Spring's Flowers

First Flowers of Srping Well not to rub it in to those of you looking at more white stuff this evening, but look what was in my yard today!

Two weeks ago we had an ice storm.  This weekend we had springlike weather, flowers, and our first baseball practices with the boys.  

Walking the yard today, I think the big tragedy may be my gardenia bush near our deck.  The frost just ravaged the leaves.  It is mostly brown now, and I don't know if it will recover.  We also took some damage to the shed, and it needs roof repair now.  Hopefully I can teach myself to fix it without too much trouble.

This all just reminds me life is so precious, and our journey in the world so tenuous.  

See we're still praying for a lady our age who after having her fourth child in December collapsed in the parking lot at our children's homeschooling music group.  Her husband, knowing she was not feeling well that day was with her and immediately started CPR.  The ambulance came and she went off intubated to the hospital.  All this while her four children sat in the van...again a little miracle since friends nearby swooped them up and took them home for safety.  70 minutes later .... yes 70 minutes later.. her heart started working again on its own.  At first there appeared to be no brain activity...and they they tested again the next day....and found some hope.

By the third day she moved her feet, hands and made sounds.  She even wanted to know if the baby was hungry.  A little over two weeks later she is teasing her husband, who still sits at her side.  She knows her children and family.  She thinks it is 1996...but she is alive (and with children who were not born yet in 1996) and moving towards recovery.   Three doctors already said this is a miracle, even compared her to Lazarus more than once.

I told told my wife I was satisfied a miracle occurred when her husband was at her side that day...and even though feeling queasy she went along to help him get the kids to music. (probably knew Dad would get the times messed up...I know the drill because  my wife writes down everything for me and tells the kids they are my alarm clock).

The cause?  An extremely rare injury to an artery resulting from childbirth in December.

When told about the cause...she said without hesitation the child was worth the cost.

This my friends is a miracle we should all take note of.  We are witnessing a husband and wife who gave all without question to each other, and a witnessing their faith journey with us out here on the outside of their family.

For my wife and I it reminded us to love every moment of our lives.  They could be us.  Our children could be theirs.  It reminded us we need to be living our lives the best we can, because in a flash we could be meeting Jesus.

If you can, add a Marrietta family to your prayers .  They have a long way to go before the healing is done.

If you envisioned the scene, and you shed a year of sorrow and joy just hearing this love story...let this miracle help you be better than you were before for the rest of your lives.  I think the Lord will be pleased, and help his family even more.


P.S. X-E1 with 60mm macro.


HDR Love

A Rose for You! Here is a photo that is a little more than meets the eye.  It is another High Dynamic Range (HDR) photo I composited from seven clicks of the shutter.  Each click gives me information, and when I composite those seven shots I can do a whole lot of art with it.  I can pick realistic, surreal, structured, B&W you name it.  There is no "right" answer, it is just how I see it.  Over time I am also blessed because I can come back to the shoot with new lessons learned, and make a photo which takes those seven layers into a new and different direction.

Today is St. Valentines Day and he is the patron saint of marriage and love.  It will sound geeky, but marriage and love require HDR.  Our english language does not serve us well when we talk of love.  The church fathers knew there were four dynamics: Agape (Divine Love), Philia (Friendship), Storge (Affection) and Eros (Emotional).  Today our society outwardly values eros, and seemingly on purpose denies the others even exist.  This is of course a recipe for failure in families and human commitment.  We all know that emotional love fades, that when the hormones fade and age sets in...the pull of another set of hormones  or selfishness will tear the relationship asunder.  The self giving love flowing from Agape is the most important to emulate as it feeds everything else, yet to speak the name of the Lord in relation to being the example of human love will only get you scorn on the major networks and advertisements.

My love just read me a story about a couple married 65 years who said the secret they held was they grew up in a time when you did not throw a damaged item away...you fixed it.

