Tuesday Morning (crab-apple tree).
Tuesday morning (apple tree).
This morning from the road looking at our house.
I love bread! And it loves my hips and thighs and belly and all my other fat tissue areas! It likes to come live there and stay.
I particularly liked t his bread which my friend Daniel made for an event last month – yummy!
I also liked his presentation of the bread on a nice clean wooden shingle for a platter.
What I didn’t like was the amount of wood in the photo above – the platter is fine, but the fact that the platters were being prepared on a butcher block counter just meant there was way too much wood for my tastes.
But I was just the photographer, who certainly couldn’t interrupt a busy kitchen preparing to serve dinner to say: “Um, could you move the bread platters to another location with good light but a cleaner (i.e. white) surface so my photo will be more appealing to my eye.” Yeah, that message would have gotten me kicked out of the kitchen and probably not invited back in.
But I love bread, and wanted this photo to work. So, I thought maybe, perhaps, it was worth a try to see if a black and white conversion helped to get rid of the too much wood problem.
I think it helped, but I still wish for a better background.
Just so you know, I did think about cloning in a white counter everywhere the butcher block shows, but it was a fleeting thought because I just don’t think I would want to do that much work – I like the bread, but I’m also lazy.
For those of you who don’t know, this whole exercise is to force me to get better at my black and white conversions. So, my feedback to myself on this particular conversion (aside from butcher block background thing) is that I could have made this one a bit brighter/more contrast, I think. Thought I had done enough of that, but seeing it one the blog post I think more would have been a bit better.
A morning of harsh words happens sometimes.
Depression lurks and oppresses.
All is not lost, but there are moments where it feels like it might be.
Ever have that series of days?
Yeah, me too.
But there remains much to be thankful for :
1788. Good dinner with triathlon teammates
1789. Evening with old friends from far away and others who have stayed close.
1791. Thinking about Andy’s strengths
1799. Seeing Sandhill Cranes dancing for each other on the hill-top while out walking
1810. Herbal remedy for minor health issue
1811. Good water out of the tap – wonderful well, for which I’ve been thankful before.
1815. Little purple flowers at the base of the big aspen trees.
1819. J’s confidence in Red Lodge
1824. Goat milk ice cream
1831. Little boy’s imagination – Midnight Mission to space
1834. Tank digging in his giant water dish and happily splashing water all over the place – oh the joy of that dog!
1839. Time to talk with Janice Lambert and absorb her wisdom in raising boys.
1847. J helpful to others – and others acknowledgement of that helpfulness.
1854. Being strong in a pressured conversation.
1858. J sleeping in the car
1867. Good times with nice people in our home.
1869. Rain for days making everything green and wet.
1871. Time for some art.
1872. Old photos of Andy when he was a child.
1878. Wyatt walking and raising money for his cause.
1881. Woodpecker in the tree across the road – and chance to watch it every time I go for a walk.
These are just the skim off the top of the vat of things written in my gratitude journal since the last time I posted gratitude. A reminder to myself that there is much to be thankful for, and in being thankful, I’m not offering praise to the unknown, but praise to the creator and God of my heart!
All these photos were taken on the 1st of May.
Since that day it has been warm and dry – wearing shorts, watering lawns.
Tomorrow and over the weekend it is supposed to look like these photos again – yes, snow is in the forecast. But I’m willing to accept that because it has been so very dry.
To keep the hills green and avoid fires like last summer, I’ll take any and all moisture, even the frozen kind.
Amazing how the weather can change so quickly – cold April, too warm in May, praying for moisture. And it is only the middle of the month.
Today I’ll take photos of all the blooming crab apples (in town, not up at our house yet) and other flowering trees, because all those blooms will probably be destroyed in the weekend rain and snow.
I have a friend who is a chef – may have mentioned that before. He’s certainly been mentioned on the blog before. His name is Daniel, and he and Andy do triathlon as a team, we know him from church, and Bible study at his house every Wednesday.
