Monday, May 31, 2010

Let Every Nation Know...

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty."- John F. Kennedy

Thank you to those that have, are and will lay their lives on the line for this very idea...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Taken With A Grain of Salt...

Every year Springfield hosts the annual Arts-Fest near the downtown area on historic Walnut Street. I love going to this. Each year I try to talk with as many photographers as possible in hopes of picking up a tidbit of information that I can apply to my own technique. Man, are there a lot of tidbits out there! By the time I leave I can honestly say that I've heard so much about digital versus film and black and white versus color and the hundreds of editing programs that are out there that I just feel like crawling back into my camera and letting the shutter fall where it may. I guess that I have my own style -to an extent anyway and maybe I'm looking too hard for concrete answers. I think that styles evolve and develop with time and of course everyone's photography is unique to themselves.
So maybe I should just relax and let it come as it may. For the most part I feel satisfied with my work and as time passes I'll get more comfortable with my style and hopefully it will be recognizable as my work.
As I was leaving the Arts Fest I came across these musicians and I stopped to watch , especially this man. As I watched him I began to think about how he had probably been playing for years and although I'm sure he enjoys listening to other fiddlers he more than likely just takes it all with a grain of salt because he knows what he likes to play and he knows how he likes to play it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Getting Acquainted...

We have a friend across the street that tends to another neighbor's horses. She invited me and my wife to go down to the pasture with her this evening - one, so I could take some pictures that I'd been wanting to do and two, just so we could experience the closeness of the animals. My wife has been around horses a good part of her life but me well, I've never really been a "horse person" - that is to say I don't ride horses and I've never actually had much to do with them aside from the occasional petting across the fence. Don't get me wrong, I think that horses truly are magnificent animals but throughout my lifetime I've just not had that many opportunities to ride or actually get acquainted with them. At times like today though, when we watched as she fed and watered the horses and then just found a comfortable spot to sit and watch the young ones gallivant around while Mom and the others kept a watchful eye I could just feel the power and gracefulness of each animal there.
I may never ride a horse but that's ok with me I guess. I do plan on spending more time at the pasture when I can and I'm sure, taking more pictures but really I think that I'd just like to hang around.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Colors, Lines, Curves and Chrome!

One of the things that I look forward to in the spring and summer are the car shows- especially the ones that are a part of a bigger celebration. You know, the ones with lots of food and preferably live music.
Now I'm no gear head (and I use the term with the utmost respect for those of you that are) but I do enjoy just looking at the cars. The colors, the lines, the curves and the chrome all capture my attention as I cruise the parking lot admiring the endless hours of work that I know goes into each and every one. Even though I do have some appreciation for the the horsepower it's more the look on the owner's face as he or she explains how many coats of paint the final masterpiece took or the stitching in the upholstery or any number of personalized extras that make it as unique as any fine automobile could be!
These people are true artists in their field and art in whatever shape or form is what I'm all about.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

But On The Other Hand...

As I posted below sometimes after sitting and becoming immersed in my surroundings the colors all seem to fade. I can't say what the difference might be but on some occasions the complete opposite happens and the colors just seem to get brighter and brighter!
These leaves, for example, were from some unknown ground cover that I've waded through on countless hikes never really paying much attention to it. On this day, however, I happened to notice it . The more I looked at it, the green just seemed to get greener and greener. The sunlight shining off of the leaves made the furrows of each leaf deeper and deeper. But the most interesting part I think, was the blackness underneath it all - that unknown region of life that lived there.
For those that can let your mind wander once in a while, the woods and I guess the just the outdoors in general is a great place for travel without ever leaving your seat!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Shadows...

Sometimes when I'm out in the woods I become engrossed in the feel of the woods. When I'm fortunate enough to find a good resting spot I'll plop myself down and and just slowly take it all in. Eventually the colors all seem to fade and the shadows and their movements take over. What was once a colorful scene has become a kaleidoscope of darkness and light bouncing off of one another, constantly changing and morphing from shape to another until it seems that I'm no longer in the same place that I found so tempting...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

I've already decided that I couldn't do my mother justice with whatever I could write about her. There's too many things I could say - too many things I should say. She, in all probability, won't see this for some time. She's long given up on computers and all that goes along with them so I'll have to wait for her next visit to our house to show her. She does, however, give me constant encouragement for my photography and every now and then I'll update her digital frame with some of my photos. (All the while listening to her tell me how I'll be successful at it some day-she just knows it!)
As a matter of fact, I can't remember a time in my life when she hasn't encouraged me. I firmly believe that if not for her prayers, encouragement and love down through the years (and there were a lot of years that I needed it) I would be nowhere near the person I am today. Thanks Mom, I love you.
This photo by the way, was taken last year at the capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri. We traveled there so she could be presented by the Missouri Catholic Conference with the 2009 Citizen Recognition Award for her tireless efforts to abolish the death penalty. I couldn't have been prouder to know that she has fought for what she believes right to the point of statewide recognition. That's the type of person she is- that and much, much more...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Member Of The Orchestra!

In my last post I mentioned the tree frogs that I like to listen to out back. Today I happened to run across this photo of one of the members of the orchestra while looking for something to post. These guys(gals) are really cool. They've got the fine art of camouflage down pretty well, don't you think? Occasionally one will somehow find it's way into the house (although, I don't know how...)and sometimes even climb up the nearest house plant.
One night I darn near broke my neck avoiding what I thought was a leaf until it hopped about three feet to the left! They're not much over an inch in length so I really didn't give it much thought until it did hop. Anyway, I like them so when one does come in for a visit I do my best to accommodate it. Hopefully they'll be around for a long time- I can't imagine a summer's night out on the patio without them.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sweet Music...

I think that the one thing I love most about the warmer months are the evenings. There's no real way to explain the feeling that I get when I sit out on the patio at the end of the day and just relax. Don't get me wrong- a winter evening can be beautiful especially when there's snow on the ground but really, the sun going down on a winter's day just signifies the end of the day whereas a spring or summer sunset seems to be bringing on a whole new part of the day.
I think that I could sit outside and listen to the crickets or the frogs off in the field for an eternity. Probably another one of those things that goes back to my childhood I imagine. We had a pretty large family and sometimes just to escape the heat of the house we'd spend many a summer's night out on the front porch just talking or listening to the sounds of the night. Sometimes we played games until it was too dark to see and then we played a little longer usually until someone ran into someone else and ended up with a bump on their head! But I've got to tell you.When the sun sets and the birds give one last short song and the crickets and the tree frogs start in-that's sweet music to my ears.