Monday, September 30, 2013

Playing the Catch-Up Game

    The last two months have been just a whirlwind of ridiculousness! My goal (originally) was to have the website up and fully running by the end of August. I got so excited about this, I even commented to people of its pending completion. I went to Sturgis, SD the first week of August, and enjoyed my birthday with lots of new and amazing people, as well as remember a man who was very loved and is now lost in me and my mother's lives, along with many others'.

    Back to the website, I have decided to offer CD's. I realize now, that no one wants the prints nearly as much anymore. People want images they can post to Facebook, and although I don't care for the site anymore, I know that a lot of people do. I am hoping that I can get all this figured out by the end of the weekend. I am not a person who is super savvy when it comes to fully customizing a website and that's the problem that I have encountered. I needed to update this, and updates will come much more regularly now that things have settled a bit. More to come soon (at least, sooner than later anyways)!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Travelling Thoughts and Perks

Today marked day 2 traveling from Tennessee to Minnesota. We are headed out to Sturgis, SD. A few years ago, it would be to ride our motorcycles out there, and enjoy the whole experience. However, things have changed, and we are driving in a Prius, and a Toyota Tundra pulling a 20' Sportsmen camper.
Traveling has provided me with some amazing experiences over the last 5 years, and this trip is no exception. The first many hours do not have much variation in scenery to them. It's pretty much trees on both sides of the interstate, and little visibility for forest rats (deers). Through parts of Kentucky and lower Illinois, there are glimpses of fields or meadows, but it is still dominated by the trees right next to the interstate. This trip there seemed to be many more travelers than normal. This may not be the case as it may just be me wishing there were less people in general on the roads these days.
Every time I make this drive (over 25 times total now), Illinois is my least favorite state to drive through. It literally has nothing  to do with the road conditions, the drivers, or the scenery. Instead, it has everything to do with the length of the state! I enter on the southern end, and proceed all the way up to Interstate 80. It is the longest leg of the journey without a change in road, and it doesn't change a whole lot in scenery. The changes in many other states happen every few hours; you see fields, then trees, then river areas, wetlands, hills, etc. In Illinois, there's only two changes it seems. Trees, fields. This isn't actually the case, but it certainly feels that way driving the endless road through a seemingly endless state.
We camped at Hunt's Cedar River Campground last night near Tipton, Iowa. It's very close to the interstate on the outer camping row, but not horribly noisy inside the camper. It wasn't busy, and it was really quite clean. We woke up this morning and took the Great Dane and Yorkie (strange mix, I know) down to the river. It was only about a blocks worth of walk and it was really quite pretty in the late morning light. I took a few images, but they're still on the camera!
After our walk, we departed again. It's a campground I would stay at again as it has internet access, and either water/electric, or full hookups for $26/$28 respectfully.
Today was long, my body is sore from yesterday's driving, but it went well. We spent the majority of the drive with some clouds, which helped keep the camper cooler at stops. The scenery was beautiful as the prairies and crop fields took over. It always makes me feel like I'm home when I see these things. I lived in the midwest my entire life, and I feel claustrophobic quite often in Tennessee. I think it's the people, along with inability to see any amount of distance from pretty much anywhere!
We arrived at the farm late, and were able to eat something quick, and now I'm writing this up!
Being horizontal on the bed with a blanket sounds amazing right now, and I'll be enjoying that feeling very soon!
Tomorrow will be lots of running around, and making sure everything's ready to go. Sturgis will be the next thing on our fun filled agenda! I've been to the motorcycle get-together once before, although I had not purchased my motorcycle at that point. This year I'm going for very different reasons. Meeting people that have been a part of my Mom's life, and enjoying their  company is a very exciting and welcomed thing! I'm also looking forward to spending at least one night out in the Badlands, and enjoying their splendor as well as the new moon!!!
It's time for no longer being vertical now!
Hopefully I'll have new pictures coming this way in the next week!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Timed Exposures....A struggle

