Monthly Archives: March 2016



My friend Gary helped me get more lumber today.  I made sure I bought all that I would need.  Fortunately, we got a guy at the cutting table who knew what he was doing so he got the lumber cut quickly and efficiently.

The fun part now is screwing all this together so it looks like a bookshelf.  Yeah.  As fun as a root canal.

I also picked up a 10′ section of rain gutter to re-make my 4-tube LED light.  This time, I plan to not make any mistakes (which should be easier now that I know how I want it built.  Prototypes are always a mess.)


My studio is also starting to look a bit cleaner.  I got things ready for tomorrow’s shoot and while doing that, I was able to demonstrate depth-of-field (aka DoF) on a portrait.

copyright 2016 db walton - lumber

Depth of Field – too shallow

copyright 2016 db walton - lumber

Depth of Field – just right

Tip of the nose in focus in both images, but the latter, the eye is in focus.  That’s what separates a pro from an amature photographer.

You can see more of my work at photography by db walton llc’s website.

General Conference is coming up on Saturday.  I signed up to bring chili to the Priesthood Dinner before the General Priesthood Session Saturday night.  I better remember to get the beans cooking tomorrow.


All By Myself

All By Myself

In 1975 Eric Carmen had a hit, All By Myself.  Well, today I have the entire day all to myself.  Okay, all that said, I was never a big fan of Eric Carmen.

So, what do you do on a long awaited day when you have NO APPOINTMENTS, NO MEETINGS?

Yes, what do you do?

It took me all morning to figure out what I should do.  I finally decided to go to the Memorial Art Gallery at University of Rochester.  I’ve wanted to do this for a while, but just never pulled it off.

The trip was well worth it.  They have a small, but impressive collection at the MAG.  Of course, seeing an original Bouguereau, in my book, was worth the price of admission.  This is one of my favorite paintings.  I didn’t realize it was here in Rochester!

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A Bouguereau Original

And, his signature is so rigid it surprised me.  I would have expected something more flowing and abstract.

copyright 2016 db walton - All By Myself

Bouguereau’s signature

So, there I was all by myself at the MAG.  The result of that was I had a couple of interesting conversations.  One was with a man who was doing a charcoal sketch on his iPad.  I had to ask him about the software because it obviously wasn’t Photoshop or Painter.

They also had a display of fashions from Ebony Magazine.  This was cool and they encouraged picture taking.  Here you have db walton capturing beauty and they ask you to tag it #InspiringBeauty.  How fortuitous is that?

copyright 2016 db walton

Ebony Fashion Display

The mannequins were expertly made up, and of course, with designer fashions, well dressed.   When I saw this next dress I thought, “Elizabeth would like this display.”

copyright 2016 db walton

One Cool Dress

After making my way through the entire gallery, I decided it was time to head home.  On the way home, one last distraction — a stop to take another photo.

copyright 2016 db walton

Hey! Hay!

Hate Cleaning

Hate Cleaning

I hate cleaning.  Actually, it’s not cleaning I hate, but organizing and picking up clutter.  My ADHD brain gets too distracted.  It’s a fact that ADHD people are either compulsive about organizing (which I am not), or they are like me.

So, today was one of those days to get my studio organized.  I have to do this about once a quarter.  It’s not my favorite thing to do.  Although I’ve never had a root canal, I think it is right up there with a root canal.  In fact, I could honestly say, if I root canal took all day, I’d rather be doing that than trying to figure out how to organize my work…. Oh, look!  There’s a squirrel outside!

A Clean Desk

Years ago I read a book that said that people with ADHD have messy desks because they are very good at memorizing.  I can vouch for that.

Did you know I once memorized Alma chapter 36 in its entirety?

My wife can vouch for that…. Oh, that I memorized Alma Chapter 36, I mean that I memorize my desk.  She once said she moved something on my desk and I spotted it immediately upon returning home from work.

A clean desk is a sign of a sick mind, or so the poster says.  A messy desk is a sign of someone who knows where everything is, and it better be there when he goes to get it.

Wire Hazards

I’m working on eliminating wire hazards.  In many studios this is a problem.  Now I have these cool retractable wire spools I got at Lowe’s.  A slight tug, and the wire retracts.  Love them.

Look, a squirrel !

Okay, it’s time to go to the temple.  I hope this mess is still here tomorrow because if someone cleans my desk tonight, I won’t know where a single thing is.

And, I hope you appreciate my sense of humor.  (I really am good at memorizing… that’ part isn’t a joke.)

Disaster Averted

Disaster Averted

We had a disaster averted today.  The dryer kept beeping and the clothes weren’t drying.  I checked the lint trap, and it was clean.  I even cleaned the vent pipe, and while it had some lint inside, the dryer still didn’t work after I cleaned it.

I finally decided to remove the cover just below the dryer door.  Sure enough, there was some lint collected there.  I didn’t realize how much until I got the crevice tool for the vacuum cleaner.  I began to pull out clumps of matted dust that were HUGE.  The entire underside of the dryer was full of this compacted lint.

