Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Go back...go back...

I'm going back to my old blog over at:

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fork in the road

I'm at a fork in the road. There are decisions to be made. Sometimes I think the decision is earth shattering and other times I'm so comfortable with it that it surprises me at how small it really seems to be. I'm planning to not be the church visuals guy any more after Labor Day. I have done every service as a volunteer project for the past 2 years. Even the Sundays I am not there I made sure the graphics or as most will say... the PowerPoint is done. I even did it one week on pain meds from having the CI surgery. As a volunteer, I was there. I'm just burnt out. Really burnt out. I want to have more time to pursue other interest and to travel on the weekends.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The regroup

An island to myself

Home from vacation. I had a great time with family enjoying the beach, food and laughter. I got to go to Seaside ( www.seasidefl.com ) to times but both sort of hurried. I was hoping to venture over and spend some time shooting the beach houses. Always next year.

I had to leave on Thursday rather than Saturday in order to get my mom back to Vicksburg for my aunts funeral. We left Destin about 7:30 and got to Vicksburg at 1. I got it right on the dot to when I thought we would make it. I didn't really think it would affect me leaving a couple days early but it did. I was so depressed packing to leave. I hate packing to come home from pretty much any trip but this one really hit. My folks used the word "Sorry" so many times. It was something that had to be done and even though my sister offered to drive all the way to Mobile, pick them up, they would have had to leave the day before, spend the night, take the folks to Vicks, spend another night then home. It was just too much.

While on vacation I did have some time to think. On morning I drove over to the island and had the place to myself until a waters edge runner came through. Just me and the birds.

I turned 50 in May and decided to take a break from a lot of things including the bike. It has been good but I gained weight and laughed about it. Now, starting today I started my journey back to a smaller tummy. I gained 18 lbs in 2 months because I did nothing but eat and sit. This morning I woke and headed out on the bike. It was a nice ride in the cooler morning temps (68 degrees).

I also thought a lot about other things in my life this past week. I thought about how lucky I was to have a family like I do. There is also a good steady job that I wake up knowing I have every morning. I have a close set of friends that I know I can call on should the need arise. And other than having some hearing loss, I'm one of those folks that takes no medication of any kind and even passing on Advil and stuff like that.

Life is good.... real good...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

07 12 09

This is a shot at 9pm. The light you see is street light not daylight.

I've thought and thought about my final photo class and this is the one I'll use. It combines all the different subjects learned in class. I have the DOF (Depth of field), the exposure is solid, it's framed well, the light is good, composition is good. There is ALWAYS room for improvement but I think I'm going with this.

Check back Tuesday and I'll update with the results.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Under the bridge on Saturday night

A full moon above an old stained bridge.
Ahh the perfect spot to watch fireworks.

The moon was full and the fireworks were about to start. As creepy as it looks, it was a perfect spot for photographing the fireworks. I knew I was in a good spot when we arrived to find two photographers already set up and another really good one showed up soon after.

I just couldn't pass up the haunted full moon shot.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Late at night after the fireworks are done...

Fireworks over Little Rock

Late at night after the fireworks are done I finally have time to pause and write. Spent the day driving. Woke up, drove to Benton, got my folks, drove to Maumelle to family gathering, drove back to Benton to take folks home, drove home, drove to downtown to fireworks, drove home. But it's been a nice day. Happy 4th of July y'all!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Early in the morning

Flag at the ball field... America

It's early in the morning the day before 4th of July.
A ray of morning sunlight starting to slip through the trees spotlighting sections of the lawn here and there.
A man out for a morning run.
A dog barking in the distance.
The smell of coffee.
Sigh... I'm relaxed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Night shooting

They turned on the new ACH sign.. ya see it?

After I finished shooting over at the hospital I played at the State Capitol. I lucked out and caught the Angel One (ACH helicopter) flying over the Capitol. I called this work of art "Angels ove the Capitol" HA!

Aww hail... Photos from Tuesday 06 30 09 hail storm

I know, crappy quality but just wanted to show you the hail...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Flower Power

One of our daisies out in the yard this afternoon.

Our daisies finally started blooming. I love those simple flowers. The things will grow on rocks if you leave them alone. Once they start blooming you can cut and cut and cut and they just keep producing beautiful flowers all summer. I hope you can click on it and see it larger than life. you can see the pollen on there just waiting to go right up your nose! HA!

Happy for a short workweek! This is Tuesday already!

Life is good!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sundays with the homeless

Faces of the streets

Once a month our small group goes to River City shelter to serve lunch. It's an eye opening experience and honestly, most of the folks there are really nice. The past few times I've not really done anything but hang out and talk to the folks and shoot a few photos. I've been called "Picture Man" by the street people. I love the name. It's an honor. One thing I have learned early on is that you ask if you can take their photo. I've only had one tell me no. Many times I can tell who is on the run from the looks in their eyes when they see me and the camera. I honor their privacy.

