New Years Eve 2017

New Years Eve 2017

It’s New Years Eve 2017 and I’m going to bed early.  I’m doing this because tomorrow I leave for Israel first thing in the morning.  I want to be well rested.

Being the 5th Sunday, the Priesthood and Relief Society meetings were about the new curriculum for adults.  I see this as a step closer to a Zion Society.  It’s an inspired and good move.

Matt, Becca, John and Linda are all excited about the trip.  While I’d like to say nobody is excited as I am, it wouldn’t be true.  We are all excited.

Missionaries

Elizabethe has been bugging me to make her curried chicken recipe.  So, I made it… with my own twist.  She told me this is what she’ll be living off while I’m in Israel.  I told her I will be eating shawarma.

Travel Anxieties

I get travel anxieties.  I anguish over things like… what if they make me check my camera bag (I don’t like being without it when I travel).  Or, what if the tell me I can’t take my beef jerky on the plane, etc.  They are all based off previous experience.  The problem is TSA is not consistent.  (Personally, I think some of them confiscate stuff to keep it for themselves.)

That said, I have found travel from this area to be less stressful.  Most of my bad experiences were at Oakland.  Rochester is great… oh, but I’m not leaving from Rochester.  I’m leaving from Toronto and I’ve never flown out of Toronto.

2017 Chamber Board

2017 Chamber Board

Tonight the 2017 Chamber Board for the Canal Connection Chamber of Commerce has been elected.  I was re-elected as 1st VP.

Our local chamber of commerce is working hard.  It amazes me how hard it is to get local businesses on board with the chamber.  Our charter is to fight for them, and  I have yet to come across a business that doesn’t want growth.

Israel Presentation

Prior to the chamber meeting I spent the entire day working on a new presentation about Israel.  This new presentation focus on symbolism in Israel, and how it relates to things we find in the scriptures.

I added a new part to my presentation.  This new section talks about travel in Israel – the food, meals, costs, transportation, and more. By doing this I hope to dispel some of the misconceptions about traveling to Israel and subsequently get more interest in going.

copyright 2017 db walton
My First Trip to Israel

Self-Denial

They say denying ones self of something causes your brain chemistry to change, thus making it easier in the future to deny yourself something you want.  So it was with a milkshake tonight.  I really wanted a milkshake, but I turned it around and convinced myself to skip it… and have oatmeal cookies instead.

The Heat Wave of February

Wow, has it warmed up today.  This morning everything was frozen solid, and then as the day progressed, it all started to melt.  Then, it started to rain, and things melted even more.  Then, around dinner time, it started to snow like crazy, but the snow soon turned to rain.

Can you say, “Slushy?”

I gave a presentation at the Tri-County Networkers about destination vacation photography.  Here’s the concept…

When you go on a very important vacation, rather than be absent from the photos (or having a loved one absent from most of them), and rather than missing out on all too precious candid photos, hire ME!  A destination vacation photographer.

What does it cost?

Well, that all depends on the duration of your trip and my expenses.  As to my expenses, get me there, pay for any travel, taxes and fees associated with getting me there, as well as transportation to and from the airport and parking while there, provide me with lodging and meals, and pay a modest fee for my services.

What do you get?

You get all of the digital files sized as 600×400 pixels and sized at 4×6 inches x 300 dpi.  The former you can use on social media and send in e-mails, the latter you can print up to 4×6 inches.  This includes any landscape or scenic images I shoot.  You also get a letter from me stating you have a limited use license to print 4×6 prints and display the images in the Internet.  (Note, the limited parts are these:  You cannot sell or use the images for commercial purposes – i.e. if you had your own business, the license doesn’t allow you to use the images in advertising.  Any prints larger than 4×6 I ask you purchase the prints directly from me so I can guarantee the quality.)

What do I do?

I try to be as unobtrusive as I can so I don’t interfere with your vacation.  I follow you around and get pleasing candid photos of you and your family.  At your request, I am always close by so you can say, “Hey, Brent, get a picture of use with Mickey Mouse”, or “Make sure that mountain is in the background,” or whatever the case may be.  I’m basically at your beckoned command.

My typical goal is 300 images a day.  I average about 400.  There have been days I’ve shot as many as 1000.  But, for a week vacation, you might easily expect around 2500 to 3000 images.  I typically deliver the images on media you provide.  (i.e. a USB drive of some sort).

What if we want some private time?

If you want private time, you simply tell me and tell me when and where to meet you for more photos.  You can invite me to eat with you, or you can send me off to eat by myself.  You can engage me in conversation or you can ask me to site quietly and only speak when addressed.  It’s all up to you.

