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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A note about The Challenger....

I just thought of a note about The Challenger, Mickey Thompsons land speed car. Mickey was my wifes' cousin and he was murdered by a former partner in his multiple business enterprises. He had a son Danny that carried on with the dream of smashing the land speed record. This past year Danny took Challenger to the Salt Flats and breaking the standing record. His total speed was 442 miles per hour combining the two required runs. Danny upgraded internal parts of the machines motors and other parts but kept the same design that Mickey created.  The Challenger has a new home in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

This summers peppers...

As most followers know I do plant peppers and tomatoes in the spring primarily because I like to eat homegrown veggies. I built raised beds last year and they worked well and this year I added some mushroom compost in the spring. That stuff is a great addition to the sandy soil we have here. I think that a couple of more years of adding it will make the dirt similar to the soil I had in Missouri. The tomato plants are still producing as are the peppers so we will probably be in good shape till the first frost.

As a new addition I also have potatoes in two containers just to see if I can grow them. They can't be harvested until the first frost so don't hold your breath. It seems like a really dumb idea growing them as cheap as they are in the stores but if there is a difference in taste I'll put in a larger bed next year.
Obviously as most people know tomatoes are radically tastier if home grown. John Denver was right.

These are some of the garden treats from this year.






Monday, July 29, 2019

Touching base...

I've been really busy getting ready for some Senior Portrait sessions. Did some work on the outdoor studio in preparation and am pretty much done with it. Later today I will post another page showing how some of the previously shown commercial images were used by one of my clients. It's always good to get a "tear sheet" from my clients to add to my portfolio. It really adds credibility to my sales attempts. It really solidifies my "Sure I can do it.." statements I give my clients. Stay tuned...

Monday, June 17, 2019

That time of year...

I guess it has become somewhat of a habit over the years to post my first crop of tomatoes and following tradition.....these are my first ones. It is also my first in years to be picked before July 1.
I'm looking forward to a bumper crop !!!


I started the plants from seeds I had purchased from Baker Creek Seed Company in Missouri.
They are non gmo and taste like the tomatoes I ate as a kid. It's going to be a great summer !!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Completed second job for my new Client-----------

My new client is an interior designer was that was invited to decorate a room in the historic Harwelldon House for a Designer Showcase that was held recently. This room is in the basement of the house but has the feel of a normal ground floor of a home. The chest was carved and I think was made of mahogany. The chairs were covered with a very fine leather, really top line appointments.




I sure love my job. Watch for more interiors as she has told me that she has several kitchen installations she has done for clients recently.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A new account.........

I have just started working with a new account, a company that is a designer of ultimate kitchens. What a great partnership. With the opening of their new office, I produced images that were used in their promo piece and will photograph their show kitchen in a designer showcase home.


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Update..........

The main problem with my back was "fixed " but yet it wasn't. I still have intense pain on occasion with my right thigh and calf but it is somewhat of an improvement over where I was with it. I'm going to have another MRI at the end of the month to see what the next procedure will be. Hopefully not another back surgery.

Business is taking a back seat to my medical issue but my commercial accounts understand and are waiting for me to get better to schedule more shoots. I have a couple of "Must Haves" that I'm shooting but that's about all I'm scheduling. You really don't appreciate walking until you can't.

I'll write more as I progress. Keep the faith.......

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Vanished.....

Well....as the Grateful Dead sang "it's been a long strange trip...."

In November my right leg started to act a bit strange at the hip. Having undergone hip replacement several years ago on my left hip I assumed the right hip had gone by the wayside. One doctors appointment later and two cortisone shots the pain persisted. One more doctor consultation and an MRI and it became apparent that I had back issues with bulging disks. I went in for surgery in February and had surgery on my back. I was in the hospital two days and returned home with the notation that I shouldn't do any work for several months...I was told not to lift any more than 10 pounds...pretty limiting. I couldn't climb stairs and walking was an issue due to weakness and PAIN.

Which brings me to the issue of Hydrocodone. My doctor had prescribed it to me to get through the pain that accompanied the operation which, was pretty high. I was on the mend and figured a week ago Monday that I really didn't need the pills. I had heard of the warnings about the possible addiction to Hydrocodone but figured that I would recognize the issue if I was having a problem. I stopped on Monday and Tuesday was a day I'll never forget. Deep depression, doubts of self worth, amazing thoughts that kept me in bed all day and totally trying to sort everything out. Wednesday I realized that it was the withdrawal from the drug. I now see what the warnings were all about. The drug will slip up on you and nail you to the wall without you realizing anything is wrong.

I will never again take that drug-it is unforgiving and will take hostages for life if you are not aware of the potential.

I'm getting back to work on a limited scale this Thursday as I am photographing the Mayor of Carthage Missouri, Dan Rife. I have several portraits of the Mayors of carthage dating back probably 40 years. I guess the tradition continues. It'll be good to get back to the ol' stomping grounds again.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Missing Mike

As some of my diehards may have noticed I’ve been missing. Last summer when I was 16 I decided to  finish the backyard”studio” area. I finished the landscaping and laid down about 2 tons of river rock to finish it off. That included several areas that had very large “rocks” for client seating areas as well as several walls. Needless to say I’m glad I was 16.