That story says it all.  Just as I may find a new direction with my HDR next year, and could create a new version of this image...so must we adapt in our marriages finding the right mix of agape, philia, storge and eros as we advance through our lives. What was right for us as newlyweds, is not what will sustain us on our 16th anniversary this year or our 50th...I can foresee we have many a layer to examine and thrive with in the coming years.

I see the same example in the longevity of marriages by my parents, my in-laws and grandparents.   I pray St. Valentine and you will join me in asking the Lord for the wisdom to help us all down here to do the same.


P.S. Fujifilm X-E1 with the fabulous 60mm Macro

The Sentinel

Silent Sentinel Up in Old Car City I enjoyed a trip down memory lane, and I found myself wanting to shoot photos of my grandfather's cars.  One grandfather (my DjaDja) had a Cadillac.  My other grandfather (my Pappap) like Plymouths.  After previously finding the Caddies, I went searching for a few Plymouths.

This hood ornament was on a Plymouth, and it is one I never remember seeing in the 1970's.  It was long gone before I could remember them.  I thought the ornament was stunning, and it gave the appearance of crystal inside the chrome still perfectly smooth to the naked eye.  This Puritan soldier from Plymouth still looks fierce and ready lead people to the new world!

When I took my class with Bill Fortney, Jim Begley and RC Conception both discussed ways to purify the HDR Chrome in Photoshop.  For whatever reason, HDR turns a lot of chrome blue.  So the way you deal with it is to brush away the blue and doing a mask operation.  Now first I don't own photoshop, and if I did I've never been able to understand the language of Photoshop.  So I turned to my OnOne Perfect Suite 8 and its filters.  I found with a quick application of Purify Highlights, either by brush in or whole photo, I got pretty much the same effect as six actions in Photoshop.

Cheating?  Yep. At least to the Photoshop experts out there.  Perfect?  Probably not.  Can I live with it?  You betcha!  In the end it just goes to show you there are a lot of good tools out there, just find the one  you can understand and exploit the best!


P.S. Fujifilm X-E1 with 60mm macro.

Capturing a sunbeam

What energy one can find after a nap! Yesterday afternoon I had a couple fun experiences with my girls.  First I got a hours of time with my big girl, we went out to lunch.  We talked, and talked and talked.  It was fun, and a good time to be a Dad.  After we arrived home, Mom had to depart for WalMart leaving me in charge of the house.  After a mere thirty minutes my little one found herself startled out of a good deep sleep.  When this happens you have two choices, let her go with a minimal nap and watch her feel ugly all night...or hold her as she tries to sleep.  Well this Dad scooped her up, and held her close.  She did what we all do when we want comfort, put her head down and listened for my heart to calm herself down.  After getting her calmed down and almost asleep, I put her in the big bed and she fell asleep on my arm.  This resulted in forcing me to get a good nap too!

Ok the point of this is that after we awoke, the sun was shining in the way only a winter afternoon sun can into out living room.  We both had energy now, and could really enjoy playing with the sunbeams.

Thankfully with my camera at hand, I was able to capture a sunbeam in the eyes of a happy little girl.


P.S. X-E1 with 60mm Macro at F4.5, 1/150, ISO 800, -.5 EV.  Minor edits in Aperture using the RAW file.

An Accidental Lesson

Study in under exposure Today I made an accidental study in under exposure.  See I was shooting away, in what I thought was aperture priority mode.  Well I accidentally also moved the shutter speed from Auto to 4000/sec.  As a result, the vast majority of the shot became way under exposed.   The most highly exposed parts of the photo, did expose properly and created some beautiful colors.  Obviously the contrast between dark and light came out fantastic, with a bit of a magical air to it.

The mistake I made reminded me of a basic need...to make sure I sometimes learn what creative possibilities exist by working around the metered perfect.  It can teach me why "right" is "right," and what happens when you push the boundaries to sometimes make some magical air.


P.S. X-E1 with 60mm obviously underexposed!

Happy New Years Eve!

20131231-164213.jpg On this evening I found myself in pleasant company leaving work...the three people I said farewell to are headed the same place I am in a few minutes...to church. I felt warm in knowing, contrary to popular culture, that some people out there still believe the evening is about more than a simple drinking fest..it is about thanking God for another tour around the sun!

