June 22, 2011

Just for Fun

Monday, I took the day off to hang out with the kids.  Since Evan leaves early next week for AIT training for the National Guard, he, Braden, and their best buddy Vince (our honorary son) wanted some pictures of the three of them together before life scatters them to the four corners... I was happy to do it because a) I know the time I get to spend with all of them is dwindling rapidly away, b) I love to get more practice time in, and c) it beat staying home and doing more of the yard and house work that never ends!  Unfortunately, Braden had to work so he only was around for the first stop of the day, so he gets to be tortured some other time!

Here are some of my favorites from the day, including my lovely assistant, Savannah :o)

(Click on the photos to see them in a larger size).

June 13, 2011

Photography Class - Week 4

This is the final week of my photography class, and I am seriously depressed... :o( 

I have learned so much, but more than that, I have absolutely loved seeing the photos and takes on each lesson from my fellow students.  Even though we've never met, I feel like you have all become friends through sharing your photos each week!  You are all so talented and I hope that you'll keep posting to your blogs.  I stand in awe...  :o)

This week we were to post only one photo for each part of the lesson.  Part One was to take a "thematic" or conceptual shot.  This is the "theme" of your photographic story, and it should sum up in one picture what you are trying to portray.  Let me tell you, this is not an easy task!  (at least it wasn't for me...)  I had many ideas, but capturing them with my camera was much different than what I had pictured in my head.  It didn't help that this past week was particularly hectic, so I didn't have quite as much time to devote and play around with.

Here's my shot:

These are my parents, and my theme that I was trying to capture has many names:  devotion, perseverance, vows kept, heroism... the list could go on and on.  More than anything I think that this picture portrays 1 Corinthians 13, what is often referred to as the "Love chapter" of the Bible.

My parents have been married for about 35 years, and have faced their fair share of ups-and-downs.  My dad is a diabetic whose kidneys have been shut down for many years now, so he has had to rely on dialysis to do the work his body refuses.  My mom works a very stressful full-time job, then comes home to perform the hours-long process of dialysis on my dad, diligently babysitting the temperamental machine while it performs its precious job while also cooking dinner, feeding him, and scratching the ever-elusive itch as well.  

The most amazing part is that through all of it, they still laugh and enjoy each other - no small feat when you see the size of the needles my mom sticks him with!!!

I can't resist adding this picture, which also fits in with the "love" theme: this is Tiny.  I'm not sure if you should say that Tiny belongs to my dad, or that my dad belongs to Tiny.  Regardless, where you find one, you also find the other...

Part Two of this week's lesson was the importance of including yourself in the family photos.  I have often "joked," even before this class, that when I die my children won't remember what I look like because I am ALWAYS the one holding the camera.  Unfortunately, there's a little too much truth to that.  I don't know of anyone who really enjoys having their picture taken, but I know that I am doing my family a disservice by having this attitude.  All I can do is try to do better from this point forth, starting here:

Happy Monday all...

Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

Love never fails.

June 6, 2011

Photography Homework - Week 3

The first part of this week's assignment was to look for "conceptual contrast," juxtaposing contrasts such as big vs. small, light vs. dark, man vs. nature, etc.

I thought going into this week that this would be an easy assignment, but it actually seemed harder to find once I was actively trying to find it.  Anyhoo, for what it's worth - here are my "contrast" photos...

I liked the contrast of Savannah's fancy silvery sandals to the barnyard setting with the goat (which we both want to kidnap from our friends' Cliff and Chong!).  Later that day, Savannah and I took a drive up the canyon to see what treasures we could find.  Interestingly enough, two of my least-favorite things ended up being two of my favorite photos.

I'm not sure if this counts, but I liked the contrasting light from the cat tail and the spider (which I almost accidentally kissed at first!  I was originally trying to catch the spider web and came a little too close to its inhabitant, whom I hadn't seen.  Ewww...!)

This little guy made me do a pretty fancy dance for a second, but then he posed pretty, so he was forgiven :0)  I liked how he was in the reeds, trying to blend in, but really contrasted with them as well...

Bonus shot: we've had flooding in our area, so earlier this week I took a drive and found the run-off had completely eroded away the side of the road. 

The second part of our homework this week was to "be intentional" with our photo taking.  Especially in this day and age of digital cameras, it is too easy to just click click click away, not taking the time to compose our shot, so we were to take "ONLY" 3 shots, then choose the best of the three...  Much harder than I thought!  I had originally planned on taking a photo of my dog Annie poking her head out through the tall grass, but much like the kids, she just wouldn't cooperate with me.  Instead, I was able to get this picture of Fiona.  She is usually such a whirling little dervish, so it's rare to actually get one where she's relaxing, before taking off again!

Feedback always appreciated!

June 1, 2011

In the Blink of an Eye

How did we manage to get from here: 

to here:

to here:

and now to here: 

so quickly???

It truly seems like just yesterday that it was me walking across that stage, receiving my own diploma, dreaming of marriage and the children to come... 

I cried when you were born, the first of many tears shed for you - both of joy and sorrow.

Then sleepless nights as you cried and cried through your first six weeks, and again after Braden was born...  When he'd cry, you'd cry.  And then, overwhelmed, so would I... :o)  We made a fine picture, I'm sure!

Cleaning up after your unending messes, as you were curious from the start, and helpful too!  When Braden came along, you often "helped" me by making a bottle for him: one bottle, half-full of water (most likely out of the toilet)?  Got it.  Scooper from the formula can? Check. 27 scoops, both in the bottle, in your hair, and on the floor?  Yep! 

There were many tears shed (by you) at the untimely death of your Big Bird Radio, a trauma that I'm not sure you've ever recovered from! 

Over the years, you have made me laugh, made me cry, and given me more than my fair share of gray hairs.  Through all the ups-and-downs you have still captured my heart.  I hope you know that I will always be your biggest fan and champion.  

And in the words of one of your favorite authors, back in the day: 

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
You are the guy who'll decide where to go.

~Dr. Seuss

Love forever and always,
your Momster ;o)