I’m 18 this year and around October of last year I started to have some strange feelings in my lower back. First noticed them in October and they got worse. I went to the Doctor who replaced my knees and left hip joints......I ran miles after work for years and played racquetball all to stay in good shape for a decade or two........go health !!!!! After an x-ray or two the verdict came in. I had 5 bulging disks that were needing attention. I was sent to another doctor that gave me two injections with the idea they would help remove the pain. They did........for a day or two. Around the first of February I could hardly walk without extreme pain so another trip to my regular doctor. He put me in tough with  a surgeon that specialized in back problems and we had a consultation scheduled for March 6th. I was dying in pain. In desparation, Karen, my baby baby, wife, lovey lovey, called the office of the surgeon and asked if there were ANY openings before the 6th. They called back with an appointment as someone had cancelled. He took a look at the x-rays and scheduled me for last Tuesday.

I checked in at 5:30 in the morning was in the operating room at 10:30, out by three, and in my room. There was no pain. Later that day he came in and said there was a cyst that was rubbing on my spinal cord that was causing the problem. I was actually able to walk a bit and checked out the next afternoon. I was in the hospital a total of 36 hours. I am going to have to wear a back brace for 6 weeks but that’s fine there is no pain.

I now understand back issues !!!!! I have not really been able to work much with the back issue but I’m ready to start it all up again. I love my job !!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

St. Louis..

We were in St. Louis several days ago and in our wanderings we ran across several interesting features in one building. These are a several windows and part of a door. There will be more to follow soon. Click on the image and it will get bigger.






Thursday, December 13, 2018

Raining again...

I guess it's better than snow but the rain is coming down with a vengeance. I cleaned out the filter in the pond yesterday as we had a very lucky break in the weather. It almost got to 70. It's cold now and there is a forecast for a mix of rain and snow through the weekend.

I have gotten some new equipment in this past week and am looking forward to improving my delivery of images to clients. I just have to figure out how it works in "real life". It doesn't look as though a rocket scientist is necessary to use it but it must be considered that I am not the smartest rock in the box when it comes to tech issues.  We'll see.

I'll keep you posted....

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Bye Fall...HELLO WINTER !!!!

Needless to say Fall didn't last...............I really dislike the Winter. Snow is a pain in the tail and I just don't like it ! I did however go out and get the last of this years last tomatoes. I really learned a lot about the growing of them. I had the right soil, mushroom media mixed in with the sandy loam of the area built up in a raised bed. I planted several varieties some which I bought already started - which turned out to be a huge disappointment - and from seeds I bought from rareseeds.com.


                                                                                                     Large Barred Boar TomatoEnlarge View
  • Large Barred Boar Tomato
  • Large Barred Boar Tomato

 



This is the Large barred Boar tomatoe which is very meaty and tasted like tomatoes did when I was a kid. The seeds from Rare Seeds are non GMO thus delivering the same taste I grew up with.
The hard freeze the last couple of nights totaled what plants were remaining. I'll clean them up tomorrow when it is to get to 50 degrees or so. I've decided to lay out some more mushroom soil also and let ti sink into last years soil and it may make a difference next year in crop yield. There is also not enough sun hitting the beds so a cropping of the trees will also be done soon.

I've been working on the mobile assignment I got from the designer on OKC for a project he has done for a client. It's really much more interesting than I had anticipated. Translation....it's pretty difficult. But we all need new challenges. I'm making a 1/5 scale model for his approval as the finished piece will be 10 feet wide and 21 feet long. It will be made out of aluminum and steel and be monochromatic. It is a challenge.....  As a member of FabLab I have access to laser cutters and the tools I will need to fabricate the pieces.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Fair...

When I was in undergraduate school I went to the County Fair and did some shooting, still having some of the shots. At that time I was toning them and selectively altering their look to give them a different sense of presence so to speak. Wandering throughout the fair in Tulsa the other night I started to do somewhat of the same thing. Grabbing images to see how they would fit in my more senior vision. Here are a couple of them that I have altered so far. It's a really different feel as to the reality.






I really like the look. Be sure to click on the images to have them enlarge.

Running sound at Cains

One of my nephews was in town several week ago running sound at the Cains Ballroom here in Tulsa. Andy has been handling Anderson Easts sound on the road for over a year traveling the United States, Northern Europe and Scandinavia. In the spring they are headed back to Europe for more gigs.
Cains Ballroom is an iconic music venue here in Tulsa having had some of the best and most famous musicians play here since 1924. Starting as a honky tonk it has grown into a first class venue here in the Midwest. I got an image of Andy in the green room waiting for Andersons time to stage up.

The green room is the R&R room set aside for the musicians to use so they may eat, shower, practice,
and rest. Available only to the musicians and their crew.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Naked ladies...

I have always valued the quality given by Nikon lenses and camera bodies. My Naked Ladies imagery says a lot about that. We had a surprise appearance of a new plant in our west bed and, as suspected, it turned out to be a Naked Lady plant that must have sprung up from the roots of a nearby bunch of them. I'm enclosing two images of the bloom and I really like the close-up almost abstract of the blooms.


By clicking on the images they will enlarge and it is really worth the time to view.
I love my job..................

Just a quick note , with more coming later...

I just checked the stats an the blog and we've had over 72,000 views !  More invisibility coming with flying included. This is going to be fun ..........

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Invisibility from the past......

As I mentioned in an entry or two ago I rediscovered some invisibility images from my past. I traveled old Route 66 from Springfield, Missouri to Hemet, California to see what the Mother Road had to offer. I photographed along the way and found several of the images a few days ago. I had just started experimenting with invisibility and quite frankly had forgotten about the images with the exception of an occasional blip of a thought of them. I stopped along the way at interesting spots and a couple just for the hell of it. I photographed invisibility images throughout the trip. I just have to find them now.