Today's scripture reading in the Divine Office from Colossians 2:4-15 hits that point on the nose: "See to it that no one deceives you through any empty, seductive philosophy that follows mere human traditions, a philosophy based on cosmic powers rather than on Christ." It is to God that we owe thanks...not the maker of Miller, Jack Daniels, or whatever else there is.

The homily by St Leo the Great reminded us, "For every believer regenerated in Christ, no matter in what part of the whole world he may be, breaks with that ancient way of life that derives from original sin, and by rebirth is transformed into a new man. Henceforth he is reckoned to be of the stock, not of this earthly father, but of Christ, who became Son of Man precisely that men could become sons of God; for unless in humility he had come down to us , none of us by our own merits could ever go up to him."

I'm not implying we need to forgo a nice glass of wine, but we need to forgo the culture and philosophy of worshiping those earthly things for the sake of themselves. In many ways, abuse of anything takes our eyes off the prize. It could be internet addiction, money, sports, you name it...anything pulling too hard will hurt our time we should rather be spending to build up the kingdom of God. Just watch a few minutes of commercials during a bowl game or the parties tonight and you'll see what I mean in spades!

So there is my resolution. Get control of things that distract and get God put back in charge.

I hope you have a noble resolution as well!

Happy New Years Eve!


A child's eye silent night

From a Child's Eye A great photographer I met once, and listened to often, Scott Bourne once said to explore the world creatively you need to see the world from the mind of a five year old.  Well I've been doing that with my now six year old. Today I reviewed photos he took over the last four months on my old Canon P&S.  My wife mentioned several times he imitates me when he shoots...he was actually doing quite well!  He does video much better than I do!  Well in his photos I did see the sense of wonder I often miss as I get older.

So tonight I set the tripod up and looked at the tree from the level of my two year old.  I just fell into the wonderful world of bliss.  I saw the lights, the shiny ornaments, the dark spots, the smiles on faces, the tassels and beads.  It was fun.  It was like my first memories of Christmas growing up...and when I made up the HDR images I just had to capture the feeling of the moment of when I can remember looking at my family Christmas tree a the age of four or five at Fort Devens, Massachusetts in 1974 or 75.

Then I thought about the most important part of the evening...the arrival of Jesus.  A hundred thoughts started running through my mind.  I can see so much of the story rushing together, and my mind is just too slow to understand or explain it right now.  I turned my lens on the family nativity scene, and turned of the lights.  I felt a peace come over me as I worked the light and tried a few different angles.  I began to reflect, that on a night like tonight I don't think Jesus wants us to think too deeply.  He wants us to look at his arrival like a child who can feel something special in the air, and now that in the darkness of the night a child was born who gives peace to our souls if we but choose to listen for the sound of his voice.


P.S. Fujifilm X-E1.  These are HDR processed in HDR Efex Pro 2..the second one got a touch up in Perfect Suite 8.

Away in a manger from a child's eye...

Market Time

20131210-074722.jpg The only time I've had to shoot is when I got to run out of the building to grab something to eat. Crazy hours the last week...great learning opportunities but CRAZY hours! Good company though, as made some good friends for the future here in Seattle.

Ok so the first shot is as we approached the downtown Farmer's Market. The closing is what I snagged for breakfast one cold morning. It was pretty darn!

I must say Seattle is an interesting city downtown from what I've been able to see. Not take that with a grain of salt because I am not a city person, and this entire environment might as well be the far side of the moon to me!

My biggest beef is that I am not really comfortable shooting. First I am in someplace new and strange to me. Second I only get seconds to snag a shot because we have to get back to the office. So everything is supper rushed, and really is almost like I was running and snagging shots in a complex and hot news scene.

As with all my travel photography I'm processing in Snapseed with a few of my favorite presets. I still enjoy the program and the ability to get something nice well under my two minute processing rule. The photos are first from the X20 and second from the X-E1.