I then stuck the crevice tool in a space just above the heating element.  I removed a smouldering mat 1″ thick and about 6×9 inches in size.  Wow, were we lucky!

The dryer is now clean, and a disaster averted.  I can go back to work now.


Distracted while cleaning the studio, I did a few more LED test shots.

copyright 2016 db walton - disaster averted

Self Portrait using LED lighting

I’m quite pleased with how the LED lighting is working in the studio.

In an attempt to save some money, I replaced two florescent 48″ tubes with LED lights purchased at Home Depot.  Unfortunately, they didn’t work.  I read the instructions over several times, and checked the fixtures.  All indications indicated they should have worked.  Well, I’ll be taking those back to Home Depot.  (I’ve already ordered the same time I’m using in the studio from Amazon.  I know they work with a couple of wiring changes.)

If you’re interested in LED lighting and photography, make sure you sign up for my Super One Day Class on May 21st, 2016.  You can signup here:

Easter Morn

Easter Morn

That Easter morn a grave that burst
Proclaimed to man that “Last and First”
Had ris’n again
And conquered pain.

This morn renews for us that day
When Jesus cast the bonds away,
Took living breath
And conquered death.

Thus we in gratitude recall
And give our love and pledge our all,
Shed grateful tear
And conquer fear.

Marion D. Hanks


copyright 2014 db walton

My Rendition of the Tomb Before Jesus’ Body was Placed Inside

One of my favorite hymns and one appropriate on this Easter Morn.  Of course, I played it for prelude and we also sang it as one of the hymns in Sacrament Meeting.

Jennifer and her family were coming to dinner, but they got delayed in their travels.  So, we fed the sister missionaries and just as they were about to leave, Jennifer’s family showed up.

After they ate dinner, it was so nice outside, we decided to go to Hill Cumorah for a walk.


copyright 2016 db walton - Easter Morn

Hiking the Hill

We got up to the top of the hill and Texas found the RAMEUMPTUM!  (Okay, not really, but it was fun pretending.)

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The Rameumptum

By the time we got home I was ready to call it a day.  It was a lovely ending to this sacred day.

LED Fever

LED Fever

I think I have LED Fever.  Okay, there is no such thing, but Elizabethe’s doctor recommended she do some light therapy to help with insomnia.    I looked at the recommended lights and all they are are white 5000-5500K lights.

Hey, I’ve been working on replacing lights with LED lights anyway.  Why can’t I just build one?

After much research, the solution was quite simple:  Use an LED flood light and a clamp on reflector light.  I just removed the reflector and screwed in an LED flood light.  I made one for both of us.  I think they will work out great.  LED Fever to cure insomnia.  wink-wink


Speaking of LEDs, I gave them a huge test today.  I did some self-portraits (not to be confused with “selfies”.)

copyright 2016 db walton - LED Fever

My Self Portrait with LED Lights

Look at those catch-lights!  Yes, these LEDs are fun to work with.

In fact, I will be teaching a one-day workshop on using LEDs to light portraits.  It will be  May 21st as part of PPA’s Super One Day.

I also found a fluorescent fixture still in the box.  I bought it years ago to replace some old ones, and I never did.  So, I’ve bought new LED tubes to install in it.  I have no idea how it will work out.  I have to make time to install the tubes and unbox the fixture.  If it works out well, I’ll use it in the studio.  If that doesn’t work out, I’ll install it in the garage.

Comparing Socialism to Race

Comparing Socialism to Race

I saw a social media post today comparing socialism to race in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   I don’t know how someone can make such a huge leap, but leave it to someone, when disagreeing with the brethren, to compare blacks and the priesthood to whatever it is they don’t agree about.
We’re taught doctrine is taught in the scriptures, lesson manuals, General Conference, etc.
Several times in General Conference Socialism has been referred to as…
Soul destroying
A secret combination
Satan’s imitation
And, there are scriptures that support the General Conference statements by latter-day prophets (some of them are mentioned in that link you posted.)
Politically and economically, there’s yet to be a successful socialist state. Even Sweden, which has been touted as a “good example” has major production problems (over a 50% absenteeism rate in the workplace), morality issues (many Swedes choose living-in-sin over marriage because you get a larger home and it is financially advantageous), humanity issues (too expensive to deal with the mentally ill, they are used for medical experiments has human guinea pigs), etc. Having spent time there, we have it much better here and to say we should be like a place that is not that great of a place to live and work, would be like saying, “I’d rather own a broken down car than a new one.”
Religiously, few socialist allow for open practice of religion. From a Latter-day Saint point of view, look at the countries where missionaries struggle, or are even allowed. Most communist/socialist countries don’t allow missionaries to proselytize at all. The ones that do, missionaries have a difficult time finding proselytes.
Constitutionally, the U.S. Constitution does not allow for our government to provide many of the services we attempt to provide. (It provides for border protection, interstate commerce, a postal system and district and a supreme courts. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the government should provide us with a retirement, insurance, healthcare, education, etc.) We are only now just starting to see the ramifications of such programs that 40-50 years ago we were warned about as Latter-day Saints. And, at 19-trillion in debt, this nation can’t even afford socialism as we’re already at the brink of financial disaster. Bloomberg reported in 2010 that the USA is already bankrupt, we just won’t admit it. Forbes in 2012 asked how long the USA can go in its attempt to fool the rest of the world as we are already bankrupt. 2014 the CBO reported Social Security will fail by 2030. So, how in the world do we, as a nation expect to provide services and goods to people when we don’t have the income or funds to do that?
In any event, as Latter-day Saints we are taught that all belongs to God, and God grants us stewardship over certain things. He warns the idler will not eat the bread of the worker. Socialism punishes the worker by taking from the worker and giving to the idler.
There is really no comparing socialism to race.  That’s truly an apples to oranges comparison.

