Saturday, November 6, 2010

Foray into Fall Abstracts

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Work and Play

All work and no play makes me a boring individual.... was lucky enough to get a couple of days of shooting in during the leaf season.. hope to grab another day or two before heading back down to Florida for the season..

All is good. Glad to be working so much and from home to boot. I have no complaints except I can't get out to shoot when I want! I have shot a little more this spring/summer/fall than I have previously. Starting to play a bit with macro and extension tubes.. the world of photography is one I can easily immerse myself in and never come up for air..

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Homeward Bound

Finally get to go home tomorrow. I have been stuck in Hudson waiting on my renewed passport to arrive. Cap'n Steve and the cats went back 2 weeks ago. I remained with the dogs. I do cherish my time alone. Don't get me wrong.. Cap'n Steve and I do pretty well together considering we are TOGETHER 24-7 90% of the year.. that other 10% I usually go visit friends/family. Being married is not an easy thing for me. It's not hard most of the time.. but I make it a bit harder than it has to be during the trying times. I am afraid of losing myself.. of becoming dependant. I always said the greatest compliment I could pay my husband was that I wanted to be with him, that I didn't need to be with him.. something about need.. that word scares me.. but then I don't think twice about saying I need my girlfriends and value their friendship so very much.. Why can't I say I need my husband.. what am I afraid of? What am I trying to hold on to? I am frightened that I may screw my marriage up because I am going through some crazy mental gymnastics with imagined or real fears. Well these last two weeks have been good - I always like it when I come home (wherever Cap'n Steve is) and can't wait to get there.. that's how it is for this trip. Now if I can just keep myself together for another 3 months (until the next planned trip apart) and not let my fears rule my head, life will be good.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Blue Angels Give Me Goosebumps!

I love the BA's. Something about jets doing incredible maneuvers.. If you have never seen a show in is unlike anything that I can describe. It is not just about flying.. it is about the human spirit, the military, daring to dream. At least for me it is. My dad got me interested in shows when I was a kid, after all he was a defense contractor! We would go to shows, and we would go to airports to watch the planes take off and land and we went down to the cape for Apollo 11's lift off. So I was lucky the Jennie's brother has ties with the coalition forces stationed at Centcom on McDill.. so he had (and has had for the past several years) VIP passes for McDill airfest. VIP passes are the best. They park you in the front right where the maneuvers are executed. You basically have front row, center seats. Also, by having VIP passes, you are allowed to bring in back packs so it was easy to bring in my photography kit. (regular entry disallows backpacks). So this was my first try at photographing them. My lense (Nikkor 80-400 vr) is not known as the best lense, but I read up and I believe that this lense is capable of getting some good shots, with some major practice on my part. I only really use this lens to photograph whitewater boaters. So here are a few from my first try. I am going to try and get to a practice session or two this summer while visiting with Debra, and look forward to next year and hope that Ben invites me again to McDill Airfest!

For those interested in the photography aspects.. it is tough shooting.. You need to expose to the right more than you think.. because you are essentially facing into the sun, your camera will want to meter off the sky, spot metering is not possible because of the speed.. so you must over expose so that the jets don't wind up as a silhouette.. well I still had to beef up in PS. Also I would be too tight and lose them.. again, it is a matter of practice. I knew what a lot of their maneuvers would be, but I was too slow, or would lose them. It is a wonderful exercise and even though I don't have that many keepers... I know with practice it will get better.. I can't wait for the next opportunity!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Nice Break from the Routine

I had a nice little pat on the back this week. I am a reader of Pioneer Woman the last few years (since her first SXSW recognition)and thoroughly enjoy her site. If you aren't familiar with her, google her and you will read quite an incredible success story in the blogging world. Anyway, she has a pretty good photography section to her blog and periodically runs assignments/contests. PW is infamous in the blogging community for her contests across all of her web site, she is very generous. I have entered a few pictures over the last year in her photography assignments, but this one hit home for me. The assignment was dog pictures. Well since my animals are my main models, you bet I had a few I could enter for that. I entered 4 pictures and she chose this one as one of her final 10 (out of approximately 10,000 entries). I feel a little special right now.. and very much inspired. It's amazing what a little positive recognition does ones soul. And for those who are interested in the technical aspects: shot with a Nikon D300, 70-200 2.8. I shot this the first week I had this camera and the second week I had the lens. I believe I was wide open and probably at 1/1500 at ISO 200-400 (my standard outside although I may have been on auto ISO at the time since the camera was new) I loved my D50 but the focusing system on the D300 is excellent for action of my calibre and for driving the 70-200 and I knew I wanted to be able to capture more pictures like this, hence the move up in equipment.