Travelling Lighter

Going on a business trip, so I packed up my camera as I usually do...only to recognize some pretty big changes in my load plan. Now this is a business trip, and if I get to shoot and enjoy myself it will be a small miracle. I just feel unprepared without a good camera on hand...and being a geek I wanted my toy set with me. On my last big trip I toted my Pentax K-5 DSLR along. Great camera, outstanding quality from its 16mp sensor. I took the little bag you see below. Inside was the K-5 with a 16-50 F2.8 and either the 50-135 F2.8 or a trio of primes (usually DA 15 F4, DA35 F2.8 (or the FA43/FA77) and DFA100 F2.8 Macro). I could take either one flash, or store my batteries and charger in the top compartment. This was a great set of toys.


Over the last six months I traded out a lot of Pentax gear to pick up a Fujifilm rangefinder style kit. So this time I put the following in the bag: Fujifilm X-E1, 18-55 F2.8-F4, 55-200 F3.5-4.8, 14mm F2.8, 35mm F1.4 and 60mm F2.4 close focusing lens with a small XF-20 flash, XF-42 Flash, off camera flash cord and the battery charger. This is way more than I need...probably too much. The way I shoot though is opportunity driven, as such the better a set of tools I have on hand the better I can handle any situation.


What did I gain and what did I lose? Well the X-E1 displays much sharper image due to its lack of an AA filter, and in dim situations and almost no noise up to IO3200. Now I also want to point out that I have an early generation 16MP sensor in the K-5, and a later generation 16MP sensor in the X-E1 both probably made by Sony. Sony does continuous improvement on the sensors, and users of current 16MP K-5II and K-5IIS do have a better sensor. On the plus side I also had more room to carry some fill flash without exceeding my previous carry weight in the Fuji package. I used that a lot over Thanksgiving, and it could become useful here.

The style of the X-E1 is definitely a retro design with aperture rings and a shutter speed dial. It is simple and direct. For more complicated functions I can dive into the Q menu and handle the need quickly. It does force me to slow down in some situations to get everything set up the way I want it in terms of focusing point just because of button positioning and how my brain works. The AF is definitely slower compared to a DSLR, but it is very precise. I also can compose just as easily on the large LCD as the small Electronic Viewfinder (EVF). I am still working to use it as fluidly as I did the K-5.

I made the jump because quite frankly Pentax had not grown very far since I had purchased it. Now they made advances in the last year I would like to take home with me....but I was not sold on where the company was going and what their intentions were. Heck the company could not tell anyone what they their strategy was. My prize lenses were the FA43, FA77 and DFA100. They were dreamy...but out of place on crop sensors most of the time. I had hoped to use the crop sized zooms for sports, and the primes for deliberate work on a 35mm size sensor one day. With no Pentax FF on the horizon to waltz into at some point, I really had to make a decision about their usefullness. Fujifilm on the other hand had a coherent strategy of getting great APS-C quality with compact glass that was very portable (and when on sale relatively uber affordable). So for now when focus speed and weather sealing is of most importance, Mr. Pentax comes out to play. Other than that....it is getting aback seat right now. The Pentax primes are gone except for the macro....all to fund the new Fujifilm kit.

I must admit the jury is still out on whether I made a good choice. Both are good systems, and a little off the beaten track. I almost picked up a Micro 4/3 Olympus OM-D5. Iit has incredible glass, better AF, and a good sound design except it was a little too small for my hands. The Fujifilm fits me well...and the system is growing by leps and bounds. So time will tell if I did the right thing...until then I just need to learn my craft until I get blue in the face! The gear today is very, very good...and the limiter is not the gear but rather me!

So if you are looking for something to lighten your load take a look at the growing number of mirriorless options. They are good cameras, and by design could save you quite a few pounds on your next all day excursion.


