I have strong feelings about colors…. Colors like these are my happy colors—I just want to envelop myself in them. I could look upon them for hours and never tire. I have a beautiful picture in my living room that has transfixed my gaze for indulgent periods of time; it’s colors make me happy. The scene has rescued and transported me into a dream, on those days when life disappoints. I experienced this euphoric moment in Key West. I could’ve been encapsulated in that moment for a life time because it was so beautiful, and tranquil. The post processing has been an arduous and evolving task as I keep trying to convey what I saw and felt. I’m not sure if I’m done with it or even if I’m satisfied with the image, I just know that it is one I will re-visit in my mind, over and over. Here’s wishing you a weekend filled with your happy colors and moments that will transcend you for a life time. ~B
Every day is a gift; that’s why they call it the ‘present’. September is one of my favorite months. It’s the forgotten last month of summer. There’s something about the air in September: the days are usually less humid, fresher and the night air is cooler, fresher.
Now Vegas? It’s just hot, hot, hot and ‘oven on high’ hot. Our caravan of roaming gypsies: Kathy, Jim and myself, set out on a mission to explore and shoot some of the strip we normally never see while at Photoshop World. We were determined to capitalize on this small window of unscheduled time; even if it was almost noon and horrible light. (Note to self: remember, you can’t take Oven on High heat!) We didn’t make it very far before my internal cooling system reached dangerously high levels and I had to call it, or else I would drop of heat exhaustion. New York, New York was the final mile marker. Not very far, and not nearly as far as we had hoped to wander—blame the 102 degrees of dry heat and unrelenting sun.
I stayed at the Luxor and got a phenomenal deal on the room. It was perfect: attached to the Mandalay Bay convention center via the Mandalay Bay Shop connector. It provided for a Starbucks rich environment, giving more options prior to reaching the Mandalay Bay Starbucks that had lines 60 to 70 deep! (A big thank you to Starbucks and ZipFiz! I would never have been able to keep up had it not been for your endless supply of energy).
The Luxor was perfect…….except for one thing. Did I mention that getting to my room in the pyramid was always a bit disconcerting? Perhaps it has something to do with riding in an “inclinator" that travel along the angular walls of the pyramid at a 39-degree angle (they looked like elevators, but the swaying, ‘this way and that’, told me this is no normal elevator). Or perhaps after a particularly noisy, and rickety ride, when the elevator door only partially opened, Kathy and I pryed it apart, as if we were the jaws of life and leaped out, landing on a heap. Ok, maybe we didn’t land in a heap. We certainly felt as if we had narrowly escaped with our lives. We purposefully, avoided that elevator….only one problem: we couldn’t agree on which one was the culprit?
I was also surprised to learn that the Luxor Sky Beam, the light from the top of the pyramid, is the strongest beam of light in the world. Allegedly, on a clear night the light beam can be seen by airliners at altitude over Los Angeles. All I know is that the opportunity presented its self to capture this iconic Vegas strip image, even if the time was far from optimal and the light was horrible. Life is all about Making the best of this beautiful day…
Although, my HDR has evolved….I couldn’t resist this more HDRish HDR. Blame it on the music. Blame it on Vegas. Blame it on me. I couldn’t resist. To me, it fits much more than making a more realistic image. Right? Elephants in Vegas? Wandering loose in the palms and fountains at the Mandalay Bay? What’s realistic about that?
I was compelled to write about Vegas Photoshop World 2013, and where do I begin? It’s the closest thing to adult Rock Star camp that I can think of. If you’ve been, you know what I’m talking about. As a photographer or creative, it’s an amazing week of indulging in everything you love about your art. You get to completely immerse yourself in a craft that you are so very passionate about. I cherish learning from and getting to hang with my friends and mingle with my photographic Guru’s. The incredible talent and their personal stories are so inspiring!
The keynote captivates my attention as Adobe always delivers an unbelievable presentation of what’s new and upcoming. This year I literally got shivers when they announced the newly reduced price for Photoshop CC and Lightroom! I really got shivers! I know that means I’m a geek, but it’s an amazing deal! Then Google’s Nik software blew everyone away with a free copy of the entire Nik Collection! NIK! Nik is an integral part of my post processing and creative edge—and they gave it away free to attendees! AMAZING!
Then there’s all the extra curricular activities like Top Secret Chocolate Lovers Society meetings, where you’re 'allegedly' forced to submit to indulging in chocolate and laughter! (I can neither confirm or deny any details of the possible existence of such a Top Secret Society). Can you imagine forced to eat chocolate? The famous After Hours Party really rocks it! Check Scott and Kalebra out: The Big Electric Cat Bandhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmsk_mMvzGw&list=PL7tRjmRHz3kCTot-QAKI5Jr4nk8-vhinL and then there’s Midnight madness! It’s guaranteed to have me giggling so hard that I can’t breathe!
It’s hard to say that anyone part is best, because it’s all so amazing—but if I had to say, what makes PhotoShop World the best, it would be the people! It starts with Kalebra and Scott who are authentic, crazy talented, fun and truly great people who started Photoshop World. It’s their creation and they personally select the best instructors to teach and put the entire conference together. But it goes beyond that: it’s the friendships that are born that truly make this entire experience like no other. Thank you, Scott and Kalebra for making this experience and the best adult camp ever! :)
This is the best lap top and tablet bag I’ve seen! Best part is you have a chance to win one too, by going to the link above.