One of the great memories of the trip was one roadside attraction that boasted of a very large collection of baby rattlers, possibly the largest in the world. I hate snakes but these must be penned up and not threatening so I stopped just to see the collection. Thought it might make an interesting picture. I paid the guy at the counter a buck and he directed me to a large box with screen wire over the top that was outside in the sun, adding that I should be careful. I didn't know if it was safe, the snakes could weasel out through a slight loose part of the wire, I approached slowly. No activity on the outside after careful due diligence, and I looked in over the walls of the cage. There were approximately 60 baby rattles in pink, green, cream, red, brown, you name it. It was immediately evident that something was lost in translation and I had been had. It was worth a chuckle and the realization that a little creativity can make you some money. I still hate snakes.



After 47 years invisibility returns with the addition of invisibility flying..............coming soon....

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

History repeats its self.......again...

In my November 6th post from last year I was doing some invisibility videos.....
I found a box of old negs from my last project in undergrad school ...... they were invisibility images. I had decided to travel down Route 66 from Springfield to Hemet California the end of the route. Along the way I decided to do some invisibility images while "on the road". I stopped at some road side attractions and did the deeds. Pretty amazing that the "invisibility" has been with me this long and just re-found. I'll get them digitized and publish some of them. You may notice that I appear somewhat younger then, I was 21 to be exact, and hoping to get into Grad school after graduation the upcoming summer. Stay tuned..............invisibility from my past is in your future.....on route 66.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hard to believe....

I guess we all spend most of our time going through the days noticing that some are more memorable than others. I have really never considered how they stack up, one on another, some slipping away as nothing days. This weekend I'm going to my 50th high school class reunion and it really doesn't make much sense.  I'm only 18. Been that way for years.....times just been slip sliding away. Thank you Paul Simon.

I guess the true reality is that I'm on the downhill slide of life but I really don't want to recognize that fact. I am still vertical, work at something everyday, and am enjoying life as I always have. Business is still good and the challenges I meet on the job are still intriguing and fun problems to solve. I have a great wife and am surrounded by friends several of whom I have known for decades. I still look forward to the new models of cars as they come out, have a fun backyard that is soon to be finished after about 6 years of design work. Our new cat has discovered the treat of a belly rub and has started throwing herself on her back as we approach. Life is good.

I'm looking forward to this weekend, as in some cases, this may be the last time I see some of my past school mates. It seemed as though we lost some on the road so to speak but it was an occasional occurrence. More recently however there seems to be more of us cashing in the chips. My dad died when he was 63, at that time I looked at that age as being well down the road of life. How wrong I was. He was just blooming with his business and circle of friends. I'm five years older than he was and am hopefully looking to twenty or thirty more.

I can remember shooting a class reunion for one of the Jasper high school classes. I spoke with a guy about something, I can't remember what, but I do remember it was their fiftieth reunion and thinking that he was sort of old. He probably thought he was just 18.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Gone too long...

With great apologies I must say it has been too long since I posted anything. I've been just too busy. I have had work coming in from different companies ranging from headshots to location imagery. It has been wild. Also of course there was the creation of my raised tomatoe beds and the purchase of a Treager Grill.

I love tomatoes and great food, cooked well. While at a garden show two months ago a guy offered me a hamburger as we were looking at a Treager grill. After the first bite I was sold. The Treager uses pellets as opposed to gas or charcoal and cooks with the smoke generated from the pellets. The taste is phenomenal ! We have cooked steaks, fish, hamburger, hot dogs, and even a whole turkey on it and it is just amazing. The meat is juicy, tender and perfect in taste. We gave away our gas grill.




These are pictures of the grill and the finished turkey. The temperature is controlled by software contained in the pellet box on the side and more pellets are fed into the ignition area as needed. The temperature varied about 5 degrees throughout the cooking time. 

The Tomatoes....

I love tomatoes and the store bought hothouse tomatoes are really not acceptable. I built these raised beds expressly for tomatoes. Tulsa had a guy that specialized in selling heirloom tomatoes plants for years and everyone just called him the"Tomatoe Man". He passed on to the garden in the sky and is daughter is handling the business. It is now "The Tomatoe Mans" Daughter. I picked up around 24 plants to add to the starts I started from seeds I got from RareSeeds.com that are GMO seeds of different varieties. By the end of the summer we should have enough to can, stew, and eat through the winter. The guards around the beds of chicken wire are to prevent the rabbits we feed carrots to from enjoying a free lunch salad on me. It's going to be a great summer !

I love summertime and my job......!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Kite....

The wind is about to carry off all of Tulsa and it reminded me that I promised to show you the kite that the Japanese kite maker made on the floor of the Palestine hotel where we stayed in Baghdad. as I said in my original post of several days ago he gave this to me as we went through customs at Norita Airport in Tokyo in 1995.

He drew it all freehand in ink with brushes. No sketching, he just started and drew it. This is one of my most prized pieces of art because of the art its self and the story behind it. He also asked for my passport, I gave it to him, and he drew the face of God in it to protect me on future journeys. That image follows soon.

About the wedding....

I had posted some thoughts concerning an upcoming wedding up a couple of weeks ago and it was a great time. I've known the the Bride and Groom for a couple of years and I really enjoyed the day. When the couple booked me several months ago I was actually wondering how the occasion would go as they were planning an outdoor wedding........IN FEBRUARY !! In the event of snow, rain, wind, and all sorts of other weather options, they did plan to have a very large tent to fall back on. On wedding day Oklahoma skies came through for us as it was mildly overcast and around 60 degrees. PERFECT !

I had scouted out the location a week or so before the wedding so I would at least know something about what I was running into. I found the location, and met with the couple and finalized the shooting plans for the wedding. I always photograph the Bride and Groom together before the wedding as well as all of the other images I can, groups, table setting and cake. This allows me time to get the images without a pending reception rushing everything along. The plan looked good and I knew where to be.....life was good. On the wedding day, as I said, the environment cooperated and everything came off with out a hitch. The best part of the event was that I was able to shoot outside in available light which allowed be to have some very good illumination for the wedding portraits.

