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iPhone Photo
It really is splendid when a child affects your life. There is still question if I should say "infect", but either way it is a good thing.

This image has resided on the outside of our garage door windows for over a quarter of a year. That may mean to you that I haven't washed the outside of our garage door in quite awhile (ever) or at least in the five years we have lived here. But to me, this presented the opportunity to see this youths illustration and revisit some fond memories of how it came to be.

When we went out of town for our 10-day beach vacation in the first part of summer we had asked our neighbor to keep a watchful eye on our home and to feed our animals. Upon our return, we had this image drawn on our garage with the adolescent-styled faces smiling at us and welcoming my family home. This was a nice gesture that she had made for us and whether it was genuine delight that we would be returning or the relief she gained from knowing she would be free of the responsibility of caring for the animals we may never want to know. No matter what the purpose intended was, it still remains that I smile every time I see it – Yes, it is still there.

See, I was working on my laptop from the kitchen counter/bar, the children had started school recently after staying at home all summer with me, and the morning light was beautiful. I had a clear view from where I sat of the pane in the garage door in which the illustration was drawn. It is the east side of our home and the morning light was just skimming over the trees on the other side of our driveway creating the most remarkable light penetrating through the glass and directly toward me. I just happened to look up at it at this point of the morning and it was stunningly back lit! 

Now I can think of many reasons I may not have seen this earlier in the season: the sun's angle would have been coming in differently, the foliage was fuller, maybe I sat a little to the right of where I was at that time. But, in fact, I believe all of these to be less likely than the simple fact that I had at least 3 children under foot most of the summer, and sometimes more! Yeah, I was a little distracted.

I really enjoy my children, and all of their friends. I must say that I miss them now that I sit here in a house that is so very quiet, lest that of snoring dogs. But it gives me time to reflect, engage and pursue. I don't know when I may get around to washing off the window, and it may very well be there for quite some time. At least until the next owner of this house decides to let it go. But it helps me to center myself in ways I will not try to explain here and now. Suffice to say, the image is only one of many representations of my life and how children are a big part of how I enjoy this world!

Words about my project...

Canon EOS-1Ds 1/60sec at f/5, 120mm
A few days ago I decided to start shooting photos that would help me to improve my skills and to see things in a different way than that of which I am familiar. I started to feel like I was in a bit of a rut and that it had been some time since my creative spirit took control of my camera outside of work. With this I set out to make a few photos of people since that was an area of my portfolio that was in need of improvement.

After doing a little research on fashion photography tips and gaining some valuable information from successful sources in the field, I decided that the best place to start would be with a self-portrait. Not only did this put forth the obvious challenges of the process, such as trying to position myself and change lighting without the benefit of seeing the changes while they were being made, but one thing I have never enjoyed is being the subject of my own photo! Most of us are built to feel somewhat more critical of ourselves, and I am no exception. I always tell people who are uncomfortable with being photographed, "That's why I wanted to become the photographer!"

In thinking the process through, I wanted to stay away from the overused, typical photographer shot where he sits with his hand just touching his chin and contemplating whatever it is he supposed to be thinking about, emulating a version of Auguste Rodin's, "The Thinker". Trust me, there are many examples of this of some fashion or another. Now, while contemplating the viewers needs while sitting there in inanimate suspension may appeal to the viewers desire to be noticed, I really wanted to achieve something different from the typical (for some reason). I wanted to have a camera in the shot with me, but once again, this is nothing new. My revelation was to hang a mirror up in from=nt of the camera and to take the shots of my reflection!

Fine, not such a big revelation, but the benefits were enormous. First, it enabled my to shoot tethered to my computer, which is something I do quite regularly. Second, I could use the camera in the shot to take the shot (which I think is really cool!) Third, I could make all the adjustments I needed by looking at the computer (also in the shot) and not have to move too much from where I was sitting. Great! The only issue that kept haunting me was using a limited depth-of-field for the lens to keep my eyes in focus and throwing the camera out of focus. You know, auto focus can be helpful, but for this I needed to know for sure where the lens should be set and where my eyes would be in focus without looking through the lens. I finally had success presetting the focal plane with use of an unused light stand and replacing that with my face.

The final retouched, and flipped, photo is the one I am using for this blog. Lighting inspired in some way by fashion, I feel I was able to pull off a self-portrait that I  can be proud of posting.

So over the next couple of days I wanted to keep adding photos that I may be able to use for a portfolio. With those images and what I had been doing, my wife came up with the idea to have a Photo-A-Day and post it somewhere. Hence, I am writing this blog for those who are interested, but also to use as a tool for looking out at my world and from that point-of-view, creating images that will help me to see the places I live and visit with a new vision, one I may have not considered before. I plan to learn to use the basics of composition, lighting, camera function, computer skills, and creativity to improve myself in new ways to explore and share the visualization I obtain throughout this project.

I hope you enjoy viewing my images, even if my writing style leaves something to be desired. I will certainly do my best to make your visit inspiring, educational and visually entertaining. If you have any comments or suggestions for me I certainly welcome them.

Thank you.