Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Basketball Game

Well, high school basketball season has begun.  Tonight was the first game I was able to attend.  However, I made a really bad decision when with my camera of choice for the event. 

Once there, however, it was a done deal and I had to make the best of it.  Highest iso on the camera, which created noise, and horrors of horrors, I had to use my flash.  On-camera flash in a gym is almost as bad as trying to take photos of the moon with a flash.

Anyway, grandson #1 was a starter and played for most of the game (until he got hurt in the 4th quarter).  So even though the images are not great, or even "as good" as many of the others I've taken in past years, they're tolerable and definitely record the event.

Note to self:  Don't be so lazy next time--get the big-boy camera ready ahead of time so there are no excuses...and no regrets.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

A Mixed Bag

Thanksgiving 2011.  A mixed bag of a day. 

I started the day by watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Almost from the very beginning to the very end.  A first for me.  Usually I'm in the kitchen cooking and organizing, but not today.  Today we were scheduled to have dinner at my daughter's, and wonder of wonders, she was going to do the cooking. I did, however, make a pumpkin pie this morning, and a cheesecake last night as my contribution and planned on going to her house early to "help" with the preparations.

But I digress. As Santa made his way along the parade route, signaling the end of the parade, one of the MCs said, "and here's a shout-out to M___ M____.  He's been tweeting us all morning, so I'm giving a shout-out to him".  The name he said was my grandson's name.  I immediately texted the boy, but he didn't text back, which I thought was odd.

When I arrived at his house the boy denied that he had been texting the MC.  Now, my grandson has a very unique name, and I find it hard to believe that there's another person by that name, but that's exactly what must have happened.  Very weird. 

So we proceeded to get ready for dinner.

And then there was dessert.

Backing up a little...  Several weeks ago my daughter decided that they just had to have another dog after their other dog passed away unexpectedly and quickly.  After doing some research, they found a family they know whose dog had a litter of Golden Retrievers that were almost ready to leave home. 

Logically (???) they decided to go get the puppy today, because having a house-full of people on Thanksgiving Day wouldn't be hectic enough.  The puppy, named Bella, is adorable though.

After dinner, the ladies spread out the sale fliers and plotted their course for their night of shopping.  Yup, they were heading out by about 8 pm to shop till they drop--dragging themselves home by dawn's early light tomorrow morning.  Oi vey!!  Better them than me.

So ended the wonderful "mixed-bag" day.  It was a good one. Much to give thanks for.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The other day I saw a really cute license plate on a parked vehicle as I was walking along the street, but I didn't have my camera on me, so I couldn't get the pic.  The plate said:


and it was on a large SUV type vehicle.  I thought it was great, although I'm not sure I would own such a gas-guzzler just for my dogs.  But each to their own, I guess.

Today, after a long hiatus, I found a plate on a car in a parking lot.   Now, one of the things I'm always a little nervous about is the thought that the owner of the car I'm photographing will come marching along just as I click the shutter.  So far, this hasn't happened. Really though, what could they say? "You can't do that, it's private, it's my property, it's personal".  The answer in my head is always something like, "seriously!  you paid good money for this vanity plate, you put it on your car, you drive your car around hill and dale for all the world to see, and then you say I can't take a photo of it?"  

Well, that's all in my head, cause I've never been caught.  Until today that is.  Today I was bussssTed!  I heard the footsteps behind me, and then a woman's voice saying, "can I help you?"  Oh, ick!!!  So I smiled and said, "Oh, I just like to photograph funky license plates".  She.....smiled back and said, "I've had the same plate since I was 16".  We had a short pleasant conversation and as I was leaving she said, "enjoy!"  

So, even though it's not the most creative / imaginative plate I've seen, it is cute and I love that she's had the same plate all these years.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It's Pretty AmAZing

Today is Saturday.  For the first time in a long time, I didn't have any commitments for the entire day.  Even though I was happy about that, I did have several moments of wondering what I could/should do.  Not that I don't have things that NEED to be done around here, but they aren't necessarily things I WANT to do.  So I basically took the day off from the "needs" and did the "wants" .  Visited a friend, took an unfruitful trip to the fabric store, came home, baked, took a long walk, ate lunch, sewed a quilt square, finished a book (The Summons by John Grisham--very, very good btw), and then played with some images in photoshop.