I always take a  background with me for the formal groups and individual images. I think it just gives a more professional set of images. This doesn't mean that I use it in every shot....it just gives me options that I wouldn't have otherwise. Below are a couple of images from the wedding.


It was a very good time and I was pleased with all of the images.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Stairway through the night..

I don't think I have ever published this image for the public but the sight really amazed me. While I was in Baghdad one of the Japanese me attracted my attention. He was wearing a hat with a very broad brim like the ones Steve Fennimore wore and was obviously an artist of some sort. I couldn't speak Japanese and he spoke no english so we just nodded when we saw each other. Walking through the lobby of the Palestine Hotel, that I realized later was used by all of the traveling Diplomats and visiting dignitaries, which since has been turned into rubble, I saw a group of people gather around someone on the floor. I went over and it was the man I described looming over a large piece of rice paper. He had inkwells out and a bunch of brushes and was creating something on the rice paper.

As he progressed the image came into being of a Japanese woman with a large umbrella as a background looking back at us. It was a fantastic drawing/painting/creation. The ink dried almost immediately as it was hot and he brought out some string and bamboo and started working with the painting. When he was finished I saw one of the most amazing Kites I had ever seen. THIS GUY WAS A KITE MAN - LIKE ME !!!!

I have always loved kites and have had some great times just watching them in the air. With Spring around the corner I'll get some out that fly in ways you have probably never seen. One of the ways is as a "train" That is a multitude or just several kites on one line streaking to the sky. This is the first one I had ever seen and it was flown outside of the soccer stadium in Baghdad. This is one of those images I feel very lucky to have captured because of the place, the people, and circumstance. As we were going home through Tokyo, he came up to me and gave me the kite he made on the floor of the Hotel. I have it framed and will try to have a picture of it in my blog soon.

There were over 500 kites on that one line and he made them all....

I love my job.....

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Today we surpass 70,000 views.....

It's really amazing how many views I'm getting when I add a new image to the blog. Yesterday I had over 300 views which I find just incredible. Who'd a thunk ??? I'll have another image of a building exterior tomorrow if it doesn't rain this afternoon. The weather is finally getting friendly with some much needed rain. We really need it badly. Tune in tomorrow for the new  image. Thanks for your support. That averages out to 158 views per entry......

Friday, February 16, 2018

The PACE Center at TCC

I was asked by a potential client in Dallas to furnish them with an example of how I would shoot the interior of a performing arts center. This images are of the Performing Arts Center from Tulsa Tech here in town. The images are a composite of 8 separate images blended together to complete the 180 degree look. Click on the images to see a larger view.




I love my job !

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Fresh Carrots...

With Spring on the way I happened to think that it might be appropriate to post an image associated with gardening. I've seen these carrots in the store many times and have wondered if there was a taste difference from the standard orange carrots. So we bought a bunch to check it out. Yes !!! There is a subtile difference between the colors. But what I find fun is the color they add to our salads. I guess it's like a carrot Easter Egg hunt with the color but not the eggs. I'll have to think about that.

I did get some exciting news today however. Towards the end of the month I have a client that is delivering to me approximately 4 castings of her sculptures to be photographed for her new catalogue. That is really exciting to me. I love to photograph difficult images and sculpture fills that bill. Lighting is of utmost importance as wells color due to the platina on the pieces. It's going to be fun and interesting to say the least.

Try to remember that Spring isn't far away.....

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cold weather but time to have an indoor shoot.......

The weather outside is absolutely horrible. It's very cold, when the wind blows temps streak downwards, it's just not fun. Tonight we are expecting a touch of snow but that's OK. We have had little measurable snow so far this winter.  Tomorrow I've got an interesting shoot lined up here in the studio. Come back tomorrow and see what has transpired....................

Monday, January 8, 2018

An amazing sight seen in town...

There are times when it is a really lucky break when you have your camera with you. Coming back from a short time in Branson we passed through Carthage for a look at the present state of affairs in town. I always look at my old building which is slowly self destructing due to the lack of the present owner not keeping  a good eye on maintenance. Window panes are missing and covered with what looks like cardboard, and the front doors are in great need of sanding and refinishing. Truly tragic that such a fine building would be allowed to waste away such as it is. The building is 135 years old and you must keep up with the normal fix ups such as paint and replacement of exterior pieces or it will fall down through neglect. So sorry for it's present state. We rounded to corner and approached the square to see another amazing sight. Thank God I had my camera....


I hope everything is still under control..............and hopefully.........it's only a movie....

Friday, December 29, 2017

A New Year is approaching......

Saturday I'm starting to shoot for the New Year so keep an eye on the blog. This last year has been very good with several new accounts and a couple of visits to older past clients. I'm looking for continued success with the business. The weather has played a bit of a role in the season as it is colder that I can remember it ever being. We've had little snow but the wind is stifling and almost hurts if you're out in it too long. I have to try some types of shooting this next week if the weather will allow it. I've been reviewing some information on different techniques that should result in some pretty interesting images. I did discover why my tripod leg collapsed several weeks ago.