Anyway, he is a very high-end chef, doing private dinner parties for people up in the Yellowstone Club and now out of a facility here in town as well. About 10 days ago he did an event at his space here in town, and I went, took some photos, and ate some fantastic food.
By the way, lighting is tough in this situation and I’m aware these photos are mediocor at best, but they were. He is working fast, no time to set up a whole group of lights (and I don’t own them either), but the lighting in the building was . . . not perfect for my natural lighting style. So, something had to give, and depth of field is part of what I gave up in order to get some photos that were reasonable. Lots of learning and learning and learning here, but so grateful Daniel gave me a chance to photography something interesting and different (and allowed me in his kitchen while it was working).
Above are Pork Bellies. I’ve heard of them as a commodity, but never them as an actual food. Delicious! I mean really good – like a good slab of bacon, as you might imagine.
He also did some fish (above and below), and I learned a bit about food photos from this fish (this begins the self-critique part of this blog post). See how in the photo above I focused on the center of the fish steak pan? That would be something I won’t repeat. Gotta get that leading edge in focus I think (I’ll try that the next time I get a chance).
But the photo below, as Daniel is working with it, I feel a bit better about that, with the focus being on his hands, but I wish the leading edge of the fish was in better focus – again, desiring better depth of field.
He made bread, and being who I am, I had to photograph the bread. Daniel is a master bread maker, and this bread was absolutely beautiful as it was on the cooling rack. Looking at the photo below, I may take a shot at cropping it in some – learning as I go here! I love the idea of seeing an abundance of bread, but maybe I’d like less bread but all of it in reasonable focus.
And the presentation of that same bread for eating was creative, unique, and overall great! It was put out on a clean finished shingle, and it tasted absolutely delicious with that fresh whipped peppered butter!
I’m not big on eating radishes, but they sure made a beautiful little garnish to the bread tray.
So, an interesting adventure in photographing food as it is being presented in real-time. Very different I think than photographing food for a magazine layout, where the food is staged – there was nothing staged about this photo-shoot, and that gave it a bit of an extra excitement. I loved the challenge and hope to get
We are already having to water the lawn – warm and dry for one week makes a huge difference!
May is supposed to be our wettest month of the year (sometimes June), but this year, no so far.
Two weekends ago we went to Red Lodge MT for a triathlon called “Peaks to Prairie.” This was our second year in a row of attending this event, but the first year we had a paddler to make it a tri instead of a duo.
Andy and Daniel were joined this year by Bill, a paddler.
Andy took the electronic anklet for a 9 mile run from up the Bear Tooth Highway through the town of Red Lodge, and I had a setting not right on my camera, only getting blurry photos of him – stupid mistake on my part, and I should have know better.
Getting everyone to the spot they needed to be in was a chore, and the timing was tough. Andy runs the 9 in just over an hour, and during that time I was shuttling necessary items and information to Bill, who was 50 miles away waiting for Daniel. Daniel was in Red Lodge, spinning to warm up. Daniel’s wife was up the road with her three little children trying to get the camper packed up and down to where Daniel would complete his ride before they missed his arrival.
He usually hates to be alone – at home, at the office, anywhere. But he was there in a town he barely knows all alone, and he did well. It was the first in a series of things the past couple of weeks that have built up his confidence.
It seems like the life of a thirteen year old is full of opportunities for maturing and growth, and I’ll have more to say about that in the next few posts.
Yes, I still blog. Just not as often as I’d like in the past two weeks. Haven’t been able to check out very many other blogs either – it has been a busy time (not complaining, just saying!)
They were a big hit, garnering complements from total strangers who sought him out after asking the art teacher who he was. One man even chewed out the teacher that J didn’t get an award for the best display of the show – that may have been a bit far, but it was a project that J was proud to display.
The confidence boost that came from this experience was beyond my wildest imagination – he even asked if we thought his grades would go up in general because he was feeling so good about himself (no filter on the question asking for that boy!).
I hope to have photos to share of some of our recent activities – maybe in the next couple of days!
Remember, all these photos were taken by a seventh grader – now, got out with your camera and teach your kids – it is so fun!