Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just 12 Years Ago

Twelve years ago this month I was sitting in the high school auditorium watching my daughter be inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.

Tonight I sat in that same auditorium and watched my grandson, Mace, be inducted into the same organization.

Quoted from the NJHS website:

"The National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding middle level students. More than just an honor roll, NJHS serves to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, Character and Citizenship. These characteristics have been associated with membership in the organization since their beginnings in the early 1900s."

So, congratulations to Mace, and the 40 other students inducted tonight!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2nd Favorite

My birthday was last August. One of my presents, from Trish, was a birthday dinner. Unbelievably, it took this look to hook up and go out for that dinner. We went to Applebee's, my second favorite place to eat out, Olive Garden being my first favorite. (thank goodness there isn't an Olive Garden around here, I might never leave). Phil joined us and we had a nice time catching up with each other's lives and family happenings.

Thanks Trish!!!

Backing up a little, on my way to meet my friends for dinner, I passed a motel and saw this sign. I already felt that I was late and as I slowly passed the sign, my brain had an argument with itself. You know, the kind that goes:

"Isn't that cute, I should get a photo of it".

"But you're already late and you don't want to make them wait any longer"

"But it will be dark on the way home and you'll miss your chance".

"But the traffic is heavy and it will take too long to turn around and then get back onto the road"


So I did.

Do you get it? It took me about two split seconds. It's not a license plate, but I also have a collection of funky signs, and that's where it will go. Words are so great and I wish I could play with them like this sign maker did.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

White Balance

The assignment, given by me last Sunday, is to shoot the same scene, using a tripod, using different white balance. I used natural daylight. Nothing else is changed. No editing took place except to downsize the image in order to load it onto the blog.

The images are numbered. Choose which one you like best and let me know in the comment section. I'll reveal what white balance they are after I get a few votes.






Friday, October 23, 2009

One Last Time

At the beginning of this week, our little hiking group decided to do a hike today (Friday). After watching the weather closely all week, it was decided that we would do a short hike near Indian Lake to avoid the late-day rain that was forecast. Chimney Mountain. It was pretty chilly this morning, unlike the balmy temps we had yesterday, but at least it wasn't raining or snowing this morning.

There isn't much color left in the foliage up north and the sky was pretty gray, so things looked pretty bleak. It was a short hike, although pretty steep.

We spent quite a bit of our time talking about the hikes we would do next year.

After the hike we went for a late lunch/early dinner to a restaurant in Indian Lake. The same one we went to the last time we were up there. The menu there is amazing. It was a good day and a good way to end our hiking season.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Last Game on a Beautiful Day

Today was beautiful!! It was 72 this afternoon. Now THAT'S what it should be in Oct., so it was really a pleasure. Mace had his last football game this afternoon. His team lost, but the two teams were pretty evenly matched and it was a good game. There were some great plays...

Tonight I spent some time trying to learn a photoshop technique. There are times when I feel totally stupid and this was one of those times. It took me for----ev---er. Mistake after mistake, delete and start over at least 4 times. Sigh. Should I try one more time, or chuck the idea??? Well, I tried one more time, in spite of the headache that was developing, and I got it almost done when it just wouldn't work anymore. That's it!!! I'm done. So, instead of 6 mini-frames in the image, there are only 5. Enough is enough.

I'll try it again another day because I really like the effect. But this is what you get tonight.

Just some random images from the game.

Mace making a tackle.

A good play.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Soccer Game

Today I attended a middle-school soccer game. Amsterdam vs. Troy at Troy. My friend's son played. It's a little trickier to photograph soccer than it is to photograph football. Everything is faster and seems more spread out. So I was pretty unhappy with most of the images I got. These three are just moderately satisfactory.

It was a beautiful afternoon--a great day to be outdoors. The game was fun to watch.

These next two images were just an experiment with different depth of field. This first one is focused on the team in the background.

This next image is focused on the soccer ball in the foreground.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Our assignment this week, given by Trish, is "Close Up". The directions were to take three images of the same subject: one very close (macro style), one showing the entire object and one showing the object in its environment.

You're probably wondering what the title of this post has to do with the assignment. Well! In my head, I'm becoming a minimalist, although in reality--if you were to look at my house--you'd never know it. But day by day I'm getting rid of things. Sometimes it's just a tiny knick-knack, sometimes it's an entire bag of unused clothes. But the goal is to simplify my life by simplifying my environment.