It sounds really dumb but the clue was right in front of my nose. I stopped into a camera store that I buy some supplies from to look for a new tripod as I thought the other was shot. I explained the situation to the clerk and he asked me if I had checked the screws on the tripod legs to see if they were loose. With a blank look I said " no ". He then showed me the screws and nuts that control the tightness of the clamp that holds the legs solid. ( Never noticed them before....) He then showed me a tool that was clamped to one of the legs that held a screwdriver and a cresent hub on opposite end.
( I had noticed that, but never realized what they were for.....duh....). Amazingly enough they fit the screws holding the clamps tight and could be used to tighten them if necessary.  If the clamps would ever got loose, then the leg would collapse. AND end up costing almost $ 700.00 to repair a camera body and lens via Nikon......

Anyway....Have a great New Year...check back on the blog after the first of the year to see some new exciting images. Thanks for your continued viewing !!!!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Loch Ness found here in Tulsa

I went down to the river the other day to try to see how my camera that I just got back from Nikon was working. What a stroke of luck. I was taking an exposure to check out the shutter speeds and the Loch Bess monster appeared almost jumping out of the water !!! In my panic I must have pushed the shutter button down and to my surprise I got the exposure of a lifetime ! WHAT LUCK !! I'm going to offer it to National Geographics to see if I can get a story, what a deal !!!!!


Friday, December 15, 2017

I must be living right !!!


I got my Nikon back yesterday ! After I had sent it in the forecast was for a 4 to 6 week repair time.
I gave Nikon a call and told them I was a professional photographer and they must have slid it to the head of the line. UPS notified me that I will be receiving a package today and it must be the lens. No more walking around with a forlorn  look and the feeling of something not right. I'm going out to shoot today so look for some new images this weekend.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Spoke with Nikon....

I got a call yesterday from Nikon and it will be about a week more before I get my camera. I feel as though I'm walking around missing part of my body. I drove to Hulbert, Oklahoma yesterday to speak with a new commercial client and on the way I saw many images I wish I could have captured. But....no camera...no capture.

I also have regrets that I didn't have it Wednesday night. Adam Cain, our grandson, gave a fantastic performance in Oklahoma City at his school as part of his Senior Graduation requirements. He is a French Horn musician and was JUST AMAZING. I think he is planning to go to grad school when he finishes in the summer to get his masters. What a great future he has. I would have loved to get some shots of him playing. The intensity on his face was remarkable.

It's the coldest it has been so far however the waterfall in the Koi pond isn't frozen over. The fish are at the bottom hibernating and the pond very clear since it is too cold for the plants and algae. I finished the walnut pieces I've been working on for Christmas gifts and it will be good to see if they are well received. They are made from the trees I grew up with and have some family history connected with the. I was speaking with a "woodsman" that knows his wood and he speculated the judging from the girth of the trees that were about 500 years old. About the time the walnut sprouted, historically speaking, seven Portuguese armed vessels led by Fern Pipes de Andrade was meeting with Chinese officials at the Pearl River estuary. How's that for some information you didn't really ever think about. Just file it away for future reference. I guess this really shows how much I need to have my camera back......

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHH !!!!!!

I was shooting a product yesterday in the studio a small tabletop set up and walked away for about thirty minutes. I needed to clean out the filter in the Koi pond so the water would flow. It had completely stopped-thank you falling leaves....

I got that done, returned to the studio, and one of the legs on my tripod had loosened, without my permission, causing it to tip over. The camera was on the floor, lens about three feet from it. A few expletives later I tried to put the lens on the camera but it wouldn't stay. Ok, send the body to Nikon Repair. I put another lens on the camera and it worked perfectly, until I tried to change the F stop. Didn't work......sooooooo...the whole shooting match goes to Nikon Repair. Although financially painful, about $ 550.00 in repair, the camera needed a "tune-up" consisting of a cleaning, lube job, general sync checking as to the shutter speeds, blah, blah, blah...I shouldn't complain as in the 45 years I have been in the business I have only had two cameras damaged, A Mamiya RB 67,  a total loss with the lens, and now this. I guess I'm actually lucky.

Rationalization is an amazing attribute....

Another great day in the life of a professional photographer.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Rosemary

This will be a quickie so to speak. Really busy with a new account that I will explain in a later blog note, but I've also harvested my sag, rosemary, and thyme herbs for our cooking in the future. I generally have grown some in pots on the deck. Obviously I was taken by the look of the rosemary and  I pulled some out by the root (accidentally) so I put it in a vase. I liked the look so well I photographed it....imagine that.....




Almost an ode to Simon and Garfinkel.......

Monday, November 6, 2017

A bit frustrated ..

I completed and edited the new "invisibility" video and am pretty pleased with it. However I seem to be having a problem getting it ready to be available for easy viewing in the net. I edited it and converted it to a universal media so all could view it, but the images became soft which makes no sense to me. I shot it in Hi Def but the rendered end product seems soft. I guess I need to go back to the drawing board and see where I screwed up. I hate to have this happen in "public".  But I guess it happens to everyone eventually.

Tulsa is lucky from the standpoint of one not so unique area. We have a "Fablab." Fablabs are a world wide organization that makes tools available to "makers". Makers are those individuals that want to create or make items by using tools that they don't own in space that they don't have. It is such a great concept !. Fablabs are equipped with the latest computer aided tools such as 3-D printers, milling machines, Vinyl cutters, 3-D scanners, as well as the standard drill press, saws, sanders, and other regular tools. Fablab Tulsa has several different levels of membership based on projected hourly monthly usage of the space and equipment. I chose the lowest membership to get my feet wet and already see that it will do me well to step up my membership level. I'm presently at the $13.00 per month level which gives me 12 hours per month but $ 17.00 per month will give me 16 hours per month. I'll let this month go and see how the hours work out.