Signs of Fall

20131130-195802.jpg A few signs of fall appearing around the town of Roswell, Georgia the last few weeks...and I finally got to enjoy a photo walk win town to capture a few of them. I particularly enjoyed how the leaves gave a sense of closure to the season as we zoom quickly to the dawn of winter. This bench was very interesting to me. I enjoyed the rich textures, contrasty color, and detail. So I tried to capture it faithfully.

If you've followed the blog for any length of time you know I enjoy shooting in the fall. The afternoon light is so warm and enticing. Funny thing is this photo does not get that full treatment due to placement of the bench! Oh well a few more days of this light before a business trip will take me for a spin way out west!

I've become increasingly self critical of my work. I think it comes with the higher expectations I have for myself. That is good because it drives me to improve my game, it is bad because it gives me greater pause before I shoot and share. I'm still learning the needed balance between shooting for fun, sharing and living. What a wonderful journey life is...who knows where it will take me or teach me in the days and years to come.


Heart Struck!

Heart Struck

One last one from Art in the Park here...

This is from my friend Wendy Dickerson's booth called How Charming.  She makes charms of every type you can imagine.  This one struck me as sentimental since it reminded me of my nurse wife.

I'm finding in my artistic journey that it is not the technical aspects of a photo that sells it to most of us.  It is the sentimental that makes us want to attach a photo to our walls or story books.

That said, the any good of a photo is almost equal parts technical and art that can tell a story.

So I guess our job as an artist trying to create a story from our minds and then to capture it in our particular product.  If we do our jobs right with technical and artistic competence, we will have that story connect with some cord in others in a way that allows them to relate to the piece as well.

Not as easy as it sounds or looks...or to understand late at night after a good long day with four kids, yard work and a photo session!


P.S. Fujifilm X-E1with 60mm Macro.  Contact Wendy at Howcharming22@gmail.com if you'd like to see her work!

Sights around Art in the Park

Art in the Park We had a slow. but lovely weekend at Art in the Park...so that left some time for us photographers on scene to play and make some art...and admire the work of others!

Please enjoy the photo essay that follows, and know we were working hard!


PS  All taken with my X-E1 with a variety of lenses...

Lovely day in the park!

Art in the Park Art in the Park Art in the Park Art in the Park Art in the Park

Give Thanks In everything give thanks...even the rough times in life teach you a thing or two.  Come to think about it, the rough times probably force you to learn more out of survival needs than anything else!

I've got a healthy family, roof over our heads and a good camera or two...got to love that!

Anyone looking to hire a photographer this weekend here in the Atlanta area?  I can handle portraits, cars, events, and sports!  I would love to help you out!


Surviving Monday Morning

How to survive a busy weekend... Ok it is Monday...we are all back to work (or I hope we are).

I had to work overnight this weekend, and it went from 9P to 4AM...yep I'm smoked and fading fast here at the desk.  I guess that does not count the chaperoning a middle school party at church Friday, helping the Blue Knights and Knights of Columbus with a Soccer Challenge, and then church and a baseball game for Kalen today.  Yes I go to work to relax a bit.  Just don't tell that to my boss would you please?

So I just wanted to share how I plan to survive my Monday morning...with large amounts of Joe!

Smiles everyone!  Good Luck this week!


P.S.  I took this with the Fujifilm X-E1.  I've read a lot lately about this camera not being all it was claimed to be in marketing and the rest...well my advice on any camera is don't read the marketing.  Get a hold of it and shoot.  Every camera has compromises, and if you like the ones the designers chose you're in great luck!  If not find something else.  For me this camera gives some of the best B&W out of camera I've ever seen.  It has the cleanest high ISO shooting for an APS-C camera I've ever seen.  I know because I compare it to a champ of APS-C...my 16MP Sony sensor powered Pentax.  It also gives me a nice analog quality in my prints I enjoy.  I accept that it is not a fast focusing, child chasing tool.  I don't use it for that all the time.  I have Mr Pentax for that in times it matters.  I also accept that fact that the unique output from the camera, the feel of the images is a result of a complex data processing not all image processors do well.  In the long run, a new dame of a camera comes in every week...just like a movie star.  Just enjoy the one you brought, and remember it is a tool not something to worship!  Use the one you need, and enjoy the choices of others as well...if we all did the same thing and made the same choices the world would be pretty damn boring.

