In Loving Memory

maggie_pumpkin

Today is a sad day…after 12 years together, our family dog Maggie has reached a point where her body is just not able to sustain her anymore.  Over the last 9 months we have seen her deteriorate slowly.  Her Lab face always seems to defy the pain she is in as she perks up whenever we come in the room, take her on a walk, or give her some “floor time” to play.  Play times have gotten shorter, walks are probably more appropriately referred to as stumbles and flat out face plants, and her smiles when we enter the room have changed first to tail thumps, and more recently, just an ear perk.

I remember when I first got her – a dozen years ago.  I was a single guy in St. Louis, and many family and friends suggested I get a dog for companionship.  This bundle of energy snuggled into my arms from the litter almost immediately:

Puppy

When I met Tracy, the two quickly connected – each becoming almost as attached as I am with our beloved dog now of a dozen years. It was Tracy that started affectionately referring to her as “Maggie-Moo”, or now the more common “Moo” which everyone seems to know her by…

maggie_tracy

Over the years, she grew, and enjoyed many many happy days.  Some of my favorite moments include particular events.  Here she is expressing her curiosity the year I got a 10-22mm lens, checking out the new gear in my bag:

maggie_christmas

Us humans can take a page from our dogs, because they always seem to be smiling, happy to just be there, and both giving and receiving companionship, even just enjoying something as simple as a warm sunny day:

maggie_sun

Being the Lab that she is, Maggie also enjoyed every moment she could in water, swimming, chasing sticks, and of course, giving me a dousing whenever I needed one:

maggie_lake

maggie_lake2

Maggie is such a good dog – and acutely aware of people and their emotions  This dog never left my side when I was bedridden with pneumonia.  When something is missing or unfamiliar, she is always on the alert, checking things out to make sure all is in order:

maggie_guard

Not to say that she was always good – as sometimes Maggie would get into something either with our consent, or just from her own search and explore sessions:

maggie_fritos

Her signature mark is a “happy wiggle” where she would literally throw herself down on the floor, and wiggle around on her back.  This was always a sign that we knew she was in a happy place:

maggie_wiggle

One of our favorite shots of her is one where she is obliging us with a pose over Haloween, so I feel compelled to share it here as well – so prim and proper…

maggie_pumpkin

So, we made the painful decision to let her go with some dignity.  It was SO HARD to make this decision.  We cried and reconsidered countless times whether we were doing the right thing or not.  With no human children, Maggie really is our only child, and letting her go even today is something we feel physically ill about.  She just can’t handle another move though – there are literally weeks, possibly only days left, so we opted to let her go gracefully.

maggie_eyes

It’s an inevitable part of the circle of life, and while the logical part of me knows and understands this, the emotional side of me will never be the same person again. It hurts so bad to let her go, even though I know she is going to a better place.  Thanks for the lifetime of memories “Moo”…we love you! You were larger than life itself!

maggie2

Camera+

Floral Wall Decoration

It’s kind of an unusual week here at the blog.  First off, I’ve been traveling all week.  First was a work trip, now a bit of personal time spent in upstate NY.  Combine that with the launch of the latest eBook from the folks at Craft and Vision (which I touted here on the blog Wed., supplanting the regular “Wordless Wednesday”).  Now, having done all that, I am playing around with one of the secrets tipped off in said eBook – the photo app called Camera+.  It’s a cool little app and makes your pictures pop quite a bit over the standard camera app.

I figured it’d be better to mention this now though over later, because apparently the price for the app is going to go up, and it can be had now for typical App Store rate of 99 cents!  Al Smith, author of EyePhoto, mentioned a few neat tricks to using the app and I am finding even more as I play around with it.  Here’s some sample shots I took with my mobile and processed straight through the app itself:

Coffee Swirls

Coffee Swirls

I took this shot at the hotel after downloading the app.  It was my first shot, and yes, was way over-processed, but I quickly figured out how to dial things in.

Floral Wall Decoration

Floral Wall Decoration

With the strong shadows from the wall and the intricate detail of the floral piece, this kind of shot was made for dramatic processing, and Camera+ is ideal here for a dramatic shot on the go!  Processed using the Clarity option 2x in Camera+

Contemporary/Modern Chair

Contemporary/Modern Chair

My folks got a new chair, and it just struck me as an interesting piece for the shape and angles.  Nothing extraordinary on the processing, except that I was able to add brightness to the seat area which was not in the original shot using the Shadow option.  (It’s a pretty comfy chair too!)

Southern Tier Expressway

Southern Tier Expressway

 I used to drive this road before it was an Interstate back and forth between home and college, so became very familiar with the Southern Tier Expressway.  I’d seen a sign earlier, and had a bit of nostalgia, so promised myself if I happened to see another one and the light was decent enough, I’d pull over and try a shot using Camera+.  The sun just happened to be setting as I rounded a corner on the new “Interstate” and I saw this.  Processed using the Clarity button 2x  in Camera+.

If you’ve not bought the eBook yet, it’s available over at Craft and Vision for only $4 through Sunday ($5 after that).  Make sure you use the discount code: EYEPHONE4.  Then, with the buck you saved on the eBook, hop over to the App Store and get Camera+  I did and am totally geeked about mobile phone photography now!  Probably more mobile phone photography coming up this weekend too! 🙂

Mobile Phone-ography!

eyePhone-CoverSpread-NEW2

Okay, I am breaking two of my own rules today.  The Wordless Wednesday one is the first that I am pulling out of order, primarily because time is limited on this news.  The other reason I am breaking the rules is because this actually knocked my socks off!

Craft And Vision has released their latest eBook, called EyePhone!  Normally I am particular to David DuChemins line of writing, but this time Al Smith has surpassed even his standard because this eBook was just amazing.  I know this sounds gushing, but really….no joke.

So, remember when Chase Jarvis published "The Best Camera"?  It was a book extolling the virtues of using your iPhone (or mobile phone for Android fans) for photos…he shared photos and basically inspired you to just make sure you are out there taking photos with any camera – as long as you have one with you.  (Hence the title.)

Well, Eyephone takes this to the next level.  Rather than just saying to take a camera with you, or even share photos extolling the virtues of doing so, Eyephone actually gives you explicit instructions on how to take and make better pics with your mobiel phone.  Everything from camera functions, to Apps to download, and little secrets that are what I would call the "Insider Scoops" of the mobile phone photography phenomenon.

So, in typical fashion, the folks at Craft and Vision offer it at an amazing price of only $5 for nearly 50 pages of photo tips, tricks, and inspiration!  As if that’s not cheap enough for you, for a limited time you can save another buck through Saturday and get it for only $4!  Just use discount code EYEPHONE4 to get the deal.  Likewise, bundles are available too.  For instance, to save the same 20% on bundle deals, use EYEPHONE20 for bundles of 5+ eBooks.  Lastly, David’s own lines can be had for nearly 50% off the 7 book bundle – use discount code DAVID19 there to get the series for $19 (which is normally $35!).

In case you missed the link upthread here’s another one (it goes to the same landing page)…  Go here, go quickly, learn, save, and then (of course), DO!  I did and already am taking better camera shots!