Most of our snow melted, but in true Illinois form I think the cold is here for the duration. We had a high of 12f today. I spotted this on my way to town this afternoon... the field across from the house.
Yesterdays blizzard brought with it frigid cold(+14f @ 1:35pm).. on the plus side, the winds are calm and we have plenty of sunshine. The horses actually ventured away from the shed. Of course as soon as they spotted me they were on a dead run. From zero to 60... in 2.5 seconds!
2 days ago we had our first snow, it was so nice and pretty, giving the world that fresh clean look. Thats when I took these pictures. Today it's quite a bit more hostile out there, bitter cold with blizzard conditions ...40mph winds. All that pretty snow is moving very quickly straight East. And subzero temperatures are predicted for the next few days. yeehaw! Happy Winter!
I saw somebody in the store the other day buying hard apple cider so yesterday at Walmart I bought some. It's along the same lines as hard lemonade, 5% alcohol. It was alright I guess.. not too sweet, which was good. I drank one then got my camera gear together to go for a walk. I had the bag, monopod and big lens. I wanted to use the big lens but was planning on climbing up in a deer stand and wanted everything in it's case. I walked the 1/4 to the stand...thats a lot of crap to lug. anyway.... I got up in the stand. never did switch lens. I keep my little zoom(55-200) on the camera so thats the one I used. I hung the monopod by it's strap on the top rung of the ladder while the big lens case lay behind me on the platform. I sat there a couple of hours...felt like a couple of hours. Wasn't much room on the platform... I sat with my legs dangling over the side and my camera case in my lap, which worked out pretty well, it gave me something fairly solid to rest my elbows on while I was taking pictures. I sat for probably 30 minutes before I actually saw any signs of wildlife. A big fat squirrel was climbing around the trees in the ditch below me. In front of me and to my right was standing corn, below me to my left was a ditch and small creek, then tall grass further to the left across the ditch. I thought the squirrel and birds were going to be the only excitement for the day. There was a combine running to the East(my right). when it shut down I heard gunshots from my neighbors to the East. sounded like target practice. this is when I heard the deer come out of the corn field. He didn't come as close as I would've liked, but he was close enough to get a shot...and from the pictures it looks to me like he has one short antler. he stood in the same spot at the edge of the cornfield for quite a while, flinching every time a gunshot went off.
I took pictures until he bounced back into the corn. It wasn't long after I decided it was time to go..the deer wasn't the only one nervous about the gunshots in the distance. I waited until I got back home to crack open the cider I'd been carrying in my pocket.
it's been weeks since I've been here... The opening reception for our clubs photo exhibit was earlier this month. It was the first one I'd attended, fun, interesting..and I'm one of the featured artists.
Girls basketball started up this past week with a 4 day tournament(Weds, Thurs, Fri, Sat). I'm there for every one of my daughters games and one of the local papers used a couple of my game photos, of course giving me photo credit. This gym didn't have the best lighting and absolutely no windows. Though windows wouldn't have made much difference since the games are at night. I don't use flash and the kids tell me they really don't like flash going off during the game. I know flash is annoying to me as a spectator... I can just imagine it on the court.
I spent the better part of the day looking for info to protect photos posted on the web. Trying to find out what/how HTML code gets changed to keep photos from being copied. What I found was theres a way around everything. We all know photos on the web are almost always reduced pixels so print quality is poor. Watermarking seems to be the best and easiest way to deal with it. If somebody is going to steal your work you can at least make sure you don't make it too easy for them. I also did a 'sample' to place on my restored/repaired images on my website.
No Friday night football. Tomorrow is the first round of the playoff games and with UNITED's record(8-1) we're hosting the 2pm game. Our volleyball girls have also had a fantastic season, 35-0. I've been doing some photo repair and restoration.....seriously, anything to make a buck.