Saturday Morning Light

Saturday Morning Light If you are a normal person...living the normal life of 7 to 5 at the job...shuttling kiddos from 6:30 to 9 around the city...taking the call from work once or twice on a crisis...paying bills and hitting the sack at 1045 only to get up at 530 to do all again.... then this photo is for you.

Not all of us really have the talents to do what we want to do and make a living.  Some of us do what we have to do, where the talents we have can pay the bills. I'm one of those type of people.  I do it because when I get the bills paid I can give the best life possible to the five I support with all my heart.

Proverbs clearly tells us this is the rule of life, not the exception.

So my photography hobby, the part time job, is really my respite from all that.  I truly believe this is what real life is for most of us.  It is also why when we see a moment, a moment that we worked so hard to reach, needs savoring and thanksgiving.

This morning with my Saturday morning coffee I saw the light, and knew it was time to act.  The kids were fed, shoes were on, and they could walk out into the yard with me.  So surrounded by happy voices, tricycles and a neighborhood cat I savored the moment with shutter click after shutter click.   Between clicks I thanked God for the moments of golden fall light and a simple subject.  I tried new combinations, I explored my camera...and when I came in I liked two images.  This was one I liked best.  With 30 seconds of post processing I said, done for today...more work to do around the house...church events to attend.

So enjoy your day!  Hopefully this makes it a little brighter!  Remember God sent such moments to remind us that all of life is hard work....but the rewards for the honest hard work are eternal moments like this little golden one.


PS Fujifilm X-E1 with 60mm Macro, Raw processed in Aperture.

A tale of two portraits

Julia Dance Portraits It is that time of year when I need to catch up on things before the crush of school year life hits us with the power of a thunder clap.

So before my lovely big daughter grows out of her 2013 dance costumes I just had to take advantage of it to take her portrait!  This time I think she enjoyed it...at least for the first 90 minutes and four costume changes!  The last change is the one you see here.

I'll share some more over time, but this one has the emotion in the smile, the sweet innocence of a 12 year old, and the eye contact a daddy longs to get in the lens.  It was a wonderful time spent with my daughter.  This is an image I will not soon forget.

Now below you will see a photo of the little guy Kevin, he so wanted his photo taken with his dogs, the only dogs he'll ever get in my household.  I'm allergic to them, but he is not so far....and he reminds me of that every other day at least.  When these guys don't have breakfast with the two of us, one is smelling up my bed.  The miricle here is that he looked at the camera!  Grin is a little goofy, but everything at six is a little goofy for good reason!

Julia and Kevin!

So what do I take away from today?  Constant lights are perfect for kids indoors.  Set them and work them.  I just recommend you get as much power as you can.  I need more power from them to make the photos at a faster shutter speed, so I'll save up for a while and see what I can do.  I learned a lot, like I will not shoot portraits without my tripod.  Too much fun.  I also like how my mirrorless camera lets me back off the viewfinder and use the screen.  Much easier to keep eye contact with my subjects...and make them laugh!

Ironically the first two shots I am sharing are the only two I shot without my tripod!  The top is the Fujifilm X-E1 with 60mm Macro while I stood on a stool. The second it the Pentax K-5 shot head on a few feet back.  Both processed simply in Apple's Aperture using some Sara France Presets, and custom contrast curves.  I really concentrated while shooting to avoid eye reflections today in the glasses, and I think I did pretty well.  In both of these I actually thought through some classic posing rules as I worked the slightly more casual portraits.

I hope you enjoy them!  These are two of the five lights in my life!  Go capture some images of your blessings today!


Just the way it clicks

Coming to the water! Coming to the water?  Can you imagine how John felt when Jesus asked him to baptise him?  Here was the man sent to lead us to heaven asking one of us fallen ones to lead him by example!

