Merry Creative Christmas

Merry Christmas

Once the wrappings are all torn off, the glitter vaccuumed, and you think you’ve had enough family time today is probably when you’ll end up here, reading what all the bloggers have to say.

Ok, here’s my thought for the year – enjoy your family.  You never know what life will throw at you, and there may come a day when it’s pulled away from you unexpectedly.  So, read this and close your iPad, tablet, laptop, mobile device, or whatever and go back to that niece, nephew, spouse, parent, sibling or whatever loved one you last talked to and spend some more time with them.

After all – it’s Christmas!

Not looking for the schmoopy stuff?  Okay, here’s a creative effort I put together from a photo, some text, and a graphic online.  Not exactly the most creative showcase of my skills, but it’s thematically appropriate!


Merry Christmas

 

If you’ve come to learn, then grab yourself a copy of the 49 Photo Tips Bundle and just read through that – it’s still only $5 with the promo code HalfOff discount through the end of the day.  I think there’s like 15 left from my last count:

49tips2

Add to Cart

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

LDP Podcast: #66 – Third Generation Cameras

3rd Gen Cameras

3rd Gen Cameras

The latest and greatest from the podcast laboratory is a discussion with my good friend Kerry Garrison, and we tackle this hot topic of 3rd generation cameras.  Are these for real?  What is the deal?  What to look for,  pros and cons…and a teaser about the DIY Prequel!  All that bundled into a great episode of The Learning Digital Photography Podcast! (Episode #66).

For another bit of maintenance, I was reminded that the January contest ended and I never launched the February contest, so apologies to all who waited so patiently!  Bragging rights for January (and February I guess), go to:

Evelyn B

Evelyn gets to pick the theme for the March contest!  And it’s with great excitement that I share the news there will be two winners for the month of March!  My new friend Joe Farace (fellow photographer and Coloradan, as well as an esteemed journalist and long-time writer for Shutterbug magazine) has contributed not one but two copies of his book titled “Studio Lighting Anywhere”!  You can read reviews and catch a sneak peak of his book over on Amazon, or simply submit your photo to the March contest thread, which is open early!

So, get shooting, and look for the word from Evelyn (hopefully in this thread) on what our theme will be.  Standard contest rules apply!  The thread will go live hopefully by the end of the weekend (this also gives Evelyn some time to both brag about her win and think about the theme!)  Before we sign off for the weekend though, here’s the show notes for the 75 minute podcast with Kerry!

*****

3rd Generation Cameras

History:

1st Generation digital cameras – characterized by low MP counts,  “jaggies” and major deficiencies in tonal range

2nd Generation digital was/is today’s classification – basically the maturity of the DSLR

3rd generation – what we can expect in the future

Defining the Future

1.No more mirror – Good vs bad?

2.No more view finder – Real time versus almost real time

3.Sensor sizes – non-full frame, how important is it?

4.New lens sizes

5.Frame rates

Models on the market today

1.Nikon 1 Series

a.Cameras

i.J1 – $650

ii.V1 – $900

b.Lenses

i.10-30mm

ii.30-110mm – $250

iii.10mm f2.8 – $250

iv.10-100mm – $750

2.Sony NEX

a.16mm lens

b.18-55mm

c.Nikon adaptor

3.Leica M7, MP, M9 & M9P

a.http://en.leica-camera.com/photography/m_system/lenses/

4. Samsung NX200 NX100, NX10

a.http://www.samsung.com/us/article/samsung-nx-series-a-new-camera-standard

5.Olympus – EP1

Where does that leave the consumer?

*****

Phew, long post and tons of content today, but hopefully enough to get you through the weekend!  Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here on Monday!  Special thanks again to Kerry Garrison for taking the time out of his schedule to sit in on the podcast, and to Joe Farace for his contribution to the monthly contest series.  You can find out more about them on their website and social media presences:

Kerry Garrison, Twitter

Joe Farace, Twitter