Before we sold the house I grew up in, we had to cut down two walnut trees that, as it turned out, were probably around 500 years old. The estimate is based on the circumference of the trees. I got two sections 10 feet long out of both of the trees. I took the trunks to a man I knew that had a sawmill and he cut me 12 lengths of the walnut that were ten feet long, three inches thick, and approximately two feet wide. I have two sections placed together that acts as my desk here in the office. As part of the harvest I took several pieces that were "residue" from the harvest. These consisted of limb sections, burled knots from the tree and several different interesting pieces. They have been drying for around seven years now and I have just started to create different sculptures from these pieces.

Although my dad was in the wholesale lumber business and very successful at it, I had no desire to go into the business. But I have always enjoyed wood and the end results of incorporating it into sculptures. Perhaps my biggest regret in College was not taking a sculpture course from John Walker.
John understood wood and the possibilities it offered. He was a master craftsman and I could have learned a lot from him. He completed a series of sculptures I'll never forget as the were so accomplished. He had taken wood and transformed it into cakes and pies complete with flowing cherries and figs, textures of smooth sauces flowing out of the wedges, all out of wood and accent metals. Cherry, walnut, pine, fir and cedar made up his pallet and the end products were stunning pieces that were like the real visual idea.....only made out of wood.

I took one piece to the lab a couple of days ago and did some sanding on it to remove the bark and expose the most fabulous grain and coloring you can imagine. I brought it home and yesterday did a fine sand on it to finish that part of the process. I have some pieces of of "art marble" from Locarni Marble in Carthage that I had purchased many years ago, One of those pieces will serve as the base of the piece. My accountant has a client that professionally sprays varnish on his products and I have given him pieces to spray for me while he is doing his. Fabulous finishes. !!

I didn't take any before "images" of the piece I'm working on but I'll show you the finished product when I'm done. I'll also find out what the issue is with the "Invisibility" project and get that to you.
Stayed Tuned .....

Thursday, October 12, 2017

More invisibility coming soon....try to see it....

Ok Halloween is coming up and  I guess that may be sparking my invisibility thoughts. I have had an idea swirling between my ears for about a week now, much like the first invisibility idea took hold.
I'm going out this morning to shoot it and hopefully I'll have it completed by this afternoon. There are couple of issues I will have to work out but that is the way it always works. Check back later to see if I was successful.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Strange editing...

I stopped in to look at my blog and was surprised that about a third of it was dark and hard to read
although it is still legible if you get close to the screen. I guess it is because I mentioned the name of the company where I get my seeds from. It is in Mansfield Missouri and is a fabulous supplier. Google it and you probably will be able to find it. All of the seeds are Non GMO so the old varieties that have been altered with the genetic updates are still available in their original form. They may not be perfect in appearance but they sure taste like the tomatoes I grew as a kid. Check it out.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Homegrown......

It's almost time for the summer to be gone and I'm going to miss our homegrown tomatoes. This year we didn't have many, but those we got were so much better than the "store bought" tomatoes we bought, that I'm embarking on a new mission. If you have followed my blog you have seen the last several summers were spent in converting our backyard into a studio for any portrait sessions that my pop up this year and next. I have a bit more to do with three small areas but one of them will become "the farm".  I have a source for an organic soil that is used by a commercial grower of a vegitable that they will sell me by the pick-up load. I intend to build my garden in one of the areas I have landscaped making a large bed expressly for my tomatoes crop.

It is in full sun most of the day so it is pretty useless for any portrait work but should be great for the plants. I ordered three different kinds of tomatoes seeds for variety, and all are heirloom varieties that have not been genetically altered. The seeds have already come 
in and I will have to start them in February inside under grow lights to have them big enough to transplant 
after the first frost. I want to get the soil possibly this weekend and will mix it with our "red dirt" Oklahoma 
soil and I should get a great bed with good drainage and nutrients for the crop. I'll keep you posted.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cardiac surprise........revisited.....

As I mentioned yesterday I have tried to load the video up on the blog but there is a roadblock so to speak. Haven't figured it out yet, but in trying to remove my efforts to upload it, I thought I deleted all 426 entries on my blog. Almost jumped out of my skin......That would be disastrous for me.....but it all is safe now....life goes on and I'll keep trying to get it on the blog. Not a rocket scientist....

Try to go to this site to see the video that has kept me stumped....maybe I found the key....

https://youtu.be/SWaJwSrtIFM

Copy the address and place it in your search window and go for it....


It worked !!!!  Copy the address, place it in your search engine window and hit enter.

Shazaaammmmm !

This looks like it may be the start to something new as far as direction for me  is concerned for me.
Even while trying to get it on the net I've been thinking of other areas where I can make it work with some degree of  mystery  and thought.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Started to play with some video thoughts.......

On occasion I have been lucky to produce video productions for clients and it's been a gas. Great time but it is not just a matter of grabbing a camera and shooting the "video" then editing from there. I always start from a storyboard. then scripting, then shooting, THEN editing. I have had clients that bucked at the process but that is the only way I will do it. By trying to edit from raw unthought out sequences will always leave you with images that are not enough or just unless material. Let me explain the process.

A Storyboard.
I generally do this with the client after a walk through of the needs and desired result of the production. I make an outline of our conversation and then take out my "storyboard. A storyboard in nothing more than pages with what looks like empty TV screens on them, generally three to a page. The screens are on the right of the page and I have a column of scripting lines on the left side of the page across from the "screens. I first establish the words for the script on the left then in the screen on the right I draw what I perceive as the "action". You don't have to be Norman Rockwell to draw what you want. Stick figures work for me. Within the boxes I can draw in a primary shot, on the next, a close up of work being done, whatever the script calls for. When it is time to change the scene I place a dissolve in the next box and proceed to the next scene. This gives me a "road map" for the future edition processes i will have to do as well as a logical map for the scripting that follows it.

