Archive for April, 2013

A Word A Week Challenge - Sleep

Our dogs Cookie and Cronkite take a nap together.

A Word A Week Challenge - Sleep

Even the hardest working dog can only do so much. Our dog Cookie takes a break at the keyboard.

Weekly Photo Challenge - Culture II

The photo you see above is of a statute called (in this setting) “The Baby Jesus of Prague.” The photo was taken at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Little Flower in San Antonio, Texas. So, how does this relate to the theme of culture you might well ask? Well, primarily it is the cultural/religious tension that exists when one juxtaposes this image of the baby Jesus with the one I learned as a child (and is rather more tied to the Bible – the poor infant in the manger). The iconography in the image is striking. Here, even as an infant, the baby Jesus is elaborately gowned. He is emphatically the ruler as demonstrated by the magnificent crown upon his head and a globus cruciger in his left hand. I am not mocking this beautiful statue. It is a product of its times (roughly the 1630s). The fact that this statue is widely venerated today poses some interesting questions, which I am not going to get into other than to say that it is clear that this lovely statue is a symbol of many things.

Here are some possible additions to your bucket list. The pictures here are breathtaking.

Herf at Drackenberg's

You won’t find a definition for “Herf” in a dictionary but cigar fans know that a “Herf” is a part of cigar culture. It is a gathering of cigar-smoking friends who meet in a club, cigar store or home to share their appreciation of fine cigars. This Herf took place at Drackenberg’s Cigar Bar in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Tree of Good and Evil (Serpent Them)

This is a photo that I have been experimenting on for at least a year. I was in the San Jose, California area for a nephew’s wedding and we took a drive to the coast because we had some time to kill. We hit 17 Mile Drive (tons of photos, I’ll post some other one’s in the future) when got out of the car for some scenic view or another (don’t get me wrong, the scenery is spectacular). It might have been the Lone Cypress (which, FYI, is not, but is still a nice photo as long as you have some time to spend with Photoshop). As I was meandering (my usual state of affairs) my way back to the car, I saw the dead tree pictured in this photo. I had a small “Octopus Style” tripod with me, but It was too light for my camera to get any useable shots for HDR. It was also too short. There were plenty of people around – every one of them ignoring what I thought was potentially the niftiest tree photograph that I was going to take for quite some time. Unfortunately, while no one cared about the tree, no one at all cared about getting in my way as I tried to take pictures of it either. My wife also, quite correctly encouraged me to move on (though faster than I wanted to) because there was my nephew’s wedding. By the way, what you don’t see here is that about half of every element of the picture was in the bright sun, while the other half was in fairly deep shade (thus the thoughts of HDR at the time). One of the many great thing about photography (especially if — this is for any newbies — you are shooting in RAW and preserving the original files through non-destructive editing) is that you can pick up an old project and try, try again (this time using Silver EFex Pro 2). Another thing, there is also plenty of color in the photo so that is fun to play with as well. Finally, for those of you who have made it this far any comments or suggests or ideas are greatly appreciated.

The Cannon Beach of Mind's Eye

Okay, there really is a Cannon Beach in Oregon and it is actually, at least on the bright, sunny, t-shirty kind of day that I was there, almost but not quite devoid of humans. I feel it is incumbent upon me to show you what every tourist book will tell you Cannon Beach looks like (except they will have better photos). One thing I had absolutely no time to do but also looked especially intriguing in counterpoint was walking through some of the gloomiest, moss-covered forest I have seen since the Lord of the Rings. It was just a few hundred fee away from the beach.