Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Beware of the spooks and goblins today!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trials & Tribulations of Family Photography

The husband thought it would be good to take the kids picture in front of the fall decorations out at the end of the drive. I don't think he realized what a chore this would entail. But he soon came to realize it was a daunting task.

Okay, let's round up the kids and get them ready for their close up.

Everyone wants in dad's lap!
Zena makes a run for it!

What's this....someone wanted in mom's lap while picture taking was going on! It's hard enough to take pictures while hysterically laughing much less with one of the subjects in your lap!

Poor Hubby, he looks a little defeated. Everyone but Duke has run off. Ahhh, he's making a break for it now.
Okay, we've regrouped. They are back....

Well two of them stayed. Got to keep a hold of 'em to get the shot taken.

Oh look, we managed to get one with all of 'em. Zena doesn't look none too happy about it though! What a time that was! Can't wait for the Christmas picture.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Photography Class #6- Leading Lines

Many of you asked, "What are leading lines?" So here is my explanation. Leading lines are linear elements in a photograph that draw your attention to the subject. They can be anything from railroad tracks to wood grain lines. This was my attempt at leading lines.

It's not the best example but I was trying to use the pipe fence to direct the attention to the husband. Does my explanation make sense?

As for the rule of thirds, Ivoryhut posted on the Pioneer Woman about the rule of thirds. The post is named Basic Micro Tips. She discusses the rule of thirds under #3. Off Center is your friend. Basically, what the rule of thirds states is that your eye tends to focus on certain areas of a photograph so place your subject in those areas. She has a graph to show you where those areas are. Hopefully, it will make sense to ya cause Lord knows I probably don't!

Last night, we discussed workflow. It was kinda boring. He just reiterated over and over that you need to back up everything so you don't lose all your work. Nothing too interesting or awe inspiring.

This week's assignment: Portrait. I'm kinda dreading this one. I don't like posed pictures, I'm more of a spontaneous kinda picture taker. I asked if it had to be a person, since I'm not real good with people. The instructor said no, it could be an animal. Let's see what I come up with.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Going Home

Tuesday I got the call that my grandmother passed away from a sudden illness. So I headed home to be with the family. I packed up my stuff and grabbed Harley, my traveling partner, and headed north.

Harley was so excited to go. He loves to travel. Been traveling since he was little to rodeos.

About an hour or so out, we saw the cold front coming in from the north. I knew I was in for some freezing weather at my parent's.

So before we ran into the cold front, this was the temperature at 9:30am.

What a pleasant temperature. It was the last of that! We continued north. Well, according to the picture, west. Near Sweetwater, they have built hundreds of turbines for wind power. Cause Lord knows, there is an abundance of wind up there. They mark the horizon. I think more places should use these.

The cotton fields fill the land around the turbines. I always want to stop and pull the cotton off.

My traveling partner is still happy after 5+ hours.

About an hour from Lubbock the terrain changes. I enjoy driving thru all the ranch land out here.

There are also a lot of oil pumps out this way. You can sure smell the oil. The husband said the first time he drove thru here, he thought something was wrong with his car. He even stopped to check the oil and engine. Silly!

After about 8 hours, I reach the town I grew up in, Hereford. Yep, just like the cow. You can see as far as the eye will let ya. No trees and the wind blows constantly. You can smell the place when you get there. There is more cattle in the county than any other county in the country.

The temperature had dropped twenty degrees. During what should be the warmest part of the day, it was only 50. But that was nothing compared to Friday morning. I took my niece to school and it was a whoping 28 degrees! Holy Mother of Burrrrrr!

The morning I took my niece to school, I stopped by and caught my dad working. He was all bundled up. I told him at least it had warmed to 30 degrees!

While we were there, Harley got very particular about eating. For some reason, he as an aversion about eating his wet food out of plastic or paper. It seems he only likes eating out of "his" bowl. And the good mother I am, I didn't bring it. So mom tried feeding him with a spoon. Yeah, she spoils her granddog!

Then on Saturday, I decided to take my life into the hands of my 15 year old niece. I rode in the truck as she drove to a barrel racing! YIKES!

I can't believe she will be 16 in January! I used to change her diapers. Oh my. She didn't run her best at the barrel racing but she did win the poles and placed 1st in the 2D youth barrels. Here is a look at one of her runs.

Spirit, her horse, was raised by the niece and trained by her as well. I think she has done an excellant job.

So Sunday Harley and I headed home. We arrived to a pleasant 80+ degrees. The husband and critters were extremely happy to see us. It's so nice to be home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photography Class #5

This was my submission on Monday for the texture assignment. I think it went over okay. Class covered composition and the rule of thirds. If you are interested in learning more about those, let me know and I will post on it.

