Monday, October 31, 2011

The Gospel-Centered Marriages for a Glorious Church Conference and other recent events

I figure I might as well start this post before it becomes too far in the past; I'll write more as I can.

Late last month, my family and I traveled to the Gospel-Centered Marriages for a Glorious Church Conference in Asheville, NC. It took around ten hours to get to the conference center, but we arrived without any major casualties.

[I just decided to majorly condense this since if I don't I doubt I'll ever finish it.]

There were lots of good talks at the conference, including a very powerful one given by Paul Washer, who always gives moving messages.


Riah said...

Is that it? Really? C'mon Max... :) How are you doing? Work, photography and the like..

Maximillian said...

Haha, I just realized it sounds like that's the end I the post, but I actually intend on writing more later.

As for work, I'm still looking for a job; turning in applications, waiting for something to happen, hoping I'll be able to start a career soon, get married, and move on with my life (I want to so badly)...and trying not to sink into despair - it seems as though I coul be stuck like how I am now forever if things don't get better... :(

As for photography, well...I have yet to get any camera gear like a better body or lenses or even an ND filter or polarizer, but I might get a Glif (a tripod mount for iPhone 4) so I can use my iPhone to take long exposure shots. It's actually pretty neat to see what kind of images you can create with an iPhone - there are lots of cool photography apps out there. I haven't been able to work as a photographer's assistant or find an internship, but I've been talking to a professional photographer recently and trying to learn some things from her. I took some photos with her at a charity event recently and some turned out decently, but I still am not able to get even those to look great - I'm happy with only a few of my photos...I wish I was able to create images like some of the photo manipulations you can see here:
But I've probably told you that several times before, like I've told many people...

As for other stuff, there's not much to say...I'm going to try I sell my M3 soon (if I do it'll give me some cash to work with, but it won't go far, especially of I'm saving for a house), I am looking forward to turning 21 so I can get a handgun (one of a few Sigs), and other than the farm stuff (cows - a cow and a bill calf), chickens, goats and a dog we're taking care of, there isn't much in my life right now that would be interesting to most people; your life is probably going much better; but then, I'm just assuming that.

Riah said...

Oh good, glad we get to hear/read more.

I'm sorry about the job thing. Pretty rough huh? Don't "sink into despair". Remember, God's timing is perfect, although I bet you've heard that a million times and didn't want to hear it again. Sorry! And you're only 19, no worries. I bet that sounds silly coming from me, huh? Ok, so maybe I'm really bad at pep talks. I guess it's a good thing I never wanted to be a cheerleader.

I want a polarizer so bad. Lys got one and an external flash. How amazing is that?! I'd also like a UV filter and a bigger camera bag. I think I'm asking for too much though, especially right now.

It's great that you are getting to talk with a pro photographer. Your iPhone photos are awesome. You obviously like experimenting with all sorts of photography. You'll be able to do photo manipulations better than that, just need more practice. Practice may not make perfect, but it will certainly make better.

My life? Better? I don't know... Depends on your point of view I suppose. I currently am sick... So that's not great. I started online photography classes, got a CS5 for $218 with the education discount. Am planning my wedding, staying insanely busy with the upcoming holidays and other various things. So not better, just busier.

Maximillian said...

One of these days, perhaps...

Haha, the fact that you're nearly exactly my same age (a month younger, right?) and saying that is slightly amusing, but you're right...still, if things keep up the way they are, I could end up being like someone I know who is older than 40, doesn't have a steady job and still lives with his parents.

A UV filter? There's an ongoing debate about this: one side says "why get a $1000+ lens and then ruin the image quality by putting a cheap filter on it?" The other side says "It's insurance: if you drop your lens or something hits it and you have a filter on, it might save you a whole lot of money."
I've heard that every UV filter will detract from the image quality to a certain extent, but that the high-quality ones made by B+W and a few other brands aren't as bad with that. I take the Canon UV filter off my 10-22 nearly 100% of the time when I shoot with it, but that's just my preference; leaving it on might be a good idea someday. Why do you want one?
An Speedlite would be very helpful to have, but they're certainly not cheap... :(
It's pretty neat to use my iPhone as a camera, since although the quality leaves somewhat to be desired, photo apps can help a lot. Plus, the Instagram app (kind of like Flickr for iPhone/iPod Touch users) is pretty nice as well.

