Tonight’s adult session of Stake Conference was very nice. They started with a few speakers, and then called some people to come bare testimony. One of them had that happen to her a year ago. I especially enjoyed Sister Evan’s talk.
Winter is almost here, and it is time to figure out my winter concentration area. I think I will concentrate on sketching and painting again. Last year I had a goal which went by the wayside when the weather got warmer. I’m okay with that.
Next year, I will break things in to winter/indoors and summer/outdoors. My winger concentration will be stuff I can do sitting in my studio, while summer will involve getting out and walking around.
I have enough reference fodder to take me through the winter. Plus, I have ideas to carry me through. Themes for my winter creations will be fantasy, steampunk, and artistic portraits.
I’ve built quite an arsenal of paintbrushes for Corel Painter. Half of them I’ve created, the other half I’ve purchased. Between the two I hope to find my favorites and master using them.
I need to work more on composing for excitement. Take the above image. She’s looking out the window in a seemingly empty castle. It doesn’t tell much of a story, and isn’t very exciting. In this case, I’m not sure what I could do. Maybe paint an older lady (her mom), of to the right looking like she’s concerned about her daughter? It needs something.
The Canal Connection rocks! (The Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce – Palmyra, Macedon and Walworth and surrounding areas’ Chamber of Commerce.) Tonight we held our annual Christmas Dinner. It was nice.
The evening started with a brief overview of the Chamber’s accomplishments and activities in 2017. That was followed by a few remarks from our State Senator Pam Helming.
Dinner was nice. The “grazing stations” had salad, steamed vegetables, a pasta station, and chicken French.
At the end of the event we had a 50/50 drawing and distributed the silent auction winnings. Consequently, we did not win the drawing. Therefore, I consider it a donation to the chamber.
By the way, you do not have to be a Chamber of Commerce member to attend our annual dinner! In addition, It’s a nice time to meet business owners and enjoy a nice meal.
Elizabethe and I met with the Macedon Public Library Director regarding teaching classes next year. Elizabethe will teach a basic computer skill classes. I will teach a class about getting started with WordPress.
My class will be in April. Elizabethe’s classes start in January. As a result, we’ll both be busy.
Black and White
I’ve been working in black and white today. There is something about black and white.
I am hoping my new custom backdrop (one I designed) arrives today. It sounds like it will work great for my afternoon portrait appointment. In the meantime I’m working on retouching and administrative work.
I love the UPS phone app. It tells me when packages arrive. Better than a doorbell, I love this app.
Around lunch time my UPS app alerts me my backdrop is delivered. Wow! How cool is that.
I run out and grab it and open it right away. It is SO COOL.
I could hardly wait to see it as a backdrop, so I did a self-portrait in front of it…
I named it “Duplicity”. Hang it one way and you have a background of cool tones for a portrait. Flip it 180-degrees and you have a background for warm tones. Hence, duplicity.
Right now this is exclusive to photography by db walton llc. Perhaps a year or two down the road I will offer them to the public for purchase. However, if you like it this is the only place you can get a portrait with it as a background!
My shoot clients arrive and yes, they look great against the backdrop. I utilized the cool end of the backdrop. I then had them sit and got a little of both.
Elizabethe and I attended an ESL event tonight at the George Eastman House. John Lynch, Executive Vice President of ESL Investment Services talked about the state of the economy, factors that affect the GDP and forecasts. It was quite educational.
After the event they put on quite the spread with a couple of carving stations and grazing stations. The food was great.
As we left they gave each of us a parting gift… a bottle of wine.
Okay, I appreciate their generosity, but I wonder if they understand how many people don’t drink wine. Thus, I’ll write them a thank you note and recommend next time they also have sparkling cider for those who don’t drink.
We hit a few stores as we are gearing up for our 3 months without grocery shopping. We hit the Indian, Turkish and Asian markets. (Produce is much cheaper there.)
The Asian market has a nice bakery. I picked up a couple of pork buns for lunch.
Since we were in Henrietta we used our Harbor Freight Tools coupons. I got a few storage items. One is for my little X-E1 camera so I can keep it in the car without worry of it getting damaged.
My orders today (from my wife) are to stay in bed and elevate my foot. At one point I got up to look for something and she said, “You’re supposed to be laying down.”
Ever since my accident my feet have been giving me problems. This morning is about the worse it has ever been. I am taking her advice and giving it a rest.
I’ve been trying to connect the dots here. I have no idea what brings on these “flare ups”. It’s like this… If you are hitting your thumb with a hammer, and it hurts afterwards, then you know you’ve got to stop hitting your thumb with a hammer. In the case of my feet, I can’t figure it out. Yesterday I was on my feet a lot. However, the time before when it flared up, I had been sitting a lot. Go figure.
When I woke this morning I thought there is no way I could go work in the temple. But, as the day progressed, the pain receded. So, I went to the temple.
I told our shift coordinator about the calcification on my Achilles tendon. It worked out well. My assignments were all ones where I could mostly sit.
Doing a retro 1950s shoot was quite fun today. Two young women whom I’ve photographed quite a bit came prepared with clothing that looks like it belongs in the past. My favorite was this one that is straight out of the camera…
Or this one that’s a little more 1940ish glamour…
Because I had two models, there was little down time. One would change while the other was in front of the camera. I took about 375 photos.