Here are some sample photos…

copyright 2014 db walton
Sample Candid Picture While on a Tour
copyright 2014 db walton
Sample Candid Photo

 

And, here is a “posed” photo…

copyright 2014 db walton
Posed Photo

And, here is a photo of one of the scenic sights of the trip…

copyright 2014 db walton
Scenic Photo (Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem)

As to the nitty gritty…

I don’t smoke, drink, do drugs, or other disruptive activities.  I have a passport and I’m ready to travel. I’m not real picky about foods and I’m adventurous.

So, whether you’re going to be going on a local day-trip, or an extended vacation abroad, I’m the photographer for the job.

D. Brent Walton is a Certified Professional Photographer and Photographic Craftsman with the Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and an active member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP).  He is fully insured for both liability and indemnity.  You can see his work at www.dbwalton.com and www.FineArtbyDB.com

 

Zoning Meeting

Well, tonight was our big public hearing before the zoning board.  Only the board was there, no concerned citizens, but seriously, who would oppose such a thing?  As they put it, the “benefits for the community far outweigh the detriment.”

copyright 2014 db walton
Zoning Board Notice

So, we are official and legal.  The Beckwith Mansion is classified as a Tourist Home.  No, we are not a B&B.  We are simply a clean place to stay the night – affordable, clean, beautiful and quiet.

They asked about parking during the winter.  Keep in mind, we had just got one inch of snow in the last hour and it was pretty miserable outside.  I chuckled and said, “We don’t have many people wanting to stay here during the winter.”

Okay, that said, this is really a wonderful place in the winter.  Just down the road is a nice sledding park.  Last weekend we had curling on the canal.  Lots of people snowshoe or cross-country ski the Erie Canal Trail.  And, the trees and snow make for a very pretty landscape.  I mean… just look at our house…

copyright 2014 db walton
How the House Looks Right Now

I realize snow isn’t for a lot of people, but if you enjoy the snow this is a pretty place.  Even the Smith Farm and Sacred Grove look pretty in the snow.

Bag It

I’ve been searching for a good travel bag for my Fujifilm X-E1 that has enough room that I could carry another small camera.  I finally found one.  The Lowepro Passport Sling II.  (Click on the banner below and you can see it or order it.)

Lowepro Passport Sling II Bag (Black/Red)

I like it because it can sling over my shoulder.  This way, I don’t have to worry about it sliding off.  It also has a padded compartment to protect my camera, and a few outside pockets for things like a water bottle, memory cards, etc.

I looked at the smaller model, but you really have to have a small camera to fit inside of it. I guess if you had a point-n-shoot, it would work, but it is way to small for a MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) even though they show it with a Nikon 1.

I think I’m all set for my trip.  I just have to pack and organize stuff.

Deck Cleaning

I decided to power wash the deck today.  After applying deck cleaner (by the way, after I opened it, I discovered it was nothing more than bleach), I hit it with the power washer.  Some of the mold was stubborn and really deep.  Other spots came off with no problems.

Deck After Washing
Deck After Washing

 

People are still calling about Pageant reservations.  We DO have a room available during the last week.  However, most of the people calling have already bought airline tickets for the first week.  Here’s some advice before traveling to Palmyra:

  1. Get your room reservation FIRST.  Call 1 year in advance to make your reservations.
  2. After you have your lodging, then book your flight.  Rochester (ROC) is the closest airport, followed by Syracuse then Buffalo.
  3. NYC is a 6 hour drive from Palmyra (360 miles).  If you plan to visit NYC too, plan accordingly.
  4. Give yourself a minimum of 2 nights in Palmyra, especially if you are going to Hill Cumorah Pageant.  Keep in mind jet-lag, and the time it takes you to get here, and the time it will take you to leave if flying out after your Palmyra visit.
  5. If you plan to visit Harmony (now Oakland Township), PA, give yourself an extra day.  The roundtrip visit to Harmony takes a day.
  6. If you plan to visit Kirtland, give yourself an extra 2 days, with an overnight stay in Cleveland, OH.
  7. If you plan to visit Niagara Falls, give yourself and extra day too.
  8. Wherever you visit, spend money there.  Those economies depend on your business.  (i.e. buy meals and souvenirs)  An exception might be meals on the road, but when in Rome (Palmyra, Kirtland, etc.), eat in Rome.

 

Getting Packed

I’ve spent most of the day packing for our trip.  I hate it when you know you own something, you’ve seen it recently, but can’t remember where you saw it or placed it.  I spent a good portion of the day trying to find such items.

I’m one of those people who would rather overpack than get there and wish I had something.  As a result, I’ve got my full camera bag, enough clothes in my suitcase, and my laptop bag with charger and all the stuff I’ll need with my computer, including my USB hard drive.

If I don’t have it packed, it’s too late now.  I’m done packing.