Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just the two of us...

"The way to love someone is to lightly run your finger over that person's soul until you find a crack, and then gently pour your love into that crack." -Keith Miller

More fall pictures.  What a wonderful husband I have.  He knows one way to show me that he loves me bunches is to pose with me when I ask him if we can take a photo together.  I know how much he really does not like doing this.   I know it is truly an act of love when he says sure.  I wanted to get a couple of fall pictures with him in front of the pumpkins and maximillion daisies.  Fall would not be fall without these pictures.  It made me so happy to get these done.   The photos would be perfect if the cat would be equally willing to pose. Oh well...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Welcome Fall...

Oh how we love pumpkin season.  You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right?  Winter, spring, summer, pumpkin...we anxiously anticipate it every year."  -Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer, October, 2010

Today, we officially greet fall.  Hello, fall.   It has been sort of fallish out today.  It has come in with a lot of grace with temperatures just right.  Welcome.  I found an awesome pumpkin patch, and asked the owner if I could take some pictures. Behold my tribute to fall: pumpkins and all!

The pumpkin patch
These pumpkins are huge. They must weigh 50 pounds, and are about the size of one of those exercise balls that you sit on. I bought some pumpkins from the owner, and he used a tractor to pick them up.  I had a very hard time getting my pumpkin out of my car, and to my front porch.  I did lift it, and my arms were so sore the next day.  Good thing I lift weights.

Another pumpkin.

These are called fairy tale pumpkins.

Fun in the pumpkin patch.

King of the pumpkin.
Fall would not be fall without the sunflowers, and maximillion daisies.  I heard that we can expect the first frost three weeks after the maximillion daisies start blooming, so mark your calendars.

Maximillion daisies in our front yard.


I cannot have blooming maximillion daisies without taking a photo of my wonderful husband in front of them.

My super awesome husband.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I get to be a model...

"We are like angels with just one wing; we fly only by embracing each other." -unknown

Most of the time, I am looking for people to be the models, or subjects for my photo shoots.  Subjects become especially important when one is taking a class.  This time the tables were turned.  One of my friends is taking an online class in flash photography.  She needed a model for her assignment.  The assignment: she was to be the paparazzi taking photos of a celebrity who did not want her photo taken.  Of course, she had to use her flash.  It was actually quite fun dressing up, acting out the scenario, and trying different things.  She was nice enough to send me some of the photos.  By the way, she has an amazing flash!  These photos are compliments of Gennean.

Don't I look mean?

This one is my favorite.  Maybe because of the color or how nicely she framed it with the car door on the left, and the umbrella on the right.  
Next, she was to use a different setting (aperture priority, program mode, and hmmm, I cannot remember the last one...maybe shutter priority)  on her camera with her flash to see the difference in each of the settings made with the flash.  Do not worry, she only sent one picture, not all three.

Finally, she did a mugshot of her dog.  His crime is pretty funny.

Cute dog, and can you believe he or she, (I do not know which), actually posed for her?  Amazing dog.  And he/she must be pretty smart by now since he/she eats homework.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A project...The Ice House...

"Constant kindness can accomplish much.  As the sun makes ICE melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." -Albert Schweitzer

Old buildings are one of my favorite objects to photograph.  Lately, I have been walking, driving, and photographing various landmarks in this area.  My thought is that one day, they will be no more.  Most of the old places I have been photographing bring back wonderful childhood memories.  A few I have photographed because of interest and looks.  The Ice House is the former.  It brings back memories.  Located at the corner of 10th and Virginia, this is truly a landmark.  I remember going there many times to buy ice for our get togethers and parties.  It never was a very aesthetic looking building.  It has always had that rather "rough" look about it.  But it was where we had to go to get ice, since ice was not available in the stores.  Luke and Jordan had their engagement pictures taken on the property.  One of my favorite pictures of them is in front of the turquoise doors which are now boarded up.  I have made the Ice House one of places to document, and decided to make a photo book of some of the pictures.

