Tag Archives: 2014

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year 2015!  It’s hard to believe it is 2015.  Goodbye to 2014 and hello to a new year.

I spent a good portion of the day working on backups.  Yes, I did that yesterday too.  I have a lot of data to back up.  Being a professional photographer I create a lot of large files.  When you consider a single wedding might yield as many as 4 to 12 gigabytes of data, it all adds up.

One of the projects I have slated for the new year is building a grab-n-go kit for my photography work.  Right now, if I have to go on location I have to take everything down in the studio and then set it all back up again when I get to the location.  That’s a lot of work.  If I can save 2-3 hours in a single shoot I can pay for this kit.

Today I ordered some of the parts for the kit.  Once I get it done I will be blogging about it on my photography web site at http://blog.dbwalton.com.  But, basically the kit will contain everything I need to do a location portrait session, including a backdrop.  Right now it looks like it will be 3 bags – camera, lights and hardware.

2014 Comes to an End

2014 Comes to an End

2014 Comes to an end and it definitely had its highs and lows.  Time goes much too quickly these days.  I guess that’s all part of growing older.

2014 started off with a trip to NYC, picking up B&H and LensPen as sponsors for my workshops, a most wonderful trip to Israel for two weeks, giving several firesides about Israel, going on a 4-city speaking tour in Tennessee, a trip to Texas for Texas’ baptism and many other great things.  While I won’t dwell on the bad stuff, 2014 has had its tragedies too.

I also attended the PPSNYS School this summer and took a class from Richard Studevant.  It was a great class on doing composite images.  I haven’t practiced what I learned, but some of that isn’t due to any fault of my own.

During the year I’ve also been working with the Macedon-Palmyra-Walworth Chamber of Commerce on a re-branding project.  We want to make the chamber a viable business resource in the area and worked hard all year to do that.  Next week it will all come in to play when we have our annual meeting.


2015 is just a few hours away.  In 2015 I want too…

  • get back to being able to walk unassisted
  • teach more workshops
  • build a passive solar heater for the upstairs bedrooms
  • get my Route 31 book ready for publication
  • take more photos

I want to make the best of 2015.

December Already?

December Already?

It is December already?  My goodness where does the time go.

Four people joined us for the 1st Monday Event today.  We took photos of Elizabethe’s Christmas Village.

copyright 2014 db walton

Elizabethe’s Christmas Village

I put my camera on the tripod and although I sat most of the time they were taking pictures, I did manage to do a couple of photos with my camera.

copyright 2014 db walton

Christmas Village

Perhaps I’ll turn some of these in to paintings.  We’ll see.

By the way, you can see Elizabethe’s Christmas Village on Saturday, December 6th, as our home is featured in the Christmas Home Tour sponsored by Historic Palmyra.

So, the First Monday Event was a success.  I think they had a lot of fun photographing these tiny houses Elizabethe has painted and arranged.  It will be fun to see what each person does with their photographs.

Again, it is hard to believe it is December already.  Time goes much too quickly any more.  Before you know it, I’ll be 80 and this blog will have been going on for over 20 years.

Remember as a kid when you’d start school in September and Christmas would seem like an eternity away?  Let’s not even think about how far away June and summer vacation was.  It was just too far away to comprehend.

In the mean time, I’ll keep plugging along.  Tomorrow it will be April 15th, time to do taxes again, then the next day it’s Christmas again, and then New Years.  Yeah, it seems like just a few days.

Election Day 2014

Election Day 2014

Today is election day 2014.  It is a gubernatorial year for New York.  It is also a chance to remove Dan Maffei as our representative.  (We voted him out a few years ago, but he managed to get elected again.  Not sure how that happened.)

Elizabethe and I headed out for our dental check up this morning.  It is sure a chore getting in and out of the car.  We had to make a few stops on the way home, most of which I waited in the car.  I did get out to have breakfast at Taco Bell.

Our last stop was the poll to vote.  It feels good to vote.  I know some people don’t think their vote makes a difference, but whether it does or not, I see it as a social responsibility and privilege.

Elizabethe headed to the temple, but I got in bed before she left.  I figure if I’m settled down for the evening, all would be okay while she’s gone.