That means seasonal decorations too. So when I began thinking about this assignment, I, of course (as I've been saying for months), drew a blank--as if there aren't a gazillion things right here in my own house that I could have used for a subject. Then, for whatever reason, I thought about using a pumpkin. Dang!! That meant I'd have to go out and buy a pumpkin. Another thing!!! At least it's a consumable and will deteriorate and get disposed of...

So that's what I used for the assignment.

Close Up

More of the object.

The entire pumpkin in its environment in my yard.

And a few more images thrown in for good measure--just because I was having fun and actually liked these images.

Oh, by the way, I may have the opportunity to photograph this pumpkin again tomorrow, IN THE SNOW!!!! Yup, the forecast is for snow. What's up with that??--the average temperature for this time of year is 60. Yeah for those Global Warming Advocates!! They obviously don't live in NY.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

800 ISO

So, I was driving to my photo lab today to pick up an order. My purse was on the seat next to me, appropriately zippered closed. Within the purse was my trusty point and shoot, encased, appropriately, in its pouch to protect it from bangs, scratches and dents.

As I approached a red light, I pulled up behind a car with a funky license plate. Well the light had been red, already, for a few seconds. Surely it would turn green within a few seconds. Would I have time to get the camera out of its case, within the appropriately zippered purse? Nah--forget it. But the license plate just called my name. I succumbed!

Quickly unzippering the purse I clawed my way to my point and shoot, ripping it out of its appropriate pouch, keeping one eye on the light and one on what I was trying to do.

Turning the camera on and practically counting the seconds till it "booted up", I then agonized over whether or not the flash was on and could I check it and turn it off, if it was on, before the light changed? By now I was determined to get this picture! I think I've got to get a life...

Okay, all set. Shoot. Ahhh, I got it! Another one for my license plate photo collection. As I loaded it on the computer tonight, I realized that it was kind of grainy. Blast it!!! It was on 800 ISO, much more than necessary for the occasion. Well, in those few seconds, I guess I couldn't have done much more without missing the shot.

That was the most exciting part of my day. Pretty scary, huh?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day Football Game

Mace had a football game this morning. The day dawned bright and cold (32 degrees). The game was at 10 am. I gathered up all my gear: seat cushion, sleeping bag, camera, money for coffee and triple layer of clothing, and headed down to the field. By then it had warmed up somewhat, the sun was still shining and the air was very still. It turned out to be a beautiful let's-go-and-watch-the-football-game day. The sleeping bag stayed folded on the bleacher next to me and I even had to shed one layer.

As in the previous game I attended a few weeks ago, the one in which my friend's grandson played, I sat on the bleachers for just so long when I couldn't resist going down onto the track to get my photos.

When I did, Mace caught a pass and ran the yards for the first down. Nice going, Mace. Serendipity is a wonderful thing. He was on the same side of the field as I was and I was in just the right spot. (In another play on the far side of the field, Mace ran with the ball and was tackled so close to the goal line that his head was on the line--a touchdown followed)

Following is the progression of the run, pass, catch and more run for the 1st down.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It Takes 21 Days to Learn/Unlearn a Habit

I've heard that over and over again. I'm not sure I totally believe it, but the "experts" (whomever they may be) say that it's true. Want to stop a bad habit? Refrain for 21 days and you might succeed. Want to start a new habit? Practice for 21 days and it becomes second nature.

So in light of that advice, I only have two more weeks to learn the new procedure for our photo group. For the past year, as most of you probably know by now, ad naseum, we've been taking and posting at least one photo a day--well, at least three of us were able to do that (I'm not one of those faithful three but the thought was always there).

After taking a week-long break, the new "challenge" is that once a week, on Sunday, one of us will give an assignment, and it will be due by the following Sat--meaning we can post it any time during the week.

Last Sunday Steve gave the assignment as "Holding On or Letting Go". (at least I know the Holding On part is right--forgive me Steve for not remembering the entire assignment). Well, during the week I thought about it quite often, and then completely forgot to shoot for it. Duh!! Okay, I still have two more weeks (14 days) to establish the habit.

Now, having said all that, today Phil and I went to Schoharie to the Old Stone Fort for the reenactment event. As I was uploading the photos I wanted to post, I realized one of these will fit, and I'll say something about it as you scroll down.

Here's another sign that I thought was worthy enough to be in my collection of funky signs.

Here's my "holding on".

These men are holding on to the flag in preparation of raising it up the flagpole. Watching them, I was reminded of the price that was paid to gain and keep the freedoms we enjoy each day. We need to "hold on" to those freedoms that were won with such a price.

Friday, October 09, 2009

A Couple More From Italy