This is the Big Dog cooker Donnie

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday's with Dad


Like pretty much every Saturday since I stopped riding, I have spent in Benton at my parents home. I enjoy it but sometimes it's real work. Today i had one of those. My sister had warned me that he hasn't been doing much walking for anyone lately. He never gives me trouble like that. Today was my day. I got him up and showered and looking and smelling all nice and clean but his mind seemed somewhere else as we were getting out of the bathroom. He was stand there bend over like many elderly people stand and he would talk about the TV, then he would start to take a step and stop. The he did what I had been hearing about... dead weight. I kept him up but broke out in a sweat to be had. I have never let him fall and today was not going to be the first time either! Mom was in another room talking and he was asking questions while I was holding him up. I thought, this is crazy and finally had to say, "Mom stop talking to him a moment!". I told him to stand up and start moving! I was stern about it to. Inside I was falling apart. This is my Dad. Big strong guy who taught me what I know. I finally convinced him to stand tall and spread his legs apart a little have have better balance. I told him that I knew he could walk and he said, "Of course I can." I needed him to prove it. I told him that he was in trouble with me right now and that I could be a lot tougher than the sisters. He laughed. We walked all the way from the bathroom through the den to his chair. He felt good after he did it and I praised him for it.

Mom and my sister Sherry went shopping for the afternoon and I know Mom loved being out and enjoying girl time. Dad and I enjoying the guys time. We talked about a lot of stuff. One thing we talked about we being a gentleman. He taught me how to play the game of life.

I went outside while he was napping and washed their truck. It was a mess! Mom had left a window down when it stormed a few weeks ago and it was NASTY! On the passengers side there were three floor mats piled on top of each other and underneath was standing black water. It stunk to high heaven! I spent several hours getting it cleaned up. Had to leave the windows down and the floor mats out. Yes, it's in the garage this time.

I finally got home around 6:30. Just in time for dinner with my family. My son and his girlfriend came for dinner. Always fun!

It was a good day all in all!

Life is good!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It's Friday

Farmers Market at Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Shot this last week.

Yes we really have a full blown Farmers Market every Friday over by our Fitness Center. Even folks working downtown can pull right up to the curb, get out, walk 50 feet and you are there! Free Parking! Last week I got a whole bag of stuff for 6 bucks.

Heading out to work. Going to be a fun day. Finishing up our Fortune 100 Best Places to Work presentation. My part anyway.

Life is good!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

On Thursdays...

On Thursdays I start thinking weekend! Aww come on, you know you do! Some folks start thinking weekend the moment they open their eyes on Monday morning. I mean, shoot, some folks start on Sunday night... "I don't wanna go to work tomorrow. I'll look forward to next weekend." Slow down and enjoy the ride a little.

I've gotten to where I'll take my camera along every now and then to a normal event and try to find something to photograph out of it. Tim Vansholtz (www.shutterthat.com) does this. So does Sam Javanrouh. He is up in Canada and is my all time favorite urban photographer (http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/). He is from Tehran/Iran (lives in Canada) and has some of the most beautiful photos. The link is to his blog and you'll get to see a new photo almost daily.

So I thought I would post a daily shot as my camera skills slowly mature. Sometimes there may be an older photo like this one. This was actually shot when I was testing my camera before I bought it and it just reflects a lot of what I was feeling that cold winter afternoon: Summer and baseball are not far away!

Life is good!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What is the northern direction?

Welcome to the new blog! I know you are wondering why a new blog after I've had the other one since 2005? Well, life changes. Things seemed to been sort of heading south so it was time to turn around and head back north.

Since 2005 I have been a weekend warrior type cyclist. I had bought a comfort bike and worked my way up to a super nice Specialized team edition road bike and I have loved it. I make a massive amount of the most caring awesome friends in the world. We took care of each other in the tough ride times. We had religious experiences on back roads that we still have branded in our brains and will forever. I jumped into riding clubs and advocacy groups. I did a couple of little rides to try and make a difference in the world. I rode in the Ride of Silence, I rode with Lance Armstrong in Austin (well, so did a lot of other people that day! HA!). I've seen 3 Tour de France champs ride and the list goes on and on. It, my friends has been a fun ride! Don't get me wrong, I still love to ride and will ride but I got completely burnt out. Today is June 23rd and I've rode my bike 4 times since May 1st. Sad isn't it?

Well I have picked up another hobby. The camera. Just like with cycling, you start by learning and learning means practice. I got real lucky and a good friend from church sold me the body of a Nikon D70 and I bought a lens from a local camera store (www.bedfords.com) and starting shooting away. Like cycling there are several local photographers I admire. Mark Fonville, Jonny Meyer, Kelley Cooper, Matt McClellan, Melissa Halford, Rob Purdom, Charlie Roberts, and Tim Vansholtz. All are outstanding and I lurk their websites and Facebook and get excited when they post new photos. Charlie and Melissa have some of the most creative portraits around. So with my new hobby... I will try to be like the guys I just named.

I played and played with the camera throughout the spring then decided you know, maybe I should get some real training so I started classes at Bedfords. Every Tuesday night for 6 weeks. Last night was week number 3. I have an assignment each week and before next Tuesday I have to turn in a portrait.

Here's the cool part about this new blog, I'll post a lot of photos. Feel free to make remarks, say Man that's bad or go completely nuts over one and offer me a thousand dollars for a 5 x 7.

By the way, I learned that what you see on the computer is LIGHTER than what is going to print unless you get a monitor calibrator. My first assignment was really cool but it printed dark.

Below is what I turned in for my first assignment. The instructor loved it and give it good reviews but it printed dark. We can't let Bedford correct our work either.

The second assignment was "Shoot something at your home". That was tough. I shot a bizillion but nothing really seemed to work. I finally turned in some shells in a jar. Folks in class who saw it gave it thumbs up. I give it thumbs sideways....

Hope you can click and make it larger because there is some nice detail. Still, thumbs sideways.

Well there you have it for tonight. Yep, I'll update a lot like my last blog.

Thanks for hanging out with me for a moment, come back often.

And like always... life is good!