Editing
The editing process takes a bunch of time that many client don't understand. Having a storyboard cuts the time down and also eliminates un-shot scenes that are in the script. The editing requires a very long time trimming the shots to get them to fit the script, sometimes adjustments to lighting and color balances, and of course any text that needs to be added to the video. It really sucks up the time.

Music
Sometimes music or narration needs to be added which takes a bit more of a challenge. Any recorded music is copyright protected such as music on albums, Pandora, virtually any source. I am very lucky as I have two very talented musician nephews that create my original sounds for my videos, Tim and Andy Putnam. They are true lifesavers and both located in Nashville.

Narration
The narration is another issue that needs to be solved. I generally will go to a radio station and have the "voice"  record the audio there and then edit it in my studio. In the editing process there is a "timeline" that visually lays down the sequences of the scenes on the computer screen as well as the audio lines below it. I can then place the narration where it needs to go as well as the music which is on another line below the audio. On these lines I can also vary the volume of both lines as is appropriate for the situation.

The Final edit
The final edit is critical to the success of the video. In this stage you can tighten up the production and shorten sequences if necessary, and add time if needed to spots in the sequences. I have found that any video for commercial clients, generally speaking, a three to four minute duration is about the max you can hold an audience. Of course this isn't a solid rule all of the time. The longest video I've produced was for a Hospital which ran two storylines concerning patient successes within the hospital which lasted 14 minutes. Hugely successful video, the audience loved it. I produced one for the city of Carthage, Mo. that was 11 minutes long and took a year to produce as we covered the town in four seasons. A very fun video which won an First Place award at a National Chamber of Commerce meeting in Orlando Florida.

I have been thinking of a sequence I would like to produce for over a week and Sunday I figured I'd give it a shot. It was exactly what I wanted as a finished produce....maybe music later....haven't given that issue much thought. As soon as I figure out how to get it on the blog I'll include it. I'm not a rocket scientist......










Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The lost is found...

Several weeks ago I thought I had erased all of the images I had taken while in California and on the trip back. Wellllll...while looking through my desktop files I found them. Evidently they had been captured by a folder and stayed hidden from me causing some consternation on my part. I hate it when that happens....but at least I didn't lose them. One of the main reasons I wanted them was to show you the images of how close we were to the fires in Utah on the way back. Several of the 40 some forest fires  occurred in locations we had been in.

I can't imagine how long it will be for the forests to replenish themselves but it will be several generations for sure. The good side of the fires if there is one is that all of the scrub brush will be destroyed helping eliminate the chance for another fire for several years. I'm sure that is no help to the property owners that suffered great losses. Here are a couple of the images that redefined "forest fires" for me.


Enough to give us the Heeby Jebbies !

Monday, September 18, 2017

The assignment on Saturday went very well....and opened my eyes..

Saturday I met with my client to photograph the dispersal of necessities for homeless Vets. I was amazed at the number of men and women from the nonprofits that gathered to give the items to the people in need. It was like an army almost. It whole process was set in motion by the Vets signing up and then processing from station to station gathering the necessities they needed. Items ranged from socks and underwear to coats and hats. They were all also given backpacks and a large duffle to hold all of the items.

It really knocked me down that these are men and women many of which are living on the streets in alleys, right of ways along bridges, and vacant buildings. These people are some of our military veterans that have hit extremely hard times through different circumstances. Their physical conditions varied from not too good to absolutely rough. I did make one contact while there that is local and I will approach him to see if they have a need for my photographic services to advance the cause. After seeing what I did this last weekend  I now realize that we ALL need to do more for our Vets.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Extremely busy.....

Well you may have noticed that I've been fairly invisible this last couple of weeks. I've been very busy to say the least. I finished the book I was working on for a client telling the story of the Statue she created for Clarehouse. It is located in a quiet meditation area behind the facility and it is amazing in the feelings it evokes. I did some work for a website for another client involving video production and it really takes editing time that many people never think of. We had to do four takes and then closely edited one to work well. I'm waiting on a call to do some more to finish the project.

I have an assignment tomorrow for clients in Tennessee who saw my blog and thought I would work well for them tomorrow morning shooting an event they are sponsoring. It should be fun. I think today I'll kick back and wax the car. I think I will have two opportunities to wax her weather wise before winter. Waxing keeps the paint good and really gives the car a better attitude. She really doesn't like to be dull and dirty. Her name is Margaret, I always name my cars. Go figure.....

Monday, September 4, 2017

In the "movies".....

I'm in process of shooting and editing a couple of short video pieces for a Doctor concerning his specialty of replacement surgeries for hips and knees plus his specialty work concerning orthopedic breaks. He will use these marketing pieces for his website that his clients and potential patients will have access to. Nine years ago I had my left knee totally replaced due to a bone on bone situation caused by running in the "8o's" . I followed that with my right knee and left hip being also totally replaced last year. Thank you racquetball. 

I have never had any other surgeries than these and really didn't know what to expect. In all honesty, the knees were a challenge. Amazingly enough however, if you follow instructions from your Doctor,
and stay on the physical therapy routine, it's like nothing ever happened. I spent 6 hours a day, in two hour shifts, on a machine that I strapped my leg into and it slowly flexed my leg back an forth retraining the muscles to work properly. It was moderately uncomfortable but it worked. I now have full mobility with both of my legs.

The hip was a cakewalk compared to the knees. In the hospital, surgery, out the next day. Sitting was somewhat uncomfortable for a few days but the physical walking was recovered in no time act all. I have never regretted any of the surgeries. 

