Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scavenger Hunt #14--Something You Collect

Last week the assignment was "a collection".  At the beginning of the week I was super-busy and trying to get ready to leave for my trip to Tennessee, and then I was traveling, and then I was in someone else's home where I don't have my own things to photograph.

I don't really do "collections" anyway, so I was kind of at a loss as to what to photograph.  But I wanted to post something, so I decided on coins.

Yes, I save change (coins) in a jar.  I don't keep them forever--I wind up spending them eventually, but I guess you could say that coins are "something I collect".  

So.... there ya go!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Saying Goodbye...

Saying goodbye to someone you like and care about is difficult enough when you or they are moving away, or even when someone is just leaving for a trip.  But it's doubly/triply difficult when they pass away and you know you'll never, in this life, see them again.

Uncle Jim, as he's known to my daughter, passed away suddenly just two days ago of a heart attack.  He was a funny, funny man who endeared himself to many people--he was a member of his local volunteer fire department for a good number of years, he supported his wife in all her crazy artistic endeavors, he helped anyone who needed it, and best of all, he made us laugh almost all the time.

Long ago I used to see him pretty regularly. Lately I didn't see him more than a couple of times a year.  Nonetheless the shock of his passing is immense.

And to make it worse, I'm in Knoxville, Tennessee and will be here for the rest of the week.  The funeral is next Sat. in deference to impending hurricane Sandy, I imagine.  I think I'll cut my visit here short and head back to NY early in an effort to be there for the service.  

My daughter is devastated.  Besides wanting to be there in support of Jim's immediate family, I'd like to be there for my daughter.  

There are some hard roads to travel and some dark places to pass through in this life.  This is one of them, but by God's mercy we do.  I'm praying that His grace will give some comfort to Jim's friends and family at this time.  

I don't know for sure, but this might be the last photo taken of him.  I took this at a mini-family-reunion this past August.  I'm thankful that I'm so obsessed with taking pictures at functions.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Atlas Shrugged

Today I received an email from a friend who owns a used bookstore in Amsterdam.  He announced that he's beginning a weekly Friday night event at his store.  Book signings, poetry readings, music, discussions, etc.  This coming Friday he will lead a discussion about "Atlas Shrugged" & the 2012 elections.  

I think it was in college, or it very well could have been during high school when I first read the book.  I must have been very smitten with it and the author because I remember that I also read "Fountainhead" and "We The Living" by the same author.  If you were to ask me today what any of them are about, I'd have to shrug my shoulders (no pun intended) and say I don't know.  I do seem to remember that one of them was about life in Russia.  I'm not sure I could come up with the title of any book that is more depressing. I have a dark side.  The books must have fed that side of me.

When my friend mentioned the book in his email, it piqued my interest so I decided to try and read it again.  I remembered that it was a large volume tome, but I thought that if I don't finish it, it's no big deal.  I'm a very different person now than I was all those years ago.  I'll probably hate it.

So I found a fairly local library that had it on the shelf and went a got it this afternoon.  Well....saying that it's a large volume tome is an understatement!  When I first located it on the shelf, I thought for sure I was in the "large print" section.  But, no.  It was the regular print section.

I took it out anyway.  I'm going away for 12 days, I need something to read.

Two (2) inches thick.  1163 pages. I'm  hoping  I hate it so I don't try to convince myself to read all of it . . .

"Who is John Galt?"

That's the first line of the book.  I guess you'll have to read it yourselves to find out.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Last Game

This afternoon was the last soccer game of the season.  And the very last high school game for the 7 seniors on the team.  I had no idea there was going to be any kind of recognition, but when the coach brought the team over to the stands and began introducing the seniors, I took the opportunity to photograph their congratulatory hand shake.

I don't know any of the seniors, but thought it was a great photo op.

During the game, I managed to get a few good images of grandson #1 playing.  It will be his turn to get that senior handshake next year.  Sigh.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Assignment 12--Flashlight Face

The assignment this week, as you can see from the title, was Flashlight Face.  I pretty much completed the assignment at the 11th hour.  

Once again I thought about it all week, had the idea for it from the get-go, procrastinated all week, then gave up.  At least I thought I gave up.

I had the chance to go to a friend's house this afternoon for a game night and I knew I hit pay dirt.  I grabbed my flashlight, tripod and camera and practically skipped to my friend's house.  (just a slight exaggeration since her house is about 12 miles away--I'd still be skipping if I actually did that)

I knew there would be two ladies there, but to my happy surprise, there were three, so I got busy cajoling them to pose for me.  They did so reluctantly and begged me not to reveal their names.  I had to agree to the terms because they saved my butt for this assignment.

So, thanks ladies.  You rock!

Saturday, October 06, 2012

A Brand New Experience

Well.....I hardly know where to begin so I guess I'll just plunge right in.

A friend of mine is beginning her career as a photographer.  About 1 1/2 years ago she raffled a free portrait sitting.  A body builder won the raffle and she has since then become an acquaintance of his.  He asked her to photograph a competition that took place today. 

I offered to go with her to give her moral support for this first-time endeavor.

Once we got there and saw the lay of the land, I shamelessly asked her if she minded if I took some photos too.

Being completely unprepared, I encountered a few difficulties:

1)  The venue was dark.  
2)  Because I didn't know I'd be taking pictures, I didn't bring my off-camera flash, so I was limited to using the built-in flash--which left a lot to be desired.  
3)  I bumped the iso up to a high number which I knew would render grain in the image because of the darkness of the scene.
4)  I'm experiencing some shutter lag with my camera which will require a trip to the repair shop, I'm afraid
5)  The shutter-lag caused some of my images to be soft, or downright blurry.
6)  I couldn't figure out what white balance to use--I experimented with several, all of which fell short of being "good enough"

7)  The background was ugly
Out of all the images I took, I only kept about 20.  
They're not sharp, but it was still good practice.  
Turning them into b/w definitely improved them. 

By the way, for any of you who might be new to my blog, these images are waaaayyy outside my comfort zone and not typically the types of portraits I do.  But as I mentioned above, it was a new experience and not totally unpleasant.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Couple More

A couple more images from my short hike the other day.

If you'd like to see images made by my friend, go here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A Short Hike

A short hike today.  Threat of rain.  Cloudy, dreary skies. Not as much color as I'd hoped.


a great morning to be outdoors and more practice photographing moving water.

Monday, October 01, 2012

54 Days

My Hawaii daughter surprised me the other day when she contacted me and said she was flying to NY for Thanksgiving.  Then my California son and his wife notified me that they were flying to NY for Thanksgiving too.  I'm so, so, so happy that they'll be here.

Well, the Hawaii girl has been on a running/swimming/exercise regime for quite a while now, and she came up with the suggestion that we all register for the 5k Turkey-Trot in Altamont the Sat. after Thanksgiving.  Ok....that sounds like a good thing to do.  I think.

So it will be the NY daughter, the Hawaii daughter, the California daughter-in-law and me.
I'm thinking I'll probably wimp out and walk most of the 3.1 miles.  I am, however, going to start training to run jog as much of the distance as I can.  I can say that now cause today was only Day 1 of training.

54 days to go.  

I figure if I increase the running jogging by 1.5 tenths a day, by the day of the Turkey-Trot, I should be able to run jog the entire way.  

We'll see.  I confess that I'm a woman of good intentions but weak will.  I'll try and keep you posted about my progress.