I think I hurt the instructor's feelings. He takes us outside at the beginning of class to take pictures. First, let me say, I love taking pictures, but when it's a subject I really don't care about, I get bored easily. I mean really, I can only take a picture of a classmate so many times. I take a couple pictures, get the concept he is trying to teach and want to move on. So, Monday we were outside learning how to do a silhouette. Cool, got it. Then I was just standing there. He asked, "Why aren't to taking pictures?" I responded, "What's the purpose?" If you could have only seen his face. Don't think he was expecting that response.

Okay, so maybe that was a little harsh. But come on. I wasn't the only one just standing there. About an hour later, he let us take a short break. As I was walking out of the classroom behind him, he stopped me and said he needed to ask me something. "Do you not like my class?" he asked. "Are you not enjoying it? Cause the looks on your face during class sometimes seem to say you're not caring much for it." So I guess my "I'm bored, let's move on look" is not so subtle. I told him that I liked his class very much and he was doing fine. I told the husband I should have just told him, "Dude, I'm just a B****. It's nothing against you." But I guess that would have really thrown him for a loop!

So now that I have crushed the instructor's confidence, I am off to work on the next assignment. We are to compose a picture with "leading lines". I have an idea of what I want to do, now if only I can get it to turn out. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Results of Bullriding 101

Saturday night, the husband and I went to see the kid that asked for some bullriding pointers from the husband. First, let me say, both I and the husband did not think he should ride and we voiced that to him. However, he did not listen. Here are some of our reasons behind this decision:

1. He hasn't been on a bull in a year. Prior to that, he has only been on about three. The husband discussed with him that he needs to get on lots of practice bulls if he actually wants to ride.

2. Bullriding is not an annual hobby. The percentage of him getting hurt is very high if he thinks he can just ride one bull a year.

3. He's really never had anyone actually teach him the mechanics of bullriding (besides the short one hour hit the highlights session the husband had with him). It takes knowledge, skill and a lot of practice to become a bullrider and he doesn't have any of that.

4. The kid said he "learned a lot" from watching 8 Seconds. I said, "Dude, Lane dies!" Why he didn't think to watch a PBR is beyond me. Anyhoo....

We arrived early to the kid's house. The kid had bought a new bullrope so the husband was gettin' it all fixed up. The husband explained to the kid how not to get hung up. And no matter what, don't freak out and OPEN YOUR HAND to get off. The also told him how to get down on the bull in the chute and warm his rope up. Yeah, I tell ya, he didn't know a thing about bullriding!

At the beginning of the rodeo, the kid came and asked the husband to help him find his bull in the pens. He knew his draw and wanted to see which one it was. The husband went back and saw that his gear bag so nowhere around. Hubby asked him where it was and he said in the truck. Hubby said why is it in the truck? Kid answered, "you told me to guard it with my life. You think it will be safe back here?" (See hubby lent the kid his old gear bag with all his old stuff.) So the kid went and got his gear bag but didn't know where to put it. Oh my.

Well, we finally got to the event. And this is how it went......

Not good! I hate to say it but I chuckled. It's morbid bullridin' humor really. But I knew he wasn't that hurt cause he was up walking around. I guess when you've dealt with this for many moons, it just doesn't phase ya like it does other people. Oh and maybe because my attitude towards it is if you are going to do it than be prepared for the consequences. Just suck it up buddy. Anyhoo....

Since the bull hipped himself on the side of the chute, the judges offered him a re-ride. The husband, being the very caring individual, tapped the kid on the chest, asked him if he was hurt, when the kid said he was okay, yelled, "He'll take the re-ride!" Kid was not excited about this. He didn't want the re-ride but the husband told him he was gettin' on. So here we went again. Now I don't have video of this one cause I messed up my camera settings but this is the shot I finally got off....

Not so good. But he did stay on longer this time. There's a plus!

The husband called me at lunch today. He saw the kid at work today. Said he had road rash up his face, knot on his head, swollen eye and nose and numerous scraps and bruises on his chest and arm. I asked if he thought he was going to ride bulls again. The husband replied, "Nope, I think we cured him of that." I just laughed and told him to tell the kid thanks for the good chuckle.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

CSI Crazy M Ranch

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. The wife, feeling the spirit of Fall, decorated the entry to Crazy M Ranch. But soon, the decorations would lead to a sinister crime. Who would have known a murder would soon take place! Let's take a look at the crime scene prior to the devastating event.

How warm and inviting the entry seemed. If only it had known the dangers that lived so close.

Early Sunday morning, CSI Crazy M Ranch was called in. A crime had been committed. Not any run of the mill crime, however, a brutal, senseless act of pure terror. This was the scene upon arriving.

A man was missing. He disappeared during the night. Upon searching the area, his lifeless body was recovered. Oh, what kind of world do we live in!

