Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Into Photography

Spring is here, it seems.  I think I am one of the few people who find this warm weather less-than-desirable, although it's not bad when theres a strong breeze blowing and the sun isn't shining very brightly.
This photo is out-of-focus, but I find it somewhat interesting.  It's SOOC except or cropping, which might explain its less-than-awesomeness. ;)


In this photo, I think the right side is too bright, so I cropped it, although you can still see part of the area.

These aren't anything impressive...I need to learn how to use Photoshop.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Home Again

I am now back at home and I am tired - I'm going to get ready for bed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Figuring Things Out

Right now I'm at the Evidence America booth at the conference here in Peoria...things are fairly quiet over here (relatively speaking) at the moment - an influx of people coming to buy books and other stuff would be helpful.  I've been learning how to describe some of the various items for sale and make transactions, as well as helping hand out papers to attendees in the workshops (although obviously, no learning was needed for the latter), and doing a few other things.  
Please pray for Wes Moore's ministry - he's doing a great work that the world needs, but it's very difficult when money is scarce. 

The conference is being held at a Christian school (Peoria Christian School and Peoria Christian High School, which are connected), and  the exhibitors' booths are located in a gym here.  Helpfully, there's an unsecured wireless network here, which I'm connected to.  
Here are a few photos from the past few days here:

In case you were wondering, the photos of the workshops/talks shown are not an indicator of the average attendance of all the talks Wes Moore has done here (I think the reason there were only five people in that one was because of the snow and the fact that it was in the morning...although there were at least thirty-two people in the session this morning).  Here's proof that there was a very full class in one workshop:

Taking photos indoors without bright lighting and without wanting to turn up my camera's ISO above 400 creates difficulties when trying to get non-blurry photos, especially since I don't exactly have rock-steady hands. ;-)  I think I'll try using ISO later and see what the results are.
Once again I feel like complaining about the fact that I've seen things recently that would make for great photo opportunities, with all the snow this area has been getting (6-8 inches in one night), but not being able to get a photo of them.  Some things look nice, like some church buildings around here and the streets and buildings with snow all around...but other scenes, such as the bare trees with snow on their branches, are so utterly beautiful.  I guess my disappointment is somewhat unfounded, since I wouldn't be able to convey the loveliness that the snow and everything displayed with my current level of skill, but still...
I suppose some of my fellow amateur photographers know kind of how I feel (those who do photography professionally or are simply quite skilled will probably just be sad that they weren't able to photograph a beautiful landscape or whatever it is - they probably aren't very worried about not getting the photo to look how they'd like).

Next time I'm going to bring a tripod with me; hopefully that'll at least help with indoor shots.
My boring ramblings are ended for now; I just thought I'd let you (the handful of people who actually read my blog) know what I've been up to over here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Late last night, we (Wes Moore, Kyle Valaer, who works with him, and me) arrived here in Galesburg, where we're staying.  A pastor and his wife generously opened their home to us, so that's where we're staying.  Right now we're inside the church next door, using its wireless network (the connectivity in the house isn't the greatest).

Yesterday, I woke up at around 5:30 and drove to Mebane, NC, helped Wes Moore pack his van (like a Tetris puzzle), and then we started on the trip after picking Kyle Valaer up.  For several hours we discussed apologetics, the Bible, and various other topics, and Kyle and Mr. Moore took turns driving - I went from the back seat the the front passenger seat and back and forth, but even when they were tired, the other two didn't let me drive. ;-)

When I was in the back seat and nobody was talking to me, especially when it got darker and the drivers were tired, I did a few things by myself, including watching part of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, which I hadn't watched previously.  On some of the stops we made, it was kind of chilly, but not freezing.
Unfortunately, there were quite a few times we passed by something I thought would make for great photos, but I either didn't have my camera at hand, it was hard to get a shot while in a moving vehicle that was filled with stuff, the windows were kind of dirty, etc.  For instance, there was this "rock dome hill" thing in NC that I think is some kind of landmark, although I don't know its name, various mountains, hills and fields (although much of the latter will look much better in the spring when the grass turns green and trees have leaves again), and an enormous flock of birds that flew close by overhead.  