So, over the course of my career, which is definitely still very young, I have tried (without stacking images) to capture a great long exposure. With digital programs achieving a seemingly 4 h

our exposure is easy, if you're willing/able to capture hundreds of exposures, and then stack them upon themselves after the fact. It's not that I find this process too difficult, I just don't prefer it. Although with digital you're strapped by your camera battery's charge.
I have probably done long exposures two dozen times since I truly learned how to. Of those two dozen times, I've probably walked away with less than 10 viable images. Not that the images I have captured aren't a personal achievement to me, they just aren't anything I would expect a stranger to pay money to buy from me. It's just part of the learning process for me.

If I was better with my film cameras, I could take a 24 hour straight exposure if I felt so inclined...but that's a whole other beast to conquer!

Here's a few examples of what I've come up with so far. One is from early this year, and the other from about 6 nights ago. The second image is problematic in the aspect that I took it in a highly populated area (as there are power lines), and the light pollution, although low all things considered, still alters the images integrity.

Both images have been altered in contrast, white balance, and levels to attempt better clarity with them. I've also added my watermark, but that's where the editing ends on these.

A Lapse In Time

As it is very well obvious, I haven't been back to my blog for too long! I have returned! haha

This has been a trying 6 weeks, and I have failed miserably at my 365 project...I'll be forced to start over sometime in the somewhat near future. I took at least one picture per day for about 45 days, and then it went somewhere that I lost..

I returned to MN/SD area in June, and was able to see family and friends I have missed very much. I was also lucky enough to finally start my business! I conducted over 10 photo shoots, mostly of families and a couple, but I also got to shoot some more creative light painting! I hadn't spent the time with my camera specifically photography "my cup of tea" for a while, but I'm getting back to that now.

The year marker of losing someone precious and close to me and many others came this month. There is no such thing as getting over losing someone you love, but there is a way to rejoice what things and wisdom they gave to you. That's the place I'm finally getting to now. I'm an over-emotional person most of the time, and don't separate them well, but progress in the right direction is always a very welcomed thing!

Right now, that's about all I have to say. Pictures and updates will be headed this way shortly, but I just wanted to post a quick update in case anyone is looking!

Have a great evening!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

365 - Day 3 & 4

So, for day 3, I decided to go with an image of my little dog Spartacus. Spartacus is a "rescue" that ran onto my yard screaming back in September. I found out 2 months later that he actually was the neighbors dog, and it all around just isn't, well wasn't a good thing. Although he is added stress at times, and will make traveling more difficult, I am beyond thrilled to have him living with us! Anyways, Mom and him were playing, and I managed to get this shot of him chasing down the rope she had thrown!

As far as day 4 is concerned, it was a less than amazing day photographically speaking, but a really decent day otherwise. I have been photographing the hummingbirds over the last few days, but this evening, as the sun was getting low, I got a fairly good shot showing off just how colorful the boys can be this time of the year. I did crop this down, and it was taken with a higher ISO, so there's unfortunately some grain present that I wish wasn't there. I still enjoy the image however.

Friday, April 12, 2013

My 365 Project

After months of lackluster photographing, I've decided to start a 365 photographic project. I started on April 10, and will be taking a minimum of 1 picture per day, and posting that one picture.

These are the two images from 4-10 and 4-11! I've been working with my macro adapter rings, which is a great, but at times frustrating adventure. I can't afford to purchase a true macro lens currently, and the rings provide a solution of sorts. I can't adjust my aperture while using them, but it has provided me the ability to actually take some closer shots of smaller plants/flowers/insects.
Image one was taken in the front yard on one of our blooming trees, although I'm not sure what type of tree it actually is.
Image two was taken yesterday afternoon at Old Stone Fort Archeological State Park in Manchester, TN. It's an amazing and beautiful park that my mom and I have frequented during the different seasons. There are waterfalls, and a great Native American history in the park, along with beautiful trees, flowers, plants and other great wildlife.
Now the question is what will I photograph for today? At least I have some time to figure that out!