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Saturday, April 18, 2015

H-O-P-E

Summarizing today's post: Morning sky, hope in new things.

Morning sky
shot at 60mm, ISO 200, f/4.8, 1/125th of a second

Hope is a powerful thing. And I find hope when I get up in the morning usually. It's a brand new day after all.

When I get to the end of a long workday, there doesn't seem to be much hope left some days. I know this is reversed for a lot of people. You may drag yourself into work in the morning, and as the day goes on, things seem to "brighten up". This is simply due to the fact that you get to go home.

Careful tho, because that's how we fall into the 'Oh God it's Monday, Thank God it's Friday' mentality. 

What is the difference?

It lies in job satisfaction. If you are satisfied with your work, you will not be so thrilled-to-pieces just because you get to go home at the end of the day. No, not at all. You will be happy at 6pm because you feel like you have made some sort of a difference in someone's life during the course of the day at your job.

If you are not satisfied with your job, if you are not feeling that good and satisfied feeling at the end of the day, know there is hope. And don't give up that hope. Just know that there is some place for you out in this world of ours. 

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend!

Brant

 
 







 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Flying Alone

Summarizing today's post: Going along with the pack or not, having your camera handy at all times.


birds, photography
shot at 170mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/1000th of a second

What do you see when you look at the photograph above? Interpretations can vary from one person to another. That is what makes art so interesting. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words, but those words are can be heard in different ways by different people. 

What I see and think about when I look at this image is a young bird struggling to make it on his own. There is a whole flock of his peers right behind him, but he chooses to branch out.

Sometimes that's what we have to do to find the fruits of life. Dare to be different for a change, test your creativity, and see what happens. You may find that simply shaking things up a bit and changing your routine of doing the same things that everyone else is doing may give you an epiphany of some type.

I took this photograph on Thanksgiving Day 2010. I didn't imagine that I'd find new meaning to it years later. That's why it is so important to keep your camera handy, because you never know what you may capture and what it'll mean to you later. 

A challenge to you: Do something different -- away from "the pack" -- today. Turn off social media for one day. Don't check your email. Stay off the phone as much as possible. Then focus on what you can do to better your life. Get creative and make a few goals. 

Realize that you don't always have to fly with the pack...not every single day.

Thanks for reading and have a nice Sunday!

Brant

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Friday, March 6, 2015

A Winter Wonderland

Summarizing today's post: A few photographs of our winter wonderland.


snow, photography
shot at 90mm, ISO 200, f/5.3, 1/640th of a second

I hope everyone survived and stayed warm thru all the winter weather we have had over the past few weeks here in NC.

As much as all of this white stuff (at best...it was mostly ice for a lot of people) throws our schedules for a loop, I still love it. I makes me feel like a kid again.

snow, photography
shot at 135mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/640th of a second

I simply wanted to show a few photographs I took last Thursday after I opened my blinds to my back patio. So simple but so beautiful. 


snow, photography
shot at 170mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/640th of a second

I hope that you stopped for just a moment and truly enjoyed the gift and simple pleasure of a winter wonderland. My wife and I found a couple of hours that Thursday morning to do just that before I headed off to work. 

There's just something about snow that seems to purify things.

Have a nice weekend and thanks for reading.

Brant

 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Can You "Bear" It?

Summarizing today's post: Can you "bear" what life throws at you? Yes you can.


photography, bear
shot at 200mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/60th of a second, WB set to shade

Sometimes the things and happenings in your daily life can almost run you aground. Or, to be more plain, it may be the things that try to hoard in on you while you are trying to live your "daily life". 

There you are minding your own business, doing what you normally do during your daily grind, and WHAM...something hits. Your boss asks you to work the weekend and you have to cancel family plans...you find out that your little one is sick...or you get a call from your tax guy and he tells you "Oh, about that refund you where expecting...yeah, you actually owe a thousand bucks this year". 

The list goes on and on.

Can you "bear" it? Yes, it turns out you can.

I took this photograph of a brown bear last year while at the NC Zoo in Asheboro with my wife and son (see more here). Everytime I look at it, I think to myself what a magnificent animal! Most people are scared to death of his kind and just want to kill them so they don't harm anyone. But is it his fault he was born a bear?

And you thought you had problems. 

The reason I am writing on Sunday instead of Friday this week is that I got very ill very suddenly last Thursday and my plans of publishing a new blog post got ruined. My world got turned upside down for about 36 hours. I'm sure you have gotten a stomach virus too, so you can imagine.

It was a bad ending to a not-so-good week. I almost couldn't bare it. But with the help of my bride, I am back on my feet again. She helped nurse me back to health so that I could tackle life again.

I was going to scrap this week's (now last week's) blog post, but then that would be giving up. I had a little time this morning, so I thought better late than never. 

Life isn't perfect. You will get a wrench thrown into your plans from time to time. I think the point is to learn to bend and flex and not get so stressed out when that happens. Plans change and life's events get postponed. Big deal. We'll make it.

Can you "bear" it? Sure you can.

Thanks for reading.

Brant

 
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Friday, February 13, 2015

How Do YOU See It?

Summarizing today's post: Looking at the many different ways to view the same situation, & adjusting shutter speed to achieve different results in photography.

photography, moon
shot at 130mm, ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/10th of a second

What makes us all unique is that we see things differently. That can be quite scary sometimes if you think about it too hard. How things are viewed so differently between groups of people can make nations go to war with each other.