After she got home, I went online and the early results showed Cuomo and Maffei loosing by a landslide.  (15% and 21% respectively.)  Although Cuomo still has a chance, Maffei can’t win at this point.  Whew!  Thank goodness.  While, I am not a fan of Cuomo, I’m less of a fan of my current congressman.  He strikes me as an authoritarian liberal populist.

While I understand the motivation for many liberal policies, too many liberal politicians go to the extreme of authoritarian enforcement of them.  I find it interesting that liberal authoritarians can get elected, but we’ve never seen a conservative authoritarian elected.  (Hitler was a conservative authoritarian.  Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro was/is an authoritarian liberal.)  I think the reason is the liberal authoritarian is more cunning in the execution of their control.

Authoritarianism is wrong.  You cannot force anyone to do what they don’t want to do — good or bad.  If allowed to run out-of-check, it becomes totalitarian.

Workshop 2014 Day 3

Workshop 2014 Day 3

Workshop 2014 Day 3 was a demanding day of image manipulation.   We’re still working on the same image, but today we started building the background.

copyright 2014 db walton

My Background

Of course, it looks kind of funky now, but other elements will be added, colors changed, etc.

copyright 2014 db walton

Other Elements Added.

It is a slow process, but it also requires an attention to perspective and angles.  You can’t have something below that it appears you are looking up at it.  Light must come from the same angle for all elements.

This class will change the way I take photos when on vacation or traveling.  I’ll have to carry a list of items needed for compositions and be watching for them.


While driving in today, I passed this field on Route 21 in Manchester.  I had to stop and take a picture…


copyright 2014 db walton

Hay Rolls

Normally I don’t like the button-push filters, but in the case of this image, it actually works.  Yes, anyone can push a button, but not everyone can compose, expose and shoot an image well.

Free Speech Revisited

Free Speech

I recall in my high school civics class when discussing free speech, the teacher used the example of yelling, “Fire”, in a crowded theater as something that is not protected by free speech.  That’s an extreme example.  A more realistic example would be this question:

Does someone have the right to harass someone verbally?

This becomes very relevant during Hill Cumorah Pageant.  Hecklers arrive from out of town for the purpose of harassing those attending Pageant or activities during pageant.

I believe the answer to my question is yes, they have a 1st Amendment Right to harass, but within certain parameters.  As a member of the board of the chamber of commerce, I got a phone call regarding such harassment which should not be protected by the 1st Amendment.   It is this…

If your verbal harassment of Person A results in a loss of business to Person B, Person B’s rights have been violated.  This is the reason why many communities have a “free speech zone”.    Free speech zones have been established to keep protesters and demonstrators from trespassing and interfering with commerce.

Here’s an example.  You can’t stand in the center of the freeway holding a protest sign.  It’s illegal.  It has nothing to do with free speech; it has to do with public safety.

Another example would be you can’t start yelling on a bull-horn at 2am in the morning, waking the entire neighborhood.

I’ve got several complaints from business owners about the hecklers impacting their business.  One employee says one of the hecklers told him he was going to hell.   The heckler, a protestant minister claiming to be from Newark, New York, accosted him on the sidewalk.  His point in telling me this was he felt that if this guy did this to him, what if he does that to someone heading to his store, and because he’s in front of his store people might not shop at his store.

He’s got a good point.  So, should free speech be protected when it has unintended consequences for people not involved in the protest?

Pageant Tonight

Elizabethe and I went with our friend David to Pageant.  This was David’s first time, and we had a great time visiting with David.

copyright 2014 db walton

Me and David

We ran in to Sister Lewis (who served in Palmyra), and Sister Sharp.  They spent time talking to David.  It was golden hour, so as a photographer I couldn’t pass the chance to get this picture.

copyright 2014 db walton

Sisters Lewis and Sharp

Pageant, as always, was spectacular.  I love this scene where Jesus calls the little children to come unto him…

copyright 2014 db walton

Hill Cumorah Pageant

Prior to pageant, there was an obnoxious guy yelling on a bull horn about how bad we are.  I believe in free speech and it should be protected.  I wonder if this guy realizes how obnoxious he is and rather than alienating people against Latter-day Saints, he’s alienating people against himself.