I will deliver to my client the first "rough cut" of our project and I see some opportunity to enhance the presentation with some visual explanations. I'll keep you posted on the progress. I love my job....    

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cheekwood.....

As I mentioned in my last entry, we saw the Eclipse from a location at Cheekwood. The property is an extremely well maintained Estate housing an art museum and wonderful gardens. It is located in Nashville and really ought to be checked out if you're in the area.

The tickets for viewing the Eclipse were sold out pretty early as it was a complete venue with food trucks, a band, and a great forecast for the day. Here is just a couple images of the day and the location.

I must throw out a disclaimer as these images weren't taken by me but are from the Cheekwood webpage




Monday, August 28, 2017

A catch in the ol' getalong....

Before we left for Franklin/Nashville my left hip and leg seemed to be in trouble. It hurt to walk with pain from my left hip with an occasional spike down my left leg. I was coming down the stairs from my office and three steps from the bottom my left leg gave out....sort of disappeared so to speak. I became a temporary "Flying Wallenda" and landed on my right hip holding my Nikon safely away from the floor. I gave it the expected ooooh's and OH *****s but eventually hobbled into the bedroom and got in the sack.

The next day everything seemed to be good as the leg/hip weren't really bothering me so we took the road trip. While in Tennessee both parts of my body decided that they needed to be heard and they were. I had to use the cane we brought and a wagon to transport my cameras, mirrors, tripod etc. to the shooting site.

After getting back I went to see my doctor and he prescribed some pills that take the pain away but that's about it. After watching a million doctor shows on TV and an occasional Soap opera, I have decided that I need an MRI. And will look into that next week. In the mean time I remembered
the Grapefruit tree I planted while at Southwest Mo State while in my second year in college.

I ate a grapefruit in the cafeteria and found a seed and wondered if it would grow. I took it back to my room in Freudenberger and planted it in a paper cup. The damn thing grew. I took it to Grad school with me and it continued to grow. I started my business and it was with me. I took it to Louisiana in 81 and it still prospered. Then to Dallas....grow baby grow. It was really starting to get out of had so I started to trim it back. Back to Carthage and in the studio window it was graced with Christmas ornaments and lights and was trimmed back every now and then. When Karen and I moved to Tulsa it came with us. We got here in "02" so the tree at that time was over 30 years old. I had it in a large pot that was somewhat sizable. We had no place to put it in the winter with the exception of an upstairs office. SOOOOOO I took it up. For the next few years it would come down in the summer and up in the winter. It also got a trim every now and then. I guess it was 2 years ago in 2014......I just sort of forgot about it. The tree was 45 years old. The trimming kept the height under control but the trunk continued to gain in width.  The tree died from my inadvertent mismanagement of watering it, so it just sat as a constant reminder of my stupidity. A month or two ago I dislodged it from the pot it was in and took it outside and hosed off the rootball. I didn't know what to do with it. Turn it into a sculpture.....wall hanging reminder to pay attention........I was stuck. Last night it woke me up !
I had a vision !!!

I just delivered it to a master craftsman, Jim Vanderlind, whom I have talked to here in the blog before, and he is going to turn it into a cane for me. It took the first spin on the lathe this morning
and we got a look at what was under the bark. It will be a very light wood with a different colored handle of an exotic hardwood. One more reason to keep some stuff that has history...



Friday, August 25, 2017

The Eclipse....

With grand visions we left for Nashville last Thursday after downing a Starbucks cold Doubleshot. I have found that I can drive long hours with a little help from the Doubleshot. I'm very alert and it smooths out the drive. I had a thought or two about the Eclipse and how I wanted to shoot it and I got sorta close. I had visions of 4 mirrors on the ground reflecting trees, the sky, and Eclipse. Hoping that the mirrors would transform into square holes in the ground filled with trees, clouds and  blue sky and the Eclipse.

Really not thinking of the whole picture...it gets dark during an eclipse, stacking frames may not work, and probably a few other issues I hadn't thought of. All of  this was compounded by the fact that I took a rather nasty fall from the third stair from the bottom of our stairway and really knocked the dickins out of my left hip which had been giving me painful unexpected problems previously.

Karen helped me up and we went to bed with an occasional yelp from me. Morning came and the hip seemed OK so we left on the Great American Eclipse Road Trip. 8 or 9 hours later we arrived at my sisters where we were staying for the duration in outside of Nashville. I had ordered Solar Glasses from the net and were to arrive before we left. They didn't.......that fit in real well with the hip agenda.

metric and Canada.Arriving we were met by her "show dogs" a couple of Shelter finds, and we got settled.We messed around Nashville and the surrounding and had dinner with Nephews and Great Nephews, along with other activities.  Both of my nephews are very accomplished individuals, one is the Digital Director for a major implement company, while the other is an accomplished sound engineer and traveling with major recording stars running their sound for them in arenas throughout North America and Canada.

"E" day arrived and we sent out to Cheekwood for the viewing. It is a wonderful acreage that houses Museums, a sprawling park with ponds and trails. Fortunately my sister got us entrance tickets before they ran out. Almost immediately I spotted the site I wanted and we all advanced to it. As I was basically marking my site with the mirrors the area started filling up and I bent over and WHAMMO!
My back/hip shot a bolt of lightning down my leg. I'm glad I had my cane as if I didn't I would have landed on my duff. Andy, # 2 Nephew, set the mirrors up for me and we waited.


As forecast the eclipse started and immediately the clouds started to collect. I knew it ! The only reason they were around was because I was going to be photographing it. To make a long story short and not keep you drowning in suspense......the clouds parted, disappeared, and we got our Eclipse.

ling home I listened to my wife playing her Ukulele in the passenger seat. A great trip.