Speaking of General Conference, it is only a week away.  Here are three topics I think we’ll hear addressed in General Conference…

  1. Religious freedom
  2. Socialism
  3. Civic Duty

I do this every conference.  This time I’m posting my list on my blog.  That will mean I have to write about it afterwards.

24×24 Complete

24×24 Complete

The 24×24 is complete.  The rest of the parts arrived and I put it together and tested it.  Here’s the proof…   24×24 complete with picture…

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Lit with my 24×24 complete LED light

I did not take a picture of the light.  I will do that and post it at a future date.

My morning and afternoon were jam packed with appointments, meetings and a job, followed by grocery shopping.  I came home to find my parts had arrived and as exhausted as I was, I still went and built the 24×24 light.

I am hoping I will have time to do some serious testing of this light tomorrow.  As you can see from my self portrait, it does a decent job of lighting the subject.

I will probably spend the night dreaming about ways to make it better.  It looks somewhat homemade.  I think I can improve upon that.  And, there might be other panel manufacturers who have a better product.  I just went with the cheapest that met my specifications.


The halal continues to have heirloom tomatoes for $1.49 a pound.  So, I got quite a few.  I’m thinking pico de gallo.  In addition, I ended up going to Wegman’s (I just missed Henry Winkler who had stopped in the store.  People were still talking about it.) and Trader Joe’s.

24×24 Arrived

24×24 Arrived

My 24×24 arrived.  What’s that?  It’s a 2 foot by 2 foot light panel I plan to turn in to a studio light.  Awesome, eh?

This thing is only about 1/4″ thick and plastic on the front, aluminum everywhere else.  It didn’t come with a plug and the power supply is separate.  I can think of a lot of uses for something like this.

  • a faux window where it is always daylight outside
  • a ceiling tile light (that’s what it is meant to be)
  • a softbox for a studio (my plan)
  • a huge desk light
  • a light table

The rest of the parts are supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Around lunchtime, I took a friend to lunch.  He’s suffering with dementia and this would give his wife a break from her caretaking duties.

We drove to lunch and on the way he told me stories of his past.  For him, I think this gives him comfort in that he can remember those details.

Later I learned it is best to not ask specific questions like, “When’s your birthday?”

Questions like that appeared to be embarassing to him if he couldn’t answer them.  I could tell when I asked a question like that because his brow would furrow and he’d think for a while and then say, “I don’t know.”  But, questions like, “What do you like to eat?” were more easily answered and didn’t cause him consternation.

He did tell me a few times he didn’t like onions, and so that became the laughing point of the day.  Something would come up and one of us would say, “As long as it doesn’t have onions,” and we would both laugh.

I learned a lot about Tom.  I learned he was a SeaBee in the Navy.  He owned a Piper Cherokee and was a pilot.  He worked for General Motors in Rochester.  He loves bass fishing and camping in the 1000 Islands.  He is good friends of Bob Beavers, Bart Dahneke and Gary Morse, and he as a son and daughter.

It was a good time.  Tom’s a kind, gentle person, and I hope as his dementia worsens with time he stays that way.

22 Years Apart

22 Years Apart

My dad and I are 22 years apart.  While talking to him on his birthday (today), he was mentioning how at 82 he doesn’t have much time left.  That got me thinking about turning 60 and how there isn’t a lot of distance between 60 and 82.

Dad started rattling off percentages.  How at 1 year old, I was only 5% of his age, at 22 I was 50% his age, and so forth.  Perhaps that is why time goes so quickly as you get older.

Elizabethe had her eye shots today.  The doctor reports no change since the last time.  No change is good news.  Since macular degeneration is progressive and aggressive, no change is always good news.  That means 6 weeks without her eyesight getting worse.  Also, the company that makes the drug has qualified her to receive a discount on the drug.  This is wonderful news given how expensive it is.

Ah, the joys of growing older.

In our CSM Photographer meeting I was asked to do some training.  I spent time teaching about color space, file types and backups.  I received some great feedback.

copyright 2016 db walton - Color Space - 22 years apart

Color Space

Well, it’s off to the temple.  It is Tuesday.