On another nostalgic note, Roswell used to have an annual Soapbox Derby race down Virginia Street.  The starting line was on College Avenue, and the finish line was at the Ice House.  Each year my brother, Tom, built his car with the help of my father.  I don't remember if he ever won.  I just remember the building if the car and the races.  Good times, good times, and strong memories.

My Ice House project.

Click here to view this photo book larger
Shutterfly photo books  offer a variety of layouts and cover options to choose from.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mark goes to school...again...

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." -Benjamin Franklin

After two months off, and moving from LA to Boulder,  Mark finally started his Computer Boot Camp School.  It was the reason he relocated.  I forgot the name of the school, which, if you know me, is of no surprise.  But trust me, school started.  First day of class was September 9.  He's got his backpack, and is ready to meet the challenge.

First day of school (photo by Amber)
 Oliver, on the other hand, was rather sad to see him go to school.  Doesn't he look forlorn?
left behind... (photo by Amber)
His first week of class was cut short with all the rain and flooding.  Natural disasters seem to follow Mark and Amber.  In LA, it was fires, and a few minor earthquakes.  When they were on vacation, again, I cannot remember where, they were evacuated from their hotel because of a possible tsunami.  Now after only a few weeks in Boulder, there is massive flooding.  Hmmm.  There seems to be a trend here.  School was cancelled for a couple of days.  Look who was happy to have Mark home.  Oliver...and Amber!
Oliver and Mark...best buds! (photo by Amber)
Mark and Amber...best buds, too!
Hopefully, the rain will slow down, the waters will subside, and all will return to normal.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


"He (the Lord) will come to us like the rain." -Hosea 6:3

From drought to flooding.  No happy medium.  It has rained pretty much non-stop for three days.  It started on September 11th.  I wonder if the heavens opened up, and poured forth its own form of mourning since rain started falling on the anniversary of 911.  Maybe it was the Lord weeping...actually wailing, since it came down in torrents.  In all my years of living in Roswell, which has been about 54, I have never seen it rain like this.  I ventured out on the second day because I wanted to take photos of all the rain.  I was going through a huge puddle when my car started beeping at me, and warning pictures came on my dashboard. It scared the wits out of me.   I think it was warning me that my anti-skid feature was not working because it was wet.

When my brother and I were in high school, we drove an old 56 Chevy.

It was like driving a tank.  We had to crawl...like 2 mph...through puddles when it rained, because it shorted out when the under carriage got the least bit damp.  He and I both walked home on many a rainy day, because of it shorting out.    I was sure hoping that did not happen when I was driving the new Land Cruiser.

Here are some photos from my drive around town.  Least you think I got out in the down pour, you would be wrong.  I drove very slowly, taking pictures through my front windshield.  Probably not the safest thing to do, but I did it anyway.

The Emergency personnel were very busy during the rain/flood.  This is on Washington Avenue in front of Church of Christ.

Main Street.  Water is over the curbs.  It was raining very hard when I took this.  

More along Main Street.  And I have the price of gas documented.  

Main Street in my side rear view mirror.  

See the truck on the left...more emergency help.  Loved the lights.  

Intersection of Washington and Country Club.

More of Washington and Country Club
 Poor Maggie did not know what to do with all the rain.  She'd want to go out.  Two minutes later, she'd want to come it.  Repeat this behavior...a lot of times.  I finally made her stay in, so she wandered around the house meowing her complaints at me.
Maggie on High ground...a step ladder.

I think she cannot believe the rain.  She's saying,"Rain, rain go away.  Come again another day!"
Maggie resigned to boredom inside the house.
This is the Berrendo river bed, which is always dry.  Except to the past three days.  Homeless people live under this bridge.  They were evacuated as the storm started.  On the first night, water reached all the way to the bottom of the bridge.  I took this the second day, and it had receded a lot.

I took the G-kids to see the water.  Of course, I had to get a picture of them in front of such a huge happening.  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Some before and after pictures...