Other times, it can be a beautiful thing. I do believe that the Good Lord made us all just a little bit different for reasons I am not sure of. If we all were the exact same, and liked the exact same foods, and all liked the exact same sports team (etc.), life would be pretty boring...wouldn't you agree?

What makes life so interesting, for example, is that my wife and I can be watching the same movie, or read the same book... talk about it afterwards, and interpret parts of it completely different. Pinky can bring to my attention things that I completely missed, and vice versa. Neat.

I can relate this concept to photography so easily. Look at the photograph above. It's a picture of the moon of course (at least it's obvious to me). You may see a bunch of clouds with a spotlight in the center of it, or maybe it's a freaking on-coming train in thick fog?? 


photography, moon
shot at 200mm, ISO 1250, f/5.6, 1/500th of a second
 
How about now? Yes, a little more obvious that you are looking at a photograph of the moon. It's the exact same moon, taken just seconds after the first photo. All I did to eliminate the clouds is increase my camera's shutter speed, limiting the amount of light coming in and hitting it's delicate sensor inside. You can see more detail in the face of the moon too.

Which photograph is "correct"? That's a matter of interpretation. I think they are both nice in their own way. I love taking photos of the moon, it can be so beautiful. I don't think any one way is more correct than the other personally.

Pretty neat. It makes me think about that whole concept of how we are all different and can see the exact same situation in completely opposite ways. 

Lesson? Maybe cut your spouse a little slack the next time you guys see things a little differently. After all, we are all beautifully human.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for reading!

Brant


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Friday, February 6, 2015

Doing What You Love

Summarizing today's post: Finding time to do what you love, happiness, & photography as an amplifier.

Photography, karate
shot at 170mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/50th of a sec, WB set to fluorescent

Life can be so challenging. The hum-drum of everyday work life can really get to you if you aren't careful. The old saying "too much work and not enough play makes Jack a dull boy" rings very true when you pass that 60th hour in the work week.

The same thing applies with our young ones in school. Too much school and not enough time for extra "fun" stuff is not a healthy thing. I believe it is so important for kids and adults to have time for some fun stuff.


photography, karate
shot at 82mm, ISO 800, f/5, 1/50th of a sec, WB set to fluorescent


Our little boy enjoys Karate, and it is very good for him. Four times a week he gets to take a break from school and be with kids that share the same idea of fun that he has. Martial arts is so good for young ones because it teaches them discipline and allows them to have an outlet for their pinned-up energy at the same time. And if they enjoy it...wow, you have struck gold. It can turn into a lifetime of fun for them.

We are so proud of Gavin for sticking with Karate for almost 2 years now. We go see him practice whenever we can. He is "in his element" when he's at Karate. (See more on being in your element here.) 


Photography, happiness, karate
shot at 95mm, ISO 800, f/5.3, 1/50th of a sec, WB set to fluorescent

I really believe in photography as an amplifier to whatever it is that makes you happy in this life. It makes us all smile when we go back and look at these photographs. I'm so glad I had the chance to take the photographs you see above of Little Bud having a good time after a long day at school.

What about you? What do you do to break the work cycle every week? It is so important to find time--even if it's just a few minutes--to do something you love to do periodically thru the week. It's good for you.

Find your element, your happy place, and slip away for a moment today.

Thanks for reading and have a nice weekend!

Brant




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Friday, January 30, 2015

A Light Went Out

Summarizing today's post: A tribute to Penelope, our beloved cat.

Penelope, pet, photography
shot at 55mm, ISO 800, 1/250 sec, f/4.8, on camera flash 1/32 power
A light went out this week. Our beloved cat, Penelope, went home last Monday, January the 26th, 2015. She was 19 years old.

Life can be rough sometimes. The little joys that make things bearable--like our pets--we can easily take for granted. I took Penelope for granted. I always thought she would be here. 

The thing is, she was older than we thought...by about 5 years. Until we talked this week to her original owner, we had thought that she was about 14 years old. And since she was in great health (we thought), I just assumed that we had many, many years left to enjoy her.

Not so unfortunately. She got sick very suddenly last weekend. It was such a shock to lose her.

I think back on how many times I walked right past her as she was sitting on the couch...and paid her no mind. How many times I forgot to say goodbye to her before I left for the day. How many times did I not give her enough treats when she was asking... the list goes on and on.

It is like a lamp that is always burning nice and bright, you never go over to it and thank it for light up the room for you. You just always assume it will be there, doing it's job, making the room liveable. It's not until the light goes out that you realize what was there. Funny how that works (actually it's not that funny at all).

We loved Peaches so much. I really don't know how we will ever fill the void that she has left. She gave us so much joy, so much love. We can't hardly wait to see her again one day. 

Is there a lesson to be learned here? I think so. Cherish your loved ones, your family. Whether we are talking about humans or pets, it doesn't matter. Don't take any day that you have with them for granted. Thank God for them everyday. 

Put things into perspective. All the things that you think are really important in your life--all the small stuff we sweat about every single day--really isn't all that important at all.

The photograph above, Penelope is relaxing on the bed, as she loved to do so often. I took this picture exactly one year before she left us. January 26th, 2014. I thought I'd share today. We have tons of photos of her, and I am so glad.

Thanks for reading and have a nice weekend.

Brant