I’m the gear bag equivalent of Imelda Marcos and her shoes. Ok, well, not truly that bad, but I do love gear bags and I’m always looking for the perfect one. I fell in love with Think Tank bags the first time I saw one. I can’t stand cameras dangling from my neck, or anything on my shoulders, so when I’m out shooting I love their Speed Convertible Beltpacks. I can carry the gear I need around my waist, and snap on a water bottle, etc. The bag becomes my lens changing station too—which is really convenient.
The problem for me is what do I pack when flying? I only pack carry on so I need a system that carries the gear that I need and can attach to my roller board. I think I’ve found the new perfect solution for me: The Navigator. Hmmmm, wondering if Think Tank will have a contest to win this bag?
Blame it on Kathy. Why not? She started the thought this morning by posting that adorable picture of the little girl trying to mount the little donkey. I guess we can blame the post on Kathy—not that I was born a little cowgirl.
The cowgirl in me was destiny. Today, I found myself abandoning tasks and ‘To Do Lists’; chasing down my childhood and rummaging through boxes of old photos. I come from a long line of horse women: both my grandparents on my mother’s and father’s sides, and my great aunt Aggie were all horse women. My mom, was not—she indulged the passion I shared with my father and my lineage.
I cherish the fact I was destined to love horses and I cherish it even more that it was because of the strong and fearless women in my family.
What passion did you share with your destiny?
I’m the little blonde in the top 2 pictures that were taken when I was 4 in Eastern Oregon. The third picture is my grand mother on my mom’s side, and the fourth is my Great Aunt Aggie.
The C-47 is the military version of the DC-3. You know from my earlier post, how passionate I am about this bird. It changed my life and taught me to believe anything was possible, so long as you believed and persevered. I think this is the shot that conveys all my emotions, beliefs and passion. I hope you enjoy.
This beautiful C47 waited patiently for me while I circum-navigated a cow pasture full of ….. cow manure, in the dark. I made my way the long trek in the dark with a bounty of gear, just for the moments like this. It was a spectacular morning, with just the finest blanket of ground fog covering the flight line. It was perfect.
Camping out at Sun N Fun is something we always look forward to. It’s camp for adults. We set up camp with the best group of friends, watch airplanes, hangar fly and make beautiful images. We missed it this year, due to a scheduling conflict. This image was taken 2012.
There’s something about the “blub, blub blub” of a radial engine….
It sets my heart ablaze.
It’s an engine sound thingy. If you’re like me, it matters what that engine or motor sounds like. It’s the deep guttural purr of my Mustang 5.0; the powerful “blub, blub, blub” of a radial engine; or the distinctive sound a Harley makes. Noise matters.
I guess you can say that I became an airline pilot because of sound—the sound of that radial engine, on a beat up old DC-3 skydive plane. It was love at first sight. You know it’s love because I saw beyond her faded, worn skin, and beat up interior—what I saw was the most beautiful flying machine I’d ever laid my eyes upon.
I was supposed to take my first skydive that day with my friend Wendy and her boyfriend, Tim. We waited for months until this DC-3 was in town to schedule our jumps. First person I ran into upon arriving at Sky Dive Toledo, was Captain Kidd (second ‘d’ was for ‘dangerous'…or so we told him). Truth be known, Captain Kidd was a little guy and about as assuming as an angry May Fly. The nickname that I had bestowed upon him, made him puff up and postulate as if he truly was dangerous. Captain Kidd was a friend of mine and a brand new flight instructor at Evergreen Flying Services, the FBO I learned to fly at. As his friend, I was eager to be Eric's first student the day he passed his CFI, (Now, that's a story for another day).
Captain Kidd was flitting around like a little kid being taunted with a new toy that he’s not allowed to play with. “Settle down, Captain Kidd. What’s going on?” He exclaims, “I got to sit right seat and fly the DC-3!” Now, I’m jumping around frenetically and stating, “I want to fly the DC-3! Can I fly the DC-3 too?” I had just received my tail dragger endorsement in a J3 Cub a few weeks prior and was really eager to put it to use. I’m immediately introduced to “Captain Bill,” the DC-3 pilot. I’ll never forget him looking me up and down and stating with a cheesey, crooked grin (the kind that would normally make your skin crawl, had I not been so determined to fly this DC-3), “Sure, girly. You can fly my DC-3.” I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t just jumping up in down in-side my head with enthusiasm, because I was going to get to fly this DC-3!
The rest is truly romantic babblings, that I shall never tire of revisiting in my mind. I did fly the DC-3, and it is without a doubt the sweetest, plane I have ever had my hands on the controls of. She was easy to trim out and fly; literally with the delicacy and finesse of two fingers from each hand on the controls. Captain Bill directed me with hand signals until we were on short final. I was becoming more agitated and figidy as I was nearly convinced he had dropped off dead or was asleep. My internal self dialogue was shouting, “Has he forgotten I’m flying the bleepidly bleep plane?!!” Just then he speaks ever so casually, “Just keep flying the plane.” My focus is as intense as my internal dialogue, “~~*@#$! How am I going to know when to flare? I’ve never flown anything bigger than a C170! Holy *#~_!” Yet, I kept flying the plane just like it was my little J3 Cub, and I totally greased it on the run way! Captain Bill and his co-pilot were totally blown away by this ‘girly pilot’. Something tells me that Captain Bill is not the type that is generous with compliments, but that day he and his co-pilot were very generous. My feet never touched the ground for a month. Each night I dreamed over and over, I was on short final in DC-3’s and 747’s and each morning I awoke with a smile as big as the state of Texas.
Yes, there’s something very magical about the sound of radial engine…. I never did take my jump and suspect I never will. Instead I sat right seat again and again, until it was someone else’s turn. :)