Springs Last Day 2015

copyright 2015 db walton
Palmyra Farm Land

Springs Last Day 2015

It is springs last day in 2015.  There was a while at the start of this year that many of us wondered if we would ever see spring again.  It was a cold harsh winter.

The day has been spent dealing another occipital headache.  While it isn’t as bad as they were a couple of weeks ago, it is still burdensome.

I drove out to Marion, New York, to pick up a framed print.  I managed to get a few pictures along the way.  Even then, I thought it would help relieve some of the headache… it didn’t.  So, I’m calling it quits for the day.

 

 

Happy 8th Bri

Happy 8th Bri

Happy 8th Bri!  Today my granddaughter turns 8, and 8 is a big deal.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 8 is the age one can be baptized.

We had a long talk on the phone where she told me all about the surprise her parents had for her this morning.  Then, she played me a piece on the piano.  (Yeah, Grandpa can’t wait until we can work out a duet on the piano.  I was thinking something like 25 or 6 to 4.)

I’ve been trying not to think about my broken tractor.  I’m trying to decide whether to trade it in, or keep doing minor repairs to get my through this season.  It really stinks that I thought by spending a LOT of money on a tractor I would end up with one that would last and instead, getting a real LEMON.

After getting some yard work done, Elizabethe and I headed down to Henrietta where we planned to get dinner.  When we got close, Elizabethe suggested we eat at Golden Corral. (groan)

We did.  This is only my second time there, and I’m thinking it will be my last.  I’m just not that impressed.

They had “steak”.  The guy cooking it asked, “What temperature?”

I said, “Medium rare”.

What I got was beyond well done.  So I went back and requested, “The rarest one you’ve got.”

This time I got one that was well done with a corner of it that was medium well.

Of course, there are so FEW people who understand what rare, medium and well even mean.  Obviously, the guy cooking the meat was one of them.

From there it was over to Harbor Freight Tools where I picked up a $21 impact wrench so I can replace my own blades on my lemon-of-a-tractor.  It will pay for itself in one blade change.

As we were heading home, my daughter sends me a picture of Bri…

copyright 2015 db walton
Birthday Girl at Golden Corral

It turns out the birthday-girl wanted to go to Golden Corral too.

I guess there was a reason for us choosing to eat there too.

From Good to Worse

From Good to Worse

How is it you can see a doctor in the morning and go from good to worse by afternoon. When I saw my doctor my injury wasn’t bothering me.  Then, but dinner time, it was worse.

I picked up the lawn mower deck today and so far in the last month, I have dumped nearly $600 in to this mower.  It is time to research who makes a decent mower.  I’ll admit, I didn’t know what I was looking for when I bought this thing.  I’ve learned a lot.  The two biggest lessons are 1) don’t buy another Cub Cadet because parts are hard to get and Cub Cadet as a company hasn’t responded to ANY of my complaints, and 2) I won’t buy from Blazey’s again.  The latter kind of hurts because I’d like to see the local guys get my business, but I’m very dissatisfied with their lack of quality control on their repairs and the slowness of the repairs.

So, I have the repaired deck on the mower and it strikes the ground AGAIN and the blade bends.  Assuming nothing else is bent, I’m looking at another $60 just for blades.  UGH.  This mower is a lemon!

In all fairness, the engine on it seems great.  However, the drive train and mower deck have given me nothing but problems.  So far this summer I have NOT been able to mow the entire lawn without something breaking.  Not once.  But, the engine starts every time and sounds great.  Good ol’ Kawasaki engineering.  To bad they don’t build the rest of the machine.

At least I got about 75% of the mowing done before the tractor broke.

Missing the Boat

Missing the Boat

There are a lot of people who call themselves photographers who are missing the boat.  While some young folks may not understand that saying, let me spell it out:  If you’re late to the dock, don’t have the proper paperwork, and aren’t ready to board your ship, it is going to leave without you.

After my doctor’s appointment, I had a networking meeting (one of those ways these photographers miss the boat), and then it was off to speak to the Finger Lakes Professional Photographers (another missing the boat opportunity).

My presentation was about closed networking.  I got a very good post-presentation reception.  I felt I had motivated these seasoned professionals.  Of course, they are going to follow through and the young folks who are trying to figure things out well… the ship has already left.

It took me a few years of being in business to discover this opportunity for grabbing new business.  It didn’t join sooner because nobody told me about it.  However, when I tell some business owners about it… well… they just doing get it.

If you know a photographer, ask if they are a PPA member.  If they are not, suggest they get in touch with the local PPA section and join.

Where Did They Go

Where Did They Go

Where did they go?  Where did all the tourist go?  Did the rain scare them away?

I found myself asking that at the temple tonight.  We had very few guests and most of the work was done by us temple workers.   While this afternoon was nice weather, the previous couple of days were quite stormy.  I’m wondering if it scared our tourist away.

Here in Palmyra we get a LOT of tourist from April through October, and usually the temple is quite busy.  I’m thinking because they couldn’t tour the sites on Sunday and Monday, they are enjoying the nice weather an touring the sites.

Speaking of Palmyra, did you know that D. Brent Walton (that’s me, and my web site is www.dbwalton.com) is Palmyra’s ONLY Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) and Photographic Craftsman (Cr.Photog.).  And, because our studio is only 2 miles from the temple, those getting married in the temple save money on my photographic services.