When we finally arrived at the pastor's house, it was around 12 am EST (it's CST over here), so I just unpacked my clothes and other things, took a shower and went to bed.
I got up this morning at 9 am!  OK, that's CST - it would only be 8 am over here; besides, I went to sleep at what would have been around 1 am back at home.  This morning, Kyle and I set up the booth for the convention tomorrow; Mr. Moore was busty working on his presentations.
Well, I'll try to write more later; I think we're going to go eat soon and then go watch the new Liam Neeson movie, Unknown, in a few minutes.  Here's a photo I took at one of the rest stops on the way here: 

Lavender Cold

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And They're Off!

Right now I'm still packing for my trip...I'm going to be going to a conference in Peoria, Illinois tomorrow, with Wes Moore.  He's going to have a booth there, so I'm going to help out with the table.  It's going to be a long drive; I'm going to drive to his house (around 1½ hours away) early tomorrow morning and from there we're going to carpool and travel the roughly 15-hour drive by road.  If I'm get the opportunity, I'll post updates and photos while in IL; if not, I'll do so when I get back (we get back on Sunday).
Since posts aren't usually as good without photos, here's one (not very impressive, as usual, I know):
Between Earth and Sky

Monday, February 21, 2011


 If I had some snow outside, I could use it to show the line from Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) that says The silver thorn, the bloody rose, lie crushed and broken
on the virgin snow.

Some people like HDR, others despise it, and still others (like me) think that it's often overdone and poorly used, but when used correctly it can deliver non-fake-looking images that look awesome and simply do what HDR stands for - give a high dynamic range.  Unfortunately, with sunsets and many other scenes, parts of a photo will be over or underexposed, so that's where HDR comes in handy (even though I haven't been able to figure out how to use it well yet...).  OK, enough rambling - here's an article about HDR that talks about what I was saying.  Digital Photography School had an article about "HDR done right", but at least a few of the images shown were ones that many people thought were "HDR done wrong" - the ones at the following page are excellent, though, so don't worry. 



Saturday, February 19, 2011


If you thought I was going to write about me moving, well, you're going to have to wait at least a few more months for that.  Yesterday I (and the rest of my family) helped a church family move into their rental home - they recently sold their old house, but the buyers wanted to move in right away, and our friends' new house isn't finished being built, so for now they're going to be staying in a rental house.  The said house is pretty interesting - it's old and is part of a historical district, I think.   Here are some photos (far from great, I know):

Monday, February 14, 2011



Another angle:
Infinity Red


Oh yes, Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
One last photo:
Hopefully it'll be from your valentine. :-)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Today I tried using the manual mode on my camera for something other than the "bulb" mode, and I found it much easier than I anticipated.  I now actually had to pay attention to the exposure indicator, and when I did, it was simple to get properly exposed images.  It looks like I might be using manual more often nowadays (instead of AV, which I usually use).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Macro Monday and Happy Monday

I almost forgot about Macro Monday!  Anyway, I'm putting these two in one post to save space.
For Macro Monday:
Time and Chance?
Time and Chance?
Is everything just the product of random accidents or is there some purpose to it all?


For Happy Monday:

I would have linked this one from my Flickr photostream as well, but the one on there had dust spots or something - I tried to remove them with an editing program, so this is the new version.
Clearer Vision

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Me, Myself, I, etc., etc., etc.

Original title, isn't it?
First, myself (some wanted me to smile):
Smiling In the Snow

Beneath the White

Tonemapped version of a previous landscape photo (the photo had spots on it from dust on the sensor or lens or some other problem, so I tried to remove them with an object removal program):
Clearer Vision 

Friday, February 4, 2011

iPad a Day Giveaway

If you happen to be at least 18 and in need of an iPad (or simply want one, which is more likely), is giving away one iPad away per day.  While it's only a 16GB Wi-Fi version, it's still an iPad, and you can always sell it if you don't want it.
Sharing the contest on Facebook will net you two extra entries per day and tweeting it on Twitter counts for one more entry.

Here's the link to the contest:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One of Many

Out of many photos I'd like to edit and upload, here's one.

Eternal Vision
Eternal Vision

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I Have Returned

Well, sort of.  For the time being, I won't be able to be online as much as previously, but back is back...sort of.
Anyway, not much has been happening with me...but here is a photo...I have a few I'd like to work on, but I'm almost out of time.

This is SOOC except for sharpening...I'd work on editing some photos later if I have time.

Time and Chance?
Time and Chance?