"Faith in your photographic abilities is the willingness to venture into darkness without a flash." -Cliff Hollenbeck

I would change the quote to fit me... Faith in your photographic abilities is the willingness to venture into the unknown.  I do not like to venture into the unknown.  Right now, that unknown is learning new photo editing software: Lightroom 5.  I tried out Lightroom as a trial when the edition was Lightroom 3.  I decided the learning curve was too much for me to tackle, so I did not venture there.  Lately, I have heard many say how much they like it for organization, and editing.  I decided to take the plunge, because:  1.  I need a better way to find my photos.  I spend too much time trying to find photos;  2. The photo editing can be applied to multiple photos cutting down editing time; 3.  It does almost everything the full photoshop program does at a fraction of the cost.

I had a pretty rough start, and I am not out of the woods yet.  I still do things that make a mess, don't know how to undo my mess, and I have to call for some expert help from someone, (Rey), who understands Lightroom so well.  Maybe I will get there one day.

Today, I want to share some before and after photos.  They are from my trip to visit my suit mate in Texas.  Some of the photos I thought were beyond hope, but I decided to see what I could do with them in Lightroom.  These four little pictures took me most of the afternoon to edit, since I had to read, then adjust, read, and adjust.  I was very happy with the results, though.  And hopefully, I will get faster!

I wanted to see what the black and white conversion did to a picture.  I did bump up some of the elements in the photo to give it some pop.

Before: underexposed, flat, and pretty bad.



After:  I wanted to see if I could make a HDR look using one photo.  What do you think?

Before:  These spiders were everywhere.  On the eaves of the houses, fences, and everywhere.  I was told you do not kill them because they eat the grasshoppers.  See the grasshopper nicely wound up in the spider's web.  These things are huge.  And there were tons of grasshopper everywhere.  It was like being in Egypt in the midst of the locust plague.  



That is all my experimenting for today.  I have so much more to learn.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Holy Moly, where have I been...

We all need time to sit and rest, a place to relax and take a breath. -Michael Albrechtsen

Holy moly, and holy cow...it has been a long time since I posted anything on this blog.  There are a number of reasons for that:
1.  I was trying to learn a new photo editing program: Lightroom.  I am so not good at it, but I think if I can ever learn it, I will save myself a ton of time.  More importantly, it does an amazing job of organizing photos.  No more trying to find photos.  It has been a steep learning curve for me.

2.  I have been out of town...twice.  I went to see my old college suite mate in Texas.  We had so much fun!  She has a jewel of a husband who did all the cooking so we could play.  Oh, and the meals he made--gourmet for sure.  I got all his recipes.  Thank goodness he shares.  They just built their dream retirement house.  It is fantastic, and decorated, oh so cute, as well as functional.
Me and Liz

Liz, Verl, and me
3.  I had my 10 year colonoscopy.  Anyone who has had one knows this is not a one day deal, but about 3.  On my prep day, I had rented 4 movies which I put on my laptop, and watched as I was letting the "Golytely" take its effect.  The movies sure made the time go by fast.  I had a good report.  All was normal.

4.  My second trip was family related.  Warren and I went to see Mark and Amber over Labor Day weekend.  They are now in Boulder, CO.   We drove our new Land Cruiser, which was so nice.  I drove the first half, then Warren took over.  We got to meet our new granddog, Oliver, a white Westie terrier.  He is pretty cute.  (Pictures to come)

5.  I entered two art shows: one at the Roswell Museum--where I won a sponsor award on one of my photos; the other is at the Performing Arts Studio in Artesia.  Photos must be western in subject. The show opens on Sept.8th, so I will not know how I did until then.  Here are the photos I entered in Artesia Photo Contest.

So you can see, there has been a lot going on around here.  I will post more on each later.

We had several nights of thunderstorms.  My friend, Stephanie, and I braved the elements to go get lightning shots.

See the lightning in the cloud?  Far away photo.

Now a little closer.  Lightning is visible in the cloud formation.

Closest.  Still lightning in the cloud.  

One huge thunderbolt.  
That's about it for now.  I will have other updates later.
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