Hiring a PPA certified photographer is important.  We are fully insured and always have a back-up plan.  You can’t say that about most other photographers.  If they get ill or in an accident the day of your wedding, oh well.  Whereas a PPA photographer has a network of trained, skilled photographers who are known to step in when help is needed in an emergency.  Yes, we give you peace of mind.

6AM Shoot

6AM Shoot

I had a 6am shoot this morning.  Fortunately, it didn’t rain.  The grass was wet, but no rain.  There were about 60 people in the picture.  It was a group of Young Men from the Atlanta, Georgia, area.  They come here every other year.  This was the largest group they’ve ever had here.

I returned home, ate breakfast, and then went back to bed.  Getting up at 5am to do a shoot kind of took it out of me.

After my little nap I went to the new Tops in Wallworth.  It’s a nice store.  While many of their prices are a bit high, their sales are usually pretty decent.  I’m not one for shopping sales, and that’s why I prefer Wegman’s, but for an occasional trip to the store, it’s not bad.

Having been commissioned to do 3 little paintings, I worked on the second of the three a bit today.  It’s by far the most difficult of the three, but I got it done and sent it off to the client for proofing.

 

Late Start Today

Late Start Today

I was off to a late start today and walked in to the chapel right at 8:45am.  The place was already packed and you would have thought it was Stake Conference today.  Someone said they thought they counted 5 tour busses.  At about 60 people per bus, that’s an additional 300 people.  Palmyra is a popular place in the summer.

Elizabethe wasn’t feeling well so she stayed home to rest.  I came home and was so tired I took a nap.

I had put some ribs in the crock pot and so dinner preparation was minimal.  Crock pot ribs, rice cooker rice and then some greens, and we were all set.

After dinner I asked the sisters to pose with the LED light I bought at Home Depot.  Cool little light and it worked just the way I was hoping it would as evidenced by these photos of Sisters Stoddard and Jones…

copyright 2015 db walton
LED Light in Scriptures
copyright 2015 db walton
Sister Jones

It’s a pretty cool little light made by Eveready.  I now need to figure out how to mount it on a light stand.

Cutting Shelves

Cutting Shelves

I almost forgot I had promised Elizabethe I would cut some shelves.  Yes, I spent the morning cutting shelves for the pantry closet.  Down to the basement I went to cut the boards.  I got one cut, and then discovered I didn’t have the right size scraps to make the 2nd one.  So, off to Lowe’s we went to get a piece.

The 2’x4′ pieces were the best size as I only had to have them do 2 cuts and there was little waste.  However, getting they guy to come cut the piece was another story.  You push the button and the P.A. system announces, “Assistance needed in the wood cutting area,” over and over until an employee comes to assist you.  The only problem is, I think the guy was deaf and couldn’t hear the announcement.  I kept seeing him wander around like he was lost until Elizabethe walked over and face-to-face told him we needed some wood cut.

Note to Lowe’s:  Make sure the employee’s who are hard of hearing have an alternative way to be notified.  i.e. like a flashing light, or something that alerts them they have customers in the wood cutting area.

 

Heavy Rains Again

Heavy Rains Again

We had heavy rains again.  Wednesday night it was near hurricane conditions.  Today, same thing on and off all afternoon.

We had an extra wet winter that was also extra cold.  We’re now having an extra wet spring.  Things are very green here, but if you come to visit, carry an umbrella.

An amazing thing happened today.  One of my clients arrived when it wasn’t raining.  During the photo session it just poured.  When it was over, the rain had stopped and she was able to walk to her car without getting soaked.  Now, that is serendipitous!

I wasn’t so luck when I drove to the pharmacy.  When it came time to go to my car, the rain was coming down so hard there was about 2″ of standing water on the streets.  It was coming down like CRAZY.

I could really use a test model right now.  I could use someone who doesn’t mind giving up an afternoon so I could do some lighting test shots.  Here’s the caveat, that person has to be drop-dead gorgeous.  Yeah, I can test lights on my mannequin, but when I test them on a live human, I want pictures that both the model and I will be pleased with.

Here’s a sample of what I’m going for…

copyright 2015 db walton
Lighting Testing

I need someone with a good complexion, healthy looking hair, nice facial features, and time.   No modeling experience necessary.  Because it does require a release by NY State Law, they must be over 18 too.

Dilation

Dilation

The worst part about getting an eye exam is dilation.  Those drops just wipe me out for the rest of the day.  They make me feel sleepy.

Dr. Scerra and I had a great discussion about mirrorless cameras and speed lights.  I showed him what I purchased this last year and we discussed the kit I assembled for my grab-n-go kit.

I also dropped my car off at the shop.  At 96,000 miles it was time for front brakes, a wheel bearing, tire rotation, oil change and state inspection.  That drained me of $600, but I should be good to go for a while now.

I was rating photographs today for the church.  I wish there was some way to get the word out to people:  DON’T CROP AT JOINTS.  Don’t crop at the elbow.  Don’t crop at the wrist.  Don’t crop at the knees.  Don’t, don’t, don’t do it.  I would say about 80% of the pictures I reviewed today will never get used.  Why?  Very bad cropping.  Now, if you include too much, the designers can always crop it down.  But, if you crop someone’s head off, they can’t add a head.  (Yes, there were a few where the entire head was cropped and all you saw was the subjects torso.