The good people of Victoria, Kansas have this lovely statue giving us a look into that moment of service.  What I enjoy the most about these statues is the ability to walk around, below and above a scene.  When I remember or read the story of John the Baptist and then view this statue, I feel that I am starting to live the moment.  I find it easier to put myself in the scene, watching the interplay of these two great men...the great prophet and the one he was to announce at the River Jordan.

As with all things spiritual and artistic, the moment it clicks comes not from reading the story but rather from the moment it touches your personal soul.  Maybe your mind can grasp it from the words, maybe a picture might make it stick...or just maybe this three dimensional image puts these two men into our lives with the same power those people at the river bank received.  As fellow Christians we must all help each generation find the path that will connect them to Christ.  There is no right or wrong way...there is just the way it clicks.


P.S.  I forgot the Holy Spirit dropped down and added an audio dimension to the story the statue does not..but hey we can add that today when join the chorus to sing our praises to God on high!

Looking up to Heaven

Spires draw you up to God Vertical elements in churches main function it to have you look up, hopefully towards where we perceive heaven to be.  This is a reflection of our natural tendencies.  I have yet to find a culture where when they are happy they look down, or when in a defeated stance look up.

Each stone you see weighs 50 to 100 pounds.  Estimates say they moved over 125,000 cubic feet of rock.  Some fathers and grown sons hauled as many as 70-80 loads of stone to help raise this from the ground.  By the way...no automatic lifts or power tools!



PS All the info is coming from the parish information sheet...check out their website at www.stfedelischurch.com

A 10 year milestone

When sister helps you...

10! Updside Down of Course
10! Updside Down of Course

Legos Galore!

Another milestone in my family...my oldest son reaches the ripe young age of 10.  His sisters insisted on the bow to complete his outfit.  He wanted pineapple upside down cake after Grandma made it for him last month...and his little brother insisted he have a police command truck for his lego collection.

He is so 10 right now.  Impossibly Big and mature one minute...thinking deep thoughts the second...and then a complete goofball the third.

Dad this is in Episode II

I'm loving it!


Right now he is watching Star Wars Episode II for the very first time!

It is a great day for him and he was so grateful for every special moment.  It made me so happy to see him get hugs from his siblings, and the joy they all shared together in his special day.  He displayed great affection for all Mom did to make it so special as well.

I can only pray God gives me many more years to watch him grow in grace and wisdom.



Morning Colors

Kellie's Morning with Dad A few Satruday's ago Kellie got a breakfast with Dad.  She'd been up since oh 4AM....so go figure I would be the only one up with her!

While I made her oatmeal she posed for this little portrait.  What a way to make a Daddy's heart melt.

I'll admit one aspect of Fujifilm which draws me in are these great colors in the JPEGS.  I can get very accurate digital colors, and I can simulate various films.  I shot a lot with Fujifilm back in the 80's while in high school.  So maybe it is a nostalgia effect in my brain, but whatever it is I think it works.

The effect of colors, and their variations through film or digital editing, significantly effect the mood of people reviewing the photo.  It can make you in the eyes of some viewers and break you in the viewpoint of others.  Unlike my film negative days. we can change the colors most of the time to suite not only our personal taste, but our audience as well.  In any post processing development we owe it to ourselves to explore this type of photo nuance to see if better choices exist than we initially made.

This is the power of shooting JPEG + RAW.  You can obtain an in camera perspective as well as a perspective from your (most of the the time) external RAW converter.  Using the RAW you will of course have more data to work with in manipulating the photo to suite your tastes.  I will caution you though, RAW is no processed the same way in each converter.  Again you owe it yourself to really look at the results you get from your RAW converter to see if they are the best for your camera.  In my case, the ACR version of Fujifilm X-Trans RAF files demonstrate higher levels of smearing and odd yellow channel color shift in greens than either Aperture or Capture One.  I like both Aperture and Capture One's conversions.  A stand alone RAW converter called Iridient Developer shows even more promise than the other last two...it just adds another step in your workflows.