The body had no obvious signs of trauma besides the smudges on the his face and two small holes in his shirt. Swabs were taken and the remains were sent to the regional medical examiner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. But from the trained investigator, it was deemed the probable cause would be "played to death." Oh, the horror the guy must have gone thru prior to the end. I bet it didn't come none too soon in his mind.

The CSI investigators followed the path of evidence. It lead straight to the culprits.

How appropriate that the trail of evidence ended on the Beware of Dogs mat!

At the initial contact with the "dogs of interest," their behavior seemed pretty shady.

One was overly eager to help. Hmmmm, very suspicious.

Another wouldn't make eye contact with the investigator.

And the last had something weighing on her mind.

Under intense interrogation, the last finally broke down and begged for mercy. She couldn't take the pressure.

While canvassing the area, we came across two individuals claiming to be eye witnesses to the crime. However, their motives seemed tainted when they asked for sweet feed prior to answering any further questions.

All the evidence pointed to three criminals. Then incriminating photos surfaced to seal their fate. The truth could no longer be denied.

CSI Crazy M Ranch solved another one!

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Day of Denistry

I took sick leave today so the family could go to the dentist. I sent my boss an email stating I was taking off due to the husband, myself and Sally all having dentist appointments. Sally, of course, is my mare. And the boss knows that but she's a horse person so she doesn't question it. How nice is that!

So first thing this morning, I took the husband and myself to the dentist. The husband needed to go about two years ago. But he's pretty stubborn when it comes to the dentist. I was gettin' my regular cleaning. They took the husband back first. I told him I couldn't go with him cause I had my appointment. He gave me a pitiful look and said, "See you later, if I make it." The dental hygienist gave him a look and said "oh, my." I said, "Yeah, he's one of THOSE!"
After I finished with my cleaning, I went across the hall and sat with the hubby. They were still deciding what all he needed done. The dentist came in and said it looked like the husband was uptight about being there. Yeah, that wasn't hard to tell! Discussed with him that they would work with him to get thru his aversion to dentists. We all decided that he would get an IV sedative at his next visit when a lot of the work is going to be done. The dentist said they would get him all doped up and he wouldn't have a problem. Sounds good to me!

After our appointments, we had to run home and pick up Sally. Of course, she was in the back of the far pasture and wouldn't come to my calling. So I walked out and got her. Decided to take Priss with us too. She needed trailer hauling experience and a lesson in patience. Got them loaded and headed to the equine center. Priss did well until we took Sally out. She had a moment of stupidity but she calmed down for me pretty quick. I went in after Sally was sedated. I thought she was going to drop to her knees. I really think the vet gave her too much. She couldn't even hold her head up. But we got her teeth floated and loaded. Got her home and put her in the stall. I'm surprised she wasn't drooling. She was so out of it.
I checked on her a little bit later and she made it out into the pasture to graze. But when I fed this evening she still looked groggy.

I just hope it helps us put weight back on her. Since she got really sick in January, we've had a heck of a time gettin' her to fill out. She's a fighter though so I know she'll get better.

On a side note, I had a dream we bought a new place. It had this huge barn. After we bought the place, we went up to the barn and opened the door. It was full of crippled horses! The last owner just left them! Just our luck, Home of the Crippled Horses. I told the husband about the dream and he laughed and said that wouldn't surprise him. Then later he looked at me and said, "Remind me to always look in the barns before we decide to buy another place!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Too Much Work, Not Enough Bloggin'!

"What is that? You say work is interfering with blogging! Please say it ain't so!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Photography Class #4

Yesterday, the instructor took us outside to take pictures. He demonstrated how to use light and positioning to achieve the best picture. We discussed shadows and subject placement. I'm more of an animal/thing picture taker but the information was good to know. I had never really thought about the stuff he showed us.

I received good critique on my assignment pictures. Here is what I turned in.....

Aperture pictures:

I took this one with an aperture of 3.5. See how everything in the background is blurry.

This one has an aperture of 5.6. The background is getting a little more detail.

And this last one was set at 8.0, more detail. The smaller you make the aperture, the more detail you have in the background. The instructor said I should have went to a bigger number, than I had to remind him that I only have a point and shoot camera. 8.0 is as high as it goes.

And to illustrate shutter speed, I did this.....

The shutter on this one was real slow to show action. I believe around 1/20 of a second.

Then I sped the shutter up some to get this.

And finally, I speed it up to like 1/2000 of a second to stop all action. You can see I went outside. I was having a problem with lighting. When I would speed the shutter up, I would have to increase the ISO and decrease the aperture. I kept having problems with under-exposure. It was too dark. Guess I need to work on that!

Anyhoo, the assignment for next class is "texture". I have some thoughts about that already.

Oh, we also discussed the histogram last night. If you are interested in that, let me know. I will post a brief description on how to use it if you want.