Is it Spring Already?

I walked outside this afternoon and asked, “Is it spring already?”

Mid-60s and nice outside today.  Just last week (while I was in the southern states) it was bitter cold (so I’m told).  You wouldn’t know it today.

People are funny.  I get an e-mail from a guy who felt I was targeting the “wrong audience” with my photographic workshop.  Hmmm… I wonder what he thinks the right audience is.  Basically, I target photographers.  (Maybe he doesn’t consider himself a photographer.)

Speaking of workshops…

Here at the Beckwith Mansion, we offer a variety of photographic workshops (see www.palmyra-ny.com).  They range from the beginner to the professional.  If you, or someone you know, likes taking photographs, they will like our workshops.

A Nice Welcome Home

I love living here and here is another reason…

We were only gone 1 week, but when we returned to the temple this morning, so many people said, ‘Welcome home’, and asked how our trip went.  Living in Palmyra is a lovely treat.

Between going to the temple as a guest, and working at the temple, I spent the day sending out e-mails about my photographic workshop in October.  This is a 4-day workshop for intermediate to advanced (professional) photographers.  It’s always fun.  You can see more details at www.palmyra-ny.com.

Post Trip Decompression

If you are like most people, you pack your bags tightly for a trip.    You don’t want stuff rolling around in your bag, and you want to make the most out of the space.  Then, you get home and all that stuff has been packaged in a less-than-perfect way.  Today was the unpack day.

It is like the bag of dirty laundry just expanded as it decompressed.  Elizabethe commented, “Wow, we have a lot of dirty laundry.”

Yeah, that’s what happens after a week-long trip.

After getting a few things done, I went to Tops to grocery shop.  I seem to have a knack for picking the wrong line.  I get behind this lady who suddenly produces a dozen or more coupons.  To top it off, I get the slowest clerk.  Although they can manually enter the SKU codes, she insists on scanning, and re-scanning, even though the bar codes are not reading.  Uhg.

The evening was spent attending a SmugMug User Group (SMUG, for short) meeting.  We had a nice presentation by a local commercial photographer.  I got the idea from the presentation that I should start photographing my culinary creations.

D. Brent Walton is a Certified Professional Photographer and Photographic Craftsman in Palmyra, New York.  You can see his work at www.dbwalton.com and www.FineArtbyDB.com.

Home Again

It’s nice to be home.

After church today, I made some chicken salad and some squash soup to serve the missionaries.  The soup was butternut squash with onion, seasonings and cream.  Sister Jones commented if I had a restaurant she’d eat there regularly.  That was a very nice compliment.

Flying Home Today

We had a leisurely morning as we got up, and got things packed. I have never eaten at a Waffle House, and with all the jokes about Waffle House I thought we’d give it a try.  I was impressed.  It was good, clean and the prices were low.

Waffle House
Waffle House

The funny thing is, there is a Waffle House at every exit here.  We pulled off to get gasoline and there was a Waffle House on both sides of the road.  I guess one for the people exiting from the west, and another for people exiting from the east. I got a t-bone, eggs, hash browns and toast for $9.95.  Elizabethe got a pecan waffle for $3.80.  Can’t beat those prices. The flight home took us through Charlotte, N.C.   Things went smoothly and we’re glad to be home finally.

The Drive Across TX, LA, MS, AL and GA

Five states in one day.  We spent the night in Texas, got up and drove. We got up, grabbed some food at the motel, and then started the long drive to Atlanta.

First, there is nothing to see when going across Louisianna, Mississippi, and Alabama.  All we saw were pine trees, and an occasional small town.

Here’s what we did see…  (including the Utah, I mean, Eutaw, exit.)

Eutaw
Eutaw
Louisiana Picker
Louisiana Picker
1 Hour Photo in Louisiana
1 Hour Photo in Louisiana
Roxie F.D.
Roxie F.D.
School Bus Graveyard
School Bus Graveyard

For lunch, we stopped at a place called Wards.  I don’t recommend it.  (And, I do not recommend Whattaburger either.)  About the only thing good at Wards were the fries and soda pop.  I ordered a catfish sandwich which was about 5% catfish, 20% breading, and 75% bun.

About 10:30pm, we stopped outside Atlanta to spend the night.  Our flight home is tomorrow out of Atlanta.

Houston to Corpus Christi

After breakfast, Texas was getting ready to go to school.  I offered to walk him, and so I grabbed my camera and walked him to school.  Along the way he told me all about the various features along the trail.  We got to his school, and he said, “Mom normally walks me to my class.”

I told him I would do whatever his mom usually does.  So, I walked him all the way to his class room.

When I got back to Jen’s, we loaded the car, and took Marilyn with us down to Corpus Christi to visit Crystal.  The drive went quickly, and Marilyn was perfectly behaved. She didn’t whine, or fuss, and was cheerful the whole way.

We had a nice visit with Crystal and had fun holding Kyler (our 11th grandchild), and watching Kaiden and Marilyn play with the toys.  Zack got home in time for us to see him.  (Philip was at work until midnight.)

On the way home, I stopped at a local BBQ place.  Elizabethe commented, “You think a place that doesn’t have an indoor bathroom is the place to eat?”