It’s funny how we look back on various eras. I laugh at the trend to make photographs look old and faded, however, this is not that. This is black and white at its finest.
SOOC, or straight out of the camera, works well given my camera has built-in B&W film simulations as well as color filter. The above were shot with Acros film and a green filter. Well, not really, but the camera simulated the effect of Acros with a green filter.
The top picture in today’s post is SOOC. No post processing. You’re looking at what I saw in the viewfinder without any changes. (Of course, it’s nice to work with Angela because she has flawless skin and features.)
I got four hours of sleep last night. I woke at 2am and I’ve been awake ever since. So, I tried taking melatonin, twice, but it didn’t phase my insomnia.
Before I knew it, it was time to get up and get ready for church. I was a zombie during my church meetings. It’s funny, I’m sleepy, but not falling asleep.
So, after church I tried to take a nap. I don’t think I dozed off, but the rest felt good. Finally, I got up and fixed dinner.
We didn’t have leftover casserole, but I made a casserole out of leftovers. The bottom layer was stuffing. Next, I put a layer of mashed potatoes and gravy which was topped with sliced turkey. The final layer was stringbean casserole topped with french fried onions.
I had no idea how it would turn out, but it turned out quite well. The sister missionaries liked it, and so did Elizabethe. I think I’m onto something.
Sunday School was about the Whole Armor of God. I realized something for the first time. Perhaps fiery darts doesn’t mean they are on fire, but poisoned. When the scriptures mention fiery serpents, it is talking about poisonous snakes. Perhaps they are poisonous darts which makes even more sense when you think about it.
It’s a month before Christmas… and no, I’m not going to attempt to make some silly poem about it. However, it is one of those days when I do not want to go to any stores or malls. That’s crazy.
Elizabethe and I went downstairs and took inventory of our food storage. I think I should make a list of things to prepare during our 3 months of no grocery shopping. For example, what can I make with _______ (fill in the blank).
While taking inventory I discovered a can that had been dropped, and the dented area had rusted all the way through. Thus, it is important to check your food storage. I also discovered the mice chew through the plastic containers of bullion. We’re transferring it to glass jars.
Two Days Before the Shoot
It is also two days before my next shoot. When I have slow days I like to get ready for the next shoot. This usually means cleaning up after the last shoot. That means finding things I misplaced during the last shoot.
Nobody makes studio organization stuff. Camera bags are meant for organizing on-location shoots, but nobody… I mean nobody makes organization stuff for your equipment in the studio.
But then, amateurs support the photography industry these days. They spend the money on equipment, however, they don’t have studios. It’s a Catch-22 for those of us who do.
I have this idea for a studio organization system, but the manufacturing of a prototype is beyond my skill set. It would even work for an in-home based studio. (I also have an idea that would revolutionize lighting. Hmmm… How do I get the attention of Canon or Nikon, or one of the big flash manufacturers?)
Paul and I were interviewed for 55 Plus Magazine — a magazine devoted to those over 55. It was a fun interview. We’re told our story will be in the January 2018 issue. You can darn well bet I’ll be sharing links to it when it comes out. I felt our 55 Plus interview went quite well.
Prior to the interview I was searching photos from the trip. I didn’t look at all 40,000 images. I selected certain days I knew contained good human interest images.
Elizabethe and I are cheap dates. We went to Burger King and used a 2 for 1 coupon. Two Whoppers, two fries and two drinks for the price of one. And, if that wasn’t being cheap, we then went to Wendy’s and used our keytags for our free frosties. (You must make a purchase, but cookies are only a buck. A cookie and ice cream for $1. You can’t go wrong.
After Thanksgiving Sales
I didn’t go to any stores or malls today. I hate shopping crowds. Instead, I waited for my favorite camera store — B&H to e-mail me. They had 64GB SD cards for under $20. And, they had 8TB drives, like the ones I use on my server, for $160. So, I stocked up on storage stuff.
A photographer can never have too much backup space.
Thanksgiving 2017 has been quiet. No guests, no family, no big meal, just Elizabethe and me. We’re talking it easy.
I made a ham steak for Elizabethe, and a t-bone for me. Again, nothing fancy, just the two of us.
I figured I’d pull my laptop and tablet out and update all the software and install the latest patches. Yawn. Why can’t they handle it like my smartphone does. But then, maybe I don’t want my laptop communicating to the Internet what I have installed on it.
Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for what you’ve got. Perhaps I shouldn’t be complaining about having to update a half-dozen software packages.
I updated all but one because it wasn’t a free update. The others were all free. So, do I spend the $70 for the update, or wait until another release and update then (skipping a release).
If I were keeping score it would look like this…
Adobe 0 – a lifetime of paying $10/month just to keep it running
Corel 5 – 12-18 months purchasing a new update for about $50-$70 (still cheaper than Adobe)
Topaz 10 – Purchase and all updates are free
Computer In Bed
I’m not sure how my wife can do it. She can recline in bed and work on her computer. I can’t. I can’t get my head in the right position, balance the laptop, and type. Perhaps she’s more flexible than I am.