Saturday, January 29, 2011

Family Walks

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You didn't honestly think I could last more than a week without posting photos of Galen, did you? That's what I figured. Just didn't want to let you down.

My regular daily walks consist of walking from the back door, around the house and tractor shed, out to the road, and back. If I include a trip around the circular drive out front, the entire route results in a quarter-mile walk. That's just about my speed these days. I usually do that at least one a day and combine that with walks around the perimeter of Galen's domain out back.

Some days, The Husband walks with me to keep me company and encourage me. And, on many of those occasions, he brings Galen so the pup can enjoy some new smells. That particular day, I just couldn't resist pointing my camera at our beastie, since he was being so cooperative.

Walking is good stuff under most any circumstances, but walking in your very own little bubble of love and warmed by the sun is especially fine. The photos of Galen are nice mementos of one of those special afternoons.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Caught Up In Details

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Still caught up in my details phase, I went out Monday with the 70-200mm and continued to use my lens to isolate elements of larger objects. I found focusing (no pun, intended) on close work, a wonderful way to shut out the rest of the world. The time passed quickly. It is an approach I don't often take, and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise. 

One of my favorite aspects of the final product was the collaborative aspect that occurred during the processing phase. The Husband has a good eye and asked if I had considered going darker with one image that I was processing. That set off something in my head and I began tinkering. One thing led to another and eventually each image ended up being treated to some Photoshop love. 

I expect I will have more days of wandering around the place searching out details that interest me. With many doors having closed for me recently (at least temporarily), I am busy tapping the walls and looking for new doors.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Macro Kind of Afternoon

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Note: Finally discovered that the link was missing. Better late than never?

On Sunday, I was in the mood for something different. The macro lens sounded promising. Since it hadn't been used in some time, it had actually been put away properly in the storage cabinet. But once I dug it out and it was on the old 40D, I remembered why I enjoyed it so much.

We were blessed with a glorious, sunny day and I decided to spend part of it wandering around our place, looking more closely at some of the odds and ends on our property. What with all the equipment The Husband has for horse-keeping and his penchant for doing his own repairs and much of the building, our place is littered with a mish-mash of vehicles, trailers, tools, gears, bolts, and hinges. Then there is the odd collection of memorabilia we have acquired along the way. I have to confess that I am mostly responsible for the odds and ends on the patio as well as the two pieces of old rusty farm equipment out front. 

The sun was springtime warm that day; there was only the slightest breeze; and I happily puttered about feasting on details. Later, after I had processed the handful of images that I wanted to keep, I was still smiling contentedly. All in all, it had been a thoroughly satisfying way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps on another sunny afternoon, I will check out some of the things in the pasture. And then when the tack room is further along....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


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If you want to set off a spell of some serious daydreaming, check out Mary Ann's post, Playtime. I doubt you will be jealous of the uninvited guests that share her play-space, but the notion of your very own special place will have your imagination running wild. Check it out, if you dare. Her post just may get me in serious trouble and someday put a nasty dent in our savings. Ah, I can dream.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Why I Love Drive-By Photography—Duds and All

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It's a fact that drive-by photography is guaranteed heartburn if you are hard on yourself. You have to have the stomach for stress, if you agonize over dud after dud when editing files.

I deleted most of the pictures from this session and almost dumped the one above. You may be wondering what changed my mind. It's more than a bit soft. (You bet that's what all that processing is about.) Furthermore, the framing is not what I had hoped for. When I began editing the files, the less than stellar results did not surprise me. Not only was there a distinct haze over the landscape that afternoon, I was in the passenger seat of a vehicle traveling 75 MPH when I took the photograph.  Under those conditions, I didn't have my heart set on a stack of outstanding images. But, I was going to be stuck in the passenger seat for at least an hour, and enjoying the feel of a camera in my hands made the trip more enjoyable. Later, when editing the folder I tried to pass by this photo, but something kept pulling me back. Will this one go in my top 10 for 2011? Goodness, I hope not. But, what the heck, it pleases me today, and I am my number one customer.

Regardless of the outcome of a photo-taking session, I enjoy the process from beginning to end. And, for me, that's what this is all about. The moment of seeing is the greatest joy. The sound of the shutter is profoundly satifying and marks the definitive moment of connection with my surroundings. (Yes, I am a simple person.) Just seeing the light on the subject and pressing the shutter fills my heart with joy, even if I format the card before I get home. If I end up with a photograph that I like from a drive-by session, I am always surprised and count it as a welcome bonus.

I once received a comment from someone who didn't see much point in what I call "drive-by photography". He felt that if the subject wasn't worth stopping for, getting out the tripod, and setting up the shot, why bother?

I "bother" for three reasons. One, I continue to learn by taking photographs. Yes, even bad photographs. Two, and more importantly, making pictures—even if I do not capture the feeling evoked by what I saw—the joy of seeing and shooting makes me happy. Three, I know that I have occasionally been ridiculously lucky in the worst of conditions and gotten a photograph that I quite like . And, even when a photo that I am drawn to calls for a major intervention, that's okay by me. I genuinely enjoy tinkering in Photoshop. Why post the picture? I enjoy the sharing aspect as well. Let's face it, life includes its share of disappointments, drudgery, and hardship. I relish all moments of delight, large and small.