But there is sort of a downside to this story.. I don't have my raw file of the above shot. In fact, I had to download the picture off of my smugmug account, as I didn't even have the jpg. In December I made a major boo boo and blew away (like the alliteration?) my external hard drive with all of my photos on it. I have a general backup here in Florida, but it didn't contain this shot (I lost most everything I had shot last summer)and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I backed up the photography external to another general external that is at the cabin. I remember distinctly backing up before we came down, but I am thinking I was backing up from my hard drive rather than my photography external.. so I am bummed.. in a bittersweet kind of way. I also blew away the photos in the previous post of the dogs in the snow last spring.. and only have the web sized photos of those too. Not a good year - but I have learned my lesson and now have good a good backup procedure in place so I hopefully won't ever be in that position again.. makes me so mad at myself. But hey! Watchya gonna do? I know that I would never be able to enter any picture in any professional contest (if I ever choose to) without having the raw file to back me up.. Anyway - it was fun to be a small part of PW's site and see the comments from her readers. It has inspired me to keep on keeping on!

Friday, February 26, 2010

I confess... I am totally having an affair

..with our "new" puppy, Rosie. Well we have had her a year, and I am amazed how much I am in love with her. I don't know if you have ever heard the saying "What's time to a dog" - meaning they greet you with the exact same enthusiasm if you've been gone an hour, a day, a week... you get the picture. Well to paraphrase that saying, I am so in love with that dog, it happened very quickly and it's as if I have loved her for years and years. But I was that way with Mattie, and with Tucker. Some animals reach into your soul so quickly (if you let them and they want to) in a way, it alters time. You can't imagine your life without them.

After Lass passed, we weren't sure about another dog. We didn't know if Mattie would accept another dog. We considered a (older) rescue, but since we just came off a 10 year situation, we didn't want to subject ourselves or Mattie to that again. If we were to get another dog, we figured it would be a puppy and it would be the best opportunity for Mattie to be accepting of another dog.I love the aussie temperament and kept my eyes open locally but nothing jumped at us.I also watched aussie rescue (in Florida and Georgia) for 6 months for a puppy. I knew I wanted a dog that I could do agility with but also hopefully do some therapy work with. Aussies aren't like Golden Retriever's, a friendly outgoing dog to strangers. And we live in the country most of the time which means a fair amount of isolation. We came across a breeder of aussies who did a lot of therapy work with some of her dogs and her dogs seemed ideal. We fell in love over the internet..

Rosie comes with papers.. but what she also comes with is a this moment in time, we wanted a (false?) sense of security in this dog. 10 years of living in a powder keg will do that to you.

Mat loves this pup as if it is her own. I am in love. In my dog hall of fame I count Tucker, Mattie and now Rosebud. We are excited for the future.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blowing away 10 years of photos in 2 seconds or less

I was trying to format a free drive on an external.. trouble was, I got mixed up in the 8 drive letters and formatted the wrong drive.. Formatted my whole external where I keep and process most of my photos.. AAAARRRRGHH.. I do have a backup with me and one at the cabin.. BUT.. I haven't shot a ton this summer and I hadn't backed up the last several months. I had one set of pictures that I really felt were worth saving at any cost. Trouble is when you go to recover, you don't get to pic and choose.. you get what the program gives you.. and I didn't have enough room any where to recover 140Gig - even though what I really needed was just 10 gig off that drive.. SOOOO I had to take it in.. I told the people they were photos, that they should look for specific extensions (Photoshop PSD&XMP, Nikon Raw NEF and JPG)- told them I was able to recover without a problem using Photo Rec - but I just ran out of room.. well 10 days later and 3 programs on their part, I get the drive back.. and they didn't use a photo recovery program.. the SOB's... they used a general program.. in fairness, I was luckily able to retrieve the photos I was most concerned about (after renaming TIF files to NEF, but no PSDs, which I will live with. But it really disheartens me, because I know they could have been recovered better, but these idiots wouldn't listen to me, even after they told me they were having problems with their recovery programs and I told them what I had been successful with.. it was a freaking free program to boot! I should have been more assertive.. and I should have let them put the data on another external, instead of letting them copy back to the original drive after recovery and let me keep the formatted drive in tact so that I could try to recover on my own again..(in the time they had the drive I was able to order another external) So I realize I am at fault more than they are.. and I am thankful to have the pictures that I do.. but my lesson has been learned (luckily without being burned too bad except in the money department) I will be much more diligent in my backups.. this is a good opportunity to initiate the Lightroom DAM (digital asset manager) that I have been holding off on for the last 3 years.. so here goes nothing.. Chris comes in tomorrow.. Puppies got groomed today and I need to take Christmas photos - I can't believe Christmas is a week away.. It all seems to go by in 2 seconds or less...(picture on the left is taken on N.Boulevard in Tampa - Nikon D300, 70-200f2.8 @70mm f13 with a 13 sec exposure.