It's pretty amazing what one can accomplish when one ignores the TV for an entire day.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Anniversary

For the past 16 years I've been a member of The Schenectady Photographic Society.  It's a great group.  I've learned a lot, made some good friends and had some good times, both at the meetings and on the fieldtrips conducted by the group.  We meet once a week from Oct-April.  The club conducts competitions, tutorial sessions, and brings in speakers.  This November was the 80th Anniversary of the Society.  Whew!

I'm sure there are clubs throughout the country that are older than ours, but in our local area, our group has survived longer than most of the others that once existed.  So last night we celebrated that perseverence. 

The next image is of the president and a group chairperson having a discussion before the meeting began.

There were several displays around the room of historical type objects--plate glass negatives, old newspaper articles about the club, old annual reports, and then there were these black & white images.  I was showing someone the neat fish-eye function on my new point and shoot when I took this image.

Two of the long-standing members (50 years) were recognized and gave a kind of town-meeting presentation. Did I take pics of them??? No. What was I thinking?

At the close of their presentation, they showed a couple of short photo essays they had created years ago when most people were still shooting slide film.  Recognize these contraptions?

It was a nice meeting, a nice walk down memory lane and a nice way to celebrate the anniversay of the Schenectady Photographic Society.  If you're interested in seeing what's going on with the group, click here to go to the website. 

This morning I went into the bathroom, only to find Bella in one of her favorite resting places.  Cats are so funny. 

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Just a Little Practice

I attended a photoshop class last week.  Tonight I spent some time trying to remember what I learned.  This is a 6x6 card--completely incompatible with any envelopes that I'm aware of, but remember, it was just practice.  So fun...

Sunday, November 06, 2011

It's That Time Again

Christmas is on the way, and it's that time again.  Time to fill a shoebox that gets distributed to third-world and underprivileged children all over the world.  An organization called Samaritan's Purse, begun by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, is responsible for collecting and distributing the boxes.

My church has been participating in this project for several years.  This morning the youth group showed a short promotional video about "Operation Christmas Child".  It brought tears to my eyes. 

The idea is to fill a shoebox with "gifts".  Things like pencils, crayons, small toys or suffed animals, toothpaste, hair accessories, coloring  books, hard candies, etc--anything that will fit in the box.  Each box can be designated by age group and gender.  Add a small, pre-determined financial contribution to help cover shipping and you're good to go. 

I look forward to this every year.  It's so much fun walking around the store, imagining the excitement of the child who will receive my box.  It's such a small thing, but it means so much to the children. 

This year I got a head-start on filling my shoe box.  I had the foresight to buy some goodies when the stores were offering their back-to-school sales in late August.  A number of years ago I heard a saying at one of my photography marketing classes.  "Money spent is money forgotten".  So now that I've "forgotten" the money I spent on those sale goodies, I get to go out and buy some more for a second shoe box! 

I'm psyched.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Just a Few Patterns

About a month ago I bought myself a new point-and-shoot camera.  Did I need it?  No.  Should I have bought it?  Probably not.  But this particular camera is getting amazing reviews and does amazing things.  So, not usually one who has to have the newest and best of technology, I bought it anyway.  I think this is probably the last point-and-shoot I'll need to purchase for a very, very long time.

Anyway, after reading the cameral manual, I discovered how to use some of the fun functions it has.  One of them is a built in, modified fish-eye effect.  Oh joy! 

This past week, on a beautiful sunny, warm Fall day, my husband made arrangements at a tire shop for them to put some snow tires on my car.  So I took the car down to the shop and spent some pleasant time standing around waiting for the job to be done.  After a little while, though, I started getting a little antsy, but then I finally remembered the camera in my purse, set it on the fish-eye function and had some fun making images of the tires in the shop. 

Yeah, I know.  Pathetic, but I was pretty intrigued by the myriad of patterns on different tires.  Just remember, these were taken with the fish-eye function.  The tires aren't really deformed or damaged.