image is much more pleasing.

While I was waiting for Lauren, I was wondering what to photograph when I noticed how long the shadows were and I grabbed this shot of me posing. I considered posing for a few more, but I was in the high school parking lot with all kinds of people walking around, and I was feeling just a little self-conscious. Gotta get over that!

Here's another fun license plate to add to my collection.

And last but not least, this image was made last night at dinner. This is Tony Sweet and his honey, Sue. Tony was the featured speaker at our photography club kick-off meeting. He's an awesome photographer, and if any of you don't know of his work, check out his website, tonysweet.com You can also see some of Sue's work by clicking on the link on the site.

Oh----it just occurred to me that this image of Tony and Sue counts as a photo for yesterday, Sept 23. It acutally doesn't really matter since I already missed a day last week, but I'm trying.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Little Slow on the Uptake

Yesterday Trish posted some beautiful scenic images and said something about the beautiful weather we had for the last day of summer. I didn't get it. I am, after all, a little slow on the uptake sometimes.

Today when I went to work, I happened to look at the calendar. Go figure--a secretary looking at the calendar. What a concept. Anyway, I noticed that it said, "Autumn begins". I still didn't get it. Autumn? How could that be? Does Autumn always begin so early??

OhMyGosh!! That means that winter will begin momentarily. Okay, okay, I realize that's a slight exaggeration, but it will surely seem like it when we're on our search-and-find-our-hats-gloves-boots-snowscrapers-scarves-before-we-can-set-foot-out-the-door missions.

On the way home, I stopped at Pine's and grabbed a few images of other Autumn sights.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Well, I finally have my wits about me (a little anyway), and a fast enough internet connection to catch up on posting my images.

So here goes:


Our plane, seen as we were waiting in the plane terminal. Reminds me of the song by Peter, Paul & Mary--Leaving on a jet plane, don't know when I'll be back again...

SEPT. 10

SEPT. 11

SEPT. 12

Overlooking Florence through the balustrade

SEPT. 13

An Abbey Ruin

SEPT. 14

SEPT. 15

SEPT. 16

SEPT. 17

SEPT. 18

The "Group" plus the instructor in front of our "home away from home".



Sept. 19 is the day we drove back to the airport in Rome. It was a three hour drive. Then security. Then restrooms. Then boarding the plane. We were separated but near each other. The flight was 8 hours.

The plane landed on time and our shuttle was there to drive us from JFK to Albany. My son picked me up in Albany and I arrived home around 11 pm. I finally got to bed by midnight, and when I woke up at 5 am, one of my first thoughts was

I can't believe it--I completely forgot to take a picture yesterday!!! Oh aaarrghhh! I only spent the last 10 days doing almost nothing but taking pictures, and then I go and forget to take one of the trip home.

So no trophy for me this time.


My baby is leaving. Caleb and Brian left this afternoon to drive to Missouri to deliver this snowmobile to Caleb's friend. The friend is in the military and has been transferred to Alaska. Brian will return home, and Caleb and Rob will drive to Alaska.

Caleb plans on staying there and looking for a job.

No idea when he'll return to NY.

I'm sad.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Do You See In September?

Last Thursday's assignment was to photograph things seen in September. I had a few ideas in mind, but they didn't work out, but I'm even happier with these images than I would have been had I found the others.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Connected Again!

Hey to all of you who visit my blog. I'm finally connected to the internet again. It's slow, but not too slow.

I just read all of your blogs from the 9th to now. Don't have time to comment since we're getting ready to leave for another "location shoot", but I will comment on each one as I have the chance/time when my eyelids are not too droopy.

Here are a couple of shots from yesterday. We were in Florence.

Me and Cupid--kind of an 0xymoron.

A view of Florence

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Thursday's Assignment

I know, I know, it's only Tuesday. But since I'm leaving for my trip early tomorrow morning I decided to shoot the assignment today. I've been thinking about what photos I'd take since Leslie told us what the topic is. All kinds of ideas started rolling around in my head, unlike most times when I'm clueless and thoughtless.

So today while I was out, I managed to get some shots. BUT, I'm not going to post them until Thursday, IF I can get access to the internet. I almost posted them tonight, but then I thought I'd tip my hand and I'm more interested in seeing what everyone gets without seeing mine first (not that I think mine are so amazing--it's just fun to see everyone's original ideas).

I will include a new image taken on Thurs along with the ones I took today. If I can't get online, I will post all my images with the appropriate date at one time.

So here's today's photo--

Everything's ready to go--I'm still pinching myself!

Monday, September 07, 2009

You Mean It's a Holiday Today?

In an effort to get things in order and and to finish up all those little jobs that I keep putting off--so that I can leave for my trip on Wed. with a clear conscience, I spent the day paying bills, writing notes, looking up information and cleaning. Really--literally the entire day. Every once in a while the thought would occur to me, "you mean it's a holiday today? You mean I should be out somewhere having a barbq with friends/family, and I'm sitting here paying bills?"

Well, it might have taken all day, but there sure is a sense of satisfaction when it's all done. At least for about 25 more days, when it will then start all over again.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Last Thursday's Assignment

Today I decided to give myself an assignment: to use only my wide-angle lens. So when I went out late this afternoon, that was the only lens I had with me. As I was driving down Rt. 5S and realizing that I was losing light pretty quickly, I decided to get a shot of this structure and see how it would look. With that lens (almost a fish-eye) I was able to stand within mere feet of the yellow staircase.

Then I used Photoshop Elements to transform it into bw in honor of last Thursday's assignment that I didn't do.........until now.

While I was still at the site, I stepped back and took a wide-angle shot of the structure, and then made it bw too.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Where In the World IS The Concert?

I spent the morning today working my shift at the Pro-Life booth at the Fonda Fair. My plan for the rest of the day was to hang out at the fair until 7, when I would then watch the Powder Puff Demolition Derby, and then at 8 attend the Oak Ridge Boys concert. So while I was waiting for the Demo-derby, I wandered around and got some shots of the goings-on.

I finally headed over to the grandstand a little early in order to get a good seat. Luckily I had a book with me, yeah, Ladder of Years, so I was able to occupy my time while I was waiting. Not too many good photo ops from where I was sitting, until...

...the festivities began. It was a little difficult to get good shots because of the chain-link fence, but I tried.

The Powder Puff Demo-Derby finally began. It was awesome. I LOVE watching these things--I probably should be embarrassed about admitting that, but I can't help it. I want to compete in one of these things.

Thinking that they should soon be setting up for the Oak Ridge Boys Concert, I waited patiently, only to see that they were getting ready for another demo-derby. This one--The Grand Slam. Okay, the concert would follow I was convinced.

There were 21 cars in this demo-derby. OhMyGosh!!! It was so fun.

When I turned in the other direction, I notice the full moon. Very beautiful.

As they announced the winner, people began leaving in droves. I was very confused--why were they leaving if there was supposed to be a concert? I thought, "Where In the World Is the Concert?" So I asked the people next to me and they said, "Oh, it's in the horse arena and the line is really, really long". Ooooops! Gotta get going.

So I put on my running shoes (figuratively speaking) and got there in no time flat--with no line in sight, and the "Boys" were only halfway through their first song. Whew! So as I put my hand in my tote to find the ticket, I found it immediately. (now that has to be a record, normally I'd have to empty the entire contents out on the ground just to find the one thing I was looking for--totes tend to be like the big black hole whenever I'm trying to locate something).

As I entered the arena, I saw that it was packed and wondered where I'd find a seat. So I walked along, looked up, and there was a seat.

Well, to end this missive, the concert was great and I even managed to get some tolerable images of the group.

Altogether it was a good day.