Are the photography classes proving useful? CS5 seems to be invaluable for me; I'm not that great at editing but I'd be even worse off if I had to use a more basic editing program.
At the Photoshop site I linked to, there are some photographers' pages that have free PS actions for download; I've found several to be quite useful.
Also, if you plan on experimenting with textures, Kim Klassen ( has a weekly newsletter in which she gives out free textures; I've used some of hers in various images, as you've seen.
And if you ever decide to join Flickr and want help with anything like some good contacts, groups, etc., I'd be glad to help. Now here I am giving more advice without being asked; I'd better shut up.

I hope your weddin preparations are going smoothly and you get well soon. :) I only have a minor cold, which is annoying but not too bad - you're probably doing worse by far.

Riah said...

Good :)

Yeah, I knew it'd be a little funny. I tried not to be overly annoying and preachy. And c'mon, things can't be that bad. My fiance lived with his Dad up until around this Aug. I think. Just to save money a bit. He's 21. His first steady job was when he was 20, although he worked lawn care for awhile before that. So you need to quit being so hard on yourself.

I want a UV filter because I climb around the the woods around our house a lot and want to protect my lens from potential scratches from branches and such. I probably wouldn't use it much otherwise. I don't want to have to take a lens cap off and on while climbing about, but I don't want to risk my lens. What do you think?
Instagram sounds neat. You just about can't talk to someone with a iPhone/iPod touch who hasn't used it.

The Photography schooling is very nice. So far I'm just in the basics (which is what the first Module covers). After that I have an assignment which my tutor has to grade.
Thanks for the information! And no worries about giving out "unasked for advice". Advice is always welcome. Plus, I am about to ask for advice. So I am looking into getting a Polaroid filter and I have about a $60-80 budget. Suggestions?
I am considering using Flickr, but haven't decided. It'd be one more thing to keep up with.

Riah said...

Oh, and wedding prep is going pretty good. Still haven't found a place for the ceremony yet though. But you don't want to hear about that, I don't even want to and I'm the bride :)
And mine was a weird stomach bug thing that made your stomach cramp up and made you nauseous after eating. Pretty much only after eating though. And you most likely didn't want to hear that either. Time to be quite Ri...

Maximillian said...

Thank you for the encouragement, Riah...I'm really discouraged about where I'm at right now, but hearing that gives me a little bit of hope...I have a strong feeling that wanting to have 12/12/12 as my wedding date is overly optimistic, but since your fiancé managed to work things at and is still only 21, maybe a miracle will happen and I'll be able to accomplish that. I still have to find a girl to marry though.

I think that's a good reason to use a UV filter; shooting in dusty or rainy places (or next to the ocean where sea spray gets on your lens) are some other instances in which using a UV filter makes sense.

You're welcome. I'm going to sound stupid, but what's a Polaroid filter? Perhaps I've heard of it but forgotten.

Don't worry, I don't mind hearing about things like that; that stomach bug sounds like no fun at all. "Time to be quite Ri..."?

Riah said...

"I still have to find a girl..." Sorry, I just thought that was slightly amusing. Yeah, she (whoever she may be) is a pretty important detail! 12/12/12 might be a a tad optimistic, but it never hurt to try, right? Just don't get depressed about it!

A polariser or polaroid filter is mostly used to reduce unwanted reflections. They also darken the sky or water... Get rid of reflections in car photography, that sort of thing. I picked one out at Ritz the other day.

The "time to be quiet Ri" comment was me just telling myself to stop talking :)

Maximillian said...

Yes, it's an important detail but it's certainly not the only one I'm concerned about right now. :P Thanks; I just need to get moving with my life and hope I'll find someone special after I've gotten my own stuff taken care of.

Ah; I'm familiar with polarizers but I hadn't heard that name for them before.

It seems you made a typo and put "time to be quite Ri" instead of "time to be quiet", so that was the cause of the confusion.

Riah said...

Ahhh, I understand the issue now. I meant quiet not quite. My bad :)

In answer to your comment: Yes, my car has four working tires... The rest of it now, that is a different story. We took it into the shop today because the engine was knocking, it idled high, the brakes don't release quite right, the moter mount broke (I think that's right) but it should be fine. It hasn't been 30 days since we bought it though, so everything will be covered.

Maximillian said...

Hm, that sounds like my old car - it had quite a few problems (some because I didn't do the proper maintenance, I'll admit) and cost me quite a bit in repairs.