Homecoming dance was this past Saturday night and my youngest son took a date. Hes a Sophomore in high school and like all the kids, growing up too fast. A group all went together. Jess has his learners permit so he still relies on us to get him where he wants to go. We picked up the wrist corsage then went to meet everybody. If I wanted pictures this was going to be my only opportunity, unless I wanted to drive to the school 3 hours later for the 'coronation ceremony'.. my daughter had already made plans which would have left me a little cramped for time. The barn made a pretty good backdrop, I put them in the shade and had no additional lighting.
The Farrier came today to see my little mare, Precious. She hadn't been doing well the last few days. wait..I take that back..she hadn't been doing well for a couple weeks . Just the last couple of days she was really lame and was down more than she was up. The first thing I did was check her feet. Shes got horrible feet, too tender, and her pasterns are too straight. When I didn't see anything I thought maybe she'd took a spill, with all the rain we've had the lot around they horse shed is pretty slimy. Horse liniment seemed to make her feel better, temporarily. Then she got worse, wasn't going far and wasn't going anywhere very fast. I went with my gut and called my horseshoer. Hes always been there when I've had a problem, been his customer for several years. Hes quick and good, I've got a lot of confidence in him. A few quick nips and the culprit was found in her toe, she had a pretty nasty abcess. Still a little tender, she went down the hill to eat as soon as she was turned loose. She never did lose her appetite which is a good thing. Joy, my big mare was getting jealous of the attention I was paying Precious...especially yesterday when I fed and watered her while she was laying down. Precious is such a sweet little horse, nothing at all like the big pain-in-the-butt, Joy Why is it always the nice ones you stress over? The upper photo is Joy(b/w) and the lower one Precious. I was looking down from the back yard tree. I didn't mean for my blog to be horse talk, thats just been whats happening lately. High school Homecoming football game tonight. Hope it's not raining so I can get some pictures.
woke up to a frosty 30F this morning. 10 am and I'm still in my robe drinking coffee. Last nights football game was cold. I broke out the longjohns for football a couple weeks ago and a hoodie under my Winter jacket. I have a gloved left hand but it's nearly impossible to push the shutter button with a glove so the right hand goes into my pocket at every opportunity. That reminds me I have a pair of heavy mittens that flip down to expose your fingers, maybe I should shop for a little lighterweight pair. The fog rolled in, and the boys had steam rolling off of them. It made for some pretty cool shots... spent the 2nd half of the game just trying to keep my lens from fogging up. UNITED suffered it's first loss 42-27. I'm not sure what this will do for their record, we're a 1A school and lost against a 2A. We're out as conference champions but still have a guaranteed spot in the playoffs(?)... or something like that.
It's raining, again. Too wet to paint. arg! on the upside.... TGIF!! FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! UNITED @ MERCER COUNTY! It's Mercers homecoming. GO RED STORM!!! I was looking for a shot I'd taken from an Aledo game two years ago. It must be on disk somewhere. Its a Aledo tuba tuba player flashing me a peace sign. I'll have to hunt it down later. So... heres something I thought would be a neat little novelty item when I was looking at Cafepress, until I saw the shipping charges. Unrealistic for anybody(local) that would want this on a cup or mousepad imo.
The first of the first, since we all have to start somewhere...the beginning is always good.
This is a shot I took last weekend in my Dads shop. I was in the middle of editing probably the 3rd image when I noticed the face in the back of the forge. I had to call my youngest in the room to see if he could see it too. It's in every one of the shots of the forge.
Everyone has a passion, mine is photography. My day job as a house painter doesn't come close to being as rewarding or as much fun as when I have my camera in my hands. I'm a serious amateur working my way up to full time professional, selling sports shots, portraits and weddings. I have a Canon EOS 30D DSLR and regularly use 3 lens, 18-55mm Canon, 55-200 Promaster, and the sweetest of all is my 200-500mm TAMRON. 2 years ago I discovered HDRImaging and PhotomatixPro. It didn't take long before that turned into another of my obsessions. 2 long years and I still haven't trained the dog to sit still for more than 1 exposure.