I pointed out that the bathroom was “indoors”, and she explained the door was outside.  (It was an old converted service station.)  The food was good, but we decided Elizabethe doesn’t like Texas-style BBQ.

We got back to Jennifer’s safely, and then headed out to drive part way to Atlanta.  We made it just a little outside the Texas Louisiana border where we stopped for the night.

IMG_6277sml IMG_6280sml  IMG_6281sml IMG_6283sml IMG_6287sml  IMG_2762sml IMG_6304sml  IMG_6313sml IMG_6341sml  IMG_2761sml IMG_6292smlIMG_6344sml IMG_6372sml IMG_6311sml IMG_2768smlIMG_2765sml IMG_6377sml

The Drive to Houston

We spent the night at some Howard Johnson’s just inside Alabama.  It wasn’t the greatest, but for $50, it will do.

We cut south to New Orleans just to see what the French Quarter was like.  We got there right around lunch time.  (That was the plan… lunch at the marketplace in New Orleans.)   I always wanted to see Bourbon Street and the French Quarter.  It was more run-down than I expected.  I enjoyed a gator po’ boy sandwich while Elizabethe had a shrimp boat sandwich.    We spent about 45 minutes there before hitting the road.

Shrimp Boat
Shrimp Boat
Food Vendor
Food Vendor
Street Musicians in New Orleans
Street Musicians in New Orleans
Gator Po' Boy
Gator Po’ Boy

We cut through several states on our drive..

Elizabethe at Mississippi Welcome Center
Elizabethe at Mississippi Welcome Center
Texas Lone Star
Texas Lone Star
Elizabethe at Texas Welcome Center
Elizabethe at Texas Welcome Center
Me at Louisiana Welcome Center
Me at Louisianna Welcome Center

The best welcome center of all the states was Mississippi’s.  You wanted to just sit down there and relax, but we didn’t have time.

Our GPS gave us a bit of a run-around in Houston.  We finally met Jennifer and kids at the Chinese Buffet, ate dinner, and then followed Jennifer to their apartment.  The kids were quite excited to see us, as we were them.

Day 2 at Imaging USA 2013

Today started with Brian Smith’s lecture on great portrait photography.  He had quite a few anecdotal stories about celebrities and his experiences photographing them.  (By the way, I use his book, Lighting for Outdoor & Location Portrait Photography, for my autumn workshop textbook.) Brian does amazing work and it was nice to learn from him.

From there, I went to Julieanne Kost’s class on Photoshop CS6.  I always learn a lot from her classes.  She’s got to be the foremost expert on Photoshop.  (She’s an Adobe employee.)

It was now time to check out of our hotel room, and for Elizabethe to join me at the trade show.  I didn’t get to see much of the trade show because I had a mentoring session scheduled for my print competition images.  I sat down with a Master Craftsman photographer and she told me what was good and bad about my images.  I only had 20 minutes, so I had to be picky about what I had critiqued.

Next stop was the SmugMug stand at the Bay Photo booth.  There I met Rocky from SmugMug.  She’s over the SmugMug User Groups (aka SMUGs).  We talked about my speaking at some of the meetings.

Rocky (SmugMug) and Me at Bay Photo's Booth
Rocky (SmugMug) and Me at Bay Photo’s Booth
Me and Debbie Thomas (Bay Photo)
Me and Debbie Thomas (Bay Photo)

Debbie Thomas was at the Bay Photo booth.  She’s my sales rep at Bay Photo Labs and was a really big supporter of NCPP when I was president.

I also ran in to Bambi there…

Me and Bambi
Me and Bambi

I didn’t see much of the trade show as I had an image mentor review, had to change in to my tux, had to get my portrait with the PPA President taken, and so on.

Elizabethe, Me, Patricia and Sam Gardner
Elizabethe, Me, Patricia and Sam Gardner

While we were waiting for the awards ceremony, I saw the Gardners.  I met Patricia a few years back when we were both speaking at ProPhoto Expo in Pasadena, California.  Sam and Patricia recently married.

Judy Host and Me
Judy Host and Me

I also ran in to old friend, and former NCPP member, Judy Host.

Before we knew it, it was time for the awards ceremony.  It was like the who’s who of photography.  Greg Goram was given the life-time achievement award, and they presented several other high-level awards.  It was then time for the Craftsman Degrees.

Elizabethe walked out on the stage with me, presented my award, and then after shaking hands with Tim Walden (PPA President), it was back to our seats to watch the presentation of Master’s Degrees.

We took off right after that and drive to Alabama to spend the night.

Imaging USA, Day 1, 2013

I attended the PPA Council Meeting this morning.  This was the first time attending.  It was interesting to hear the reports and learn of changes coming down the line.

After that, I attended Bruce Dorn’s session:

Bruce Dorn, Photographer
Bruce Dorn, Photographer

We met the owner of Sto-Fen and ate lunch with him and his son.  We ate at Taco-Mac.  My food was tasty (fish taco), but the service wasn’t the greatest.  Our server was a bit unorganized and very slow.  Elizabethe finished 3 rootbeers before our orders were taken.  Slow, slow, slow.

You can read more in my photography blog…. http://blog.dbwalton.com  (but, give me a few minutes to post it.)