I guess sometimes you’ve got to let people show their true colors.

Big Family

Big Family

I did a big family portrait session today.  32 people total.  It wasn’t quite the challenge of a 172 missionaries, but it took some creativity.

You never know what to expect on a large session like this.  Most of the time, I am booking these sessions without having met the family.  As a result I have to think on my feet.

Probably one of the biggest challenges would be if everyone was the same height.  I’ve never had that happen, but that would pose a posing challenge.  You never want people’s heads in a straight line.  You want compositions of small triangles.  So, if everyone is the same height you’d need to create two new levels of height to form the triangles.


Wednesdays are my Rochester networking meetings.  Our speaker today is a lawyer and talked about wills.  I didn’t realize how screwy New York laws are regarding wills.  I thought California had some weird rules; New York’s are worse.

If I understood her correctly, in New York, if you leave behind a spouse and children, and you don’t have a will, $50,000 goes to the spouse, and the remaining money is split 50/50 between the spouse and surviving children.  That could really mess things up if a spouse was expecting to live off the estate they built.  It gets weirder if you don’t have children, but your parents survive you.

Networking meetings are more than just sharing referrals, you learn a lot about the member’s businesses.  We have lawyers, insurance agents, accountants, and more.  Our meetings are always educational.


Really Cold Day

I got up and the thermometer said 8F.  When I checked later, it had gone up to a whopping 13F.

I got bundled up and started shoveling snow.  I had to break it in to three sessions as it was just too cold.  But, I managed to get it all shoveled off the driveway except for a small amount near the garage.  I calculated I moved 16 tons of snow.  That’s right 16 tons.  No wonder I feel worn out.

The sun came out towards the end of the day, and so I took these photos…

copyright 2014 db walton

Sunset from the Driveway

copyright 2014 db walton

Front of the Beckwith Mansion

copyright 2014 db walton

Kitchen Door

copyright 2014 db walton

View of the 4 Churches from the Driveway

copyright 2014 db walton

Front of the Beckwith Mansion

copyright 2014 db walton

Snow Drifts on the Front Lawn

It’s so cold my fingers hurt.  I need looser gloves.  The tightness of my current gloves causes my fingers to feel colder and burn.  And, it really ticks me off that I can’t find good mittens around here.  All of them are gloves inside a mitten-like shell.  The idea behind mittens is that the fingers give each other warmth.

Got another campaign flyer from our congressman Dan Maffei.  It really bothers me that tax payer money can be used by incumbent representatives to send out campaign material.  It just seems wrong.  So, I wrote him asking to be taken off his list so it will save us some budget money.  But, something tells me the budget is more of a formality than it is a necessity for most of politicians.  I say that because if it was important, we’d see a LOT of programs disappearing.

We also got our property tax bill.  There was a sheet listing mandated budget items.  The last 4 or 5 had to deal with criminals.  Tax money for programs for criminals.  The first one was for medicare.  Several in the middle had to do with welfare services, and number 2 was for retirement funds (and I hope that is retirement for government workers and not politicians.)

I find myself in that artist slump again.  Part of it might be the effects of SAD.  The other part of it is it’s hard to find good and willing subjects for some of my work.  And, as to the latter, I think cell phones have made getting your picture taken too common.  I’ve blogged about the effects of bad image overload.  Hmmm… I think I’ll call it BIO.  Anyway, I think people don’t appreciate good photography as much as they used to.

First Snow of the Year 2014

We got the first snow of the year for 2014.  (See Season Watch for more information.)  It’s really coming down.  In fact, they’ve named this storm Hercules.

I had a 1pm appointment in Newark and had to venture out on the roads.  It wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t good either.  It’s the type of day you want to stay off the roads.

The weather reports say we are supposed to get another 5 inches tonight.

Happy New Year 2014

We start a new year today.  2014.  Time seems to fly as you get older.

For those planning on attending Hill Cumorah Pageant in July, make your reservations soon.  We’ve got a few rooms left, and this year, we’ve learned of regulations that we must follow.  Thus, rooms will be in more demand.

The temperatures are really dropping, and I spent a good portion of the day writing and working on my computer.